A few years ago, I posted a blog about being intentional in life. The general premise of that post was that not many things in life just happen. Most people have desires and dreams but very few take steps to accomplish them.
Let’s fast forward about four years, 2 more daughters, a magazine, and an aching heart for young girls. Here I am, once again, approaching this whole concept of living an intentional life, but there is a different twist. This time I am challenging us to think outside of our personal boxes and into a much broader picture.
Take a look at these disturbing statistics:
According to the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (Unilever) “Beyond Stereotypes: Rebuilding the Foundation of Beauty Beliefs” (2006) and “Real Truth About Beauty” (2005) global studies:
- 92% of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest
- 75% of teenage girls felt depressed, guilty and shameful after spending just three minutes leafing through a fashion magazine.
- 70% of girls ages 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion due to feeling badly about one’s looks.
- 69 % of girls ages 15 to 17 feel that their mother has had a positive influence on their feelings about themselves and their beauty.
Pay close attention to the last stat and fact that only “69% of girls age 15-17 feel that their mother had a positive influence on their feelings about themselves and their beauty.” This leads me to beg the question, what can we do in the lives of the other 39%? I am aware that there are many situations and circumstances that affect the numbers listed above and there is no way we can tackle them all at once. However, we need to remember that there are real girls behind each of these numbers.
So how can we help? I’m glad you asked! We start by being intentional. Over the last few weeks I have posted several portions of a conversations I had with Best Selling Author Dannah Gresh. I recently read, re-read and read again (yup, it’s that kind of good!) her book “Six Ways to Keep The Little in Your Girl.”
Here is a little more from my time with Dannah…
How can we help to keep the little in someone else’s girl? Is it possible for an aunt, a family member, or a friend to have a meaningful impact in a girl’s life without being the primary influence?
Yes.The key is to trust God that he will give you an opportunity [to reach out] but don’t be afraid to just step in and be formal about entering. Ask the mom and the girl if it’s ok to meet with her regularly to really pour into her life. There aren’t too many women who would say no to such an offer.
Dannah went on to discuss the importance of positive emotional banking while seeking to build relationships, particularly with young girls. You can read more about that here.
I challenge you to think and pray about an opportunity for God to use you in another girl’s life that isn’t in your family. Ask God to open your eyes and heart to a girl who could use a little of your time, love and friendship. Whether it is a daughter’s friend or a coworker’s daughter, will you join me in being intentional about sharing the love of Christ with little girls who may not even know its an option?