Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss reads the email of a true woman.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: She said, “I want to testify to a beautifully restored marriage and a most wonderful relationship with my husband. I look at this man and tremble that I almost lost him. He did need to change, but I needed to leave that up to God. I needed to obey and change my behavior first.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It’s Monday, August 11. Last week we looked at the marks of the wise woman from Proverbs. We’ll hear about some women who are learning godly wisdom today. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: Well, every once in a while we like to stop and between series share with our listeners some of the things that God is doing through the ministry and through the truth as it goes out into women’s lives. I love getting emails and letters from our listeners. They’re encouraging.

Sometimes they’re heartbreaking because people do share with us real honestly some of the issues they’re struggling with and some of the challenges they’re facing trying to be God’s true women in a very difficult culture. But also they share with us ways that God is changing their lives, transforming them.

From the outset, we prayed about this ministry that it would not be just another radio program. Not just more content into people’s minds. We prayed that God would cause the content to penetrate into people’s hearts and to change their lives. It’s such a joy to get these emails day after day, and also the letters, and see how God is answering those prayers.

I know that many of you pray for this ministry. You support it financially. You’ve encouraged us in so many ways. I want you to hear some of the fruit of your investment. Also as I read these letters, I’m often challenged about things that God wants to do in continuing to make me more of a true woman. So today and tomorrow we want to share some listener letters we call them and just some fruit of the ministry.

As you know, we have designated 2008 as the year of the true woman and we’re just weeks away now from the True Woman conference in Chicago, October 9 - 11. In preparation for that conference, we have been doing a lot of programming of topics that relate directly to biblical womanhood, what it means to be a true woman. Throughout this year we’re making that an emphasis or a thrust of our ministry.

Early in the year, back in the first part of ’08, we aired a series on biblical manhood and womanhood. We talked about the egalitarian position that some people are holding to today. This would say that there are no differences in roles between men and women.

Then we talked about what I believe is a more biblical position and that is that God made men and women equal in value, equal in worth, equal approach to Jesus Christ as our Savior, but that He has in His wisdom ordained that there should be different roles in the home and in the church for men and for women. That series is available if you didn’t have a chance to listen to it.

I think, if I’m not mistaken, that we had more response to that series than any single series we have ever aired. I thought we’d get some response. I thought there’d be a lot more controversy over that series. I wondered if we’d have to hire somebody to handle the negative mail, but to the contrary probably 99% of the response we received was amazingly positive.

Women as well as some men who listen were writing to say thank you so much for taking this stand. Thank you for teaching what the Word teaches. Some people were challenged about how their thinking needed to change. Other people were just encouraged to know that they were not off the deep end by thinking in a way that is biblical but is countercultural to this world.

So let me just read a few letters that came from that series. This woman said,

It’s so encouraging to hear these biblical truths of God’s design for men and women. God revealed this to me years ago, and by trusting His Spirit and Word, it turned my marriage around. I lived the lie the world would have us believe about the roles of men and women, and I was miserable.

Now the world, of course, tells you that it will make you happy to think its way, but this woman says, "I did what the world said, and I was miserable.” She said,

Not until I surrendered to God my fears of submission to my husband did I come to experience all God had in store for me in marriage. Thank you so much for discussing these life-changing truths.

Then another woman said, "I happened to catch part of your message and I nearly drove off the road.” I’m glad she didn’t. This was something apparently she was not accustomed to hearing. She said, “I’ve been extremely frustrated by the lack of preaching today on the issue of clearly defined God-given roles of men and women.”

I think, by the way, that there are a lot of pastors who do hold to this biblical teaching. But in some cases, you have to have pretty thick skin to give out this teaching. The pastors need to know that the women in their churches want to hear God’s Word taught God’s way and that they will affirm that as it's taught.

She says,

Because of this lack of teaching on this subject, this is the reason [she believes] that the divorce rate within Christianity mirrors that of our secular society. Men and women refusing to acknowledge and live out the roles that God has ordained for us.

So this is not just a theological discussion or topic. This is something that really affects us where the rubber meets the road and that is in marriage. This woman is observing, and I think correctly, that when we don’t embrace God’s perspective on biblical roles for men and women, a lot of things are at stake, even including the health of marriages.

Here’s another one. A woman who wrote to say,

I want to testify to what Nancy is teaching. God’s way is best. When I allow my husband to lead in our marriage, it frees me up to do what God intended me to do. I can rest assured that I am covered with spiritual protection.

By the way, that protection may or may not come from her husband fulfilling His role. That’s not really the issue. The issue is that when we as women take the role God has for us, we have God’s protection over our lives.

I am truly liberated to do what I am created for—to serve others and bring glory to God. [Now it’s interesting to me to hear her say it that way.] I’m truly liberated. [The world will tell you if you embrace God’s way of thinking that you’re going to be in bondage.] This is the way I had found true liberation, through God’s way. Thank you, Revive Our Hearts, for bringing messages that may not be popular in today’s culture but are thoughtfully and carefully grounded in the Word of God.

Again, I’m so appreciative of that listener because what we are teaching is countercultural. When we went on the air—actually, before we went on the air back in 2001, I knew that some of the things that God’s Word would bring to light for me to teach would be rubbing the fur the wrong way on the cat of this world’s system. That it would be difficult and at times we might lose listeners through saying things that are not in keeping with the world’s perspective.

That’s where I had to decide early on: Am I going to be right with God, or am I going to be consistent with the culture? How do we know if we’re right with God? Well, we go to the Word of God. The Word is the plumb line. That’s where I have to stay, whether I agree with this or not, whether I like it or not, accept it or not. If it’s God’s Word, it’s true. That’s what we’re going to teach and that is what brings people life.

Here’s another woman. During that series, I shared a testimony from a friend who’s husband had been unfaithful and her marriage had ended up virtually wrecked. In the process before God brought her husband back, God brought this woman to see that she had not been a true woman in this marriage.

She wasn’t the one who went off and had the affair, but she saw so many ways that she had demeaned and emasculated her husband. She was confessing this to me as God was dealing with her. Then in the course of things, as God changed her heart, in His providence, God did graciously bring back her husband. But she came to see her own responsibility, not for her husband’s affair, but in the ways that she had not been the woman God wanted her to be in her marriage.

So another listener wrote back and commented on that. She said,

My heart broke as I heard you read from the email on today’s broadcast [the testimony of that woman]. I was that woman a number of years ago. [It’s a different woman, but she said that she was in a similar situation.]

My husband did not leave our family, but we sure were close. I give all the praise and glory to the Lord that He was able to get a hold of my heart and my mind before it was too late. He gently led me down the path to the truth of His Word about marriage, submission, holiness, and obedience.

I want to testify to a beautifully restored marriage and a most wonderful relationship with my husband. I look at this man and tremble that I almost lost him. He did need to change but I needed to leave that up to God. I needed to obey and change my behavior first.

That’s a spirit of meekness, a spirit of humility in saying, “Lord, it’s not my brother. It’s not my sister. It’s not my husband. It’s not my kids. It’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

Then this woman closed by addressing other women who might be reading what she had to say. She said, “Please, don’t fight against Nancy’s teaching on this subject.” I want to say it’s not Nancy’s teaching. It’s God’s teaching that is what we need to be committed to and surrendered to. She said,

I beg you to listen and pay attention. We serve a mighty and powerful God [amen] who is still in the miracle business. My marriage is proof. It is necessary to lay down your rights and trust God. He will not leave you or fail you. Was it easy? No. Was it a bit scary? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

I want to just say that to somebody who is listening right now and you’re thinking, “I don’t know if I can really go for broke with this thing of trusting God with my marriage and saying, “Yes, Lord, I’m willing to embrace Your way of thinking for my life, to be the wife You want me to be. That’s scary.” Well, it’s scary if God falls off His throne, but He’s not going to fall off His throne.

I want to assure you that God is still in the miracle working business. In fact, day after day, I have the joy of reading stories like this one of women who say it was hopeless. It was all over, but God. God intervened. Now that isn’t to say that if you obey God, there’s a guarantee that God will change the heart of your husband. He may or He may not. But I do tell you there’s a guarantee that God will change your heart and God will give you the peace and the joy and the freedom of knowing that you’re right with Him.

Well, here’s another listener who wrote in response to that series on biblical womanhood. She said,

Thank you, Nancy, for having the strength to defend the role of women that God has designed. It’s not easy in the current culture. I now see that the lies I believed as a young woman when I was a member of the counterculture of the 60s is not what God planned. I’m encouraged and inspired to become a member of the new counter-cultural revolution that speaks out for God’s truths. I’m no longer going to live for me but will apply the principles of grace and mercy and love toward my husband. The Lord is good and He spoke loudly to me today.

I love knowing it’s not just me speaking into people’s lives, but it’s the Lord speaking by His Spirit and His Word. This woman is just one of many who are saying, “I want to be part of this counter-cultural revolution, this movement of revival and reformation in the hearts of women to turn back the tide of what we have given over to the enemy through so many generations of buying into the lies of Satan about what it means to be a woman.”

Here’s another email in response to that series that I thought spoke to a real need among women today. This woman said,

Thank you for sharing these truths. I’ve oftentimes felt a lack of spiritual mothering of the older women to the younger women. Being 24 years old [I’m so thankful we do have a lot of younger women listeners], I really desire to learn some wisdom through women who have learned and grown through experience and through Christ working out His salvation in them.

I wanted someone to mentor me, to teach me, to train me in God’s ways as a younger woman. Sadly, there are few women who have kept covenant with their husbands. [That’s what she was looking for when she wanted someone to speak into her life.] I want someone who has faithfully lived out God’s calling as a wife, and I couldn’t find many.

Many have been through multiple marriages or those that seem to stick it out are not happy and really would rather leave but because God hates divorce, they just deal with it. Thank you for the women [and this thank you goes to many women who are listening to me right now] who are married for many years and cherish each moment they spend with their husbands.

Thank you for giving me hope and encouraging me to hold fast to my faith and to truly complement and encourage my husband as the leader of our household. This ministry has saved me from making numerous selfish decisions and has called me to biblical womanhood and to walk by the grace of God in all that He has commanded.

So let me say that as you are faithful to the Lord as a woman in whatever season of life He has you—younger, older, married, single, in the workplace, mom with little ones, mom as an empty nester, single mom—as you are faithful to live out God’s calling for your life, you are giving hope and courage and encouragement to younger women who are looking to you wanting to see someone live out what it means to be a woman of God.

Speaking of joining the counter-revolution and being a counter-revolutionary, one of our station managers asked me not too long ago, “Nancy, as you speak on these things, do you find that the people who are responding are people who already agree with what you’re saying and they just appreciate the fact that you’re saying it? They’re just encouraged by it. Or do you find that people are really being changed in their thinking, that they’re adopting a new way of thinking?”

Shortly after he asked me that, I got this email from a woman who said,

Because of your teaching, Nancy, I am a reformed feminist and now—I can’t believe I’m saying this—but I am submissive to my husband. I started an entire blog about beginning my journey from feminism to femininity. [And she gives us the link to her blog.]

I hope that God will someday permit me to be a full-time mother and homemaker. What is amazing about this transformation is that I am 41 years of age. I have just started taking my home and family back by serving in my role as a biblical wife and mother.”

Praise God! What an encouragement. She said, “I’m a reformed feminist.” In other words, “I have been on a journey from feminism to femininity.” That’s a journey of faith. She says, “I’m taking my family back now at 41 years of age by serving in my role as a biblical wife and mother.”

God is the One who is able to change people’s hearts, not just their thinking, but their hearts. This woman wrote and said,

God has used you to reach my heart. I realize now that I had been a strong-willed, rebellious woman all my life. I thought I was doing what had to be done. Someone has to "lead." [She put that in quotes.]

Someone has to lead, I always said. So if you aren’t going to lead, just get out of my way. But now I know better. With God’s help, I can change even though it’s a little late. [Then she put in parenthesis] (A lot late. I’m 59 this month.) Thank you with all my heart.

Well, let me say it’s not too late. If God has you listening, no matter how old you are, no matter how much you may have bought into the lies of the enemy, it’s not too late to say, “Yes, Lord. I wave the white flag of surrender. I don’t want to be a rebellious, strong-willed woman anymore. I want to get out of the way so that You can lead my life, Lord.”

Here’s another woman who says,

The Lord has indeed spoken to my heart today. After 30 years I see where I have caused my husband much grief as I have tried to be independent. I have actually caused him to not be a leader by my independent spirit. Thank you for sharing and opening my eyes to my real self.

Now we need to be careful here because each person is responsible for their own walk before the Lord. If that husband is not providing what God wants him to provide in that family, he’s responsible to the Lord. But here’s a woman who’s saying, “I’m not going to blame him anymore for not being what he’s supposed to be. I’m going to take personal responsibility for who I am and for how my choices and my behavior have contributed to this situation."

She’s being honest and humble and realizing, “I have actually contributed to my husband not fulfilling his role as a leader in our home because I’ve been an independent-spirited woman.” I’ve heard men express, “You know what, if she’s not willing to be led, if she wants to go run her own life, I’m not going to fight her for it. I’m going to let her.”

So we talked in that series about the dance between men and women, husbands and wives, and the fact that when one is willing to take God’s role for their life, how that influences and moves and encourages the other to take God’s role for their life.

Here’s another woman who said,

Wow! This series is an answer to prayer. It really has shown me my true self. I did not realize the far-reaching effects that my attitude and my words could have. I’ve been in many situations where I was rewarded or applauded for my independence or my aggressiveness.

Now it’s my desire to exhibit godly femininity. This message has really convicted me. It hurts, but I thank God for it. One of my bad habits is blurting things out without thinking first and always giving my opinion. With God’s help, I pray I can change. Thanks so much.

Well, it’s been a great joy to see what God has done in the hearts of women as a result of that series on biblical womanhood, the complementarian position. I hope that if you didn’t get a chance to hear that series, that you will order it. You can go online to ReviveOurHearts.com and you can pull up the transcripts from that series. Leslie will tell you more about that.

One of the things we’ve also done throughout this year is to call women to take this 30-day challenge of encouraging their husbands. That’s a true woman--a woman who lifts her husband up, who affirms and respects him. Let me just read to you a couple of responses that we’ve had. We’ve had many, many responses to that challenge throughout the course of the year, but two that will be an encouragement to you.

This woman says,

I took the 30-day challenge with my husband. We were separated and weren’t speaking to each other. This challenge has changed our outlook on our marriage and now we are the best of friends. [Just in a sentence see the change there.] “We were separated. We weren’t speaking to each other. Now our outlook has changed and we’re the best of friends. God wants us to be a family again. Thank you all so much for this opportunity. It has really changed our lives.”

Praise the Lord! We hear that kind of thing over and over again. Here’s another one that I thought was so encouraging. This woman said,

I received an email that challenged me to pray for my husband for 30 days. Actually, it was a second email. The first one I ignored. But I started this challenge on March 1. [This was several months ago.]

The oneness in my relationship with my husband has moved to another level. We have a supernatural peace in our relationship and home. In addition, my husband is going around happy and almost outright skipping.

I’m just trying to picture what’s happened in this home as a result of this woman taking the challenge to pray for her husband for 30 days.

We’ve been married for 25 years and I worked full-time until the middle of ’05. I left work to go to Bible school full-time. I finished last year and my husband has been constantly telling me to get a job. We don’t need the money, but he just wanted me to go back to work. Today, for the first time since I left work, he told me I make him feel like a king and he enjoys me being at home so much that he doesn’t know how it will impact him if I go back to work. He said he would probably beg me to come back home because I have spoiled him. God is so good.

It’s always been my heart’s desire to have a season of nurturing, building up, and tending to my husband. All the prior years of our marriage there were so many things that I allowed to take priority over this heart’s desire. The 30-day prayers are truly a blessing. It’s helped me to recognize and thank God for what I already have in my husband and helped me to focus on what areas he needs help and not on his behavior. It’s also the first time where he has become a priority instead of an afterthought.

Well, praise the Lord for what he’s done in that woman’s life, what he’s doing in that marriage. As you listen to those, there may be something that God has spoken to you about. A matter of priority in your marriage. A matter of praying for your husband, encouraging your husband, embracing God’s role and His calling in your life.

I hope these letters from women who are responding to God will encourage you as you are seeking to become God’s true woman reflecting to the world the beauty and the wonder of who Christ is and what He wants to do in and through us.

Leslie: That’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss telling us about listeners learning to be true women. Many of those who wrote to Nancy were responding to a teaching series called A Vision for Biblical Womanhood. You can listen to this series for yourself and hear what moved these women. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com and do a search for A Vision for Biblical Womanhood. You can listen to the audio, read the transcripts or order the teaching on CD.

You can find a lot of valuable teaching this way. The transcript is available or Revive Our Hearts programs all the way back to our first program. You can search these transcripts to find help with the issue you’re dealing with. Those are available at ReviveOurHearts.com.

You can also find information on the “Husband Encouragement Challenge” Nancy was talking about. The challenge is to tell your husband something you appreciate about him every day for 30 days and don’t say anything negative during that time. You can start your 30 days whenever you want, but a lot of women find it helpful to sign up at ReviveOurHearts.com. When you do, we’ll send you emails throughout your 30 days to encourage you to keep up with the challenge. Again, look for the “Husband Encouragement Challenge” at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Hear about a woman who found herself feeling happy every time her husband would fail. Find out what changed in her thinking tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

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

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