Before a young woman can figure out her own identity, she must first figure out who God is, said Erin Davis.
Davis, a mom of two children and an author and speaker, spoke at “The Hidden Person of the Heart” mother/daughter retreat and the “Who’s Your Person?” Girls Embrace Ministry event. Embrace Women’s Ministry through the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina sponsored both events that were held March 22-23 at Caraway Conference Center and Camp. The two events drew more than 200 women and girls.
“As girls we try to build our own sense of identity,” said Davis, founder of Graffiti Ministries and author of Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves and Beyond Bath Time: Embracing Motherhood as a Sacred Role. “What matters is who God says you are.”
BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle
A mother and daughter paint together one of the activity times at the mother/daughter retreat at Caraway Conference Center recently. See photo gallery.
Experts call this generation the “mosaic generation,” Davis said, because they take what they want to use from each topic and assemble a mosaic of what they believe. The problem with this type of approach, she added, is that their belief system is not built fully on Truth.
“We need Your truth, God,” prayed Davis. “All the other truth we might try to assemble isn’t Your truth.”
Around 80 percent of girls will walk away from the faith, Davis said. It was when Davis was serving at a church with her husband that she realized the lies upon which she had built her life.
“When I was your age, I was absolutely eaten away with lies,” said Davis, who shared how the Bible helped her find Truth.
“God’s Word is a deep, deep well,” she said. “I can drop my bucket down in His well.” As Davis explored the scripture she began to learn the truth about who she was in Christ.
God’s love is steadfast
One of the key points Davis stressed to the girls was that God loves them.
“It’s not the kind of love that comes and goes,” she said, but a steadfast, constant and unwavering love (Psalm 137). “That kind of love should change things.”
Instead of basing their identity on achievements, beauty or other distractions, Davis encouraged them to not base their beliefs on their feelings.
“Feelings aren’t facts,” said Davis. “I wished I’d learned it earlier. Just because I felt it doesn’t mean it’s true. We have to build it on the solid rock of God’s Word.”
Reflection of God
Since girls are created in the image of God, they are to be image bearers of the Son, Jesus Christ. Davis told the girls they are a moon. On its own the moon does not have light but instead reflects the sun.
Instead of allowing Hollywood or friends to dictate who they are, Davis urged the girls to pursue God to find their true purpose.
“The most important lesson about being a girl, about you, is to reveal something about God,” she said.
How? “By becoming a student of His Word,” Davis said. “When you want to examine something you compare it to the original.”
“One of the most unique and incredible things we can do as image bearers is being a lifegiver,” like Eve, said Davis. With women pursuing careers and delaying having children until later in life, Davis said, “motherhood is completely devalued in our culture.”
“I’m not anti-career. I’m not anti-college,” she said. “[But] my career and my master’s degree do not bear the image of God.”
BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle
“The entirety of the Bible is about Him preserving a relationship with us,” said Erin Davis. “There’s nothing better than living the way you were made to live.”
Culture tells people the way to be a powerful woman is to have others serve you.
“God flips that and requires you to be a servant,” Davis said.
Culture also tells girls to focus on beauty, Davis said. “A modern girl attracts attention any way she can. But a godly girl deflects attention.”
If girls want to be “God’s girls,” first they must learn who He is and imitate Him.
“It’s a simple formula really,” said Davis. “Simple to say, hard to do.”
Based on Matt. 6:31-34, seek first the kingdom “every day at every age,” she said.
“The entirety of the Bible is about Him preserving a relationship with us. There’s nothing better than living the way you were made to live.”
Davis encouraged mothers to get past the desire to love their children “enough to make them OK.” Instead, “ tell them you love them but God loves them more than you do.”
Every parent is trying to raise good kids or athletic kids, Davis said, but a mother’s job “is to raise radical followers of Jesus. It’s not about you.”
Davis urged the parents to raise them based on God’s principles not “based on who I think they should be.”
“Let’s have bigger dreams for our kids … than that they are safe. They are to be a reflection of Christ.”
Breakout sessions offered smaller environments for girls and their mothers or leaders to strengthen their relationships and to discuss some of the issues they face in school or in their homes. Topics included modesty, peer pressure and God’s desire for them as girls and mothers.
For more about Embrace events contact Ashley Allen, director, at (800) 395-5102, ext. 5559, or [email protected].