Do you recognize these girls? One hint: they are in biblical order.
- I approached an Egyptian princess with a bold idea.
- We five sisters asked Moses to allow us to inherit land.
- I bravely carried secret plans outside the walls of Jerusalem to help David.
- My enemy captor heard my suggestion to entrust his health to Israel’s God.
- My sisters and I helped rebuild the walls of Jerusalem under enemy opposition.
- I felt death and then I felt the hand of Jesus. Now I have two birthdays.
- We were mere maids, but we questioned anyway.
- My “friends” called me “silly” but they soon found out the truth.
- I was possessed by the python until Paul made my voice my own.
- My three sisters and I discovered our gift of prophecy in Caesarea.
Finally, well into the twenty-first century, the physical, educational, and spiritual health of girls is getting attention. Where girls survive infancy, receive equal health care, go to school, and are not forced into early marriages, they thrive and society benefits.
Why are young women often not actively nurtured and encouraged in their church families and Christian education? Could it be that they need biblical models and mentors? Where do girls see themselves in the Bible? Hardly at all, as in the world at large, they find themselves overlooked.
How many children mentioned in the Bible can you name? Perhaps a few boys immediately come to mind: the young David, Samuel, and Daniel. Where are the girls? No, I do not mean women. I mean girls. Did you know that stories of young women are hidden in the pages of the Bible? In most cases, the girls are unnamed except for two: Miriam and Rhoda. The actual ages, except for one, the daughter of Jairus, can only be judged from their activities. Most receive only the slightest mention tucked within more momentous events. These girls are just waiting to be discovered, and teach important lessons of inspiration and empowerment for young readers today.
The ten short stories in Bold Girls Speak offer girls biblical examples of problem-solving girls. These characters have been uprooted from their homes and they are challenged to adapt and survive using non-traditional skills. They serve as examples to modern young women, but at the same time take the readers to biblical times and places.
I have a deep concern for the healthy development of youth today. Both boys and girls are bombarded with an overwhelming number of unhealthy messages in advertising, movies, and social networking. I am particularly alarmed at the pressures faced by young women and the lack of good resources to help them. The choice from among secular books includes fiction about vampire boyfriends and a barrage of sexually explicit and violent novels. Even Christian literature reinforces passivity and promotes physical attractiveness. Christian girls need to be aware of their power to effect change and develop leadership skills.