There once was a young princess who was born in a castle to loving parents. When she was just two years old, the castle was attacked by invaders and her parents were tragically killed. In the midst of the raid, a heroic peasant couple rescued the young girl and raised her as their own daughter. For the next several years the girl lived and worked as a peasant, not knowing who she was. Until one day a woman approached her in the fields where she was working and told her her true identity.
From that day on, the girl stood a little taller. When she spoke, her voice was stronger and clearer. She approached every task with greater confidence. And she felt an innate responsibility to generously care for others.
As we see in this story, the question of identity is a powerful force. In fact, Psychology Today says that “identity encompasses the values people hold, which dictate the choices they make.”
It goes on to say that “identity formation involves three key tasks: Discovering and developing one’s potential, choosing one’s purpose in life, and finding opportunities to exercise that potential and purpose.”
But like so many things in our world today, the question of identity has become distorted and confused. This is especially true for young girls who receive so many conflicting and harmful messages about defining their identities. The world wants to tell them their identity can be summed up by a letter or by the color of their skin. That it hinges on their social media likes and views. That it comes from the brands they wear, or the latest gadgets they own. And that their grade point average or extracurricular performance define who they are.
While none of these things define a girl’s identity, this barrage of messages about identity reveals something about the human heart - we all desire to know and live our identity.
As Christians, we know that God is the King of Heaven and Earth. But many of us forget that we are His children. He promises, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters.” (2 Cor 6:18).
Therefore, each of us is a Daughter of the King. And that is the core of our identity.
But what does it mean to live as a Daughter of the King in today’s world?
1. Embracing Authentic Femininity
The word “daughter” implies feminine characteristics, which is why it’s important to start here. And it’s even more critical in today’s world. So many of us, including our daughters, have been influenced by the feminist movement, which ultimately tells us that to get ahead and be happy, we need to act like a man. Ironically, one of the consequences of that movement also led to the objectification of women. Movies, TV shows, magazines and social media all promote a cheapened version of femininity where femininity is treated as an object. And finally, everywhere we look today we find messages of gender ideology that wish to strip away the male and female differences.
But to live as a Daughter of the King means to know and live authentic femininity. We have to reject all the subconscious messages we breathe in every day and go back to God’s design for our feminine identity.
When God made Eve, she was the crown of creation - the most beautiful creature from His divine imagination. Our femininity is beautiful on its own - we don’t need revealing clothes, layers of makeup or photoshop to live authentic femininity. In fact, those things often only cheapen our beauty.
Made in His image and likeness, the woman was named Eve because she was to be the mother of all the living. All women, no matter their state in life, are designed to nurture and bring life into the world. And yet, our culture gives us and our daughters self-centered messages such as “My Body, My Choice” ; “Love Yourself First”; “Girl Boss”; “You do You” and on and on. But authentic femininity is not focused on bringing life to one’s self; it is focused on bringing life to others.
And finally, Eve was made to be a helper to Adam. The Hebrew word used for helper is “Ezer Kenegdo” - “Ezer” means rescuer or lifesaver and is found in the Old Testament several other places in context of military assistance; the word “Kenegdo” means counterpart. This implies that our femininity was designed to be heroic in helping others. And that we are designed to complement others, not compete with them.
Beautiful, life-giving, heroic and perfectly complementary - these are core to living authentic femininity. And it is the foundation of living as Daughters of the King in today’s world.
2. Trusting Like a Daughter
Have you ever just sat and watched a little girl go about her day? She skips and twirls as she walks. She sings while she plays. She does somersaults for no apparent reason at all.
It’s incredibly beautiful to watch young ones like this. They live fully in the present moment. They don’t care what others think and they trust that everything they need will be provided.
But as we grow, we start to become more self-conscious. We worry about the future. We over-plan every detail of our lives so that we feel more in control. And we start to lose trust in ourselves and the people around us.
Jesus said the kingdom of God belongs to the little children. Why? Because their trust in God is so pure.
The problems in our world seem to grow every day. The news can make us anxious about our future. The Evil One seems to be winning so many culture battles. And if that weren’t enough, we all carry our own daily crosses - both large and small.
But to live as a Daughter of the King in today’s world is to embrace childlike trust in God the Father, despite our circumstances.
Just look at the miraculous healings Jesus performed - the greater the trust people had in Him, the greater the miracle. For example, the hemorrhaging woman who knew if she just touched His cloak He would heal her. The centurion who knew if Jesus just said the word, his servant would be healed. Or the Canaanite woman who persists with Jesus to heal her daughter, even though she is a Gentile.
But for those who did not trust - especially people in his hometown of Nazareth - the miraculous was impossible.
To live as a Daughter of the King means to “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” (Prov 3:5) And to believe, deep within your heart, that He has “plans to give you a future full of hope.” (Jer 29:11)
3. Knowing Your Worth
So many girls and women live with identity wounds - many feel that they are not enough, and yet they are too much. When we start to pull back the curtain, we discover there are often many layers to these wounds. They come from our families, our friends, as well as our relationships with people at school, work or Church. Then add on the layered messages girls receive from TV, movies and magazines telling them their worth comes from their appearance. Piled on top of that, is the fact that young girls now face the inadequacy-inducing machine of social media, which often only deflates their confidence further.
The result is that many girls often lack confidence to be who God made them to be.
But if girls find their identity in Christ, the King of Heaven and Earth, they begin to see their worth as invaluable. They hear God whisper in their heart “My love will never leave you,” (Is 54:10), “I chose you,” (John 15:16) and “You are mine.” (Is 43:12).
When faced with trials and crosses in life, they hear Him say, “Courage, daughter,” (Matt 9:22) and “When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned.” (Is 43:2)
When they understand this as their core identity, girls can fearlessly live in the truth that If God is for them, who can be against them? (Romans 8:31)
Armed with this humble confidence, perhaps more girls will stop trying to fit in and start living the life God designed for them. They’ll have the confidence to say no when everyone else is saying yes. They’ll stand up for truth. They’ll defend the defenseless. And they’ll become a bold witness for the Gospel that our culture so desperately needs.