Leading girls is hard.
Parents, mentors, and girls ministers everywhere have all probably thought this statement at one point or another. It’s true: girls can be a handful, particularly during these tender preteen and teen years. They can no longer realistically be called children (nor will they allow you to do so), but they are surely not yet adults capable of making life-altering decisions for themselves. Teenhood is a season marked by transition, independence, and all the stress those two realities bring.
To give an example, I received some devastating news a few days ago about a student of mine who, although I thought she was strong in the faith, has behaved in a way that completely goes against the godly heritage which she has been given. It was a disorienting to say the least, because this young woman has never caused any trouble before. After all, she shows up to Wednesday night group, serves in the preschool ministry, and even went on a mission trip over spring break just about a month ago. Times like these make me wonder if my leadership has fallen flat. I think to myself, Was there something I could have done better to keep her from sinning in this way? Even more bleak, I sometimes ask, Why do I even do this whole “leading” thing in the first place if my own girls won’t follow what I teach them?
It’s in that moment when I realize just how much more Jesus bears with my sin, yet refuses to leave me in my brokenness. He not only bore the ultimate price for my wickedness and earned a heart of flesh for me, but He also provides “everything required for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3, CSB). This means He has given us the tools necessary in order to both defeat sin and pursue a righteous, God-honoring lifestyle. Of course, He is primarily speaking about the Holy Spirit and His Word, but I also believe He is talking about godly leaders within the Church that help “spur us on toward love and good works” (Heb. 10:24, NIV).
You are that leader, called by God, to help prune and nurture girls into the godly women He has designed them to be. The enemy is lurking at every corner, attempting to use discouraging circumstances to cloud your purpose and stunt your influence. Remember why you started discipling the young women God has given you, and continue on in faith, knowing that the Lord is the ultimate Shepherd and Sanctifier of their souls.