Globs of thick brown batter were spattered across the cluttered counter top. Dirty dishes were lined up as if patiently waiting their turn to be washed. Laura, my eight year old daughter had flour smudged on her face and was attempting to be queen of the kitchen. Her scepter was the spatula; her cape, a kitchen towel. Her loyal subjects, two little brothers, were eagerly waiting around the kitchen table for their queen to present them with some fragrant reward from the oven. She was the girl who would be queen.
At what age do you begin to hand over your domain to your daughters? At what age to purposefully teach her about how to handle money, friendships, sleep, and exercise? When do you begin to instill the habits of a daily quiet time, scripture memory, and keeping a prayer journal? At what age do you begin to groom her to reign as queen in her own home? For most of us, the years of 12-18 are the years we begin to purposefully train our daughters in the domestic arts. But, if we would look at women of the past,a case could easily be made for our daughters to learn much before this time and be capable of running our home by age 12. A prime example would be Mary, mother of Jesus, who between the ages of 12-14 was given the honor of bearing Jesus. Such a young girl as this was ready at this tender age to handle this enormous privilege and responsibility. This very idea runs counter to the popular thinking of today that tends to prolong childhood and delay adulthood responsibilities.
Around age eleven my daughter, Laura, began babysitting for a little girl. At age 12 Laura stayed with this little girls mother for 12 hours every day as she became very ill with each of her pregnancies. Laura’s responsibilities were to tend the little three year old girl, do laundry, meal preparation and clean up, and picking and weeding the family garden. This may sound like it was a lot of responsibility for her…but she was ready and eagerly wanted to do this! So, how did we get from the 8 year old “queen” of the kitchen to a 12 year old ready to take responsibilities for someone else’s home? Are you ready for a secret?
Come back to tomorrow and I’ll share it!
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