Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Investing in the True Woman Movement

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: When you’re at a True Woman conference, one of the great highlights is always the emphasis on prayer.

Joni Eareckson Tada: Father, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Priscilla Shirer: Very rarely do you find a conference setting where there are so many women gathered. Maybe at a smaller setting, maybe 50 or 100 women, you see this or frequently, but when you get into the thousands, you very rarely see so much time set aside for specific, strategic prayer.

Dannah Gresh: And, Father, my heart is especially bent towards those young women who confessed to areas of impurity and the one that said she’s going to go home and break up with her boyfriend. God, give her courage right now. May she be hugged ever tighter right now, Lord, Jesus, and may she have the courage to do that.

Leslie Bennett: I heard, distinctly, a clarion call for the over 8,000 women to pray for revival, to go back to influence those that they can, their friends, in their churches, other women, to speak up and influence in gentle and winsome ways, but then to go to their knees, to spend their time on their knees.

Mary Kassian: You’re a good and loving God, and You want to remove all obstacles that keep me from experiencing Your fullness and Your grace and Your freedom and Your power.

Priscilla Shirer: And we’re saying, “Lord, come and revive our marriages, revive our children, revive our own hearts, revive our nations.” Very rarely do you see time actually scheduled for that. There might be like a prayer chapel somewhere and you can go pray if you want to, and that’s a valid thing. But very rarely do you say, “All 8,000 of us, we’re getting ready to pray, and we’re going to do it all together. You’re not going to leave to go to the bathroom or get some coffee. You’re going to pray, too, because this is even, if not more important, equally as important as worship, equally as important as listening to that speaker that you came to hear—us seeking the face of God.”

Mary Kassian: Oh, Lord Jesus, I pray that You will pour out Your Spirit—a spirit of repentance, a spirit of humility, a spirit of brokenness, and a spirit, Lord, that cries out and seeks You until You come. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Nancy: Now, I live a really busy life, and I assume you do, too. That’s why I want to encourage you to join me at True Woman ’14, as we stop and take time to pray and seek the Lord together. I believe God is going to use this event to help thousands of women find greater freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

True Woman ’14 is coming to Indianapolis next October. Now, I know that may seem like a long way off, but between now and this November 25, you can get $50 off your registration. That’s the lowest price we’ve ever offered for a True Woman registration.

For all the details, or to register yourself and other women who want to join you, visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie Basham: The retirement years provide a huge opportunity to invest in others. Here’s how Patty Webb approached these years.

Patty Webb: I think when a person retires and has a season of life where they can pour their lives into others, they have to think, “Why am I doing this? Am I doing this because I want to bring pleasure to myself? I want to have a lot of fun?” Those are fine things. But I think the thing you need to say is, “How can my life bring glory to God? What is it that God wants me to invest in?”

This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, November 8.

Nancy: All of us are investing our lives in something. We’re spending our time, our attention, our money on the things that are important to us. So it’s good to stop from time to time and ask whether we’re investing wisely. I think this is a question that’s important for everyone, but especially for older women.

As women enter a season when their kids are grown or they’re retiring from a job, that’s a really important time to stop and ask how the Lord would have them invest the next season of their lives.

This is something that’s been on my heart for a lot of years. I mean, just imagine if a host of Christian women would use this empty-nest season of life to invest in the younger generation.

In fact, several weeks ago I had the privilege at our Revive ’13 conference to have a late-night meeting with the under thirty-five women. I asked them, “What’s on your heart, and how can we serve you and equip you and bless you as a ministry?” So many younger women expressed a longing to have older women who were investing in their lives.

I was so encouraged to hear that. My hope is that older women will hear that cry and will be willing to respond and speak into the lives of these younger women.

Well, we’re going to hear from a guest today whose name is Patty Webb. I don’t think she’d mind me calling her “an older woman.” God put a burden on Patty’s heart to serve the generations coming behind her. When we talk about women teaching women, this is a great example.

Now, as you listen to Patty’s story, I know that you’ll be encouraged by her passion for mentoring and by some of the insights that she’s discovered about the way younger women feel about being mentored.

You’re going to catch Patty’s passion for using her time wisely during this season of life, not frittering her life away. I’m asking the Lord to make me that kind of woman as I get older and to raise up a whole generation of women like Patty.

Then you’re going to hear how the Lord has used the True Woman 101 study in Patty’s church. You’ve heard us talking about this resource the last couple of days on Revive Our Hearts, and today you’ll get to hear how that resource is affecting real women in real life.

Now, let’s listen to Patty’s story.

Patty: I had a deep desire to mentor women, and I was praying about it.

My mother died about a year ago this past spring. Before that, it was my season of life to help care for her, and I didn’t have time to do a lot of women’s Bible studies. After my mother died, my husband and I started praying.

“You have some free time now, so what are some ways God might want to use you?”

This mentoring just kept coming up in my heart, and we asked our family to pray.

I was in a Monday morning Bible study. This is a Bible study at our church that we have where we do not offer child care. There is a Tuesday morning Bible study where we offer child care. So the women in my study were a little older.

At a particular point during this time of my praying about mentoring, I heard a radio program. She was talking about True Woman 101 and also about Mary Kassian’s book, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild. I downloaded them both on my Kindle and started reading them. God just took a hold of my heart.

When I got to True Woman 101, I knew that was something I wanted to teach. So I went to the lady on our staff who relates to the women’s ministry. I told her that I really was interested in starting a mentoring program, and what did she think. We prayed about it. You see, I was still thinking “program.” But God said, “Wait, wait, wait.”

In February, finally, we were able to start two True Woman 101 classes, and one of them was with these older women. What we found was that as we taught the class, then within these women there arose a deep desire to mentor others. You see, I wanted a program, but God wanted to raise up the women. He wanted to teach them first.

Then on Wednesday nights we started teaching women the same thing, and these were younger women. All of a sudden we saw lives changed. We saw women, for instance, who said, “I can’t get enough of this. I’ve got to take it a second time.” So through this year, we’ve had women who’ve taken this class two or three times because it’s so hard to change their mindset. They can’t quite understand what’s going on.

Then we had women in this class who were divorced. Their husbands had been abusive; they had hurt them, and suddenly they started seeing how God wanted them to again love and respect men. Their hearts were changed. They said all of a sudden they realized that they were so hurt by a man they couldn’t even like men.

Well, you remember I told you about that Tuesday morning class? Those were young women. And so Linda Bruce, who is the co-teacher—we taught those first two classes together—she and I started praying and asking God for guidance and talking to our church staff, “What could we do?”

And they said, “Let’s do a video of how God has changed the lives of the women.”

So they did a video and showed it on Mother’s Day. Then we had a big booth where people could sign up. We were praying for 100, and I have to say, I really didn’t believe it would be 100. But God did above and beyond because we had more than fifty women sign up, and more than fifty children. One of the things we decided, if we did it with the younger women, we had to have child care. We not only had child care, but we had a program where the children would be learning. They weren’t just being taken care of, but they were learning about God’s Word

I can’t even tell you how exciting that was and how scary because, first of all, it wasn’t like a group of twelve women or seven women. We had fifty women. So with our church staff, we talked about logistics—how this would work. Linda and I had to think, How are we going to teach this? Because we can’t just have two groups of twenty-five, that wouldn’t work because we wanted to have the women interacting.

God gave us the vision that we would do more of a lecture series. So Linda and I both did lectures. We spoke, and then we would have table discussion time. So we chose certain women. Some of them had taken Divine Design 101, and some of them hadn’t. We chose women that we saw growing in their faith.

Every week we would email them the discussion questions that they could think about and pray about ahead of time. Then when it came discussion time, those women led the table discussions. It was so exciting. And you know what happened? Lives were changed!

One woman said,

Wow! What did God not teach me during this study? At first I thought, Whew! I really stink at being a true woman of God. It was so eye-opening to not only read the Scriptures (you see, that’s what they loved—reading God’s Word!) pertaining to God’s idea for women, but also to hear the background of the wording and to have detailed explanations about what God meant. All of my life I’d heard about submission and obeying, but never had I heard these words along with the information given in this study. How truly wonderful it is to finally see what God’s design for me had been all along and to be captivated by His intentional details. I found myself being proud to be a female—the softer sex. I haven’t achieved it, but I know what to do now.

It’s been exciting for our church. You see, in the beginning, I thought of a program. But God said, “Wait. Be patient, Patty. Let Me work.” He’s the one doing the work. He’s doing above and beyond anything we could ask or imagine. It’s just exciting to us.

It’s been hard to get the older women to be a part of these classes. So I would say that for me it’s a constant prayer to ask God, “Help me to see how to communicate this to the older women in our church.” So many of them don’t feel they have the ability to mentor others. So my answer is to wait patiently on the Lord and to constantly talk to the women and to say, “I’d just love for you to be a part of this class, to be there, to be able to say to the younger women what God has taught you.”

I can’t change them, but I’ve seen God work in my life to know that I have to patiently wait on Him. So I feel that’s what God is teaching me now.

Sometimes older women think they have the answers in a way which they’re not answers. So I don’t think you can just say because you’re older you’re a good mentor. That’s why I can’t “force” older women to do it. It’s got to be something that comes up within you because it’s got to be God’s work. It can’t be our work because we’ll give answers that aren’t God’s answers.

I think when a person retires and has a season of life where they can pour their lives into others, they have to think, Why am I doing this? Am I doing this because I want to bring pleasure to myself? I want to have a lot of fun? Those are fine things. But I think the thing you need to say is, “How can my life bring glory to God? What is it that God wants me to invest in?”

It might be your grandchildren. It might be your sons-in-law, your daughters-in-law. It might be that you might mentor. But how is it that I’m going to bring glory to God?

I have been overwhelmed at what God’s doing, and I think that’s the exciting thing because it’s nothing that Patty or Linda or Courtney or our staff is doing. It’s what God is doing. And that’s the only thing that brings fruit—it’s when God does it.

True Woman 101 takes you back to Genesis. It helps you understand what God’s purpose for womanhood, manhood, and marriage is, and it helps you focus on what is really important. Do you want to be happy? Do you want to be satisfied? We think of happiness and satisfaction in a way that God doesn’t. God thinks of it when we bring glory to God. There is such happiness and joy when you teach this 101. God starts changing lives.

And, you see, it’s not the teacher. If you’re scared to be the teacher, that’s great because then you’re going to let God be the teacher because as Linda and I have taught these classes, it hasn’t been Linda or me. It has been God who has done the changing. I would hear things that these women would say that God was teaching them, and I know I hadn’t said it. That’s the wonderful thing—when you see it’s God who’s doing the changing. This 101 can be a guide to help God speak into women’s lives.

We’ve had marriages change. We’ve had lives change. Do you know, we’ve had husbands who have said to their wives, “Oh, that would be a wonderful class for you to take.” And the women have come and told me that. We’ve had husbands who have thanked us for these classes. I could never have planned for that. I could never have hoped for that.

So, that’s my hope; that God would do above and beyond anything we could ask or imagine.

I didn’t have a good mentor. No, I didn’t. But I wished I’d had. But you know what? I wonder if I would have been an amenable woman? I wonder if I would have allowed someone to mentor me. I’m just overwhelmed at these young women allowing me to speak to them, Linda speak to them, and help them grow.

I think God’s doing something with our young women that is amazing, and I’m glad to be a part of it. You remember I told you about the Tuesday morning class for young women who have children? We offer child care. In that class Linda Bruce is teaching, and she shares with me each week what God is doing. She was reading something to the class about women, and she said, “What is your reaction to that?”

Two of the women who’ve had the 101 class said, “Before 101, I would have reacted in a different way.” I’m excited that it’s not just a class but that it’s going on, and its influencing the lives of our women.

Another thing that I think is so important is that I hear women say, “I’m ready to mentor.” Not that they feel they’re ready and capable, but that they know that’s what God has asked them to, and they want to be available to mentor others.

Nancy: Wow! Listening to Patty’s words brings to mind that passage in Ephesians that says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations” (2:20–21).

The Lord has sure done more than Patty asked or imagined, and it wasn’t through her power, but it was His power working through her. It was through her willingness, her availability, and her obedience. Jesus is getting glory in the church and through multiple generations. I love that! It all started when Patty took a small step of faith and obedience, inviting women to study together.

I so appreciate Patty’s heart as an older woman being faithful to follow God’s prompting to invest in younger women. Wouldn’t it be great to see God raise up a whole generation of Patties. Can you imagine what might happen if thousands of women entered this empty-nest and later seasons of life and said, “I have freedom; I have time. I can get involved. I can disciple other women.”

Listen, I encounter so many Boomer women today who are using this season of life to take it easy. But what would happen if, instead, we’d say, “How can I serve? How can I nurture? Where does the Lord want me to plug into others’ lives?”

Patty’s way of doing that was to study True Woman 101 at her church, and it’s so neat to hear how the Lord is multiplying over and over again that initial step of faith.

Hey! Maybe you need to consider doing what Patty did. Ask the Lord if there’s a small group of women that you could get together and go with them through True Woman 101: Divine Design. In fact, we’ll be glad to send you a copy of that workbook, True Woman 101, when you send a gift of any amount to help support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts.

Just give us a call at 1–800–569–5959. As the Lord brings your group together, you can also order additional copies of this workbook. Again, the number is 1–800–569–5959, or you can visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Well, I’m so encouraged by all that we’ve heard from Patty Webb today. If you visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com, you can see a video version of Patty’s interview. I think you’ll be blessed by sensing her passion for the Lord and for investing in other women. Again, you can watch that video at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy.

Kay Arthur is another woman who has been pouring out her life for decades and continuing even as she celebrates her eightieth birthday next week. We’ll hear from Kay as she passes this milestone.

Kay Arthur: I have no plan for a big birthday. It’s not about me. I am so passionate about what’s ahead, and I just feel such a passion to prepare people for the days ahead. It’s not about celebrating an individual or that. It’s about setting your face like a flint in preparation for the coming of the King of kings.

Leslie: Please be back starting Monday for Revive Our Hearts.

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

 

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