Cure for the “Boy Crazy” Teen

Cure for the Boy Crazy Teen - Parenting Like Hannah

Get Lost by Dannah Gresh

I’ll admit, I was a bit boy crazy as a teenager. Thankfully, no acting out was involved, but I feel like I wasted a lot of time and energy worrying about when and whom I would marry. Eventually, I totally turned it over to God and of course met my wonderful, Christian husband shortly thereafter. Since then, I have been exposed to scores of teen girls – some boy crazy, some not as much – but all with lots of questions and confusion when it comes to the subject of “boys”.

I was thrilled when I was offered a chance to review Dannah Gresh’s new book, Get Lost. When my daughter was much younger, we loved Ms. Gresh’s Secret Keeper series. If you have young daughters, it is a “must” in my book for introducing your daughter to the idea of modesty in fun ways. I was curious to see if Ms. Gresh handled the ideas of purity, dating and marriage for teen girls with the same flair. She didn’t disappoint.

For some reason, it had never clicked in my head about the part of God’s curse on Eve/women when God told Eve/us our desire would be for our husbands. I guess growing up in the height of the feminist movement, no preacher would have dared to discuss it. Ms. Gresh makes a solid argument for this curse creating the craving (as she calls it) to have a man in our lives. This craving explains how even the most level headed girls will suddenly become boy crazy given a chance.

Ms. Gresh doesn’t stop there though. She does one of the best jobs I have ever seen of explaining how to turn that craving to God. This in turn will put us in a better place to make romantic decisions. As she often puts it, “A girl needs to be so lost in God that a guy has to seek Him to find her.”

This book is designed as a study/journal for an individual girl or a group of girls to do together. Although it is addressed to single women in their teens and twenty’s, personally I think every woman (even married ones) could benefit from reading this book and re-examining their thoughts on love and marriage. Ms. Gresh includes a lot of practical advice and thought provoking ideas. A few of them I am still pondering myself.

Ms. Gresh uses her own personal stories and lots of scripture to tackle not only subjects like purity, dating and modesty but also the characteristics to look for in a husband and the ones to develop in yourself. She also spends quite a bit of time explaining the different types of love and making a strong argument, that we are often choosing wrong because we are picking the wrong kind of love.

Ms. Gresh spends most of the book tutoring girls on how to improve their relationship with God. She even asks them to “give up boys” while they are doing this study to clear their heads as they discuss her ideas. Although she never promises them a husband if they follow her advice, she does a great job of preparing them for Christian life and how to handle dating and marriage well when men do come along.

My only major complaint about this book is her brief discussion (one box on one page) with girls who are not Christians on how to have a relationship with God. It breaks my heart to read a book whose author so obviously searched the scriptures, prayed and wrote so carefully about the subjects of love, marriage, purity and other topics, but then ignored baptism as a part of becoming a Christian. My prayer is that she goes back to Acts and early church history and discovers how essential baptism is in our relationship with God.

My only other concern is that some more conservative Christians may be a little uncomfortable with a couple of her anecdotes about how the Holy Spirit worked in the lives of one or two people. Those incidents are so few, I think most Christians can accept the one or two they don’t agree with as someone’s personal interpretation of what happened to them.

Overall, I believe this book would be perfect for a group of teen girls to explore not only why they want a husband so badly, but how to make sure how they are acting is in line with God’s will for their lives. I would highly recommend this as a study guide for any group of teen girls. I would just have them cross out the “conversion instructions” or add an additional mini-study on the subject if you have non-Christians or baby Christians in your group. It probably would not hurt any group of teen girls to review how to become a Christian just to make sure everyone is on God’s page before even starting the study in any depth.

You can pre-order Get Lost now (It’s scheduled to go on sale April 2, 2013.). While you are waiting for it to arrive, I will suggest a couple of other authors who have great materials for girls on these subjects in another post. I’m still trying to find a great book on the same topics for boys, but I’m having a tough time. If you know of a good one, please comment below or email me. I would love to share it with my readers.

P.S. If you think your daughters are too young to start talking about boys and marriage, I will tell you a secret. A lot of the “boy crazy” behavior is encouraged by adults in the toddler, pre-school and elementary years. Grab Ms. Gresh’s Secret Keeper materials or go to her website and start your daughter out on a firmer foundation. Then come back to this book when she is a teen.

I received an advance copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. As you know from my previous posts, I am painfully honest. I absolutely love this book and can’t wait to use it to study with a group of young women.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)