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Why My Daughter’s Not A Princess

November 19, 2013

We have the same crazy infatuation with princesses at our house as you do at yours. We have Barbie princesses and Disney princesses. We have princess dresses and princess tiaras. We have cars named after princesses – my Jeep is named “Belle”; the car is named “Snow White.” And, of course, we have every princess movie known to man (or girl). The one thing we don’t have is a princess who lives here. You won’t hear me call her princess because she doesn’t get to act like a princess – not in the way the word has come to be known.

They say she gets her way; I say she goes out of her way.
How dare we raise a generation of girls who think so solely of what they want that they miss the needs of those around them. How dare we take what’s best about being a girl – our hearts – and turn them inward instead of outward. We were designed to love and care for people. It’s what makes us great. How dare we teach our daughters that their wants come before someone’s need.

They say she’s beautiful to look at; I say she’s beautiful.
I never want Brynna to look in a mirror and think that what she sees is less than a work of art. I never want her to think that the way she looks defines anything about her. If her long lashes break off, if her blonde hair falls out, if her skin isn’t smooth as porcelain…I never want her to think that changes her worth.

They say she’s the object of a man’s affection; I say she’s the object of God’s affection.
This is not a feminist argument, although one can easily be made, that a woman’s value is not rooted in how a man feels about her. I actually believe that whole-heartedly. The love of no (hu)man can heal a hurting heart. No earthly sacrifice – no matter how big – can save a broken soul. There is nothing on earth that can satisfy the deepest longings in her heart. When Brynna reaches the age of searching, when she starts looking for something to fill her life with meaning, I never want her to think she has to chase the affections of a boy. I hope she gets to experience the joy of being loved fully and completely by another. But until she understands her place as the object of God’s affection, she won’t be able to accept love from any other source. My job is not to teach her how to turn eyes. My job is to teach her to focus her eyes on one place only, no matter who’s looking.

They say she’s sweet; I say she’s bold.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” You are unique. You are smart. You are strong. It takes courage to stand in who you are. You have to be bold to influence others rather than letting them sway you. What a disservice I would do to her if I let her think she needs to lessen who she is to gain acceptance.

They say she’s special; I do too.
There is one person who does call Brynna princess. He’s the same person who calls me princess. He’s the man who is unconditionally committed to loving, protecting and providing for us. He’s the man whose compliments come with no strings attached. He’s the man who will model for her what it means to be loved and respected by a man. He loves her not for what she can do for him but simply because she’s his. And if she gets that, deep down in the quiet places of her heart, it will help her to understand that she is also loved by God not for what she does or doesn’t do but simply because she’s His.

We have a saying at our house. Every now and then, I ask Brynna, “Do you know why I love you?” Her answer is always “because I’m yours.”

And she’s His. My daughter’s not a princess. She’s the daughter of a King.

It’s my job to teach her that.

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