Revive Our Hearts Podcast

One Mom's Idea

Leslie Basham: Walk through any store and you’ll see false messages about purity. You’ll see immodest dress on magazine covers and advertisements for movies and CDs—let alone on the people shopping with you. How do you raise a daughter to value purity in this kind of an environment?

This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Thursday, July 7.

Nancy, moms and grandmothers really need to hear today’s subject.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: They sure do, Leslie. I am so excited about this effort that we’re discussing this week on Revive Our Hearts and what it will do to help teach the next generation of young women about the whole subject of modesty and purity.

That help has come to us in the form of a book for children called The Princess and the Kiss, and in the form of a workbook that Revive Our Hearts has developed to go along with The Princess and the Kiss. The workbook is called Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss. The workbook is designed to help moms and daughters read the book together, discuss it together, and talk about some really important issues in the lives of these young girls.

After a mom and a daughter go through this study, there is a very special Princess Ceremony at which time the moms bless the daughters and pray for them.

I had the chance to talk with a group of moms and daughters who’ve been through the study and through the ceremony together and to hear about the impact that it made in their lives, not only in the daughters but on the moms as well. We’re going to hear from some of those moms and daughters on the series this week.

I also was able to talk with Jennie Bishop, who is the author of The Princess and the Kiss. I asked her how she originally came up with the whole idea.

Jennie Bishop: It really was just the simplest way imaginable. I know that most mothers have knelt at the bedside of their child and prayed for them at some point or another, if not every night. There was one particular night where I was praying over my daughters.

My daughter Vashti, who’s eleven now and was probably about seven at that time, was attending public school as a kindergartener. She had come home talking about her friends and how she needed to have a boyfriend because her friends had boyfriends. She talked about how one little girl’s boyfriend had been stolen by another little girl.

My heart was just so troubled by that because I recognized how young she was, how young these friends were. That night I prayed for my girls. I prayed that God would show me a way to teach them now about purity and saving themselves for marriage because I recognized that I couldn’t wait until they were teenagers, that it would be too late by that time.

I really wanted God to show me some particular way that I could make an impact on them at a young age. I shouldn’t have been surprised, because I was a writer at that time, that the answer came as a story. In just a few days I had the ideas for a story that became The Princess and the Kiss.

It begins with a princess being born to a mother and father . . .

The Princess and the Kiss Story Book Reader: “. . . the parents were the king and queen of the mountain and all the green valley below. The king and queen loved the little princess even before she was born. On the day she came into the world, the royal couple gave their daughter a very special gift from God, her first kiss."

Jennie: They save it for her, keeping it in a castle tower until she becomes a young woman. When she’s of age they present her with the kiss and say, “Now it’s yours to keep or to give away as you see fit.”

And then there are princes who come and present themselves to the princess as suitors. It’s about her decision, about how she comes to find the man that God had prepared for her. I shouldn’t spoil the story by telling how. But it’s about passing that legacy of saving yourself for marriage and looking for the right partner. Passing that legacy on to our children and their children someday, too.

Story Book Reader: “'God gave this gift to you on the day you were born,' said the queen. 'Because He loves you so dearly.'

'And now,' continued the king, 'This kiss is yours to keep or to give away as you see fit.'"

Jennie: I’ve been amazed to find that there are so many other mothers who had the same prayer on their heart. God’s been using the book to touch those families as well.

Sherri: This book allowed me to teach Caroline right thinking about physical intimacy and kissing. Even though we guard her from watching it in an immoral way, we still want her to know that it’s a good thing. It’s just not a good thing in that setting, but it’s a gift from God. So it allowed us to teach the right spin on what we were teaching that was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Story Book Reader: The princess stared in amazement, for she had never before received such a wonderful present.

Jennie: The kiss is like a light that’s underneath a bell jar. So it gives the reader lots of opportunity for discussion, or the mom and the daughter opportunity for discussion on what the kiss actually is and what it actually means. So you can draw from that. You know the physical kiss, but also our wholeness and giving ourself to someone and what that means. The whole point was to make the kiss something that just had an incredible sense of value that you would never want to spoil or give away thoughtlessly.

Story Book Reader: “'But use wisdom, my daughter,' warned the king. 'And save your kiss for the man you will marry.'"

Girl 1: It’s talking to me about how I need to ask my parents. So it gives me more time to be with my mom so I can ask her those questions and read with her.

Story Book Reader: "The wise little princess took her father’s words to heart and kept the kiss safe in the castle tower. But there were many days when she went to gaze at her precious possession. She wondered how she could ever give it up."

Andrea: This whole book is just so exciting to me because it takes a concept that was so foreign to me and really, I think, to my generation. It takes it; it makes it practical and just broadcasts it.

Mom 3: You see so many families with just single moms, anymore. It seems like they’re always looking for a way they can connect with their children without having the father figure there. I think this is a tool we can put in their hands, something practical, something attractive, something that they can do with their kids in the absence of a father, that they can point their children to their heavenly Father.

Nancy: Like the moms we just heard, Susan Henson has a heart for teaching purity to the next generation of young women. Susan is a friend of mine. One day while she was reading The Princess and the Kiss, she came up with an idea.

Susan Henson: I was reading it to my grandchildren, a girl and a boy. I was reading it for the very first time. I was, like Jennie, it came from a grandmother's heart. I was reading it to my grandchildren and walking through this with them and stopping along the way and discussing it.

So as a result of reading this story over and over again (which is their favorite book), I began to write down all the discussion questions that opened up the doors for so many wonderful opportunities of conversation and opportunities just to share my heart with them. I began to write those down. So really it came as a result of just having a grandmother’s heart that says, “I want to invest into my grandchildren’s lives now."

There are other moms out there that are not training their children. I look at my grandchildren, and I can have an investment even in my grandchildren’s lives.

Nancy: Susan organized those discussion questions and found that there were a lot of principles she wanted to pass on. She called each principle a life lesson and used those life lessons as the basis for a guide for moms and daughters to go through this book together. It would eventually be called Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss. This came as a surprise to Jennie Bishop, the story’s author.

Jennie: It was very funny how it all came to pass because Susan came to me and said, “Did you know there are twenty-one life lessons in The Princess and the Kiss?” I had written the story, knowing that God was working through it somehow. But you couldn’t have told me that there were twenty-one life lessons in there.

So it was wonderful to begin taking a deeper look. Even now just today in the car we were talking about things that can be discussed out of a few words of that story. God has put a certain anointing on that book to be able to be used for this purpose—how those life lessons can be pulled out of there.

So we began to work together to develop the book. Now with the reports from the moms, isn’t it wonderful?

Debby: This was so timely for us. I had been praying for the last month-and-a-half, “God, please give me wisdom how to answer these questions about purity so I don’t say too much to an eight-year-old.” Since I had five boys, my husband took care of that. But now it was my privilege to teach her as she asked these questions. This book kind of walked us through.

Girl 2: It made me feel like I could come to her whenever I needed something or had a question about this kind of thing because she understood. When she was my age, she struggled with the same kind of things that I’ve struggled with, and she understands. So it made me feel like I could go to her and she would have the right answer.

Sherri: When I asked her last night what the study meant to her, she said, “You and daddy could teach me to save my kiss and to save my purity. But this book confirmed that it’s the right thing, that it’s what God wants for me.”

Story Book Reader: "Finally there came a day when suitors began to appear asking for the princess’s hand in marriage. The first man who came to court her was Prince Peacock. “See the great muscles I have, Princess?” he said. “I will always be able to save you from danger. I can run faster and jump higher than any other prince in the world. I am mighty.”

Mom 5: When we talked about the qualities she wanted in her husband, she related all of them. At first she said, “Well, whatever Daddy is.” I said, “Well, tell me about Daddy. What are the qualities that you like, that you see in your dad?”

The things that she shared were that:

  • He spent time with her.
  • He dated her.
  • He prayed for her.
  • He read the Bible with her.

Those are the same things that she wanted in a husband.

Story Book Reader: "Who was this man? He seemed common, yet kindness was in his manner. Strong and handsome, his hands were rough from working in the king’s fields, and his face was tanned from the sun."

Girl 3: I liked writing down the qualities of a husband that we want. God also convicted me of qualities that He wants put in my life, and that I’ve kind of locked away. Just because I write down that stuff, I don’t have to go look for someone right now. I need to be patient and wait for God’s time.

Andrea: This book put feet to my mission and showed me the path that I need to be taking. This is just the beginning for us. This is just the very first step for us in a very long journey. But I’ve got to jump in this battle for my daughter’s heart.

Nancy: We’ve been hearing from moms and daughters who’ve gone through a study we’ve developed here at Revive Our Hearts called Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss. I asked Jennie Bishop to tell us about some of these life lessons.

Jennie: The first one in the book, I believe, is that God loves you so much. That’s the whole point—there’s a reason for you to protect your purity and it’s not that God is putting all these rules on you and it’s not going to be any fun. It’s that God really cares about you.

That’s the jumping off point for everything because when it’s discussed in an atmosphere of love, then it’s like, “Oh, this is a good gift. This is a treasure. This is something I can be happy about and excited about instead of another rule I have to live with.” So that’s the way it begins.

Story Book Reader: "The king and queen loved the little princess even before she was born. On the day she came into the world, the royal couple gave their daughter a very special gift from God, her first kiss."

Susan: One of the things that we wanted to do is to lay down that foundation of love. As we start with God’s love, the second lesson really deals more with just as the king and queen loved the princess so much even before she was born, we wanted to then begin the process of allowing the parents to begin to share with their daughters how much they love them.

Jennie: Right, and then responding to the authority of the parents with submission and being able to recognize that the parents really do want the best for you. We wanted them to know how it’s so important to consider, if your parents say, “We just don’t think that’s the right partner for you,” that the parents might have some wonderful insight. To miss that could be a tragedy.

Story Book Reader: “'But use wisdom, my daughter,' warned the king. 'And save your kiss for the man you will marry. Never part with it . . .'”

Jennie: And then discuss with your children some of the attributes of a spouse that we might be looking for or not looking for, comparing them to the princes in the story who have very specific attributes that we would not want in a spouse.

Story Book Reader: “'Marry me, for I am a man among men.' The princess watched Prince Peacock lift heavy boulders. Prince Romance came to visit the princess. Prince Treasure Chest came to call. He brought gifts of gold, jewels, and costly silken robes."

Jennie: Take some of those apart and allow the girls to talk about “What are the character qualities that I want in a spouse someday?” for great discussion between them and the parents.

Nancy: A group of my friends took their daughters through the Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss not long ago. I asked some of those daughters about this life lesson.

As you think about the man that God may want you someday to marry, what are some of the character qualities that you should be looking for? What are some things that should be true? Lots of hands! What are some of the things that need to be true of that man? Let’s start over here.

Girls:

  • He should be honest.
  • Kind.
  • I want to look for a man that’s trustworthy and you can share your heart with him and he will take heart to that. And that he will encourage you in your trials and that you can just tell him anything.
  • If you’re going to have children, he should want to do devotions with. And if you don’t [have children], then every night or every day he should have devotions with you.
  • The desire to seek God.

Nancy: Okay, the man you marry. Remember this, because you girls aren’t thinking about getting married quite yet. At least I hope you’re not! But in not too many years you are going to be thinking about those things. And your moms and dads are definitely thinking about the man that God may someday want you to marry.

I asked Jennie Bishop to explain what moms can expect while going through each life lesson.

Jennie:

  • There’s a short statement about what we’re going to be talking about in that lesson.
  • Then we expound on that with a little Bible study devotional with some Scriptures.
  • Then there’s one particular Scripture that can be memorized.
  • Then there is the creative focus ideas.

Susan: The creative focus ideas are specifically activities and object lessons and opportunities for the mothers to reinforce what the lesson is teaching. It gives them a hands-on opportunity to apply that into their daughter’s life. It really gives handles to the daughters to connect to the message and something for them to take home as a reminder of the lesson. I was surprised how much they remembered from the life lessons as well as the story, just as a result of doing the creative focuses.

Girl 4: We had a little wooden box that we were supposed to paint on the outside with just one color. Then on the inside we were supposed to decorate it and make it look beautiful like diamonds. That was supposed to represent that even if we’re not absolutely beautiful on the outside, purity will make us beautiful on the inside. That was a really neat thing, I thought.

Nancy: So a box like this? Here we have a box. It’s kind of plain on the outside. But when you open it up, it doesn’t have real diamonds, but it has some shiny little white pieces that look like they could be diamonds. It’s beautiful and glittery on the inside. The emphasis here was that you want to have a heart that is a princess heart.

What are some of the characteristics of a princess heart? What does it mean to have a princess heart on the inside?

Girls:

  • To love God.
  • Keeping your heart pure.

Nancy: I see another project here. I wonder if somebody would tell me about this? It’s a very pretty umbrella. It’s got lots of pretty colors on it, and it’s open. The umbrella has the word protection on it. What does that mean? Melody?

Melody: It’s supposed to represent your parents or somebody who protects you. That reminded me to put everything that I have under the umbrella protection and to not hold anything out of it, and to give it all to God.

Andrea: One of the things that Brooke and I did is: We didn’t use an umbrella but we used the umbrella concept. We took a bowl and put it upside-down under a faucet with running water. Then had a little doll that we placed under the bowl. The bowl symbolized God’s protection on us; God’s protection over us.

If the doll got out from under the bowl, she got wet and she was out from under the protection of the Lord and out from under the protection of her mom and dad. So we used the bowl to symbolize the umbrella and the doll to symbolize Brooke.

Nancy: One of the life lessons in this book is that submission and humility reflect a wise heart. Girls, why is it so important to learn to stay in submission to your parents’ authority, and how is that a protection for your future marriage?

Why would it be foolish to marry someone that your parents say, “That’s not God’s best for you”?

Girl 6: Because your parents know much more than you, and they’ve already gone through that experience. If you listen to them, they’ll have much advice for you that will be good.

Nancy: I want to challenge you girls with one big point here. Could I just plead with you, don’t marry someone that your parents aren’t sure that this is God’s best for your life? You girls have parents who love the Lord, so I’m especially saying that to you. Marriage is too big, too important, too lifelong a commitment for you to take the risk of marrying someone that your parents say, “I don’t think that’s God’s best for your life.”

The Scripture says, “A wise person listens to counsel.” So listen to your parents’ counsel on this point. It’s really, really important.

Story Book Reader: "The next day a common man came to the castle. He asked to see the princess. The man was dressed in farmer’s clothes and did not look like the suitors who had come to call. Strong and handsome, his hands were rough from working in the king’s fields and his face was tanned from the sun.

“'Who is he?' the servants wondered as he was led through the castle. The man was taken to the royal garden where the princess and her parents were walking among the rose bushes. The farmer bowed humbly and addressed the king and queen.

'May I speak with your daughter?'"

Nancy: One of the parts of this story, The Princess and the Kiss, that I thought was so neat was when the farmer came to ask the king and queen if he could talk with their daughter. There’s a beautiful picture in the book of him bowing. He’s on one of his knees before the king and queen, and the princess is kind of in the background waiting to hear what’s going to happen.

The farmer said to the king and queen, “May I speak with your daughter?”

If there’s a man who wants to marry you, one of the important things to look for is to say, “How does he respond to authority?” One of the ways you can tell that is by how he respects your parents’ authority.

That’s why it’s a good thing if a young man wants to court you, he wants to ask you out, or he wants to marry you, to say, “Before we can talk about that, would you please talk to my parents?”

This princess and this farmer waited for the parents to give permission. When you have your parents’ blessing on your courtship, on your dating, on your marriage, you will have more of God’s blessing in that relationship.

Leslie: That’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss speaking to the next generation about some really important things. Are you having these kinds of conversations with your daughter?

The book you've been hearing about, The Princess and the Kiss, will help generate these kinds of discussions. We'll send you a copy when you support Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any amount. We'll also include the companion workbook, Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss. Ask for these two resources when you call with your support. The number is 800-569-5959, or just visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Now what if you’re not proud of your past? How can you talk with your daughter about purity if she’s likely to ask some uncomfortable questions?

Mom: My greatest fear with having children, and especially with a little girl, is that she would want to ask me when I tried to explain to her about purity, "Mommy, were you pure?" Coming from a life of immorality, I thought could never tell her about that because I wouldn't have credibility with her to teach her these truths.

Tomorrow we’ll hear from some moms who face that very situation. Please be here for Revive Our Hearts.

Maryann: For my daughter, I need to let them in on my failures. I've told them of my failures, and I want them to learn from that and to see that when we sin there is a consequence and when we obey there are great rewards.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.