I’ve compiled a list of a few books I read over the years; some as a young teen, and others even as a young wife. There are SO many books I could name that really impacted my way of thinking as a young Christian, but these 6, are some that I very much believe every young lady should read if she is in need of encouragement and godly answers in a very worldly world we live in.
Most of these I would recommend reading in the early teen years, because that is a time when girls begin to feel vulnerable, inadequate, are easily confused, and in search of so many answers. If young girls don’t get the godly answers they need from their mothers, elders, and good books, they will most definitely get answers elsewhere.
Aside from the Bible, of course, and the wise advice of older women, here is the list I’ve come up with of books to help encourage and inspire young girls:
#1 It’s (Not That) Complicated by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
First off, I’d say It’s (Not That) Complicated would be a good place to start. The Botkin sisters do a very good job explaining how important it is to treat relationships — all relationships (with parents, siblings, friends, and suitors) — with respect and Christian love. They write about how we should not shy away from the guys around us simply because they may be future suitors or someone else’s; neither should we run after them like desperate females. Rather, we should treat them as we ought to treat everyone– kindly and fairly, with Christian love, as brothers in Christ. This is a book I so wish I could have been able to read when I was a young teenager with fears, confusion, concerns, and LOTS of questions about this subject.
#2 Preparing to Be a Help Meet by Debi Pearl
Preparing is one of my all-time favorites. I have read, re-read, and highlighted all throughout this book. Debi Pearl is such a down-to-earth, tell-it-like-it-is Southern woman with so much wisdom, and the way she writes, it’s like she’s talking straight to you, and it’s so easy to just “get” what she’s saying. In this book she covers just about every possible topic you could think of; from the power of prayer, discovering which of the “three types of women” you are, waiting patiently but not sulkily or idly, and gaining knowledge in your precious years of singlehood, to courting/dating and wedding planning. If you only read one of the books on this list, I highly suggest this one.
#3 I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
I think I read this book at about the age of seventeen or eighteen, and by that time I’d already made the decision long ago that I would not date just to be dating, but to wait and date wisely, and then only if I was seriously considering marrying that person. For me, dating/courting was really just an I-think-I-want-to-marry-you-so-let’s-just-get-to-know-each-other-better kind of thing. I Kissed Dating Goodbye is a fantastic book and I’m not downing it at all. If you have serious questions about the not-dating-till-you’re-ready-for-marriage process, then this is a good place to start getting well-explained answers. Harris answers a lot of questions a young lady (or young man) might have, and I believe he explained it so wonderfully that it helped me to better explain it myself when people asked me about why I wasn’t dating/courting yet.
#4 Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris
Boy Meets Girl is sort of a sequel, you might say, to Kissed, and it explains in further detail what a godly courtship/dateship looks like. When to date, who to date, and how to treat your significant other/possible future spouse are all discussed in this book. Absolutely a handy and helpful and worthwhile read when asking those questions! I personally did not get to read it until about the time I began dating my now-husband, but I found it very helpful and encouraging.
#5 Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth E. Prentiss
Oh, my. I have such a deep love for this novel (if one can “love” books)! It is actually a fictional story, written like the diary of a young girl up into her wife- and motherhood years. As the story unfolds, she is a hateful, spoiled young teenager who cannot seem to find happiness in anything. As time goes by, she begins to see her true purpose and key to happiness, trusts in God, and tries her hardest (sometimes failing) to be good, kind, hardworking, and selfless. For me, this book provoked me to do some soul-searching of my own, and I saw how truly selfish and proud I could be at times. But because of this book, I’ve learned more the importance of humility and servitude– having these characteristics just as Jesus did. This is a wonderful read for any woman, no matter her age or relationship status.
#6 One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
This is one of the most joyful books I’ve ever read. And I mean that by reading it I became so joyful. Ann Voskamp writes so beautifully, exposing her own heart bare and raw, about the grace of God, the joy He gives us, and the gratitude we should feel in every thing, even the little, seemingly insignificant things. She challenges her readers to look for the grace and beauty in everything, and to begin noticing and writing down each “God gift” to make us more thankful. (How fast can you get to number 1,000 in your list of gifts?) Because of her style of writing, it would probably be easier for an older teenager, or just a more advanced reader, to be able to comprehend what she is saying, but once you get into the flow and groove of her writing style, you will find her wording and descriptiveness absolutely beautiful. This is definitely a favorite book of mine which I have and will re-read many times.
And that’s the 6 Books Every Young Teenage Girl Should Read. I hope they encourage and inspire and help you or your young friends or daughters as much as they did me!
What are some other great self-help books you might suggest for young ladies seeking Christian advice?