What I Want to Teach My Daughter About Her Right to Choose

what-i-want-to-teach-my-daughter

I teared up when the sonogram tech said the words.

“It’s a girl.”

What I’d dared to name in my prayers was now real. She had a name: Elise.

I looked over at my husband and saw tears in his eyes too. Our two boys sat on the floor, staring at the screen a couple of minutes longer until their attention turned to their video games.

For the rest of the day, I was on an emotional high. We went to Babies R’ Us and I immersed myself in all things girl- the bows, the pink, the dresses and frillies. I didn’t think I’d be so enamored with it all, but I was.

Our first girl was coming, and I couldn’t wait. But I also knew.

I knew there would be challenges we wouldn’t face with our boys. Hormones and drama and cycles and the need to be loved.

I also knew there would be the temptation to look for love in all the wrong places. And while the conversation about sex was one we would have with our boys too, it would be different. Because we are made differently.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about women’s rights lately. Social media is filled with articles about a woman’s right to her body, to not be pregnant, and to safe contraception.

Some of the conversation is needed and good. And some of it is disturbing on many levels.

Until this point I’ve stayed out of it. My goal with this blog will always be to love and encourage, and I honestly couldn’t think of anything encouraging to say on the topic.

But then I asked myself, what is at the heart of all this? A woman can claim she has the right to an abortion. She can say denial of access is a violation of that right. But where does the issue start?

Why do so many women need an abortion?

right-to-choose

I looked back on my life and the decisions I made. I spent years of my life looking for love.

I’d heard Bible stories and songs about how God loved me, but it wasn’t tangible to me. I’d never felt it or experienced it, so I assumed it wasn’t real.

I remember the first time a boy told me I was beautiful. I liked it. It meant something to me. I wanted to be seen and heard so desperately I was willing to do anything.

So now, when I type this and I think about the decisions I made, I want my daughter to know: You are worth so much more than your sexuality.

Yes, God can redeem even the most broken story. He can turn ashes into beauty and a mess into a miracle.

But it affects me even now. It affects the relationship I have with my husband. It affects the way I look at other men.

I hear all this talk about a woman’s right to choose but here’s what baffles me. Here’s what’s missing from the conversation.

A woman’s right to choose will always begin with her decision of whether or not to exploit her body. We can say it’s consensual and it’s good and natural, and all that may be true.

But when a woman uses her body to gain something she thinks she lacks- love, it is an exploitation.

Yes, sex is good. Of course it is. God created it.

When sex is misconstrued for love, we have a serious problem. And friends, women can’t separate sex from love. They can’t separate sex from their emotions. And if they can, I would argue that they’ve been hardened by the muck of life to get them to that point.

So yes, we have a right to choose. But I would argue that right begins long before the baby is in the womb. It begins with the decision to love ourselves. It begins with the knowledge of a Creator who values us more than we could ever imagine.

When I look at my daughter, I want her to know this:

  • You have the right to choose a man who will love you more than he will lust after your body.
  • You have the right to love yourself and to believe you are a priceless creation, loved by a Creator who gave himself for you.
  • You have the right to choose to say “no” to anything less than what God has for you. A God who created sex to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage. Not as a punishment, but because he knew this is where it would be enjoyed as it was made to be.

It may sound old fashioned. It may sound unreasonable. But as a woman who has experienced sex both inside and outside the confines of marriage, I can say I believe the God who created it got it right.

My daughter has the right to choose. And I pray she chooses to love herself.

 

Linking up here: #ChasingCommunity

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18 thoughts on “What I Want to Teach My Daughter About Her Right to Choose

  1. Abby, thank you for your honesty. In all that girls are hearing and seeing in today’s culture, I believe it’s important for us to tell them how much their Creator adores them.

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  2. Thank you, Abby, for writing this. It can be a difficult road for women to travel. We need to reach out & journey together. Women need women…but even more so, we need to know the love of our heavenly Father. Our value comes from Him. ❤

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    • Amen, Joyce. It is not an easy road for sure. I think being open with our daughters about these things makes a huge difference, and I pray for wisdom to navigate these waters when the time comes.

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  3. Beautiful thoughts, Abby. It seems like it gets a little harder with each generation to be a conservatively-driven female. Sounds like your little girl has a head start just by knowing she’s loved and wanted. That makes such a difference. ((Hug))

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  4. Yes! How you’ve managed to put into words what’s been jumbled up in my brain for weeks id beyond me but thank you. I am sharing this with the girls ministry group page I help run… these are truly the most needed words to hear! And that they come from such a open and sensitive heart… love you, lady! xxoo Great to be your neighbour today at the #ChasingCommunity linkup!

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  5. Love this Abby. Oh that our daughters would know this deeply and trust God for this truth. This world sets up a battle at a very young age.

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    • So true, Lisa. When I’m tempted to feel anxious (as I often do already) I remind myself that God has not given me a Spirit of fear. I will keep praying. Thanks for your words, friend.

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