Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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The Legacy You're Leaving

Leslie Basham: Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: In the 1960s, a handful of determined women launched the feminist movement. Now, more than half a century later, their ideas have become the prevailing mindset of the masses. How did that happen? And how did the ideas of so few get such wide-spread acceptance? How was such a small group able to instigate such a large scale revolution?

Well, feminists will tell you it’s because sisterhood is powerful. Women have a tremendous capacity to influence. When they work together, they can become an irresistible force for change. It’s really true.

A leading preacher of nineteenth century France acknowledged that the greatest influence on earth, whether for good or for evil, is possessed by women. So if a few angry, determined women with an agenda made such a profound impact for evil, just think what kind of impact a few godly, determined women could make for good.

We’re challenging you and the rest of our sisters to join us, because we believe it’s time for a quiet counter-cultural revolution of women who intentionally and purposefully live their lives according to God’s divine design.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, July 28, 2014.

This month we’ve focused on the True Woman line of books. When you see the True Woman seal on a book, you can know it lines up with the principles you hear about on Revive Our Hearts.

In July, we’ve heard about five of these books and gotten to know the authors better. Today we’ll hear about another one of those True Woman books. It’s the workbook True Woman 101 by Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

They’re talking about chapter eight today on the “Power of Sisterhood.” And they’ll be joined by their friends Kim Wagner, Holly Elliff, and Dannah Gresh. They’ve each read True Woman 101 and are here to discuss the material. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: As we think about this study we’ve done together over these weeks, I just wonder what part of this study has been particularly impacting to you? Something that really encouraged you or challenged you or just a takeaway.

Kim Wagner: Well, first of all, I’m just thankful that you wrote it. I think that this will be so helpful for women just to put handles on: What does it mean to be a true woman? What does it mean to be a woman? What does God expect of me? Can I really start to apply His Word to areas of my life where I struggle? 

Maybe the last chapter was my favorite because it launches us off into the future, the journey that He has us on and gives us hope for what He wants to do.

Holly Elliff: I had a hard time actually deciding which part was my favorite because all of this has been so core to my life in the last decade since we started talking about all this stuff. It was hard for me to separate it into what I loved the most. But I especially like the chapter

that talked about women’s lib. For me, understanding those things turned a light bulb on in my head about the connection between what I was seeing in the lives of women and what they struggled with and what needed to happen with that and how God might want to change that. And so, I love that part. I also love the last chapter because it’s not really the last chapter, and there is so much more that I believe God wants to do in this area among Christian women.

Nancy: It’s kind of where to from here.

Dannah Gresh: Well, I wholeheartedly thank you for a kick in the seat of the pants.

Nancy: A what?

Dannah: A kick in the seat of the pants. It seems to be that every True Woman event I attend or every resource that I read I really do feel the conviction, not the condemnation, but the conviction of the Spirit. And in this particular case, it was in the chapter when it was talking about how our desire is towards our husbands. And you phrased it this way. You said, “God is saying to the woman, you have the urge to control, resist, oppose, and act against your husband.” And, oh, did I feel like you wrote that about me.

Mary Kassian: She has written in the margin, “Wall.” She hit a wall.

Dannah: Right—wall. But praise God, it’s not a brick wall because it never is when the blood of Jesus is applied. Whereas you were intended to function as one in harmony and peace and unity, there is a barrier between you. I really did see a picture of the wall that I create with every act of authority.

But you know what’s beautiful is that God really said to my spirit. He said, “Dannah, it’s a wall of foam. If you can just apply the truth that I’m pouring into your heart and the accountability through the sisterhood, this is a foam wall. You can walk in the unity and harmony that I created you to walk in.”  So I’m always grateful when you guys hit me over the head with a little truth.

Mary: You can’t write it and not be hit over the head with a little truth. I mean, I’ve lived in this material for how many decades, months, and writing it for decades . . . it didn’t take us decades.

Nancy: It just felt like decades.

Mary: It felt like decades sometimes. We spent months on this, and I dealt with it so many times. And yet when you go back to the Word, I just found, a fresh . . .

I think I emailed Nancy once and I said I just feel the wonder all over again. Just the wonder of who God created us to be. And more than that, the wonder that who we are showcases who God is.

Nancy: You drafted the first draft of a lot of this material, so I was getting it kind of at the second stage. The chapter that we discussed last on gentleness and quietness and that word you love and have taught me to love—amenability, that responsiveness . . .We’ve talked about it a lot; I’ve written about it. But it’s amazing how the words you write or teach others come back to haunt you.

Holly: That total makeover.

Nancy: That total makeover. And I just say, “Oh Lord, it’s me, standing in the need of prayer. It’s not my brother; it’s not my sister. It is me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

It’s just been so good for me to be reminded. I’m in my 50’s now. I’ve known the Lord for a half-century. I came to the Lord at the age of four, and so some of these truths I’ve been dealing with, aware of them, seeking after the Lord, and sometimes I look and I think, Why am I not further along in my own journey? Why am I acting like such a shrew? I know nobody else has been there, but . . .

Everyone: Yes, we have. Oh yes. Guilty

Nancy: It’s just so good to go back to the truth and see how your life measures up or doesn’t measure up to it. But then, you also see God’s grace. You get to grace, and God gives grace to the humble. As we’re working on this material, I’m having to say, “Lord, change me.” This is not what I am, this true woman profile picture here, and I know when you’re a public person and you write books and speak and all of us . . .

Dannah: Everyone thinks that you’ve achieved the ideal.

Nancy: Because they’re seeing us with makeup on, right? Dressed up.

Mary: But we’re just aiming for it.

Dannah: We’re aiming for it, that’s right.

Kim: But I’m thankful for the power of the gospel, which is real and does bring change. I’ve seen transformation in your [Nancy’s] life since I first met you.

Nancy: Thank the Lord.

Holly: As we all have with each other, and it’s progressive. I mean, we’re not done with that. We’re all aware. Even in reading the story in the study I thought that there is so much that the Lord still wants to teach me. You know, we won’t be done until we quit breathing.

Nancy: That’s why it’s True Woman 101. There’s 201, 301. There’s more. This is True Woman for beginners.

Kim: Basic.

Mary: Do we have to get this before we move on?

Dannah: What I’m so grateful for is the sisterhood. Don’t you feel just so blessed that we have each other to walk it through with? I just have this sense right now that the women that are watching [in small groups] have had nacho parties and Chinese food and all this stuff they bought together while they look at this. They feel that sisterhood, too.

I know that as we’re in process this summer, I just felt like my marriage needed tended to, my family needed tended to. I emailed all of you and I said, “I’m taking some time off. I need some accountability. I need to back away from the work.”

And it doesn’t matter if your work is writing books or teaching AWANA or leading a mission’s trip. Sometimes a woman has a season where she has to sit back and there are needs . . . whether it’s her elderly parents or her high school children or a new baby being born. You all were so loving to just walk me through that in the sisterhood. And Nancy sent me a book, it was an email, but it was a book. 

Nancy: I said, “Dannah, Dannah, dear Dannah . . .”

Dannah: It just called me to truth.

Nancy: But we’ve done that for each other.

Kim: I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve called Holly or Nancy just in tears and have said, “Speak truth to me right now. Speak truth.”

Mary: Remind me, remind me.

Nancy: By the way, we’re part of a group of women that exchange weekly email updates as to how we can pray for each other, just acknowledging that we need each other. Before we jump into the “leaving a legacy stuff” today, I just want us to maybe put a bow on some of what we’ve been talking, about some caveats, some reminders that this sisterhood group is a reminder that true womanhood doesn’t look the same.

Mary: Isn’t that the truth!

Nancy: And there’s no cookie cutter true woman here.

Holly: Because we’re all very different.

Dannah: Hugely different.

Mary: Even planning a meal. I mean, how hard is that?

Nancy: Okay, I gotta tell. My friends, if they come to dinner at my house, they’ve got to bring their own food, because I’ve got one friend who’s in this group, I won’t say who . . .

Dannah: We’re not telling names, please . . .

Nancy: . . . who is gluten intolerant. Okay, that’s a serious medical/physical thing.

Dannah: We don’t want to kill her.

Nancy: There’s one who doesn’t eat vegetables, anything that grows in the ground.

Dannah: And we won’t say who, Holly.

Holly: Only if it’s green. If it’s green, it’s evil. If it’s not green, I’m okay.

Nancy: But we have a friend who’s in this little group, sisterhood, who only eats vegetables.

Mary: Yes, no meat.

Nancy: And at any given time, the rest of us are on some kind of diet that prohibits . . .

Dannah: No, Mary and I will eat anything.

Mary: You and me, we’ll eat anything.

Dannah: We’re the sisters who will clean it all up.

Nancy: But the point being, there’s no cookie cutter true woman. Sometimes when we talk about biblical womanhood, true womanhood, there’s a sense you’re trying to press everybody into this little mold where everybody looks alike. And that’s not right.

Mary: Not so. I mean we couldn’t be any different. Nancy, you and collaborated to write this, and we could not be more different.

Dannah: Well, maybe a little bit.

Holly: But there’s such a distinctiveness there. I can remember vividly one of the first times that I was with Mary she said, “You and Nancy have had a long time relationship?”

I said, “Yes.”

And she said, “You are kind of different personalities.”

And I said, “My role in Nancy’s life is to get her off the couch. That’s what I do.”

Nancy: Holly, you make me sound really bad. It’s not like I sit on the couch watching TV. It’s away from my laptop.

Holly: She’s working.

Mary: And Dannah’s a horse lover?

Dannah: I am. I am so excited as my childhood dream was to be a missionary who was also a veterinarian. Full time. And now I have horses and llamas, and my husband just texted me a picture of our brand new baby chicken that just hatched moments ago.

Mary: Nancy, what would you do with a chicken?

Dannah: She would probably eat it.

Nancy: Grill it.

Dannah: I am going to name it.

Nancy: Okay, here’s something else we want to say about true womanhood. And we’ve said it, but I just think this is really important, and again, we’ll move into this chapter 8, but before we do . . . we cannot be true women that God calls us to be on our own.

Kim: No, no. I have a friend that said, I’m thankful for the True Woman Manifesto, and when you were encouraging women to sign this, I mean, she’s a biblical woman, she loves the Lord, she loves doing your studies and your books. But she said, “I will not sign this.”

Nancy: Because . . .

Kim: She said, “I can’t be this.

And I said, “None of us are this, but this is what we’re aiming for. This is what we’re asking God’s grace for. This is what we’re committed to. It’s an intentional calling on God to create in me the true woman You desire for me to be.”

Mary: And apart from the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ, this is just foolishness. It’s foolishness.

Holly: And women will strive and they will try and try . . .

Mary: Get the checklist, right? I did this; I did this; I did this.

Nancy: It’s a firstborn’s way we do things.

Dannah: Don’t you love that the Word says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.”

Mary: But it’s not the message. Even as we talk about a counter-revolution, this is not a strive message that we’re going out into culture and saying, “This is what you need to be doing. Get this checklist right.” That’s not what we’re doing here. We’re presenting a message that really at its core is get your relationship with Jesus right.

Nancy: The vertical.

Holly: And what it is, is then knowing those truths. They are truths about biblical womanhood, how God designed us. But then going to God’s Word understanding that He provides grace for us to take every step that He calls us to.

Mary: Grace and wisdom and discernment.

Holly: Yes, if I need to love my husband, or I’m a single and I need to know how to deal with loneliness or hope, God has grace for every step that He calls me to as I pursue Him. And that’s lifelong.

Mary: And in the most broken circumstances.

Holly: Right.

Nancy: And it then helps us also to extend grace to others who are in a different season of life, whose challenges are different than ours, whose calling is different than ours, and who may be broken themselves.

So the danger would be and what we would not want at all is for people to take this resources and hit people over the head with it—“You know, these young people, they’ve got to get true womanhood. They’re all so immodest,” or the whatever. It’s grace—breathing grace in, breathing grace out.

Mary: I am so glad that for the women in my life that have been so patient with me. I’m so glad that when I was a young woman that I didn’t have women shaking their fingers in my face, but who just came along and loved me and modeled truth for me and really challenged me from just their depth of character and not sort of a list or condemnation. If somebody would have given me a list, I would have run the other direction.

Nancy: Although that doesn’t mean that we can’t be direct or forthright. That’s needed, too, at times.

Dannah: I’m thinking of a true woman right now who this morning another true woman and myself rescued in her quest. She’s a young, twenty-something-year-old woman post-abortive but in her second out-of-wedlock experience who chose to give life to the baby. And so my friend and I and a whole sisterhood of woman are just around this sweet woman. And she is in process of becoming this true woman. She wants so badly to become everything God wants her to be.

This morning because she had a bad weekend and she fell in her mind, she didn’t act out in sin but she began to dwell on sin again. She didn’t want to go to her post-abortion Bible study this morning. So my true woman girlfriend texted me and said, “I’m on my way. I’m picking her up.” She said to the girl, “Brush your teeth. I don’t care what you’re wearing. I’m driving there. I will sit outside the door till you finish with the Bible study.” And she just said, “I want you to pray it through with me.”

And you know what? She’s a true woman, too. She is moving towards it. And right now she needs us to walk with her and hold her. But one day she’s going to be walking and holding someone else in the sisterhood.

Holly: I love the fact that when Christ tells us about the armor that He has for us in Ephesians 6, there are moments when somebody else can come to us and say, “Here, let me put this helmet on your head. Let me help you put on your breastplate, and here’s your sword.” And encourage you or hold your arms up until you can hold the sword yourself.

Dannah: Sometimes all we need is willingness. The “Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord. I don’t have the strength on my own but if I call my girlfriends and I tell them how far away I am, I know they’re going to say, ‘Brush your teeth, I’m coming to get you.’”

Mary: That’s what sisters are for.

Nancy: You know the byline of Revive Our Hearts ministry is “calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.” And we’re really talking here about not getting something for ourselves but getting filled with Christ and His Word so that we can be givers of life to others.

I love that word “legacy.” And you think of legacy as passing from one generation to the next, but it can be in the same generation as well, passing on a way of thinking, a relationship with Christ.

Kim: An ideal.

Nancy: An ideal, but you know everybody is passing on legacy in some way. And the feminists, as we looked at that over these few weeks, they left a legacy. Talk about for a minute, what is a kind of legacy that many women today, apart from Christ, are passing on to the next generation. We want to look at the good legacy in a minute. But what’s the kind of legacy we don’t want to leave which is more the legacy our culture is leaving for the next generation?

Dannah: It’s just so me-centered—self-centered. It’s all about me, if I’m happy. If you can make me happy, if the relationship can make me happy, I’m in. But you know, even that, we’re not thinking towards and for others.

Holly: It’s about strength that glorifies yourself rather than glorifying God.

Kim: I think we’re leaving a legacy, sadly, of a lot of young people not wanting to enter marriage. They’re not wanting a lifetime commitment because they’ve seen so many broken marriages. They’ve seen such miserable states of relationships around them. And they’re questioning, “Well, why marry a man? Maybe a relationship with a woman is better because I want to be with somebody that’s more like me. Everything is up for grabs right now.

Mary: So we’re leaving a legacy of gender confusion; a legacy of really disdaining things that God values, things like: not liking children or family or men.

Holly: Or a single woman thinking her life has no purpose.

Nancy: It’s not hard to talk about the negative legacy. It’s just kind of everywhere in the air we breathe. But give me some words or phrases that describe the kind of legacy as God’s women that we want to leave. No long speeches here, but what are some words, some phrases. This is the kind of legacy we want to leave…

Holly: Eternal.

Kim: Faithfulness.

Holly: I’ll say contagious. Transparent.

Dannah: Must be transparent. It has to be transparent for them to feel it’s possible.

Mary: Powerful.

Dannah: Transferable. Impactful.

Holly: Joyful. I mean, it’s not miserable to become the woman God has for you to be. That’s a joyful thing.

Nancy: I think that’s one of the lies of the enemy, that we will be miserable.

Holly: It’s a huge lie of the enemy.

Kim: Fulfilling. Purposeful.

Holly: Fulfilling. That it’s not demeaning in any way. It is not that we suffer for Christ’s sake our whole life and then die and go to heaven. It is that we are becoming moment by moment, day by day more of the woman that God has for us. It’s big. It’s big.

Mary: Yes. I was trying to think of a word. I was thinking blossoming in the sense of . . . I guess feminists use the word “empowering.” But it’s not quite the right word. The word that a woman becomes who she is. You become more of who God created you to be, and there’s a fullness in that, a blooming.

Holly: And it’s a continual growth. Maybe you move from being a little sapling to an oak or something, but you’re growing. Your roots are going deep; it’s founded on the truth of God’s Word. So that, to me, is the foundational difference between the biblical womanhood that we love and the philosophy of feminism which is that there is no foundation other than my own needs.

Leslie: We’ve been listening to a panel discussion about the power of sisterhood. We heard from the host of Revive Our Hearts, Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She’s co-written the workbook, True Woman 101: Divine Design. Her co-author is Mary Kassian who we also heard. And some friends joined them as well—Holly Elliff, Kim Wagner, and Dannah Gresh. This group read the workbook True Woman 101, and they got together to discuss chapter 8 on women encouraging other women.

Imagine doing the same thing—reading True Woman 101 and getting together with your own group to discuss it and cheer each other on. The first step in putting your group together is to review the workbook for yourself. We’ll send you a copy when you support Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any size. Ask for True Woman 101 when you call 1–800–569–5959 or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

We’ll be making this offer through Wednesday the 30th. So contact us right away. We’ll send one book per household. Once you get a copy you can also order additional copies for your small group at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Well, tomorrow we’ll pick back up on this discussion of “The Power of True Woman Sisterhood.”

Dannah: When I left the first True Woman event, I was so fired up. I was so illuminated to what needed to happen in my life that I wanted to share that with other women. And that’s really how the feminist movement grew.

So I just said, “Lord” and I challenge every woman listening to ask this. “Who can I influence? Who is in my sphere of influence?” My husband founded a Christian high school. So I went to him and said, “Sweetie, can I develop a curriculum, a True Woman curriculum?” So we have a True Woman class for the high school girls at our Christian high school because that’s where I can influence.

Leslie: Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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

About the Speaker

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 …

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