The word “disciple” is used over 200 times in the first five books of the New Testament. Most people are familiar with the 12 Disciples, or Apostles, who were the original followers of Christ. But what exactly does disciple mean in today’s terms? A quick Internet search will tell you the following:
- A person who learns from another, especially one who then teaches others.
- An active follower or adherent of someone, or some philosophy etc.
- A follower of Christ.
As parents, we are charged with the responsibility of guiding our children through life and providing a firm foundation for them to grow not only physically, but intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. As Christians, we also have this command:
Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Discipling our Daughters: What It Means
How does that then apply to “discipling” our daughters? Unfortunately, current internet searches indicate that the word discipling, which meant to teach or train, is obsolete. Really? Since those searches were not helpful and I don’t believe that teaching our daughters about our faith is “obsolete,” I’ve written my own definition:
The intentional act of guiding our daughters in Biblical morals and a Christian worldview of decency and character, helping them to become the women that God created them to be. Recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, using words of encouragement to uplift rather than crush their spirits, and being the positive role models we want them to see. Choosing a counter-cultural, non-conformist life view so that they may embrace their destinies as beautiful daughters of the King, not to be made into sexual objects or second-class citizens or settle for less than their healthy self-image in Christ.
Discipling is not to be confused with disciplining, though self-discipline is part of good discipleship. We are not merely training our daughters in good manners and basic life skills to thrive in society, we are reaching and teaching their hearts so that they may find true joy and fulfillment. If they are not successful spiritually in a personal relationship with Jesus, then nothing else they do in life will have lasting purpose.
I also want to be clear that this has nothing to do with hairstyles or whether we wear dresses or pants. If my girls are confident in their faith, they won’t accept treatment as “less than” from anyone.
Please join me every day this week as I continue to explore the idea of discipling our daughters, including thoughts on modesty, purity, good character, and raising confident young women of faith in a faithless world.
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