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Author helps moms in cultural battle for their daughters

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)-–Don’t be fooled by the innocent-looking cover for the new Broadman & Holman book, “Your Girl.” Inside, author Vicki Courtney has penned a battle plan to train women — young and old — how to live godly in today’s permissive society.

“This is a survival manual,” Courtney, a mother of three, said from the offices of Virtuous Reality Ministries, an organization the former feminist founded in Austin, Texas. “Face the culture for what it is. We can retreat to the nearest Amish community and not get cell phones or computers or TV or we can live in the world without becoming of the world.”

Courtney’s wakeup call and catalyst for the book came during an event she organized in 2000 called “Yada Yada,” a recurring conference, then held for teen girls in the Austin area. “I was caught off-guard [by what the girls were experiencing]. We mothers have our heads in the sand and don’t want to believe things are as bad as there are.”

How bad are they? Pre-teen girls from that event asked anonymous questions indicating attempted suicide, sexual abuse, date rape, promiscuity and low self-worth. “While God did His work at the conference, and it was successful, I couldn’t get those questions out of my head. The women’s movement has failed young girls. Our culture has failed them. They long for rest in their souls. We have the answer. We know the way.”

In Your Girl, Courtney advocates Bible-based living as the key to effectively engaging the culture. She points to God’s Word for answers to issues of gossip, jealousy and peer pressure. “Great is the investment in teaching our daughters that the Bible is a revelation of God. The most important factor when it comes to raising daughters who love God’s Word will be modeling that we, ourselves, love God’s Word.”

Chapters include motherhood, modesty, countering the culture, teen views on sex and three detailed primers on using God’s Word, prayer and faith to “arm our daughters for battle.”

Courtney encourages moms to be introspective and not give mixed messages. The adage, “Do as I say, not as I do,” doesn’t fit this plan; instead, it’s “Walk the talk and talk the walk.”

“Sometimes it’s painful even for me,” Courtney said. “I want to pass on truth to my daughter, but before I can share these things I have to look at these issues myself. Moms can’t teach their daughter she’s fearfully and wonderfully made [Psalm 139] if she doesn’t believe it herself.”

Courtney supports using the book in clubs to offer support and accountability to moms who skirmish with daughters about skimpy attire. “Moms can stand together when we tell our daughters, ‘You’re not wearing those hootchie clothes or that swimsuit.’ Girls now don’t have that natural inclination to think, ‘Oh, I have to pull my shirt down.’”

Bare midriffs and low-slung pants color today’s media, influencing dress, or the lack thereof. What would the woman who challenges parents to “set the bar high when it comes to teaching sons to respect women” tell cultural trendsetters like entertainers Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson?

“I would tell Britney and Jessica that they have been blessed with such external beauty that there was no need for them to sacrifice their innocence and modesty,” Courtney said. “Britney has often said she doesn’t want to be a role model for our girls, but by default she is, whether she accepts it or not.”

Girls, ages 8 to 10, want to look like Spears, and they can’t separate her fantasy world from reality in their culture, Courtney said. “Dressing that way leads the opposite sex to view girls as sex objects, so that’s bad for boys, too.”

Courtney wants mothers -– and fathers -– to engage the culture with confidence. “There is hope. And God has equipped you with everything you need to counteract the culture. We shouldn’t run in fear, but we should be aware of what’s going on.”

Courtney is a national speaker and the author of Bible studies for LifeWay Christian Resources, including “Get a Life” and “Virtuous Reality: Becoming an Ideal Woman.” “The Virtuous Woman: Shattering the Superwoman Myth” is due out in October from Broadman & Holman.
Two devotional journals, “Yada Yada” for moms and “More Than Just Talk,” a journal for girls, support the Your Girl book for further study. Broadman & Holman is the trade book division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Courtney’s books are available at LifeWay Christian Stores, online at lifewaystores.com, broadmanholman.com and at other Christian and trade book stores. (BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: VICKI COURTNEY and YOUR GIRL.

    About the Author

  • Sharon D. Harper