About the Guest
Why should courtship and dating be left up to the guys? Countering the “Girls Gone Wild” attitude, award winning author Mary Kassian encourages women to take God at His word and believe and delight in God’s plan for male and female.
Mary KassianMary A. Kassian is a Word Guild award-winning author and international speaker. She has published several books and Bible studies, including Girls Gone Wise, Conversation Peace, and True Woman 101. Mary is a popular conference speaker at women’s events such as Revive and True Woman. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows such as Focus on the Family and FamilyLife Today. She has also taught cluster courses at Southern Semina...more
Why should courtship and dating be left up to the guys?
Bob: Mary Kassian is the mother of three sons. She’s trying to raise them to follow Christ in a “Girls Gone Wild” culture.
Mary: There was a young women and she was very seductively dressed and she kind of gave my young son that “Hey, I’m interested, you come get me” look as we walked past, which I’m thinking, “You know, what kind of girl does that when a guy’s walking with his mother?”
Bob: With his mom!
Mary: But anyway, I picked up on it, that I noticed it, and I said to my son, I said “So what do you think when you see a girl come on to you like that?” And he thought for a moment and he said, “You know, Mom, it arouses the male in me but it does not attract that man in me.”
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, February 21st. Our host is the President of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine.
Alright, ladies, if you want to pursue godly womanhood, Mary Kassian says it’s time to get your Bibles and wise up.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us.
You know people who will use the word “school” as a verb, right? Like “Boy, I got schooled today out on the playground.” Right?
Dennis: Yeah, right…
Bob: That just means somebody shows you something that you thought you knew and you didn’t know it as well as you thought you knew, right?
Dennis: You think we’re going to get schooled?
Bob: I think we’ve got some listeners who are going to get schooled today on the playground by Mary Kassian.
Dennis: But not with a southern accent.
Bob: That’s true!
Dennis: Our guest is from the north country, Canada.
Mary: Yes. How’s is going, hey?
Mary: How’s it going!
Dennis: Welcome back, Mary. It’s been a number of years. When we had you on the broadcast before I turned to Bob and I said, “She is really good.” And that’s the basis of Bob saying you’re going to school a few of our listeners.
In case our listeners don’t know Mary, however, she is an author, a speaker. She’s taught at a number of seminaries around the United States, been married since 1982 to her husband Brent and has three sons. Despite having three sons, she is all over the women’s issue. You’re looking out for the young lady who is going to get one of your sons, right?
Mary: Well, you know, one of them’s been gotten so I have a daughter-in law, too. But I have two more sons.
Dennis: So, send pictures.
Mary: Send pictures. My sons would say, “You know, that’s a good thing to ask for!”
Bob: You want a resume along with the picture!
Mary: A resume.
Bob: You want to know if these girls have been schooled properly.
Mary: I do, I do.
Dennis: Well you’ve written a book called Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild. As I was thinking about it, I was thinking what you’ve really written about is Romans 12:1-2 where it challenges us to “not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind through the scriptures” so that our lives truly will be wise lives. But you’re taking a look at young ladies today and you’re saying there’s a lot of pressure on them to conform and go wild.
Mary: There is. We do live in a “girls gone wild” culture. Girls Gone Wild is a phenomenon the last few years with the videographer going out onto the beaches during spring break and young girls exposing themselves for a T-shirt or a dare.
But it really is way beyond that. That terminology has actually become the mark of a culture, that we live in a “girls gone wild” culture where girls are forward and aggressive and brash and very sexual and willing to do all sorts of wild things. They think that is going to bring them the happiness that they so desperately desire.
Our young women today are trained to be that way. We are bringing our girls up with a Hollywood model that wildness is a desirable thing to pursue, that women ought to be wild, that that’s a good thing. And that really goes against what the Bible says. The Bible says that wisdom will bring us joy, not wildness.
Bob: So is assertiveness and aggressiveness a part of being wild? Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing? Help me understand what wild means.
Mary: Well, with girls gone wild, in the book I actually take a look at a story of seduction out of the book of Proverbs, Proverbs 7. In that story it’s a story of a girl gone wild, but there are all sorts of characteristics in this girl’s live, in Proverbs, chapter seven, that are marks of wildness. The aggressive, the hyper-aggressiveness, is one of those marks. It’s a characteristic of wildness. Actually Proverbs 7 describes her as she’s loud and she’s wayward.
So there’s just this aggressiveness and loudness and clamorousness that goes along with being wild that’s in marked contrast to what the Bible says is who God created women to be. In the New Testament we see that the Lord tells women that he wants them to have a demeanor that really is soft and is receptive and responsive and just is a gentle demeanor and not sort of this loud, brash forwardness that women today are encouraged to have.
Dennis: You know, Mary, a number of years ago I wrote a book called Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date. I got a response I was not counting on. A number of listeners sent e-mails, called, wrote, and said, “This is fine, Dennis, to go interview the young man who takes out your daughter but what about these young ladies who are aggressively pursuing and preying upon our sons?”
You undoubtedly have observed this as you’ve raised three sons through adolescence. How did you see it manifesting itself as your sons went through those teenage years?
Mary: It really was a shock to me to see just the difference today in how young women relate to young men as opposed to twenty, thirty, forty years ago. There has been a substantial change. There is this sense of aggressiveness and I saw it for young girls that were pursuing my sons.
There was a girl who was, even before cell phones, phoning, phoning, phoning, and she wanted to get his attention and didn’t like it that I didn’t call him to the phone each time and took a message instead of calling my son to the phone at her request. I said, “You know what? He’ll get back to you when he chooses to get back to you.”
Dennis: I’m glad you did because we screened some of those calls, except it wasn’t one girl, it was a dozen, who all of a sudden woke up one morning and saw one of our sons and said, “Let’s go after him!”
Bob: “He looks good to me!”
Mary: He looks good. He looks like a good piece of meat to me!
Dennis: But you know there are a lot of parent who go “I don’t know if we should be doing that” but I think we should.
Mary: It think we should. We actually ended up putting on a block when this young women didn’t respond in a favorable way. But with the texting now it’s crazy. My sons, where they are texted, sometimes dozens and dozens and dozens of times by young women and in every possible way trying to be aggressive in trying to get into a young man’s life, Facebooking, texting.
There are young girls nowadays who see nothing wrong and they’ve been taught to believe that there’s nothing wrong in the girls asking the guys out for dates and the girls initiating the relationship and the girls taking the lead in the relationship.
You see this happening in these relationships. I see this tendency in the young girls nowadays and the trouble is that I also see them five, ten years down the road when they’re sitting there crying because they’ve gotten married to these guys and “Oh, my husband is passive. He won’t take any leadership. He just sits on the couch. He doesn’t take initiative in our family and in our home.”
I kind of look at them and go “What did you expect? You’re the one who pursued him. You’re the one who set the rules for the relationship. You’re the one who initiated and pursued and you really made him into what you wanted him to be and now you’re not content with him being passive.”
Bob: But Mary, you know what the young girls would say right back to you. “If I don’t do what you’re telling me not to do it’s going to be a pretty lonely life for me because the girls who do that get the guys and the girls who don’t stay home on Friday night and cry.”
Mary: (Laughs) Well, I would say to that young girl who gives me that answer, “You don’t want the kind of guy that you have to go out and pursue. You want the kind of guy who is going to be a good father, a good husband and is going to take leadership in your relationship.
So number one, that is not the kind of guy you want to have anyway, the kind of guy that’s going to respond to you pursuing him. And number two, you have to have a bigger view of who’s in control and ultimately the Lord is in control. If you trust that God is in control, and that He has a plan and a purpose for your life and He has a guy for you that is going to be worth waiting for.
Dennis: Barbara’s been working on a book to women really about this issue of being a wife. The other day we were driving back from a speaking engagement and she said “What’s my response supposed to be to strong women who are married to weak men?”
What I hear you saying here is that if women buy into the lies of the culture, they could find themselves wrapped up in a permanent relationship called marriage to a man they were able to control at a point in their lives. Now he is a man who is not willing to be able to love and lead and serve and initiate and be purposeful in leading the family. To me the tragedy of what’s happening to young ladies today is this lie is being permeated and perpetrated upon them by the culture and they’re swallowing the bait, hook, line, and sinker.
Mary: They are swallowing the bait. They find themselves in marriages and then they’ve entered into this relationship following a certain set of rules for the relationship. She sets the pace, she controls, and then all of a sudden she realized that that’s not working so well and it’s not very fulfilling. To have to work at changing the way the relationship works then desiring to see her husband change and to take her hands off that control that’s a very difficult path to walk. So if young girls right off the bat were instructed the right way and began to approach relationships is the right way, they’d save themselves a lot of grief down the road.
Bob: So, a girl who has gone wild, is that someone who is sexually aggressive or can you be a wild girl without being sexually aggressive?
Mary: I think that there is wildness in each one of us and when you think of wildness, really, it goes back to the garden of Eden, the first girl gone wild, which was Eve. Really, to me, wildness is just a woman who relies on her own instincts and her own wisdom for knowing how to life rather than relying on who God says she is and relying on how God says she ought to live.
Wildness is really when we turn away from our creator and we just rely on ourselves. That is really the mark of many women today, and many women in the church, too. Wisdom is when we turn back to the Lord and figure out how He says we ought to live.
Dennis: One of the things you say is that you can tell a lot about a woman in terms of how she relates to the man in her life, and I’m assuming you’re saying that of a woman who is married as well as the single women, how they relate to men. Explain what you mean by that?
Mary: Well; I believe that the Lord has created us women and created us with a womanly disposition. If you observe relationships and if you observe the way that a woman treats the men in her life, if she’s respectful, if she honors them and respects them, if she interacts with them in a womanly way that really is responsive and in a way that is not the loud, defiant, controlling manipulative type way, you’ll know that she is equipped with a lot of skills that will really help her in a marriage relationship and will really help to make a marriage work. So you can tell a lot by a woman in just the way that she interacts.
I know that with my daughter-in-law Jacquelyn I could tell a lot about her when I watched the way that she interacted with her dad and with her brother and then the way that she interacted with just her male friends and then the way that she interacted with my son. You could tell a lot about her character and about whether or not she had committed herself to following God’s way.
Dennis: Mary, I’m going to ask you a personal question here. You’ve got two sons who aren’t married. Let’s say you begin to watch one of them date and get serious with a young lady who her behavior betrays where her heart is. It screams that she is a woman gone wild. What would you do in that situation, because you’ve got adult sons now?
Mary: I do and that’s not a theoretical question. That’s a practical question. That’s something that happened in my family. That happened with one of my sons where he was involved in a relationship with a girl who said that her heart was inclined towards Christ but really wasn’t and where she really in control of the situation. She was texting him 24/7. She was the one pursuing him. She was the one who was really pushing the relationship and wearing the pants, so to speak. My son wasn’t.
We dealt with it. My husband and I dealt with it at the level of challenging our son to be the man that he needed to be and to make the decisions that he needed to make and pointing out things of concern in the relationship, but trying to do that in a way that’s also full of grace because there’s room for everybody to grow.
I look at my own life and I know that I have come a long way from when I was eighteen and nineteen and twenty and learning these lessons. So there are behavioral things where girls can grow. But the main thing is does this woman have a heart that’s inclined to follow the Lord Jesus Christ?
Bob: So you son didn’t just go to her and say, “Hey, my mom wrote this book. You’ve got to read it?” That’s not how that worked?
Mary: Well, he’s been doing that a lot lately!
Bob: It’s interesting. I was having a conversation not long ago with my son and he had been watching a show on TV with a group of friends. In this show there are a couple of teenage characters and the young man wants to take the young woman to a music festival, out of town. The girl’s parents say no and she decides “I’m not going to listen to my parents.” So they’re headed off to the music festival and that’s when the young man finds out that she’s going against her parents’ will. He didn’t know that Mom and Dad had said no.
My son said, “I started screaming at the TV and going ‘Take her back home. If she’s not going to honor her father, she’ll never honor you!’” I’m saying, “You go, son! You go!” And he said, “Everybody in the room kind of looked at me like ‘what are you talking about?’” But he said he could see it very clearly and it’s to your point. How a woman responds to the men in her life before marriage really sets a pattern for what that interaction is going to be like in marriage.
Mary: It does set a pattern. That’s why it’s important that young women in relationships with young men, even friendships even, relate to them in a way that honors God’s pattern and God’s plan.
Bob: But again I come back and you know I’m just thinking like the young women who are listening and going “Okay I hear all of this. Theoretically it sounds fine and practically it means I’m a lonely girl for a long time. “ You know. You’ve got women coming up and saying that to you. “I’m trying to do this, Mary, and the boys aren’t pursuing and the guys are ignoring me and I’m a lonely person. And that’s sad. So do I just stay after it and hope and pray?”
Mary: Well that’s a good question and there are a lot of young women asking that question. “So how do I get their attention?” Or “how do I engage with them?”
I think that my sons would tell you that if you are friendly and open and if you put yourselves in situations, in group situations, and you engage in a friendly way, that women who are actually seeking to pursue God’s pattern are very, very attractive to young men. Young men who are godly men aren’t interested in the women who dress seductively, who put themselves out in a very forward way, or sexually aggressive, or relationally aggressive.
Once I was walking in the mall with my son, when he was about seventeen years old. We were walking and there was a young woman who passed by and she was very seductively dressed. She kind of gave my young son that “Hey, I’m interested, you come get me” look as we walked past which, you know, I’m thinking, “What kind of girl does that when a guy’s walking with his mother?”
Bob: With his mom!
Mary: But, anyway, I picked up on it. I noticed and I said to my son, I said, “So what do you think when you see a girl come on to you like that?” He thought for a moment, he thought now how do I answer this question with my mom?” But he thought for a moment and he said, “Do you know, Mom? It arouses the male in me but it does not attract the man in me.”
Dennis: That’s a great statement.
Mary: It’s an incredible statement. So in a sense it’s easy to get a guy’s attention, visually, sexually. But she’s not getting the kind of attention she wants. If she wants to attract him as a man, as a potential suitor, as a potential husband and father, then she needs to be sending out very different signals.
Dennis: Yes, she does. In fact, if there are young ladies who are listening, and for that matter women, I think they have to ask themselves the question, “Do they want to turn heads or do they want to turn hearts?” That’s what your son was articulating. His heart, the real man in him, was looking for a woman who was made in the image of God following Jesus Christ. If you’re raising a daughter you need to raise a daughter who knows the difference between a wise and a wild woman and know how to spot them.
Beginning in sixth grade, maybe beginning as early as fifth grade, junior high, I’m telling you, the peer pressure is big time. And as a parent, if you’ve not equipped your daughters to be able to know the difference, they’re going to be tripped up and it’s back to Romans 12:1- 2. “Don’t be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” That comes from the scripture.
Finally, one last group I want to speak to and that’s the parents who are raising the sons who need to know the difference between a girl gone wild and a girl who’s gone wise. He needs to listen to his parents very carefully. I know that’s easy for us to sit here in this studio as Bob’s almost an empty nester here.
But when you raise adult children you’ve got to step back and you’ve got to take those moments when you challenge them to really consider their actions and what they’re doing in a relationship. You have to take it very seriously and you have to carefully weight your words in terms of saying something to them.. But our sons need to be trained to know the difference between what is a Proverbs 31 woman and what is a Proverbs 7 woman.
Bob: The culture’s not holding up a whole lot of models of the virtuous woman and saying “Oh, look. Isn’t this great? Here’s what you want to imitate” but they are throwing at us a lot of images of the Proverbs 7 woman and saying this is what womanhood ought to look like. If we’re going to train our sons and our daughters, we better have something that is counter-cultural and that is what I think Mary’s book is.
It’s called Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild and we’ve got copies of the book in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center. You can go on-line at FamilyLifeToday.com and request a copy of the book. Again, the website is FamilyLifeToday.com. Or call toll free at 1-800-FLTODAY, 1-800-358-6329.
We think this material is so critical that this week. If you want to get a copy of the CDs of our conversation with Mary Kassian packaged together with a CD from Carolyn McCulley in a conversation we had with her about her book, Radical Womanhood, we’re making those CDs available to those who can help us with a donation of any amount this week. Go online and make a donation online at FamilyLifeoday.com and type the word “WISE” into the key code box. Or call 1-800FLTODAY.
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Tomorrow we’re going to continue our conversation with Mary Kassian on what wise womanhood looks like. We’re going to talk about the schemer, the wily woman who works her schemes and how that conflicts with a biblical model of womanhood. We’ll talk about that tomorrow. Hope you can be with us.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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