Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Teaching Biblical Womanhood to Teens

Leslie Basham: Young women today need your prayer and your investment. The importance of this was highlighted at the True Woman ’12 conference. At True Woman, Bob Lepine introduced a woman who is investing her life into younger generations.

Bob Lepine: I just want you to know that if I were ever to move to Atlanta, it would be so I could be near Susan Hunt, because I have such great respect for Susan. If you were to go to her house, you would be more likely to find teenage girls in her living room and around her kitchen table than other grandmothers, because she has a heart for young women, and they have a hunger for the godly wisdom she is sharing with them.

It’s a joy to have you here, and we love you . . .

Leslie: Susan Hunt was coming to the platform to pray for younger women.

Susan Hunt: Please join your hearts with me as we pray for the next generation. Psalm 78 tells us that we are to tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, so let’s join our hearts together.

Father, they are growing up in a culture that is not just indifferent to gender distinctiveness, but is hostile to the fact that you created us male and female.

Yet Your Word is more powerful, Your Spirit is more powerful, than our enemy. Give them a compelling desire to display before the world the beauty of Your creation-design. Father, redeemed women are the only ones on the planet who can show forth the beauty of your female design, and I pray that we will not shrink back from that high and holy calling, but that we will be bold and that our daughters will be bold.

May we be faithful in praying for them and loving them and in showing them the way. Give us a great passion to be true women and to raise up true women who will live for Your great glory, in the name and in the power of Jesus, amen.

Leslie: So how, exactly, do we live out that prayer? How can older women invest in the lives of younger women? Susan Hunt and Mary Kassian are about to tell you.

This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, July 14, 2014. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: In recent years there’s been a growing burden on my heart for older women to be intentional, to be investing in the lives of younger women, passing on the baton of faith to the next generation. I’m so thankful that many of our Revive Our Hearts listeners are picking up that same burden.

A lot of those women have been coming to us and saying, “We need resources to help us teach our teens—and even our preteens—how to be biblical true women of God.” I’m so thankful that two of my good friends have partnered together on a resource that we want to let you know about today.

It’s one of the resources in the True Woman line of books, which we’re highlighting here in July.  So far this month we’ve heard from Paula Hendricks, author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl and Erin Davis, who's written a book for young moms called Beyond Bath Time

Today, we’re letting you about another one of these True Woman books. It’s Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew, by my good friends Susan Hunt and Mary Kassian. 

Mary Kassian is an author, a conference speaker. You’ve heard her here a number of times on Revive Our Hearts. She co-authored with me another resource called True Woman 101: Divine DesignThat’s an eight-week study on biblical womanhood.

I’m so thankful that she’s partnered with Susan Hunt to produce this resource, Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew, a great resource for teens. I sometimes call Susan Hunt the grandmother of the True Woman Movement because she has had such a great role in encouraging and supporting what God is doing through this ministry. She spends a lot of time investing in women’s ministry leaders and in encouraging mentoring relationships among Christian women.

One of the most important mentoring relationships that Susan has is with her own granddaughters, and that interaction between a grandmother and this teenage generation is actually what provided the motivation for this book for teenage girls.

I’ve already sent this book to some teenage nieces of mine, because it is targeted to their specific needs. It’s going to be tremendously helpful for them in their walk with the Lord.

It’s broken down into thirty-one days of interactive devotionals that will get teenage gals into God’s Word, as they explore what it means to be a true woman of God, even as a teen. This is a great resource to get for your teenage daughters, your granddaughters, girls at the church in the youth group, and other teens that you know.

We’ll be glad to send you a copy of this book when you make a donation any amount to Revive Our Hearts. We'll give you more details about that at the end of today's program. If you want to order multiple copies, go to our website, ReviveOurHearts.com, and you can learn how to do that.

We’re about to hear from Susan Hunt and Mary Kassian as they share their hearts about the deep needs of this new generation of young women. Leslie is back to tell you the story.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. Before Susan Hunt and Mary Kassian began writing a book for young girls, they saw a huge need. Women needed a biblical vision of what womanhood was all about. So for them, the True Woman movement is a real answer to prayer.

A few minutes ago, we heard Susan Hunt praying in front of 8200 guests at True Woman ’12. Susan had begun imaging an event like this a long time ago, so standing before that crowd was very special.

Susan: It still feels a bit surreal, because it’s something that I had prayed for, for so many years. The issue of true womanhood had been so on my heart for so long, and then to see the Lord raise this up and to see the growth, to see how it is moving out into so many different area—not just to our country, but to other countries  . . .

It’s like watching something that’s even more than you could have imagined, and always God goes beyond what we pray for, and does more than we can even think to ask Him to do, and this is it.

Leslie: Mary Kassian has also been burdened for women for many years, so she’s been excited to watch the True Woman Movement grow, ever since the first conference in 2008.

Mary Kassian: When Nancy and I started talking about True Woman in 2006, or something, she had called me and said, “You know, Revive Our Hearts is thinking of doing a True Woman conference." That’s what we had the vision for—2008, Chicago. We had no idea that the Lord was going to birth a movement that would span the continents and continue to gain momentum.

It was really interesting, after True Woman '08, all of a sudden there were True Woman groups that we started hearing from. I said to Nancy, “Did you tell them to start a True Woman group?”

She said, “No, did you tell them to start a True Woman group?”

“No.” But the Lord spontaneously did that.

This is such an important message. This is such a time-critical message, because gender is such a spiritual battlefield right now in the hearts and the lives of the next generation. So I do believe that now is the time, and I do believe that God has started a movement, and it will continue, as He calls forth a remnant.

We’re praying for that to really rise up in the new generation, in this next generation. That is one of the things that was heavy on our hearts—for Susan and I—as we said, “Listen, we’re writing some things, conceptually, some things that are really important to challenge the women. In a sense, we’re calling them back from where they’ve already gone. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to speak into the lives of these young teens, these young adolescents, who haven’t gone down the wrong path yet, in terms of their thinking, and to be able to shape them so that they think the right way right from the get-go . . . so that we are raising a new generation of women to be true women of God.”

Leslie: Susan Hunt shared that vision and began spreading it right in her family. She began thinking through, “What are the most important concepts I want to teach my granddaughters?” 

Susan: Beginning with our authority. Their authority is God’s Word. That is a fundamental issue that they have to settle. “Is my authority going to be God’s Word or my feelings?” That’s a huge thing for today’s kids. Then secondly, “My purpose is God’s glory—not my happiness—but His glory.” That’s radical.

Then, thirdly, that gender-distinctiveness is God’s good plan. In the culture that these kids are living abd breathing in, not only is gender-distinctiveness denied, but there’s such hostility toward the idea. So we have to lay that out biblically and show it to them.

But then we need to move on for them to really see the beauty of God’s female design—to see that in the helper design, God said, “It’s not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” To help them see that design is really a reflection of the character of God.

But because of the fall, we’ve lost that relationship with God, and thus the ability to live out that design. But because of the gospel it has been restored.

It's very interesting that when God said He would send the redeemer, the offspring of the woman, then Adam named his wife. He named her Eve, which means life-giver. There we see the redemption of the helper design.

To begin to help girls to see that every redeemed female has the potential to be a life-giver or a life-taker in every situation. That is such amazing imagry. You can begin to help them see, "Am I being a life-giver in this friendship or a life-taker? Am I being a life-giver

So those are the things that we really want them to begin to understand and to live out.

Leslie: As Susan began thinking about these crucial concepts she wanted to pass on to her granddaughters, the book Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew began to take shape. She began going through drafts of the book with her granddaughters.

Susan: They reacted back to me. We spent several months doing that: They would read, react back to me, tell me what they thought, tell me where we were off-base. It was really a wonderful thing to do it together along with them.

Leslie: Then Susan contacted Mary Kassian. Mary has written several books, including the interactive workbook she wrote with Nancy Leigh DeMoss called True Woman 101: Divine Design. Readers have enjoyed the engaging style of True Woman 101, and Mary brought that style to Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew.

Susan: One of the things I loved about with working with Mary is our hearts were united. We had such energy for this, but we brought such different things to it. She is so culturally savvy, so she could really speak to how these principles apply to girls right where they are. I loved the energy that she brought to that part of the book.

Leslie: Mary talks about some of the practical issues this new book includes.

Mary: We include things like:

  • Your appearance 
  • How do you deal with the pressure of what to wear?
  • How do you deal with the pressure of how to keep up with “what everybody else is doing”?
  • How do you relate with guys? The whole idea of how are you going to interact with the opposite gender in a way that honors who God created you to be.
  • How can you be wise in the way that you develop relationships? Not to become needy or dependent on guys, or not to feel that you need to be doing everything that your girlfriends at school are doing. 

So we're really taking the theoretical and then boiling it down and making it practical. How do you deal with your appearance? How do you feel about feeling that neediness or that pressure to conform? It was really interesting with these girls giving the feedback, sharing the kind of pressures that they’re actually facing.

They shared the pressures they’re facing to adjust their moral standards, to compromise, to get into relationships really young, really early. So we just wanted to give some tools to these girls to equip them for some of the things they face in the reality of their lives every day.

Leslie: Mary Kassian is talking about some of the important issues she and Susan Hunt cover in their book Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew. After writing several books for women, Mary enjoyed this opportunity to speak to preteens.

Mary: It’s just a real joy and a real privilege to be addressing this age group because they’re at such a formative time in their lives. The decisions that you make when you are thirteen, fourteen, can help you set yourself on the right course for your entire life.

I agree with Susan. These young girls really do want to hear from us older women. Sometimes it’s like, “Yeah, mom, I’ve heard that before . . . yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” However, I think that there really is an attentiveness. We think perhaps that they really wouldn’t want to listen to the older generation, but I find that there’s a real hunger among the young women in this generation to have that input.

Really, in this generation the moms have been so busy, It’s almost like an un-parented generation. Or you have your “hovering helicopter” parents that are trying to micro-control everything. To be able to have the privilege to speak into a young woman’s life—young women who are not my biological daughters, but I’m spiritually responsible as an older woman to be speaking into their lives, and to be warning them of mistakes other women have made, that I’ve made . . . where I’ve gone wrong. It's a privilege to share how to do relationships right, how to view life, and how to make the kind of relationships where they will flourish.

Leslie: As Susan Hunt was working on this book, she wanted to keep first things first, so she wanted . . .

Susan: . . . to put the issue of womanhood solidly in the context of the gospel. It is not enough to give them a behavioral model. We begin by laying out the foundations of a gospel-centered perspective of this topic, so they can see that they’re part of the big story of redemption; that their womanhood has been designed by God, and that gender-distinctiveness actually helps to tell the gospel story.

This lifts it out of the category of just saying, “Now here are some rules you’ve got to obey.” But to see that it’s all about them having the privilege of living for the glory of the God of the universe, and reflecting His design, reflecting His character.

Mary: We’ve tried to do that in a way that’s real practical—not just in a theoretical way. We present it in small chunks. So you get to a little bit each day. It's in a fun format.

After each little bit of instruction we have a section called "Time for You." That's where there is time to read. So we try and get them into the Word. We want to get them to open up their own Bibles to read the Word. Then there is a time to think. We ask them a question where they can journal. It's a pretty girl-type journal. Then there is time to pray. We instruct them to pray God's Word. So we are trying to mentor them in how to develop a prayer life. Then time to live for God's glory.

So what do you do with this? How do you take this and how do you apply it as a girl as a thirteen or fourteen-year-old in your life with your girlfriends? What do you do with this teaching from God’s Word?

Leslie: Mary Kassian and Susan Hunt have been talking about their new book, Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew. Remember at the beginning of the program when we described how Susan often has granddaughters sitting around her kitchen table? Well, you can follow that example. This new workbook is a powerful tool to help you connect with a young woman.

Susan: They can go through it on their own, but I would hope that moms would be involved. We encourage the girls to talk it through with their moms because that’s such an important thing to do.

Mary: Or even to do it in a group, would be a great thing, to have a couple moms and a few girls, and even girls of different ages. I find that one of the real encouraging things in Bible studies is that there’s this inter-generational thing going on . . . where you have a grandma and a mom and a young married woman, and a girl who’s dating, and a young teenager. We can all learn from one another.

I am always challenged when I meet with younger women. They challenge me because they ask me questions. They cause me to look at the Word of God and to wrestle with, “How do you apply that in a culture that’s very different than the culture in which I grew up?” So they’re challenging me. At the same time, I'm challenging them, saying, “Look, this is what God’s Word says, and you have to wrestle with it. If you want to be a godly woman, you need to figure out how to take His Word and apply it to your situation and be a godly woman for your generation.”

Leslie: If you ever get the idea that young women aren’t interested in spending time with older generations, Susan Hunt tells a different story. She encourages women with wisdom and experience to share their lives with younger women who need that example. That’s why she wants older women and younger women to read Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew.

Susan: I was so encouraged a couple of weeks ago when the book first came out. I was at a conference, and I noticed women coming up to have their books signed. For the most part, it was grandmothers, and they had an armload of books, buying one for each of their granddaughters.

That really encouraged me, because I want my generation to care about the next generation. I am so happy that Mary and I have been able to put something into their hands that can be a conversation starter. They can take it and give it to a granddaughter.

I would say, though, to make sure that they have preceded that with a strong relationship with that granddaughter. Spend time with her, love her, take her shopping, take her to lunch, take her on trips. Just get into her life and let her know that you are her cheerleader and you love her and that you and your home are a safe place for her and for her friends.

Leslie: Susan Hunt and Mary Kassian have been encouraging older women to stay actively involved in the lives of younger woman. Mary and Susan have just written a workbook to facilitate those discussions called, Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew.

Mary: It’s fun. It’s graphically engaging, and it probably has a little more meat to it than your glossy, regular adolescent book. I actually think that most of the young girls of this era really want to be challenged to be thinkers, and to think through things deeply, and to have a reason for what they do, and to not just be entertained but to really be challenged, and to have that challenge come directly from the Word of God.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss is always encouraging women to invest in younger generations, so she’s excited this book has been released under the True Woman line.

Nancy: I’m so thankful my good friends, Mary Kassian and Susan Hunt, have written this book, Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew. Women frequently say to me, “I wish I would have heard about biblical womanhood when I was younger. Why did no one teach me these things?” As you think about the pain and the dysfunction and the issues that you deal with today because you didn’t understand God’s ways when you were a younger woman.

I just want to say that the young women in your life could have a far different story. Imagine a day down the road when your daughter or your granddaughter or another girl in your church could say, “When I was a young woman someone mentored me. Someone showed me what it means to be the woman God designed me to be.”

This new book by Mary Kassian and Susan Hunt, Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew, is a powerful tool that will help you make that kind of important connection with a younger woman in your life. Again, I’m looking at this book—it’s so beautifully designed. It’s attractive. It has these short, thirty-one day, interactive devotionals.

It gives the girls the chance to get into the Word, then to respond and journal their responses. It gets them into the Word of God, it illustrates the Word of God, and then helps them to practically apply it their own lives.

We’ll send you a copy of this new resource when you support Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any size. When you donate by phone, be sure to ask for this title: Becoming God’s True Woman While I Still Have a Curfew. The number to call is 1–800–569–5959, or visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com. When you go to the website, you can also find information about how to order additional copies of this resource for other teenage gals in your sphere of influence.

O Lord, I just want to pray for those who will use this resource—for moms, for grandmoms who want to invest in the lives of their daughters. I pray, Lord, that You’d give them wisdom and the grace to be intentional about reaching out and starting the conversation about what it means to be a true woman of God, even as a teenage gal.

Lord, we want to join our hearts and praying for this younger generation of women. I’m thinking about my precious teenage nieces and the temptations and the challenges that they face that I didn’t face when I was a teenager—certainly not in the same way.

O Lord, we pray that You’d raise up a new generation of young women who know You and who love You and who embrace what it means to be created women for Your glory, and women who will be great influencers for righteousness and for Christ in the generation to come.

Bless them, Lord, put your hand upon them. Raise them up to stand for truth and to go against the flow, to swim upstream, and to be precious women of God in their generation. We pray if for Jesus’ sake and in His Name, amen.

Leslie: Thanks Nancy. Can young children understand something as deep as the Bible? Tomorrow we’ll hear from a mom who tested out that question and got an answer. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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