- Family and Parenting
Letter to a Young Christian Woman
A Christian Woman Must Guard Her Heart
These are lessons I have learned and am learning still. I pray that your heart will be soft to these lessons as well.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it spring all the issues of life.” Girls’ hearts can be very complex sometimes, for they store up all manner of dreams, grievances, worries, wonderings, plots, uncertainties, hopes, and desires in these hearts of theirs. But it needn’t be that way. Like a valuable gemstone, complexity in the heart of a young lady is beautiful only if the many angles of the gem reveal new beauties, not perplexing and contradictory characteristics that cancel out all good.
The young women who are most valuable to God’s kingdom are the ones who keep their focus on what is most important while not vying for power or position, who are intelligent and imaginative without being confused or confusing, who are compassionate and sensitive without being moody or withdrawn. These are the women who guard their hearts.
What should you guard your heart from? Guard it from fancies that awaken premature longing for love and marriage. Guard it from vanity about yourself and your accomplishments. Guard it from anything that might get between you and your God, between you and your parents.
Yes, I said parents! Your parents will help you guard your heart, both as a little girl, a young lady, and a mature woman. Trust them with your desires and worries. Confide in them in every matter. Confess your sins and shortcomings to them. There should not be anything you give your attention to that your parents don’t know about, whether it be friends, books, games, young men, music, ideas, foods, or other desires. I say this because I know it is the nature of young women to cringe from revealing the secrets of their hearts to their parents because they fear they will be embarrassed or that their parents will be disappointed—but those are not valid excuses. The father in Proverbs continually says to his children, “Give me your heart!” The prophecy at the end of the Old Testament speaks of wonderful things to come in God’s kingdom, and it says, “The hearts of the fathers will turn to their children and the hearts of the children will turn to their fathers.” This is what your Lord and Master desires of you, dear one. Turn your heart to your father and mother. Be soft to their desires. Never resist their commands or guidance.
When you have entrusted your heart to your parents and emptied your heart before them, fill it up with every good thing. Learn to “approve that which is excellent,” as Paul commands young Timothy. Continue memorizing Scripture, but don’t just memorize it—meditate on it as well. Let it feed you, warm you, guide you, guard you. Take the Word of God into you as a vitalizing, nourishing drink from the fountain of life. Young women do not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Fill this guarded heart of yours with the precious commands of God, and you will be beautifully complex, well-rounded in every good thing.
A Christian Woman Must Guard Her Tongue
There was a girl someone once told me about who was very quiet. Others around her bubbled over with news and information whenever they gathered together for a party or an event. Though friendly and kind, with good sense and intelligence showing in her eyes, she rarely spoke a word. A friend of mine came up to this girl one evening and asked her why she did not say very much. The quiet girl smiled and said to my friend that she used to rattle on and on about all sorts of useless and unedifying things until one day she let her tongue get terribly out of hand and she said something that ruined a relationship. After tearfully apologizing, she decided that she would rather talk too little than talk too much, and she put her mouth under lock and key. Now she rarely said a word. My friend was astonished that someone could have this much control over such an unruly member of the body. Though this exercise in discipline was helpful for not erring on one side of the spectrum, it is equally important that we do not err on the other side.
What do I mean? I mean that there are many occasions that require a “word spoken in due season” like “an apple of gold in a setting of silver.” These are the moments in which it is equally wrong to not say something good as it is to say something bad. The tongue can mend and repair as well as tear and destroy, and sometimes our sin is that we do not encourage, correct, defend, or exhort when the moment calls for it. So be courageous, and speak the truth in love! You will be surprised at how soft hearts are to your words. The wise woman knows how to use her tongue for good and not for evil, knowing equally well when to speak and when to be silent. She also knows when a word of kindness or encouragement is needed, and she can use her tongue to give it.
Guard your tongue, dear one. Guard it equally from voluminous excesses and timid stinginess.
A Christian Woman Must Guard Her Time
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.” Before your strength runs dry and your mind grows dull, remember the eternity that you are headed towards and ponder the path of your feet. Do you remember your Creator and why He created you? He created you for a life of work, purpose, and fulfillment of the glorious commands He has laid out in His word. God planned, even before the beginning of time, that He would create you and place you within time, to work and worship Him!
Psalm 90 says that the days we have on this earth are short, numbered on average to about 70 or 80 years per person, and they are years that are filled with “toil and trouble.” It is true. We are not experiencing eternity yet, and there are pangs of longing that you will feel for the heavenly country as you get older. Therefore, “redeem the time!” Ask God to “teach you to number your days, that you may gain a heart of wisdom,” as it says in this Psalm. Ask God to establish and strengthen the work you do with your hands so that it may count for something when you are dead and gone.
All this instruction is well and good, and many girls know these things, but truth about their true character is revealed when they decide to continue in their life of carefree pleasure without a thought for how they could be using their time more profitably for God’s kingdom. Don’t be one of those girls. Be the woman who keeps a tidy “to-do” list so that she doesn’t get distracted by less worthy pursuits. Be the woman who makes time for Bible study, prayer, God’s church, and fellowship with the saints. Be the woman who finishes her work diligently and thoroughly, not so she can go play, but so that she can go serve more people. Be the woman who is always resourcefully thinking of new ways to work more efficiently. Be the woman who takes the Sabbath day holy, by worshipping and resting. Be the woman who is never bored or idle, but is always “seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
Be the young woman who will make her Savior joyful, who enters into His rest hearing the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
That’s a place to start! I pray God’s richest spiritual blessings on you as you mature into a woman.