Generation Cedar


Raising daughters… wonderful, challenging, and usually very convicting. We can’t raise our daughters to be something we are not at least aspiring to be ourselves!

For many of us, the concept of “raising polished cornerstones” is new; and that means we are breaking many of our own bad habits, trying to replace them with good ones. How many times have I asked myself…”How can I raise my daughters to be ________ if I can’t manage it myself!”

But, that is not reason to just give up. We are never allowed to give up or delegate this job! We must always press on, persevere, and keep asking God for transformation in our own lives to be wrought into the lives of our children.

So in talking about training our daughters, really, it’s about training ourselves–they will become very much like us, imitating our daily responses to life. (This is one more reason I feel it’s so important for us to BE with our children…they will become like those they are with the most.)

Back to the definition in the last post of “cornerstone” to draw some application for our job:

“The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.”

The first picture that comes to my mind about training daughters to be this “determining position” is strength and sturdiness.

Not the world’s definition, mind you, of “anything you can do, I can do better”…

But a strength of character that anchors her against life. Words that come to mind of a strong woman are “serenity, peaceful, self-controlled, calm”. I want to be, and I want my daughters to be unmoved by life’s ever-changing circumstances.

And for women, this is a supernatural act of God! Aren’t we prone to fear, anxiety, frustration and wildly escalating emotions??!! My hand is raised.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” I Peter 3:3,4

The Bible says that calmness of disposition is BEAUTIFUL. It is strong. It is necessary to become the cornerstone of a strong family.

Whew! That’s enough for me to chew on for a while! How do we start? Recite the verse. Recite and pray for the desired trait–

“Lord, make me a woman marked by a steady trust in You…help me respond to every circumstance with wisdom, discretion, serenity and confidence that You are sovereign over everything. Let me be a cornerstone, not easily moved.”

Bathe in the Word! Memorize it and say it! “And be not conformed to this world but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind…”

THEN, let’s talk to our daughters about these traits. Use the words, pray with them as well, to become this kind of woman. Look for other women who demonstrate these traits and praise them for those.

It really is simpler than we may think…you become like that which you meditate on. What are you reading? What are you watching? Who are you spending time with? Who are your role models? Think on the things you wish to become.

Cornerstone women, not Cosmopolitan women.

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30 Responses

  1. great post! my daughter is only 2, but I do aspire to be a woman of God she can look up to and desire to be like.

  2. I’m still curious what would happen if your daughter wanted to be a doctor or a judge.

    Is that possible at all?

  3. This reminds me of our sermon this Sunday! It was Luke 21:19 in particular: “By your patience posses your souls.” By possesing them with patience and not giving in to emotions, fear, worry or the enemy, we actually posses them with God. We keep them IN Him. How appropriate in these times, in all times for all people and for us and our daughters. God is too awesome..He always reminds us how to follow and gives us the strenght to do it!
    I included the verse with context, sorry for the length, but it is more important than my thoughts. ;}
    Luk 21:14-19 Therefore settle [it] in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer;for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put [some] of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost.By your patience possess your souls.

  4. MOD,

    There are several elements to your question that have to be addressed. For one, when a daughter is raised to view the home as a place of honor and privilege, she seldom has the desire to forsake it for other interests. To her, all else is second-best. It would be considered a disadvantage to be in a place that would force her outside the home.

    I know a lot of families with our vision; I can think of only a handful who have desired to pursue a full-time career, and that is usually because the family encouraged that option.

    To someone who hasn’t been around this type of paradigm, it is hard to imagine our daughters would think this way; but as we share our vision, they come to embrace it for themselves–it is not forced. They truly desire, and view as the noblest of professions, to be wives and mothers who will impact the world.

    Secondly, naturally people are born with all kinds of gifts and talents. I actually think every gift a girl has was given to her to further her home and community. If she is gifted and has an interest in medicine, there are all types of ways to pursue and utilize that gift without going the standard route of giving up her life to the profession.

    (I know a single mother who is probably one of the most amazing, medically competent women I’ve ever seen. People come to her from all over for her advice and treatment. Of course her 3 daughters have adopted her amazing gifts and have blessed their community a hundred times over. As our medical industry and insurance industries get more and more complicated, it will be women and families like these who will sustain society in that area.)

    Of course this can be done to earn money as well–we are not opposed to women earning money!

    I do know families whose single daughters are pursuing medical careers with the intentions of coming back home once they have a family. I have my own theories about the advantages/disadvantages there, but I’ll save them ๐Ÿ˜‰

    All that to say, your question, which seems logical when you view a paid career as the highest position to attain, is like asking, “What if your boys grow up and don’t want to provide for their families?” The work in the home is just as laborious, important and needed as someone putting food on the table. We happen to think it works out really well when you have someone devoted to each task, (though their tasks certainly cross over each other in many ways) working together to make it all “click”.

  5. Kelly – With the particular careers mentioned (doctor and judge), I know just how demanding on time and energy they can be… I wonder if you would encourage your SONS to pursue such career paths if they intended to marry, knowing the debt that would ensue from education in these fields and also the time commitment it would require throughout their lives in order to progress in or maintain a career? (Speaking of mainstream career paths, right now, not something more creative). Just curious.
    ~Bethany

  6. Bethany,

    To be honest, no, the demanding career path is not what we prefer for my sons.

    With that said, I still believe there are awesome opportunities for our sons in those areas,even to lead in these area, just looking outside the box in how we approach them as life choices.

    We would love to see our boys pursue an entrepreneurial path…and I believe they could fit just about any gift/interest into that model. I think America is ripe for a lot of “think outside the box” careers.

    We would certainly encourage our sons to move in the direction they are gifted in, but we hold that because family should be before career there are too many choices that are conducive to this paradigm to just limit them to the standard “sell your soul” options.

    Best case? Family business with everyone working together. And yes, it’s very possible and becoming more and more feasible. I see it all the time, and we’re getting closer and closer too!

  7. Kelly, thanks for your thorough response. I agree with what you’ve written on many levels. I think it’s an important point, too, that it’s not only our daughters we expect to make sacrifices for their families when they marry; we expect our sons to put their families as a priority and sacrifice for them in their own way, as men.
    ~Bethany

  8. Hi Kelly, thanks for the great posts! So encouraging to read about others with the same vision when we sometimes feel all alone in our beliefs and convictions. So refreshing.

    In regards to your response to MOD, we have best friends who share this same vision and their oldest daughter, age 22 is the sweetest thing in the world and loves home and family and excitedly looks forward to what the Lord has for her in regards to husband and family ( Lord willing). In the mean time she has a great interest in all things health and is taking a class this weekend on Cranio-Sacral Therapy in hopes to be able to help her family as well as others, whether or not it is ever for money is not relevant to her. She plans to take as many courses as the Lord leads and use them for her future family.

    It is so hard for people on the outside to really get what we are trying to live. I know I didn’t get it even 10 years ago.

    Thanks for the encouragement to train our daughters (and sons;-) up according to the bible and God’s roles for them.

    Love ya sister!
    Michelle

  9. Thanks Michelle! Good point you reminded me to make about how our daughters may be encouraged to pursue certain educational pursuits to further their roles, but it doesn’t have to mean enslavement to a career.

  10. Thank You for this post!!!! I just planned to say thanks, but after reading the comments I hope you know that there are those of us out there that truly appreciate it and again, THANK YOU!

  11. I have no doubt you don’t force your daughters to do anything – you appear to be a loving mother, really you all do!

    But to regard anything outside the home as “second best?” Here’s just ONE example of a woman who ventured outside her home at a young age and created something life-changing – Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Memorial. Have you seen it? It’s astounding. She designed it at 22, after attending Yale. She is also married, with two daughters.

    Could one of your daughters be capable of something so moving and wonderful if she was encouraged? I have a friend who is a Vietnam vet. He told me that after witnessing the memorial, he had the courage to go on.

    That’s just one woman. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. MOD,

    I would have to say that an architectural design would be quite possible for a young woman to do without being enslaved to a career.

    See, it’s not about “women can’t do anything besides cook and clean”–not at all!

    We label taking care of the home and family as a priority, but there is always room, in the right season of life, for all kinds of “accomplishments” besides what is considered domestic duties.

    There are all kinds of “heroines” from history who made home her primary concern but still contributed in other ways to different inventions, accomplishments, etc.

    But I can still hear it between your lines…you don’t fully understand how being devoted to home is really an “accomplishment”. Unless you understand that, unless you come to see the FULL scope of a woman’s place in her community as she builds her home, you won’t understand these explanations. We are still under the feminist influence that a homemaker just cleans and cooks. That is SUCH a small part of it.

  13. MOD,.

    Another thought…as wonderful as a monument or building a work of art may be, it is nothing compared to building and sculpting life…this is why I said “all else is second best”.

    We believe in the sacredness and miracle of life because we believe in a Creator, and immortality. That makes raising children and keeping families and faith together at the top of our priorities, paling in comparison with any other accomplishment.

  14. Kelly,

    From my own past experiences, the full time career wife/mother/single person usually has to cook and clean too unless she makes enough money to pay someone else. (And even then most can only hire for one day a week.)

    As we both know, her freedom is severely limited because her hours are controlled by her employer (who is her boss and who does not love her as her husband does. Her boss obviously would not give her the freedom her husband would give).

    I choose my husband thank ya very much!

  15. Yes, and back to topic (sorry *smiles*),
    I agree that a stay at home mom/daughter could have a career from home designing buildings if she so desires. More and more people are telecommuting anyhow…even men.
    But I must agree that building little lives is much more rewarding!

  16. “To her, all else is second-best. It would be considered a disadvantage to be in a place that would force her outside the home.”

    That may be your opinion, but it isn’t Biblical. A stay-at-home mother is no better than a career woman. It is just a different path in life. We are all called to do different things. It isn’t about “second best” it is about what is right for you. You don’t have a crystal ball to tell you the future. Your daughters may or may not marry. They may or may not have careers outside the home. But neither way is superior. This is a self-absorbed line of thinking. You aren’t morally superior to working woman. They aren’t “second best” to you.

  17. Laura,

    I personally (and I think I speak for most readers that we all) understand that this world isn’t perfect and that *sometimes* (a lot of times) people are stuck in less than perfect situations. Several readers of this blog have stated that they cannot stay home with their children for various reasons (husbands won’t let them,no husbands and no help, etc).
    But I think what Kelly is saying that if her daughters have a choice, then that the best choice for their children’s (and their own) sake is to stay at home with their own children. She is trying to make that a reality for them instead of them waking up one day in less than palatable circumstances and *stuck* in a job situation they hate.

    I know that if one starts thinking this way while young, it is much more of a reality than if one doesn’t plan for the future. I have a lot of single-mom friends and I know I am not a better person than they because I stay home. My husband and I live below poverty level and make LOTS of sacrifices to live this way because we feel it is best for our children. But while we have children, we will do whatever we can to train them now to think ahead and plan for their futures. We don’t want them waking up one day saying “how did I get here?”. It’s all about thinking ahead and planning for their futures….

  18. “But I think what Kelly is saying that if her daughters have a choice…”

    Oops, sorry Kelly, I shouldn’t try to speak for you. Nix that part of the comment….

  19. “But I think what Kelly is saying that if her daughters have a choice, then that the best choice for their children’s “

    She doesn’t know God’s plans for her children.

    “I personally (and I think I speak for most readers that we all) understand that this world isn’t perfect and that *sometimes* (a lot of times) people are stuck in less than perfect situations.”

    Why don’t you people understand that it may actually be God’s plan for woman to be working outside the home and that is the ideal for her?

    We aren’t robots designed to all do the same thing.

  20. Laura Ashley,

    You are talking from a presupposition that the Bible is left very open to interpretation, and as such, your argument would make sense and we would seem like a bunch of ignorant, narrow-minded women.

    BUT…I believe the Bible speaks plainly about most things–not all, but on this subject, I think the Bible AS WELL AS NATURE ITSELF clearly says that the BEST for women is to be devoted to building the home. It may not always be possible, but should be our aim.

    That encompasses a lot of things–building the community, ministering in all sorts of ways, but the bottom line is that someone must be doing the monumental task of investing in the lives of their children, the afflicted around them and the family. The state, day care, and even other well-meaning people just can’t do the job that a mother can do. And a career prohibits her.

    One place the Bible speaks clearly is 1 Tim. 5:9-10

    “…let none under sixty years old be taken into the number of widows…And they must be those who are free from every reproach of immorality, and are well reported of, for their diligence, charity, and integrity.

    That has only ever had one husband at a time.

    Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saintsโ€™ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.”

    There is a big job that gets neglected when women forsake their BIBLICAL call to the home and community–whether they have children of their own or not.

    It’s not an opinion, or I would state it as such. There is nothing scary about roles, or certain things women and men are told to do in Scripture; it’s glorious when we accept it, embrace it.

    But when we don’t, well, we have what we have.

  21. Essentially what bothers me is that it negates every single accomplishment by a woman since time began – since she would have been better off “staying home, as that is what God wants.” Obviously Maya Lin could not have done what she did without attending a school of architecture or putting off having a family – and what she did is amazing. How about Mary Katharine Gaillard who contributed an enormous amount to the field of particular physics? Or Nobel Prize Winner Maria Goeppert Mayer, who studied nuclear pairing?

    Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not implying that having children and watching them grow and keeping the home is not a valid or sacred occupation. But to suggest that not to do this goes against God is….well, I agree with Laura. We are not all called to the same thing. We are not robots. Just as the home is not enslaving, the career does not have to be enslaving either. Just a thought.

  22. “BUT…I believe the Bible speaks plainly about most things–not all, but on this subject, I think the Bible AS WELL AS NATURE ITSELF clearly says that the BEST for women is to be devoted to building the home. “

    No it doesn’t. The bible is actualy clear that some women will be called to serve outside the home. Even it ends up being say 1% of women, that is still millions of women.

  23. Laura,

    One last answer and then I’ll remind readers that this post was not in fact about “why women shouldn’t work outside the home”…I wish to stay on topic, and this topic is about how to raise strong daughters who do want to be at home.

    The Bible, no where, in any place, does not paint a picture of a godly woman forsaking family and community in order to hold a career that pulls her away for the majority of the day.

    There are many examples of women performing ministry, earning money, being entrepreneurs and such, all of which I’ve never said I disagree with.

    Conversely, there are MANY passages that lay out clearly that a woman is called to serve her family and community, albeit, some in different capacities.

    If you want to bend the Bible around, there’s no point in discussing this here.

    If we want to take an honest look at the whole of Scripture to see what it tells us about God’s best for women, then I’m all ears!

  24. I think for me, the problem erupts when we say something is ‘best’ or ‘better’. When we do this, it essentially deems it the only way. And all other ways fall below the ‘best’ way.

    Because the world belongs to God, and everything in it, He can use a myriad of different ways to use people. Becasue Adam ate the apple, problems began. I.E….women get raped, abused, etc. so now we need female counselors, because wrongdoing keeps happening. Women gynecologists. Women lawyers. Sure, it wasnt always this way, but IT IS NOW so we cant really go too far back and live in a pristine society, no matter how hard we try.

    If most here want to go back to that type of society living, then wouldnt that require us to all boycott anywhere that women are working? If it isnt right for *us* to have a job, go to college, or whatnot, then how can we uphold those establishments that allow women to do these things?

    I think the things I say do need consideration. I know that we cant ‘cancel’ how we ended up here, so what then?

  25. AM,

    For one, we are not discussing simply an era of time here; we’re discussing a timeless pattern, initiated, I believe, by God in our very design, that tramples through boundaries and time constraints.

    You have a problem saying “something is best” because you don’t want anyone to get her feelings hurt. Unfortunately, though a nice gesture, that’s not the way things operate, not in Scripture or elsewhere.

    Certain things are *best*. It’s ridiculous for us to say that it doesn’t really matter who raises a child; we all know, deep down, its *best* if parents can. Why do we try to pretend it doesn’t matter?

    Just because some can’t, or don’t, doesn’t mean we need to change the basic truth. That’s my hearts cry.

    Your question of boycott? It’s one I’ve pondered often. But something that took years to create would take years to undo. The system as it is now would probably crumble if everyone just stopped. Personally, I do try to choose male professionals–not always possible, but it’s my preference.

    Again, the point here is not looking around to see how many people we can accuse of being wrong; the point is to recognize a design–God’s design, and say, “It is good”…and not try to fight against it. If it’s not feasible, how can we make it feasible? I do believe many women are stuck in the work force because of precipitating conditions. I’m not wagging my finger at them.

    But I am concerned with a mentality that says, “There is no *best*”…I happen to believe there is and we should be striving to implement it for the good of, not just ourselves, but everyone.

    I fight this fight for all of society, not just stay-at-home moms.

    We’re still off-topic ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. Well I can agree to say , “It is good”….but not ‘it is best’….and its not because someone would get their feelings hurt, it is because it is making a call for someone, that I am not qualified to make. Saying something is good, is not the same as saying something is better or best.

    I do agree with your OP that our kids will be ‘caught’ moreso than ‘taught’, and yes, I struggle with this everyday. The only difference is for me is that feeling bad about my mistakes doesnt help, and it is not a motivation for me to realize that what I do, my daughters will mimic. For me, I MUST look to God for all my strength, fear of what my daughters might copy off me only leaves me….in fear, and misunderstanding Gods grace.

    Thanks for the posts.

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