3 reasons your daughter needs to hear your personal love story

3 reasons to tell your daughter you and your spouse's love storyMy daughter is only six years old, but she’s already in love with, well, love.

She doesn’t have a boyfriend and doesn’t want one, either (thank goodness). Yet she’s engrossed with the animated romances she sees on the big screen — that is, the ones that depict love in a fairy tale fashion. You know: Beauty and the Beast, Frozen and the like.

When the credits roll, you can almost see her heart melt as she discusses Anna and Kristoff or Rapunzel and Flynn or other famous make-believe couples. And it’s often accompanied by a dreamy-eyed “awwwwww.”

Thankfully, her current “knight in shining armor” is me, but the day is coming when she will catch the eye of a boy. And then a young man. And by then, her idea of romance will move beyond Disney cartoons. And if she’s influenced by the culture, that could be a concern. Why? Because society’s definition of romance is anything but biblical.

Take a look at the top-grossing romantic drama movies of all time. Titanic — a film full of stuff our grandparents would have called “scandalous” — is No. 1. Pearl Harbor — which has similar themes — is No. 2. The soft porn Fifty Shades trilogy ranks 4, 11 and 13. The Top 10 list of romantic comedies isn’t much better, littered with titles such as Sex and the City and Knocked Up.

If your daughter or my daughter are to grow up with positive romantic stories — that is, stories worth emulating — then it’s up to us, the parents. The Bible is full of such romances (Boaz and Ruth) and television has a few good ones, too (example: When Calls The Heart). There are even a handful of theatrical movies that are appropriate for teens (try Forever My Girl or Old Fashioned).

But for my daughter, I wanted to start closer to home. I wanted her to know about how Mommy and Daddy met. Thus, on a recent date night to McDonald’s, I gave her an abridged version of our courtship. Perhaps it wasn’t as exciting as an Amish romance novel, but I did elicit a few squeals — and an “awwwwww,” too.

Here are three reasons I did that: Continue reading

3 things to teach your daughter about true beauty

3 things to teach your daughter about true beauty My daughter Maggie is only 3 but she already knows what she wants to be when she grows up.

A princess.

But not just any princess. She wants to be a beautiful princess. And preferably, one who wears pink dresses. And does ballet.

Three years ago, I despised the princess craze. Why would I—I thought at the time—want my daughter to chase after an unattainable physical beauty that only resides in fantasies and Hollywood-style Disney movies?

But here I am, three years later, with a daughter who wants nothing more than to be pretty and to wear nail polish, and who wakes up every morning wanting to don the latest princess fashion.

How did I get here? Believe me, I didn’t promote it.

As much as I’d love to blame Disney, I really can’t. If I did that, then I might as well blame the football manufacturer who designed the kiddie pigskin her twin brother recently used to break a light bulb. Just as he is naturally attracted to physical activity, she has a natural yearning to be physically beautiful. And that latter concept terrifies me.

It scares me to think about my daughter growing up in a culture where a simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a fleshly battle, with society screaming at every turn: “You’re not beautiful enough!” There, on the billboard, is the perfect-looking Hollywood star, telling anyone who happens to look: “This is what you should look like.” And there, on the cover of the checkout-line magazine, is that same woman, only this time she’s lost half of her clothes and is promoting a “secret” diet and exercise routine that helped her lose all of that baby weight and get back down to 98 pounds!

Unless you have $50 million, a live-in nannie, a personal trainer, time to burn and an air brush, who can compete with that? Our culture’s objectification of women is to be loathed, but thankfully, Scripture gives us a better option. So what will I tell my daughter? This:
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