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Helping Your Daughter Navigate Friendships

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Cross Radio
September 28, 2022 6:00 am

Helping Your Daughter Navigate Friendships

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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September 28, 2022 6:00 am

Describing some of the challenges young girls face, Dannah Gresh exposes the lies girls are being told about their friendships, themselves, and God. She shares how parents can help their daughters combat these lies with the truth and discusses the importance of falling in love with God as their true source of fulfillment.

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The TV commercials and so first thing I have to look like that even though they are photoshopped and everything like the only wrestling that is just one of the many wise women of all ages believe and it doesn't start when you're an adult begins when you much younger and will be talking about that today on Focus on the Family your hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly and her guest is Dan aggression should point out some of those lies and how you can talk them through with your daughter. Thanks for joining us I'm John Fuller, Jon.

I have also done so. This is not my experience. I wished I would've had at least one daughter, but it didn't happen. I know you have three daughters describe the season when they were in their tween years was that pretty difficult.

Did you and Dana have a help in fighting those life Elizabeth well, we had plenty of help.

Because of course I work here at Focus on the Family is a treasure trove as you call it of resources, but we did have plenty of challenges that the relationship that I figure I like that.

I think one of the biggest opportunities we had with regard lies was to help them realize it's not how you look, referring to that clip there. It's not what you do.

We love you for who you are and that's not a lie that is easily countered. The culture seems to just say it's all about who you are what you do what you say how you look. When that well can be so deep that the parents can even keep it filled in their daughter's heart. You can do the right thing all day at such a cavernous well that they don't feel adequate. They don't feel beautiful. Whatever it might be that you need God's help, to help them fill that that void that you know that relationship between mothers and their daughters is so so special and mothers want to get those conversations right so their daughters will open up to them and talk about different things that are going on in their lives. Tween's face so many lies when it comes to their friends. Both boys and girls. Today we are to concentrate on the girls so it's vital that parents have these conversations dads play a critical role as well with the daughters and obviously to with their sons, but again were to concentrate on Dan's great book today.

Yet Dan aggression is a seasoned guest here. It's been a while since we've had her here but were so glad to have her back.

She is the founder of the ministry. True girl and cohosts a podcast for revive our hearts and is a speaker number of women's events.

She has two great books for us to talk about today.

One is called lies. Girls believe in the truth that sets them free and then there's a companion volume on mom's guide to lies, girls believe so will cover a lot of ground here and if you want to learn more.

Stop by the show notes we got all the details.

Therefore, you then welcome back to see if they did believe that in a little while but it's wonderful to have you back in Colorado Springs. Hope you enjoy the beautiful weather. Let me let me get right at it. You start off in the books, talking about the insecurity that crept up on you at what happened and how does it relate to the lies. Girls are told about friendship. Well I think every woman of manic stasis you have to tell me feels lonely at some point we feel like we don't have enough friendship for the right kinds of friendship are we hear about somebody else's great connection and best friend, Mike. I don't have that craving in our heart that really ultimately is reminding us of our need for friendship with Jesus, but my experience that recently met recently that when I was writing the book. I just had one of those days as like helping anyone likes me. I probably got some hate mail or something from somebody that started me on a spiraling yell, you play that tape in your mind of all the negative thoughts.

The memory of that all the negative things you've ever thought and that was playing in my head and I know why, but I specifically thought of my family other than I thought that she, like me. Now I'm dramatizing here. I'm not that childish but who am I kidding. Yes I am.

I was, and now I just finally I said, Lord, I'm coming to you with my loneliness. I'm coming to you with the sadness, what you want to teach a great time with the Lord that night. The next morning I walked into my office and would you believe it. My friend Laura Booth who hadn't heard from for months there was a note on my desk from her that she had dropped off that morning that just said I don't know why that guy just had you on my heart today will tell you how special friend you are to me is amazing that you know that showed me is it really is God's driving us with our loneliness and our fear of missing out.

And all of those things to him, and as moms we have to run to him for those things and be really careful that we don't try to give our daughters an artificial fix.

When he is using loneliness to draw our daughters to him.

You know I'm back at your comment there about the differences between men and women that I think it's interesting course.

All the books out there, Venus and Mars get it off different men do have an incredible capacity to compartmentalize yeah and I think that that works for us.

You know the talk about than the go to war like World War II that could have seen the horrific things they never talk about again my locket away in some compartment in their head and in their motion, which they should not do it correctly.

It is kind of the why don't we have that we are in a bad spot. We just cannot lock the door of our heart through the keyway and it may come up in different ways women are so interconnected in their brains and their emotions that spaghetti factory and not just wiring everywhere interesting things is that part of the brain that really processes relationship and friendship in connection with the thalamus male brain is 2 to 3 times larger.

Just because men have more weight, more mass, so they have more weight, more mass in their brains, but this their brain is not to three times larger. Their brain is larger part of the brain thalamus which is kind of in the center of the brain and helps us relate and remember and have friendship is 2 to 3 times larger than the female even though the male brain is generally a bit larger so God even just given us more geographical space to experience friendship and relationships and that's why it hurts more when those things are going quite a total sense and I see that my conversation with Jean shall tell me about her friends and I'm a can't remember who suggested this, but this is a great idea for the guys listening. Ask your wife how her relationships with her girlfriends is going yeah Jean was like she sharing all the stuff that's on point. What why I did not get that much but it's a great question so that what is the first live was told Eve in the garden. I think we all if we've read the story we kinda know it it played to her emotions describe that the way you process. Can you imagine life before lies and deception hard yeah and the beauty of that place they lived in an era cocooned in fellowship with God.

They walked with God every day in the cool of the watch with what and what a gift that they experience friendship with their creator and then Satan comes disguised as a snake and the book of John says that he is a liar and he is the father of all lies. Every lie you've ever heard originates with one source Satan. He is the father of them and he comes with that first lie to Eve and think about this. It's this beautiful garden full of trees right and God has given them some instructions you can eat of every tree in the garden so many to choose from. I don't know what kind of trees, but there are a lot of trees right and he says this one tree is the only one that's off limits.

So, what God had given to them was far more significant than what he was withholding.

There's a lesson in that for somebody today. But Satan comes and what does he try to tell Eve he essentially tells her to God really say. So he makes her question right and she starts to embellish what God says and she says, God said we can even touch the tree or will die. I didn't say that he didn't say don't touch the tree he said to me from it. There's legalism from the beginning we see legalism alive and well. Take God's rules and we make them a bigger rule than they really are. Don't do that in your parenting don't do that in your parenting rules without relationship are so damaging to the heart of a child right from the beginning we see we have proclivity for that and what Eve ultimately believed I think at the base of that tree is the first lie we write about nice girls believe I should say Nancy must welcome it helped me a lot with forming this book God is not enough guys not enough. I need that piece of fruit as if I had that piece of fruit him to be like God, right, that was the lie she believed. And that's really the lie that all of us believe when we reach for whatever it is when we reach for food when we reach for that remote control we reach for our phones to scroll mindlessly through social media. When we reach for pornography. When we reach for friendships are healthy for us where we are saying God is enough.

Now what you think girls between the ages of eight and 12, you got it really put your creative thinking caps. John has a better chance to write so what do you think I mean girls that a lot of things if I can get on the soccer team then God would be enough if I could have a best friend then God would be enough if I could have this kind of schooling got me up like a puppy got be enough right. But what you think was the one thing that most of them mentioned every time John. I don't know I guess it might hint it might be what a citizenship.

There like if I had a friend, or if I had more friends or if I had a best friend then God would be enough and so right here you have something that really needs to be addressed because that ache in her heart is for what you got create her, to have relationship with with them. God created your daughter to have relationship with him and until she has that relationship with him. You know I remember one of my girls in college, she decided to stay for a summer and do some work there on campus and she was really lonely London author I can write from anywhere. So I go into mom fix it mode, which is mom's pay close attention because we should not do this. I was dead thing with dad that mom do it to you. I was ready to pack my suitcase and go just like at least for a week be with her go out with her for dinner at night be her friend fix the brokenness right fix the ache fix the loneliness and weeding my flower bed and I'm just like planning the trip and suddenly I sense in my heart God saying, do you really want to get in the way of the work I'm doing in your daughter's heart stuff. What if this loneliness. I'm allowing it to happen.

Social need me and I knew it was true.

I just sat down with my weeding equipment and cried because I knew that the pain she was gonna feel there is no way around it but that I is a mom that best thing I could do was help her understand God is enough in the summer so good and I think it is important were concentrating on your book lies. Girls believe were not trying to bash women and girls without no reciprocal boy man thing, but that's the topic that you guys have your issues it's an really sensitive yes it will get criticism why we so tough on women. It's not to hurt or harm but were talking about those lies. The girls believe that those little seeds get in their heart and as parents we gotta be attentive to helping them better understand their image in Christ, who they are in Christ, etc. and loneliness really is a problem now in a special way really about the year 2019. I started looking at stats and trends because we saw what can only be described as hockey stick growth in the loneliness of teens not anytime you see hockey stick growth.

That means something significant happened. Generally, sociologists see slow climbing trends or slow declines right you don't see boom or boom down. What we see is this hockey stick trend of loneliness in teenagers. I'm starting about the year 2007 or 2008. Now, at the same time we were seeing hockey stick trends downward trend of kids not spending time hanging out with each other.

You see these kids in the 70s.

It's like they're all hanging out then it must've been the Reagan years suddenly, and like the 80s and 90s.

It comes down a little bit like slowly slopes down but then in 2007 boom kids are not hanging out with each other again.

Starting about 2007 what happened in 2000, cell phone, smart phones, phones, social media came to be and now kids. They say kids are spending an average of nine hours a day on their phones for entertainment, I think it's a lot higher than that and that tween's are spending about five hours a day on some sort of a device in their doing entertainment YouTube sometime social media even under the age of 12. Even though it's really not recommended on the age of 12, so that is creating a new dynamic of loneliness that we haven't seen previously that in addition to that loneliness factor talk about in a highly connected culture, team culture, bridging culture really got so much accessibility to chat do their twitters are doing now. I don't even know how disconnected I can be sometimes, but in that regard.

Cyber bullying is something that seems to be heavily weighted toward girls you know girls get really ridiculed and bullied in a social media context describes the importance of combating that and being in touch with your daughters about the effect of that. I think that is part of what creates the loneliness. It's not just that there's not friendship right in front of me who I can trust and I'm getting to know and making eye contact and reading nonverbal's and I'm feeling loved and connected. But when she's on social media, she's not getting any of that and it's really easy to distort even a neutral message. Let's say you see Effexor of your friend at a friend's birthday that you can get invited to suddenly that becomes foam all fear of missing out. And that spirals into a lot of insecurity, but then there is literally cyber bullying can be very deadly, very dangerous, not always to a girl's physical body but to her spirit crushing it crashes a girl's heart and she can begin. It can feed lies that she already believes about herself.

You know lies that she's not loved that she's not worth anything that she's not beautiful like we heard that example at the top of the program that not feeling beautiful is really an important thing God created women to be kind of, I think, the epitome of his creation. This beautiful expression of his beauty. I think that's a good and beautiful thing is to be celebrated. But when the world is distorting with lights and makeup and poor illicit skin and this girl shows up and she's like I don't like that when I wake up slack meaning is that celebrity look like that when break up they've Artie been through hair and makeup to fake that picture but then you put on top of that the bullying where there actually told horrible things about themselves in the friendship and relationship space you talk about that. How do we combat that law of our daughters that I don't have friends and you know in some cases it may be true that they don't have a close friend and they want that they seek that and they're just not getting that response from the friendship circles, two things one is that loneliness is a real thing. Don't pass over it, acknowledge it. I'm sad that you feel lonely. Can you tell me about that.

Like I just wouldn't listen. All I do is listen for moms. That's a very painful thing. There were a few things that hurt me more than listening to my daughters talk about when they were bullied when they felt lonely at at school I hated that more than anything. It hurt me so badly as you experience the know because I hated that she was experiencing. I couldn't stand that my daughter was experiencing that pain and that's where the temptation for us I think is moms comes in to fix it. I'm in a fix that. But then the next thing that I would really recommend is not the most important thing is that I'll get to that in a second, but the next thing I really recommend is so many times when you listen to them what they're saying is, nobody noticed me. Nobody affirms me. Nobody invited me to sit with them on the bus today. Nobody invited me to their birthday party and it's really a backwards and un-biblical approach to friendship and until your daughter starts to do friendship the way God designed us to friendship. It's not gonna work in what is that is she needs to be a friend. I don't know if this is still true shifting a gear here, but as I was reading the book and looking at the prep this morning.

I was talking to Jane about this.

I said whatever boy crazy and you never talk about elementary school. Drew and she said you and I was also a waste of her and her girlfriends would see if some guy would notice her in six grade or something like that that idea of the influence of boys and girls lives at that age and the importance that many girls place on account of the boy crazy craze describes the damage it can do and how to develop that in a healthier way.

Well, to write lies. Girls believe we surveyed 1500 tween girls. These are all churchgoing girls and we did focus groups with dozens of moms want to make sure that that 20 lies that we address in the book with allies that were in fact the most relevant and one of the really big ones was this area of needing a boyfriend.

Here's what made me really sad when we talk to the girls. Is it wasn't just this cultural trend of I need to have a boyfriend right and some something like 32% of girls by their 11th birthday. Have had a boyfriend I'm really what yeah that would be you know broad secular numbers but that's the kind of pressure that's out there that 1/3 of the girls who have really not a specific need to be in a relationship with a boy have one. And that puts pressure on all of them to experience talking to call talking together today. I don't know if you know that, but they call it. They want to talk with someone that's the beginning of relationship, but the research tells us that when you start with that.

When you're in 8 to 12-year-old range when you're 13+ being in a dating relationship for six months or longer put you on a conveyor belt to an early sexual debut so it that way. Craziness really is an acute thing.

It's not something we should be encouraging and nurturing and here's here's the long-term problem of it is I need to guide me. The guy I need the guy to you're married and you have the guy becomes God fix the guy wrote about your point relationship is critical especially for that moment daughter to have those discussions and then those self awareness things become a good start to happen for her okay mom was right, and that's good.

Let's read it again. I want to cover at least one more speak to the lie that says that parents just don't get me is editing thing or what boy and girl Bartlett is true doesn't get me yeah a lot of times that when we asked the girls this 1500 girls that like why do you feel like your parents don't get you why you feel like your family is weird. That was one of the lies that we address. My family is weird, and came up a lot you know everything from my family has goats goats. We have goats and girl said none runs like when allowed eat sugar all these things.

My family doesn't get that I want to eat sugar.

My family doesn't get that I don't goats. My family doesn't get that I don't want to go to church like some of them were really serious things comes back to wanting to fit in and wanting to be normal and we have to teach our girls. That normal is very overrated and that at the end of the day. They want to be special.

They want to stand out like there's a craving that they had to be the celebrity the error on social media right at the same time their head hanging over here on this to this live I want to be like everyone else.

That's double mindedness. That's what the Bible calls it and still having really rich biblical conversations with your daughter about the fact of about what's special about you may use so unique and we might not get everything about you, but tell us what what really excites you. That's different and unique about you don't tell us you want Instagram or Snapchat because all your friends do is what I can do the normal thing you just need to know that up front.

Tell us what where are you unique.

We want to foster and encourage that. So your nose need to come with yeses during that same respect right at the end here.

It's so important that your children feel loved by you and so often back to your original point that we get so into the rules and the legalism that we forget the relationship and what's in with that! Good as were doing the parenting responsibility to actually talk with them sit with and I've always envisioned when my boys walked away from one of my conversations that they feel loved you.

They know even if it was no reprimand or correction that they know I love them yet, and if you can go in that way.

In this context with your daughters you will get so much farther along helping them spiritually and emotionally, than just going with the rules.

Let me tell you something really interesting that we discovered when we surveyed these 1500 girls is one of the big lies they believe about God.

They believe God love them. When we asked them does God love you, but when we dug." Try to get qualifiers for. If there's any it when they send they believe they were completely unlovable by God and by their parents.

Isn't that the we've all experienced that right guilt, but to have 8 to 12-year-olds experience that. And God's word tells us that he loved us while we were yet sinners he loved us and are ugly and messy and hard to deal with sensitive really loves us, and I'm still ugly and messy and hard to deal sometimes, but our kids need to know that we love them when they don't get it right.

I agree and this is been so good you have, I think spoken to the hearts of many moms who are struggling about not knowing what to do and that's to with their daughters to help them to fill that void and make sure that they understand that God is there to fill it.

First and foremost, and once you have that as a teen girl was a teen boy man. It sets you up for the right things in life. And though this is a great reminder. So thank you for being with us. My pleasure and reminding us of these things into the listener. We want to get this in your hands and in and we often do this, you know, if you make a gift of any amount to help the ministry here because that's what we turnaround use with the proceeds we just put it back toward people helping people in the name of Christ. Send us a gift of any amount.

If you do that monthly what to do together what to do ministry together and if you can will send you both of these. I believe Virgil bundled them together and will send them to use our website.

Thank you. Can't do that monthly one-time gift the same thing.

So be a part of the ministry and get a great resource from Danna Gresh that will help you in your parenting journey.

You go ahead and contact us request this bundled books lies girls believe and a mom's guide to lies, girls believe and wait it gets better.

We have a free audio download that will conclude with a bundle number is 800 K work-family 800-232-6459 were stopped by the show notes for all the next time Karen human will join us shall help you let go of habits of people pleasing and encourage you to serve God instead. What is our motive. We saying yes because we know that other person wants because we really feel God called us to serve half of Jim Daly in the entire team. Thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller body back once more help you and your family thrive in Christ as Christians we are called to bring light to the world and its Christian parents to answer the call to bring your Bible to school day right way to do that for your kids to grow their faith evangelize and be a light in their schools feel like giving home is important to you join bring your Bible school day on Thursday, October 6.

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