Enter into our home and you’ll see a play kitchen set with a birthday cake on the counter, waiting the daily baby doll birthday. You’ll trip over a stray Cinderella shoe and find a ballerina coloring page in-transit, ready to be mailed to Mimi. Pink is the only color in existence that we know of. We live in a five year old little girl’s world. Or rather, she lives in ours. What a beautiful place it is.
Sometimes when we talk before bed, there are inklings of another world; one less dreamy than her own. She is beginning to be aware of the darker side of life and its accompanying fears. As much as I want to shield her from pain that she may one day know, I would rather equip her with a foundation that will help her to exercise wisdom in the years to come. Those teenage years were volatile ones for me and the challenges have only intensified since then. It can’t hurt to begin taking a proactive stance now.
When Bringing Up Girls showed up on the shelves of our church library, I knew I had to check it out. We were heading on vacation, so there would be ample time to read it in the endless van ride. Dr. Dobson’s work is always highly touted in the Christian community and I was curious to hear what he had to say about raising the next generation of women. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
I feel really silly recommending a Dobson book to you. Like, of course, it would be recommended, right? It’s Dobson. Focus on the Family. Come on. But I’m going to go a step further. If there are girls in your home, in your ministry, or in your classroom, please consider investing the time to read this. It would be a valuable resource for parents, grandparents, pastors, teachers, counselors, you name it.
To be quite frank, the book is not the easiest read due to its length and honest assessment of challenges confronting girls today. I cringed over first person stories that support harrowing statistics. My stomach turned, but that’s just it. There are innumerable pressures assaulting this next generation. This is the reality and it is essential that we are aware. It is also imperative that we take the time to do something about it.
Dr. Dobson addresses multiple subjects in Bringing Up Girls: girls in peril, moral purity and manners, toxic consequences of popular culture, the differences between boys and girls, the responsibilities of parents, the re-emergence of the Princess movement and its benefits and trappings, the will of a child, behaviors that help and hinder a child’s development, physical and chemical changes affecting a child, and the dangers of invasive technology.
Though we have reason to be discouraged by the world that our daughters find at their doorsteps, we also have reason for hope. Dobson clearly and effectively states that hope in a chapter entitled “Good News about Girls.” He also provides practical advice and encouragement for helping girls navigate through each stage of their lives. In particular, I was challenged to protect our family dinner times together, break free from the constraints of technology to focus on relationship, and strengthen my prayer life for our daughter and all of the other girls in our ministry.
Suffice to say, I want to encourage you to pick up a copy. Make sure your own church has it on its shelves. Gift it for another. Please invest the time to read this book. Make the effort. Keep reading it through to its completion. And then, live your life to follow this promise, “We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done…. So the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” Psalm 78:4, 6
You can purchase this book at Amazon.com