Today, it’s a great privilege to interview my good friend, Dannah Gresh. I’ve long admired Dannah’s life-changing ministry, Pure Freedom, to young girls both inside and outside the church. Dannah Gresh is known for the bestselling And the Bride Wore White and the Secret Keeper series. She is the founder of Pure Freedom ministries. Dannah is a frequent guest on national radio and television programs such as Focus on the Family, The 700 Club, and Canada’s Huntley Street. She has also been a featured contributor to magazines including Today’s Christian Woman and Brio.
1) How did God birth this ministry of Pure Freedom?
It was birthed through his healing of my soul. God healed my heart of all the broken pieces created by my sexual sin as a teen. You just can’t help to pour out healing like that! I like to quote II Corinthians 1:3,4 which says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
2) Seems like our daughters are being bombarded at an earlier and earlier age with sexual lies. Do you think this is the hardest generation to raise young girls?
Yes. Absolutely. It started with Marilyn Monroe. She was the first “beauty icon” used to sell clothes and beauty products to women. But consider that at the height of her celebrity she was about thirty. And products were sold to adult women. But then marketers decided that they could sell more stuff if they made the celebrities younger. So, we had teen stars who marketed to teens. In the last few years we have tween celebrities targeting to 8-12 year olds. The marketers don’t care about your daughter’s emotional and moral growth and development. They only care about money. So, it makes it hard to mentor our daughters to embrace our value system in a world where skin-is-in and we worship ourselves!
3) What is the single biggest issue young girls face today?
Simply growing up too soon. The research indicates that little girls who embrace the passion for fashion, boy-craziness and the emulation of the world as little girls….well, they tend to grow up to be teens who struggle with depression, eating disorders and early sexual debut. It’s all “cute” when they are wearing bling when they are six, but when they are sixteen it’s not so lovely. Further more, as an adult that same little girl is so troubled by body-image issues and scars from relationships as a teen that she cannot enjoy the marriage covenant that God created her to enjoy without a lot of healing. In having too much too soon, she loses it.
4) If you were to give one piece of advice to a mom or youth pastor or grandparent who influences young girls, what would you say?
Let them be “little.” That’s why I wrote Six Ways To Keep The Little In Your Girl. It’s ok to let them play with dolls while everyone else is starting on Facebook. It’s ok to let them enjoy raising horses or puppies, when the rest of the world is raising up passion for boys. I took my sixteen year old to a Chik-fil-A store opening last night and she wanted the little stuffed cow as the door prize. It was for kids, but she’s not so “cool” that she can’t have some fun. That’s because we said “no” to a lot, and “yes” to God. She still has some “little” in her!
5) Are you working on any new projects and if so, what are they?
Oh yes! In January, I release What Are You Waiting For? The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex. It’s for college-aged women and maybe the mature teen. I trace the Hebrew language of sexuality in Genesis all the way to the Greek language in Revelation to reveal God’s heart about sex. And, it answers all the tough questions. All of them. I can’t believe God is letting me be the one to show this to the world. I can’t believe that the Church isn’t all over it. It’s great stuff. I believe it’s the most important book I have ever or may ever write!