Becoming God's True Woman . . . While I Still Have A Curfew (And A Freebie!)
I touched base with the book's co-author, Mary Kassian (you might recognize her from Girls Gone Wise) recently about the book. Her thoughts will make you want to run right out and grab your own copy. (Or if you're lucky, you'll win a free book right here on the blog!)
Check it out!
Erin: What inspired you and Susan to write Becoming God's True Woman ... While I Still Have a Curfew?
Mary: I speak to thousands of women each year at conferences, and one of the comments I often hear from them is, "I wish someone would have told me this when I was young."
Last year, I met three girls, eighteen to twenty years old, who were attending a Girls Gone Wise Bible study at a live-in recovery center in Indiana. As we talked, one girl said, "I wish I would have known what the Bible says about how to make good decisions years ago." The second girl agreed. With tears in her eyes, she asked, "Why didn't anyone tell us?" The third girl said, "I'm talking to my little sister about all this stuff. I hope you're going to write a book for girls like her, to help them learn about how to be wise, before they mess up like we did."
So when Susan Hunt called me and asked me to write some devotions geared at teens for Becoming God's True Woman ... While I Still Have a Curfew based on my Girls Gone Wise book, I jumped at the opportunity.
We live in a sexually charged culture. Nowadays, girls need to be considering what the Bible says about identity, sex, gender, sexuality, guys and girls, and male-female relationships at age eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen. That stuff can't wait until your late teens. If you don't know what God teaches about these things at an early age, chances are you can make some mistakes that will really hurt you and mess you up. Virtually everything a girl encounters in her world will try to pull her way from thinking about and living out her sexuality in a healthy, God-honoring way.
Susan and I wanted to give younger teen girls the tools they need to understand God's plan for their sexuality early on—how to think right thoughts about it, how to make good decisions about it. We wanted to set them up with the right information to give them the greatest chance of being happy and successful in life. And even more, so that they might showcase the amazing wonder of the story of Jesus through the way they live.
Erin: If a girl goes to God's Word looking for answers about her design, what will she find? What is God's heart for her?
Mary: God's heart for you is that you discover who He is and that you walk in the freedom, fullness, and joy of who He created you to be. The Bible says that God gave you instructions on how to live "for your good" (Deut. 10:12–13). In God's Word, you're going to find principles that will help guide your choices. The Bible doesn't give you a checklist to follow. You're not getting get a set of specific rules, like, "it's okay to kiss at age eighteen, but not at age fourteen." The Bible doesn't contain lists like that. (And neither do our devotionals!) But the Word of God does contain important principles and guidelines that will help you know how to conduct yourself in a holy, God-honoring way. The biggest help for Christians is the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is your teacher, counselor, and guide. If your heart and mind are soaked in Scripture, the Holy Spirit will help you make practical decisions based on God's principles.
Erin: Today's girls are busy, how does God's design fit in with schoolwork, homework, sports, and friends.
Mary: You need to realize that you aren't going to get any less busy as you get older. It just gets busier! A big part of becoming God's true woman is learning how to manage your time and how to set priorities and make good choices about how to invest it. You need to learn how to put first things first and spend your time doing things that are going to bring you the greatest benefit in the future. If you want to be successful and happy in life, have a healthy sense of self, and have all the information and skills you need to navigate guy-girl relationships, you need to know how to make that happen. And the place you're going to get that crucial input is from God's Word.
Erin: Becoming God's True Woman asks the girls to do the heavy lifting of learning God's design through journaling, prayer, and action steps. Why did you write the book this way?
Mary: The lifting isn't actually all that heavy! I think you'll have a lot of fun. The book is set up as a series of personal devotions and journaling pages that you can go through at your own pace. We wanted to have a good balance of giving you information and having you process and apply that information to your life. The best way to do that is to get YOU into the Word of God. This isn't a light, fluffy devotional. It's for girls who want to use their brains and think. We don't want to be the naggy mom telling you what to do... we want to be life coaches, helping YOU figure it out. In the first part of the book, Susan will take you back to the beginning to the story of creation, to discover how and why God created male and female. In the second part of the book, I take a look at the difference between making smart and stupid decisions—how to be wise in a world that pushes girls to be wild. We take a look at what the book of Proverbs has to say to girls about the best way to live . . . how to relate to guys, how to dress, how to keep from going boy-crazy, and a lot of other important stuff. There are also a lot of stories and comments from teens, so girls can hear from others their age that are trying to figure these things out. I think if girls knew how much this information would benefit their lives, they'd be super eager to dig in. Yeah, it will take a bit of effort, but the results will be well worth it. A great way to make the lifting fun instead of heavy is to work your way through the devotional with a girlfriend or two.
Erin: I'm sure they will read the whole book (right, girls?), but can you go ahead and give us a spoiler? How can a girl be a true woman while she still has a curfew (and math homework, and chores ...)?
Mary: The cool thing about the Bible is that it doesn't pull any punches. It tells it like it is. Good. Bad. Ugly. Heartache. Heartbreak. Everything. Here's the spoiler: A lot of the stuff you're going to learn in the second part of the devotional comes from a story in the Bible about a girl who messed up big time! The drama going on in her life would rival that of the juiciest gossip you might hear at school. It's the same kind of story you'd see on TV or read about in a glossy teen mag—except it's weighed through the lens of God's Word. The way you can be a true woman while you still have a curfew is to make the time to check it out. I know you've got some spare minutes available. You can turn off the TV or close the magazine and check out the drama in the Bible instead. Being intentional about it and making the effort is the first and most important step in becoming God's true woman.
I'm intrigued, aren't you? I'd love to encourage each of you to grab a copy of Mary and Susan's book.
But before you dig in, I'd love to hear from you. What has God already taught you about your design as a young woman in His Word? What would you like to understand better? Leave a comment and tell me about it. I will chose five of you at random next week to receive a free copy of Becoming God's True Woman...While I Still Have a Curfew.