Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Every Mom Can Be a Mentor

Leslie Basham: Denise Glenn describes the way a lot of imperfect moms feel.

Denise Glenn: Sometimes I hear women say, “Oh, I could never be a mentoring mom. My children are not perfect,” or “I didn't do it perfectly,” and I go, “Wow! That's great. Tell them exactly what not to do.”

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, July 21.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Well, I don't think that we've ever had a guest on Revive Our Hearts go to any more effort or travel any greater distance than our guest today. Denise Glenn has come to us from Perth, Australia. Denise, that's—did you tell me 38 hours away?

Denise: 38 flying hours (laughing)

Nancy: 11,000 miles

Denise: It is. Perth, Australia is the most remote city on the face of the earth. That's on the website. It is literally the end of the earth, but I'm delighted to be here with you today.

Nancy: I think our listeners want to pay really special attention. The fact that somebody would come that far to be a part of this program means that you have something on your heart to say, and you really did schedule this trip around being able to be a part of Revive Our Hearts in addition to getting to see your . . .

Denise: . . . eight grandchildren and three daughters—three daughters and their husbands, but the eight little grandchildren are a big draw

Nancy: I was thinking every time I asked you this the grandchildren got mentioned first.

Denise: I know. My girls mention that, too. That's great.

Nancy: Well, thank you for being a part of Revive Our Hearts today and for these last couple of days as you've been talking with us about wisdom for mothers. You've been married 37 years. Your children are now grown with children of their own and needing to live out in their lives the things that God taught you early on as the result of some mentors who came into your life.

I'm so glad that now you're taking the role of that Titus 2 older woman, and it's interesting. I've been thinking as we've been talking about motherhood here that one of the things older women are to teach younger women is how to love their children. You would think this comes automatically. You've got a child, you just automatically love them, but apparently there are some things that need to be taught.

You've talked with us over the last couple of days about the importance of showing unconditional love to your children, and then what was the second gift? Remind us of that.

Denise: The second gift is discipline. Not only do we love our children, but we love them enough to set boundaries, set the rope of boundaries and actually teach them those internal boundaries so that they can tell themselves no, and they can go on to be the people that God wants them to be. Setting boundaries is a form of love, and it's a great gift to give our children.

Nancy: It's a great gift God gives us. His love causes Him to set boundaries for our lives to protect us, to bless us, and when a mom or dad does that for their children, they’re blessing their children as God blesses us. There's lots more on that subject that we could have talked about and wish I'd have had time to talk about, but that's why I'm encouraging our listeners to get a copy of the eight-week Bible study that you have written called Wisdom for Mothers.

If you go to ReviveOurHearts.com, there's a link to MotherWise, which is the ministry that you have founded to teach this material. If you want to get a copy of this study guide, if you'll send a donation of any amount to Revive Our Hearts, we'll be glad to send that to you. There's lots of wisdom in here for women at every season of life. We're just touching on the surface of some of these topics that, Denise, you've developed in such a beautiful and biblical way in your book, so we're just trying to whet the appetite.

You've mentioned three gifts that mothers can give their children. We've talked about two of those—love and discipline. Let's talk about the third, and then before we wrap up this series, I want us to just broaden this whole topic and talk about the whole issue of legacy. But first of all, what is that third gift mothers can give their children?

Denise: Well, Nancy, as we've been saying, the goal of our parenting is to produce godly offspring, not just raise kids.

Nancy: Not just healthy kids.

Denise: That's right. Exactly.

Nancy: Not just wealthy kids, not just smart kids, but godly kids.

Denise: Amen.

Nancy: By the way, let me just not let that pass without making this comment. If you've never stopped, as a mom, and just agreed with God that that is your goal, whatever age your children are, this would be a good time to stop and just acknowledge, “Lord, that is my goal. That's what I want.” Cry out to the Lord and say, “Lord, whatever else happens to my kids, whatever jobs they have, whatever their future has, whatever their mental capacity is or isn't, their earning capacity is or isn't, would You cause my children to have a heart and a hunger for You, to be godly, to love Christ, to know the Gospel, to repent and believe and to have godly character? And Lord, if You don't give me anything else, would You grant godly kids?”

I think as you pray that prayer, you're acknowledging, as a mom, I can't make my kids be godly, but you can pray. You can do what praying moms and grandmoms have done throughout the centuries, and that is do spiritual battle on behalf of your children and say, “Lord, we're not going to let you go until You capture the hearts of these kids.” So make that your prayer even as we're talking about these three gifts you can give your children that will create a climate that's conducive to those children wanting to pursue God. Now, let's talk about what the third gift is.

Denise: Well, the third gift is the bread of life. We want to give our children the life of Jesus. Now, as you have already said, you can't force Jesus on your children, but as we give the three gifts—and Nancy, they have to be given in order, so let's go back to the first one.

The first one is unconditional love. Our children have to know our love for them is not based on their performance or their behavior or their appearance. Our love for them is always going to be there. That softens and tenderizes their heart. Then, as we discipline them, as we teach them and train them to obey our voices so they'll obey the voice of God, that breaks down the rocks of rebellion and stubbornness so we can give the final gift, and that is the bread of life.

As we invest the Word of Christ into the hearts of our children, then when you have little hearts that are loved, children who are loved unconditionally, children who've been well-disciplined, then there's fertile soil in their hearts so that the seed of God's Word can go deep in their hearts and bear much fruit, so that's the plan. That's the big plan of producing godly offspring.

So how do we give the bread of life? You know, Nancy, I grew up in a Christian home. I'm so blessed, but my wonderful parents, who are now up in their 80s, invested in me. They did love me, and they did discipline me. They did invest the Word of God into my heart.

I remember when I was a little, bitty girl, my father would gather all four of the children in our family on their bed, and many, many nights, my daddy would lay his hands on us and pray over us before we went to bed. I thought that was normal. I thought everybody's family did that. And I discovered . . .

Nancy: Oh that they did!

Denise: Exactly! But my daddy was training us not only to pray, not only to love Jesus, but that as a family, we were going to worship together. This was something in unity when our hearts were in unity as a family altar going to the family altar to worship. It opened our hearts to what God wanted to do and listening, learning to listen to God.

So I had wonderful modeling. My parents taught me to memorize the Scriptures. When I was growing up, they enrolled me in a little class in our church. I went from year to year, and I learned how to memorize Scripture.

As our children were growing up, my children and I did a Scripture memory program where we were memorizing ABC Scriptures. We would start, “All we like sheep have gone astray,” and the B verse was, “But He was wounded for transgressions.” C verse—I love this one, “Children, obey your parents,” and D, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”

We went all the way through the alphabet as I drove them to school every morning and so just investing the Word of God, just taking little pieces of God's Word. Now, what I was very blessed in my life and in my family—and David and I tried to model this with our children—is that we fed them the bread of life in bite-size chunks appropriate for their age.

What I've had parents come to me in our MotherWise ministry—I hear parents say, “My kids don't want to hear it. They're rejecting it,” or, “They won't let me do that,” so we go back to the basics. First of all, do your children know that you love them, not because they memorize Scripture, not because they're a perfect, little Sunday school kid? Do they just know that you love them?

So we start there. Have you trained your children to obey, just to obey, to stay within your boundaries? So we start there. Then, when it comes to the bread of life, what I see precious, wonderful, well-meaning Christian families doing is they'll open the mouth of their little children and take the entire loaf of the bread of life and cram it down these precious little mouths. And of course, these kids throw it up. They can't understand what is the problem here. So what I encourage parents to do is to take bite-size chunks of the Word of God appropriate to the age of their children.

There are many ways. The great thing, Nancy, is today, parents can go to a Christian bookstore and find rows and rows of resources to help them invest the Word of God into their children and their grandchildren's lives—Bible picture story books, Scripture memory programs, coloring books that help children visualize Bible stories—all sorts of resources to help us plant the seed of God's Word in our children's lives so that it will bear fruit, not only in this generation, but in the one to come.

Nancy: We have carefully selected a number of those resources that we make available through our Revive Our Hearts resource center, and if you'll call us, contact us, email us, go to the website, ReviveOurHearts.com, we have some of those resources listed on the website today that are available to you. One of them is the children's devotional book that my parents were using with our family when, at the age of four, I trusted Christ as my Savior. It's called Leading Little Ones to God. There's some other great resources there, so I hope you'll take advantage of that.

Denise: Nancy, hearing you say that you accepted Christ when you were four years old—I accepted Christ when I was five. Isn't it interesting to watch how God has worked in our lives over an entire lifetime of knowing Him? One of the things I want to encourage parents in this thing of producing godly offspring is think early. It is never too early to start laying your hands through a crib and praying for that baby, helping them pray in their highchair, putting their little hands together, teaching your children about Jesus from the very beginning.

If you're a mother of young children or a grandmother with young grandchildren, begin now praying for their salvation. I have prayed, and we teach the moms in MotherWise, pray that they will come to Christ early in their lives, that they will not waste time in their lives not knowing Jesus but that they will actually accept Christ, say, “Lord Jesus, please forgive me of my sins. I thank You that You are my Lord and Savior. Come and live inside my heart.” It's a powerful thing when we watch little children coming to Jesus Christ, opening their hearts, accepting Him, and then they have a whole lifetime to serve Him.

Nancy: Many times we see this through the Scripture. The goal is that we pass the baton of faith, intact, on to the next generation. You watch these relay races and the Olympics or whatever, and sometimes you'll see that fatal drop of the baton. It's really important that the person who's finishing the leg hold onto that baton until it's safely in the hand of the next one and then that the next one pick it up and hold it until they've passed it on to the next one.

We're running a relay race, and what I see that breaks my heart through so much of the Evangelical world today is that we have people who have come to know Christ, but their children are not growing up to know and love and walk with Christ. This is a huge responsibility we have. Whether you're married and have children as you do, Denise, or you're single as I am, I still feel a responsibility here now in my 50s—both of us in our 50s—to say, “What can we do to be passing on the faith to the next generation?”

At Revive Our Hearts, that's why we have the Pure in Heart ministry for mothers and tweens. That's why we're promoting resources like The Princess and the Kiss and The Squire and the Scroll and Dr. Ware's book on Big Truths for Young Hearts. We're trying every way we can to have parents and adults passing on the faith to their children, and really, Denise, both of our lives are the fruit and the result of godly men and women, parents and others, who took this mentoring responsibility seriously.

Denise: I'm so blessed, Nancy, that not only did my parents believe in Jesus, but my grandfather was a Scottish preacher. I come from a long line, a long heritage of godly people who served Christ. Through those generations, as we've seen this godly line continue, and I'm watching my children walk in the faith—the first two of my grandchildren have now accepted Christ—what a blessing to watch the legacy of faith and watch God use our children to reach people we never could!

Nancy: But many of our listeners don't have that kind of godly legacy, and they're thinking, "Where can I get that kind of training? My parents didn't give that to me." Both of us have also had the blessing of having other people speak into our lives and be mentors.

Denise: I had five wonderful, amazing, godly older women, 15 years older than I was when I was a young wife, a young mother, come alongside me, and they invested weekly in my life. I mean, I look back now on the investment of time—they came to my house for two hours once a week and invested themselves in me. So I would love to call forth those who, like us, have had the benefit of walking with Jesus throughout our lives and just to excite some of our listeners who are in their 50s or 60s or 70s and still have energy to give to the next generation.

Nancy: Energy and wisdom and experience.

Denise: Exactly, and sometimes I hear women say, “Oh, I could never be a mentoring mom. My children are not perfect,” or “I didn't do it perfectly,” and I go, “Wow! That's great. Tell them exactly what not to do.”

Nancy: Yes, teach out of your failures.

Denise: That's exactly right. As we make ourselves available to God in investing our time and our energy in the next generation—David and I have had to make some decisions about vacation time. David has been working in the marketplace for a long time. We have a lot of weeks now of vacation time, so we've chosen to take a lot of those weeks and do international mission trips and invest in people around the world the things God's given us.

We also take one night a week, and we train other people within our own local church. I take one morning a week when I'm in town. When I'm home, I'm teaching and training young women. I'm mentoring.

There are a couple of young women who come for tea. I live in Perth, Australia. We do tea, so they come for tea to my house. They have asked me specifically to mentor them, so just being available and really clearing our schedule of some of the extraneous things we could be doing because we don't have children in our home right now and really investing in lives and hearts in our local body and then the greater body of Christ in the city where we live.

Nancy: I appreciate that so much about you, Denise, and it's a vision that I want other women to capture. We have right now in this country 77 million Baby Boomers. The first of that generation has just in recent years reached retirement age, and for the large part, they are empty-nesters or heading toward it. They have more time and resources on their hands than at any previous time in their lives, and it's the largest generation that has been in this country or ever will be again in this country.

One of my burdens through Revive Our Hearts is that God would mobilize thousands and thousands of Christian women out of that generation to say we're not going to spend our lives just retired, playing cards, playing golf, knitting, crocheting, whatever your thing is. I'm not saying all those things are necessarily wrong, but this is a time to be girded up, to be serious and intentional about kingdom impact.

You and David are doing that in a season of life where you could be really taking it easy and living for yourselves. You've made choices even as his job took him to Australia and away from your precious grandchildren and daughters. You're saying, how can I use this season of my life to make an impact for the kingdom?

Denise: Nancy, it was a big decision, of course. We feel passionate about families because God so transformed our marriage and so completely transformed our parenting and really gave us a vision to help other families and come alongside other families. But when God began to challenge us outside of our comfort zone . . . I was very happy as long as we were ministering in the United States. I was speaking for women's conferences and working within my local church body, but God really challenged us with Matthew chapter 10 that we not love our children or our house more than we love Him and not hold on to that but that we lay everything at His feet.

We literally said, “Lord, here we are. We'll go.” David still works in the marketplace. He also has the FatherWise ministry and does a lot with our prayer network, but David was given the opportunity to take an overseas move. At first I thought, “I think this is the Devil trying to kill our ministry.” But we realized quickly, as God began to reveal, this was God's plan to take us literally to the ends of the earth.

First we lived in Jakarta, Indonesia. Oh my goodness, what a wild and amazing journey that was to live in a third-world country, the largest Muslim country in the world. But look at the opportunity God laid before us to take what He had taught us through the years of our early marriage and through the years of our parenting and at a time when we were empty-nesters! God planted us literally on the mission field using David's secular job, and He opened doors of ministry we could not have believed.

Then we came back home, and 18 months later, we were asked to take a move to Perth, Australia. Again, not to a Muslim country or a third-world country, but to a country that has . . . In fact, I tell people, Indonesia was dark; Australia had a zero. There's only five percent of Christians in Australia.

So God sent us to a completely different mission field, but again, taking the things God has taught us. All we know is what we know, and so we've taken the things God has planted in our hearts, and we've begun to share those with the people in the countries that God's taken us. It's been a great journey.

Nancy: Regardless of whether God takes you and your family to another country, another part of the world, or leaves you planted right where you are, regardless of whether you're a teacher, a writer, as Denise is (you have a more public ministry) or not, God wants to use you in this season of your life.

Particularly, I'm speaking to women in their 50s and older, those empty-nest years. I want to just challenge you, don't sit out on the sidelines and just watch the rest of the battle take place around you. Don't say, “I've earned this. I can just sit and relax and take it easy till Jesus comes.” I want to challenge you to get in the battle, to say, “Lord, how do You want to use me in this season of my life, with the gifts that You've given me, the experiences You've given me?” Ask the Lord to open the doors.

It may be just that you take a younger mom under your wing in your church family or in your small group and you say, “How can I pray for you?” It was five women doing that for Denise 30 years ago who invested in her life, and now God has given—and time doesn't permit to tell—a worldwide ministry, multiple languages, multiple continents, bringing God glory and furthering His kingdom all around the world.

What God does in your life may look, and probably will look, totally different than that. Just say, “Lord, here I am. I'm available. Take me. Have me. Use me. Spend me. Invest my life. May it make a difference for Your kingdom.”

Denise, thank you so much for living this message, for traveling all this distance to share with us. I believe that the message that's been planted in hearts of women who've been listening is going to take root and produce fruit, God-willing, for generations to come.

Denise: Thank you, Nancy. It's been a joy to be here.

Leslie: That conversation between Nancy Leigh DeMoss and our guest, Denise Glenn, is just an appetite wetter. I hope you'll dig in and incorporate more of Denise's biblical message into your life. Just get a copy of her book, Wisdom for Mothers. I'll remind you what Nancy said about the book on yesterday's program.

Nancy: We're making that book available, Wisdom for Mothers, to anyone who writes or calls or emails us and asks for it. If you make a donation of any amount to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts, we'll be glad to send you that resource. It's a rich one, a valuable one whether you're an older woman or a younger woman. If you want to be a Titus 2 woman, this is a great resource, and we heartily recommend it.

Leslie: Here's how to take Nancy up on that offer. It's the final day we'll be making this offer, so contact us right away. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com, make your donation, and we'll send Wisdom for Mothers to you, or ask for it when you call 1-800-569-5959 to make your donation by phone.

You are dying. That is the sobering yet hopeful message that you'll hear tomorrow. Please be back for a powerful presentation on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

 

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