Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Living Life as a True Woman

Leslie: Generations ago, girls were taught to set their future hopes on meeting a Prince Charming. That was the case with a woman named Cora.

Cora: I grew up in an era when “happily ever after” was the answer.

Leslie: Marriage was the ticket to security and fulfillment.

Cora: You grew up and you got married to the man of your dreams, and you lived happily ever after.

Leslie: And if Prince Charming didn’t end up making you happy, a woman needed to take matters into her own hands and get that prince to act the way she wanted him to act. Cora observed this growing up, too.

Cora: My mother was very much in control. So that was the role model I had growing up.

Leslie: Cora followed the example she saw growing up once she met her Prince Charming.

Cora: Consequently, I was married to a man for over thirty years that I pretty much controlled. Unfortunately, there are no “do-overs” because he’s not with us anymore. I’m not the woman I was when I was married to him. I never got the chance to be the wife I wanted to be. 

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, co-author of True Woman 101, for Friday, June 22, 2018. 

Nancy's been teaching point by point through the True Woman Manifesto in several series this year. This week we continue to look at the way God designed men and women. We’ve examined true virtue from the inside out.

Nancy: If you have virtuous behavior without having a virtuous heart, you know what you’ll turn out to be? A self-righteous Pharisee.

Leslie: And we talked about giving men respect—creating a welcoming home environment.

Nancy: Think about what it’s like when you and your husband re-enter the house at the end of the day. Do you make re-entry for him a joy? Or do you make it a burden? Do you make him wish he’d stayed at work?

Leslie: Some women have been listening to this series along with us. They’re sharing how this message is affecting them. In a few minutes we’ll hear how God spoke to a woman who had been in a homosexual lifestyle. But first, let’s get back to Cora. She wishes she had heard this material years ago.

Cora: I never got to have the chance to be the wife I wanted to be. I thank God that He’s been in my life all the years that I wasn’t walking with Him. He never left—I did. Consequently, I was able to come back and start becoming the person that He needs me to be. I just thank God for that.

Nancy: Thank you, Cora. What a reminder that we do have a gracious, redeeming God who is making all things new. And when you say there are no do-overs, that’s true in a sense. But in another sense, we would have no hope if there was not the possibility of our whole life being a do-over. It’s not me doing it over, but Christ giving me a whole new life and making us into new women.

Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences and that there are not losses sustained. I’m so thankful, by the way, that we have a combination of younger and older women here today and listening on the radio because there are older women who are saying, “If I could go back and do my life again, here’s how I would do it differently.” My hope is that some of these younger women are hearing and receiving this counsel. Our desire for you is that you will live your life in such a way that you will be able to have the kind of marriage and family, and if God calls you as a single woman, that you will be able to look back and say, “By God’s grace, I lived life to the glory of God.”

So these are wise words. And those of you older women who think you can’t mentor because you’ve blown it, sometimes it is out of how you’ve blown it that you do some of your most effective mentoring. The things that God has taught you really are powerful when they are illustrated in a life message.

Leslie: Our first guest, Cora, grew up in an era where women were encouraged to find Prince Charming and live “happily ever after.” Our next guest grew up in a different era. She was told she didn’t need Prince Charming at all.

Kim: I do remember a time back in the seventies when some of you all were not even around. I was going to college. I was in the midst of, “We are women; we can do everything for ourselves and with nobody else.” I was the first woman to be in sales at the radio station where I worked—which was something unusual down South. I was raised by a single mom who wanted me to have everything out of life that I could get.

Well, then I met Tom. We were young, and when we were first married, we weren’t thinking about those things. As time went on and I got into my thirties and started to hit forty, I was thirty-eight, I had Virginia (Ginni, our third child). Although the Lord had been working on me many, many, many years—from the time I was seventeen and accepted Him, I probably began walking closer to Him and Tom as well when God gave us Ginni.

Ginni was not expected. She was planned only by One, and that was the Lord. Once I found out that I was pregnant with her, it began a journey of giving up things and going from that woman of the seventies who I had been (part of the Baby Boomer generation), to becoming a wife and a mom and realizing that was what God really wanted me to do.

We think we have control here. We don’t. God does. By realizing that and relinquishing that, I was able to let go of a lot of things. I let go of worry. I don’t know if any of you are in single mother homes or anything like that, but if you are, you learn from your mother about worry. The Lord taught me not to worry through the pregnancy of that child. He taught me not to worry about money. We went through a couple of things when I was pregnant where my husband gave up things he thought the Lord did not want him to be doing, and the Lord provided. He showed me grace. He showed me how to be a woman.

I did not realize until this ministry and going to the True Woman conference just what God was preparing me for: from forgiveness for my dad to a lot of things that we have a tendency, particularly as women, to hold on to.

If anybody is telling you now that to be a modern woman is the greatest thing in the world—no, it’s not. The greatest thing in the world is to be a woman God has designed you to be.

Laura: I wanted to say first to Cora, Proverbs 31:12, “She does her husband good all the days of her life.” It doesn’t say all the days of his life. So there is still opportunity to do your husband good, even though he’s gone, because it is “all the days of your life.”

So I want to encourage you to speak highly of him, to never say anything that would be cutting of him, and just to praise him to your family and friends, and do him good by the way you live your life now. So God can still give you that opportunity. That’s something I really like to share with women.

My mother-in-law was widowed for about eighteen years, and she always did her husband good all the days of her life. They had a lot of rough roads in their marriage, and she could have dwelt on those things, but she didn’t. She really honored him for all the years for all the years she was widowed. So I just want to encourage you to do that.

The other thing, with the whole issue of respect, in respecting our husbands but also respecting men, is our adult sons. I have an adult son. He’s twenty-six. He’s at Moody studying for the ministry. I was really convicted a few years ago that I needed to stop treating him like a child, and I needed to treat him as an adult and give him that same respect that I would show my husband or any other man.

Then I have an eighteen-year-old son. He’s still in high school. So I’m trying to transition with Justin, to stop treating him as a child, even though he is still in my home another year, to treat him as a man. I want him to be a godly man, so I need to treat him like that and treat him with the same respect.

It’s amazing to me that when I share that with women in the churches we go into, I always have older ladies, older than me, come up to me afterwards and say, “My son is forty, and I treat him like a child.” They are so convicted. One lady came up and said, “My son had to move back home with me, and I just realized, the Spirit convicted me, of how I speak to him. I tell him to clean up this and pick up that like he was twelve and he’s forty.” So I just want to add that to the whole topic of respecting men—to think about your adult sons.

Nancy: We’ve talked about living in a culture where there’s such confusion about gender, sexual identity, and the havoc that that is wrecking in women, younger and older. As we were talking about that, René, you just came to mind of how God has radically changed your whole view of what it means to be a woman and sexuality. I don’t know what might be on your heart to share about that.

René: Well, I have actually been a believer for the last three-and-a-half to four years. The Lord radically changed my life, and I mean radically. It was basically overnight. I had been involved in the homosexual lifestyle for eleven years. It absolutely broke my parents’ hearts; it devastated them. I was raised in a Christian home, but yet walked away from the Lord. I wanted nothing to do with that. I was very angry with the Lord because I thought that I was born that way. I didn’t understand the conflict that I was having in my heart. “Why do I feel this way?” And yet this wasn’t necessarily a choice that I felt like I was making, but in actuality, it was.

I was taking my thought of who I was as a woman totally from the culture. I was not looking to God’s Word and opening it up and saying, “Who am I? Lord, how do you see me?”

My parents prayed for years that the Lord would bring me to the end of myself and that godly influence would come in to my life and that I would be receptive to that. It was a very, very hard process. I completely turned my back on my parents. I wanted nothing to do with them whatsoever. I embraced that lifestyle. I was basically a poster child for that lifestyle. The person that is in front of you today is not that girl at all.

It’s very easy, almost scary, that I can talk about it because it is like I’m talking about somebody who doesn’t exist. I have no idea who that girl was. But I was just very confused. I was involved in athletics. I excelled as an athlete. I was recruited in college by almost every Division I school in the country. So I was a very successful athlete.

Yet in the culture, that lifestyle is celebrated and glorified. I embraced that. I was somebody there, and I desperately needed an identity, and I found my identity there. I longed for acceptance. I excelled in the classroom, and I excelled in sports. So it was difficult for young men to talk with me, and I made it that way. I was very unapproachable. I never knew how to form relationships with men. 

My father was one who ruled with an iron fist, and I was somewhat scared of my dad. I wanted his approval, but yet I didn't know how to have a one-on-one conversation. I think that was really where my struggles began.

But it has just been amazing what the Lord has done in my life. The Lord over a period of time began to answer my parents’ prayers. I have so many women who would be on their knees for me for years at a time. Now, to know I’m serving in this ministry; it’s just absolutely amazing.

Like I said, I was saved three-and-a-half to four years ago. I actually hired an assistant basketball coach (I was a college basketball coach) who was a Christian. My mother met this girl and immediately hugged her and said, “You’re an answer to my prayers.”

And I said, “Mom, she’s going to think you’re psycho! Why are you doing that?” But mom had been praying for a godly influence to be a part of my life on a daily basis. Well, Callie was that for me. She was light and salt, and I so desperately wanted what she had. She had a foundation in the Lord. And regardless of the circumstances of her life, there was just this solid thing about Callie.

So we would just talk, and I just wanted what she had. I really thought that when I was in that lifestyle and being raised in a Christian home, that I was thought I was a believer. I really did. But I had no relationship with the Lord whatsoever—no relationship.

Immediately the Lord convicted me. He said, “You are not Mine, and you have no relationship with Me whatsoever.” I just got down and my hands and knees before the Lord and just confessed everything. I called my mom and dad up on the phone and said, “Can I come talk with you?”

And they said, “Sure, you can come talk to us.” It was, I mean, we did not talk. We didn’t have anything to do with each other.

I stayed up all night, literally, with my parents until three or four o’clock in the morning and just cried and asked for their forgiveness and said, “I’m just so sorry for disappointing you. I’m so sorry for hurting you. Please forgive me.” And, of course, they just said, “Yes, we forgive you.”

The Lord really built our relationship back together. I just surrendered my life to the Lord at that point and said, “Lord, whatever You want to do with me, I’m yours. I will do whatever it is that You ask.”

So I was saved in October and then in June the Lord told me to quit my job and go and work in women’s ministry. And I said, “Okay.” So I went to the athletic director’s office and quit my job and thought I was going to work in women’s ministry. I had no idea what that would look like.

I had listened to Nancy on the radio. It was really interesting. When she was talking about the feminist movement and how this message was not popular, I was like, “Well, I was one of those people, because if I would have heard you four or five years ago, I would have taken my radio out of the car and would have thrown it right out to the side of the road.”

But it was just amazing. That year after I came to know the Lord, I would just listen and listen and listen and listen to her. It was just so amazing how I thought, That’s really true. So I’d go home, and I would look up all the Scriptures that she would talk about. Then I would look it up on the Internet. Then I would listen the next day, and I would go home and look up all the stuff and be like, “She really does know what she’s talking about. That really is true!” That was the thing—it was Truth!

It wasn’t her ideas, her thoughts, but it was Truth. It was proclaimed with boldness. And that’s where the difference was, and that’s why we’re seeing the Lord use this ministry in such profound ways. It is because it’s Truth! It’s Truth, and we can go back and we can stand on it in the tough times.

It’s been amazing what the Lord has done in my life, and to watch what He has done, and the ripple effect in my family. That has been amazing because their eyes have been opened to see what the Lord has done in my own life. I continue to pray that I would be a witness to others on the transforming power of the Lord and that prayer does matter. It really does, because five years ago I would not be standing before you at all. I’m just so thankful for where the Lord has me and that He led me to such a wonderful ministry that proclaims His Truth.

Nancy: What a powerful reminder of a couple of things. First of all, God really does change lives from the inside out. It’s easy to look around at the culture and how contrary it is running to the ways of God and to think, Well, those people out there would never embrace this message. They would never embrace the Truth. They’ll never respond to it. And to not have any hope. Well, as long as there is a redeeming God, there is hope! René’s testimony surely illustrates that.

But what a powerful reminder to moms whose children are not walking with the Lord, or mates, or whatever; God is a prayer-hearing and a prayer-answering God. Can I just say that some of you moms and grandmoms who cry yourself to sleep at night over a troubled or wayward son or daughter or grandchild or mate, don’t stop praying. Don’t stop asking God to get a hold of their heart, to transform their heart, to do what you can’t do. He really can.

This thing of sexual identity is very deeply rooted in all of us. It’s shaped by a lot things. But to see how God can rewire our thinking, our hearts, our bents, our inclinations, our affections. René’s really right when she said that person she was doesn’t exist any longer. That is the old person. She is a new creation! And she is now being used, by God’s grace, as an instrument of righteousness in the lives of other women. Who could write that script other than God.

Woman: I was just thinking of René’s testimony. It says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, I’m sure most of you are familiar with it, “Therefore is anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone. The new has come.” René in French means “rebirth.” And it’s really precious.

Leslie: God has a special plan and design for you as a woman. Some of our listeners have been talking with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth about discovering that design and about living it out day by day. Nancy will be right back. She’s going to give advice to women who have wondered if God’s called them to write or speak like Nancy does.

Maybe you know someone who could benefit from today’s program. It’s easy to order it on CD at ReviveOurHearts.com. It comes as part of the series, "The True Woman Manifesto: Declarations, Part 1." When you visit ReviveOurHearts.com, you can also order past series on the True Woman Manifesto, stream the audio, or read the transcripts.

As you just heard, God teaches us to be true women day by day. Everyone has things to learn. Everyone has room to grow.

We’d like to send you some tools to help you understand what God’s Word has to say to us as women. This week, when you support Revive Our Hearts with a donation of any size, we’re sending a set of three booklets from Nancy called The True Woman Essentials Pack. One of those booklets, "Portrait of a Woman Used By God" is about Mary, the mother of Jesus.

When you go through this study, you’ll read a devotional about the life of Mary and then answer some “Making It Personal” questions. Here’s a sample of some of those questions:

  • Am I conscious of having been chosen by God to fulfill a specific purpose in my generation?
  • Am I depending on the power of the Holy Spirit to be and to do that for which God has chosen me?

We’d like to send you these three booklets—the True Woman Essentials Pack when you support the ministry with a gift of any size. Ask for them when you call 1–800–569–5959. You can also visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

We know that a lot of Revive Our Hearts listeners have a desire to communicate God’s truth like Nancy does. We still have a couple minutes and want to share some practical advice Nancy’s learned as a best-selling author.

Woman: What are some tips that you can give to women who want to be writers someday?

Nancy: Women who want to be writers someday. Well, I was not a woman who wanted to be a writer. It’s kind of funny. I still don’t think of myself as a writer. I guess I am, but I don’t think of myself that way because writing is not something that has come very easily for me. It’s not something I’ve really aspired to. But it has been something God has . . . He’s put a message on my heart, and burned it there like where you have to communicate it. That’s where writing has come for me.

But I would just encourage you, especially if you are younger and want to get into writing, to do what you can to get the tools. You don’t learn to write today by texting. You don’t learn to write today on Facebook. You don’t learn to write today on email. There are some basic tools. Unfortunately today, even our schools are not teaching, in many cases, the basics of good writing. So get all the training you can.

I have some friends who have daughters who are in their early twenties who would love to write; who are aspiring writers. I have these teenage girls who are writing these long novels—amazing things. Encourage that, but get all the training that you can in terms of the techniques, the disciplines, the tools of the trade.

There are some wonderful writer’s conferences that are available. The things that I could most recommend (and I’m standing here at Moody Bible) is Mr. Jenkins’ program called Christian Writer’s Guild. They have a whole, depending on how old you are . . . For teens they have one, for adults they have another, they have a whole online training that’s available. You pay for it, but you get what you pay for. It’s really good. You get a mentor. You get someone who will work with your writing. I think those are opportunities that I would take. Then realize that success or not, life is not measured by whether you are published or how many people read your books. It’s measured by obeying God and doing what He wants you to do.

Leslie: Next week Alistair Begg is going to continue helping us understand God’s design for men and women. Please be back, for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help you know what’s inside your Bible. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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