How to nurture your daughter's unique voice

by Erin Weidemann, Truth Becomes Her , Christian Examiner Contributor, Branded Content |

Developing a girl's character is no easy undertaking in today's world. No matter what stage or season she's in, at times the responsibility of guiding her can feel like both a great honor and a heavy burden.

With summer upon us and kids out of school on a break from formal education, you may be wondering, "How can I create opportunities for her to learn this summer and instill WORTH?"

Camps and sports are an excellent option for her to learn this summer, but what your girl needs more than anything is YOU and other exemplary role models to shape and guide her.

If you want your girl to grow this summer, surround her with women who have the character you want to instill in her. You don't have to look far and wide to find these women. Introduce your girl to the courageous and inspirational women of the Bible to unlock these admirable qualities in her.

Hannah: The Belle of Prayer

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you – James 4:8

When Hannah was treated harshly by Peninnah, it would have been very easy for her to shut down, get angry, or try to handle the problem herself. Instead, she brought her feelings to God in prayer and told Him the truth from inside her own heart.

When you or your girl feel confused, sad, lonely, or anxious, you can talk to God through prayer; he's always listening.

Esther: The Belle of Patience

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14

After becoming the queen of Persia, Esther's cousin Mordecai got into some trouble by refusing to bow to Haman, the king's second in command. Haman became very angry and came up with a plan to destroy all of God's people. When her people were threatened, Esther faced a difficult choice. It would have been very easy for her to hurry in to talk to the king without thinking it through. Instead, Esther took her time. She prepared her heart by praying and fasting. She waited and listened for God to guide and direct her.

The Bible says that when we choose to wait on the Lord, taking time to properly prepare before making choices, He gives us the power and strength we need so that we can make the best choice at the right time.

Sometimes our timing is not in line with God's timing, but God's timing is always perfect. God knows and has planned every detail of our lives. We can trust His plan!

Abigail: The Belle of Bravery

The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. – Psalm 27:1-3

Bravery is a feeling of confidence and strength, even when you are faced with trouble or danger. During those times, it's easy to forget that God is bigger than our problems.

Abigail was faced with a difficult and dangerous choice. It would have been very easy for her to ignore the problem or be too scared to do anything about it. Instead, Abigail remembered that God was with her. She thought about how to protect her family and show David respect and kindness at the same time. She considered everyone involved in the problem, and she chose to solve it with a warm heart and solid thinking.

There will be times in life your daughter will be at a crossroads where she can either stand up for what is right or stay quiet. Teaching her to be brave, courageous, and confident helps her to use her voice and act with integrity.

Ruth: The Belle of Loyalty

Dear children, let's not say that we love each other. Let us show our love with our actions. – 1 John: 3-18

When Naomi needed someone by her side, Ruth was there. It would have been very easy for Ruth to let Naomi continue the journey home by herself. Instead, Ruth chose to stay with her. Naomi lost the people she loved most in the world: her husband and her sons. Ruth knew that Naomi needed someone to love her. She might have felt nervous or scared to leave her home, but she put Naomi's needs ahead of her own feelings.

Loyalty is showing love and genuine kindness towards others, despite how your girl may be feeling. This isn't always easy to do, especially if she is feeling hurt or betrayed, but the story of Ruth can teach her how to be a loyal friend and show up fully for the people in her life.

Deborah: The Belle of Leadership

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4

Deborah was a woman who dedicated her life to serving others. As a judge, she helped people solve their disagreements. She gave them good advice and encouraged them to do the right thing. Deborah was a humble servant, choosing to value God and people more than she valued herself. Because of her faith, strength, and character, God placed Deborah in a position to lead His people into battle and win a great victory!

Leadership is more than being in charge or telling people what to do. It doesn't only mean doing the work God wants you to do. Being a good leader also means encouraging the people around you to do the same.

Remember, it is in your home, on your lap, and at your kitchen table that you will fight the battle for her character.

Take some time this summer to show her that leadership isn't just about learning to trust the voice inside.

It's about building inside her a voice that is worthy of trust.

Want to help your daughter spend time in God's Word this summer?

Swap screen time for a summer reading challenge!

Sign up at truthbecomesher.com and give your daughter the opportunity to interact with women whose character you would be proud to have her emulate.

– Erin Weidemann is on a mission to shift feminine value from beauty to inherent worth. A certified teacher, coach, and nationally recognized speaker, Erin is the founder of Truth Becomes Her, a global community that equips women to let go of fear and step into the unique leadership roles for which they were designed. She is the author of eight books, including Bible Belles' The Adventures of Rooney Cruz series.

A five-time cancer survivor, Erin lives in San Diego, CA with Brent and their daughter, Rooney. Funny and real, Erin is also the host of the Heroes For Her podcast, interviewing positive female role models who are living out their passions in line with their personal values.