Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Why should we show respect to other people? Here is Dr. Wayne Grudem.

Dr. Wayne Grudem: Every time we look at each other, talk to each other, or interact with each other as men and women, we should remember that the person we are talking to is a creature more like God than anything in the universe, and we share that status equally. So, we should treat each other with dignity, and we should think of each other as having equal value. We are both in the image of God.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, May 16th. Nancy, today we are going to talk about something that's close to your heart.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You know, Leslie, there are really two primary themes we keep coming back to again and again and again here on Revive Our Hearts. Of course, the first is how can we, as women, experience genuine revival in our personal relationship with the Lord and how does that affect all our other relationships.

A second recurring theme or thread through this ministry is the whole issue of biblical womanhood. What does it mean to be a woman, and how did God make us as women different from men? And what are our distinctive roles in the plan of God?

This week on Revive Our Hearts we are going to be airing a very important message that I believe every woman needs to hear on this whole issue of biblical womanhood. It is a message that was preached by Dr. Wayne Grudem about a year and a half ago at a conference called New Attitudes that was hosted by Sovereign Grace Ministries. There were about 2,500 single adults who attended this particular conference, and Dr. Grudem spoke on the subject of Men and Women: Similarities and Differences.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Dr. Grudem, he is a professor of Bible and Theology at Phoenix Seminary in Scottsdale, Arizona. He previously taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois for 20 years. Dr. Grudem has done an enormous amount of research and study of what God's word has to say about both the similarities and the differences between men and women.

Now, I realize the subject of this message we are about to hear is both highly controversial in today's evangelical world, and it is also somewhat challenging and complex to understand--partially because over the last 20 years or so there has been so little teaching on this subject in the evangelical world.

I was very moved when I first heard a CD of this message by Dr. Grudem. I thought to myself, "This is a message we need to share with our Revive Our Hearts listeners." So, we will be sharing major portions of that message over the next five days.

We will tell you how you can get a copy of the entire message as well as some additional resources that will help you understand what I think is one of the most needed messages in this generation. Now, let's listen as Dr. Grudem introduces his message, Men and Women: Similarities and Differences.

Dr. Grudem: For thirty or forty years now loud voices in the media, loud voices in elementary school, high school, college, university, loud voices in society have been telling us that there are no real differences between men and women except for the obvious physical differences that no one can deny. Women can bear children and men cannot.

Many books from Christian publishers, in fact, have been telling us that as well--the only differences between men and women are the physical ones. Confusion robs us. It robs us of something very important. It robs us of the joy of being a man or being a woman, so men and women are confused. I want to talk about five issues that I think get to the heart of this controversy over manhood and womanhood.

The key issue number one: men and women are equal in value and dignity. Men and women are equal in value and dignity. We start with the first page of the Bible, and we start with the first sentence that tells us that God created us, and that is Genesis 1:27. It says: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

What does it mean to be in the image of God? It means to be like Him and to represent Him here on earth. If you look at the person next to you for a minute, or someone next to you, you are looking at a creature made by God that is more like God than any other creature that God has made. Animals are not said to be in His image. Not even angels or cherubim or seraphim, those heavenly creatures, none are said to be in the image of God because we are more like Him than anything else that He created. We are amazing creatures, and we share that status equally.

The first sentence in which it says that He created us also says that He created us male and female, and it says that He created us in His image--both male and female are there said to be in the image of God. Any discussion of manhood and womanhood in the Bible must start here with our equality.

We should treat each other with dignity, and we should think of each other as having equal value. We are both in the image of God. Nowhere does the Bible say that men are more in God's image than women. Men and women share equally in the tremendous privilege of being in God's image.

Page one of the Bible therefore corrects the errors of male dominance and male superiority that have come as the result of sin and have been seen in nearly all cultures in the history of the world. Wherever men are thought to be better than women, wherever husbands act as selfish dictators, wherever women are forbidden to own property or to be educated, wherever women are treated as inferior, or to vote, or wherever there is abuse or violence against women or rape, in all those situations, the biblical truth of our equality in the image of God is being denied.

To all societies and to all cultures where those things occur, we must proclaim that the very first page of God's word bears a fundamental and irrefutable witness against those evils.

By way of application to marriage, wherever husbands and wives do not listen respectfully and thoughtfully to each others' viewpoints or do not value the wisdom that might be arrived at differently and expressed differently or do not value the other person's different gifts and preferences as well as their own, this teaching of equality in the image of God is being denied.

So, I need to say to men here, do not receive the world's lie that you are superior to women, and women do not receive the lie that comes from another segment of the world that says that you are inferior. God says we are equal in value in His sight. The question is now, do you receive that? Do you receive it?

Margaret and I have been married for 34 years. Probably, I would have to say looking back early in our marriage, I don't think I listened very well to Margaret. Margaret told me that early in our marriage it felt as though her voice was taken away because she would give her opinion, and I wouldn't listen. She would give it again, and I wouldn't listen. She would give it again, and I wouldn't listen. Finally, she thought why do I have a voice?

It felt to her as if my ears were closed. I wonder if that is true in many marriages and in many relationships where there is a failure to value our equality in the image of God. Therefore, our failure to understand that we can have different viewpoints, different preferences, but they are equally valuable before God, and we need them to compliment each other. So, number one, we are equal in value and dignity before God.

Issue number two, and this is going to be the longer one: men and women have different roles in marriage as part of the created order . . . different roles in marriage as part of the created order. I am going to give you 10 reasons, very quickly, 10 reasons why I think Adam and Eve had distinct roles, different roles before the fall.

Reason number one: the order. Adam was created first, then Eve. In Genesis 2 we see that God formed man from the dust of the ground, and then he brought to him all these creatures to find a helper, and He didn't find a helper fit for him. Then, He caused a sleep to fall upon him. He took a rib from his side and formed Eve from the rib taken from Adam's side. The long narrative there shows that Adam was created first. We may not see that as a big deal, but Paul sees it as important in 1 Timothy 2:13. He sees it as a basis for the way men and women relate in the church. He goes back to creation and he says there was a difference in the created order.

Number two: Adam, not Eve, represented the human race. Now if you think back to the story of the fall in Genesis 3 where sin entered into the world, can you remember who first sinned, who took the forbidden fruit? It was Eve. So we might think since Eve sinned first, we inherited the sinful nature because of Eve, but the Bible doesn't say that.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." It does not say for as in Eve all die. Adam had a leadership role, a headship role, as representative head for the human race--a role that Eve did not have.

Adam's sin is the basis on which God transmitted a sinful nature to us as well. That is not a culturally variable reason. That is a reason that transcends culture and societal differences.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Well, we are going to have to break in at this point of Dr. Wayne Grudem's message called Men and Women: Similarities and Differences. Dr. Grudem has been explaining that the Scripture teaches that men and women have different roles in marriage and that that is not just a cultural difference, but it is part of God's created order.

He's just given us the first two in a list of 10 biblical reasons why Adam and Eve had different roles before the fall. Now, you may be wondering, what's the big deal about that? Why does it really matter? Well, I'll tell you it matters a lot because those who have rejected this biblical teaching have ended up falling into some very serious errors about the roles of men and women in the home and in the church. On tomorrow's broadcast Dr. Grudem will share the eight other biblical reasons why Adam and Eve had different roles before the fall.

Now, I have no doubt that this series is going to raise some big questions in a lot of people's minds. That is why we are offering this week a very important booklet by John Piper and Dr. Wayne Grudem. The booklet is called Fifty Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood.

This little booklet is a goldmine. It gives solid, biblical responses to many important questions, questions like: "Where in the Bible do you get the idea that husbands should be the leaders in their homes? And what does submission mean? And what does it look like? And what about the whole idea of mutual submission found in Ephesians chapter 5?"

When you order the Fifty Crucial Questions booklet, we will also send you at no additional charge a simple study guide for this message. It is really just Dr. Grudem's notes and it will help you as you think through the issues that he raises on this very important topic.

Leslie Basham: To order you can call 1-800-569-5959. Ask for the booklet, Fifty Crucial Questions. When you order, ask for the free study guide.

Again, the number is 1-800-569-5959. You can also download the study guide for free by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com. While you are there you can order a CD of today's message and other material from Dr. Grudem. Were you challenged to think about womanhood in some new ways today?

 Today we heard two examples of Adam providing leadership for his wife before the fall. Tomorrow we will hear eight more examples from our guest, Wayne Grudem. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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

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