Bite-Sized Biblical Womanhood: Truths to Teach Teen Girls

You sit down in front of a group of high school girls who shift in their seats as they wait for you to start talking. You’ve been given five minutes today and five minutes next week to teach them what God’s Word says about biblical womanhood. Where do you begin? 

As you mentally sort through all of the life-transforming truths from Scripture that they need to know and that you long for them to believe, you don’t want to waste a single minute. The time is short, and the stakes feel incredibly high. You take a deep breath and say . . . 

Don’t Wait to Jump In 

Pray for me.

Before my friend Joanna began leading a group of tenth grade girls through a mini-series on what Scripture says about male and female roles, she texted me on a Friday night to ask for prayer. “I thought you’d like to know and pray for me,” she wrote. “God led me to do a mini apologetics series for my girls before they get promoted to 11th grade in August.” 

Of course I wanted to pray for her. It was an ambitious endeavor, one that would require the Lord’s grace and wisdom—but I also knew that those two traits are already illustrated throughout this dear friend’s life. By day, Joanna is a pediatric oncologist in Houston, Texas, working to find better drugs for children with cancer. On Sunday mornings, she serves in the high school ministry at our church. 

As a doctor Joanna’s life is busy, so it’s understandable that she would hold back on the weekends. But after listening to a podcast episode a few years ago, she felt convicted. The episode addressed the freedom single women have regarding how they spend their time. Joanna remembers thinking, “I have to serve now in a way that married folks with other demands on their time cannot. [That podcast episode] motivated me not to wait but to jump in.”

As she did, she realized that students’ faith is being challenged at younger and younger ages. Although she once volunteered in a college ministry, she has since shifted her focus to preparing students before they finish high school. Her desire is to equip each of her girls to have a true walk with the Lord and maintain spiritual habits that will help sustain their spiritual life into their adult years. This summer, the Lord has led her to do that in a new way. 

Bite-Sized Biblical Wisdom

The last time I had talked to Joanna, I knew she was heading out of town to spend time with her family at the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter. When she came home, she was fired up about equipping the next generation. She came up with a list of eleven apologetics topics that she wanted to review with her girls. “I totally believe God implanted this idea in my heart,” she says. 

Her time at the Creation Museum had reminded her of her own high school experience, when she had been given the opportunity to study what Scripture said about various hot topic issues and write out what she believed God was teaching her from His Word. It had strengthened her faith to know that biblical principles apply to her life, and she wanted to find a way to bring that to her group. 

The night she texted me, she said, “The next two Sundays I’m covering what the Bible says about men and women,” she wrote. “Clearly there’s a lot to say.” Clearly. Her message made me smile. She followed it up with a note that she was relistening to Revive Our Hearts“A Vision for Biblical Womanhood” podcast series. Then she sent a picture of one of the most impressive stacks of books I’ve seen in awhile. If anyone could consolidate biblically sound teaching into bite-sized lessons, it was Joanna. 

As soon as I heard the idea, I knew I needed to get ahold of her teaching points to share here on the Revive Our Hearts Blog. Whether you are a small group leader, a mom of a teen girl preparing for college, or a woman who could use a crash course in what the Bible says about gender roles, here are the principles Joanna shared and her advice for teaching them to the teen girls in your life. 

Teaching Gender Roles to Teens 

Q: What main points and Scripture did you include in your two sessions on what the Bible says about male and female roles?

Joanna: I focused on two major points: 

  1. God is the Designer of men and women, and 
  2. As the Creator, He has the final say about them. 

Principle #1: Men and women have equal worth, dignity, and value (Gen. 1:27).

This is seen throughout Scripture in: 

  • How Jesus interacted with women: the woman at the well (John 4), the woman caught in adultery (John 8), Mary and Martha (John 11), his mother at the cross (John 19), Mary Magdalene in the garden (John 20). 
  • How the Holy Spirit came down on all of the Church (Acts 2:17–18), how there is no spiritual distinction between male or female in Christ (Gal 3:27–28), and how spiritual gifts are given to all members of the body and are of equal importance (1 Cor. 12:17–20). 

Principle #2: Equality in worth does not equal the same roles; rather, God created men and women different biologically and gave them different roles (Gen. 2–3).

  • This is evidenced in creation and in the sex-specific punishments at the fall (Gen. 2–3).
  • What does it look like to be equal in worth but not have the same roles? Consider examples such as the Trinity, pairs in dancing or skating (a male and female duo create beauty with neither being more important than the other, and only one can lead), or a steak dinner—both a knife and fork are needed; it would be hard to eat with two knives or two forks! 

Principle #3: Gender displays truths about God. Interactions between men and women are a picture of Christ and the Church.

  • Men and women’s roles mirror God’s heart for us; they were planned in creation and are demonstrated by Christ’s life and sacrifice for His Bride, the Church (Eph. 5:22–23).
  • Women are called to be “helpers,” and this is not a denigrating term. God Himself is defined as our helper in Psalm 33:20 and 70:5. As Mary Kassian has explained, we’re not just men’s servants; instead, we (as women) are helping image God and tell the gospel story of His redeeming us!(For more, listen to Mary Kassian in the podcast series, “The Genesis of Gender.”)

Principle #4: Sin has severely damaged manhood and womanhood and their interactions. 

  • The thumbprint of original sin looks different in each of us, but we are all born with sin’s marring nature in us (Rom. 3:23). 
  • God has set us free from sin’s power, so we now can choose Him over all else (Rom. 8:2).
  • We’re more than our gender, sexual attraction, or whatever sin or challenge we battle. As Rosaria Butterfield has said, the hope is that “our real identity is not in the sin we battle but in the Savior we embrace!” 

Q: Describe the notecards you’re giving to your group. What will be written on the cards from these two sessions? 

I wanted my girls to have something tangible and portable with the key points. God gave me the idea to take index cards and print out the topic and points along with all relevant Bible verses that we’ll be covering this summer. For these two sessions, the card will include the overarching principle that God is the Designer and Creator so He gets the final say. They’ll also include the four major principles I covered over the two weeks. I hope to punch the cards and slip them through a ring so the girls can easily flip to each one.

Q: What are some of the resources you recommended to your group?

Joanna: I recommended so many Revive Our Hearts resources!

Q: How did you include their moms in this process?

Joanna: I’ve been trying to email the moms about once a semester just letting them know what special things I’m doing (like praying in-person for each girl privately) as well as inform them about upcoming events. After the first session, I sent a list of all the books to the moms with brief descriptions, as some content might be a bit above where these girls were at. Some of the moms were kind enough to write back encouragement, which strengthened me, as I was feeling a little worried. 

Q: Is there anything you would do differently next time? Or any advice you would share with someone who is going to recreate these lessons for their own group of teen girls?

Joanna: I would add in a third session to address same sex attraction and gender issues more fully. If there was time for a longer series, asking the girls to do their own study and then share (or to break into groups and then share) would be helpful. It would allow them to see for themselves what God’s Word says about these topics. And of course, going through Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Freewould be great!

Q: What truth do you want your girls to remember after they graduate? What is your prayer for them?

Joanna: God created a custom masterpiece when He made them! He loves them beyond belief, not for what they have done, haven’t done, or will do—but because He chose them before creation to be His child! 

My prayer is that their satisfaction and joy will come from living out His will in their lives and doing the good works He prepared specifically for them each to do! I pray that each of them will walk closely to the Lord all their life, and in turn, reach those around them and the next generation for God’s Kingdom.

Joanna first started listening to Revive Our Hearts as a college student. As she folded clothes and listened to the radio programs from the website, the Lord used Nancy’s teaching from the Bible to strengthen her faith and help her apply it to everyday life. Now Joanna is sharing what she’s learned with a new generation of young women. To say thanks to the ministry, Joanna has been a Revive Partner for longer than she can remember—and her mom and sister have been donors as well. 

“I've loved going to the True Woman Conferences, serving at one of them, and seeing how God has expanded and blessed this ministry,” Joanna says. If you are interested in becoming a Revive Partner, please follow the link to learn more.


About the Author

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep was working as a hospital teacher when God called her to join Revive Our Hearts as a staff writer. She serves remotely from Houston, Texas, where God sustains her through saltwater beaches, Scripture, and her local church. Katie's … read more …

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