Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Keeping the Little in Our Girls Pt 3



If you remember, I am reading through Dannah Gresh's "Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl " book this summer with some friends from church. This week, we covered Chapters 2 and 3. These chapters detail the risk of not being proactive and starts to detail what we need to do {as Moms and Dads} in order to help protect our girls.



First, the risks. I have one word - SCARY! It really is mind boggling to think about the dangers that our girls are faced with that the world just thinks is OK {or even worse, they celebrate it}.


One reason I started reading this book because I have heard beautiful stories of young women {and men} who remained pure, went through a courtship process and then had a beautiful marriage ceremony where he truly gave himself to his new bride and she fully gave herself to her husband. The two were going to become one. They saved their hearts, purity and sometimes even their first kiss for one another. This sounds wonderful and exactly how God designed it. It is what I want for our daughters.


Not like my own story {and so many others that I know} where my past is riddled with romantic love affairs and heart breaks. There are so many stories and images that I wish could be burned out of my mind {where are the men in black when you need them with their magic 'memory erasers'?}. I have had my heart broken so many times and have built walls around portions of my heart that I am unwilling to share again {I'm learning to let the walls down, but it is very difficult after so many years of building them, brick by brick}. I have mountains of guilt for the hearts I have broken due to my own selfish sins.

I have heard love {the kind of love and acts of love that should be saved for the marriage bed} described as putting two pieces of duct tape together. When the relationship {or unfortunately these days it is even more casual than that} breaks apart, it is like peeling the two pieces of duct tape apart. It is not easy and each piece has bits of the other stuck to it. It is never quite the same. So is the heart of the young lady {or young man} that foolishly gives it away before she finds the man God has to be her husband.


I long for my daughters to save their hearts and their purity for their husbands. That is why I picked up this book.


But there is more at risk. Chapter 2 talks about these other dangers:

  • Depression: "Today's average {that is, normal} young person between the ages of nine and seventeen scores as high on anxiety scales as children who were admitted to clinics for psychiatric disorders in 1957." And I can see this - children move from one fad to the next, one BFF to the next, climb the ladder of popularity {no matter what the cost}, and seek love from whomever they can - all in the name of making themselves "happy". Do what feels good, right?

    And when they are not able to meet these high standards {Twiggy skinny, glamorous like the red carpet beauties, most popular/handsome boyfriend}, they become severely depressed. "The only reality for almost every girl is that she doesn't and never will look like that {magazine and TV stars}, which creates an extreme sense of inadequacy and self-loathing at a very early age."
  • Eating Disorders: "'A decade ago, new eating disorder patients at Children's National Medical Center tended to be around age 15,' says Adelaide Robb, director of inpatient psychiatry. 'Today kids come in as young as 5 and 6.'"

    Really? 5 and 6 year olds with eating disorders? There is so much emphasis on body image in our culture {just look at the magazines at the check out line} that our girls are starting off elementary school hating the way God created them. This is heart breaking! Our little girls are beautiful. They are made in the image of God and we need to scream this from the highest hill!

    Side note: This is where I, as the Mom and dominant voice in the lives of my daughters, need to watch what I say about my own body. I need to check my self-image and make sure I am not sending messages that I am unhappy with how God made me. Sometimes the sermon that speaks to their hearts is the one they see in me.
  • Impurity: Do you know what one of the major risk factors is for a teen girl to be sxually active? Having a boyfriend for more than 6 months. "Almost half of tweens have, or have had, a boyfriend, and while most of these think that means you "hold hands" or say, "I like you", about 30 percent think it means having oral s*x or sxual intercourse."

    Are you kidding me?! 30 percent?! These are our tween girls, not teenagers {which would be bad enough}.

    I do not know what we will do about dating or having a boyfriend when our daughters are in their teens, but I can assure you this - there will not be any boyfriends when they are 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, or even 13! There will be no hand holding. There will be no movie dates. Will they have friends that are boys? Probably. They already do. I hate to be all legalistic, but we are talking about saving my daughters from a lot of pain {pain they will hold onto for life}. At this point, we need to be the parents and implement boundaries. I am sure these will have to change as our girls get older {although I really have no idea how we will do that and will be seeking out my friends that have older children for wisdom and guidance}, but while they are young in age - they will remain young in their heart, mind and body {with the Lord's help}.

Chapter Three discusses the one factor, more than anything else, that is the "strongest risk reducer for teen sxual activity."


What is it? Parent-child connectedness.


That is defined as "being closely bonded by common traditions and frequently occurring activities" or "intentional togetherness". It is eating dinner together. It is spending vacations together {and not having the electronic entertainment blaring in the background or tiny earbuds plugged into the ears of either the parent or the child}.


"Quality time? A myth! Our kids need quantity that comes with great quality here and there."


There is a great quiz to see how connected you already are with your daughter - did you take it? Did you pass or fail? Remember, God gives mountains of grace for our shortcomings and His mercies are new every morning. Start today! Plan a "date" with your daughter(s) and even your son(s). I haven't read the companion book for boys, but I am guessing parent-child connectedness is just as important in the lives of the boys. Do something fun! Laugh until your cheeks hurt! You will never regret it.


Are you reading the book yet? What thoughts did you have about Chapters 2 and 3? Are you a connected family? What activities do you enjoy doing together? Camping? Date nights with the individual kids? Do you eat dinner as a family most nights?

Quotes taken from Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl by Dannah Gresh


Other resources that you may find interesting:

          






3 comments:

  1. Kids have so much pressure put on them these days. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to stay at home with my kids when they were little. It made all the difference in the world when they were teenagers! Great post!

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    1. I totally agree! I am so thankful to be a SAHM while my daughters are little. I am thankful that the Lord opened my eyes and the eyes of my husband to see the true value of this investment when they are home with us! Thanks for stopping by. Blessings.

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  2. I'm loving your reports on this book - it would be a great addition to a book blog hop I'm hosting, I'd love for you to link up!

    http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com/2012/07/cozy-book-hop.html

    Marissa

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I love to hear from my readers so if you are thinking something that is beneficial and profitable (which doesn't mean you have to agree with me, but at least be nice), then I'd love to hear from you!