Five Ways to Help Girls Know They Are Loved

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The KidzMatter Blog/Self-Worth & Identity/Five Ways to Help Girls Know They Are Loved

Play your favorite icebreaker with the girls in your children’s ministry and you’ll quickly discover what they love—tacos or pizza, cats or dogs, or if they’d rather live under the sea or in outer space.

But ask them if they are loved, no matter what, and you may see shoulders shrug and heads drop. Or perhaps you’ll receive an earful of wonderings with words like if, and, or but.

​Our greatest desire is to be loved (Proverbs 19:22). We see it in Scripture and in the eyes of our girls. But if girls miss the glorious truth that they are fully and unconditionally loved by Jesus, they’ll hold their emptiness up to something or someone else to fill them.

Think about where you see girls looking for love, worth, and acceptance in all the wrong places.

  • Appearances—I am how I look. Over 50% of girls as young as 6 and 8 feel their ideal body is thinner than their current body size.
  • Emotions—I am what I feel. Nearly 3 in 5 (57%) U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless.
  • Social Media—I am what I show you. Studies indicate that girls who spend more time on smartphones and social media are at a dramatically higher risk of depression, and even suicide.

But everything changes when a girl knows she’s loved more than tacos or TikTok, and that she doesn’t have to earn, strive, or go viral to discover that she is LOVED.

How can you ensure the girls in your ministry know they are LOVED? Using the acrostic TRUTH, here are five ways you can help girls know they are LOVED. Period.

T—Truth. One of the numerous ways the culture lies to girls is with numbers. It’s a lie that her worth is weighed on the bathroom scale, her grade point average, points earned on the court, or her number of social media followers.

Based on God’s Word, we know that lies can’t stick to Truth-filled girls. Every time you open a Bible with a girl, you tell her the capital “T” Truth about who God is and what He says about her from A to Z. She is A—Accepted (Romans 15:7), B—Beautiful (Songs of Songs 4:7), C—Chosen (John 15:16), D—Delighted in (Psalm 18:19), to Z–Zealous (Romans 12:11). If she only remembers one letter, put L on repeat. She is L—LOVED (1 John 3:1).

R—Relationships. A recent study of 13 to 18-year-old girls revealed that 86% of girls say they would feel more confident if they had a mentor. While girls are looking for mentors to help them in their future in finance, STEM, and sports, we know what they need the most are Godly mentors who direct them to the Truth of what it means to live LOVED. Through God’s Word and your example, you can show girls what it looks like to love God and one another and how to stand strong, secure, and confident in their Truth-filled identity. 

U—Understanding. Today’s girls know the heartache of global pandemics, gun violence, lack of genuine connection in person and online, and unlimited access to scary and sad stories around the world. The truth is that God completely understands, and no matter the size of their worry or fear, nothing can separate them from His love (Romans 8:37-39). Seek to understand what it’s like to be a girl today, by leaning in to listen to their stories and to sit in their shoes. Rather than trying to fix their problem, focus on the message they are sharing, Practice saying these three understanding-building words, “Tell me more.”

T—Time. In a study that took place before today’s girls were even born, teenage prostitutes in San Francisco were asked what they lacked at home that caused them to run away. Their responses can be boiled down to three words: “Someone to listen.”

Twenty years later, when their grown-ups are even more stressed, busy, and distracted, how much more do our girls long for someone to take the time to really listen?

Show up, s-l-o-w-----d-o-w-n, and spend unhurried time with your girls. As Brad Griffin, senior director of content for the Fuller Youth Institute shared, “Being heard is so close to being loved that for most people, they’re almost the same thing.”

H—Hope. When girls face hurts, hardships, and heartaches, they have a choice. They can spiral into hopelessness or stay anchored to Hope. Give them Truth-filled tools that keep them remembering who God is and what He says about them. Maybe it’s memorizing 1 John 3:1 or placing sticky notes that read “I am LOVED” in all the places they worry and stress. Or teach your girls to hold their right palm flat, then with the pointer finger on their left hand, have them trace a heart into their right palm while they say, “I am LOVED.” No matter what kind of day they are having, no matter what their circumstance, they can trace a heart and remember Truth. They are LOVED. Period.

Knowing the Truth about being LOVED may seem too simple to change everything, but it does. No matter how a girl feels, what she’s done, what anyone else says about her, or even the rotten things she can say about herself, God loves her. Period.

She is seen, known, and LOVED. Friend, so are you.

Cindy Bultema loves the Lord, loves life, loves her family, and loves to celebrate! Cindy has over 25 years of ministry experience including currently serving as the Executive Director of GEMS. She’s a sought-after women’s speaker and author of two best-selling Bible studies, Red Hot Faith and Live Full, Walk Free.

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