When I was pregnant with my first baby everyone asked, “Do you want a boy or a girl?” I would smile and say something politically correct like, “Well, it really doesn’t matter, but it would be fun to have a girl.”
I really wanted a girl. Like I really, really wanted a girl. So much so that I prayed and asked God to give me a girl.
God did answer that prayer and in 2012 I gave birth to my beautiful daughter.
Now I am expecting my second baby. The question I get asked most hasn’t changed – “Do you want a boy or a girl?” – but this time it has an addendum. “You probably want a boy since you already have a girl, though? Right?”
Well, no, no. I really, really want another girl. As much as I wanted the first one.
But I never say this. Instead I came up with another stock answer – “Well, it would be really fun for EG to have a sister since I didn’t have a sister and always wanted one.”
That answer is true, so I’m not lying. But the real reason I want another girl is so personal I feel like no one would understand it.
I have always felt called to be a girl-mom.
God has placed in my heart the desire to mentor young girls and women. I want to learn all I can about them. I want to be around them. I want to pray for them. And I want my own daughters so I can invest in their lives in a way only a mother can. Because, you see, I didn’t have that.
In my family there are no women left. Literally. My grandmothers and aunt and my mom have all passed away. I did not have the blessing of strong, Christian discipleship when I was growing up. I want more than anything to give what I didn’t have to other young girls, and ideally to my own daughters.
Last summer we went to the beach with my husband’s family. My brother-in-law’s dad and I started talking, and he mentioned that he was called by God to mentor men. He’s not in full-time ministry, he’s a dentist, but God still placed this calling on his life.
When he told me this I thought about the fact that he has three sons. I couldn’t help but think that having three sons was a part of God’s plan based on the calling He placed on his life.
A month ago I told my best friend this story. She knew I wanted a girl. I told her I felt having a girl was more of a calling than just a 50/50 chance.
With both pregnancies I felt deep in my gut that I was having a girl even though I went through phases when I tried to convince myself it was a boy. However, both times I felt conflicted with my desire.
Is it wrong to want a girl? And even further is it wrong to ask God to give me a girl?
Sometimes I confessed to God and told Him I was sorry for wanting a girl. But it felt like I was trying to hide something from Him I couldn’t hide. No matter how much I tried to convince myself I didn’t want one, the desire was still there.
Recently I wrestled with these questions. Then I heard a podcast by John Piper that answered them. Just knowing that I wasn’t the only one who asks these questions made me feel better.
John Piper gives dangers and warrants for praying for a specific gender. For instance, a danger is praying for a specific gender for selfish reasons. He says,
It would be wrong to pray for one sex because you fail to value the other one in a biblical way.”
Then he explained what a good reason might be. He says,
I think it is a God-given, good desire for a mother to have a unique kind of desire for a daughter and a father to have a unique kind of desire for a son. And part of that is they both want — and rightly want — to build into this child something what God has made them to be as they have learned how to be a woman or a man. A woman has spent her whole life learning what it means to be a godly woman. She would love to build that into a little girl who grows up to be a godly woman. And a man has spent his whole life trying to figure out what does it mean to be a man for God and he would love to build that into a son. Those are good desires. And to want the one or both is not wrong.”
Yes, this is my heart.
I, by no means, want a girl because I think girls are a superior gender or because I want to be the mother-of-the-bride one day. I want to be a girl-mom because my soul aches for girls. I want the opportunity to love a girl so much that she hopefully knows how much God loves her.
Last week God confirmed, again, my calling to disciple girls. I found out that I am having another girl. I am elated.
I know that if this child had been a boy (or even ends up being a boy – there are no guarantees until the birth) God would shift my desire and calling in just the way He needs to and make me into a passionate boy-mom. And I know I would love my boy just as much as any daughter. That’s the thing about God. He does not operate around parameters.
Am I glad I prayed for baby girls? Yes. There is no point trying to hide my heart from God. After all, He’s the one who gave it to me.
Have you ever struggled with knowing if it’s right or wrong to pray for a specific gender?