Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Designed to Relay the Truth

Leslie Basham: If you’re tired of always trying to do a better job at life, Alistair Begg has an important reminder for you.

Pastor Alistair Begg: We know, at our best, we’re not particularly good husbands, we’re not brilliant wives, we’re okay mums, and we’re not very good dads. Do you know what the whole journey’s about? From beginning to the very end, it’s about grace!

It’s about the fact that God—in His grace and in His mercy—comes again and again and again. He gives to us what we don’t deserve, and He keeps back from us what we do deserve. And He says, “Come on. My grace is sufficient for you. You can do this because My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts, with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, co-author of True Woman 101, for June 29, 2018.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: What a treat it’s been to hear from Pastor Alistair Begg all week. He’s one of my favorite Bible teachers and preachers. We’ve been listening this week to a message he gave called "God’s Design for Women." And what a gift it’s been to be reminded of the many truths that help us display what it means to be a woman of God in our day.

Just by way of re-cap here, Alistair has pointed out to us several important truths this week. First, God is a wise Designer. Also, God designed male and female with equal value but some unique characteristics. And in our differences, we can glorify God by complementing each other.

We also saw that God’s design was good, but sin entered the picture and ruined everything—including how men and women relate to God and to each other. And we’ve heard about the hope that Jesus provides, making it possible for God’s original plan to be restored.

Yesterday we heard how the Bible is our guidebook for all of life and godliness. Alistair gave some biblical advice from the apostle Peter for wives who are dealing with unbelieving husbands. If you’ve missed any of these four programs, be sure and catch them online at our website, ReviveOurHearts.com.

Today Pastor Begg is going to show us how important it is to pass on the truth of God’s Word to other women. Here’s Alistair Begg speaking at a women’s conference in the fall of 2016.

Pastor Begg: When I thought about this originally, I thought, Well, I’ll just do the little section here in Titus, because he’s giving advice (Paul is) to Titus and telling him what he should say to different people in the church. Then I figured, What am I supposed to say to women in the church?

And then I had the answer right here, and so I thought that I would just do this. Well, maybe you wish I had now—but we haven’t—and here we are, just to use it as a little P.S. Titus 2:

Teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled and sound in [the] faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or [known for hangin’ around down at the wine bar], but to teach what is good. [When they get a grip of that] Then they can [teach] the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that [nobody] will malign the word of God” (vv. 1–5).

Now, there probably are no more inflammatory words than these in this age of feminist activism! If ever there was a place for a young woman to wrestle with the exhortation of Romans 12:1–2—as paraphrased by J. B. Phillips: “Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold”—it surely is in this realm here!

And so, the teaching that is supposed to take place—kalodidaskalos—the word in Greek doesn’t refer to formal instruction. It rather refers to the advice and encouragement that women can give primarily within the framework of the home and by example.

That is not to say that women do not have a posture in teaching in a more formalized classroom context. Clearly they do and often more so than they’re often given the opportunity to within the framework of church and beyond—but that is not what is being emphasized here.

What is being emphasized is the way in which the older women . . . and if you are twenty-four and you’re dealing with a fourteen-year-old, you fit the “older woman” category. If you’re twenty-four and the other lady’s thirty-eight, she fits the older women category. And frankly, if you’re eighteen and the other girl’s eleven, you fit the older woman category.

So the idea of, “Well, where are the older women?” You know, you've got to go find all these ancient-of-days people . . . no, no. We’ve got older women and younger women, and younger women and older women. Choose whichever section you want to be.

If you sit in one row, you’re an older woman; if you move forward two rows, you’re a younger woman. So figure it out. You are on the receiving end on part; you are on the giving end on the other part. And what’s supposed to be happening is that, within the framework of the home, there is to be teaching going on.

I remember on a cold and frosty morning in Scotland my mother used to sing, “This Is the Way We Make the Beds.” You sang that over here as well I’m sure, did you? “This is the way we make the beds, make the beds, make the beds. This is the way we make the beds on a cold and frosty morning.”

I just remember that as a small boy. I don’t know whether she really liked making the beds or not, but at least she sang to me at the time. And, “This is the way we peel the spuds, peel the spuds, peel the spuds . . .” and so on. 

Now this happens, I think, more by default than by design. But if it’s not happening by default, then it would be good to put a little design into it. What will the package look like? Seven things I’m going to mention in like seven minutes, and that’s it.

What are the elements in this training program, in this apprenticeship?

Well, first of all they’re to teach, train the younger women to love their husbands. Philandros: andros is the man, phileo is the love. Doesn’t that immediately seem incongruous? “Now, why don’t you come over to my house this evening at eight o’clock,” says the older lady. “I’m going to give you a little training program on loving your husband.”

[younger lady:] “I love my husband! That just comes naturally. I just love him!”

We understand the love that is sort of the emergence of our emotions, but there is also a love which is the servant of our wills.

The emotion thing can only carry you so long. Unless your love for your husband is a servant of your will, then it’s going to be a significant problem. And the question, honestly, is (and some have asked the question, not in the same terminology, but largely so): “How do you love someone leaves before breakfast, returns after dinner, falls asleep before bedtime? How do you love someone who is far quieter, far louder, far stingier than I ever imagined? How do you love someone who—when something goes ‘bump’ in the middle of the night—nudges you and says, ‘Would you please go downstairs and see what that is?’” (laughter).

Well, there’s not a book in the bookstore to help you with that. You need someone who’s been there, who will say, “Yeah, I’ve got one just like that! I have the same model. I've got the exact same thing.”

[Response:] “You do? You mean he’s like that? You mean he's ever said that? You mean he left that there? Ohhh, this is the best day of my life!” You see, but you don’t interact with the others if you don’t hang with them, rub with them, share with them, talk with them. This is where the training program takes place.

Secondly—and they’re going to train you (we’re going to train or be trained) not only to love our husbands but to love our children. Theoteknos—"God" - "child." "Aww, there’s no need for that, is there? After all," you say to yourself, "I’m just sitting here thinking of those adorable little bundles. Just thinking of my husband going insane with them right now! Thinking if there’s a way we can go to Starbucks when we leave here—until at least seven o’clock! Thinking if there’s any possibility of a couple of other sessions—ad hoc sessions—anything that will keep me away from those fiendish, adorable, little creatures to which I must return!” (laughter)

And what do you do when they do that colic thing with the knees up and it’s three in the morning, and you’re just going, "Aaah!" Right? How are you going to deal with that? What book? The book say, “Colic: knees come up to chest.” “I know that!” (laughter)

How are you going to deal with that? You need an older woman. Either she comes over and walks with you . . . she holds you while you hold it like this . . . or she holds him or her . . . or she gets you through the night . . .

and the next day she helps you out. And she says, “You know what? Ours went on for four solid months! That’s the good news? No! That’s the bad news. The good news is, it stopped cold turkey one night.”

All you need to know at the moment is, it will definitely stop.

[young mom:] “Just tell me this will stop!”

[experienced mom:] “It’ll stop!”

[young mom:] “Okay, it’ll stop!” Not exactly fantastic—but helpful!

So in the middle of ironing, washing, cleaning, feeding, screaming—opening our lives to somebody who’s just a little bit behind us or beside us on the journey—you’ll be amazed what it will be!

I actually think, frankly, if you put a thing in the bulletin that said, “Any lady that wants to do it, if you are under the age of ‘X’ and you want to come over to my house on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour between such and such and just to sit on the couch, hang with me, sit at the kitchen table, you can ask me any question you want—just sign this list.” I tell you, you’ll get a list longer than your arm! Because the assumption is that this is happening. It’s not happening! It happens intermittently, but it isn’t really happening.

And even mothers [and grandmothers] are not doing it with their children!

[Grandmother:] “I’m sorry, I checked my Daytimer, and we’ll be gone from such and so, and . . . but do tell little Jeremy that I send my best to him, and I put a little box together for him.”

To which the mother of little Jeremy wants to say to her mother, “I’m going to put a little box together for you! One that will fit you!” 

You say, “She would never say that! Only a cruel person like you would say that!” There we are, that’s fine. You never have those kind of thoughts? I wish I was just as holy as all of you! (laughter)

Third, self-controlled. It's a necessary requirement—not exclusive to younger women, but it shouldn’t be overlooked—a vital requirement for every practical wife and mother. We need self-control in terms of eating, television watching, sleeping, planning, cooking, organizing, and so on. 

Fourthly, pure. Purity is a choice, not a gift. Purity is the product of planning. You plan to be pure or you plan to be impure. Purity’s the result of saying “yes” to what we should say yes to and “no” to what we should say no to.

Purity demands the scrupulous avoidance of immorality in thinking, reading, viewing, and acting. Somebody called me this week and said, “I want to thank you that last year you said it was okay for me to go trick-or-treating with my kids.” I forgot that I did, but I remembered once she started to talk to me. 

This guy phoned me up, and he was all, “Oooh, my kids want to go up the neighborhood and everything, and I know it’s a dreadful, devilish . . .”—and so on.

And I said, “Aw, lighten up, Bill. Just go get some candy and bring it home and sit on the floor and turn it into a plus.”

I had to get him calmed down. He was so excited about all this candy he was bringing home! But his wife told him, “Oh, no—we've got to think . . .” So he was phoning me up for a little bit of reassurance. And then this is what he said to me, “So you know, my wife gave me a devil of a time over this thing. But I just told her, ‘You can say what you like about this. I’m going up the street with my kids. We’re visiting the neighbors. They’re giving us apples and candy, and we’re coming home. I don’t see that that’s a problem in comparison to some of the trashy movies that you keep bringing home here from the video store.”

Now, whether I gave him good advice or bad advice—whether you agree or disagree—it doesn’t matter. That’s not my point at the moment.

My point is the woman hadn’t a leg to stand on. He was able to play the ace: “Do you think working through the bag of candy here on the floor is worse than the impact that you’re having as their mother by sitting here in the evenings and watching this stuff when I’m on road trips?”

Purity. It’s a choice, not a feeling. You plan for it. Incidentally, if we don’t, then when the evil day comes, we’re dead ducks! And let me tell you what the evil day is. The evil day is when temptation, desire, and opportunity meet each other. In the providence of God, sometimes temptations have no opportunity. In the providence of God, sometimes opportunities are not met with desire. But it’s an evil day when temptation, desire, and opportunity come walking up the garden path. Then, you see, the purity of life is what keeps us.

Next, busy at home. You say, “Well, don’t start me on that right now! I’ve been enjoying today.” Busy at home—does that involve sacrifice? Sure. Does it bring rebuke? Certainly. Does it challenge the culture? Without doubt.

No amount of government money thrown in the direction of daycare centers can compensate for the tragic absenteeism on the part of mothers from the place of their calling. I’m not talking about single moms, I’m not talking about the pressure that demands that of us. I’m not talking about that at all.

I’m talking about sitting down and making the choice, choosing to expend all that nervous energy, all of that physical force “out there.” Because, apparently digging around in somebody’s mouth as a dental hygienist allows you to go to the mall and say [in a highbrow way], “Oh yes, I’m a dental hygienist!” Well, frankly, good for you.

You can go and say, “Well, I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I’m looking after these guys.”

“Is that all you do?”

“Well, clearly Fanny, you’ve never done it. Because if you had, you wouldn’t be asking, ‘Is that all you do?’” (laughter and applause)

Next, kind. “Training them to be kind.” Interesting word, isn’t it? “We have a training program for kindness. Those of you who’d like to become kind people can sign up. It will be taking place in the afternoons on a Tuesday at 4:00.”

It’s interesting that “kindness” comes after “keepers at home,” isn’t it? “Teach them how to stay at home and do the job, and then you better actually teach them how to be kind.” Yeah! Because if they stay home, then the danger of growing irritable, cruel, downright vindictive is quite large. Therefore, a little segment on kindness is probably going to fit in very nicely.

Incidentally, here’s where the husband’s sensitivity or lack of sensitivity will be most obvious. How many of us have been a complete royal hash of that, walking in the door as if somehow or another everything about us and everything we’ve done and everywhere we’ve been and everything we’ve experienced is really now the priority for everyone. “Father is home!” It’s like the guy with the whistle on The Sound of Music. You know, “Tweet! Tweet! Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start . . .” Now, I wish I could try it all again. I wish I could try the whole thing again!

And, finally, subject to their husbands. What does that mean? Whatever you work it out to mean. It certainly doesn’t mean ordering people around. It just means that every team has to have a captain.

Someone has to know on the airliner who the final thing rests with and someone has to know within the framework of the home and the family, “Where does this eventually hit dead-center?”

And God says, “Here’s the deal: I’ve given to the man priority (which does not equal superiority, it equals responsibility), and I’m going to hold him to accountability for the way in which he has exercised his role in the framework of that. And I’m going to hold the wife accountable for the way in which she’s responded to the privileges and opportunities that are hers.”

You know what strikes me more than anything else? I’m listening to myself, and I’m saying, “Who can do this?” You know if the Christian life was a big bunch of rules and regulations, where you said, “Now, look, I want you to work your way through here. Try pages one through nine. Then we’ll meet again on Monday, and we’ll try pages eleven through sixteen. Just pull your socks up. Do your best, do your best, do your best!” It’s such a chronicle of despair, isn’t it?

“C’mon folks, let’s be better, let’s do better! Let’s be better wives, let’s be better husbands, let’s be better everythings! Let’s see if we can get up the ladder here and tip the scales in our favor.” What do we know? We know at our best we’re unprofitable servants! We know at our best we’re not particularly good husbands, we’re not brilliant wives, we’re okay mums, and we’re not very good dads.

You know what the whole journey’s about? From beginning to the very end, it’s about grace! It’s about the fact that God—in His grace and in His mercy—comes again and again and again. He gives to us what we don’t deserve, and He keeps back from us what we do deserve. And He says, “Come on. My grace is sufficient for you. You can do this because My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

So if you say to yourself going out the door, “Oh, golly, I do feel very weak; I feel inadequate”—then that’s good. That’s actually a great start. Because if dependence upon God is the objective, then weakness is an advantage!

Nancy: So, so true! You’ve heard me say it many times: Anything that makes me need God—anything that makes more dependent on God—is a blessing! And what a blessing it’s been for us to hear from Alistair Begg all this week, reminding us of the beauty of God’s design for us as women.

If you’ve been intrigued by the programs this week with Alistair Begg, I hope you’ll explore these topics further by getting a copy of a workbook that I’ve written with my friend, Mary Kassian, called True Woman 101: Divine Design.

Just in recent days, as I’ve been out on the road speaking, I’ve run into a number of women who have told me that they’re doing that study—or they’ve done that study—and what a blessing it’s been to them and the other women who’ve studied it with them.

This book, True Woman 101, explores what the Scripture has to say to us as women and how we can put God’s beauty on display. You’ll discover what biblical womanhood looks like and what it doesn’t look like.

Our goal is to get beyond the stereotypes and get to the heart of God’s calling to us as women. I hope you’ll take this journey with us by getting a copy of True Woman 101. When you support this ministry with a gift of any amount, we’d like to send you a copy.

When you send that gift, you’re not just ordering a book, but you’re partnering with Revive Our Hearts to help women around the world experience greater freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. So, thanks so much for your gift at this time!

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. Ask for True Woman 101: Divine Design when you call with your donation. The number is 1–800–569–5959. You can also visit our website, ReviveOurHearts.com, make your donation, and request the book.

Thanks so much to Pastor Alistair Begg and all our friends at Truth for Life, and Parkside Church, for graciously providing this week’s recordings for us to use here on Revive Our Hearts.

When raising kids do you ever wish you had a couple a little ahead of you in the journey giving advice? I hope you’ll get that kind of advice from Bill and Holly Elliff when they join us Monday to talk about raising teenagers. They have a lot of experience, and they’ll share it with us. Please be back next week for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants you to enjoy freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the NIV84.

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About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.