FAQ

General Questions

  1. Contacting Revive Our Hearts
  2. Donations / Orders 
  3. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
  4. Privacy / Permissions
  5. Resources
  6. Speaking Engagements
  7. Website / Email
  8. Downloads

Topical Questions

Contacting Revive Our Hearts 

How can I remove my name from your mailing list?

Send your request, along with your name and address to Info@ReviveOurHearts.com.

How do I contact Revive Our Hearts with a question, comment, or prayer request?

Send your question, comment, or prayer request to Info@ReviveOurHearts.com.

Do you provide counseling services or counseling referrals?

We are happy to pray with and for you; however, we do not have staff professional counselors.  We encourage listeners to contact their local church or pastor if they are in need of counseling services.  You may find further assistance at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors at BiblicalCounseling.com.

Donations / Orders

Did you receive my donation/order?

If you placed your donation/order online, you should have received a confirmation email immediately after submitting it. If you did not, and it is not in your junk/spam folder, please call 1–866–842–8381 ext. 2050 and our Customer Service department will be happy to assist you.

If you are trying to place an International order, please contact our customer service at 1–269–697–8600 during regular business hours of 9:00 am – 5:00 pm EST, Monday–Friday, or email us.

If you sent your donation/order in the mail, please allow up to 21 business days for us to receive and process your order, before calling 1–866–842–8381 ext. 2050.

How can I update/change/cancel my giving information? 

Please contact us with your new information.

Can I see my monthly giving or Ministry Partnership account online? 

All monthly automatic giving is done in our internal data base and is not visible online. Please contact us if you have questions. 

How can I check the status of my order?

Although we do not have shipping/tracking information online for orders, we'll be happy to advise you of the status of your order. First, you can check to see if your check has cleared or if your credit card has been charged. Also, take into account that it can take up to 3–4 weeks to process and deliver your order.

If you still have questions, you may call us at 1–866–842–8381 ext. 2050, or email us. When you call or email, please give us the following information.

  • Your name, complete address, phone number, and email address.
  • The approximate date you placed the order
  • How you placed your order: online, over the phone, or by mail
  • What you ordered

This information will help us locate and determine the status of your order.

Can I make returns?

Although we ask you to try to order the amount of products needed, we understand you may not need all you ordered and do accept returns. You would be responsible for the cost to return the products within 45 days of receiving your order. There is normally a 10% restocking fee deducted from the refund of products returned.

Please make sure all returned products are securely and carefully packaged as we will only be able to accept and refund products received back in our office in new condition. We will not be able to accept nor refund any opened partial packaged items (i.e. opened pack of bookmarks) or any damaged product.

Please ​include a copy of the original packing slip and a note ​of explanation for the return of product, as well as your name and phone number​. Refunds will be issued to the original credit card or other original form of payment (i.e check).​

​​Returns should be mailed to: 

If returning via UPS, ship to:
Revive Our Hearts - RETURNS
2727 Niles Buchanan Rd
Buchanan, MI 49107

If returning via USPS, ship to:
Revive Our Hearts — Returns
PO Box 2000
Niles, MI 49120

​​​There are no refunds for conference registrations, but you are allowed to give your registration to another women.

Do you ship outside of the U.S.?

We do ship product orders to Canada, and most orders can be placed via our website. For all other international inquiries, please call our Customer Service at 1–866–842–8381 ext. 2050.

​Can my donations/orders be processed in Canadian dollars?

All donations/orders are processed in U.S. dollars.

Does ROH offer discounts for resources?

We offer discounts for churches, ministries, or book stores for purchases of five or more for many of our items. Please call Customer Service at 1–866–842–8381 ext. 2050, or email us at info@ReviveOurHearts.com.

 

Downloads

Unfortunately we aren't able to provide in-depth tech support when it comes to downloadable files on our website. Here are some common issues with mp3 files and some of the more popular ebook file formats.

How do I download mp3 files to my device?

  • By default iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, etc) do not allow downloading of files directly to the device which is what we are normally used to on desktop computers. This is a limitation built-in to iOS devices from Apple.
  • We recommend: that you download the files to your desktop computer and add them to your iTunes library as per the instructions below.
  • An alternative: If you are more adventurous there are apps available that allow you to download zip files to your iOS device and extract the files for usage.

How do I get ebooks on my ereader or my .mobi files on to my Kindle?

View the instructions on how to "sideload" the digital files from your desktop computer to your ereader.

Resources

What Small Group Studies are available through Revive Our Hearts?

True Woman 201: Interior Design is an 10-week study exploring the important elements of womanhood found in the book of Titus 2. This daily study helps you to become a godly woman from the inside out.
Weekly helps and teaching videos are available TrueWoman201.com. 

True Woman 101: Divine Design is an 8-week study digging into the heart of true manhood and womanhood. This daily study helps you to discover the beauty, joy, and fulfillment of being exactly who He created you to be.
Weekly helps and teaching videos are available TrueWoman101.com. 

Seeking Him: Experiencing The Joy of Personal Revival is a 12-week study for believers who long to grow closer to the Lord and to become more like Him. A companion Seeking Him DVD is also available with twelve 15-minute teaching segments by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth on each of the chapters. Each session corresponds with and expands on a chapter in the workbook. All Seeking Him products are available here.

Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free this newly updated and expanded (2018) book sheds light on how women can be delivered from bondage and set free to walk in God’s grace, forgiveness, and abundant life. It covers lies women believe about God, about themselves, about sin, about priorities, about marriage, about children, about emotions, and about circumstances. This book offers the most effective weapon to counter and overcome Satan’s deceptions—God’s Truth.

The Companion Guide for Lies Women Believe (workbook) is designed to help you think more deeply and personally about the truths that Nancy shares in the book (Note: The book is necessary in order to go through the workbook, as the questions relate to passages you have read in the book). This ten-week study is excellent for group or personal use.

Girls Gone Wise by Mary Kassian uses Proverbs 7 to show the differences between a saucy, seductive Wild Thing and a smart, biblically-savvy Wise Thing. A Companion Study Book and weekly DVDs are available.

A 30-Day Walk With God in the Psalms is designed to help you gain a deeper understanding of the Psalms. Each day's study takes a look at a different psalm, and helps you gain a deeper understanding of that particular psalm. This workbook is suitable for personal study, but could also be used as a group study if desired. This is a 30-day study which can be divided into 6 weeks, with 5 daily lessons each week.

Brokenness: The Heart God Revives is the first in this trilogy, and contains six chapters, as well as a discussion guide in the back, with about three to six questions per chapter. Nancy writes about an irrefutable spiritual principle in this book: before every great movement of God there is always a time of deep repentance.

Surrender: The Heart God Controls is the second in this trilogy, and contains eight chapters, as well as a discussion guide in the back, with about three to six questions per chapter. Struggling with stubborn habits? Secret sin? The key isn’t how committed you are to the battle—it’s how surrendered you are to God.

Holiness: The Heart God Purifies is the third in this trilogy, and contains eight chapters, as well as a discussion guide in the back, with about three to six questions per chapter. If you’re longing for a deeper connection with God, you must first answer His call to holiness. Nancy shares practical principles for having a life that is set apart—and a heart that is set on fire.

The Message of Redemption and Revival in the Book of Ruth is a DVD series. The 4 DVDs were taped at a conference, and contain seven sessions. A companion workbook is available that includes five days of study for each DVD session. (DVD sessions vary in length from 30-62 minutes.)

The 30-Day Power of Words Challenge is a four-week devotional booklet about speaking with wisdom and grace. You’ll be challenged to examine your heart and to consider the consequences of your words, and you will gain practical insights on “tongue control” from the Word of God.

30 Days of Encouraging Your Husband Journal is a four-week booklet with daily reminders and practical ideas on how to encourage your husband. Watch as God breathes new life into your marriage. 

Choosing Forgiveness is a book where Nancy presents the key that unlocks the prison we put ourselves in when we hold onto bitterness and hurt. Nancy's dynamic and Scriptural approach, along with dozens of stirring stories and practical examples, will help you discover specific strategies for putting God's grace and mercy into practice by forgiving others. Find yourself on a journey to freedom! This 254 page book includes a small group discussion guide.

Choosing Gratitude is not an incidental ingredient in the Christian's life. It's a crucial one. It's a grace-infused commitment each of us chooses . . . and it's totally worth it! Nancy explores the biblical and practical aspects of what makes gratitude truly Christian. Discover how it makes life, even with all its bumps and bruises, a joy to behold. (soft cover, 229 pages) Several handy resources, including a downloadable discussion guide, are available to help you lead your small group.

What international resources do you have?

Revive Our Hearts is broadcast in Spanish. Our Spanish version website is:

www.AvivaNuestrosCorazones.

Many of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's books are translated into Spanish and are available here.

Many books by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth are available in foreign languages. Click here for the list of publishers.

What resources are available to teach girls and women about modesty?

The Look: Does God Really Care What I Wear? (Booklet by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth)

Modesty: Does God Really Care What I Wear?” (Radio transcripts and audio by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth)

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” (PDF of article by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth taken from The Look: Does God Really Care What I Wear?)

The Style Quiz” (PDF of quiz by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth taken from The Look: Does God Really Care What I Wear?)

The Attractive Christian Woman” (Radio transcripts and audio by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth)

Where can I find the Seeking Him radio program and transcripts?

You can visit SeekingHim.com, or you can listen to and read the transcripts of Seeking Him with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth by clicking on “Radio,” and “Seeking Him” on ReviveOurHearts.com.

Do you have a resource about . . .?

Using the options in our Resource Library is the best way to find what you’re looking for. The easiest way to find something on a particular issue is to browse by topic under the “topic” category.

Do you accept manuscripts for publication?

Revive Our Hearts is not a publisher and does not have the capacity to consider unsolicited manuscripts. We do partner with publishers in adding selected resources in the True Woman brand to their publishing lines.

Do you need assistance in translating content from English to Spanish?

From time to time we have a need to utilize volunteers to translate content from English to Spanish. If you have an interest in helping, please contact ROH and let us know. 

Speaking Engagements

Is Nancy accepting invitations to speak?

Nancy accepts a very limited amount of speaking engagements. Here are some things to be aware of that affects Nancy's availability.

  • Nancy has a daily radio program that airs 258 times a year. Because of the time required to prepare and record these programs, she must decline 98% of all speaking requests.
  • In light of her limited speaking availability, it has become necessary to accept invitations for events that will have the furthest reaching impact. Frequent requests come for women's retreats, ladies teas, and women's banquets. Nancy must turn down virtually all of these.
  • An Advisory Council has been established to review all of Nancy’s speaking and writing requests and prayerfully determine based on her current commitments whether or not she is able to take on anything else.

How do I schedule Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for an event?

For detailed information on inviting Nancy to speak, please click here.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

How can I get a response from Nancy on a personal issue?

Nancy reads most of the emails that come into the ministry; however, she is unable to personally write or counsel individuals due to the hundreds of emails and letters she receives each week. We have staff members, though, who are dedicated to providing biblical answers to your questions. You may email them at Info@ReviveOurHearts.com

What translation of the Bible does Nancy use on the broadcasts?

Nancy uses various translations when she studies the Bible. Currently, she uses the English Standard Version on the broadcasts and in the transcripts. Previously, she has used the New King James Version and the New International Version.

Can I attend a Revive Our Hearts Radio Recording Session?

The radio recording sessions take place at our administrative offices located in Buchanan, Michigan. The program is recorded with a live audience of women in attendance.  If you are close to the Buchanan, MI area and would like to attend a recording session, please contact us at info@ReviveOurHearts.com.

Is Nancy married?

Nancy was married to Robert Wolgemuth on November 14, 2015. To learn more about them, click here.  

Did Nancy change her name?

Nancy was Nancy Leigh DeMoss for all of her single years. When she married in 2015, she became Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for her public ministry (Revive Our Hearts program, websites, books, etc.) Nancy gladly and willingly considers her name privately as Mrs. Robert Wolgemuth or Nancy Wolgemuth.

Website and Email

I’ve stopped getting ROH emails, what do I do?

Please contact us at info@ReviveOurHearts.com.

How do I update my email account? 

Please contact us at info@ReviveOurHearts.com.

How do I change my email subscriptions?  

From the “Home” page, under “Email Sign Up” (lower right), you can enter your email address and access your account. Then you can make changes to the selections.

How can I remove my name from your mailing list?

Send your request, along with your name and address to info@ReviveOurHearts.com.

How can I listen to “Revive Our Hearts” in my area?

Go to the website and under the “Radio” section, click on “Listen in Your Area” and select the state and see the station in their area.  

Why is the text on your website too small to read?

With default settings, our website font should be sized at the normally recommended font. However, if you have changed your default font sizes (purposely or inadvertently) then our site might not display as intended.

If you use Internet Explorer, go to “Tools” (cogged wheel logo) then “Zoom” and choose the setting that is comfortable. If you use Google Chrome, go to “Customize” (wrench logo) then “Zoom,” and choose the setting that is comfortable.

Why does your website not look correct on my computer?

Because technology is constantly changing, your browser may not be as up to date as needed. Our site will still be usable, but it will not work or look as intended. We would suggest upgrading to a newer browser. That will not only make our site look better but most others as well. Here are a few recommended browsers for different kind of systems:

Windows: Chrome, Firefox, Opera
Mac: Chrome, Safari, Camino, Firefox
Linux: Firefox, Konquerer
 

Privacy and Permissions

Do you sell my name/address/email  information?

Your name, address, and email information is confidential information only for our files. For a complete listing our of privacy policy, click here

If you would like to receive regular email updates, you can sign up at: www.ReviveOurHearts.com.

Do I need permission to copy your materials?

For a complete listing of our copyright permissions, please click here.

Topical Answers

FORGIVENESS 

Why is it important to forgive?

When we don’t forgive, it leads to bitterness. This is a serious issue, because it hinders the flow of God’s abundant grace in our lives. You will never love, respect, or forgive anyone in the power of your own strength. You desperately need the grace of God to give you the power, ability, and even desire to do what is right. Bitterness will keep you from receiving the fullness of His grace.

Although we cannot avoid being hurt, the important thing to remember is that the outcome of our lives is not determined by what happens to us. Nothing that anyone has ever done—or ever will do—to you can determine who you become. The ultimate outcome of our lives is not determined by what happens to us, but rather by how we respond to what happens to us.

In Choosing Forgiveness, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth goes back to the grounds we have for forgiving others, which is the very forgiveness we have received from Christ:

“We somehow have the idea that God has forgiven us purely out of His kindness, just because He wanted to. Forgiveness is what we sort of expect from a God who wouldn’t mind going out of His way to be extra nice to us. But it makes a huge difference when we realize the ground on which our forgiveness was procured. If we are to forgive others as God has forgiven us, we need to understand how He forgave us. Calvary required an agony we cannot fully comprehend. On the cross, Jesus took our sin upon Himself, enduring the wrenching consequence of broken fellowship with the Father—the One He adored, the One from whom He had never experienced a moment’s separation. That is impossible for us to fully grasp” (p. 105).

When we compare the hurt we have experienced to the greatness of our sin against God, we have the proper perspective for forgiving others.

Here are some additional helpful resources for you: 


What does forgiveness look like?

Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a choice, an act of our will. If we waited until we felt like forgiving before we forgave, we might never forgive. We are not to wait for our emotions but rather to choose to obey God. Then, in time, God will cause our emotions to catch up to our right choices.

Second, God commands us to forgive, regardless of how we feel and regardless of what has been done to us. Jesus says in Mark 11:25, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (NIV). “If you hold anything against anyone”—that pretty much includes every offense, doesn’t it? Before you pray, if you hold anything against anyone, there’s one step you must make first: Forgive. Jesus says we must do this so our Father in heaven will forgive us our sins.

Third, forgive as God has forgiven us for the ways we have sinned against Him. How did He forgive us for taking the life of His Son? Psalm 103:12 says “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” He does not deal with us as our sins deserve; rather, He deals with us in mercy and kindness. His mercy toward us is infinite, unconditional, complete, and undeserved.

The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. That’s how God forgives us. He didn’t wait until we deserved it to extend forgiveness. He didn’t wait until we realized our need for forgiveness. He forgave us before we had any thoughts of seeking Him.

As infinite and unconditional and great is His forgiveness toward us, that is the measure of the forgiveness we can extend to others. The person who is not a Christian does not really have a capacity to forgive as they have never experienced God’s love and forgiveness. But if you are a child of God, if you have been washed by the blood of Jesus, if you have experienced His forgiveness, then you can extend that same forgiveness to others.

Fourth, forgiveness is a promise. It is a promise never to bring that sin up against the offender again—to God, to him, or to others. It is a promise to clear the record of the offender.

Forgiveness is pressing the delete key. It is clearing the record of the one who has sinned against us. Now that doesn’t mean the person never sinned. It just means you’re clearing the record so he or she no longer owes you for those sins. You’re promising never to hold it against that person again. 

MARRIAGE

I know I have hurt my husband in the past, but I don’t know how to change. What can I do?

Here are a few suggestions to develop a safe place for husband. If he fears criticism, emotional conflict, or a demeaning response from you, his typical reaction will be to slip into  self-preservation mode. This may manifest itself in a number of ways: isolation, building walls of protection, angry retaliation, or simmering resentment—all of which destroy marital unity and intimacy.

If you desire for your husband to communicate with you, be drawn to you, desire to connect with you, and spend time with you, I encourage you to cultivate a haven of rest and security for him. Prepare a safe place for your husband through APPRECIATION:

A—Admire and Affirm

You may feel as though you currently see nothing to admire, but begin with looking at the basics and being grateful for them. For example, has your husband remained married to you? Would he protect you if you were in physical danger? Does he help in providing an income for your family? Does he attempt to be a good father? Is he a good neighbor?

Perhaps none of these things are applicable to your situation, but when you married him, he had some qualities you admired—try to see glimpses of those same characteristics which may be lying dormant and convey to him your appreciation for these things.

Affirm him often. That is a part of the helper role and why God said it is not good for man to be alone. Your man needs your affirmation! Give at least one encouraging statement (really more than one) daily, and watch him come out from hiding.

P—Pray

This may be the most important point in this acronym. Diligently, specifically, and regularly intercede in prayer for your husband. Ask God to give you insight into ways you can encourage him and be a source of motivation in his development into the man of God he was created to be.

(Oh, and talk to God about your husband’s areas of weakness rather than talking to your husband about it.)

P—Prepare

Prepare for your husband. If you rise before he does, prepare your heart for the morning moments with him, although they may be brief. Pray for him and for yourself before you even greet him. Prepare to guard your tongue, and to speak encouraging, affirming words that will motivate and inspire him to tackle his day with courage (Prov. 16:24, 18:21, 21:23; Eph. 4:29).

Prepare for the re-entry at the end of the day when you greet one another. Prepare physically, emotionally, and spiritually. By taking time with your appearance as well as preparing your attitude. It will demonstrate to your husband that he is valuable to you.

R—Remember and Recount

Recount fond memories from the past to yourself and to your husband. Go back to the dating years and recount little inside jokes or personal stories that only the two of you share. Remind yourself of good things he has done in the past, then let him know you are thankful for it, even if it has been years since the occurrence (Phil. 4:8).

E—Encourage

If you want your husband to lead, to live out godly manhood, then move aside and let him lead. Encourage his leadership by ceasing to take the lead in your home. If you have stepped into the role of leader (perhaps because of his lack of leadership), ask his forgiveness for this and communicate to him that you desire for him to fill that role.

He may not want the role. Encourage him that you have confidence in his abilities (even if that confidence is very slight). If you don’t have confidence at all, search for any recollection of times when he’s demonstrated leadership and affirm him for it. Speak words that will inspire him to demonstrate his manhood, to step up to the plate: “I know you can do this!” “You are the best one for this job.” “Your ideas are so creative.” “Your leadership gives me security.”

C—Communicate Honestly with Humility

Be sincere. Don’t attempt to convey false words of affirmation. If there is a sin issue which needs to be addressed, don’t hide or cover it up, enabling him to continue in his sin—but confront him in gentleness after much contrite prayer out of a demonstration of true love.

Scripture instructs us to humbly and lovingly confront the sin of a fellow believer, even if that believer is our husband, a brother in Christ (Gal. 6:1–2; Matt. 18:15–18).

But seek the Lord first. Spend time in prayer and the Word asking God for His direction and timing before holding this conversation. Be sure your desire to confront stems from the motive of spiritual restoration for your husband,  not in order to “fix things” more to your liking.

Search your own heart to see if there are areas of sin that need to be confessed before God and perhaps to your husband (Matt. 7:5). As difficult as it will be, in order to confront your husband you will need to extend the same grace and forgiveness to him that has been shown to you (Eph. 4:32).

Before confronting, release unrealistic expectations. Depend on the Holy Spirit, not your words, to bring conviction. Determine that once you’ve voiced your concerns, you will leave this in the Lord’s hands.

If your husband remains unrepentant in sin and that sin reaches a level that requires the intervention of spiritual leadership, you will need to follow the process of confrontation as outlined in Matthew 18:15–18.

I—Initiate Intimacy

Become a student of your husband in every area, but especially in the area of sexual pleasure. Ask him how you can please him. Be generous in your attention to him and playful in your pursuit of him.

Men who have hardened themselves to their wives or retreated to a cave may no longer desire this level of intimacy. Be patient and realize he may struggle with insecurity and fear being a disappointment in this area as well—this can be extremely intimidating for a man.

A—Allow Him to Fail

Allow your husband the freedom to lead by allowing him to fail without fear of reprisal from you. He will fail. He will make decisions that aren’t the best. Allow him to learn from his mistakes.

If you are continually stepping in to show him the best route to take, the best way to navigate the roadways of your lives, he will move aside and let you take the wheel—and he’ll never learn how to be the driver.

When he does make a blunder, don’t emasculate him by beating him up over it. Help him to pick himself up, dust himself off, and get back in the saddle by finding ways to affirm and offer hope.

T—Timing

Be sensitive to your husband’s needs. Don’t initiate a potentially volatile conversation when he is under pressure from a deadline, exhausted, hungry, or just arrived home.

Don’t rush in to vent your feelings to him when you are in an emotional state. Practice self-control and spend some time in prayer, seeking God’s grace for peace and tranquility before approaching him with a situation that needs to be discussed.

I—Invest in Him

Become a student of your husband and his interests. If he is a sports fanatic, join him. If he enjoys hunting, become familiar with it, ask questions, and participate at whatever level he invites you to be included.

Discover what communicates love to him, and then practice the golden rule in serving him in the way you would want to be served. Demonstrate love without expecting anything in return—routinely, often, habitually.

O—Overlook a LOT!

There are many things we get hung up on that can be let go. In the whole scheme of eternity, does it really matter?

N—Never Demean Your Man

Never treat him with disrespect publicly or privately. Honor God by honoring your husband who is of worth and value simply because he is created in God’s image. Communicate to him that he matters to you.

Use Colossians 3:12–17 as a guideline, and cultivate these characteristics. Everyone needs a refuge. Determine that you will be that place of safety and security for your mate.

How do I approach my husband when there is an issue where we don’t agree?

1) Seek the Lord first. Spend time in prayer and the Word asking God for His direction and timing before confronting.

2) Be sure your desire to confront stems from the motive of spiritual restoration for your husband—not in order to “fix things“ more to your liking.

3) Search your own heart to see if there are areas of sin that need to be confessed before God and perhaps to your husband (Matt. 7:5).

4) Consider writing out your concerns in a letter. Most men do not respond well to emotional pleas, angry confrontations, or impassioned exchanges. Putting things in a friendly written form is sometimes helpful in preventing that type of confrontation.

5) Before confronting, release unrealistic expectations. Depend on the Holy Spirit, not your words, to bring conviction. Determine that once you’ve voiced your concerns, you will leave this in the Lord’s hands.

6) If the issue you are confronting is an area of biblical sin and your husband remains unrepentant in sin and that sin reaches a level that requires the intervention of spiritual leadership, you will need to follow the process of confrontation as outlined in Matthew 18:15– 18.

Let your husband know you are giving him a period of time to consider what you’ve shared, but if he is unwilling to repent of his sinful behavior, you will appeal to your church leadership for help—out of love and concern for your husband’s spiritual restoration.

7) Do not enable your husband in his sin. Let him know that he is responsible before God for his actions. After sincerely communicating this to him, allow him to reap the consequences of his own sin. No matter how difficult it is for you to watch, don’t bail him out.

8) Diligently, specifically, and regularly intercede in prayer for your husband’s area of struggle. Do not talk to him about his sin more than you talk to God about it. After you’ve confronted him, give him time and space to repent while you go to the Lord with your concerns about the issue, rather than to your husband.

This is difficult. God is the only one who can bring transformation in our husbands’ lives—we can’t. The reality is that your husband may never change, but by releasing your expectations and demands you can reach a level of surrender that provides contentment in any and all circumstances.

To reach that level of surrender, you will need to depend entirely on God’s grace. Ask Him to develop contentment within you as you wait on Him to work in this situation. Seek Him for specific ways you can display gratitude to your husband. You will be tempted to resent him if he doesn’t respond to your appeal, but don’t allow resentment to build a wall in your relationship with him. Focus on things within your husband’s life and character for which you are thankful and communicate this to him often.

By abiding in Christ, may you experience the joy and grace that will enable you to remain in a difficult circumstance with a heart and attitude that glorifies God.

My husband does not meet my sexual needs. What do I do?

Although it may seem unusual, this situation is common to many women. There can be a variety of contributing factors (health, age, work stress, and responsibilities) that prevent or deter the sexual drive of some men.

Your first step would be to talk with your husband (in a non-accusatory manner). Ask him if he is aware that you are dissatisfied with your sexual relationship. This conversation is not to solve the problem as much as it is to help you understand his perspective. Then, pray and ask the Lord to give you wisdom about the next step.

Affirm your husband and communicate appreciation to him for the many ways he does meet your needs (a great way to do this is with our 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge). Don’t “demand” he fulfill his role in the area of sexual intimacy, but communicate and appeal to him concerning the biblical instruction on this issue (1 Cor. 7:3–5).

My marriage is difficult. Do I need to stay in it?

God’s heart is one of redemption. Although we are sinful and vile, He welcomes us back when we turn in repentance to Him. He is in the ministry of reconciling hearts to Himself. All marriages consist of two sinners. We are all in need of great mercy. Biblical counselors will provide varying responses to the question of separation, divorce, and remarriage. Multiple opinions abound.

But one thing is true: none of us deserve God’s forgiveness, mercy, or blessing—yet He gives it. None of us deserve His commitment of fidelity, yet He is unrelenting in it. None of us deserve second chances or His patience, yet He is long-suffering with each of us.

He has called us to display His character. He’s called us to demonstrate to our spouses and to others His mercy, grace, truth, forbearance, patience, endurance, and even joy in suffering (Col. 3:12–19; Phil. 3:7–10; Eph. 4:31–32).

There are no pat answers or easy solutions. The truth is that God’s grace is sufficient for every need, but that doesn’t mean that every situation will result in a happy ending. When two individuals are willing to walk in a state of repentance and humility—depending on God’s grace in applying the truth of His Word to desperate situations—even then it takes much hard work and perseverance to overcome selfish tendencies and begin to reap the joy of a one-souled marriage. When only one mate is willing to work on the marriage, it may take years for the other to respond in kind—and perhaps he never will.

God’s ultimate purpose for marriage is not our individual happiness—ultimately His purpose is for the world to see the gospel displayed (Eph. 5:22–33). The amazing grace in all of it, however, is that when we establish the type of marital relationship described in this passage, we experience great joy and God receives great glory!

With all of the above in mind, however we should never pretend that sinful acts are okay or ignore the sinful conduct of our husbands. That is not fulfilling the role of a godly wife. “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Prov. 27:5–6). Scripture instructs us to humbly and lovingly confront the sin of a fellow believer, a brother in Christ—even if that believer is our husband (Gal. 6:1–2; Matt. 18:15–18).

It is critical to seek the counsel of godly men and women around you. Ideally, you and your husband should seek counsel together, through a respected couple or pastoral leader. If your husband is unwilling to attend counseling, however, you still have the opportunity to seek advice for how to navigate the difficulties of your marital relationship.

And no matter what your husband chooses to do, look to Christ to fill your deepest needs.

How do I learn how to submit to my husband?

This is a great question. Here are a few practical ways to get started:

  • Submit to God. Realize that the most vital starting point for submission is in your relationship with God. Are you being obedient in the things you know the Lord is leading you to do? Is there any un-confessed sin in your life?
  • Communicate with your husband regularly and openly. Let him know of your respect for him and your desire to submit. This will honor him and will be key in learning to submit to him.
  • Be accountable both to your husband and other women. It is important to have regular check-ups on your spiritual life from those around you. Seek accountability in this area with a teachable spirit and desire to obey.

Here are several helpful (and free!) resources to help you learn, as well. May God give you perseverance and grace as you dig in and practice what you learn!

One of our most popular and widely used resources is the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge.

Here are several radio series we would recommend:

Why do I need to submit to my husband?

Submission is greatly misunderstood and often misapplied. It is important to understand what submission is and is not.

Submission is not: 

  • Offering blind obedience to authority
  • Enabling totalitarian dictatorship
  • Suffering abusive treatment silently
  • Living as a doormat
  • Covering up sin 

Submission is: 

  • Recognizing that God is our authority
  • Willingly surrendering our rights to Him as our Ruler
  • Setting aside our will for His will
  • Living in the freedom that comes from obedience 

From the creation, we see God’s beautiful design for husbands to function as leaders and wives to affirm that leadership role through intelligent, courageous, unselfish submission: 

  • Man was created first (Gen. 2:7).
  • God gave man the responsibility to care for the garden (Gen. 2:15).
  • God gave man the authority to name the creatures (including the woman) (Gen. 2:19–23).
  • God placed man in the position of provider and protector by giving him the responsibility to care for the garden and by giving instruction for spiritual protection by warning him of the consequences of disobedience—before the woman was even created (Gen. 2:15–18).
  • Woman was created by God to rule with her husband as a co-regent over creation (Gen.1:26–28).
  • Woman was in relationship with God before He presented her to Adam (Gen. 2:22).
  • Woman is given the privilege of ruling at her husband’s side as his helper (Gen. 2:18).
  • Woman came from man and was created for man (1 Cor. 11:9).
  • The curse for the woman states her “desire” will be to control or rule over the man, but God reiterates His plan for the man to function as the head in order that the marital relationship reflect the relationship between Christ and the Church (Gen. 3:16, 1 Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5:22–33). 

Sadly, we as women fight against the very thing that brings real freedom and joy. We are so prone to rebelling against the model we see in Scripture. We want to be in control, to take the lead, to do things our own way, and yet that course of action always ends in conflict, disappointment, and often isolation. It never results in the beautiful complementary union that God desires couples to enjoy. Operating this way also prevents an accurate reflection of Christ’s relationship with the Church.

Without the humility of Christ, submission is impossible. But as we grow in Him and begin to follow His example, we’ll find deep joy in our submission to Him—and to our husbands.

Another helpful resource for you is Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem.

What tips can you give me to help me improve my marriage?

Here are ten tried-and-true tips from a sixty-year marriage pro:

1. Don’t confuse love with infatuation. Love is much more than just a feeling—it’s a choice.

2. Love is giving and serving.

3. To love, you need to “grow up” and make mature instead of childish choices.

4. When you say “I do” on your wedding day, you enter into the school of love. Remember that    you will always be a student. Learning how to love requires constant, lifelong effort.

5. As you go through life, you will have to adjust to one another again and again.

6. To overcome difficulties, you have to set aside personal interests and die to self. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.

7. Always try to esteem, recognize, and encourage your spouse.

8. Read God’s precious Word together for encouragement and guidance.

9. Pray together.

10. Use the “Love Passage” (1 Cor. 13) to regularly evaluate if you’re doing a good job loving your spouse: 

  • Am I patient with my spouse?
  • Am I kind to my spouse?
  • Am I envious of or feel like I’m in competition with my spouse?
  • Am I boastful that I am better than my spouse?
  • Am I rude toward my spouse?
  • Am I seeking my own interests rather than my spouse’s interests?
  • Am I easily angered?
  • Do I keep a record of wrongs?
  • Do I always protect and guard our relationship?
  • Do I choose to trust my spouse?
  • Do I hold on to hope for our marriage?
  • Do I always persevere?
  • Does my love for my spouse ever fail?

What is Nancy's view regarding birth control?

Concerning the issue of birth control, even among Christians there is a broad range of opinions on what is appropriate and acceptable on this issue. It is important for a woman and her husband to seek the Lord's wisdom as they consider this issue. Nancy encourages couples to examine their motives in using birth control. She asks a series of questions in the workbook that is a companion to Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free (listed below). A couple can trust God to provide wisdom and guidance as they look to Him (Ps. 32:8, 143:8; Prov. 3:5–6; Isa. 30:21; James 1:5).

1. Read Psalm 113:9, 127:3–5, and Matthew 19:13–15. What do these verses tell us about God's view of children?

2. How is the world's view of children different than God's view?

3. This issue is very controversial. Why do you think this subject evokes such a strong reaction from so many women?

4. What are some of the factors that commonly influence people's decision about the size and timing of their family? Which of these factors have influenced your decisions?

5. The Scripture does not explicitly address the subject of birth control (except for the instance when Pharaoh forbade Jewish women from having children). However, it has much to say about children and childbearing: for example,

  • Children are a blessing and a gift from God.
  • Children are a primary means of passing the faith from one generation to the next.
  • God is the One who opens and shuts the womb; childbearing is a primary purpose of marriage. (Mal. 2:15) 
  • The willingness to bear children is a vital evidence of a woman's faith. (1 Tim. 2:15, 5:14)

We also know that God is sovereign and that He can be trusted (Jer. 29:11). What implications would these truths have for a couple as they make decisions related to childbearing?

Would you say that your decisions in relation to childbearing have been based on:

  • Fear or faith?
  • Natural, human reasoning or biblical thinking?
  • Selfish motives or a commitment to the kingdom of God?
  • Personal emotions and desires or a sincere desire to honor God?

7. If you have any doubt or confusion as to whether your position on childbearing is pleasing to the Lord, write out a prayer asking God to show you the truth and to give you the faith and courage to walk in the truth.

8. Sometimes it's easy to forget that your children really are a blessing! If you have children, write their names and ages. Next to each name write a phrase or two explaining how that child has been a blessing to you.

CHURCH 

I am in a difficult church situation. What should I do?

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says it well: “We need to weep for the condition of the Church today. Toil for her, care for her, intercede for her, plead with God for her. But do not reject her. Do not walk away from her. You are part of the Church. Jesus loves the Church. He gave His life for it.” Obviously, challenges will arise because we live in a fallen world and are dealing with fellow believers who are in the process of sanctification. Consider this letter Nancy wrote to a friend who was in a difficult church situation:

Dear Friend,

I was saddened to hear about the situation in your church. As I read your message, the passage that came immediately to mind was Psalm 118:8–9. Your experience just confirms that the Lord is the only secure object for our trust. People will and do fail us; even the finest Christians and Christian leaders, ourselves included, have feet of clay. We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world, and we have to respond to imperfect situations with humility, grace, compassion, and wisdom. Unfortunately, if you live long enough, there’s no way to avoid the kinds of situations that you’re struggling with. The challenge is to learn how to respond to those situations without sinning ourselves.

Your situation is of particular interest to me at the moment because I am developing a new series for Revive Our Hearts on our biblical responsibilities toward those in positions of spiritual leadership, so I have been doing a lot of thinking about these kinds of issues. The Lord will have to direct you as to whether you stay at your church. As you think and pray it through, remember that you will never find a church or a church leadership without flaws.

Regardless of whether you stay or leave, I would encourage you to pray for your pastors and the whole team there at your church. I know enough about Pastor ___ to know that he takes the Lord seriously and wants to be the man and the pastor God wants him to be. Through your prayers you can be a part of the sanctification process in the lives of these leaders. You can help him become more of the man of God that God wants him to be by your prayers, which will be of infinitely more value than your criticism.

Whether the Lord leads you to stay or leave, ask God to guide your heart and your tongue so you don’t develop a hard or bitter spirit and so you don’t become an instrument of criticism or division in the church. Hard as it may be, ask God to help you focus on and express gratitude for the many praiseworthy qualities that I’m sure exist in these men and in the church. Ultimately, here’s something else that’s important to remember: God doesn’t hold you responsible for what those men do, but only for how you respond to what they do.

Finally, when you feel discouraged or disillusioned about the condition of a particular church or the Church in general, I’d encourage you to go back to the Word and rehearse God’s plan and God’s love for His Church. I find that it helps to keep my eyes on the end of the story; the final outcome of the Church is that she will be a beautiful bride without spot or blemish or any such thing. Like it or not, the Church, warts and all, is crucial to you and me becoming all God intended us to be.

Praying for you,

Nancy

When is it the right time to leave my church?

Leaving a church is a serious matter. First, having a mindset of commitment to your local church body is key. You should avoid the temptation to “church-hop,” or continually look for a new (better) church. Perhaps, then, the question to ask is not “when,” but “why”? Commitment to the local church is pivotal to our lives as believers. However, there are some obvious indicators that it may be time to leave a church such as doctrinal heresy, when the church refuses to deal with blatant ongoing sin or immorality, or when you are leaving a geographical area. Scripture is clear that the Lord adds to the church so we certainly need His guidance in finding, joining, and serving His church, as well as leaving.

Here are some additional helpful resources for you: 

What do you look for when choosing a church?

Here are the ten most important questions you should ask when choosing a church, recorded by  Pastor Joshua Harris in his book Stop Dating the Church

  1. Is this a church where God’s Word is faithfully taught—committed to the authority of Scripture?
  2. Is this a church where sound doctrine matters?
  3. Is this a church where the gospel is cherished and clearly proclaimed?
  4. Is this a church committed to reaching non-Christians with the gospel?
  5. Is this a church whose leaders are characterized by humility and integrity? Do they meet the biblical qualifications for spiritual leadership?
  6. Is this a church where people strive to live by God’s Word and are challenged to do so?
  7. Is this a church where I can find and cultivate godly relationships?
  8. Is this a church where members are challenged to serve?
  9. Is this a church that is willing to kick me out? (If I fail to keep my vows to Christ or to live under the authority of God’s Word, will it exercise biblical church discipline and seek to restore me?)

Is this a church I’m willing to join, “as is,” with enthusiasm and faith in God? Can I fully and joyfully support this church’s leaders, their teaching, and the direction they have set?

What are my responsibilities to my church leadership? 

God’s Word identifies not only the requirements for those in positions of spiritual leadership, but also the attitudes and actions we are to display toward our spiritual leaders. Use the following questions to help evaluate how well you are fulfilling your responsibilities as a follower: 

  • Do I regularly take time to recognize my spiritual leaders and to identify the contributions they have made in my life?
  • Do I respect those who minister spiritually to me?
  • Do my spiritual leaders know that I admire and love them?
  • Do I express appreciation and gratitude to my spiritual leaders for their labors on my behalf?
  • Do I speak well of my spiritual leaders to others?
  • Do I seek to learn from the lives of my spiritual leaders?
  • Do I seek to emulate godly characteristics in the lives of those who have taught me the Word of God?
  • Am I responsive to the direction of my spiritual leaders?
  • When my spiritual leaders stand before God to give account for my life, will they be able to do so with joy?
  • Am I spiritually accountable to anyone in a position of spiritual authority? Do I allow anyone to “watch for my soul”?
  • Do I make it easy for my spiritual leaders to lead me spiritually?
  • When I have a concern about a spiritual leader, do I approach him prayerfully, respectfully, and humbly?
  • Have I been careful to avoid “attacking” or “confronting” my spiritual leaders?
  • Am I careful to avoid making charges against my spiritual leaders, apart from going through the necessary biblical channels?
  • Am I careful not to plant seeds of disloyalty by giving evil reports to others about my spiritual leaders?
  • Am I careful to give God the glory for the spiritual growth and fruit in my life?
  • Am I careful to avoid exalting one spiritual leader above others?
  • Do I realize that ultimately it is God who is at work in my life and that those men who have most impacted me are merely His servants?
  • Do I avoid a sectarian spirit, refusing to take sides with one leader against others?
  • Do I express honor in tangible, practical ways to those who lead me spiritually and minister the Word of God to me and to my family?
  • Are the financial needs of the pastoral staff in our church being adequately met?
  • Do I look for opportunities to minister to the practical needs of my spiritual leaders?
  • Do I thank God for the leaders He has put in my life?
  • Do I pray faithfully for the men who are in positions of spiritual leadership over my life?
  • Do I take initiative to find out how I can pray for my spiritual leaders?  

SINGLENESS

I would like to get married, but there is no one in the picture. What do I do?

Your desire for marriage is a natural and healthy desire. It is normal to struggle with the issue of singleness, but it is important to remember that marriage doesn’t make your dreams come true.

It can be very difficult to surrender to the Lord your desire to be married, but you must be willing to come to that point. The Lord understands your struggle. He has promised to “not leave you or forsake you” (Deut. 31:6), and He has a plan and purpose for your life: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:11–13).

The following quote from Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth comes from the January 31, 2008 Seeking Him radio devotional:

You see, happiness isn’t found in or out of marriage. In fact, it’s not found in any human relationship. True joy can only be found in Christ. God has promised to give us everything we need. If He knows a husband would make it possible for you to bring Him greater glory, then He’ll provide a husband. True contentment comes when we choose to be satisfied with what God has provided.

The following quote comes from Nancy’s book Surrender: The Heart God Controls:

There will likely be a time in our Christian journeys when, like Jacob, we will wrestle with God all night long. . . . But there must eventually come a dawn when we say, “Okay, God, You win. . . . Not my will but Thine be done.”

Release this situation into God’s loving hands. As you turn your attention to Him, you can praise Him for promising “all things [even this painful situation] work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). You can trust God with your future. Why not ask Him what He desires for your life and then surrender to His plan?

If you desire marriage and that just doesn’t seem to be an option right now, here are a couple of suggestions: 

  • Do not plan your life on the presumption of what you hope to happen. That is, although you desire marriage, you must continue to live your life where God has you right now—being a good steward of this single season of life.
  • Be sure that you are finding your fulfillment in Christ and not your marital status. Although this may sound simple, it is nonetheless a constant challenge for those who desire marriage. Remind yourself that you are created in God’s image regardless of whether you are married or single. Although marriage is an incredible institution designed by God Himself, remember that your intrinsic worth is not found in a ring on your finger. 

Here are some helpful, encouraging resources for you to check out: 

How do I know if I should marry the man I’m dating?

It’s good that you desire to be confident that the lifelong commitment you’re making is directed by God and not your own emotions. When individuals struggle with knowing God’s will for decisions like this, it’s helpful to consider four areas of confirmation:

1. The Word

Ask God to confirm His direction and will through giving you a specific verse or passage that you can return to when doubt arises. Ask for clear confirmation through His Word. 

2. Prayer

Seek the Lord’s will through prayer. Ask for more than an emotional feeling or a subjective experience, but a “knowing” that comes from the Spirit of God (John 10:27, 14:26–27; Rom. 8:26–27). 

3. Godly Counsel

Seek counsel from your church family and from mature believers who know you both well—especially seek input from godly couples (rather than single individuals) when it concerns a marital question. 

4. Confirming Circumstances

This is the least one of the four to rely on, but God does use circumstances to accomplish His purposes. Look for obvious indications of God at work in and through circumstances in bringing the two of you together. And finally, wait to enter marriage until you’ve received peace. Not that everything will ever look perfect, but you should no longer be struggling with knowing if this is God’s will.

Love is not based on emotion or feeling; it is not something we “fall into.” Love is a visible demonstration of the love Christ has given (1 John 3). No matter who one marries, a Christ-like love relationship can be established.

Is it right to pursue my education and career goals as a single woman?

Remember that your calling as a woman is not defined by marital status. While singleness may present specific ministry opportunities, it does not limit you to service in the kingdom of God. With this in mind, here are a few principles to consider:

  • Are you currently pursuing God’s calling on your life as a Christian woman through discipleship, Christian growth, and Titus 2 relationships?
  • Is your purpose in pursuing a career mainly financial?
  • Will you incur great amounts of debt through your educational and career pursuits?
  • Is the career you are pursuing useful for both single and married women? That is, will you be able to use these skills if the Lord allows you to marry and have children?

Here are some additional helpful resources for you:

SUFFERING

Life is so hard, how do I keep going?

Regardless of our circumstances, we look to Christ and trust Him to be our sufficiency. We must trust that His grace is enough to carry us through. He is made strong in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). In Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's series “Enduring Life’s Hardships,” she points us to the resources God has given us to deal with hardship:

  • The grace of God
  • The gift of God
  • The power of God
  • The Spirit of God
  • The Word of God

Remember that you’re not alone. You may feel alone. Everyone whom you trusted or looked to for help and support may have left you, deserted you, moved away, or died. You may feel that you’re alone, but remember . . . you’re not.

First of all, you have the presence of Christ. The psalmist says “For my father and mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.” You have Christ. He walks with you. He’s promised to be with you always. The presence of Christ should encourage you and help you to endure.

Second, you are part of the Body of Christ and God has given you other believers to help encourage you.  

Third, no matter how difficult things are today, know that you can face the future with hope. Remember these truths about the future:

  1. All wrongs will be righted. Those who oppose the truth will be brought to justice. God will handle them. Any seeming victory they may have is only an appearance of a victory, and it will be short-lived.
  2. The Lord will rescue you from all trouble. He will. He’s promised. You can be sure of that in the future. In His way and in His time, He will deliver you.
  3. All your efforts, labors, faithfulness under fire, and suffering will be rewarded in that day, the day when we receive rewards for faithfulness. We will stand before the Lord and He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). “Weeping may tarry for the night,” Psalm 30:5 says, “but joy comes with the morning.“

I’m afraid. What do I do in such an uncertain economic crisis?

None of this catches God off guard. He knows everything that is going on in our world. He also knows what lies ahead. He is orchestrating all things to fulfill His eternal, redemptive purposes and to glorify Himself.

God cares about how difficult circumstances affect the lives of His children. Those circumstances may be intense and painful at times, but they do not have to overwhelm us or steal our peace. In fact, in the ultimate sense, anything that makes us need God is a blessing!

Crises can provide opportunities for God’s people to flourish spiritually and to point others to Christ who is our only Rock and hope—not only in this present time, but for all eternity.

Here is some biblical counsel to strengthen you in the midst of these uncertain times:

  • Look upward, rather than outward or inward. Our response to turbulent times will be determined by our perspective and where we place our focus. People should be able to look at Christians and see a response to pressure that is distinctly different (Phil. 2:14–15). 
  • Tell God your needs. Ask Him for provision, wisdom, direction, and grace to persevere. Ask God to use this season of turmoil and uncertainty to bring about revival and spiritual awakening in our churches and in our country (Luke 11:2–3; Phil. 4:5–6).
  • Learn the secret of contentment. Contentment flows out of believing that God has provided everything we need for the present moment and that He will provide all we need in the future (Ps. 73:25; Phil. 4:11–13; 1 Tim. 6:6–8). 
  • Ask God to fulfill His purposes. God uses adversity to show us what is in our hearts, to purify us, and to deepen our dependence on Him. Seasons of leanness can prove to be times of great blessing, as we are stripped of self-reliance and our hearts are turned toward the Lord (Deut. 8:3).
  • Allow God to purify your heart. Lean times can be a means of God’s chastening—both personally and corporately. Ask God what He is trying to say through these circumstances; let Him search your heart, and then respond in humility and obedience (Ps. 139:23–24). 
  • Allow God to reorder your priorities as needed. Times of economic hardship or loss expose what matters most to us and what we really love. They provide an opportunity to identify any tendency to accumulate “stuff” we don’t need and to take steps to develop a more moderate lifestyle (Luke 12:15, 31, 34).
  • Place your confidence in the Lord. He can be trusted. He loves you, He knows what you are facing, and He cares for you. These circumstances have not caught Him off guard. He is still on His throne and is accomplishing His purposes in your life and in the world. Trust Him to meet your needs—He will provide. Now is a time to see what God can do (1 Kings 17:1–16; Matt. 6:25–34).
  • Reach out to others. Be sensitive to those around you who may have even greater needs than your own, particularly those in the Body of Christ. Don’t just think about your own problems; put the needs of others ahead of your own (Phil. 2:4).
  • Practice Christ-like giving. The natural tendency in times of financial uncertainty is to hold on to what we have and give less. But what an opportunity to demonstrate the greatness and power of God in our giving! Ask God how you can exercise faith and reflect His generous heart in your giving at this time (2 Cor. 8:1–4; 9:8).
  • Rejoice in the Lord. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy, regardless of what is going on in the world or in your personal financial situation. If we have Him, we are rich, we have everything we need, and we have reason to rejoice (Hab. 3:17–18)!

WOMEN IN MINISTRY 

Sometimes I get so discouraged serving in ministry. Can you help me? 

Being in the position of spiritual leadership holds great opportunity, but it also holds great responsibility. Discouragement can come from attempting to minister to others while seeing little results, or the frustration from dealing with negative reactions, or more. Here are a few things that are helpful while serving in ministry:

Abide in Christ

This is the only possible way to minister. We have nothing to give of ourselves. In order to minister, we must be abiding in the One who is the Way, Truth, and the Life. It is critical to stay connected with Him throughout the day and night—through prayer, worship, and meditation on His Word.

Bear the Burden of Others through Intercession

As you are aware of spiritual needs in others, pray for them. Remember that God is the heart changer—you are not. He is the One who brings transformation, so go to Him in prayer and intercede. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your mouth with truth to share when He gives opportunity, but be sensitive to His leadership and allow Him to guide you. Many times we want to rush in and “fix” others and bombard them with truth or share how we’ve been changed, but their hearts have not yet been prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive what we want to share. Wait on His words and His timing.

Minister in Peace

James 1:20 tells us the anger of man cannot produce the righteousness of God. Seeing behavior or blatant sin of someone you’ve poured truth into can be disappointing. It is right to grieve over their sin and to be angry at the enemy of their soul, but our heart toward the individual must be one of compassion (Matt. 9:36).

Walk in Humility

“What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7). It is a good practice to remind ourselves of where we once were, to remember those who’ve given us patient instruction and encouragement, and to reflect on the fact that if it were not for God’s grace, we would not be walking with Him and no sin is beyond what we could commit.

Seek Out Wise Counsel and Accountability

It is very helpful to have older and more mature women in your life help you think about things through the grid of Scripture. Pray God will provide friendships for you that will encourage and strengthen you as you minister to others.

Can you review my writing?

While we are honored by your confidence in our ministry and appreciate your desire to have some feedback on your writing, we simply do not have the staff (or training) necessary to provide this kind of service. However, a resource that might be helpful to you is Sally Stuart’s book Christian Writers’ Market Guide. It contains a lot of information about literary agents, publishers, etc., and is updated annually. 

We would also encourage you to attend conferences that are designed to provide further development and training, like the writers’ conference held each year at Maranatha. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

What does Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth believe about women teaching when men are present?

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has spoken to this issue with Wayne Grudem in “Men and Women: Similarities and Differences—Equal in Value, Different in Roles” and more specifically in the series “A Vision for Biblical Womanhood Biblical Roles in the Church.”

She believes that the words found in 1 Timothy 2:12 still apply to women today, and that women should not be the spiritual leaders of men, as pastors or even as the primary leaders of mixed-gender Sunday school classes.

At the same time, Nancy does not believe that occasional teaching by women in mixed audiences is inappropriate, as long as two things are clear. First, that it is taking place under the headship of male spiritual authority. (The word translated have authority means “to exercise authority on one’s own account; to domineer over—one who acts on his own authority; to have dominion.”) And, second, as long as the woman involved is not put in a position of ongoing responsibility for the spiritual direction of men. (The word translated to teach in 1 Timothy 2:12 is in a tense that indicates ongoing instruction.)

PRAYER

My child is not living a life pleasing to God. What do I do?

As Pastor John Piper says, “God is always doing a thousand things which we cannot see . . .”  

It is true—He is personally involved and working, even when we see no evidence. Remember Hannah crying out for a child in 1 Samuel? All she could see was her own barren condition. But God was preparing to give her a son in His own timing. Remember, she did not yet know the rest of the story, just as you have not yet seen all God will do in your child’s life to woo him or her to Himself.

Another testimony of the power of a mother’s prayer is Monica, the mother of Augustine. Other than the apostle Paul, he had probably the greatest impact on early Christianity. Although raised by a godly mother, when Augustine was a young adult he rejected the Christian faith and was known as an immoral pagan. Monica relentlessly pounded the gates of heaven in prayer for him. God captured his heart, and Augustine credited his mother’s prayers when speaking of his conversion.

Here are a couple things you can do in praying for your children:

1)      Go through the Old Testament and pull out references to God’s mighty acts. “Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth” (Ps. 74:12).

2)      Record descriptions of God that exalt His power as Redeemer. “You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told” (Ps. 40:5).

You might want to compile several of these verses in a prayer journal specifically dedicated to praying for your child. Then ask God to give you a specific verse or passage to be able to personally apply to praying in faith for your child.

Also, continue to reach out in love to your child. That is so important. If he or she is a prodigal, he or she needs to know they have a safe place to return to—a loving parent or family. God calls us to demonstrate Christ-like love, the balance of truth and grace to those who are not walking with Him.

How can I have an effective prayer life? 

One idea is to get a large loose-leaf binder or day planner containing a monthly calendar and pages that can be easily added or removed. Give each individual and ministry its own page, and use that to record Scriptures that apply to their need. Log dates of prayer requests and answers received. Here are some prayer sections you could add:

  • Daily: Your family and a few close friends. These are some of the Scriptures you can pray: 

For husband: Ephesians 1:17–19; Psalm 15:1–2, 92:12–15
For children: Colossians 1:9–12; 2 Corinthians 13:7–9; 1 Timothy 4:12, 6:11–12; 2 Timothy 2:22; Proverbs 2:20

  • Sunday: Your pastor and church leaders, worship team, your church, and other churches you are burdened for
  • Monday–Saturday: Various ministries, revival, our nation and its leaders, friends, and church members
  • Praises: This section is a compilation of various answers to prayer.

Intercession Tips:

  • When someone asks for prayer, if at all possible pray with her right then.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to bring this request to mind at critical times when intercession is needed.
  • Write down the prayer request. If you keep a log or a prayer journal, transfer it to the appropriate category.
  • When an individual is facing a potentially severe trial, ask if you can include a group of women for a specific time of prayer over her. It may be necessary to enlist women to pray at specific times in order to have a regular cycle of intercession.
  • Use every opportunity to intercede: when driving and you spot someone in traffic, when passing a friend’s house, or when hearing a song that reminds you of someone—pray for them.
  • Keep reports or updates from ministries in order to pray for specific needs.
  • If your prayer time is interrupted by thoughts of things needing to be done, jot them down and return to prayer. Keep in mind these interruptions may be things that need prayer as well.
  • Pray with an eternal perspective in mind. That means pray larger than just the person’s immediate circumstance. Ask God to use this particular situation in their life in the advancement of His kingdom. Don’t always ask God to “fix” or “heal” or “provide abundantly.” Sometimes the “abundance” will hinder the individual from being more conformed to His image (2 Cor. 4:17–18).
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight in how to pray for the individual. Ask Him to bring Scriptures to mind that would be good to pray for that person. Also, ask Him to bring that individual to mind at times when it is critical for you to pray for them.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see answers to your prayers right away. Don’t grow weary. It is a rich reward to see prayers answered after years of faithful intercession.

You don’t have to use a prayer journal or set specific times to pray; however, a plan can help you to be diligent in accomplishing prayer rather than having good intentions that never come to fruition. We can come to God anytime, anyplace, praying about anything—that should occur all throughout the day. One of life’s greatest joys is seeing God answer prayer!

RELATIONSHIPS

How can I have healthy relationships with other women? 

Women are wired to be relational creatures. When there’s exciting news, heartbreak, disappointment, or the need of a shoulder to cry on, we usually turn to a friend.

Within the Titus 2 passage there is a valuable word of exhortation that should be a vital aspect of our friendships: “Encourage the young women to . . . be sensible” (v. 5 NASB).

This one little word is packed with meaning. It’s the Greek word sóphrón—to be of sound mind, self-controlled, temperate. To operate with this mindset is to use wisdom, taking the knowledge of the Word of God and applying it practically to the demands of daily life in order to live life to God’s glory.

To be a sóphrón woman means that your behavior is directed by God’s truth rather than driven by your emotions. When faced with challenging circumstances, the tendency for most women is to react—not in wisdom—but with our emotions! This is where being a Titus 2 friend can be helpful. A Titus 2 friend demonstrates:

  • A listening ear
  • An open heart
  • Tenderness
  • Confidentiality
  • Loyalty
  • Humility
  • Sensitivity to the Spirit
  • Devotion
  • A sense of humor (especially a willingness to laugh at yourself)
  • Grace for “life interruptions”
  • A heart that forgives quickly and frequently
  • Letting go of things that don’t really matter while holding on to things that do
  • Patience
  • Forgetting the worst and remembering the best
  • Humbly confronting when necessary
  • Speaking truth in love—always
  • Serving as a faithful encourager
  • Taking time to cultivate a long history together
  • Commitment to prayerful intercession

Ask God to bring friends into your life who will point you to truth when you are struggling. Don’t wait for this kind of person to befriend you, though; take the first step by asking God to lead you to someone who needs a friend. Be this kind of friend (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16–18).  

How do I resolve conflict? 

We suggest the following process based on Matthew 18:15–17:

Step One: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”

Step Two: “If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.”

Step Three:  “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.”

Step Four:    “And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

Before you take these steps, though, remember to:

  • Examine your own heart. Jesus taught us, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye” (Matt. 7:3-5).
  • Put on the attitude of Christ when speaking to your brother: “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2).
  • Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).

Here are some additional resources that may help you:

I want to be hospitable and kind, but if I invite someone over, I don’t know what we’ll talk about. Help!

Your floors can be sparkling, the windows shining, the aromas wafting, but if you don’t know how to connect with your guest . . . well, it’s a flop! Here are a few simple do’s and don’ts, as well as some great conversation starters.

Do:

  • Listen! Listen not just because you want to look like a good listener; listen because you really want to understand where this person is coming from. If you have no desire to really understand, ask God for that desire. Ask Him to give you insight into the other person so you can better love, pray, and point them to Jesus and the truth they need.
  • Admit it when you aren’t listening. Then, ask them to repeat what they were saying. Say something like, “I’m so sorry! I just realized I tuned out, but I really am interested. Would you mind repeating what you just said?” (It’s more important to actually hear—even if it means humbling yourself—then to just nod your head ignorantly.)
  • Tell them about yourself when they ask. You may feel more comfortable letting others talk, but often your transparency will help set the stage so others feel free to share about their own lives.
  • Laugh at yourself. If you’re trying to make others feel at ease, you’re sure to say dumb things sometimes.
  • Include the kids in the conversation. Not only will the kids feel special; their parents will love you for it.

Don’t:

  • Try to answer a question for them. Just be still and let them figure out how they want to respond.
  • Don’t continue probing where they obviously don’t want you to dig. It’s okay to try, but if you meet resistance, back off.

Be prepared to ask some questions. Here are some questions to get you started:     

  • How long have you been coming to . . .? (This is much better than asking, “Was this your first visit?”)
  • Where do you live?
  • Are you a stay-at-home mom? Do you work outside the home? (Be careful not to ask, “Are you a stay-at-home mom, or do you work?” Stay-at-home moms almost never stop working!)
  • How do you fill your days? (This question is basically asking them what their job is, but it’s phrased in such a way that it’s general enough to include others like retirees and students.)
  • When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
  • What are you looking for in a church?  
  • What’s your spiritual background?
  • How has Jesus changed your life?
  • How did you two meet?
  • How would you describe yourself in five words?
  • What do you like the best—and the least—about living in this area?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What’s been your greatest disappointment in life? Your greatest joy?
  • Who’s your best friend?
  • What do you live for?

Try to ask open-ended questions rather than questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. A couple other helpful tips:

If you know someone with whom conversation doesn’t come easily, you might want to think of a question ahead of time to ask them. Spend a couple of minutes thinking about the last time you were with them. What do you know about their lives? What are they currently involved in? What have they asked for prayer for recently?

Be prepared with your own answers to standard questions. Do you know how you will respond when people ask what you do? Will you respond differently if a Christian or a non-Christian asks you this question, or not? Are you prepared to share your testimony? Do you have a short and a long version?

ABORTION

How can I deal with the pain of having had an abortion in my past?

The pain of having had an abortion can be healed. As Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says, “No matter how deep that wound is, no matter how much hurt and pain you’re carrying from the past, God’s grace is sufficient and God can begin that healing process in your life today.”

God does not intend for believers to bear the burden of their sins—He has already paid the price. Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Christ did not set you free only to have you live in slavery to the sins of your past. You no longer bear the burden for your sin.

If you have confessed your sins, remember that God is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). When you find yourself thinking on your sin, replace those thoughts with the truth of God’s Word: verses from Psalm 25, 32:1–2, 51:12, 103:10-12; Isaiah 43:25; John 8:36; Romans 8:2; and 1 John 3:20.

Write a couple of these verses on note cards and say or read them over and over until the truth gets in you and you are able to stand firm against the schemes of the evil one (Eph. 6:11).

Here are some additional resources that may help you:

MODESTY AND SEXUAL PURITY

I see so much immodesty in my church. What can I do?

Encouraging modesty in other women can happen as a result of the example you set, as well as sharing naturally in conversation how God has and is been working in your life on this issue. You could invite a woman out to coffee to get to know her, and could share about the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. Offer to bring her some transcripts from programs that have blessed you, like “Modesty” or “The Attractive Christian Woman.”

There are also helpful ways to encourage modesty in a positive context within the church body. Some churches hold a spring brunch with the subject of modesty as the focus. Teaching can be done on heart modesty using 1 Peter 3:1–6. Other churches host mother/daughter events and retreats with the same focus.

Please keep in mind when you see an immodestly dressed woman that she may have never had opportunities to hear the truth you’ve been exposed to, and may not even realize her dress is inappropriate. We must always balance truth with grace and remember that in order to glorify Christ, our approach must be one of humility born from a desire to “present everyone mature in Christ” (Col. 1:28).

Several Revive Our Hearts resources are available that could be used as handouts at events or as conversation starters to help younger believers who’ve never heard any teaching on the topic of modesty: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's booklet The Look: Does God Really Care What I Wear?, the article Characteristics of a Meek and Quiet Spirit, and the article Don't Let Your Daughter Send an Invitation to Her Party.

You might want to share your concern with godly women in leadership in your church. Prayerfully ask the Lord to give you wisdom for your next step. We know this is a growing problem, and while we can’t solve it in our nation, we can begin changing ungodly thinking and behavior one woman, family, and church at a time.

I want to be modest. What do you think about bathing suits?

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is careful to not make lists for women, but to encourage them to reflect a heart of purity as they set their own standards of dress. Here are a few thoughts from her booklet The Look in response to the question “What do you think about swimsuits?”:

Like every other type of clothing, swimsuits need to be evaluated according to a standard of modesty. Ask yourself, Does this article of clothing fulfill the purpose for clothing, which is to cover nakedness? Does it expose or emphasize private parts of my body?

Here’s something to think about. Did you know that until the mid-1800s men and women swam in different places or at different hours? Yet, today, men and women swim together in swimwear that is often provocative and designed to expose human anatomy. In his thought-provoking book Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America, Jeff Pollard traces the historical development of swimwear in the United States and shows how the powerful influence of the fashion industry eventually overruled a sense of modesty in our culture:

“Christian morality and its attending modesty . . . simply caved in to growing public pressure. The voice of God’s Word was slowly but surely drowned out by the voice of an increasingly secular media, the fashion industry, and public opinion. Consequently, our culture’s basis for modesty eroded, almost to the vanishing point. Let me put it another way: no one held a gun to America’s head and said, ‘Strip or die!’ The fashion industry simply said, ‘This is what the fashionable wear’—and our culture eagerly disrobed” (pp. 37–38).

Later in The Look, Nancy writes, “‘Place’ does not determine modesty. Unfortunately, when it comes to swimwear and formal wear, many Christian women do not even consider the issue of modesty, or they are content to settle for a standard that is ‘relatively’ modest—i.e., modest compared to what ‘most people wear’—rather than asking, ‘Is this truly modest?’” (pp. 49–50).

My husband is addicted to pornography. What do I do?

It’s no secret that pornography and its related effects are devastating to one’s life and marriage. If this is an issue in your husband’s life, you can’t deny it or pretend it doesn’t exist. Rather, pray for your husband and seek pastoral counsel immediately. In addition, there are many resources that are available for help in this situation.

Here are some additional helpful resources for you:

  • Rebuilding After Pornography.” In this interview, Tony—a church leader and “model” husband and father—and Pam Vuke share their story with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Tony was the last person on earth anyone would have guessed struggled with pornography. They share how the Lord redeemed this devastating situation in their lives.
  • Pure Life Ministries is dedicated to helping those addicted to pornography find freedom in Christ. Steve Gallagher and his wife offer resources and counseling to those struggling with sexual addiction and to their spouses. You might also consider the following books:
    • When His Secret Sin Breaks Your Heart
    • Helping Hurting Wives
    • Setting Women Free

GOD

Will infants who die go to heaven?

First, let’s look at Romans 1:19-20, which tells us that all mankind has opportunity to know God, and will stand before Him without excuse:

“What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

Pastor John Piper says, “Nature should lead us to belief in God and His glory as creator, and therefore every man who can perceive nature is accountable to honor God and thank him.” About infants who die, John Piper says:

My reason for thinking they’re all saved is because of the principle in Romans 1 where Paul argues that all people know God, and they are “without excuse” because they do not honor him or glorify him as God.

His argument is that they are without excuse because they know things, as though accountability in the presence of God at the Last Judgment will be based, at least partly, on whether they had access to necessary knowledge.

And God says they’ve all got access to knowledge, because they can look at the things he has made and see his power and deity. But they suppress that knowledge instead of submitting to it, therefore they’re all condemned.

So I ask the question: OK, is the principle being raised there that, if you don’t have access to the knowledge that causes you to be held accountable, therefore you will not be accountable? And I think that’s the case.

I think babies and imbeciles—that is, those with profound mental disabilities—don’t have access to the knowledge that they will be called to account for. Therefore, somehow in some way, God, through Christ, covers these people.

So that, in a nutshell, is why I think all children who die in infancy are elect and will be, through Jesus Christ, saved in ways that I may not know how, as God honors this principle of accountability.

SCRIPTURE MEMORY

Memorization is so hard. How do you retain the verses you’ve learned?

Carrie Gaul, one of our biblical correspondents at Revive Our Hearts, can relate:

For years, I was the “queen of bad” at hiding God’s Word in my heart. I had great intentions and periodically even managed to memorize a verse or two. The problem was those verses never seemed to stick in my mind for very long. In the area of Scripture memorization, I felt like a total failure. 

Then I met Tom, a no-nonsense man who not only loves God and His Word, but is deeply committed to the discipline of Scripture memorization. Tom’s life and teaching profoundly reflect the depth of Scripture he has committed to memory over the years.

Through Tom’s life, the Lord convicted me that memorizing Scripture was not just a difficult area. For me, my failure to memorize had become sin. I was choosing not to hide God’s Word in my heart because it was too hard!

If you’ve struggled with retaining what you’ve memorized, I encourage you to try this very simple tool. It consists of three sheets:

The “Once a Day for Seven Weeks” Sheet

Write the verse(s) you’ll be memorizing on the first line (example: Philippians 1:1 or 1:1–5). Rehearse that verse at least once daily for the next seven weeks. After several days you can begin working on additional verses.

The “Once a Week for Seven Months” Sheet

After seven weeks, move the verse(s) you’ve completed to this second sheet. Review these verses once a week for seven months. (I often review on the weekend.)

The “Once a Month for Seven Years” Sheet

At the end of seven months, move the verse(s) to this third sheet, and review them once a month for seven years.

With the help of this little tool, I’ve grown to love memorizing and meditating on God’s Word. In fact, memorizing God’s Word has brought life to some of the more mundane tasks of the day—getting ready in the morning, running errands, doing laundry, and even mowing the lawn. 

Memorize monthly passages of Scripture with Revive Our Hearts computer wallpapers.

How do I make Scripture memory personal and practical?

Consider keeping a journal of the experiences in your life where God uses one of the verses you have memorized. God may use the verse for “teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the [woman] of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). 

And then pray, thanking the Lord for how He has kept His promise to use His Word in your life. You will discover those Scriptures will be more than memorized; they will be imbedded in your heart and mind. Your journal will be a record of God shaping your heart and life.

I want to memorize Scripture, but there are so many versions out there. Which one should I choose?

By its very nature, translation is interpretive and therefore not an exact science. There are many judgments that have to be made in word selection, and two equally competent/godly/conservative translators would make different judgments at points.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has not studied Hebrew or Greek, so she depends on people whose judgment she trusts to help her make some of these decisions. She believes the NKJV, NASB, and ESV are all sound (generally word-for-word) translations; though they each have strengths, differences, and limitations. (There is value in reading and comparing them all as it can be helpful to shed additional light on passages.) While the NIV is very readable, the translators focused primarily on translating thoughts and ideas rather than a word-for-word translation.

Nancy has chosen to make the ESV her primary study/teaching Bible over other good translations, although she could have been as comfortable with NKJV or NASB. A major reason for not choosing one of those is that their use is not quite as widespread.

DEVOTIONS

How can I have devotions when I always have young children needing my attention?

The following is written by Carrie Ward, a wife of one of our staff members:

I was the mother of three children under age four. Yet I was determined not to let the busyness of being a wife and mom—or my past discouragements—diminish this appetite. I also felt an urgency to get more of God’s Word into the hearts of my kids. We had just finished a children’s devotional book, and I was looking for what to do next . . . when an idea hit. I had two goals: I wanted to read the Bible, and I wanted my children to know God’s Word. Why not do both at the same time? Why not read the entire Bible together?

My plan was simple: one chapter a day, five days a week. I must admit, the idea of such a long-term commitment intimidated me, but I had a longing that would not go away. So, we began.

The first few days of reading were tricky. I was all jazzed at the prospect of reading the whole Bible. For some unknown reason, I thought my children would share my enthusiasm. Instead, while I was reading about the fall of man, they were jumping and spinning in their chairs. I felt like I was reading out loud to myself.

But God was gracious to not leave me feeling this way for long. On the fourth day, after our reading, my kids went off to play. Then I noticed what they were playing. They were acting out what we had just read—in great detail. They hadn’t appeared to be listening, but they were hearing. They were hearing the Word of God. This was the boost I needed to keep going.

I soon realized that reading the Bible to children is not without some complications. Let’s face it, the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) can be quite graphic. I almost panicked when my preschool kids asked, “Mom, what’s a prostitute?”

Moments like that prompted me to start scanning ahead so I would know what was coming. I also came up with my own definitions for certain words—words my children needed to hear in order to understand the story but didn’t necessarily need a complete definition for just yet. So, for example, a virgin is “a woman who has never been married.” A prostitute is “a woman who goes from one man to another to another, instead of remaining faithful to a husband.”

Before long, I could tell that they really were listening and getting drawn into each story. After reading about a long line of Israel’s kings who did what was evil and provoked the Lord to anger, we came to the end of 1 Kings 16. Here we read about Ahab becoming king of Israel. The Bible says he did more to provoke the anger of the Lord than all the kings of Israel who were before him. When we finished reading chapter 16, I said, “Tomorrow, Elijah comes on the scene.” My daughter yelled, “Yay, we need this guy!”

Not only were they following along closely with the stories, but God was increasing their capacity to understand. Once I was working hard to explain what it means to quench the Spirit. I likened it to throwing water on a fire. I was trying to come up with another illustration when I looked over at my son. He had his index finger pointing up with the other hand covering his finger while he was singing softly, “Hide it under a bushel, no! I’m gonna let it shine.” He got it.

God took a discipline that had been a struggle for me and made it an immeasurable joy. I am overflowing with gratitude to God for giving me this idea and for constantly fueling the desire to be in His Word. And after five years, we finished the Bible. We spent the day celebrating together as a family. The experience was more than simply maintaining a discipline; it was about getting to know God. 

What ways have you found to carve out a time to spend with the Lord each day?

Here are some practical tips on creating space to hear from the Lord:

1. First, think through the last forty-eight hours. Any time-stealers come to mind? Facebook, Twitter, TV, email, Internet, phone calls, texts, online shopping, etc.? Make sure the enemy isn’t robbing you of God-moments by offering a “harmless” substitute.

2. Time with the Lord takes intentional planning when you have a full, noisy, busy house. You can gather your kids around and read a passage to them. Or, write a few verses out and leave them in the kitchen, laundry room, or car so you can contemplate as you cook, fold, or wait for your kids.

3. Place Bibles in several spots around your house so anytime you do get to sit down you can snatch a verse or two to ponder.

4. Use the first few minutes of naptime to get rest for your spirit. You probably won’t be reading chapters or books at one sitting, but the Lord can use even snippets to instruct and encourage your heart. If you have kids who no longer nap, make a quiet zone where they can read or color while the little ones sleep and you get refreshed. Occasionally, this will actually work!!

5. Escape for a few minutes if you can after your husband gets home or right after dinner.

6. Practice God’s presence in the midst of your crazy days. He doesn’t leave because your life is hectic. He can minister grace to your heart as you comfort that child or chop veggies for dinner or sort dirty socks. Christ knew what it was like to wash dirty feet. He is not absent when we are surrounded by lots of them! Remember that the Lord had many moments when He sought to draw apart to seek the Father. Sometimes that happened, and sometimes He was moved with compassion and returned to the multitudes. His heart was to do the will of His Father every moment of every day, but He didn’t live apart; He lived in the midst.

7. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and discernment as you discover what will work for your family. Since it is God’s will for you to know Him, ask Him to enable you to creatively pursue that in this season of your life. God’s Word is eternal. The lives of those who come to know Him are eternal. Houses, stuff, and even time will all pass away. We won’t regret time invested in His Word and in raising our kids to love Christ.

What Bible study tools & devotionals does Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth recommend?

It is important to have a regular reading plan that includes all of God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16). Yet at the same time, don’t put yourself in a box. Variety is healthy and keeps your times with the Lord fresh. For that reason, here are several different ideas, approaches, and devotionals for reading God’s Word.

BASIC

For Beginners
This plan covers about forty percent of the entire Bible—the Old Testament stories, Psalms, Proverbs, Mark, John, and most New Testament letters.

Through the Bible in Two Years
Read through the entire Bible once in two years, and the Psalms and New Testament twice.

New Testament In a Year
Read through the New Testament in a year.

MODERATE

One-Year Reading Plan by Genre 

Read through the Bible in a year, sampling a different part of the Bible each day of the week. Read the Epistles on Sunday, the Law on Monday, History on Tuesday, Psalms on Wednesday, Poetry on Thursday, Prophesy on Friday, and the Gospels on Saturday.

One-Year Chronological Reading Plan 

Read through the Bible in chronological order, as events occurred in time.

One-Year Reading Plans

Choose from one of ten different Bible Reading Plans..

One-Year Genesis to Revelation Journey
Start your year at the beginning of the Bible, and end the year in the last book.

ADVANCED

Ninety-Day Reading Plan
Read through the Bible in ninety days.

OTHER

For the App User
Ten different reading plans for those using RSS feed, mobile apps, and desiring a daily email. 

Customize Your Online Plan
Customize your own plan in the version of your choice on Biblegateway.com. 

Here are some tools that Nancy has found helpful:

Word studies:

Commentaries and study Bibles:

Devotional books:

How do I study a topic in the Bible?

First, spend time seeking the Lord about an area of spiritual growth you wish to pursue. Then:

  • Take some time each day to look up several Scriptures pertaining to the particular topic. A good way to accomplish this is by using a concordance. Simply look up a few references at a time, jotting down notes as you go and cross-referencing related passages.
  • Record passages that are particularly meaningful or thought-provoking on 3x5 cards or a journal for memorization and use for further meditation.
  • Research, purchase, and read good books on the particular topic. A good commentary is quite helpful as a study tool. Use resources as you would a school textbook. Don’t just read, but thoroughly study the subject.
  • Ask questions about the topic you’re studying. Be inquisitive in order to learn. Ask questions as you read Scripture, as you are in conversation with others, as you go through your day in prayer.
  • Research the topic online. Visit good websites that offer recorded messages like Revive Our Hearts, Desiring God, or Grace to You.
  • Humbly approach the topic of study, recognizing that although you may have some knowledge, there is still much to learn and apply to your life. Ask God for grace to grow in this area and to use your growth for His glory.
  • Share with others what God is teaching you. Allow your transparency and admission of need in this area to be an example and inspiration for others to follow in pursuing spiritual maturity. 

REVIVAL

What is revival?

Revival is a label that has been applied to a variety of happenings, including an annual series of religious meetings, evangelistic campaigns, seasons of increased religious fervor, and moral and social reformation. While all these elements may be present in times of revival, they don’t adequately get to the heart of true revival.

Revival is not an event we can schedule on the calendar. Nor is it synonymous with evangelism, though when revival comes, unbelievers will be converted and born into God’s family. Further, though our emotions will be involved, revival should not be confused with mere emotionalism. And though there is nothing more exciting than the church’s being alive with God’s presence, revival cannot necessarily be equated with the intense excitement and enthusiasm we see being experienced in many large Christian gatherings today.

So what is revival, really? The word revive literally means “to bring back to life.” Revival is what happens when God’s people, whether individually or corporately, are restored to a right relationship with Him. Revival is a supernatural work of God—it is not something we can manufacture or package. In times of personal or corporate revival, God’s people experience His presence and power in ways previously missing from their lives and to degrees never thought possible. A revived church is the greatest means of making God’s great redemptive plan known throughout our world.


How can we experience revival in America?

Pray. Historically, when a community or nation has experienced awakening and revival, it has always been preceded by intense periods of prayer.

That’s how it happened a little over 150 years ago when America experienced what has been called the Third Great Awakening. During a period of two years (1857–59), anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 individuals were added to the church, and at one point 50,000 people were coming to Christ every week!

This kind of powerful movement is the work of a Sovereign God, but Scripture indicates He listens and responds when His people cry out in humility and repentance. Here are some key things to keep in mind as you pray for revival:

  • Confess corporate sin
  • Humble yourself before God and depend on His power
  • Make requests on the basis of God’s character (faithful, covenant-keeping, compassionate . . .)
  • Desire for God’s reputation and name to be vindicated, for His glory to be seen!

If you’re willing to stand in the gap in prayer for our nation to experience awakening and for revival to sweep through the church, check out One Cry: A Nationwide Call for Spiritual Awakening.


PRIORITIES

I'm so busy that I miss out on the important things. What should I do?

Many of us use busyness as a form of validation. We feel we matter more when we have people to be with, places to go, and a jam-packed calendar. But our value doesn’t come from anything we do. We matter to God because He is the Creator and we are His creation. This is true even if our calendar isn’t busting at the seams.

I think the Lord understands our tendency to over-schedule. This is why He urges us to have regular times of Sabbath. Exodus 16:23 says,

“‘This is what the LORD has commanded: Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD . . .’”

The word Sabbath simply means “a time of rest.” When was the last time you left your schedule clear in order to rest?

The principle of a day of rest is nearly absent from our culture. Often, Sundays are among the busiest days of the week. Most of the time we’re “just too busy” on Sundays to rest, and our schedule is so full that the day flies by without much attention given to our spiritual lives at all.

Busyness isn’t wrong. It’s okay to be involved in sports and clubs and church. It’s great to schedule times to be with friends and family. But don’t let “I’m too busy!” become your mantra. Schedule the things that matter first. Be disciplined about taking time to rest (schedule it in if you have to!), and take note that even when your calendar is clear, you matter a great deal to God.

FINANCES

Managing my finances is such a challenge. Where can I go for help?  

Here are a few helpful resources to help you manage your finances:

Web Resources:

Crown.org—Crown Ministries provides many interactive financial tools.

DaveRamsey.com—Attend online financial training classes through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

KingdomAdvisors.org—Find a Christian financial professional in your area.

MasterYourMoney.com—Ron Blue provides biblical financial counsel to specific issues.

Helpful Books:

PARENTING

What are some keys to being a good parent?

Training our children to love God must be incorporated into the everyday fabric of life. Here are five suggestions for applying Deuteronomy 6:5–7:

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words . . . shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

1. Modeling

When your children grow up, do you want them to have the same level of commitment to the Word and prayer that you have? Are you allowing them to see the value of sacred things? Do they know God is your first love and priority?

2. Grabbing Teachable Moments

Watch for every opportunity to insert little bits of truth about God. Point out to your children His work in your life and in the world around them. Train them with expressions of gratitude to Him throughout the day: being thankful for the sunshine, for running water, puppy dogs, good friends, and hot chocolate! Take every opportunity to encourage your children to view God as good and the provider of all good things.

3. Intentional Teaching

Have regular times of instruction with a child’s devotional or Bible storybook. As they get older, there are several great resources and Bible studies as well as opportunities to serve in ministry activities together.

4. Interceding in Prayer

Prayer is the greatest parenting help available. Rather than focusing on “changing your child,” go to God with your concerns, with needed attitude adjustments, and with sinful habits. Ask Him to change your child’s heart, because He is the only One who can accomplish real change.

5. Laughter and Joy

Have fun with your kids! If you convey to them the great truths of Scripture and lead them in prayer daily, but never laugh together and live a joyless life—what have you communicated? You’ve trained your children to believe there is no joy in righteousness, and that simply isn’t true. In the presence of Christ is fullness of joy—and they need to experience that truth with you daily.

My children want to use electronic media constantly. What do I do?

The problem with popular media is that it constantly lies about the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty. It offers counterfeit versions of what womanhood, manhood, male-female relationships, romance, sexuality, marriage, and family are all about. It lies to young people about who they are, what gives them significance, what they should do to be successful, and where they should spend their time and money. Mass media typically portrays sin as natural and harmless. The things God calls “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16 NKJV) are the very things it upholds as highly desired. It twists truth. It calls evil good and good evil, puts darkness for light and light for darkness, puts bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isa. 5:20). It promotes sin and mocks godliness.

Managing the influence of multimedia in your child’s life is one of the biggest parenting challenges of our day. Here are just a few suggestions:

1. Lead by example. If you keep the TV and Internet turned on, how can you expect your children to behave otherwise?

2. Monitor constantly. Never allow your children to have access to computers and TVs in private areas. Keep all your electronics in public areas of your home where you can monitor them. This provides accountability.

3. Restrict access. When kids are young, one idea is to give them a set amount of electronic time (TV, DVD, video games) a week. You can give them “Video Bucks” on which you can write the number 15, 30, or 60, representing numbers of minutes. Each week they could choose how they want to spend their hours—video games, movies, or TV. When their time is used up, there are no more electronics.

Have “electronic fasts” from time to time. Go for a week without electronics. Parents need to be very vigilant to restrict access to the amount of time children are exposed to multimedia. We also need to restrict access to the type of material by reviewing content and installing filters, monitors, and time-of-day blocks.

What do I do when my husband watches movies or shows that are inappropriate for our children?

Sadly, this situation is quite common. Even godly men are often not as sensitive to this issue as moms. When there is a basic disagreement such as this, it is vitally important for you to guard your heart from developing anger and bitterness toward your husband (James 1:19–20).

If you’ve presented your husband with a humble, godly, unemotional appeal without seeing any support from him on this issue, then take your concerns before the Lord in prayer. Remember, you cannot change your husband’s heart—and that is really the issue. God is the only heart-changer (Prov. 21:1).

Be careful not to speak in a way to your children that would reflect negatively on their father. But in appropriate times and ways, present to them reasons why we need to be discerning in what we see, hear, and do (Phil. 4:8–9; Ps. 101:1–4).

Perhaps consider using the time when your husband is watching things that are inappropriate for your children as an opportunity to involve them in an activity with you: a board game, craft, baking cookies, etc. Or ask your husband if the family could do something together (take a walk, ride bicycles, play a game) and delay the movie until the children’s bedtime.

It is also helpful to be involved in a local church body where your husband can benefit from interaction with godly, mature men. Sometimes spending time with a couple who has demonstrated discernment and wisdom will provide opportunities for you and your husband to have healthy discussions on topics such as this.

The most vital activity you can be involved in is praying for your husband and children in regard to this issue.

MENTORING

I would be interested in mentoring a younger woman, but I have no idea what to do! Any suggestions?

First, pray and ask God to lead you to a young woman in need of discipleship. Be willing to make a short-term time commitment (three to six months). Provide the space in your life to meet with her on a regular basis, preferably weekly, for one to two hours.

You don’t have to do a Bible study together or develop lesson plans for discipleship—there are many ways to pour truth into a young woman’s heart while at the same time sharing practical life skills. For instance, invite a young woman to prepare a special dinner with you. She will learn things in the kitchen from you.

Be creative. Come up with a plan that will work for you and benefit the young woman. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Print off Lies Young Women Believe blog posts and True Woman blog posts to discuss over coffee.
  • Do a study together like Becoming God’s True Woman or Lies Women Believe.
  • Offer to show her what you’ve learned about meal planning, grocery shopping, cleaning, time management, etc.
  • Read and journal through one of the gospels, then meet to exchange thoughts and share what each of you are learning.
  • Help her find biblical resources that will grow her beyond where she is now.
  • Create a reading list for her based on Scripture passages and Christian books that have benefited you in your spiritual pilgrimage.
  • Be a good listener and selfless communicator, always pointing her beyond you to Christ, her source of grace. (Don’t claim to know all the answers.)
  • Laugh with her easily, and give hugs freely.
  • Challenge her to begin passing on the truths she’s learning to a younger (or less spiritually mature) woman.

These are just a few ideas to get you started.

WOMANHOOD

How can I embrace my calling as a woman?

First of all, remember:  

  • God has a great redemptive plan, and . . . you’re in it!
  • He has a purpose for creating you as a woman.
  • He has all knowledge; you don’t. He’s God; you’re not.

When you humbly acknowledge He knows best (Isa. 55:8–9), you can gratefully receive His calling on your life (Eph. 5:20–24) and by faith place your trust in His sovereign purposes for you as a woman (Titus 2:3–5).

Remember to evaluate your attitudes and actions as a woman through the grid of Scripture. When you recognize that you’re exchanging or blurring your distinct feminine design, role, or calling—repent. Ask His forgiveness as well as anyone else’s that has been affected by your sin. Then, put a plan in place to counteract the trigger points of rebellion (memorize Scripture, meet with an accountability partner, read books that address this issue). Completely rely on God’s forgiveness and grace to overcome sin the next time you’re tempted. As you do, you’ll find that joy comes from embracing God’s design and living out His calling as a woman. But more than that, God will be greatly glorified!

I’m afraid of what might happen if I relinquish control to my husband. What should I do?

Many thoughts can go through our minds as we wrestle with the concept of submission. What will happen if I really allow my husband to function as the head of our home? Will he take advantage of me? Will he make decisions that will reap disastrous consequences? Will he turn into a cruel, domineering dictator? Most women—whether married or single—fear the “unknown” of embracing their feminine calling and role.

Peter recognized this common struggle and addressed it in 1 Peter 3:4-5:

“Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves.”  

He closes this passage with a commendation to women who follow Sarah’s example of femininity, “And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening” (1 Peter 3:6).

Embracing our role and calling as women does not include placing our ultimate trust in our husbands. They will not meet all our expectations. They will disappoint us. They may make crummy decisions. They may even give us cause for fear, because after all, they are finite and limited in knowledge and understanding! But there is One who is not.

Paul’s instructions to husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:22–33 is preceded by these words: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Our hope and trust is not to be placed in our husbands, but in our God. We are to fear no one or nothing but God.

And when this infinite, all-knowing, all-wise Being gives order to our relationships, we can trust He knows what He’s doing. We can live out our femininity fearlessly because our trust is in the Almighty God and His sovereign care over us.

I’ve heard about the True Woman Manifesto, but am uncomfortable with that title. What do you mean by it?

A manifesto is simply a written declaration of beliefs. The True Woman Manifesto is not in competition with or an attempt to replace the role of Scripture in our lives. It simply supports and succinctly organizes Scriptural principles in a way that provide us with a helpful tool in living out God’s design for us as women. If you read the actual document, it references and refers you to well over 100 passages of Scripture.

Whether we have our belief system written down in a document or merely known in our hearts, all individuals operate on a belief system—a “creed” which determines how we live. Scripture is our ultimate authority, and the True Woman Manifesto is based on and filled with Scripture.

Why is the True Woman Manifesto even needed?

In the sixties and seventies, rejection of traditional roles for women and mischaracterization of the family structure as a repressive institution—combined with a general hostility against the male gender—contributed to a distorted view of womanhood.

The True Woman Movement was birthed from a vision to reclaim ground surrendered to this distorted view, and is dedicated to Scripture’s proclamation of true womanhood. The True Woman Manifesto serves as a declaration of foundational beliefs, affirming Scripture’s instructions concerning God’s sovereignty and His created design and purpose for women. It also serves as an instructive tool in applying these truths in the context of our daily lives.

It’s not enough to just affirm this manifesto or give intellectual assent to it. The True Woman Manifesto is intended to affect the way that we live. It calls for a personal commitment and consecration of our lives to these truths we say we believe.

(Watch this inspiring two-minute video from leaders titled, “Why a Manifesto?Watch the Manifesto in graphic animation.)