• Help her discern the difference between facts and fairy tales. Help prevent your daughter from falling for the cultural lie that finding her Prince Charming will equal a life that’s happily ever after. Know that if she expects a guy to complete her, she’s setting herself up for disappointment and heartache. Tell her that only Christ’s love can completely fill her heart. Encourage her to pursue her ultimate needs through a relationship with Christ rather than trying to get them met through a romantic relationship.

Let her know that it’s unfair and unreasonable to place the burden of her personal happiness on another person. Help her realize that healthy marriages include a big dose of reality and require time and hard work from both spouses.

• Create a wise plan for dating. Ask God to help you develop a plan for when your daughter becomes old enough to date. Don’t allow her to date simply for fun or to be able to say that’s she’s going out with someone. Let her know that dating is not something she should enter into lightly.

Help her avoid dating that’s based more on feelings that on God’s standards. Don’t let her get into a "joined-at-the-hip" dating relationship in which she and her boyfriend spend more time with each other than they do with their family and friends. Save her much heartache by not allowing her to date guys who aren’t Christians.

* Help her choose kindness over meanness. Help her make sure that her peer group doesn’t become a clique (a group that purposely excludes others and acts superior to everyone else). When another girl is mean to her, pray for that girl with her and encourage her to do something nice for the girl, knowing that her act of kindness may change the girl’s heart.

Encourage your daughter not to participate in gossip, no matter how many others around her are doing so. Help her to avoid jealousy by coming to believe in the unique and special person God created her to be. Help her process moments of disappointment before they grow into jealousy.

• Help her get to know and trust the Bible. Explain to your daughter why the Bible isn’t just another book filled with nice stories and principles; it’s God’s inspired, living Word. Help her understand that the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to people, unveiling His eternal plan for all humankind.

Let her know how the Bible’s reliability is supported by archaeology, Scripture’s consistency over the years, and fulfilled prophecy. Show her how the Bible is relevant to her life. Buy her a Bible of her own and help her set and maintain a regular devotional time.

• Help her learn how to pray. Encourage her to pray often, and to listen to God instead of just talking to Him. Explain the different types of prayers (praising God, confessing her sins and asking for forgiveness, thanking God, and asking God for something for herself or other people) and encourage her to pray a variety of prayers. Pray with and for your daughter regularly.

• Don’t compromise your own faith so she won’t want to compromise hers. Avoid these attitudes and behaviors: Not attending church regularly, worshipping only on Sundays (not integrating your faith into your life every day), worrying or failing to trust God in times of adversity, failing to follow God’s principles for how you should use your money, whining instead of being grateful for God’s blessings, not sharing your faith with others, molding your faith to fit your life rather than molding your life to fit your faith, letting your past rule your present and future rather than trusting God to heal you and help you move forward, being prideful and legalistic, and failing to have a daily quiet time.


Adapted from Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World, copyright 2004 by Vicki Courtney. Published by Broadman & Holman, Nashville, Tn., www.broadmanholman.com.

Vicki Courtney is "in the trenches" of ministry to preteen and teen girls and their mothers. She has seen firsthand the devastating consequences our provocative culture is having on women, both young and old. Vicki is the founder of Virtuous Reality Ministries and www.virtuousreality.com, an online magazine for middle school girls, high school girls, college women, and adult women. She is a national speaker and the author of several Bible studies, including Virtuous Reality: The Virtuous Woman and Get a Life! She resides in Texas with her husband and three children.