Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
As a mom, with an adult daughter, one of the most common prayers I have prayed over her 26 years is for her protection. We are wired to protect our children from the day they were born.
The world we live in gives us an abundance of reasons for us to be protective. Prayers for protection for daughters has no age limit. From purchasing electrical outlet covers to reminding them not to text and drive, mothers want to make sure their daughters are safe. Though your daughter might not be a little girl anymore, she’ll always be your daughter.
In a conversation with my daughter recently, I mentioned I had to protect her all her life, and I didn’t know how not to. I never uttered those words before. They came from a deep place in my heart. From the time I found out I was pregnant with her, I knew it was the only opportunity I would have to birth a child. My pregnancy was so high risk that one of the doctors alluded to abortion as an option. But abortion was never an option.
Having had a miscarriage years ago when I was six months pregnant, the doctors recommended complete bed rest for eight months and having the cerclage surgery. Protecting our unborn child was our utmost concern. The sacrifices we made were worth it. God answered our prayers and blessed us with a healthy baby girl that received one of the highest APGAR test scores for newborns.
Growing up, girls look to their fathers as protectors. When my husband died after our daughter was four years old, the heartbreaking loss was even further compounded by the fact that I would have to try to protect her without his help and help her to navigate the world safely without her dad.
God created us to be in community. Being a single mother is too big to do alone. I could not have made it without being surrounded by the amazing people God placed in our lives besides my immediate family.
When my daughter graduated from high school, I sent invitations out for a “Poured Out Gathering” to those who had poured out themselves by loving and caring for my daughter as she was growing up. At this special gathering, I asked her youth pastor to pray protection for her goings and comings as she headed off to college. As he poured water over her bare feet in a white ceramic basin, there was not a dry eye to be found. What a beautiful moment that was to share with those who were a blessing in protecting her emotionally, physically, and spiritually while she was growing up.
As I look back over raising an adult daughter, not all my parenting moments were beautiful. Raising children is not easy. Sometimes we are overprotective more than we should be as we try to draw the line between raising them to make godly choices and wanting to protect them from the world.
My daughter and I can laugh now at some of my “protecting best practices”. Like the time I met her in the driveway with rollers in my hair and my pajamas on when her date drove up with her way past her curfew. He drove off before I could have a few words with him. Probably best that he did (that’s why I called them best practices). All jokes aside, I had to learn that my “protecting best practices” or staying up worrying all night were no match to the power of prayer.
With Mother’s Day approaching, I am reminded of a flower my daughter made for me for Mother’s Day when she was a little girl. The flower is made out of tissue paper attached to popsicle sticks held up with a rubber band. It is in a vase on my desk in my office next to my journal where I pray to God for her and for God to help me not to trust my abilities to protect her more than my trusting His.
The book of Proverbs is filled with many wise teachings. Mothers can find peace in God’s promise and protection as we are instructed to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Prayer: Lord, we want the best for our adult daughters. Help mothers to make peace with what we can and cannot protect our adult daughters from as we daily pray for a hedge of protection for them “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). In Jesus name. Amen.