November 21, 2011 by Stacy McDonald
Actually, I guess I should say, “It’s there.” It’s at Grace and Truth Books! Just in from the printer today, and just in time for the last day of the pre-publication special. I can’t wait to see it! They’re sending my case today! Order yours before midnight tonight to get the special price!
When I wrote the first chapter of Raising Maidens of Virtue so many years ago, I never imagined that nearly a decade later, after six printings, I would be writing a revised and expanded edition. Actually, in the beginning, my intention was to simply write short messages for my daughters; something that I could use to hopefully help them “get” certain truths without me “lecturing” them. It was my husband who suggested that others may be interested in such a tool as well.
Topics pertaining especially to young women are discussed in various ways using allegories, short stories, conversational teachings, and memory-making projects. Some of the topics include: Guarding the tongue, idleness, sibling relationships, honoring parents, contentment, modesty, purity, cleanliness, and feminine biblical beauty.
Here is a sneak peek portion from the introduction of the new edition of Raising Maidens of Virtue:
When Dennis Gunderson of Grace and Truth Books first expressed an interest in publishing a revised and expanded version of my book, I was thrilled. I was eager to spit and polish certain chapters and add new things I had learned over the years. However, editing my own writing from so many years ago, proved to be more difficult than I first thought.
At some point, I had to use sheer will power to stop editing, for fear of completely rewriting the entire book!As always, God’s Word remains steady and true; however, many of my approaches to raising daughters (much like my middle-aged body!) has expanded and matured over the years. Yet, while my four oldest daughters are now adults, I still have three virtuous maidens to train and prepare. I hope I am already implementing all that I learned while raising their older sisters.
Since writing Raising Maidens of Virtue, I have received hundreds of amazing testimonies from mothers and daughters whose relationships were transformed by using Raising Maidens to study the Bible together. This blessed me so much because I wanted women not only to catch a vision for godly womanhood, but to also seek something that has been lost in our culture: strong family ties.
In the first introduction, I warned mothers not to use this book as a workbook—to make sure it was used as a relationship builder by reading it aloud and openly discussing the topics contained in the study. Now, I have an additional warning: Don’t simply teach your daughters to look like maidens of virtue; instill in them a foundation of love and grace, so that they will actually become maidens of virtue.
Mothers are destined for disappointment if they admire only a vision of purity; and seek only to create an image for their daughter, but not a reality. Don’t attempt to cleanse the outside of the cup while neglecting the inside (Luke 11:39-40).
We can teach our young daughters to speak politely and wear modest clothes; but, that is no guarantee they will grow up to be chaste women in their hearts. As Judy Rogers so wisely says in her catchy children’s song describing Proverbs 11:22, “Isabelle is a pig with a ring in her snout. You can dress Izzy up, but you can’t take her out…cuz Isabelle is a pig.” A woman with an unchaste heart will remain an unchaste woman regardless of what she wears until God convicts her of her sin, she repents, and the transforming work of Jesus creates in her a clean heart (Psalm 51:10).
Focus on your daughter’s heart—that is where real change begins. Use the Word of God—His Truth—to reach her. If she feels that your convictions are born out of fear, embarrassment, or pride, she is likely to reject your instruction, and judge your words as legalism.
Our daughters—our children—must be taught to embrace their own convictions. Teach them to be Bereans (Acts 17:11). They need to know what they believe and why they believe it so they aren’t at the mercy of false teachers and charlatans (Ephesians 4:14).
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:6)
If we neglect to win their hearts (their love, respect, affection, and honor), they may turn to strangers or false teachers for direction and support. If we focus only on outward appearances—on an image, then we are in danger of either alienating our children or producing a crop of legalists who have simply learned to “go through the motions” of an empty faith. If this happens, we will have raised up hypocrites, “sons of hell” (Matthew 23:15), or “maidens of hell,” rather than maidens of virtue.
And, most importantly, we must live out the biblical truths we are teaching. If we tell our daughter to be kind and patient with her little brother, but we are regularly sharp and critical when we speak to her, then she will learn by what we do, not by what we say. “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” (Proverbs 23:26) We must live out Christ before our daughters, as much as we teach them His Word. “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Hear, my son, and be wise; and guide your heart in the way. (Proverbs 23:19)
We are in a battle for the hearts and souls of our children. Using false doctrine, false teachers, sensual temptations, and, in some cases, parental blunders, Satan is pulling children away from their families and creating much confusion in the church today. By God’s grace, we must win this battle—for the sake of our children, for the sake of future generations, for the sake of the church, and for the glory of God!