Kim is a longtime friend of mine, has guest posted here before, and talks with complete gut honesty (which is why I love her so). As I’ve mentioned, her daughter and my daughter have connected hearts since toddler days in the church nursery! Slays me how long ago that seems and yet how fast time flies. I’ve been thinking lately that I’d love to host some discussion for the “beTweens & Teens” in our homes. When I asked Kim to contribute a post on anything of her choosing she just happened to mention the Dannah Gresh event – her recent conference adventure is just the thing to kick us off!!
My newly turned 13 year old daughter and I just recently attended one of Dannah Greshʼs “Pure Freedom” events. Wow. Really… Wow. What I learned that evening, well, you canʼt put a price on it. Dannah has devoted her ministry to encouraging young girls and women. She speaks candidily about a poor choice she made as a teen and how that choice affected her physically, mentally, and spiritually. She speaks to girls regarding the value of modesty, purity, and virginity. She is a blessing and I am so thankful that I have Dannah, her research, information, and books to help me equip my teenage daughter. Okay, if Iʼm being honest, and to teach this mom a thing or two!
So what did Dannah teach us that night?
The first thing she did was give us a little quiz. This forty-eight year old who has been married to the same man for 25 years answered questions to find out if I was boy crazy. Hilarious! But, you know what? I am! I am absolutely boy crazy and I have been for as long as I can remember.
Dannah then explained to us ʻgirlsʼ about being boy crazy. She calls this the “Violent Craving”. We all have it. Our moms had it. (ew!) Our grandmas had it. (bigger ew!) Generation upon generation of women have experienced it and our daughters will, too. (horror) It is has been with us since The Fall. After Adam and Eve sinned, God explained to them how things would never be the same and part of this curse is this “Violent Craving”. Genesis 3:16b – “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
Everyone has a deep desire to be loved, so Itʼs no wonder once those hormones start flowing we girls become boy crazy. We are bound to confuse our longing for Godʼs love with a desire for a guyʼs love. Additionally, it doesnʼt help matters that it feels good when our guy throws his arm around us, holds our hand, or gives us a compliment. We hunger for a perfect unfailing love and we look to imperfect guys for that love. We should be looking to the One who is enough. God Himself is where we should direct our hearts.
But if we canʼt even get basic cravings right, how are we supposed to get this “Violent Craving” right? Dannah explained to us how cravings can be very deceptive. How we crave one thing when in reality we really need another. Fascinating! For example: if we crave sweets what we really need is chromium, so put down the Snickers and try broccoli and grapes instead. How ʻbout a craving for bread? Well, you need nitrogen and go for fish, meats, nuts, or beans. Or, is your weakness salty foods? Chloride is your real need and you should go for raw goat milk or fish. Do you see where Iʼm headed with this? So, if itʼs guys you crave what you really need is God, and you should try “getting lost.”
Dannah then told us, “A girl needs to be so lost in God that a guy has to seek Him to find her.” Seriously, I think part of my brain blew up just trying to understand the depth of that statement. How can this not be my desire for my young teen girl as she grows into a youg woman? Then, I wondered HOW, especially in a world that continually programs us to be self-centered, can we do this? How do we counter “Follow your dreams.” “If you want it, you can have it.”
The answer is to “get lost”! To “absent oneself.” That means to keep yourself away from something. Great! How can I keep my daughter away from guys for the next five years? Oh, I know… weʼll just lock her in a closet until she graduates – problem solved ;-) Not quite. Though guys might seem like the obvious problem, in actuality, itʼs ourselves.
Part of getting lost is getting over ourselves. Placing aside our plans, desires, and dreams. Stepping away from things that are controlling us, thus releasing ourselves from a fixation on the things we think we need. Okay, and another little part of my brain just blew.
Hereʼs what Dannah was trying to say: getting lost means getting over yourself so that you can experience the all-encompasing love of God in such a way that you are directed by HIs desires and dreams. We all suffer those snack attacks but our souls need something of greater nutritional value! Who wouldnʼt want to experience His deep, rich, and satisfying love? Which in turn will teach you His picture for marriage… a beautiful picture of a generous, life-giving love.
Honestly, I donʼt care if youʼre a teeny bopper dreaming of your future husband or a wife 25 years into marriage, that would be a marriage worth dreaming of and aspiring to. So, I decided it WAS time to “get lost” and “get lost” I did.
I headed out to the book table and left a little lighter in the wallet but with armloads of valuable informantion. Worth every penny and more! If you are looking for books on the topics of modesty and purity, you need not look any further. Let me wholeheartedly recommend some of Dannahʼs writings. You wonʼt be sorry you read them, even if you donʼt have a teenager in the house!
True Princess by Erin Davis (a member of Dannahʼs Pure Freedom team): This is a set up in a bible study format to help nurture humility in your little princess. This study teaches them while they are valued and prized by their Heavenly Father, this role does not come without great responsibility.
Secret Keeper by Dannah Gresh: A 35 day experience to help you discover real beauty. Deeper than your closet beauty, farther than the mall beauty, this draws you closer to the One who is most entralled with your real beauty.
And the Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh: Dannah opens herself up and share personal passages from her own journals that show the joy and heartache of her dating years. She exposes Satanʼs lies about sex, she talks about breaking out of harmful relationships, and offers compassion while equipping you with guidelines and seven secrets of sexual purity to apply to your own life.
Lies Young Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss & Dannah Gresh: Nancy & Dannah expose 25 lies most commonly believed by women. They share honest real- life stories to overcome these lies.
Get Lost: by Dannah Gresh: A guide to finding true love. She traces Godʼs language of love through scripture to help you purseus your heartʼs deepest desires and seek love the way God designed it.
You can also check out Dannah at purefreedom.org. Or, if you have a younger girl in the house her secretkeepergirl.com is the bomb. Yes, as if you couldnʼt tell, she officially has a fan here! So, be a dear and hand me those Doritos ~ I have some reading to do ;-)