Revive Our Hearts Podcast

God Created Male and Female

Leslie Basham:  Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Teach out of your failures. Teach out of what God has shown you where you did blow it, where you didn’t trust Him, what you learned through that, where God found you, about the addictions that you had, about the ways that you failed. Teach out of your life. 

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of The Quiet Place, for Friday, September 7, 2018.

This week we’ve been marking a milestone as a ministry. Nancy began serving the Lord full-time forty years ago. To mark the occasion we’ve been exploring some of the main themes in her teaching over the decades. Here she is to set up today’s theme.

Nancy: It has been a joy for me over the last several weeks to look back over these past last forty years and see the faithfulness and the mercy and the kindness of God. I want to say that it's a great privilege to serve the Lord—whether you do it vocationally or wherever God has placed you: in the marketplace, in the home, in whatever circumstances God has placed you. There's no joy like that of serving the Lord and others.

I've had the great privilege over these years of opening God's Word day after day, year after year and letting God first speak to my own heart and change my own life with His Word. Then having the opportunity to share that Truth, that Word of God with others.

One of the themes the Lord has put on my heart as I've ministered to women over these forty years is a call to understand what it means to live as a woman of God. We’ve looked to the Scripture together to see why did God create men and women in, and how has He made us unique and distinctive. As our society has gone through seismic shifts over these past four decades, it's been a sweet thing for me to stay tethered to God’s Word as we grapple with the truth about who God has called us to be and how we can best honor Him through our God-created design.

Leslie: And Nancy, you’ve explored this in a number of classic series here on Revive Our Hearts. One of the first series ever recorded for Revive Our Hearts was called “Becoming a Woman of Discretion” based in Proverbs chapter 7.

Nancy "Becoming a Woman of Discretion": A wise woman has a gentle spirit. A wise woman is surrendered to the will of God and submissive to the obligations that God has placed her under. This woman is the opposite of that, and as we've been saying, the foolish woman is a treacherous woman. She's a destructive woman. She tears down her house with her hands.

Now, you may be thinking as we've been saying going through this passage, “I'm not the kind of woman, as a married woman in particular, who'd ever leave my house and go out in the middle of the night and rendezvous with some foolish man out there.” You might not, but ask yourself this question as you think about who you are in your home, in your workplace, in your church environment. Would I be characterized as loud and stubborn, boisterous, always drawing attention to myself, out of control, not restrained?

Do you find yourself resisting the ways of God, resisting authority, or you're not quick to yield? That's a picture of this foolish woman. She's not willing to yield to those who may have other opinions or input into her life.

As we continue in verse 11, we see that not only is she loud and stubborn, but, “Her feet abide not in her house.” She's always out doing things, not content and satisfied to be where God has put her.

Now, the woman in Proverbs 31 that we talk about, the virtuous woman, is a woman who does go out and do things. She's out buying a field. She's out planting a vineyard. She's out shopping for her family. What's the difference?

In that case, the virtuous woman, the wise woman, when she's out of her home, she's looking for ways to benefit and bless and serve her family or for the surroundings where God has placed her, if you're a single woman. The foolish woman that we're reading about in Proverbs 7 is just a stirred-up woman. She's just restless. She's easily discontent.

The Scripture says that we should make it our goal to live a quiet and peaceable life. This woman is the opposite of that. She's always on the move, always got to have activity. Let me say, our culture feeds that kind of frenetic, frazzled, frenzied lifestyle. Has it done it to you? Do you find yourself just always having to be on the move? You can't sit still.

Verse 12 says, “Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.” This woman is not a keeper at home. Titus 2 tells us, in the New Testament, that the godly woman learns to be a keeper at home, that her priority is to serve and bless and minister to her family. Her heart centers in her home.

This woman is not that way. She has a home. She has a husband. She may have children. We don't know, but that's not what she's focused on.

She's outside. She's in the streets. You just see a woman who is here and there and everywhere, always having to be involved in activities. Let me tell you, it can be church activities that keep your heart away from your home—nothing wrong with church activities, but if you have to be in the church every time the doors are opened, and every time there's a need in your church, you have to be the one to fulfill it; it may be that you're covering up a restless, foolish heart.

Now, I'm not suggesting that the wise woman will not be involved in serving and ministering to others. Again, it's a matter of, where is your heart? Are you content within the influence and the sphere that God has assigned to you?

Because this woman is not focused on her home, not focused on her mate, not focused on her obligations as a woman of God—that's why it's so important, women, that we let God establish our priorities and that we not say yes to every opportunity that comes along. Here's a woman—“Now she is without,” verse 12. “Now she is in the streets. She lieth in wait at every corner.”

She's lurking. She's ready to catch her prey. In her heart, she is actually out seeking to draw men in. Now, you may not be conscious that that's your heart or your intent. It may not be your intent, but if you have that restless, tumultuous, loud, stubborn spirit, you're more prone to develop that kind of heart attitude that has a wrong intent toward other men.

Notice, she lies in wait at every corner. She's not just a foolish woman in that one encounter in the middle of the night with that one man. She is a foolish woman, so wherever she goes, she's dangerous. It happens everywhere—at work, in the neighborhood, at church, and for her, it may have become such a habit that she doesn't even realize what she's doing.

One of the things about foolishness is that it blinds us to see how foolish we are. That's why, as women, we need to have other, older, godly women around us who can help us see things about us that we can't see about ourselves, and if you're really bold, ask your husband. Ask your children about some of these characteristics and say, “Is it possible that I have some of those traits and don't even realize it?”

The foolish woman who has these traits in her heart ultimately is going to live out that foolishness, and she's going to wreak havoc and destruction in the people around her. That destruction may be in your own husband, in your children, in your grandchildren, in people that you work with, in others in your church. It may not just end up in an immoral relationship, but it will end up tearing down your home, the environment, the circumstances, in which God has placed you.

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, helping us understand Proverbs chapter 7 and warning against being a foolish woman. Throughout her teaching Nancy has helped us understand how to be wise women. Here’s another example, from the series “The Counter-Cultural Woman: A Fresh Look at Proverbs 31.”

Nancy "The Counter-Cultural Woman": I just want to remind us over and over again that no woman can be like this woman apart from the Lord. Left to ourselves we could never have the kind of heart that would cause us to give ourselves in this selfless, serving, sacrificial way that this virtuous woman does in Proverbs chapter 31.

Yet I also want to remind you—and this is where I get such hope—that any woman can be this woman. The heart of the matter is not all of the things this woman does. It’s not all her activities, all her accomplishments, all her achievements, all her skills. They are considerable, but those things all flow out of a relationship with God. That’s the bottom line.

Now we’re not going to get to the bottom line for a while yet because it comes at the end of the chapter, but we know that this is a woman who fears the Lord. She’s a woman who has a reverence for God, a trust in God, a holy sense of awe about God. Out of that reverential trust and fear and love and devotion to God comes springing forth her heart for the relationships that God has put in her life. In this case, it’s a married woman, so her heart for her husband, her heart for her children, her heart for her home. That all comes out of her devotion to God.

You and I cannot be the women God made us to be and wants us to be and that we want to be, regardless of our season of life, regardless whether we’re married or single, what our calling is in life. We cannot fulfill that calling apart from a commitment to cultivate a personal relationship with God. That’s got to be the number one, core priority of every day of my life—to walk with God.

You say, “I’m too busy. I don’t have time to do that.” If you don’t have time to cultivate your relationship with God, then you’re doing some other things that you shouldn’t be doing. We’ve got to just determine this is what matters—that I seek the Lord, that I know Him, that I get into His Word, that I get wisdom from Him, that I get the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit to enable me to be the woman He wants me to be.

A woman said to me just a while ago, “After I left the last session, I was feeling so hopeless and overwhelmed and like I was just such a failure on every count as it relates to Proverbs 31.” But she said in the next session . . . God really encouraged her and showed her His grace and the hope that there is.

Let me just say, there is hope for every one of us as women. It starts by acknowledging where we don’t meet the standard. But then, as we agree with God about our failure, coming to Him for grace and for strength and for transformation, to make us into the women that He wants us to be.

So I want to keep . . . As we hold up this standard, I want to keep reminding you that we don’t attain to this standard by our own effort, our own abilities. We acknowledge that we cannot attain to this standard. This is the law, in a sense, that we’re looking at.

It must press us to Christ, who is our righteousness, who is our hope, and to the cross where we cry out to God. Where we say, “Break me, mold me, make me, shape me, transform me by Your grace, by the power of Your salvation and Your gospel. Make me into the woman that I could never be apart from You but that I am sure to be by the power of Your Spirit.” So I want to keep speaking words of hope and grace.

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth showing us how to be wise women who glorify God. That message was based on Proverbs 31. Nancy explored the topic of femininity for God’s glory in the series, “A Vision for Biblical Womanhood.”

Nancy "A Vision for Biblical Womanhood": The vast majority of Christian women have bought into this “new” way of thinking in the home, in the church, in the marketplace. They have adopted the values and belief system of the world around them.

The world promises freedom and fulfillment to those who embrace this philosophy. Just look at the advertising today. What is it promising women? “You can have all you want. You can be free. You can be fulfilled. Just bite into this piece of fruit. Just buy into this philosophy.”

But you know as well as I do—and it’s so tragic to me—that millions of women who have done just that have ended up not free and fulfilled, but they’ve ended up disillusioned, wounded, and in terrible bondage. It's been true in their workplace, in their marriages, in their families, in their relationships.

You can just look at some women today and say, "She has lived a hard life." In many cases, it’s because of choices that were contrary to the Word of God.

Now, I realize that the things we’ve talked about in this series are not politically correct. Believe me, I know that, and we're going to have to answer the mail. Much of it flies in the face of what we have been taught as twenty-first century, enlightened, liberated women. Much of what I have taught is contrary to our natural instints. What I have taught here, the complementarian position—what I call a biblical vision of womanhood—will never be the majority position. In our lifetime, it will probably never be the majority position in the church, sad to say.

It is likely to make many women uncomfortable. I know that. So why have I risked doing this series?

Why have I risked what people would think and how they would respond? It’s because I know that the truth is right. I know that God’s ways are good, and I know that God’s pathway for women and for men is the only path to true joy and peace and fulfillment as a woman or as a man.

You see, God made us. He loves us, and we can only be whole—we can only be free, we can only be full, we can only be fulfilled—when we function according to His design for our lives.

And even if we had nothing to gain from it ourselves, if it’s God’s way and it brings God glory, then we would want to say, “Yes, Lord.” I would want to say, “Lord, I surrender to this, even if I don’t get anything out of it.”

But we do get something out of it! There’s blessing for us.

I am convinced that the influence of an army of godly, surrendered, believing, praying women will be incalculable in our homes, in our churches, and in our culture. Will you be one of those women? Will you come and join the counter-revolution? I pray you will.

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, in a series called “A Vision for Biblical Womanhood.” If you’d like to hear more, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. Click “Resources” then “Programs”

Today we’re exploring the theme of biblical woman by hearing messages Nancy has given over the years. And we can’t leave out the series, “God’s Beautiful Design for Women: Living out Titus 2:1–5.

Nancy "God's Beautiful Design for Women": Chronological maturity should be accompanied by spiritual growth and maturity. As you’re getting older age-wise, you ought to be maturing spiritually, maturing into Christ-likeness. I love that verse, Proverbs chapter 4, verse 18, and I often put this on birthday cards or birthday greetings to people. It says, "The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day."

When you’re getting into your fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, you don’t tend to think of your life as getting brighter and fuller. We tend to think of going downhill—that’s the way people talk about aging today. But it’s not God’s perspective on aging. God’s perspective is if you are a righteous person, if you are a believer, your life is like the light of dawn—it starts out just like a little glimmer of light, and then as the day moves along and moves closer and closer to noon, the sun gets higher and higher in the sky, until at full noon the light is at its brightest.

That’s the way aging should be thought of spiritually. There should never be a time in your life, no matter how old you are, when you stop flourishing, growing, and being fruitful—never. There’s never a time to retire spiritually; never a time to be put on a shelf.

There’s never a time to retire spiritually.

Again, here’s another passage I love, Psalm chapter 92, verses 12–15.

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they’re ever full of sap and green [picture of vitality], to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

That’s a description of godly, old people. They’re flourishing. They’re growing. They’re full of spiritual vitality. Their physical bodies may be diminishing, that’s a part of the curse of the fall. Their inner man is being renewed day by day. They’re growing; they’re flourishing, and they never stop being fruitful. They never stop proclaiming to others the goodness and the wonders of Christ and His gospel.

Older people, let me say to you that you’re supposed to be a model. You’re supposed to be an example. Your character, your lifestyle should be worthy of respect. You should have a life that others can point to and say, “That’s what I want to be like when I’m your age,” a life that’s worthy of emulation; a life that’s worthy of following. Because you follow Christ, you should be a model.

But here’s something else—you should also be a mentor—not just a model, but also a mentor. You need to be drawing on your life experience to provide encouragement and exhortation and challenge to those who are younger.

Now you say, “I’ve blown so much of my life. I’ve made so many wrong choices. I’ve failed in so many respects.” I’m sure the older you get the bigger catalog of failures you have that Satan can throw up in your face and say, “There’s nothing you could offer.”

Teach out of your failures. Teach out of what God has shown you where you did blow it, where you didn’t trust Him, what you learned through that, where God found you, about the addictions that you had, about the ways that you failed. Teach out of your life, and help those who are coming behind you to be guarded and protected in their steps. My life is so much richer today as I’m getting older because of older people who have poured into my life and have modeled for me and mentored me in the ways of God.

I want to challenge you older people to be willing to take initiative and reach out to younger people in the community of faith. One of the things I hear about older people, about older women in the church, I hear it said, “They just don’t want to mentor.” Then, of course, I hear some of the older people saying the younger people just don’t want to be mentored.

You know what? Whether you’re younger or older, take the initiative. Reach out. If you’re older, find a younger woman. You don’t have to be a PhD in theology. You don’t have to have been to seminary. You don’t have to be a great Bible teacher. Just open your life and open the Word of God, and come alongside some of these younger women and be willing to share out of your life.

Then just a brief word to those who are younger: Job 12, verse 12 says, "Wisdom is with the aged and understanding in length of days." You can be young and wise, but there’s some aspects of wisdom and understanding that you only get with life experience. Remember that, and then remember that God cares about how we treat older believers. They are to be treated with honor and with respect.

Leviticus 19, verse 32 says, "You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am the Lord." The way you treat older people is an evidence of the way you treat the Lord.

Now that doesn’t mean that they will never do wrong, but the apostle Paul taught pastors Timothy and Titus, if they are wrong, those older people; that when you appeal to them, you are to humbly and respectfully make your appeal. It’s not that you can’t challenge the lifestyle and the choices an older person is making, but Paul says to Timothy in 1 Timothy 5, "Don’t rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father . . . younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters in all purity" (v. 1).

Then younger women, and we’re all younger to somebody, and we’re all older to somebody. Younger women, be teachable; be humble. Value the life experience of the older women around you. Solicit their input. Receive instruction and correction with humility. Ask questions. Listen.

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, teaching from Titus 2 here on Revive Our Hearts. Today we’ve been exploring the theme of biblical womanhood by visiting several teaching series from Nancy.

All week we’ve been looking at the main themes in Nancy’s teaching as we celebrate an anniversary. Nancy’s been serving the Lord in full-time ministry for the last forty years.

Nancy also explores many of those same themes in her daily devotional, The Quiet Place. There are 365 entries so you can spend some time each day focusing your heart on the truth of God’s Word.

We’d like to send you a copy of The Quiet Place when you support Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any amount. If you’ve been excited to celebrate forty years of ministry with Nancy this week, you could consider this an anniversary gift. When you donate any amount, ask for The Quiet Place. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1–800–569–5959 and ask for the book.

You may know that Nancy’s book Lies Women Believe has sold a million copies and affected countless lives. But sometimes we get the question: What about something for men? Aren’t men tempted to believe in lies too? On Monday, we’ll answer those questions. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help you live out the beauty of the gospel. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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