Christianity has many virtues in addition to the salvation business, and a particularly nice one is the license it gives to delight in one's daughters. Scripture speaks of daughters with touching tenderness: the beauty of Job's daughters is such that we must have their names as well, the treasured lamb of the poor man in Nathan's parable was "like a daughter to him," and every heart aches for desperate Jairus.
This world's prince subverts human society by whispering words of scorn toward the work and worth of women in the ears of men and women alike. Who could forget how O-Lan despised her baby girl as "only a slave" in The Good Earth? Also imprinted on my memory is an interview I heard of a man of some other culture who sneered that educating a daughter is like feeding a neighbor's livestock. To have all her work and suffering in bringing a child into the world rejected--rejected because her child is what she herself is--would surely destroy a woman's spirit.
It meant so much to me that my husband didn't grumble in disappointment about wanting a boy when we learned that our first child was a girl, and some of my most precious memories are of how dearly and completely he loved her when she was born. I've seen women laugh it off when their husbands gripe about a preponderance of female offspring (even in the presence of said offspring), but it would crush me.
For all the difficulty I have in carrying out the duties of motherhood, there can be no shame or second class citizenship in that office, for God does not allow it. The daughters of Eve inherit the honor she received from her husband when he named her for her wondrous giving of life. Only the father of lies can turn that name and work into a derision. I marvel that my sweet little girls will someday, as God allows and provides, find in themselves the strange strength of body and will maternity requires.
It is wonderful to be free to rejoice wholeheartedly upon hearing the words, "It's a girl!"