Friday, July 18, 2014
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Our firstborn - our daughter - was only a few days old when I first called her "Princess." She's been my princess ever since. I cannot imagine the agony of having her snatched from her school and taken who knows where.
That was the ordeal hundreds of Nigerian parents went through. Nearly 300 of their daughters were kidnapped from their school by terrorists. The kidnappers threatened to sell those girls for something like $12. Some daddy's princess, some mother's treasure, sold like cattle.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Stolen Daughters."
Demonstrations demanding action spread far beyond Nigeria. In fact, one national newscast said, "This has touched a nerve in women around the world." What a nightmare; your daughter stolen and taken to a very bad place. That's the kind of nightmare that I have shared with too many families.
After years of working with young people, my wife and I have grieved over a lot of stolen daughters. Thankfully not our own, but girls who - though they might still be there physically - have been taken away to a bad place morally, emotionally, or spiritually.
We've been there when a girl not yet a woman finds out she's going to be a mother; when a parent weeps over their daughter's life-scarring choices. I've been there when a parent has no idea where their daughter disappeared to. Been in the emergency room as a mom or dad waits as the doctors fight to save their girl who's overdosed.
Through it all, we've seen four ways that we can lose our daughters. First, missing dads: missing physically, or missing emotionally, leaving a girl unsure of her father's love, with this gaping daddy deficit. Which she will try to fill often by looking for love in all the wrong places and often getting lost.
And then there are misguided moms who let their little girls become "teenagers" long before they're ready. Break out the makeup, the clothes, and the styles of high school when she hasn't even finished elementary school. Psychologist Neil Postman called it "the disappearance of childhood." So many years ahead to be grown-up. Can't we let them have those few short years of being a child? If they act like they're 14 when they're ten, they'll be acting like they're 20 when they're 14 and often going to a very bad place.
Here's the third way we lose our daughters: selfish boys. Oh they know the words "I love you," but they really mean is, "I'll use you." Their hormones are in charge, and they're takers not givers. If we've let our daughters buy the lie that a guy gives them worth, they'll do almost anything to get one and keep one. Giving what they cannot get back only to end up used and not loved. We need to teach our daughters that any boy who says, "If you love me, you will let me" doesn't love you.
Unchallenged lies. Yes, that's the other way we lose our daughters. How about this one, "It's all about how you look." And Hollywood tells our girls, "Here's what you should look like." Leaving most girls looking in the mirror and seeing someone they think is "fat" or "ugly" and not worth much; desperate to please anyone who gives her a little attention and so easily lost.
I've always thought an inventor knows best about what he's made. Right? And our Inventor says, "Don't be concerned about the outward beauty...you should clothe yourselves with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty..." (1 Peter 3:3-4).
You know, the real worth of a girl is rooted in something that is in God's Word and our word for today from the Word of God, Ephesians 2:10, to say to our daughters, "We are God's workmanship." "You are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works God prepared in advance for you to do." No one on earth gives a girl her worth, and no one on earth can take it away.
Every daughter is a princess. Make sure she knows that. That's the best way to keep her safe.