Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Lies Our Daughters Believe About Beauty

Episode Resources

Learn more about True Girl.

Leslie Basham: Mom, your daughter needs you! Here’s Dannah Gresh.

Dannah Gresh: The number one risk reducer for everything your mama heart fears is mother/daughter connectedness.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth along with Dannah Gresh, co-authors of Lies Young Women Believe, for August 16, 2019.

Mom attendee: You know, we have one shot at raising our daughters, and there is grace and there is mercy and there is forgiveness, but why not submit ourselves to the mentorship of women who have gone before us? The Bible encourages older women to teach the younger women.

Nancy: That’s a mom who recently attended a Lies Girls Believe workshop for moms, hosted by True Girl. True Girl is a ministry that brings moms and daughters closer to each other and, most importantly, closer to Jesus!

Now, this ministry is fifteen years old. You may be familiar with it. It was founded by Dannah Gresh, and for all those years it was called Secret Keeper Girl. But recently it’s been rebranded as True Girl, and it’s part of a partnership that’s been established with Dannah Gresh and the ministry of Revive Our Hearts.

Dannah, I bet you never expected something you did to help your own daughter to be a growing ministry after all this time!

Dannah: Yes.

Nancy: But here you are, not just a mom, but—might I say?—a brand-new grandmother! 

Dannah: Yes! I’m so excited! I think they’re going to call me “Nana Dannah.”

Nancy: Nana Dannah. I love it! Congratulations, Nana Dannah. And your first time at this it’s not just one new grandchild, but . . . tell us.

Dannah: Addy and Zoey; we have little twin girls! And oh my goodness, my heart is just undone! I mean, they tell you, but you don’t know until they get here that you’re undone. They’re just precious!

Nancy: It’s been so sweet to see God’s providence in their lives and in you and Bob and your son and daughter-in-law. I just love how you’re extending the True Woman/True Girl line just in your own family with these precious little granddaughters.

And I love this about True Girl: it’s a ministry that’s being led by a woman who’s ahead of these younger moms, but you’re still a young grandma. Thanks for not losing your burden for this age group as you’ve become an older woman.

Dannah: In fact, the burden is not lost; it’s just gotten stronger! I think when I was raising my girls fifteen years ago, in this eight-to-twelve year-old age range, it was easier. I mean, it was hard. That’s why I started the ministry. But it was easier than it is now.

For example, social media is having such a harmful impact on teens and, sadly, tweens (who probably shouldn’t even be using it). But it barely existed then. Email was there, and teenagers were using it. But there was no Instagram and Snapchat to contend with. Today, no self-respecting teen would ever use email to communicate. So a lot has changed.

Nancy: Right, email is so old-fashioned!

Dannah: So old-fashioned!

Nancy: And the cultural conversation back then wasn’t mild. Your kids at that age had serious questions. But for sure it didn’t include questions about gender and sexuality that kids are facing today. 

So the backdrop of our culture is challenging, and it’s full of lies! And that’s why girls need truth, or they’re going to end up in complete bondage to the lies that are being told to them in the day in which they’re living.

Dannah: You bet! That’s why True Girl is kind of my megaphone to the whole Christian world of moms, “Just do something! You cannot just go along with what’s happening. You cannot go along with the empty-headed, mindless crowd. You’ve got to be a different kind of mom!”

Nancy: You have to swim upstream.

Dannah: That’s exactly right! That’s something that I’ve heard you say over and over again, Nancy.

Nancy: We can’t just let this culture happen to us or to the younger women coming behind us. I’ve often said to women, “Be like a salmon. Swim upstream!” The run up that river is hard for the salmon. I’ve watched this. I’ve heard it described and actually seen it in our own area.

That swim upstream can be exhausting and sometimes it means the fish has to battle hundreds of miles against strong currents and rapids. And moms have to be like that today. They have to teach their daughters to be the same, to go the way God’s Word tells us to go, no matter how hard it is! And that’s what was happening when you started what is now True Girl fifteen years ago.

Dannah: You know, Nancy, I think it might be encouraging to some of the moms—and maybe even grandmas—who are listening, and they’ve made the decision to swim upstream. I think it would be encouraging for them to hear the True Girl story, because that was my journey—to be the mom who swam upstream and told my daughter, “You’ve got to swim upstream, too!”

Nancy: You were feeling a lot of pressure from the culture and media to go along with the crowd when you had that nine-year-old Lexi. So, over the next several minutes, we’re going to listen to you talking to moms and daughters in various gatherings where you’ve spoken recently. We’ll actually hear a few other voices as we tell the story of how True Girl came about.

But before we jump into that, I want you to hear just a short clip of the new True Girl song that expresses why we felt this was so necessary.

True Girl Song:

All the crazy talk I hear on the TV,
It won’t tell me what to believe or who I should be.
I don’t want to jump in blind just to be seen.
I want to spend my life with my eyes on eternity! 

Dannah [from recorded events]: When my daughter was nine years old, I was concerned about the pressure I was seeing for her to grow up too soon. I was concerned about some of the music that was being created for her, some of the media content—all the stuff every mom fears.

And so, I just began to dig into social science to see, “Am I really the only mom saying ‘no’? Is saying ‘yes’ really going to hurt?” I found out that social science really tells us that allowing her to dress to look seventeen when she’s seven, or to watch some of those television programs or to listen to those music lyrics that really are more mature in content, that does put her on a conveyor belt to body image issues, eating disorders, and depression. 

And so, that gave me permission as a mom to really say “no.” At the same time, I wanted my daughter to have fun alternatives to the world’s form of entertainment. I wanted my daughter to have fun alternatives to what the world was offering.

So I began to write books and create events that would give mothers and tween girls a really fantastic and fun connecting experience. We got a tour bus and we began traveling across the country. 

Dannah [at a True Girl Event]: Welcome to True Girrrrrl!!!!! (shouts and applause)

True Girl Song: 

I’m running to the One who knows me,
Who made every part of me in His hands.
I’m holding to the One who holds me,
‘Cause I know whose I am.
I know who I am! I am sure, I am Yours!

Girl: Pop culture has been selling us a lot of lies about what it means to be a girl. They’ll us that we’re too tall, or we’re too short, or too fat or too skinny, or we’re too girly, or we’re not girly enough. Or they tell us we have to be beautiful, and they tell us we’re not. They tell us it’s wrong to be brainy, or then they say we’re not brainy enough. All of these messages make me cr-r-razy!

Dannah: So, moms, we’re here to stop that madness, right!?

Mom 1: For me, it was a godsend for me to find a place in society that had cool things, cool images, videos that could reinforce what I’m sometimes feeling alone at the kitchen table or on the couch. I’m telling my daughter, and she’s like, “Does she really know what she’s talking about? Who else out there is talking about this?”

Well, when you encounter True Girl, you see there’s a lot of people talking about it! There are cool ways that you can introduce this to your daughter. So I think it’s awesome!

Dannah [teaching girls]: We read about how God created the world, and at the end of every day He said three really important words. He said, “It is good!” Can you say those words for me on the count of three? One, two, three . . . 

Girls: It is good!

Dannah: Ah, very nice! I’m going to show you some things that God created, and after I show you the thing and say the thing, I want you to say . . .

Girls: It is good! 

Dannah: Really good! Okay, here we go. The first thing I want to show you is the aardvark! 

Girls: It is good! 

Dannah: How about the aloe? 

Girls: It is good!

Dannah: How about an alpaca? 

Girls: It is good!

Dannah: Here comes a hard one! What about the amoeba? 

Girls: It is good! 

Dannah: How about the artichoke? 

Girls: It is good! 

Dannah: Very good; you get the idea. Everything God created was good! We’re only on the “A’s!” Now, here’s the thing. Everything God created is good, and it’s important for us to believe that when God created it and said, “It is good!” It is good! 

Now, I don’t know if you’re one of these people, but I kind of relate to God through nature. Anybody out there? Like, you see horses running in the pasture, and you’re like, “Praise Jesus!” Or you’re standing by the ocean and you feel the power of God! Anyone?

Alright, so my favorite place to relate to God is on my very own little piece of land that God gave us. It’s a farm where I have thirty-two pets! You know, not everybody looks at Creation and enjoys God quite the way that I do . . . and maybe quite the way that you do. One person that really struggled to enjoy God when He looked at Creation was a guy named Charles Darwin.

He invented a theory called Evolution, because he didn’t really believe that God created the world. He believed that it just kind of happened. I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a lot of faith to believe that God created this world. 

But I think it takes more faith to believe that some cells banged into one another and created this magnificent world than it does to believe that an intelligent, amazing, loving God chose to create you and I. So I choose to believe that God created. 

So Charles Darwin, when he looked at Creation, he didn’t feel that, “Wow, God!” feeling that I get. In fact, there was one specific time he was looking at some peacocks, like my peacock (I should tell you that his name is “Alexander the Gresh.”) He was looking at these peacocks, and instead of feeling awe inspired by God, he felt kind of . . . well, sick.

He actually wrote this in a letter: “The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me feel sick.” Now, here’s the thing. He believed in a theory that the animals we see today are the ones that were the fastest and the strongest and didn’t get eaten for lunch by the other animals! It was a theory he called “the survival of the fittest.”

But when he looked at this peacock, he realized that those feathers don’t make the animal faster but slower. It makes them run more slowly; it makes them fly more slowly. And if that magnificent tail is opened up when a predator comes around, it takes time to take it down before they can make their escape.

And so the reason he felt the sickness was because he was believing a lie. I don’t know if you’ve ever been like Charles Darwin. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at Creation and believed a lie, but I have to admit to you that I have. I never doubted that God created; that was never hard for me. As I just shared with you, it seems like it’s easier to believe that God created the world than it just happened.

But I have looked at something God created and felt the sickness of a lie. Because when I was in about fifth or sixth grade, I started looking in the mirror at something God created—me—and I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t like the color of my hair, which was about this color, although now I help it along. (laughter)

I didn’t like my skin, and I didn’t like the way my teeth fit into my mouth. And I really, really, really didn’t like the way God decided to shape my eyes! And so, you know what I decided to do? I decided to stop looking! It made me so sick, it made me so sad, and it made me cry when I looked in the mirror, so I just decided, “I’m not going to do that any more!”

I made a vow or a promise that I wasn’t going to look because I looked in the mirror and I believed, “That’s not good! I’m not good enough!” I didn’t do that for like a day or a week or a month. I did that for almost all of my middle school and high school years. I did it for years!

On the rare occasion that I did have to catch a glimpse of what I saw in the mirror, it would make me so sad that I would be depressed for days! 

Girls, listen to me. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked in the mirror and not liked something you saw . . . Maybe you have curly hair and wish it was straight, maybe you have straight hair and you wish it was curly. Maybe you have dark skin and you wish it was light, maybe you have light skin and you wish it was dark. Maybe you have long legs and you wish they were short, maybe you have short legs and you wish they were long. Maybe you don’t like the way your teeth fit into your mouth or the way your eyes are shaped or what color they are!

But I know this, without a doubt . . . that God created you! And if God created you, then you are perfectly made just the way that you are! He didn’t make a mistake! Do you remember earlier, we said that when we hear a message or believe a message we have to go and check in with God to see if it’s true, right? So we’re going to do that again.

Stand up and read this Bible verse that you and I have already looked at tonight. Ephesians 2:10, read it out loud with me: “For we are all God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago” (NLT). That Bible verse says that you are God’s masterpiece! Have a seat.

You’re not just something He created; you’re the BEST thing He created! He created you with precision and intention. Psalm 139 says He knit you together in your mother’s womb. 

Have you ever done any knitting? It’s not like, “Oops! I created a shawl. Oops! I created a hat!” It takes math. That’s why I don’t do it! (laughter)

He didn’t just say, “Oops! I created a Shayla. Oops! I created a Mikayla. Oops! I created a Hannah. Oops! I created a Dannah!” No! He knit you together! It was with precision that He created you with that mouth, with those teeth, with those eyes, with that hair, with those legs . . . and even with every challenge that you might be facing in your body or your life. 

You are His masterpiece! Do you believe it? 

Dannah [from another event]: So, the number one risk reducer for everything your mama heart fears is mother/daughter connectedness. So whether you’re afraid of “frenemies” or “mean girl” moments or your daughter feeling the pressure to grow up too soon, or maybe it’s stuff that’s really far in the future. You know it’s not an issue now, but you’re not sure how to talk to her to prepare her for some of those things. 

True Girl exists to put you in the driver’s seat of those conversations—whether it’s our resources or our great live events. Even at our True Girl live event we are throwing it back to you.

We may be on stage leading in worship or teaching Bible truths or guiding you through a mother/daughter contest or game, but we’re always throwing it back to you for conversation time during the live event.

Mom 2: I think it starts a conversation! Most moms and daughters don’t really have those conversational moments. They might say, “Hey, how was your day at school?” 

“Fine.” 

And that’s the end of the conversation. I think this takes it deeper. I think this takes it to a point where you are actually looking at your daughter. You’re seeing how she’s seeing herself; you’re seeing the example you’re setting!

Mom 3: We’ve just really enjoyed our time together. The music was great, and it all pointed back to God and how He wonderfully made us.

Interviewer: What did you like, Carly?

Carly [tween girl]: Well, I liked the music, and I also liked the fashion show.

Interviewer: The fashion show? Yeah?

Mom 4: I mean, all these girls at school that are dressing crazy. She can take this stuff back with her to school and just share with her friends and be able to say, “Yeah, I don’t really want to dress like that. It’s not proper. It needs to be more modest.”

Dannah: We do about 100 events a year; over 400,000 mothers and daughters have been discipled in biblical truth about being a girl and a woman. One of the most exciting things is, just over 10,000 of them have made first-time decisions to follow Jesus.

Mom 5: One of my daughters, at the last one, went up for the salvation prayer. She was eight, and the song “Jesus Loves Me” was playing. It was so precious to just get to walk up with her and pray with her. She got the little booklet to commemorate the moment. It was very precious. I’m so thankful for that!

Mom 6: I just think it’s amazing what you guys do! There’s so much in there that these young girls need to know. It’s just amazing that somebody can have this vision, like she said, “When you are nine.” And she’s like, “So I got started. Here we go!” To have that vision and to bring it to fruition. I mean, this is huge!

Song: 

I am a True Girl!
Jesus is my foundation.
Tell the whole world I am a new creation!
I am free;
I am a masterpiece;
I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
I am a True Girl!

Dannah: After fifteen years, True Girl is partnering with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s Revive Our Hearts. And so, now we’re not just going to have True Woman for the adult woman, but from the age of eight to eighty-eight and beyond, we can be training women and girls with biblical truth so that they can change the culture, because they’re walking in the true freedom that God meant for them to live in.

If you have been to a True Woman event and loved that, and thought, Wow! I wish my daughter could experience something like this! True Girl is created just for her, just for her age group. There’s great biblical content; there’s live worship that’s a sound that she’s going to love, and we’re going to put you in the driver’s seat so that you can counsel her heart.

We’re going to have mother/daughter conversation time right in the middle of the event. You are going to love True Girl!

Mom 7: I love this ministry! As a mother of daughters, you need this ministry in your life, because it will equip you to do things that are in your heart already to do. Like Dannah says, “I’m not going to be there to do it for you to have those conversations, but I’m going to give you the conversation starters. I’m going to give you the framework.”

And she’s right! But I’ll tell you, I feel like she’s right by me, you know. With these resources, you don’t feel alone, and you feel God working. It’s an answer to prayer as a mom!

Nancy: Wow, Dannah! I love this story, and I know that it is an answer to a lot of moms’ prayers. A lot of them are sitting there right now wondering, How could I be a part of this with my tween daughter? I’m thrilled that the True Girl event is going to be in over forty cities this fall, with stops in places like: Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, Indianapolis, and a whole bunch more! 

So, Dannah, I’m getting kind of tired thinking about that. Do you go to all those events yourself?

Dannah: Ah, no. I’m a grandma, remember? I don’t have the energy! But, honestly Nancy, I never went to a lot of them because I have a family, and I’m called to be home with them. So from the very beginning I was mentoring a team of young women. They’re going to be appearing in these cities ready to love on tween girls, lead them in truth.

And they are just fantastic role models for today’s little girls!

Nancy: You’ve done such a great job of that, Dannah, not only with your own daughter, but as the mom and the grandmom for a whole new generation of girls who are growing up, we pray, to be true women of God!

Dannah: Yes.

Nancy: I know when these dates came out, I looked at the list right away so I could see where I could get to one of these events near where I live. I’m looking forward to being at one or more of them this fall.

Go to ReviveOurHearts.com, click on the True Girl link, and it will give you the schedule for the events this fall as well as other resources that are available for you and your tween daughter through this partnership with True Girl and True Woman. We’re part of the same ministry now, we are embracing the same mission, from moms all the way down to these young girls.

Dannah, just as you think back about fifteen years of ministering to moms and their daughters, what’s one of your favorite things about the True Girl ministry?

Dannah: Oh, that’s easy, Nancy. I’m blessed when I see a mom or a grandmother . . . They think they’re coming to the True Girl event or using one of the Bible studies to teach their daughter truth, but then their own hearts encounter the truth! 

Just a quick testimony: a mom came to one of our events about eighteen months ago, a pastor’s wife from a very large church. She was just in a very fragile, emotional place and was considering some very drastic decisions. Bringing her daughter to the event was kind of a “last hurrah.” She wanted her daughter to have a good memory.

And then in the middle of the Bible teaching, God’s heart got hold of her as we were talking about her being a masterpiece, as we read Scripture. And we talked about, “What do you do with a masterpiece when it’s broken? Do you throw it away? Do you leave it there hanging on the wall with a hole in it? Or do you do absolutely everything you need to do to restore it?” 

And she got on her knees and said, “Okay, God! Give me the courage to try.” And she went home and told her husband. “Give me the courage to try. Maybe You’re not finished with me. I am definitely broken. But if Your Word says I’m a masterpiece. You want to restore me, so will You do that?”

Nancy: Wow, I’m getting goosebumps listening to this.

Dannah: Yes, He’s being doing that for many months now. It’s exciting to watch moms and grandmas experiencing truth right beside their daughters!

Nancy: When you support Revive Our Hearts, that’s what you’re investing in. It’s moms, grandmoms, daughters, granddaughters, tween girls, teen girls—women of every age who desperately need to know that God did make them a masterpiece. He created them in His image, and He has a purpose for their lives. And even if they have been broken, they can be restored by His amazing grace!

Dannah: Nancy, when you mention that Revive Our Hearts is partnering with True Girl, I just want to say this: if you’ve ever been someone who has supported Revive Our Hearts financially, thank you!

And if you never have, but it stirs your heart that we’re feeding this next generation, this might be the time. I’ve been on a soapbox for a lot of years . . . is that right, Nancy? 

Nancy: You have!

Dannah: We’re not losing our college-age and twenty-somethings because of college. We’re losing them because we didn’t plant truth deeply enough into them when they were five, ten, fifteen years old. And that’s what we’re doing!

So when you make a gift today to Revive Our Hearts, it enables us to plant truth in these girls—the leaders of the next generation.

Nancy: That’s what we’re doing day after day in this partnership with True Girl, True Woman, and through all the outreaches of Revive Our Hearts. You can send that gift to us at ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can give us a call at 1–800–569–5959. 

When you make your gift today, as our way of saying “thank you” for a gift of any amount, we would love to send you a copy of the Bible study that Dannah has written called Lies Girls Believe . . . and also, with that we’ll send you a copy of a Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe. It’s a guide that helps moms walk through this study with their daughters.

You may not have a tween daughter right now, but you may know somebody who does, and you want to make that available to them. When you make your gift to Revive Our Hearts, be sure and let us know that you would like to have a copy of Dannah’s book Lies Girls Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, along with the mom’s guide.

And be sure to go to ReviveOurHearts.com and click on True Girl so you can see where one of these events is coming to a city near you. Get there! Get the word out. Get there with your tween daughter, get some young moms and tween girls together from your church or your homeschool group to go to this event. You won’t be disappointed!

This is how, together, we’re going to say, “Lord, we’re claiming this generation of girls for You!—that they will be true girls who will grow into true women of God for Your glory and for the advancement of Your kingdom!” So thank you so much for helping us be a part of that.

And Dannah, thank you for your part in helping us to have this kind of ministry in the hearts of these girls!

Dannah: It’s my pleasure, Nancy! 

Leslie: Once again, our web address is ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can call us at 1–800–569–5959. 

Do you ever have perplexing questions, problems that don’t seem to have any solutions? On Monday, discover where one woman in the Old Testament turned for answers. I hope you’ll join us here on Revive Our Hearts.

Helping you nurture the next generation of true girls. Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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