I was excited to read and review 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know by Kari Kampakis. This started off as a simple review and then I quickly realized how passionate I was about this topic and decided to share my heart more openly in this post.
Lies are flying at them from all angles: their peers, the media, idols, "role models", and even family members. Kari graciously counters lies with truth in a powerful, relevant tone that relates well to girls and Moms alike. With the Word of God as a constant theme and focal point, she covers topics such as: Popularity, Confidence, Reputation, Interacting with Boys, Self-Worship, Perseverance, Patience, Image, Inner Beauty, and Self-Talk.
In a way-too-fast culture, we need (now more than ever) to equip our teen girls with the sword of God's truth.
The heart of this book is to cling to the truth and reject the lies - which is something I am so passionate about as a follower of Jesus and a raiser of children!
A summary of the 10 Ultimate Truths from Kari's blog:
I really needed more of the truth when I was a struggling teen girl. I was so lost in the world of school, friends, boys - feeling insecure and stupid in a sea of beautiful peers with their skirts hiked up and their eyes narrowed in my direction.
I wish I could reach back in time and shake my 14-year-old self. I would desperately plead with her to cling to the One True Love who will never leave her or forsake her. To focus all her affections on Him. Yes, Christ Yeshua, Immanuel, the ultimate, always perfect, never going to break your heart or use you friend and lover of her soul.
But, just like most of the sweet ladies reading this, my teenage history was written in ink a long time ago. So, I have looked to the Father who redeems ALL things and I have prayed hard for the renewing and washing white. He can and does use all our foolishness for His glory... and maybe all us Mamas just need to allow Him to transform our holes into spaces for the Light to shine through for our daughters. To shine the spotlight on the only One, Adonai, who can keep our daughters from these lies so prevalent in our current culture.
I love the way Kari mixes wisdom from God's word with relevant stories and challenging questions. Not only does she identify the lies, but she really focuses on how girls can claim truths for their lives and live them out wisely and humbly.
This includes talking about how to protect themselves for negative influences, how to recognize a good friend and avoid the bad ones, how to realize and use special gifts, how to reach out to girls who are struggling to find friends, how to live out love and kindness, and how to find purpose outside themselves.
And this question of 'who truly IS at the center of my universe?' is one that applies to each and every one of us. At age 14, 20, 40, and 80. It resonates so deeply with me because for so long my center was way off. I was a staggering leaning tower, always toppling over for lack of stability.
At 14, my center was a band who took every waking minute of my time and all my affections. I loved them with every grain of my being, so much that I look back now and wonder if I truly lost my mind for a few years. I mean, they're cute - but - I lived for nothing else. It was weird. They were idols in my life and it seriously messed me up. Please don't let your daughter do this.
At 16 my center was myself.
At 17 it was my boyfriend.
At 18 it was my next boyfriend.
At 19 it was my next boyfriend who stole my heart and my purity faster than I could say, "duped".
If only my center through all those years have of been my sweet Lord and Saviour. If I had of known Him then as I know Him now - those years would have been radically transformed. And I would have been protected from so much pain and so many lies and SO MUCH baggage.
Because, yes, just like the planets revolve around the sun, our lives and our daughters' lives will revolve around something.
I desperately want mine and my daughters' world to revolve around the truth. To revolve around the Son who loves her more than even I could. Not revolve around her friends, or boys, or herself, or a band, or a tv show, or a movie, or any other fading and passing-away thing.
Yes, in a culture when teen girls are posting a hundred selfies every month, we can pray and challenge our daughters to live for something bigger than themselves. To seek approval, not from who 'likes' them or comments on their thread. To reject the lie that their worth is found in how they look. To know that it doesn't matter how 'popular' they are when being popular means aligning yourself with things you don't believe in. To be a rare light in a sea of darkness. To stand against the lies the enemy launches at them and instead to know the truth - that their identity lies in who they are as daughters of the Holy King of the whole universe.
Let's fill our teen daughters' hearts with the truth and equip them to stand firm and grow strong.
My only reservation with this book is the chapter about Interactions with Boys. The thoughts on dating do not completely align with our family's philosophies. We are believers in clinging to the Lord's direction for a future spouse, and so, we aren't big fans of teenage 'dating'. Having said this, Kari offers sound advice for keeping dating relationships carefully selective and (hopefully) pure. I also acknowledge that many (most?) families allow dating in the teen years, so, the information is very pertinent to our current culture.
Thanks for reading!
*I received a free copy of of this book from the publisher (Thomas Nelson) in exchange for my honest review.*