Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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God’s Beautiful Design for Women, Day 19

Leslie Basham: In your church, members of different generations need each other according to Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: We don’t want to get to the place where you’ve got all of the twenty-somethings in one service and all the people who don’t like that music in a different service because we’re going to forfeit something which is more important than our taste in music. That is our need for each other in the body of Christ.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Adorned, for Thursday, March 2, 2017

Nancy: For the last three weeks or so we’ve been working our way slowly but surely through the first verses of Titus chapter 2. A couple days ago we got to the phrase a lot of us first think of when we hear Titus chapter 2. “Older women are to teach younger women.” Today we’ll hear how that can play out in real life. How do younger and older generations connect? A group of women has been listening to this series with us and we’ll hear their experiences in a few minutes.

First, I want to introduce you to Kelly Needham. She’s a wife and mom and a contributor to the True Woman Blog. She’s been influenced by a number of mentors in her life. And now she’s purposefully passing on what she’s learned to the next generation. Here’s Kelly.

Kelly Needham: There are two women in my life in particular who have been shaping me. And what's interesting is that neither one of them sat me down across from a table and went through a book with me. We didn't go through a curriculum or a Bible study. I was women that I watched their lives. And that's really shaped how I thought about mentorship as well.

The first was a lady named Toni. She just passed away this year. She was a Sunday school teacher of mine from the time I was in ninth grade and through high school. I had so many questions about the Word. I was hungry. I wanted to know every answer there was to know about the Bible. She stayed after every Sunday school class and talked with me and was late to service herself so she could answers my questions. She fueled that desire.

That modeled for me was a kind gift of God. As a graduation gift from high school, she bought me a very early edition of Logos software. It was one of the first ones that was out. But it was something to send me off to college so I could dig on my own.

When I think about her influence on my life, I don't think about the specifics of what she taught me. But seeing her love for the Word and her taking the time to pour into me, and, of course, out of the corner of my eye I saw her interacting with her own kids and husband and friends in the church, that really ministered to me.

Another woman is a friend of mine named Crystal, a mother of six. The contentedness that that woman lived her life is something that really shaped me. The contentedness to submit to her husband, to love her kids, to be okay to say "no" to things that she wasn't able to do. Again, it was nothing that she did or she didn't teach me anything profound in words, but it was the way that she lived. It was shaping how I wanted to live my own life.

It was modeled for me what I see in Titus 2. She didn't sit down and exegete the passage for me, but she walked it out in front of me and gave me some visuals for what some of that could look like in my own life. That's something that I won't forget. Now, it's changed my own perspective on mentorship and discipleship.

Nancy: And now Kelly is passing along the truth she’s learned to the next generation of women following her.

Kelly: My husband and I are the leaders of our college home group through our church. So we have a lot of college students in and out of our life on a weekly basis or a daily basis. They are very hungry spiritually.

The primary thing that we get asked is to sit across the table from them and teach them. I think it's really been a grace in my life that the women who have been influential in my life didn't do that. They lived with me and let me into their lives. So that has been something that I am excited that I have the opportunity to do.

When a girl comes and asks to mentored, and the question is what books should we study, what should we do; instead, my response will be, "Do you want to come with me to the grocery store this Thursday? You can help me with my kids, and we can compare prices, and we can talk while we are shopping." Usually, that's not what they want. What's funny is, that's not what I wanted either. I was hungry to be taught specific things, and instead was met with life. That became something that I realize now is way more valuable—to have that experience and walk alongside. So it's been a really neat privilege to walk that out in our local church.

Nancy: That’s Kelly Needham, showing us how she lives out the idea we’ve been talking about the last couple days on Revive Our Hearts—that older women are to teach younger women. We’ll hear from Kelly again at the end of the program. But for the next few minutes let’s talk about some of the barriers that keep older and younger women from connecting. A group of women has been listening to this series with us, and they’re going to discuss some of the challenges to genuine discipleship. Why don’t some older women teach younger women?

Susan: At our church, one issue is that it is so large that the younger women and the older women don’t have a lot of points of contact and they really don’t know each other. So the younger women may not know older women who are good role models because they simply don’t know them. They don’t know who has integrity, who has a life history that would offer some help to them. I think we need to structure ways for the women to get to know each other so that they would be able to have a platform to meet.

Nancy: Very important and something to keep in mind as churches are developing their programs and structure. We don’t want to get to the place where you’ve got all of the twenty-somethings in one service and all the people who don’t like that music in a different service because we’re going to forfeit something which is more important than our taste in music. That is our need for each other in the body of Christ.

Okay, Mary Anne . . .

Mary Anne 1: For me it’s fear. Fear of not knowing what to say or saying the wrong thing or being a dud and having the person that I’m mentoring feel like that she’s stuck with a loser. I think there’s also some laziness—wanting to do my own thing. Now that my children are older, I want to be free to do what I want to do and not be tied down to a weekly meeting with a young woman.

Nancy: Think for a moment about—whether you’re older or younger, you may have to think back further—an older woman, spiritually or chronologically, that the Lord has used to be a blessing in your life.

Wanda: Mary Anne is my mentor, and she has been such a blessing in my life. God has used her in a tremendous way. I was just thinking about how I even was drawn to her. When I think about those characteristics of being reverent in her behavior, not a malicious gossip, and those things that Titus talks about. I saw all those things in her and they played out in our relationship. She’s been a precious blessing to me.

Some of the things that have been really special, really teaching me how to pray on my knees. She’s a wonderful listener. She asks me a lot of questions, and she really seeks to find out what’s going on in my life every week. I think one great blessing that has been special for me, when she was saying that she might no always know what to say. So many times when I have really hard questions and difficult things, when I would ask her and she would give me counsel, but sometimes she would say, "I don’t know." She’d say, "Let’s just pray about it." And we would go to the Lord.

So as I think how God has worked in my life the last couple of years spiritually, I owe so much to her for her prayers. She’s been so faithful to me to be available. I just can’t say enough about God’s precious blessing of giving us older women and particularly that God led me to her. I’m just very, very grateful. She’s a wonderful mentor. She is a precious blessing.

Mary Anne 2: Our relationship was totally of the Lord. Wanda was new in our church, she and her family. They sat close to where our family always sits. They had a son who’s close to the age of one of our sons. The Lord just drew me to her. I don’t know why exactly.

I remember in the very beginning of our relationship, I wasn’t even really sure of her name or much about her, but I just knew that the Lord wanted me to get in touch with her and check on her. So I had to call our church office to ask how to get in touch with her, what her phone number was. I said they’re new and they’re from this part of the country, and I think her first name is Wanda. Do you have her phone number?

They found the phone number and I called her, which is very out of character for me to take the initiative like that. I’m mostly one who just sits back and waits for somebody to come to me, but I just felt impressed of the Lord that I needed to call her and encourage her and see how she was doing in her adjustment to living here in Little Rock.

It just kind of went from there. We just started talking and interacting and getting to know one another. Then at one point shortly after that she asked me if I would mentor her, and I said yes.

Nancy: Did you quickly say yes or was that something that was a little scary for you?

Mary Anne 2: Well, I did not quickly say yes, but I knew that I was going to say yes. I just told her I would pray about it, but I knew the Lord wanted me to.

Nancy: What has been for you the blessing as far as your role in that relationship? How has God used that in your life?

Mary Anne 2: I think the biggest blessing has been seeing the Lord work in Wanda’s life. Seeing His faithfulness and His kindness in her and with her family. Seeing the huge changes that have come about in Wanda’s life because of her learning more about the Lord and learning how to trust Him.

Nancy: Now these kind of relationships we’re talking about can look very different. Sometimes they’re more structured. Sometimes they’re more informal. Mary Ann, in your case with Wanda, what does that look like for you? Do you meet regularly? Do you schedule times? How does that mentoring relationship take shape?

Mary Anne 2: With Wanda we meet once a week at my house or at her house—some place where we can have privacy, and we just talk. We have not been studying a book together or memorizing Scripture, anything like that. We just talk. She tells me what’s going on in her life, and she asks me questions, and I try to answer. We usually pray together at the end. We get down on our knees, and we may pray for ten or fifteen minutes.

Kathy 1: I just think one of the very important things is what we’re doing right here, is getting teaching. I’m going to apply that verse in John. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). I think if we get this teaching about the truth of God’s Word, that this is what God’s plan is for us as women—as younger women to seek older women and as older women to seek younger women—if we’ve got that, I just think of Isaiah, I think it was chapter 6, the Lord said, “Who will go?” Who’s going to go out there and do this, and he just fell on his face and said, once he got it, “Here am I, Lord, send me” (see v. 8).

I think if we get this teaching here, in our churches, in our Bible studies, that will be our response if we are women that truly love the Lord. They’re all around us—women that need other women. That’ll take away some of that fear. It’ll give us courage but also we’ll be doing it out of love for the Lord because we think, Aha! This is what He wants me to do. That perfect love will take away that fear, and we’ll just step out because they’re all around us. So it’s teaching. We shall know the truth, and it’ll set us free.

Nancy: Great. Thank you, Kathy.

Kathy 2: I’m being really vulnerable here right now. This is my testimony in the sense that my barrier was pride. I grew up in a home where appearances management was the issue. You didn’t let people know what your needs were on the inside, and you had to make sure that your public view was well kept.

It took a lot of years for the Lord to get me to the point of saying now you’re needing to become the woman I want you to be. I just prayed about it and said, “Lord, bring somebody into my life.” He has brought two lovely older women who have become prayer partners, who’ve become dear friends. This lady sitting next to me has become my surrogate mom.

She passed away two years ago so the Lord in His mercy has brought an older woman next to me because I got to the point of realizing it’s not pride. I just need to be humble before the Lord, be broken before Him and let Him do His work in my life that I had prevented before because of my pride.

Nancy: That pride can be in the heart of a younger woman or an older woman because it does take vulnerability to open up your life, whether you are younger or older, and let down the walls and take off the masks. So it does require a humble spirit on both parts, doesn’t it? Thank you, Kathy.

Woman 1: I go to a very small church that has a lot of older people. In fact, my husband and I—we’re forty and fifty—are the youngest couple there. But I had prayed for years to have an older woman come in my life. I really wanted it. My mother died when I was twenty-one, so I didn’t have another mother.

I was in the Sunday school class and there’s a lot of ladies and the ladies are senventies, eighties. All their kids are grown. I was thinking, Lord, why won’t they mentor me? Year after year nothing would happen. So I said, “It must be me.” I realized being a home school mom, being busy, you look like you have it all together. You’re shuffling, and so you’re not approachable and these women were raised differently.

So I asked one day, I began to ask in the Sunday school class, for advice and these women were coming off their seats to give me advice. I just thought, I’ve struck a chord here. They didn’t find us approachable. They figured you’ve done it. You look like you’re doing a better job than I did, so they’re not willing to do it.

So when that barrier came down . . . so I ask them. I go to them. They still don’t come too forward to me in a lot of ways. But we get together on marriage showers. We started this thing where we have a very small group—only eight people—but we have over 500 years of marriage added up in this group. These people have been married sixty and seventy years. I said, “Do you all have any advice?”

So we have these young couples come and the guys, the husbands that were still living, they would give advice to these young, married couples. To hear the men and the women because they’ve got advice over these long periods of marriage what not to do, what to do. Our whole church, our whole Sunday school, they’re just so delighted every time somebody’s ready to get married because they’re going to get to share again what the Lord had done in their life.

Woman 2: A few years ago when both my kids were out of the house I was having a very difficult time with the transition because I had been a stay-at-home mom for over twenty years and I didn’t know what my role was now. I was very dissatisfied with my life. Just this vague dissatisfaction, kind of . . . I just didn’t know. I was picking at my husband all the time. Nothing he was doing was right. It was just not a real good place for me.

I looked around my church, saw an older woman who had aged very gracefully, very godly woman. I called her, and I said, “Can I please come and talk to you? I’ve seen you age gracefully. I am not aging gracefully. Can you please help me.” She said, “Well, I don’t know what I can do to help, but sure you can come and talk.”

She was so simple, so forthright in what she said to me. We only met a few times, but she said, “For one thing, you are grieving over what is lost and that is normal. That’s okay. But what you need to do now is turn around. You need to look forward, and you need to ask God what it is that You have for me for the next twenty years. Also, you are paying too much attention to your husband. Give him a break.”

It was just that I had spent so much time with my kids that I transferred that over to my husband, and I was expecting way too much of him. But what that did for me in asking God, “All right what is it that You have for me?” It has been that turning around and investing in other young women.

So that is what God has really called me to. That’s why it’s so great hearing all these other testimonies today. Because I have four young women right now that I am meeting with on an individual basis and helping them in those early years of their marriage and with their children. It is such a tremendous blessing. What it took was just that one woman saying all right, turn around and look forward. Stop looking back. That was good. What you did was good. But now turn around and look forward. So thank you.

Brenda: It was God’s appointment, not mine, when Shannon came in my life. Eleven years ago I just became a born again Christian. It wasn’t just Bible study, but it was a friendship. I was lonely. I left the world, and I didn’t have any friends because when you leave the world, you leave.

She loved me for who I was. I did some stuff that was not—for me it was shame. So I walked in shame for a while. Then the Lord just brought me to her. We met at the wrong place but the right time. I guess a lot of it was just showing me how to be a godly woman. I appreciate that.

Nancy: Shannon, tell us what that relationship has meant in your life.

Shannon: I went to church in the city and I had the same friends. We were the same age, and we spent a lot of time together. It was good. We had a great time when we were all raising our kids, but we weren’t involved in younger women’s lives. We were involved with each other.

God moved me out in the middle of nowhere. I had no friends. You go to church, and I couldn’t blame them. They were just like I was when I was in the city. I was busy. I was having a good time. But they didn’t have time for me.

God brought me to the place where Brenda was saved. It’s not like it was a real spiritual thing. The Jehovah Witnesses were knocking at the door of this new believer’s life and it was like, "Well, what are you going to do?" I have to go over to her house. I got to get this kid started. There was no choice. I want to say it was just a noble thing, but it was just a defense against these people coming to the door. I felt like I was slamming the doors.

I could not believe as the Lord would speak through the Scriptures, it would all come back new. This would be stuff I already knew. The Lord just would renew it and strengthen me, and I was getting such a blessing. I thought this was going to be all work, and it wasn’t.

Then to get to see her husband get saved and to get to see her daughter turn around and start serving the Lord. I’m thinking and I didn’t even want to go. I was lonely and God used my loneliness. It’s because we don’t allow ourselves the opportunity for God to do something like that. That’s what counts. That’s what really, really makes a difference in your life.

Woman 3: My mother was my mentor. She told me how to raise my kids—plainly. I mean she’d say, “Don’t do this,” or “Do this.” But at least she cared enough to help me. I appreciated that so much.

Then there was an older lady in a church that had a group of us later as a small Bible study group, and she really helped mentor. But there was a young woman in that class that was really interesting. She taught me something that I had never, ever thought about before. She was having trouble with her kids. We were talking about it, and everybody was saying something. So she says, “I’ll tell you later what God does about this.” I thought, She’s committed those kids to the Lord and she’s not worried. I was so impressed with that. That blessed me in that mentoring.

I think to be a mentor, I always thought it was just this friendship. I should have an empty nest. I don’t. I have two sons still at home. But I think everyone is lonely in our world today. I need to start praying and asking God to help me see who’s lonely and take an opportunity to help people that are lonely and start a mentoring relationship. It would become that ultimately. To me that’s where the world is. It’s lonely. No matter what age we are, we need friends.

Nancy: You just wonder how many huge issues in the church, in the body of Christ, in relationships, could be averted or dealt with or people grow through them if we would just do things God’s way. Instead of the hurt, the bitterness, the anger, the pulling back, the separating, breaking up relationships, if we would get engaged and speak the truth in love, humble ourselves.

This is Christianity 101. It’s basic Christian living. We are a family. We are a body. We have to talk to each other. We have to deal with each other. Just think how much counseling and therapy and divorce court fees and how much of this would be spared. Even some medical costs probably in some people’s lives, if we could start to deal with these things in relational and humble and biblical ways.

Leslie: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has been talking with older women and younger women about some of their struggles and successes in mentoring. As part of our series on Titus 2 called "God’s Beautiful Design for Women," Nancy’s been unpacking the biblical command for older women are to teach younger women.

And Nancy, I’m thinking of a woman who’s had a big influence on me and my growth. You! Every day you’re on the radio, you’re mentoring all of us who listen.

Nancy: Thank you for those encouraging word. I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I'm also keenly aware that there is no way I could be investing in the lives of our listeners day after day without a whole team of staff behind the scenes who diligently labor to make this program possible. That includes people who have been in the studio with me this morning like Phil and Hugh and Tom and Hannah and so many others that we could name. And I want to say "thank you" to those on that team.

But there's another team that I’m thankful for, and that's the Ministry Partner team and their role in making sure Revive Our Hearts continues day after day.

Our Ministry Partners contribute at least $30 a month to Revive Our Hearts. They pray for the ministry, and they share it with others. Earlier in the program you heard from Kelly Needham. She’s back to tell us why she and her husband, singer/songwriter Jimmy Needham, have chosen to be Ministry Partners.

Kelly: One major benefit is you are vested when you invest financially give anywhere. There is more of an investment into that ministry—the same way you feel that in your own local church.

So the desire to pray for Revive Our Hearts, to pray for the staff of Revive Our Hearts and the leadership, and to pray for Nancy, and to be invested prayerfully was just upped by financially giving. It that's how God designed it. That is a benefit to have our hearts more tied to that and to seeing the gospel go forth in the lives of women.

But to get those little updates and, of course, getting to come to the conferences . . . I always wanted to come anyways, so it is a benefit to already be given the ticket to the conference and some of the other resources I've gotten have been really beneficial to have.

Nancy: That’s Kelly Needham, explaining why she and her husband Jimmy choose to support Revive Our Hearts as Ministry Partners. You heard her talk about getting a complimentary ticket to a Revive Our Hearts conference. As a Ministry Partner you can get a registration to one Revive Our Hearts conference each year at no cost. That includes Revive '17 coming this September to Indianapolis.

So as you've listen to Kelly share how God has used this ministry in her life and how she is joining with us as a Ministry Partner, maybe you're thinking, God has used this ministry in my life, and I'd like to be one of your Ministry Partners. You can do that today by giving us a call at 1–800–569–5959, or visit us at to get more information on becoming a Ministry Partner.

Tomorrow hear how you can encourage younger women and older women to get together in your church. We’ll talk about it on the next Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth hopes you’ll pass on the truth you’ve heard today. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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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.