Strong Girls Can: Raising Confident Girls in an Artificial World
Welcome to our Strong Girls Can summer series for moms of tweens and teens!
Today we have a special guest in the house. I’d like you to meet Brenda Yoder, author, speaker, mom, and all around expert on all things tween and teen. It’s an honor to share a little web space with her. Here’s Brenda.
I’ve had a hard time writing this post. Amy asked me to write on principle #10 in Who Do You Say I Am? The chapter includes five truths about being a confident young woman in an artificial world.
I wasn’t sure why this post was difficult. There are so many topics to highlight—insecurity, gender roles, unwritten rules. The complicated life of womanhood.
Then, I was reminded of God’s simple design for men and women while reading Elisabeth Elliot’s Keep a Quiet Heart. Elisabeth writes,“If men and women were surer of their God, there would be more genuine manliness, womanliness, and godliness in the world, and a whole lot less fear of each other.”
It’s really that simple. Raising confident girls doesn’t need to be complicated or have dissertations written. Being confident in how God made you and what He’s called you to is what it means to be confident.
It’s that timeless and simple.
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Here are seven truths your daughter should know so she can walk in securely and confidently in who she is: (These are included in chapter 10 of Who Do You Say I Am.)
There’s nothing inferior about you because you’re a girl. You’ll hear derogatory comments of someone doing a task “like a girl.” It quietly tells you’re less than your male siblings or classmates. You’re not. Your value is completely in who God has created you to be, not in what others think about your gender.
If someone rejects you or doesn’t give you a chance because you’re a girl, don’t take it personally. It’s their problem, not yours. As much as the world says men and women have equality in the workforce, in society, or in church, there are discrepancies. Don’t be discouraged or alarmed if you’re discriminated against because of your gender. It’s not God’s perfect plan. As you seek Him to open doors, His ways will prevail. Lean into God when people disappoint you. He cares about you.
Being a strong, confident girl is not always going to be easy. The world is full of other girls/women and boys/men whose insecurity keeps them jealous, envious, and petty. When your confidence in rooted in Christ, you don’t need to fear others or how they perceive you.
Theres’ s a difference in having a confident appearance and being “hot.” You want to look nice, so find your style and what you feel comfortable wearing. Wear it with confidence – this makes you attractive and beautiful. Remember, how you present yourself is what others will think of you.
Boys may be intimidated by confident girls, but don’t change who you are because of it. It’s just the way it is, but it’s not God’s design.
Jesus wants to be your first love before a boy, husband, or anyone else. As you get to know Christ intimately and how crazy He is about you, your confidence will be rooted in Him. Confidence doesn’t come in performing or doing good things, but in resting in how much He loves you. As you learn to love Jesus first, the other things in your life will fall into place. You’ll be free from insecurities that pull you down.
God intends you to be who He’s created you to be for His honor and glory. That’s it. Being a strong woman is part of who He’s created women to be. A beautiful woman is one who pursues and knows God and His perfect will for her life. It’s one who can stand in the presence of others with insecurities and knows it’s not personal to her—that others, less secure in who they are, can only gain their confidence from God, too.
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If you’d like to purchase Who Do You Say I Am: 10 Tips to Help Teens Be Real in an Artificial World, for your teen or tween girls, visit brendayoder.com.
She’s a parenting columnist for 10 To 20 Parenting, Choose Now Ministries, and Whatever Girls. Brenda has been featured in Chicken Soup For The Soul:Reboot Your Life and two books, Who Do You Say I Am and Balance, Busyness, and Not Doing It All are releasing in 2015. Her ministry, Life Beyond the Picket Fence, can be found at brendayoder.com where she writes about faith, life and parenting beyond the storybook image. Brenda is a wife and mom of four children, ranging from middle school to young adult.