Revive Our Hearts Podcast

God’s Beautiful Design for Women, Day 5

Leslie Basham: Kim Wagner says the Bible doesn’t just point out our sin. It also shows us how to change and avoid that sin.

Kim Wagner: It gives us the truth for how to apply the truth of the Word of God to our life in a practical way in order to live that out—flesh that out. It fuels a greater hunger for the Word of God.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together. It's Friday, February 10, 2017.

This week, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has been giving us a fresh idea of doctrine. It’s not stuffy but active and vibrant. That’s the message she’s been delivering in a series called "God's Beautiful Design for Women: Living Out Titus 2:1–5."

Two pastors’ wives have been listening to the series this week. Holly Elliff and Kim Wagner are talking with Nancy about the way doctrine affects their lives and ministry.

Nancy: Kim and Holly, one of the things I so appreciate about both of you and that’s made our friendship so rich is that you really are women of the Word. You love the Word. When I say sound doctrine, that’s not something that sounds dry or dead to you. It’s something that sounds alive and vibrant and that you realize is so crucial for how we are to live and make it through every season of life. It’s by rooting our lives—grounding our lives—in the Word of God.

Kim, how did you develop a hunger and a heart and a love for sound doctrine and for the Scripture? How did that become foundational in your life? Holly, I’m going to ask you the same question, but Kim, I want you to just jump in here.

Kim: I came to know the Lord at an early age. Later, as I became a teenager, I began to see areas in my life where I needed transformation—even as a teenage girl. As I would spend time in the Word of God, I became aware that God was actually speaking to me through Scripture.

Scripture would come to life and resonate in my heart. I began to see that if I would obey the Word, God would transform my life. That doesn’t mean everything is easy, that my life is without difficulty or problem. It’s not. But I have such joy because of walking in the presence of God and walking in obedience to His Word.

The Lord plants that desire in your heart for His Word. As you read and consume His Word, that hunger grows.

Nancy: Holly, hunger for the Word of God—how did that get cultivated in you?

Holly: It was not until I was in my late twenties that I really realized that I had an incredibly wrong view of God or maybe just a lack of understanding of who He was. I really did not understand the whole issue of God’s sovereignty in my life.

I really believed that if I just was trying to be a nice Christian person, read my Bible, did the right things, loved my husband, loved my children that I would not have really tough, difficult, deep things in my life, which is totally unbiblical. But somehow that’s what was in my head.

When I was in my late twenties, God began to take me into a school. My husband was pastor of a church. I loved being a pastor’s wife, but we had never really been through a really tough moment in a church prior to that time.

The Lord, in pretty much the same time period, took us into a very difficult struggle in a church body that really centered around whether or not God’s Word was going to be the authority for that church. At the same time my husband’s parents went through a huge crisis in their marriage.

My father-in-law divorced my mother-in-law after forty-three years of marriage. We discovered that my mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s, and we took on the care of her. I had four small children at this point. So within about a year’s period there God took me suddenly into some really, really hard, tough moments.

I found myself suddenly pressed into God’s Word to find answers. I really just was put into the school of God’s sovereignty, looking for who God was in the tough places. Out of my very naïve belief about who God was came a real desire to understand who He fully was in my life.

Nancy: You just gave, I think, a great illustration of how wrong doctrine can affect us because the concept that if you loved and obeyed God that you would not ever go through any dark or difficult times is not a biblical concept. Having the wrong foundation for your thinking, then when you do come into difficult times, it’s going to lead you to become disappointed or disillusioned.

Holly: Oh, I was blown away. It just totally was a shock to me that God had allowed me to get in such a tough place because I guess in my thinking I really thought if I just did the right things, I deserved something different than that, which is, as you said, totally unbiblical. Actually, exactly the opposite is evident in Scripture. God is going to teach us and train us as we walk through those hard things.

Nancy: So what are some other illustrations or examples that you have seen of how wrong thinking about God or His ways can lead women into wrong choices or wrong responses?

Kim: There are so many multiple ways that is hard to even distill it down to just a few. I’m thinking of a woman that I remember she came in for counseling. She actually was a woman quite a few years older than me. At the time I was a young pastor’s wife. She was a brand new believer. She was having problems with her teenage daughter and didn’t know where to turn, didn’t know what to do. As a new believer, she just thought she would come and talk to me.

As we spoke, the more that she started sharing with me about her life choices, the decisions she was making with her life, how it was affecting her daughter . . . For example, providing her daughter with birth control pills from the time she was sixteen. She wondered why her daughter was so rebellious and out of control. Yet she had laid a foundation for her daughter of, “I know that you’re of the age to become active sexually, so I’m going to provide you a way not to be troubled with consequences from that action.”

That’s just one example. I’m thinking of couples that come to us for counseling and they’re no longer happy with their mate so they see no problem with divorcing that mate. A family this week that I had a discussion with do not see anything wrong with the adult children living together without being married, think that that’s just a piece of paper, that there’s nothing relevant today about a marriage ceremony.

Nancy: Now these would be professing Christians?

Kim: Most of these that I’m talking about, yes, are. The couple living together professes to be Christians. The people around them giving counsel are not Christians. What I’m seeing today is so much of the Christian world is so influenced by the secular world view and people do not have the undergirding of knowing what Scripture says.

They don’t know that Scripture says the marriage bed is to be undefiled. They don’t really have an understanding that God does that for our good. It is a beautiful thing that God created . . . All of the pleasures that God has given to man, He has given to man to enjoy.

I was talking to a young girl yesterday that’s struggling with some habits in her life that she knows are unbiblical. As we were talking I said, “Does it sound like from what I’m telling you that God doesn’t want us to enjoy or have pleasure in life, because He does.” He’s the One that created beauty. He’s the One that created the sense of smell so that when we smell barbequed meat on the grill we’ll hunger for that.

He created all of the wonderful sensations that come from physical intimacy in marriage. But all of these things He’s given to us—He’s given us every good thing to enjoy—but He places those things in our life with parameters. That’s where the real enjoyment comes from when we are obedient in experiencing those sensual delights and pleasures that He’s given.

Scripture clearly gives us an understanding of how to do that, how to walk in obedience and enjoy God, enjoy what He’s given. What’s so sad is the world has taken the good things and benefits of God and has either perverted those things or taken them outside of the realm of Scripture. So people are pursuing those created enjoyments in a way that they’re not going to find true fulfillment because it’s outside of the parameters that we have in Scripture.

Holly: I think as you look across the history of our nation in the last maybe four or five decades what you see is that as we have removed Christian values from our society, we now have raised multiple generations of (I deal with women mostly) women who even if they wanted to know the truth have not been taught that truth. Their mothers didn’t teach them that truth. Their grandmothers didn’t teach them that truth.

I find myself talking with women a lot who have never had a model of what it looks like to go to God’s Word and find the answer. They may be very naïve, very ignorant of what God’s Word says. Now later on, once they know that truth, then they may make choices that are either in agreement with that or not.

Sometimes I just find that women have never gone to God’s Word for answers. So sometimes it’s not until they get in a crisis moment that they really want to know what God’s Word says because there is such an input of media and knowledge from other sources. As you were saying, Kim, they are bombarded with “truth” (in quotes) from many, many other sources and the Word of God becomes the last thing they run to.

o they might read something on a blog site that they accept readily as truth but they’ve never gone to God’s Word to find out what God says about it. Then they find themselves at twenty or thirty or forty in crisis and suddenly ask the question, “Do I believe the right thing about this? What does God’s Word say about this? Do I want to know what God’s Word says? Am I willing to do it?”

There really becomes a moment that’s a crisis of belief, I think for many Christians, where they recognize that they have laid aside God’s Word for so long that they are devoid of truth many times.

Kim: It may not even be the crisis situation. It may not be walking through the death of a child or the infidelity of a mate. But like a girl in our church who was raised by a mom that really wasn’t a nurturer, that really was not a believer. Now she has twins that she is very thankful for. They’retwo-year-old twins. It’s very challenging for her to parent those twins.

We’re walking through James as a study, and she told me this week she’s been writing down different Scriptures from James and also some from Ephesians that she’s posting around her house. She picks up these note cards and carries them with her sometimes just to be able to deal with, to bring her emotions under control, through that day flesh out what the Word of God says and how she is to parent these children in joy and not in stress.

Holly: Well, it’s that principle that you touched on, Nancy, of the fact that our behavior, if we’re Christians, ought to match our belief. If we know something from God’s Word or maybe we’ve been ignorant of it but we become aware of it, then we’re responsible for that truth being translated into our lives.

God is so gracious that He doesn’t expect us to be able to work that up or generate it, but He’s given us the Holy Spirit to take that truth from His Word, apply it to our lives, give us the energy, the understanding, the grace to live it out so that it’s not just a dead book. It’s a reality in our life. I see young women so hungry for that.

Nancy, you’ve been a student of the Word your whole life, and it’s evident in your life. I mean it comes out of you as you speak. You’re continually a student of God’s Word. So many times I have women come to me and they say, “Well, I’m struggling with this, and I’m struggling with this, and I’m struggling with this,” and every single answer they need has been sitting on their shelf in God’s Word.

Their answers are already there. They have never taken the time to pick it up. I’m guilty of that in my own life. There are moments when I just forget that God has already made provision for everything I need. Every time I pick up His Word and go back to it, it never fails that God provides what I need when I just take Him at His Word.

You know that is a simple thing. It’s not even like it’s complicated. We have Bibles all over the place. They are readily available to us. If we lived in another nation that might not be true, but here we are without excuse. There is no reason why we can’t grasp and understand and have access to God’s Word.

Kim: Holly, it’s also not just for ourselves. It is so that we will able to give that counsel to our friend, to our relative that is struggling. We need to be preparing ourselves to be able to give the truth of the Word.

Holly: The Bible says we’re going to speak out of that which fills our heart. If we have filled our hearts with meaningless things, then we will have nothing to say. But if we have filled our hearts with God’s Word, we will speak truth.

Nancy: I think one of the things that is striking me is that there are no shortcuts to that though. It is a day-in and day-out discipline and diligence and faithfulness. It’s line upon line, precept upon precept.

I’ve mentioned that I had the chance of interviewing Kay Arthur recently. One of the things that struck me, here’s a woman who she and I actually got saved the same year within like three months of each other. I was four, and she was twenty-nine. She didn’t have the background that I did. I mean our backgrounds were just totally different. But both of us at that point got into the Word. She at twenty-nine and me at four.

She has been all these years so faithful and earnest in studying the Word of God and with the goal before she dies of teaching through every book of the Bible or writing a study on every book of the Bible—something like that.

As I listened to her this time, I thought, Here is a woman who is so full of the Scripture. She can quote more Scripture than almost anybody I know. I don’t think she actually just sat down to memorize it. I don’t get that impression. I think she has just spent a lot of time living in it, and it just comes out.

I have choices every day for what I do in the morning, what I do with my time, what books I read, what I’m listening to, what I’m memorizing, what I’m exposed to. What if I were to take the next twenty-five years and be even more faithful and diligent and intentional about getting God’s Word into my mind and my heart.

Now, I’m not trying to be Kay Arthur. I’m just saying I want to be a woman who’s full of the Word. I looked at her and I said, “You know this really can happen if you’re taking the steps and making the choices now to get there.”

Holly: I teach a group of young moms and last week we were talking about the subject of time. I had them take four categories in their life: personal time with the Lord, entertainment, sleep, and work and chart those out. They had 168 hours.

Nancy: Say those four categories again.

Holly: Sleep, work, personal time with the Lord, and entertainment. That could include anything from computer time to blog sites to escape shopping. You know when you go to one more store not because you need to but just because you don’t want to go home. So we kind of talked about what was in that category.

I had them pencil in on a little graph in different colors the blocks of time that that took out of their 168 hours they had spent that week. I didn’t let them look at anybody else’s paper. It was pretty astounding even in my own life the difference in that graph between work and sleep and entertainment and personal time with the Lord.

Now most of us aren’t going to spend eight hours a day in time with the Lord, but if He doesn’t even register out of that 168 hours, there’s a problem. If entertainment took up a third of your time in the last week, that is going to greatly affect your thinking.

It’s just good for us every once in a while to say:

  • Where am I getting my information?
  • What am I a student of?
  • What influences my thinking when I speak?
  • What comes out of my mouth?
  • Where do I get my knowledge or my wisdom?

Is it any surprise that so many times we don’t know what to say because we haven’t been to the source of truth to know what to do in every circumstance?

Leslie: That’s Holly Elliff. She’s been talking with Kim Wagner and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, the host of Revive Our Hearts. They’ve been showing us how trustworthy doctrine from God’s Word gets worked out in the laboratory of life. Nancy will be right back to pray.

This beautiful concept of trustworthy doctrine has come up as part of an in-depth study of Titus 2:1–5. We’ve been in the study all this week. To help you follow up and get even more out of Titus 2, we’d like to send you the brand new book from Nancy called Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together. It’s an in depth study of Titus 2:1–5. Your gift will help Revive Our Hearts continue pointing women to the truth of God’s Word and applying it to their lives.

Ask for Adorned when you call with your donation. The number is 1–800–569–5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com. The Bible has some very practical advice for those who are aging—and of course that includes all of us. Learn how to maintain a youthful zeal for God, growing in grace year by year. That’s Monday, on Revive Our Hearts. Let’s pray with Nancy as we wrap up today.

Nancy: Thank You, Lord, for these fresh reminders of how practical and life-giving Your truth is. I’m holding a Bible in my hand on my lap here, and I just thank You for giving us this revelation of who You are. It is so rich and so full and if we could spend a lifetime doing nothing else but just studying and meditating on what You’ve given us here, one life wouldn’t be long enough to take it all in. It is the multi-faceted, many-splendored wonders of who You are.

So Lord, I do pray that You create in each of us and in those who are part of our Revive Our Hearts family a love for Your Word, a love for sound doctrine, and a love for living it out and applying it in the context—in the laboratory of life—in the context of real-life issues and questions and challenges.

May we not only find it to be rich for ourselves, but may it be rich in us so that we can give it to others, to younger women, to our families, to children, to the next generation, to those around us who are hurting and just in need of a word spoken in due season that comes from Your Word.

Lord, so help us to minister to ourselves through Your Word, but also to minister to others that which will give grace to them through Your Word. Thank you, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth knows that genuine doctrine is beautiful, and is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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

Join the Discussion