One enigma in life that I find fascinating is the fact that we never know who we are until we come into ourselves at some stage in our lives. We never know what we can accomplish until we accomplish it. We never know our greatness until we find ourselves surrounded by evidence of that greatness.
We grow up living ordinary lives, doing ordinary things; and the normalities of life hide the extra-ordinary in us. Think about it; Esther grew up as a young girl not knowing she would be Queen one day! Like any young girl, I imagine she fetched water, did her chores, played with her friends and did everything a normal young girl would do. The possibility that she would one day occupy the greatest place a woman could occupy in her land at that time never entered her mind! But as we all know, it did happen!
What about Sarah, out of whose womb was birthed a God-chosen nation! I’m sure as a young girl she just aspired to be what every girl aspired to be at that time; a good wife and mother. Even her getting married to Abraham was just something normal and ordinary to her; she did not know that it would be a destiny-changer. She had no idea she would be a mother of many nations.
There are many other great women I could name, both in Bible times and in present day life, who have become what nobody (and they themselves) never dreamed possible they could become. An obvious but overlooked fact about women, particular those who live exemplary, godly lives, is that they too, were once young girls. They didn’t just manifest as full grown women, but they went through girlhood. Now, some of them had things that happened to them beyond their control, but they overcame them. At the end of day, there was something planted in them, even at a young age, that contributed to them being the women they are today!
This August as we celebrate Women’s Month, it is in my heart that we focus on the young girls in our society. I said something on radio the other day to the effect that as we will be celebrating this month in our churches, there will be a lot of women’s conferences and conventions. A lot of women will attend and a lot of topics will be discussed; from spirituality, finances, health and well-being, family, marriage, children, careers, studies, but to the 11- year-old sitting on the pew, will all this be relevant? What will she take away from it all?
The Bible teaches us that we should train up a child in such a way that when she is old, she will not deviate from it. Great women are trained; they don’t just emerge out of a super-woman suit under their normal clothing. And in our society today, it is so sad to say that we are losing our young girls; not just through what happens to them from the outside, but we are losing them from the inside. Low self-esteem, depression, lack of self-love and self-respect; feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and many other fac-tors brew on the inside of them. These manifest themselves in how they allow themselves to be treated.
When we ignore these girls on the premise that they are still young, and only shower them with attention in their late teens when they have to make career choices, we are gambling with their lives! Life does not begin when they finish school, life has begun! It has begun now for the 11-year-old who must make a life-changing decision of whether she takes the first puff of nyaope offered to her or not. Somewhere a 13-year-old is deliberating whether to sleep with that charming young man. Somewhere, a 16 year-old who failed this past term is contemplating dropping out of school altogether.
It’s scary when you think about it; but our young girls are making life-changing decisions before they even reach sweet sixteen! And the unfortunate ones never get to choose their career path because, either they have died too young, too soon or have become too hooked on drugs to even care about education or career!
As such, I would like to challenge everyone reading this, to target a girl-child, and make it your mission, not just this month, but as an on-going exercise, to speak life to her, pray for her, motivate and encourage her. And this plea is not just for women. I urge the men to do so as well. I recently said in an interview that every man has a young woman in their life; be it a sister, a cousin, a niece or a daughter.
Let us not fail these young girls! We fail them by not taking an interest in their lives. We fail them by not loving, appreciating and uplifting them. We fail them by not making time to be with them and just listen or hang out with them. Then when they stumble and fall we are the first ones to chastise them.
Let’s tell them and show them that we love them; that they matter; that they are wanted and that they are God’s most prized possessions!
With that much said; to all my girls out there, both young and old: HAPPY WOMEN’S MONTH! And remember, young or old, YOU DO MATTER!