Book Review: Girls Gone Wise (Mary Kassian)

posted in: Women | 0

One of the pleasures of working at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has been to meet and interact with professors and authors. Mary Kassian is one of those. She has been a joy to get to know. She has provided such wisdom in my life both in conversation and through her writings.
Girls Gone Wise (in a World Gone Wild) is definitely no exception. I marked my copy profusely with notes to myself and underlined key quote that I’ve been sharing with women.
Kassian has no trouble hitting her target audience: women – of all ages. She wrote this book so that any woman: single, married, in college, 3 kids, high schooler, grandmother, would be able to pick it up and apply it to her life. One of the reasons this is accomplished is because Scripture applies to all of us: no matter what stage of life we are in.
Mrs. Kassian takes the sage advice from the writer of Proverbs and compares the two women he identifies in the book: the “Girls Gone Wild” and the “Girls Gone Wise”. She creatively illustrates the devastating contrasts between the women in Proverbs, mostly in chapters 7 and 31. When looking at the two women side-by-side one notices the stark difference between the two. One following the ways of the world, foolish, and heading to a life of destruction. The other following the Spirit’s leading, wise, and walking daily in the fear of God; her life gripped with the power of the Gospel.
The author brilliantly weaves cultural anecdotes, Scriptural characters and life lessons to make this a book you do not want to put down. Kassian knows the culture to which she is writing. Her years of ministry, teaching, and being a mom/wife have prepared her more than adequately to write this book.
Mary speaks to gender roles in one of the chapters (taken from Prov 7.13, 22 and 1 Peter 3.4-6). This is a great chapter for a well-done and qucik overview of issues concerning submission, male and female roles in relationships, created equal, and other key points. She speaks of the unique relationship that God started in the garden by the order of creation and the commands that God gave to each person. This is very helpful, especially if this is your first time encountering biblical foundations for gender roles.
The three parts you can find in each of the 20 Points of Contrast Mary highlights are: the dangers of following the ways of the world, dangers of ignoring the counsel of God, His Word, and the Spirit, and the promise of a life well-lived for the glory of God. In this compare/contrast style of writing, it is more clearly seen than if she had chosen to write it a different way. Each chapter you see the dangers and the folly and you are convicted by the Spirit to take account of your own life by the scales of comparison.
The only thing I would say that I would have liked better is if it were shorter. Especially if leading this with a group of women, 20 chapters is a long book. You would definitely need to split it between semesters (Fall/Spring) or do 2 chapters a week in the summer. This book would be amazing to go through in an accountability group of trusted women.
Mary: thank you for writing this wise counsel. I look forward to not only re-reading it, studying it more in depth as I’ve seen God point out areas in my own life that need working on by the Spirit; but also sharing it/leading it in small groups in the future.

Cleavage and Pencil Skirts on the Toy Aisle

posted in: Women | 0

Well…the doll industry has done it again.

Mattel, the leading industry icon for all things doll, including Barbie, has chose to market these new dolls to young girls.
Here are some things this doll can teach impressionable young pre-teen and pre-adolescent girls:

1. You are what you look like.
2. It doesn’t matter how you dress
3. The work force is the place for you (whatever work one might be doing dressed like that)
4. You can get where you want to in life as long as you dress immodestly.
That is just the beginning, but I’ll leave it at that.
Moms (especially), Dads, childrens pastors, babysitters…anyone…please read this…
Our girls live in an age that is dangerous for them and their eyes and ears. I was visiting with a friend last night and had the Disney channel on for most of the evening. I couldn’t believe the shows that were on, what they were wearing, how they talked to their parents, the topics of their conversations….
The magazine aisle or the checkout aisle is dangerous because of the scantily scad stars or models that boast the front page.
The bookstores are dangerous for the same reason.
The malls are dangerous because of stores like Victoria Secrets and even places like Rue 21 and other stores that sell mostly teen, pre-teen clothing.
What I am not saying is to guard your child so much that she never sees the outside of your home. I’m not saying that you should never let your daughter go to the mall, go to Barnes and Noble or shop at Toys ‘R’ Us again.
What I am saying is this:

1. Amazingly show your daughter that the gospel is more important in her life than what she looks like.
2. Dads (especially) tell your daughter that she is beautiful. The other day I was eating dinner with friends, and probably heard this statement 5 times in a matter of 3 hours. This Dad’s daughter was only 15 months or so (about) but she already knew that she was cherished by her Daddy. Priceless.
3. Teach your daughter biblical principles for attire. We don’t have hem line measurements in Scripture, but we do have principles.
4. Shop with your daughters and walk them through things that might not be appropriate and tell them why.
5. Be involved in your daughter’s life so she can come to you with her questions and her inadequacies and know that you care and love her.
6. Give your daughter a biblical world view of the gospel, her created self made in the image of the one true God, her role as woman, her spirit and heart that matter more than what she looks like on the outside.

Here are some Scriptures that teach on the above principles to pour over your daughter (maybe on a mom/daughter date night, or a wknd away, or just a morning breakfast of her fave pancakes): Gen 1:26-28; 1 Peter 3; Prov 7 (of how not to be); Prov 31 (of how to be); Col 3, 4; Gal 6.14; Prov 4.23.

Here are some books that might help you as well:

Girls Gone Wise – Mary Kassian (coming soon)
Your Girl – Vicki Courtney
Girl Talk Mahaneys
Lies Young Women Believe – Nancy Leigh Demoss
Happily Ever After – Inquest Ministries

Talk with your daughter. Don’t let the images that Mattel and other worldly manufacturers distribute be chiseled in their minds. The gospel is better.

Valentines Day Approaching

posted in: sin, Women | 0

The more I live the more I see that this world is not about Christ. Ok – yes, I should know that, and I do. But, the closer I am with God – the more I am in His Word, serving Him, being shaped by Him, the more I am appalled by sin.
Being home the past two days has allowed for good times of reading and little TV watching – that was grand!
With Valentine’s Day on Sunday, I thought I would shoot this out there. How do you prepare for Valentine’s Day? Last night I made some Vday goodies to share tonight and tomorrow. I am babysitting for a couple on Saturday night so they can have a date. I am making brownies shaped in hearts for a potluck on Sunday. I really don’t think much about the fact that I am single on Vday, because I’ve only ever dated one person on Vday, and it didn’t rock my world…so…
I came across this on a blog I read (about fitness mostly, or well-being), and I wanted to counter her 5 points with Scripture. This is how you have to start looking at the world – a biblical worldview!
Noshtopia wrote this: How to have a good Valentine’s Day:
1. Be completely selfish. Phil 2.3: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
This first one is so anti-biblical. I am reading Elyse Fitzpatrick’s Counsel from the Cross. The third chapter is all about LOVE. It doesn’t say anything about being selfish. I would counter Stephanie’s first point by saying on Vday – find something to do for others. I love babysitting for people around Vday (and I usually say I’ll do it for free) because I want to be encouraging their marriage.
2. Give Your Inner Voice a Day Off. Counter this with: Preach the Gospel To yourself every day. I actually agree with her point. She knows, as we all do, that if we are single we are usually hating life on Vday because our culture, especially our church culture, makes it miserable for you to be single. I think culture looks upon singleness as a good thing (for mostly wrong reasons). I have found it mostly difficult to be single in the church because most people are pressing you to get married, or women’s events are geared toward mothers or wives; not just women.
3. Get Glammed Up and Go Party. Counter this with: 1 Peter 3.3-4: Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. Do I think it is a bad thing to get dressed up and go out to eat, art show, somewhere fun – NO. I love doing it. But so much of our culture presses this issue, especially for single women. This Sunday night, I’m going out to eat with new friends who are coming to look at the seminary. Will I look pretty – as much as I can. But, I can’t find my worth in this – or try to use it as a flirtatious model for attracting men.
4. Make Love with Yourself. Counter: Hebrews 13.4: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. This one appalled me more than any of the others. Where do I begin? Sexual activity is just for the marriage of a man and a woman for life. No where else. I was watching a repeat of “American Life” on ABC Family. The mother of one of the teenagers told the father (in front of the son) – “He’s just wanting to figure out if he wants oral sex from one or sex from the other?” For real, on ABC Family? What kind of family show is that? Well, don’t need to watch that anymore. Do I really need TV?
5. Write Down 5 Things You DO Have. Counter: And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. The Word tells us to be grateful for all the blessings we do have. God has been so gracious to us. And on this Valentine’s Day I am grateful for: new friends, new ministry opportunities, my family, friends who have loved me for a long time, the Word, provision.

So…how do you look at Valentine’s Day? What are your plans for the wknd?