Devotions

Be Gentle with Your Daughter’s Heart

May 12, 2020
“… with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love …” Ephesians 4:2 (ESV)
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Close.

That’s how people often describe our relationship. Both friends and strangers alike comment on it.

“You and your daughter seem so close. You talk and laugh together like you’re a couple of dear friends.”

And I suppose they’re right: We are close.

But you should know that she and I didn’t always enjoy the deep friendship we do now. The truth is, we came very near to not having any relationship at all.

I almost lost her heart when she was younger, and I can’t tell you how sorry I am that I didn’t realize it sooner.

Are you wondering where I went wrong?

That’s what I was wondering too. Aching to understand.

I had done so many wonderful things for my daughter as she was growing up. I drove her to every violin lesson for years and years. Hosted sparkly pink tea parties. Generously lent her our expensive video camera when she was in her movie-making stage. Smiled supportively when she decided to color her hair purple as a young teen.

You might say I was the epitome of the well-intentioned mom.

But then that awful day came when she looked me straight in the eyes and bitterly declared, “You don’t even love me, Mom.”

Unbelievable.

How could that have happened? Somehow, I’d been so busy getting through each day and taking her to all her various events and places that I had overlooked her heart. I had missed what she truly needed from me.

I had run roughly right over the top of her — and never even noticed.

“… with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love …” (Ephesians 4:2).

What about you? And your own dear girl?

Maybe she’s 2 years old, and you’ve only just begun. Perhaps she’s 7, and you’re still trying to figure her out. Or maybe she’s hitting the teen years, and you’re wondering what you might have missed.

Here’s what I would say: Try gentleness.

Unhurried, caring gentleness.

Stop rushing, running and getting things done.

Funny how quickly we moms fall into the trap of thinking good parenting means a tidy house or school awards or the right behavior. The checklist and the sticker chart.

Mothering is really about a relationship.

So why not cancel all your busy, terrific plans for today? And instead, see how you can quietly connect with your daughter’s heart.

Sure, it will take time, and it’s not anything you can cross off in your planner. But gently showing love is far more important than anything else you might do for her.

Ask me. I know.

Our daughter is now 21 years old; she just texted to ask if we could meet for coffee. She is brimming with news and a long list of things she wants to talk over. She wants to share her life and heart with me.

And I plan on listening, laughing and slipping in a word of wisdom where I can — incredibly grateful for this “second chance” with my girl.

But you don’t have to wait for a second chance. You can connect with your daughter on a heart-level starting right now.

Go ahead. Be gentle with her.

She needs this from you, Mom. More than she might ever say.

Dear heavenly Father, I confess I’m not always as gentle or patient with my daughter as I would like to be. Please forgive me, Lord, and help me to gently express my love for her. I want to take the time to intentionally connect with her heart in meaningful and lasting ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

James 3:17, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (ESV)

Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith …” (KJV)

RELATED RESOURCES

Know a parent looking for help in navigating conversations and showing her daughter she cares? Lisa Jacobson’s new book, 100 Ways to Love Your Daughter (and the companion, 100 Ways to Love Your Son), offers simple, proven and practical ways to build a close and lasting relationship with a child.

CONNECT

Connect with Lisa at Club31Women and on Instagram for more biblical encouragement!

Enter to WIN your very own copy of 100 Ways to Love Your Daughter by Lisa Jacobson. To celebrate this book, Lisa’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, May 18, 2020.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND

Would “gentle” be one of the words your daughter would use to describe you? What are some specific ways you can connect with her at a heart-level starting today?


Lisa Jacobson is an author, speaker, and the founder and host of Club31Women.com, a powerful online community of Christian women authors who write weekly on the topics of husband, home, family and biblical truths — a strong voice for biblical womanhood.

 

© 2020 by Lisa Jacobson. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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