///5 Lies Girl Believe – Part 2

5 Lies Girl Believe – Part 2

Last week, I started a series about the lies that girls believe and how they impact the way they live.

Over the series we’ll cover the top 5 lies that girls believe. We’ll look at how we can come along them to help them overcome the lie with the truth about themselves, God and the church. {Part 1 here}

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Lie #2 – Other Girls Can’t Be Trusted

Here’s what we know, teenagers begin to distance themselves from their families and look more to their peers and to media for their information and validation.

There is a repeated message communicated about girls and friendships. It’s simple- girls can’t be trusted, friendships are not sacred and this is coming from movies, television, books and magazines. Mean Girls, Gossip Girls, Pretty Little Liars…the list goes on and on.

Gossip and cliques become the norm. When you walk into a school cafeteria you see a scene right out of Mean Girls- lines are drawn between people based on their appearance, interests and socio-ecomonics. Social exclusion is one of the most common, and therefore normalized, form of bullying. This is the most common among girls. 1 in 3 girls have stated that they have experienced this forced isolation.

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One of the greatest needs of teen girls is for connectedness to others, for friendship. This great need is met with great fear and insecurity. This lie that no one can be trusted leaves girls lonely and isolated OR worse it turns wounded girls into bullies.

What can we do? How we help girls experience genuine friendships?

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1. Communicate the Expectation

Teach about God’s plan for relationships. Help girls see that this deep need for friendship comes from their Creator. But not only does the need come from Him, the plan for how to do friendships comes from Him too. Teach all of the “love one anothers”. Along with the teaching about God’s plan, we need to be REAL clear about what we won’t allow in our youth rooms. We won’t allow for bullying or for social exclusion. Our youth room WILL NOT look like the school cafeteria. Don’t let one or two students control the experience for the others. In the past, I have used a kindness commitment to help communicate our standards. We did it as a 30 day challenge. Everyone signed one and tied on a friendship bracelet as a way to remind themselves of their commitment. (Boys did this too.)

2. Girl Only Small Groups

I believe small groups is the easiest and most effective way to teach girls about authentic friendships. Not only will they grow spiritually but they will lay the foundation for years of friendship. Last summer, I attended a wedding of a former student, two of her bridesmaids were girls from her church small group. Life long friendships formed in a safe place BECAUSE expectations had been communicated.

3. Model Healthy Female Friendships

Allow for some of your female volunteers or staff members to share about their significant friendships. Let them share honestly about the struggle that they had with friendships and how they overcame the challenges of friendships with other girls. I love telling the story of when my best friend in high school smacked my face (in anger) on a mission trip…and how we overcame that moment. By sharing and modeling friendships, we are teaching them the skills they need to build real relationships.

4. Care for the Wounded

Be intentional with caring for those who are wounded. And not just the ones that appear wounded but those who lash out at others. Be willing to ask tough questions about why they hurt other people. Offer help and encouragement to deal with the pain in their life.

If it is true that teens are looking to their friendship more now than ever, we need to facilitate opportunities for them to have safe friendships at church. We most be the place that counters the lie that other girls can’t be trusted by teaching girls how to build trustworthy friendships. How do you counter this lie in your youth room?

 

 

By | 2016-10-13T13:55:19+00:00 September 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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