I have a mother who loves her Bible and prays faithfully. When I was eight years old, she handed me my first daily devotional for children. It was the beginning of a life-long love of reading my Bible and soaking in Truth. Recently, I was quite sad to discover how unusual it was for my mom to initiate an effort to encourage my devotional life at such a young age.
When I wrote Lies Girls Believe, I had coffee with hundreds of moms and my team surveyed 1,531 Church-going girls aged 7-12 for one of the most comprehensive studies of tween beliefs available. (The results are the bedrock of one of the most ambitious ministry tools we've ever released to brings moms and daughters closer to each other and closer to Jesus.) I asked the mothers who attended my focus groups if their girls were reading their Bibles and praying daily. Here’s what they said:
- 30% said "yes."
- 48% said "no."
- 22% said they weren't sure.
Let me be blunt: read your Bible and teach your daughter to read hers. I hope these statistics burden you the way they do me, but if not here are three reasons your tween daughter needs to be in the Word of God.
1.) What we believe by our thirteenth birthday is generally what we die believing. Christian pollster George Barna said that to me many years ago and it stuck. While there are exceptions—he himself came to know Christ in his young adult years—they are few and far between. What your daughter is embracing, absorbing, and internalizing right now will stick with her for the duration of her life. Teach her now to focus less on the world and more on the Word.
2.) God's Word has the power to set her free from negative emotions. With the groundswell of anxiety and depression controlling tween girls, most of them need the power of God's Word to help them overcome. John 8:32 says you can know God's Truth and the Truth will set you free but John 8:31 offers a condition of sorts: you've got to be abiding in it. You cannot experience the freedom of God's Word unless you're reading it, meditating on it, and responding to life and God based on it. Guide her to experience firsthand the freedom God's Word can bring to the practical areas of her life.
3.) Reading her Bible is the most important habit she'll ever learn. The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. We know that. It's why we teach our kids to brush their teeth and say thank you. (High five for that!) But it seems many moms are overlooking one of the most important habits of all: spending time in God’s Word! I encourage you to apply the same effort—or more—to the teach your children the habit of spending time with God that you do when you're teaching them to practice their piano regularly or make their bed. Why? Because it impacts all the other habits in their lives!
When I learned that the majority of moms reported nurturing their own time in God's Word, but many were not proactively helping their daughters develop the same spiritual discipline I had to do something!
My team and I has developed a brand new resource to help girls learn the habit of being in God’s Word daily.
Introducing the new True Girl subscription plan.
Consider it your toolbox to teach her to love her Bible! Every month your inbox can be filled with a coaching video on important topics and tools to draw your daughter into the Word. And our ultimate option includes a box delivered right to your door! We selected age-appropriate, Christ-centered themes for each box and fill them with ALL-NEW items that build the habits of spiritual disciplines.
Our True Girl theme verse:
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32
Mom, the best way to teach your daughter to live like an authentic True Girl is to live like an authentic True Woman. And to do that, you've got to get your life lined up with the Truth of the Bible. Listen to Dannah Gresh every weekday on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Revive Our Hearts podcast. The program features biblical teaching, interviews that offer godly advice, and other opportunities to abide in God's Word.