Yesterday was my birthday! My only "plan" was: wake up and feel sad my hubby had to be gone on a staff retreat. :) Imagine my surprise when, out of the darkness, the bedroom door cracked open as I lay negotiating with the snooze button, and I heard my sophomore daughter say, "Happy Birthday Mom!" She came in carrying a bright red tray with a woven napkin, hot tea in a pottery mug (tastes better that way), and a plate arranged with a fresh veggie omelette, Greek yogurt with honey, and an apple. My heart was full, and my "sorry for myself" feelings faded away with the joy of seeing my daughter growing into a young woman before my sleepy eyes. And to my "NOT A MORNING PERSON" heart, knowing she got up extra early to prepare breakfast really meant a lot to me. When I dropped her off for school forty-five minutes later, I left her with many prayers and faith that the Lord will watch over her as I send her out into the world. Mornings like that are gold.
Raising a daughter in today's world is not easy. When I watch hundreds of teenage girls flood out of the high school each afternoon, I am overwhelmed with all they face. Did you know that ....
- "More than 40 % of young women in the United States become pregnant one or more times before they reach 20 years of age."
- "Nearly 70 % of those who get married first live together."
- 25 % of teen girls have an STD (Sexually transmitted Disease), and almost 2/3 of girls are sorry for their decision to have sex and "wish they had waited."
- One study found that 88 % of those who make virginity pledges break them.
- "A recent study of popular television show found that nonmarital sex outpaced references to successful married sex by a ration of nearly 3 to 1 .... The 'family hour' - the first hour of prime-time TV, which draws the most young viewers - contained the highest ration of references to non-married sex."
- In the "Dove Campaign" survey on beauty, only 2 % of the women said they think they are beautiful.
These quotes from Vicki Courtney's 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter are evidence that raising a daughter well in today's world seems next to impossible. There is so much working against us. Ephesians 4:17-20 spells out the goal for godly daughters, even in today's world:
"Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to
Even in a dark world, ESPECIALLY in a dark world, God calls us to raise daughters who don't walk like Gentiles, but daughters who have "learned Christ." We are striving to raise them not to have futile minds, to know God, to have soft hearts, to be sensitive to wisdom, to love purity. This is not easy in a world that loves sin.
5 Conversations is such a fantastic study; I wish every mom who has a daughter would work through the study. One week from today I will begin teaching a study group for 6 weeks here in Knoxville, using Vicki's book. It is relevant, current, Biblical, and practical. Responding to what I've read and studied is not an option, and Vicki makes it clear how to follow up with the challenges. She supports the 5 Conversations with proven facts and scriptural truth. Did I say I would highly recommend it? :)
In honor of my birthday (yesterday) I am giving away a copy of Vicki's 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter - The Bible Study. It is my pleasure to send this to one you, my lovely readers. Here's what you need to do to enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment or send me an email, answering at least ONE of these questions:
- If you have a daughter, what do you love about your relationship with her?
- If you have a daughter, what was the last "meaningful" conversation you had with her about?
- What do you wish your daughter knew about you?
- When you were a teenage girl, who had the most impact on the direction your life took?
- When you were a teenage girl, what helped you/would've helped you to want to know God?
I can't wait to hear your thoughts. I write a regular column for the new 2:21mag online magazine for teen girls, and your insights will be gems for me as I think and pray and write. And, hey, if you want to join our study here in town, you can sign up here.
I will announce the winner on Saturday!