1 Deliver me and rescue me
from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
whose right hands are deceitful.
12 Then our sons in their youth
will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like pillars
carved to adorn a palace.
Psalm 144: 11-12
I was reading along in Psalms, and here is this verse again about daughters being like pillars carved to adorn a palace. It always slows me down, but I rarely stop over it and work out what it might mean. But, today, I am stopping.
It’s such a contrast to what I see being promoted for daughters around me. Nothing like what our daughters are being directed to become in magazines and film, by fashion and often even by well meaning parents.
Seems like the whole world around us is preparing our daughters to be goofy and silly and perpetually sexually alluring, not just for their husbands one day in the future, but for every man on the horizon at all times. There are those who feel that, with this Barbie role model being so obviously undesirable, it might be best to raise our girls to be better men than the guys….and we push them hard into sports and academics and we encourage competition in all areas, on the field and off, in the classroom and out. And then, when the girls mature into competitive backbiting women, we criticize them. Because that’s not feminine. These are strange days to be a girl, and strange days to be raising girls!
One thing we can take from the passage in Psalms there is that, in God’s view, it’s a blessing for our daughters to be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. So, I’m asking myself, what does it mean for my girls to be women of that sort?
I understand that pillars are there to hold the roof up, and in order to hold up a roof, they must be sturdy and of enduring quality. So they need to be strong, and they need to be ready to do the good work that they were put in place to do. Holding up a roof is not really glamorous work, but it sure is essential. That sounds like my job…. unglamorous, and essential.
But I love the part that comes next, which is that these blessed girls are like pillars which are carved to adorn a palace. They are not only strong, and immovable, knowing their purpose and doing it tirelessly, they are doing it with style and grace. I need to equip my girls for that kind of graceful practicality.
A marble pillar has its own natural beauty which is revealed by lots of polishing. The stone mason has to look for the beauty in the marble so that it can be shown to its greatest advantage. If the mason is always chipping away at the marble, trying to pick out every little spot which might be a blemish, he will destroy the beauty that’s there.
It is so easy for us moms to look at our girls and only see the little blemishes, and then to continually mention them. And we think we’re being helpful, or at least we’re being better disciplinarians.
But as we do so, we are chipping away at our girls.
We do need to train them and give them good direction, to instruct them and polish them all day long.
We need to look for their strengths, go the extra mile to help them develop their gifts, and help them to see that godly character and obedience are where they are being called to stand up straight, be strong, and carry the loads which are given to them without complaint.
It’s really a great gift to me to see my girls growing up and becoming more lovely than me, and to realize that this is a real blessing of God.
He is making them lovely, stately pillars who are worthy of my own respect and admiration.