By Dannah Gresh, Founder of True Girl
Dark things are happening in our world. This weekend a massive earthquake hit Haiti, and the Taliban forcefully took control of Afghanistan. On my personal social media channels, I’ve been pleading with women to join me in prayer. But I’ve been at a loss for how to engage with this on our True Girl channels. It’s just so heavy!
But our daughters and granddaughters see the headlines. They overhear the news. And they feel the tension we’re all experiencing as we carry the weight of world news on our shoulders. We have to talk about it. Here are five things to consider as you talk to your daughter about what’s happening in Afghanistan.
1. Find Out What They Know & Correct Any Misconceptions!
Start out with, “Have you heard about what’s happening in Afghanistan?” If they aren’t sure, you can explain. Let them process and just listen. “The Taliban, an extremist Islamic group, has forcefully taken control of a country called Afghanistan. This is sad because they are a group that is abusive and controlling towards women and girls. They also hate Christianity and the lives of many believers are at risk right now.”
2. Ask Them What They Think & Teach Them To Process Their Thoughts Through God’s Word!
They’re old enough to have opinions and feelings about what’s happening. Letting them process their own thoughts will enable you to direct them to pieces of God’s Word that they most need right now. This is critical. Without the Truth of the Bible, we cannot possibly have hope or a proper perspective of what’s happening.
3. Model Healthy Behavior!
Don’t sit around scrolling the news feed 24-hours a day. That’s not good for you and it’s not good for her. It is wise to limit exposure to graphic images and videos. While it’s important to know what’s going on, no one benefits from sitting around and growing anxious as we obsess about the tragedy.
4. Give Her A Gospel-Driven Perspective For What Is Happening!
It’s always possible to look at the news through the lens of the life, death, and ultimate victory of Jesus Christ. And I think it’s the only way to have true perspective and lasting hope. That means we must go to God’s Word to consider how women are treated by the Taliban and the danger Christians are facing this very hour.
When it comes to the degradation of women and girls, you do not have to go into the details. Young girls and women are being raped. Wives are seeing their husband’s executed moments before they are also violated. These are details your daughter is probably not ready to hear. Talk to her about something more age-appropriate. For example, it is likely that in the coming day's girls who have been going to school will be told they may no longer be educated. That’s something your daughter can identify with and understand without robbing her of her innocence.
As you discuss the way women and girls are repressed, remind her that Jesus’ behavior towards women was distinctly different from his contemporaries. He honored them in ways that others did not. A great passage to consider is the lineage of Jesus Christ written in Matthew chapter 1. If you look, you’ll see the names of women on that list. This was radical! Women were simply not included in the written lineage of family lines. But Jesus saw them as valuable, so God ordained that His official family tree would honor women. He also included them in his teachings when He traveled. Consider Mary Magdalene, one of His most faithful students.
When it comes to the threats against Christians, consider Hebrews 13:3 together. It reads: “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated since you also are in the body.” As believers, we are one “body.” So when something happens to one of us, it happens to all of us. The things we do “remember” that believers in Afghanistan are being mistreated should be done in such a way as if it were happening to us. That means we must be attentive to what’s happening and care deeply. This brings me to the last thing to do with your daughter.
5. Don’t Just Talk About It. Do Something!
First, we can and should be praying for these women and the believers in Afghanistan. (Here’s a blog I found that gave me practical ways to pray for the Christians facing persecution.) Men, women, and children are hiding in their homes and fleeing to the mountains. If that were happening to us, we would be pleading with God. Let’s join them in their petitions and teach our daughters that our prayers should not be all about us.
But it’s also imperative to give legs to our prayers. This is more difficult when the problem is half a world away, but supporting missions organizations that are helping refugees or Christians who are hiding in the mountains is one way to start. Searching for organizations that are educating girls and providing rescue relief to women is another good place to invest. (There may also be tangible ways you and your daughter can get behind a humanitarian effort for those who are suffering in Haiti.)
Cannot think of who to send money to? Pray for direction and ask God to show you who is helping. (It’s always good for our hearts to see that there are helpers doing kind things!) As you pray and God directs you, your daughter will be empowered to help when the headlines go dark. And that’s a skill she’ll use her whole life long!
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.