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Patti Garibay: ‘The full value and strength of a woman is only understood through the lens of Christ’

September 26, 2022

CINCINNATI, Ohio Six out of ten women in America would describe themselves as feminists, according to a recent Pew Research report. At first glance, the concept of “girl power” seems positive, but the underlying implications can mean so much for the girls of America.

American Heritage Girls (AHG, www.americanheritagegirls.org), one of the largest Christian, scout-type organizations in the world, has been providing powerful, Christ-focus programming to help girls develop leadership skills, build relationships, and get outdoors for almost 30 years. When it comes to “girl power,” AHG Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay warns that girl power pales in comparison to the real source of power — God’s power.

Garibay stated, “Girl power. Two words that seem to have fueled the world’s understanding of women in culture in recent decades. Female empowerment is, at its core, about helping girls and women recognize their worth. Seems innocent enough, right? If only it were so simple.

“‘Girl power’ on its own is a flawed movement. It places all its meaning in the human understanding of man and woman, embracing concepts of cultural feminism as the sole source of worth. But we know as Christians that humankind’s purpose doesn’t come from earthly sources — it’s of God. Just as worth does not come from intelligence, appearance or wealth, it also doesn’t come from the idea of feminine validation.”

Garibay continued, “The full value and strength of a woman is only understood through the lens of Christ. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians: ‘I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God,’ (Eph. 3:16-19).

“‘Girl power’ comes not simply from gender or cultural validation, but through Christ’s desire for all people in the Kingdom, and the immense responsibility that we, as Christians of either gender, must reflect such a profound love as His. A girl’s mission in life not only includes the many accomplishments she’s sure to achieve, but also the great joy in offering up her life’s success in praise to God. What a calling!

“When a girl is wholesomely fostered and encouraged in the light of Christ, she is truly unstoppable. She recognizes the great power she has through the gifting of the Holy Spirit and in praying over the plan God has for her. She has real ‘girl power’ because really, it’s deeper than that. It’s God’s power.”

To read more of Garibay’s thoughts on “girl power,” see her recent OPED.

Garibay recently spoke on Focus on the Family’s nationwide radio program about the importance of raising godly girls and how parents can help equip the next generation of women. Host Jim Daly said, “Patti’s advancing a very noble cause and I’m so encouraged by her commitment to godly values and her desire to pour into the next generation of young women.”

AHG’s mission is to build women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. Itis dedicated to providing authentic, positive, and values-driven character and leadership development opportunities and outdoor adventure for girls across the nation.

American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by a group of parents who wanted this faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters. At AHG, girls ages five to 18 meet together as a single Troop at the same time and then break out into Units by Levels. This gives AHG girls the important social experience of interacting with friends and godly mentors of various ages; members also learn leadership skills within a group setting. AHG Troops are located in local communities across the nation. If none exists in a given area, families can bring the AHG Program to their own area. An American Heritage Girls Troop Development Coach is available to provide resources to potential Charter Organizations and other families to form a new Troop. To hear more about the purpose, mission, and vision of AHG from Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay, click here.

Today, there are Troops in all 50 states and girls being served in 15 countries around the globe. Girls can join a Troop at any time; if a Troop is not available nearby, they can become a Trailblazer and enjoy the AHG program alongside their parent. A variety of Christian denominations are also represented as Charter Organizations for Troops. Thousands of volunteer members across the country are helping girls grow in their faith, cultivate a heart for service, enjoy the great outdoors, and have more fun than they can imagine. 

The “Raising Godly Girls” radio feature and Raising Godly Girls blog shares guidance and biblically based advice on many key topics affecting girls today — from bullying and identity to anxiety and body image issues. It gives parents, educators, and faith community leaders a set of tools, resources, and Scripture-based advice to assist in raising girls after God’s own heart. The “Raising Godly Girls Minute” with Patti Garibay airs on 1000+ Christian radio stations across the country.