Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl--A Retrospective

8:17 AMHeather

Well, my heart and mind are heavy with some huge burdens being carried by some dear friends. As God is tenderizing my heart for their pain, I am overwhelmed with deep thoughts. Yet, this morning, I can't quite find the words for it all. So, I thought I'd switch gears a bit to something a little more lighthearted and offer a retrospective on the book club we finished last night for Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl by Dannah Gresh. To all of you who participated in both Dallas and Chicago--THANK YOU so much for sacrificing your time to join the journey!

I found this book to pack a powerful punch in it's short little chapters. So many statistics and information and facts and Scripture! And so much great, practical, BIBLICAL advice for us moms (and dare I say, dads, too). So, I think the best way to sum it up and tie a bow on it is to offer a little list of highlights.

1. A KEY to guiding our children toward God's narrow road in our current culture is what Dannah calls "parent-child connectedness." In other words, know your child. Find ways to spend time with them. Talk to them. Have family dinners. Enter their world. Drive car pool. BE the fun hang-out house. Know their likes, dislikes, hurts, struggles, and successes. Be committed to the effort this might take!

2. Be the one to educate and communicate with your girls (and boys) about important topics like sex and puberty. I love this quote from Dannah: "It is much easier to build a sexual value system from the ground up than to dismantle untruths and rebuild." Be positive so you can paint a picture of sex as God's wonderful gift for marriage. We as parents set the tone! So, looks like I'll have to take a deep breath and use correct terms and everything.

3. Work with and for your children to help them discern their media intake and the messages of the culture. On the Secret Keeper Girl website and FB wall, there are some great links to videos and articles about the sexualization of girls in our culture--at a younger and younger age. Filter their media intake, watch with them, help them choose modest clothing, join Dannah's Modesty Project, and equip them to be discerning. Part of this is setting clear dating rules for your kids as well as perimeters in friendships. The truth is our kids WILL be influenced by their peers.

4. One of my favorite take-away tools from this book is the idea of asking questions of your children. Dannah uses this technique to start and continue dialog with her children, and to convey a respect for them and their opinion. For instance, when watching a movie and something questionable comes on the screen, ask your kids what they think of that. Answer questions with questions. I love this, and have begun using it in my home. It really does help my kids open up, and it's also helping them develop their moral code.

5. Pray. Yep, there we go. As simple as that four letter word is, it is awfully complicated, as well. Sometimes, it's hard to stay the course and press on to pray for our kids and our family. But, it's the most important ministry a mother can have for her children. Pray for specific things going on in their day TODAY, pray for their future spouse, pray for their friendships, pray for their purity, pray for their hearts to be undivided for Christ (thanks, Amy, for that tip!), and pray using Scripture. It's powerful to summon the God of all Creation to tend to our children's needs. There is spiritual warfare going on for our children. And it's our job to fight it off with every weapon at our disposal.

INTENTIONAL challenge: I certainly cannot do justice to offering a retrospective on this book in one little blog post. So, go find out for yourself--it's a quick read. There IS a battle going on for the minds and hearts of our kids. We can bury our heads in the sand and sing "La la la" like the smurfs. Or, we can be intentional to train ourselves through Biblical teachings to fight proactively rather than reactively. There's a million great resources, for sure. Pick one up and plow through. Invite some friends to read along with you. You can make a difference in your children's future by the actions you take today. What steps will you take?

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