Seeing the speed-bumps with a secular higher education.

As a dad and mom you’ve raised your daughter in a ‘protected’ environment.  When she was a toddler, you made sure the dangerous ‘things’ were just out of reach. As a pre-teen you were cautious about which friends she was being influenced by.  Now as she enters adulthood she is considering going to a local community or state school and you are second guessing if that’s the right environment for her to ‘get educated’ in.

daughter heading off to college

I was recently at a Christian university for a high school girls basketball tournament and at dinner one evening the adult conversation naturally led to where our daughters were heading off to college.  The opinions and insights were as diverse as the families represented.  However, a few themes jumped out related to what our daughters would face, no matter where they attended…

  • There’s the normal just being out on your own making choices she hasn’t had to make before.
  • Maybe it’s managing her time responsibly between academics, work, and social events.
  • She’s going to be exposed to conversations, relationships, and temptations she probably hasn’t experienced before.
  • The big one … her beliefs about God and His plan for her life will be challenged.

As you and your daughter decide about her higher education, it ultimately needs to be…

  • Bathed in prayer, lots of it. Be specific in your conversations with God.
  • Talk with your pastor, your youth pastor, other parents you trust, get their insights.
  • Paid for.  That’s right, as much as absolutely possible you want your daughter to graduate with no school debt.

Wherever she goes to college…

  • Make sure you consistently talk with her about her successes, her social and spiritual challenges.  She’s still in your charge.
  • Encourage and help her be accountable in her personal relationship with God as well as connected to a Bible based small group of her peers.
  • Don’t shy away from what matters most … ask her how her beliefs are being challenged both socially and in the classroom.

Some have asked us where we personally fall on the matter and how we’ve encouraged our daughters in their pursuit of higher education.  For us it’s been a matter or prayer, counsel, stewardship, and understanding each daughter … her faith journey and how God designed her.  So far, Ashli has gone through Cosmetology School and Julia is looking at staying local for a couple of years at least and attending a state public university while living at home.

We recently had the opportunity through our church to watch the movie A Matter of Faith which addresses head on some of the real challenges our daughters will face as they head out into public or secular private institutions. It’s a fantastic family film and provides a great launchpad for talking through these challenges with your daughter.  A great addition to your movie collection, buy it here.


Has your experience been different?  Do you have insights to offer other parents?  Share it below by simply adding a comment!

Just a year into my marriage I told Sonja that we were going to have three daughters. Gut feeling, prophesy call it what you want but since our first born daughter in 1995 my life has been filled with the mystery of 'a woman'. I hope that by sharing these life experiences that others can reap the benefits of this Dads of Daughters Only journey he has me on.

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