Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Choosing God's Plan

Leslie Basham: When Nancy Leigh DeMoss casts a vision for biblical womanhood, it can be hard.

Nancy DeMoss: Now, I have to tell you, I’m not a warrior by nature. I was getting close to 40. I was looking forward to a little more settled life. I like people to like me. I like them to agree with me, and I realized if I was going to start giving this message of biblical womanhood, that I would be going against the grain, even in the church, and that I would be saying things that people would think were nuts. It’s true. They do. They think I’m nuts.

Leslie: You’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, May 4. Yesterday Nancy began a two-day series called Casting a Vision of True Womanhood. She challenged a group of college students to think biblically about their future as the next generation of women.

You and I need to think these things through as well. No matter what season of life we’re in, we can forget what it means to be a woman submitted to God. Nancy’s reiterating one of the points she started to make yesterday.

Nancy: God’s Word says children are a blessing. The world says children are inconvenience, and in so many areas of life, we can just compare. God created women to be helpers. That’s what God made the woman to be—a helper to the man, and yet the world’s way is that women are to be controllers. They are to hold the reigns, and we have this whole mindset today that men are supposed to help women.

Well, there’s some ways that that’s true, but we’ve lost the sight of the fact that God created us as women to be helpers to the men. Do you know you’ll never be more blessed, more joyful than when, as a married woman (if that’s God’s will for your life), you take that role of a helper to that man?

God’s way is that women are distinct and different from men. The man’s way, the world’s way, is that there are not differences between men and women—this whole unisex culture.

God’s way is that men are supposed to—do you have your seatbelt on? You ready for this? God’s way is that men are supposed to be the providers for their families, that men are to be the primary breadwinners. There’s so many ways you could go back to the book of Genesis and demonstrate this biblically, that women are to be the keepers at home.

Now, that doesn’t mean that women don’t have brains. It doesn’t mean they aren’t talented. It doesn’t mean they don’t work hard. It just means that men are to be providers for their wives and their children, primarily, and that women are to be the ones that keep the home-front going, the bearers and nurturers of life, the teachers of the children. Does this sound really foreign to you? If it does, it’s because you’ve grown up in a world that doesn’t see it that way.

Now, I don’t want to put all the responsibility on the women. It’s important that men understand their role and their responsibility, too. God didn’t call me to speak to men, so I’ll let somebody else explain to the men what they’re supposed to understand.

God’s way is that sex is pure. It’s good. It’s wonderful in marriage. The world’s way is sex anytime, anywhere, with anyone, for any reason, and today there are virtually no limits. Sexual promiscuity, the sexual revolution—it promised freedom. It has bought so much heartache. A mouthful of worms is what so many women and men have ended up with.

God’s way is that men are to be initiators, and women are created to be responders. But what do we have in our culture? Just the opposite. We have aggressive, controlling, power-seeking women and passive men who don’t know what it means to step up to the plate and to be men.

Well, so many other areas we could . . . God’s way is modesty. The world’s way is sensuality. God’s way is submission to God-ordained authority. The world’s way is rebellion, “have it your own way,” independence. God’s way is the pathway of meekness and gentleness. The world’s way for women is that we be loud and coarse and brash.

The Bible is so incredibly up-to-date and relevant when it comes to these things. Proverbs chapter 7, verse 11, describes the woman of the world. You know how it describes her? It says she is loud and boisterous, and her feet never abide at home. Does that sound like the modern woman—loud, boisterous, and always running around, never centered in around her home?

God’s way is that, as women, we focus in on what it means to be beautiful from the inside out—biblical femininity. The world’s way is that the most important thing is the external beauty. So as we have the world’s way in this women’s movement, this feminist movement, that has taught us that women are shackled in this male-dominated society. They’re oppressed by men. They’re trapped in their home.

That’s what the world told women a generation ago, 50 years ago. Women believed that. They believed the Deceiver as he came to them and promoted a whole different way of living. They bought into it, and they’ve ended up with a mouth full of worms. You know why? Proverbs 14, verse 12, says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.” 

Now, as you look around at our culture, you’d have to say that the world’s way is prevailing. I want to encourage you to look to the end of the story and to realize that in time, God’s way will prevail because it’s right. If you set yourself on a track to embrace and receive God’s way for you as a woman, you’ll find that you’re swimming upstream against the culture today, but in the long run, you’ll find that you’re in the winning way because God’s way will prevail.

The consequences of going the world’s way, going our own way—they’ve been disastrous. We have women today who are so confused and disoriented. There is hopelessness, despair, guilt, broken homes.

Ladies, I wish that you could hear the stories I hear day after day from women who are my age and older who’ve done it the world’s way. They’ve tried it the world’s way, and now they are absolutely miserable. Their lives are broken, and sometimes it seems that they’re hopelessly beyond repair. They go from one man to another, from one bed to another, from one disastrous relationship to another because they’re trying to find something that God wants to give them, but He wants them to find it in Christ, not in this world.

Can I say, you don’t have to perpetuate the world’s way? I don’t care what kind of upbringing you came from. God can start a whole, new family line through you. You see, 6,000 years ago when Satan wanted to attack God, he did it by speaking to a woman. He lied to her. He planted doubts in her heart about the Word of God. He said, “You can be your own god.”

She listened. She believed his lie. She acted on it. She said, “I’ll have it my way.” I don’t think that Eve for a moment stopped to think about what her choice would mean to her husband, to her marriage, to her children, to her grandchildren, to generations to come. She just thought about this moment and this thing that looks good to me. “I’ve got to have it.”

Some of you, there’s a guy going to come into your life, and you’re going to say, “I’ve got to have him,” when he’s not a believer or a committed Christian or your godly counsel tells you, “I don’t think that’s right for you.” You’re going to say, “I’ve got to have it.” You’re going to go your own way, and years later, you will come back, and you will say, “I wish I had listened to godly counsel.” So many of the choices you’re making at this season of life are going to go with you through all of your life.

Eve made a choice, and she plunged the whole human race into the kind of corruption and violence and issues that we see today. I wanted to speak for a moment about another young woman who 2,000 years ago faced a similar choice. She was a teenage girl, and she faced a choice to have it her way or to have it God’s way.

Her name was Mary, Mary of Nazareth, and she had no way of comprehending the incredible part that she was playing in God’s redemptive plan for the ages just by saying "yes" to God. God’s way meant for her changing her whole plan. Think about this engaged woman getting ready to get married, and God comes and says, “You’re going to have a Son, and it’s not Joseph’s son.”

This wasn’t the way she wrote the script. God’s script for our lives never is the way we would write it, but it’s always good. It’s always right.

I don’t think she had any idea how her choice would result in blessing for her children, her grandchildren, generations to come, and how we would be blessed today because of her willingness to say "yes" to God. She’s really an opposite type of Eve. Mary’s a counter-cultural woman, a woman who accepted the value God placed on her life in an era when women were considered inferior.

She’s a woman who never aspired to make a name for herself or to have her own fame or her own place in the limelight. She was content just to point people to Jesus, just to have a life that made people want to know Jesus.

A number of years ago, the Lord began to put it in my heart as I looked at what was going on around. I looked at what was happening in our culture; I looked at some of the results of the feminist revolution. I can still remember—I was in my late thirties, and I began to have this quickening in my heart as God birthed something that said, “What if we could believe God in our day for a counter-revolution, for a whole new movement, a whole new women’s movement that would take back the ground that for 50 years or more we’ve given over to the feminist movement?” I got scared to death thinking about the thought, realizing that if I was going to be a part of this, I was going to spend the rest of my life swimming upstream.

Now I have to tell you, I’m not a warrior by nature. I was getting close to 40. I was looking forward to a little more-settled life. I like people to like me. I like them to agree with me. I realized if I was going to start giving this message of biblical womanhood, that I would be going against the grain, even in the church, and that I would be saying things that people would think were nuts. It’s true. They do. They think I’m nuts, a lot of them, a lot of people in the church.

I wrestled with it, and then I said, “Lord,” same thing Mary said,

  • I am Your servant. Let it be to me as You have said.
  • I’m willing for You to use my life however You want.
  • I’m willing to be counter-cultural.
  • I’m willing to believe You for a movement, a counter-revolution of young women in this generation who would show the world a different way.

The verse God used to encourage my heart was a verse you find in the Old Testament that says, “One shall put a thousand to flight, and two shall put ten thousand” (Deuteronomy 32:30, paraphrased). Listen, the message we’re talking about on biblical womanhood, it’s a minority message. It always will be. It’s only a remnant, a small number of women who are really willing to embrace God’s way of thinking and do it God’s way when it comes to womanhood and marriage and motherhood and reflecting the beauty of God as women to our culture, just a few, but we don’t need many.

You say, “How can I be a counter-cultural woman?”

  • You’re a counter-cultural woman when you choose to say "yes" to God even when it’s hard.
  • You're counter-cultural when you choose to abstain from sexual relations until you’re married.
  • You’re counter-cultural when you wait for God’s choice for your mate.
  • You’re counter-cultural when you choose not to watch or laugh at entertainment that has sexual innuendos or coarse humor or flaunts immodesty, even if you’re the only one.
  • You’re counter-cultural when you get married and you stay married and you keep your vows.

I’m going to be meeting this afternoon with a woman who has kept her vows in an incredibly difficult, painful marriage. It would have been so much easier for her, and so many Christians today would have told her, “You do not need to stay in that marriage. You have grounds for divorce.” But she said, “I promised to be faithful to this man till death do us part.”

She has loved. She has extended grace. She has extended forgiveness. She has been merciful. She has done it God’s way when it was hard and when she was going against the flow, and God is in the process of bringing her husband back to himself.

God is in the process of restoring and redeeming that marriage, but I want to tell you what. This woman is committed to that marriage and to that man and to God’s plan even if she never gets her husband back because she said, “I’m going with it God’s way.” That’s counter-cultural.

You’re counter-cultural when you decide to live by biblical priorities for your life, regardless of what the world thinks. The world doesn’t elevate marriage and motherhood, but God does. If you’re going to be a married woman, when you adopt God’s priorities for your life, first to be a godly woman, then to be a godly wife, and then to be a godly mother, and then job and career come after that. That’s God’s priorities.

Now today, this kind of talk makes women see red. I mean, these are like fighting words, and I’m not a fighter. I’m not trying to stir up anything. I just want to see women get redeemed and rescued from those disastrous consequences of going the world’s way.

Sometimes that means in this two-income economy that you’re going to have to be willing to make sacrifices financially, that you may not have everything that everyone else can have, so I want to just issue to you a call to the counter-revolution, a call to be a part of this counter-revolutionary movement.

How do you do that? Let me just give you several suggestions. You pick the ones that you know you need. First of all, if you’ve never done it, thank God for making you a woman. Thank Him for that. It’s a privilege, and purpose to glorify God as a woman.

It’s a privilege, and then set out on a study in God’s Word. Study God’s perspective on womanhood. What does it mean to be a woman? What are the directions given specifically to women in the Scripture?

Why does God say to women in 1 Peter 3, to wives, that you should be clothed with a meek and a quiet spirit? What does that mean? Does that mean you have to be shy? Does that mean you can’t have an outgoing personality? I’ll just tell you, it doesn’t mean that, but what does it mean, and how can you have the kind of heart attitude that gives glory to God as a woman?

Study God’s perspective on womanhood and then embrace it. Say "yes" to it, even if it goes against the grain, even if it rubs the fur the wrong way. Sometimes the cat just needs to turn around. Embrace God’s purpose and His plan for womanhood. And then work at discerning the lies that the world tells and commit yourself to reject all unbiblical thinking about femininity, about sex, about marriage, about motherhood.

Purpose to reject those lies, and allow God to mold and shape you into a woman after God’s own heart. Embrace God’s calling of marriage and motherhood. Ladies, it’s alright to pray, “Lord, if it pleases You, would You give me a husband who is a man of God?” Then leave the results in God’s hands, but be counter-cultural by determining you’re not going to take matters into your own hands.

Listen, ladies. You can get yourself a husband. You really can, but if you do it your way by being the initiator instead of the responder, you’ll be sorry. I promise you will. You say, “Well, if I do it God’s way, if I let the men be the initiators, I’ll never have a husband.”

You know, that may be true, but I’ll tell you, if it’s in the permissive or sovereign will of God for you to remain single, in God’s will, you will be happier doing it that way than doing it your own way. I want to just tell you, there are worse things than being single and being single and 46. There are a whole lot worse things.

In fact, I’d much rather be where I am, and I believe that God’s put a call on my life. I believe He’s set me apart to serve Him as a single woman. On the other hand, I know a lot of women who are my age and married who are so miserable because they didn’t wait for God’s best.

They did it their way. They had it their way. They manipulated. They took matters into their own hands. They’ve ended up with a mouthful of worms, so wait on the Lord. Trust in Him rather than pursuing your own agenda, your own purposes.

Be willing to go against the flow. That’s what salmon do. They swim upstream for the purpose of giving life. If you’re going to be God’s woman today, you’re going to have to be willing to swim upstream. Purpose to be morally pure.

You say, “That is SO outdated.” Yes, it is, but it’s God’s way, and God’s way is always right. It’s always the way to joy.

I’m just saying, stay out of bed until God puts you into a sacred marriage bed with a marriage partner. It’s worth waiting, and you’re worth waiting for.

You say, “That sounds so dull.” I want to tell you, you go the world’s way, you will end up with a mouth full of worms. It’s the way of heartache. It’s the way of heartbreak.

As you become a woman of God, let God use you to become a mentor and a model to other women. There are women coming up behind you who need godly models. Some of you have had godly moms, and that’s given you a model. Some of you don’t really know what a godly woman looks like.

As you discover what that means, let God use you to be a mentor and a discipler of other, younger women. Can I just say, if you want to do it God’s way, you want to be counter-cultural, be an encourager of men. Respect men. Lift them up. Pray for them. Do not ever enter in to this man-bashing stuff that is so popular today. It’s SO wrong, and all these jokes we make that are putting men down, don’t do it.

I’ll just tell you, if you will be womanly, you’ll be a godly woman, and by that I don’t mean weak. I mean a godly woman is a strong woman from the inside out, but she’s strong in God’s strength. If you’ll be a womanly woman and you’ll treat men like men, men will treat you like a queen. They will.

As women, we set the bar. We set the bar for the culture. Societies do not survive long once their women lose their womanly virtues. It’s true. You say, “Men are crude. Men are crass.” Listen, we’re supposed to set the standard. We’re supposed to raise the standard.

I didn’t set out, ladies, to have a national ministry. People sometimes ask me—women sometimes ask me, they say, “I’d like to do what you do. I’d like to be a speaker. I’d like to be a writer. How did you do it?”

I didn’t set out to do any of this. You know what I did set out to do years ago? To love God, to please Him, to obey Him, to serve Him, and to serve others as the Lord gave me opportunities.

You don’t know what plans God has for your life. I was sitting in college conferences like this 25 years ago. I had no clue what God intended for my life. I still don’t know all of what God may have ahead for me, but I made a decision in those years, in my teens and twenties, “Lord, I want to be pleasing to You. I want to be a woman who brings you glory.”

I grew in my understanding. I’ve grown in my understanding of what that means, but I want to tell you, God has given me so much joy as a woman, embracing His calling in my life, living for His kingdom.

It won’t always be easy. It won’t always be popular. Sometimes you’ll start to wonder if you are crazy because you may be the only one in your circle of friends who sees it that way. But I’ll tell you what, you’ll be able to sleep at night. You’ll be able to live without regrets. You’ll be able to have a clear conscience.

You won’t have to be like so many women I know, my age, who’ve had multiple marriages, multiple abortions, multiple sexual partners. I’ll just tell you, sin complicates life incredibly. We’re all sinners, desperately in need of God’s grace, but when you choose to do it God’s way, go His way, you will find that is the pathway to blessing.

Leslie: The book of Titus tells the older women to teach the younger women, and we’ve been hearing an example of that today. Nancy Leigh DeMoss delivered that message before a group of college-aged women. We’ve presented it to you in a series called, Casting a Vision of True Womanhood.

It can be difficult for older women to engage with women from another generation. How do you know if younger women will listen? Will you come across sounding old-fashioned or out of touch? In faith, Revive Our Hearts is asking God to help us speak to multiple generations, providing women of all ages the truth they need.

One of these efforts is in the book and blog, Lies Young Women Believe. One woman wrote to say, “I’m currently reading this book with my college life group, so far, I have really enjoyed it.” This young women went on to describe some of the specific sins she’s been dealing with. She asked for some advice. She wrote, “I want nothing more that to walk in the light, and this sin is putting me in darkness.”

Thankfully, Revive Our Hearts has a lot to offer women of all ages, including close to nine years of radio broadcasts and transcripts. And, Nancy, this is all possible because listeners have supported us over the years.

Nancy: That’s right, Leslie. God has been so faithful to meet our needs through listeners who have supported us month after month. Those listeners have risen to the challenge when have faced financial struggles in the past.

We’re in one of those moments right now. Our fiscal year ends on May 31. As we are wrapping up our books, we are trusting the Lord to provide $350,000 or more during the month of May to help us end the year in the black. That will allow us to launch a new fiscal year without having to painful cuts in ministry outreaches—including some of the stations that are currently airing this program.

Now, I’m so excited to let you know that during this critical time, some dear friends of the ministry have agreed to match the gift of every new donor up to $105,000. So is you’ve never before donated to Revive Our Hearts, it’s important that we hear from you this month.

Now, that matching challenge amount won’t cover all we need to end the year in a healthy situation, so whether you’ve given in the past or not, we need to hear from you. When you donate any amount, we want to show our gratitude by giving you this brand new book, Voices of the True Woman Movement.

I’ve been so blessed while contributing to this book and editing chapters by authors such as: John Piper, Mary Kassian, and Joni Eareckson Tada. This book will give you a solid, biblical understanding of womanhood, and it will show you what it looks like to live out these principles for “such a time as this.”

Leslie: To get your copy of Voices of the True Woman Movement and help us meet May’s goal of $350,000 or more, visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call us with your gift and ask for Voices of the True Woman Movement. The number is 1-800-569-5959.

Janet Lynn was a five-time US figure skating champion, then she was challenged to shift her priorities. We’ll hear the story tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.