Chapter 20 ~When A Girl Goes Out

by Shelley Noonan

This week I tried a little experiment.  While reading Chapter 20 from Beautiful Girlhood and digging into the same chapter in The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood. I pictured it from the perspective of your tween age daughter. (Ha! This took some doing because I had to pretend to be 40 years younger!) When the chapter was read from this fresh perspective, portions of it became a little tricky for me to swallow.   I must confess when I read this chapter from that radically different angle; I got stuck on some of the particulars.  For example, some of the verbiage of this chapter felt archaic. Giddy, gaudy (I still use this when it fits), comrades, and pocket mirrors, are words not heard much in our society today.  Even the settings in the situations mentioned snagged and tripped up my attention. Most tween age girls just don’t hang out at train stations or ride buses. There are exceptions, I know, but in general, this age of girls is driven to and fro by their mothers or in car pools. So the problem arises, how to we make sure your daughters don’t get distracted by the setting and the words and miss the rich, relevant advice found in these pages?

I suggest making the settings described pertinent to your daughter’s life experiences.  While I have trouble envisioning today’s girls loitering around the train depot, I can totally see this same group of girls at the mall 70 some years later. (Mabel Hale wrote the original Beautiful Girlhood book in 1940) Every weekend at food courts in malls across America and every day after school in  coffee shops and cafes, you will see gaggles of girls. It takes only a bit of observation to find they really don’t have anywhere in particular to go. They are there for an afternoon of intoxicating freedom to roam, laugh a bit too loudly, cast challenging glances at young men, flirt, follow, and hope they catch the cute ones eye.  I am sure you have seen this and I bet your daughter has observed this as well. No need to judge these young women, but use the situation as a way to teach about appropriate behavior when a girl goes out.

After you have made the setting easier to relate to, you and your daughter will be able to mine the unchanging riches of right, godly behavior. Ladies, there are so many nuggets in this chapter I don’t want you to miss a single solitary one! The relevancy and significance of the sentiments expressed in this chapter do not fade.

Desiring to walk in a way that bring honor to Him,

shelley

 

 

Activity: I know I am packing in a lot of preparation for you moms and your girls, but it is worth it! In preparation for this week’s study, mull over these themes from the chapter. Prayerfully consider if you would like to share them with your daughter.

  • Appearances: A “good” girl might just be dressing badly, however, she will be taken at face value by most. We call this “judging a book by its cover.”
  • Attire: Explain the importance of “public attire”. We have become such a casual country. It is now common to see young woman going to college classes or the grocery store in their pajama bottoms!  Having “public attire” lends a kind of protection when a girl goes out into the public and she is dressed modestly.
  • Behavior: Now is a good time to review with your daughter how a girl behaves in public. What kind of message might your daughter convey by flirting, talking loudly, being boisterous, acting rowdy, or continually giggling give?
  • Companions: Take a good long hard motherly look at the company your daughter keeps. Are you comfortable with her becoming like them? Discuss your observations with her.
  • Conversations: In your daughter’s dialogues with the opposite sex, what does her words and her body language project? Could she be giving a young man the wrong idea about her intentions?
  • Hanging out: Mom, evaluate the places where your daughter hangs out. Are they safe? Might you need to make some changes?
  • Makeup: Define and clarify what is your family’s standard for the wearing of makeup?
  • Read before your time together Proverbs 7 and Proverbs 31. Write down the comparison…you will be amazed!

 

o        Qualities o        Proverbs 7 Woman o        Proverbs 31 Woman
o        Dress o o
o        Speech o o
o        Goals o o
o        Attitude o o
o Effect Others o o
o Behavior toward Family o o
o Attitude  toward God o o

 

 

Memory Verse:   1 Timothy 2:9-10 NIV

9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

 

Post and Ponder:

  • Here is where our group can help each other. What are some of the struggles you and your daughter have had in this area?  How did you explain them? Were you able to resolve them? Do share!!

 

Resources: Thought you might enjoy reading a couple of articles I found on the topic and another store where they carry modest dresses!

How to Dress Cute and Modest! http://www.ehow.com/how_2267223_look-cute-modest-same-time.html

A Dad talks to his Daughter about modesty! http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2013/july/why-i-tell-my-daughters-to-dress-modestly.html

Down East Basics! http://www.downeastbasics.com/

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

DeAnna February 14, 2011 at 11:21 pm

First I want to say I can’t believe you started this when I was 7 months pregnant! I often read your blog sent via email, but only visited your site once before now. I think I must have even visited on that one occasion, very late at night for some reason, because I can barely remember it. Since my brain has been so scattered, I didn’t realize how much more information was on your site than what I had been receiving via email. I apologize greatly for not coming to your site sooner, and I can’t believe what I have been missing. My only excuse for my lack of attention to this matter sooner, is the little bundle that is currently between me and the keyboard on my lap while I am typing. The amazing thing to me about my 5th baby, is how much less clearly I can think now than before I had her. My brain is so slow!!! I am going back through your site tonight catching up on all the goodies I have been missing.

Shelley, I’m one of your biggest fans. I have been so blessed by your writings and our Keepers of the Faith group has been using your materials for the past 4 years. I will continue to use them for many years to come considering how many daughters I have. We have a 17, 13, & 9 year old, as well as one infant daughter. My 13 year old is in the group that is finishing up Beautiful Girlhood this year. This group has been picking apart your Companion Guide along with Mabel’s book for the past 3 years as devotion during our twice monthly meetings in the school year. We have learned so much and I’m thrilled to see what you are doing with this website and your ministries for Mother’s and Daughter’s. One day when we all get to heaven, I’m certain there will be a special crown for you Shelley! The impact you have made on so many families lives will be eternal no doubt!

For the actual topic from this week. I feel like honesty is always the best policy. I know that often times I have felt in the past that sharing too much information with my daughter could catapult her into a spot of her growing up years we all want to avoid. We think that by sharing too much information too soon, we might somehow rob our daughters of their innocence. I feel like that if you have gauged your daughter’s age properly, and are reading this book with them at just the time recommended by Shelley, and then they are probably ready to hear the realities you will need to discuss with them now. My daughter who is currently reading this is 13, so I most certainly can say that she is mature enough to handle the realities I may bestow upon her of my past. I said all of that to preface this, it is time to be honest about the things you wish you wouldn’t have done. As a late teen, I wore things I wish I wouldn’t have, I hung out in places I should not have been, and my actions much of the time was not very becoming to a young lady. I think that by sharing those truths with my daughter, I can help her to see my pain and disappointments and hopefully help her to avoid the same mistakes. Some of you may have had much better character in your youth than me. However, I see repeatedly that many of the moms wanting to instill a better way in their daughters simply because of the mess they made of things themselves as a youth. Often others will say “Well, they have to learn from their own mistakes.” I believe that is a lie from Satan. I believe that by sharing with our children the truths of things we wish we had not done, then we can help them to have a desire not to mess up like Mama did. After all, if God knew that we couldn’t learn from the mistakes of others, why did he spend so much time having others to write His Word full of stories with just that? Why would he have written about adulterous, murderers, and blasphemers and the pain their sins caused, if he wasn’t’ wanting us to see their hurts and therefore helping us to not make those same mistakes?

I’m not sure why I wrote all of that. Hopefully it was for someone who was contemplating on whether it was time to talk “REAL” to their daughter about her own past. I believe that if you pray, and seek to follow the Holy Spirit, God will guide you to know when the right time to open up is. I must say though, that this chapter really did it for me. I had to share about things I shouldn’t have done out, that got me into lots of trouble, and many regrets. When you share how you felt, then hopefully they will see past the lie Satan is trying to tell them “Oh, my mom is way too old to understand how I feel, she can’t possible know what it is like to want to dress a certain way just to be cool around my friends.” We do know how that felt, and I think if we share with our daughters how those mistakes affected us, they will see more clearly why our hearts is to guide them not out of an over protective mommy spirit, but rather out of a spirit of “I have been there and I pray you never are.” Showing her the teenager you wish you wouldn’t have been, will allow her to see you as a friend and not just her Mom.

Sorry, I know I run on and type lots, but this is where God said stop.
Blessings In HIM,
DeAnna

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Shelley February 15, 2011 at 10:42 am

Hello DeAnna,
I am so glad you found us too! Congratulations on baby daughter number 5! What a blessings. I am delighted you and your group are going through the Beautiful Girlhood and The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood books. My hope is that this blog will be a resource for moms and help them put a bit of thought into the lesson prior to meeting with their daughters.

About revealing information, there is a balance between TMI and “They have to learn from their own mistakes” While the “b”word is not mentioned in the Bible, the unmistakable truth of balance is evident. I personally have struggled with the concept of my having spiritual integrity with my daughter and my sons. I don’t want to appear to be someone who I am not, but, too much info at the wrong time can be as damaging to our girls just as too little info too late! And this is where prayer and discernment comes in. We have to rely on the Lord to tell us when to speak and what to say to our sweet girls. There is a balance also in the amount of information we reveal. I am not suggesting full disclosure but I do think instructive disclosure has its place in mentoring our daughters!
Thank you so much for your input DeAnna! Keep reading, keep posting!
Blessings,
Shelley

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