FIRST-PERSON: The challenges & joys of parenting little girls

Baptist Press
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Posted: May 23, 2011 6:22 PM
FIRST-PERSON: The challenges & joys of parenting little girls
EDITOR'S NOTE: Evangelist and columnist Braxton Hunter wrote this column in December after learning his wife was pregnant with a girl. His wife Sarah gave birth to the baby girl, Jaclyn Isabelle Hunter, May 19.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (BP)--As we left the ultrasound room I encountered a strange cocktail of emotions. On the one hand I realized that unless Sarah and I have another child, and unless that child is male, my brother and his wife will have the last shot at continuing the family name. On the other hand WE'RE HAVING A BABY GIRL! So, you see my dilemma?

I would have liked a boy considering the extremely close relationship I have always shared with my father. Nevertheless, it was me who wanted a girl when we had our first child, Jolie. I have never been the stereotypical "my boy is gonna be a quarterback" kind of guy. For that reason, I am genuinely excited about our new daughter. Furthermore, as I have considered this, I have surmised that girls are threatened by society in a unique way that makes the apologist in me humbled that God would give Sarah and me the responsibility of raising and defending the hearts and minds of these children.

1. Girls are being told that they do not need men.

This really stinks for the boys of this generation. Guys know, deep down, that they need women. I know, I know: There is good biblical reason to believe that it is not God's intent for everyone to marry. Yet, men need women and women need men even outside of marriage. Men need a feminine perspective on matters of politics, culture, art, family and benevolence. Women need a masculine point of view. Whether we marry or not, God created them "male and female" for a reason. Unfortunately girls are repeatedly being told that they should be independent of men in work, family and everywhere else. Oh yes. One caveat to the last statement is in order: It's OK for a man to influence, instruct and even correct a woman if (and only if) he is a gay man. This has led to a skewed understanding on the part of many women with regard to their roles both socially and sexually.

2. Girls are being praised for sexual independence.

Women are now encouraged to be dominant sexual creatures, and this has led to a serious problem which is not only unbiblical, but also seriously cripples a woman's chance at lasting happiness. Because women are being pressured (by other women) to engage in casual sexual encounters with random men (a la "Sex and the City") they have become the perfect target for predatory males who seek to use the woman's body for entertainment. This lessens the possibility that the woman in question will find herself with a man who wants to love, support and celebrate her for who she is. Ultimately, the woman who follows this culturally approved path will render herself the very sex object she denounces.

3. Girls are being told they can parent without a male.

Because the female "independence" message has been pushed so far, women are now being told in countless movies, books and magazines that they can even raise children without the help of a man. The problem is that most women in this situation become dependent on the state which is usually run by a male majority. No longer is the woman dependent on a single man (and he on her) who will love and care for her, but now she is dependent on a number of men who do not know or care for her. All of this is true without the mention of what unnecessary struggles the child will endure.

4. Girls are being told that the "Proverbs 31 woman" is a self-loathing house wife.

Scripture teaches that a woman has great value and that such value is often expressed by the way a woman speaks the truth about her God, raises and trains her children and loves and cares for her husband in a mutually dependent relationship. Such an image has become the target of an assault by many feminists in modern-day culture. In reality, the women who have made the biggest impact on me are the ones who fit firmly into the biblical framework. Moreover, I have discovered that the women who are the closest to God do not have a problem accepting a level of dependence. It has also been my experience that these women are the most self-assured, confident (real confidence), content and happy people I know.

Unfortunately, the biblically minded woman is under attack today. My desire for my girls is that they grow to be confident, educated, clear thinking, capable ladies who are able to accomplish whatever they set out to do. Yet, my desire is that they set out to do what God's will is for their lives. If they never marry, I will celebrate their decision if it comes after prayer, Bible study and consideration. Nevertheless, I will unashamedly pray that God raises up wonderful theologically conservative Christian men for them to marry if that is how they find the Father leading them. Until that day I will defend their purity and biblically minded development tooth and nail.

It is my goal that if the Hunter girls ever succumb to the deceptions of the culture milieu of their day, it will not be because they were not trained in the truth by loving parents. I vow to be cautious of what they read, watch and hear, not in an attempt to insulate them, but so that when they have no choice in the matter they will stand firm in the truth.

Thank God for girls!

Braxton Hunter is an evangelist president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE). He resides in Evansville, Ind., with his wife Sarah and their two daughters, Jolie and Jaclyn. This column first appeared on his website, www.braxtonhunter.com.

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