Inspire Strength in Your Daughters
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Program Director
CBN.com - His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers..." – Malachi 4:6
Doreen Hanna has a passion to see young women learn what it means to be daughters of the King. Unfortunately, many girls around the world have lost their way. Statistics of teen pregnancies, bullying, and depression among girls are heartbreaking.*
Along with Pam Farrel, Hanna has co-written a new book called ‘Raising a Modern Day Princess” (Tyndale House). It is a work designed to equip parents to cultivate strong relationships with their adolescent girls.*
CBN.com Program Director Chris Carpenter recently sat down with Doreen to discuss why a rite of passage is so critically important to a girl, the significance of Malachi 4:6, and the call for families to support them as they enter womanhood.
What was your inspiration for writing this book?
In the late 1990s, I recognized that there was nothing out there for the girls at that moment. So I went to the writing board and began to create a curriculum. I knew I had the biblical foundation, but I knew I needed the youthful perspective, because my girls were now in their mid-20s. So I asked my youngest daughter if she’d be willing to come alongside of me. So she brought in the youthful perspective to create the discussion questions and whatnot to make it fun for the girls. So in the process, it has been an amazing journey. In the summer of 1999, I implemented the first class, and I’m telling you, it was an amazing journey. I began to see the value of the curriculum that I put together. I really began to see who God created them to be.
In your book, you write about the importance of a rite of passage. Why is that so critical in a teenage girl’s life?
A rite of passage is a significant moment in time that will be remembered where you’re passing from one stage of life to another. Recognized rites of passage are your birthday, your anniversary, your baptism, your salvation, that type of thing. But one of the things that we’ve missed in the process is acknowledging our children’s step from adolescence to young adulthood. So, most people prior to this last decade chose their rite of passage. Most parents did not have a celebration when they were at some point acknowledging them and saying, “I recognize you as a young lady,” “I recognize you as a young man now,” “Go forth. From this point on, we’re acknowledging that you are an adult. And you are going to take on the responsibilities of an adult. It is saying that over a period of time we have prepared you to this time and sending you out now, because we know we’ve prepared you for such a time as this.” So in that process, what I recognized as I studied other rites of passage in other cultures was their father always pronounced the blessing upon the child. So I saw that as very significant, because teenage girls are looking for what at this age? They’re looking for affirmation from a male. And if they’re not getting it from dad or another significant man in their life that they respect, who do they turn to? Peer males is who they turn to. And we know all the statistics that go with that today. A girl needs a man of integrity who has a heart for God, to step up and impart a blessing on these girls.
Obviously that man could be a girl’s father. Beyond that, could it be someone such as a grandfather, an uncle, an older brother?
Exactly. A man of integrity is the key. So that’s been an exciting part of the journey for me. Because in addition to realizing I’ve been called to encourage and train these girls, and now I’ve got over 200 facilitators that are helping me with this process, I’m certainly not doing it alone, we have the opportunity to challenge these men to step forth and fulfill their role as a leader of their household, as the priest of their household. And when these men step forward and publicly, in front of family and friends, impart this blessing, I’m telling you, it is powerful. These men are most often so humbled, because they have never really imparted a blessing on their children. I have girls crying because they’ll come back to me and say, “My dad’s never said he loved me until today,” “My dad said things to me that I never thought he felt or remembered about me today.” It has been incredible.
A common thread running throughout your book is the verse Malachi 4:6. What is its importance in relation to “Raising a Modern Day Princess”?
This verse says, “He will turn the hearts of the father towards his children, and the children towards their father.” And then the latter part of that verse says, “Or a curse will come upon the land.” I believe this curse has been divorce. Because what has separated the children? And that word “will” could have easily said “my desire,” “My desire is that the father will turn his heart towards the children, or a curse will come on the land.” We lived out the curse. We’re living out that curse, because of what? We chose that sin of divorce. Yes, there are exceptions. But God hates divorce. Why? We see the results of that in our children today.
What is and has been your objective for raising up a new generation of girls who not only love themselves but the love the Lord?
I think it is to raise up bold and confident godly young women who know who they are, and that ultimately, when they complete this program, they’re not just walking away with a crown, but they’re walking with a confidence in their heart as to who they are. And they’ll have less comprises in their life, they are going to be choosing more healthy relationships, and they’re going to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ. So I would say that’s my goal.
As the person who created this, from the day you had the nudge from God to where we’re sitting right now, what’s been the greatest reward for you, knowing that He has used you in this way?
I’m speechless. I’ll just say that. But the reality is the knowledge that God has used this program to change the lives of girls and their choices for their future has been huge. And second of all, is to be able to have addressed men and challenged men to see them fulfill their role and see Malachi 4:6 fulfilled before my very eyes, that every celebration has been incredible, and that I as the founder, God has blessed me, enabling me to see the fruit of my labor at every celebration. I keep saying, “Lord, what heavenly reward am I going to have if I get to see it all now?” The demonstration of seeing men step forward and fulfill their role to bless their daughter, and see those girls as they speak at their celebration and say, “This program’s changed my life. I know who I am today. And I never thought I could have a relationship with God,” and things like that. I mean, it’s incredible. It’s just far beyond what I ever thought or dreamed possible.
To purchase "Raising a Modern Day Princess"
* courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers.
More Perspectives on Parenting
More from Family
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.