Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Does it seem like differences between men and women are disappearing? Here's Dr. Wayne Grudem.

Dr. Wayne Grudem: Everyday the culture is whispering in your ear, "You're not a woman; you're a person." And the culture is whispering in your ear men, "You're not a man; you're just a person." These are voices we need to resist because they are not from God.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, May 20th. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Well, today we are wrapping up a series that has been taken from a message given by Dr. Wayne Grudem called Men and Women: Similarities and Differences.

We've had to cut out some important parts of the message to fit it all in this week, so we will tell you at the end of the broadcast how you can get a copy of the entire CD of Dr. Grudem's message. I hope that you'll do that so that you can review these principles, and become familiar with them. The more you listen to this, the more it will make sense, and the more you will realize how important this is.

Now, over the past several days, Dr. Grudem has explained three key issues. Number one: men and women are equal in value and dignity before God. Number two: men and women have different roles in marriage and that is part of God's created order. And then he explained key issue number three yesterday, that is that the roles of men and women reflect the relationships within the Trinity.

Today, Dr. Grudem picks up with key issue number four, and that is that the differences between men and women are good.

Dr. Wayne Grudem: Key issue number four: the equality and differences between men and women are very good. You and I should rejoice in this teaching. We should laugh with delight that God has made us equal but different. We should proclaim it with trumpets and in songs.

But we don't. Why? I think because we just might be embarrassed. We are oh so cautious to talk about differences between men and women. We don't want to be attacked or laughed at or scorned by others. We fear that someone will take offense if we talk about differences.

But we look at Genesis 1:31, after God made Adam and Eve different. Genesis 1:31, "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (It was very good.) And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." So, the way God made us as men and women, he made us different but equal. That is good and that means it's fair.

Our egalitarian friends say, "It's not fair. It's not fair." But if it is based on God's assignment of roles, then it is fair. Does the Son say to the Father, "It's not fair? You have been in charge for four billion years, now it's my turn for the next four billion." No, the Son says, "I delight to do Your will, oh my God. Your law is within my heart." The created order established by God is fair. Glory, glory!

The created order is best for us because it's given by our wise Creator. Some of you may be sitting there thinking, "I don't know if I want to buy into that. I don't know if it is right." This view is not anti-women. It's the only view that implements God's plan for women and for men. Just as I said to Joshua at the beginning, life wouldn't be easier for me if I took a different viewpoint; it would be harder because I would be outside God's will. There is nothing worse than that.

So, I think living inside this biblical teaching is what is best for both men and women. It truly honors both men and women. It doesn't lead to abuse, but guards against abuse. It doesn't suppress women's gifts, as people sometimes have in the past, but it encourages women's gifts. There've been mistakes in the past . . . oppressive men, male dominance view that says, "Women shouldn't vote, and they shouldn't be educated." Things like that. These deny the equality of value that we have as men and women, and that's wrong. Once it's understood, this created order is best for us.

This created order is beautiful. God took delight in it. He said, "It is very good." You can see his pleasure in what he has made, and it reflects his character. We should like it as well. It should actually find an echo in our hearts. There should be something else in your heart, even if you are hesitant about this, there should be something else in your heart saying, "You know, I am attracted to that. It seems like it is right to me." It's beautiful because by creating man and woman, God brings about an amazing unity to people whom he has made to be so different.

I want to tread lightly here, but I am going to say just a word about how that view of equality and difference finds expression in our sexuality within marriage. God says in Genesis 2 [:24 – paraphrased], "A man shall leave his father and mother and hold tightly to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."

Within marriage as husband and wife, husbands and wives are most attracted to the parts of each other that are most different. It means that as human beings within marriage, our deepest unity, our physical and emotional and spiritual unity, comes at the point where we are most different. In our physical union as God intended it, there is no dehumanization of women, there is no emasculation of men, but there is equality and honor and dignity.

There is one of our deepest human joys in the expression of our deepest unity. Therefore, it seems to me that sex within marriage as God created it is precious to God because it shows that we are different, but we are equal and we are united. And so, there is a great blessing and joy in it. It shows differences and equality and unity all at once. It shows God-likeness. I could just say, "Glory to God." Equality and differences between men and women are very good. They are good for us, and they are beautiful in God's sight.

Key issue number five, and this is the last and with this I'll close. This issue is the focal point of a great battle for God's glory. You had on your seats when you came in here a chart of the intellectual history of the world, just with respect to one major issue and that is equality and difference. In the middle of the chart, there is what I call a complimentarian view. That is what I am trying to advocate here tonight, that we are equal and different, and we are united.

We see it in the Trinity; we see it in marriage. We see it in children where children are loved and cared for as equals, but they're disciplined because there's a difference. Parents have authority. We see it in other areas. I go through religion and authority and sports and crime and etc. [on the chart].

Take an example with sports, equality and difference. In sports you have competition with fairness because you are equal in God's image. You have rules because rules are to be obeyed, but that doesn't mean that everybody wins. There are winners, and there are losers. Losers are respected, but winners are honored. That's a view of equality and difference. I am thankful for that.

If you go to the effeminate left, the extreme, it obliterates differences and says there are no differences. Everybody is the same, and God is the same as creation, and the earth is your mother. It leads to emasculation of men and defeminization of women, etc. You get down to sports and there is no competition; everybody wins because everybody is the same. If we are going to have everybody the same, then we can't have anybody different.

But there is a distortion on the other side, and I talked about some of those. You get the violent right where this in religion would see God as one person, not three. So there's no difference. There would be a harsh, unloving warrior God. I think in Islam it would be Allah whose cause of events is often with force. With regard to men and women, in this no equality point here on the right, men would be brutes and women would be objects. You get polygamy and harems, and women are dehumanized. Over on sports, what do you get? Destroy your opponent . . . gladiators fighting to the death.

You can look at that chart later, but what I am saying is in many areas of life, God has created a system in his word where we see equality and difference together. The attack of the enemy is to try to say, "Let's go way over to the no equality and might makes right side. Then you get people oppressed. Or let's go way over to the side of no differences, and everybody is the same, and then there is no authority." Those are distortions of God's pattern.

What that chart is saying is that there are strong . . . I don't think this is just an issue about how you are going to relate in your marriage and who is going to make the decisions and what the decision making process will be like. I believe this is a large battle for the reflection of God's glory in all areas of life.

There are strong spiritual forces invisibly warring over this whole controversy. They want you to destroy God's idea of sex, of marriage, of manhood and womanhood. They want to destroy everything that glorifies God, and they want to destroy the beauty of sexual differences that wonderfully reflect God's glory.

So, the conflict is really about God. Will God's glory be reflected in the earth? It is about you. What do you think of your manhood and your womanhood? Everyday the culture is whispering in your ear, "You're not a woman; you're a person." And the culture is whispering in your ear, men, "Men are better than women. Men are better than women." These are voices that we need to resist because they are not from God. God is saying, "You are equal, and you are different." Enjoy it. Praise God for it. God enjoys them, and he wants us to enjoy them too.

So, I'll ask you tonight. Are you willing to follow God's plan? If you will, it will be beautiful because God is a beautiful God. It will be joyful because God is a joyful God. It'll be peaceful and just because God is a God of peace and justice. If you will follow God's plan for manhood and womanhood, you will manifest on earth the glory of God, and God will take delight in you. He will delight in showing forth his glory through your life.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: It's all about the glory of God. That's what really matters. Dr. Grudem has closed with a penetrating question, are you willing to follow God's plan? It takes faith. It takes courage. It's, ultimately, a surrender and a submission to God himself. To say, "Yes, Lord. Thank you for making me a woman. I joyfully embrace all that that means. I ask you to fulfill your holy purposes in and through my life for your glory."

Oh Father, how we pray that Your kingdom will come, and Your will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We live for that day when the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Help us, Lord, particularly as women to know what it means to live out and reflect Your glory in this world. I pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss praying that we will all glorify God and embrace His calling on our lives. If you would like to learn more about what it means to embrace womanhood, I hope you'll order a booklet that our guest, Wayne Grudem, wrote with John Piper. It's called Fifty Crucial Questions. It will cover all sorts of tricky issues about the differences between men and women.

You can order by calling us at 1-800-569-5959. You can also get a copy of the message we've heard this week from Wayne Grudem on CD. Again, to order call 1-800-569-5959, or go on-line to ReviveOurHearts.com.

Have this week's program generated some new thoughts or discussions? Would you let us know how it's affected you? Is it possible to be modest in today's fashion climate? We'll start discussing it next week. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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