Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Leslie Basham: Is the next generation of women ready for marriage and parenting? Here’s Dannah Gresh.

Dannah Gresh: What’s frightening to me is we’ve had the issue of young women saying, "I don’t know if I want to submit to my husband when I have a husband; I don’t know if I really want to have a husband.” Within the last five years or so, they are saying, “I don’t know if I want to have kids, at all, ever. I haven’t seen that be a good thing. I don’t want to be tied to that. I don’t want to be slowed down.”

It’s frightening to me that this isn’t just a cultural pressure anymore, but it’s something within the church.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, co-author of Lies Young Women Believe, for Friday, February 9, 2018.

For over a decade, two books have helped women set their lives on the truth.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wrote Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free sixteen years ago.  Coming up on February 19, the new updated and revised version will be released and you’ll hear Nancy teach through that material here on Revive Our Hearts.

This week we’re focusing on the book Lies Young Women Believe by Nancy and co-author Dannah Gresh. The revised version came out this week. Today Nancy and Dannah will talk about lies young women believe about their future. Such as:  

Teens:

"The things I do now won’t affect my future."

"Having a career outside the home is more valuable and fulfilling than being just a wife and mom."

Leslie: One young lady in our audience expressed well her frustration with political correctness.

Teen: All I’ve wanted to do my whole life is just be a wife and a mom; that’s my goal. But at the same time, I’m also going to nursing school right now, or I’m getting ready to go into nursing school because that’s also something I’m very interested in—the medical field.

But at the same time (I have never experienced it until I got into college), it seems like there’s just this huge drive for women to stand out and feel like they have to be somebody. It’s something that I’m experiencing now that I’ve never experienced before.

In the secular college, in the papers that you write, it’s not okay to write “lady” or to write “policeman.” You have to write “police officer.” It’s very much about feminism.

So I guess it would just be helpful to know kind of how to handle that and how to be able to be a person who is an effective woman for God. She doesn’t have to completely stand back in the shadow, but at the same time she knows her place and she’s doing the things that God wants her to do with a gentle and a quiet spirit.

Leslie: Nancy says there is confusion and a lack of clear thinking when it comes to perspectives about marriage and motherhood.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: And that is the fruit, really, the result of now decades of an intentional effort on the part of some to minimize the value and importance of women as bearers and nurturers of life and to say that that is a second-rate and inferior calling.

So this younger generation today, I think, has never known anything other than to assume that, of course, you’re going to pursue a career, and whatever you do in relation to family is secondary or later.

Dannah: This is one of questions that we deal with in Lies Young Women Believe that is so near and dear to my heart.

Leslie: Dannah recalls ten years ago with fondness. That was when she and Nancy first wrote Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free.

Dannah: I had a full nest at home. My son Robbie was in eleventh grade, my girls in middles school. I was a happy clam of a mom. Now, my nest is empty, and I feel as if I've been fired from the best job I will ever have in my entire life. I am the mom who when I go to the grocery store and I have to buy the small ketchup instead of the family size, will burst into tears.

Now, I have a great purpose, and the Lord's given me an exciting life, so I'm not in depression, but I miss my kids so much. I miss that job so much. It is the most wonderful job, and you know it from the moment you hold that sweet baby in your arms, and your life is changed forever!

That's why it makes me so sad that that's one of the lies that we had to deal with back in 2007 when we first wrote the book, and it's even more of a problem today—is having a career outside the home more fulfilling than being just a wife and a mom.

We talk with girls all the time who are bent on having a college degree—which I might add, in most cases is going to cause a great amount debt. God had a lot of warnings in His Word about that. Or they are just, "I need to have a fulfilling job. It's okay if I'm a mom, but I need a job or I will not feel like I have value."

This is a lie that our culture has readily fed them.

We found some really interesting research when we first wrote Lies Young Women Believe. It was in 1987 that only about 20 percent of Christians felt that women should not emphasize the roles of mother and wife. "You want a young woman to grow up dreaming of being a wife and a mom? That's not a good idea. She's worth so much more than that."

Now, I think that sounds like a lie, but in 1987, it was only 20 percent of the Christian population. In 2007, right about the time that we originally wrote Lies Young Women Believe, it had grown to 47 percent of Christians who thought it was a bad idea for us to tell our girls that it's important to be a wife and a mom. That just grieves my heart.

I have a conversation in Lies Young Women Believe that I had with my son and his friend. They were about eleventh grade. I said what I was writing about in Lies Young Women Believe, and I said, "What do you think about that? The lie is basically that the most important thing a teenage girl can think about is having a fulfilling career.

They kind of looked at each other, and they said, "So here's the thing. If we said that, if we had that kind of attitude as guys about not wanting a wife and kids and about thinking that a career was the most important thing we could do in our lives, they would consider us (and I'm quoting an eleventh grade boy here) to be jerks." They didn't get it. We're supposed to be godly, good men who are gentlemen and want to have wives and who want to be fathers one day. So what's wrong for girls also wanting that?

Leslie: The premise behind the title of Nancy and Dannah’s book is that lies enslave and God’s truth liberates. So what is God’s truth when it comes to being a wife and a mom?

Dannah: You know, the Bible says that one of the greatest treasures that a man can have is finding a good wife.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord (Prov. 18:22).

Dannah: And I think that we can conclude that it’s also a treasure for us to find a good husband. The Bible also says that one of the greatest blessings we can have is having children.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! (Ps. 127:3–5).

Dannah: Our culture has dismantled that value, and the Christian church is believing it and swallowing it hook, line, and sinker.

Leslie: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth explains that the biblical view of being a wife and a mother goes deeper than just the practical questions of who does what.

Nancy: It’s not just what a woman’s role is, but it goes back to this whole thing of our calling and our design as women, and the fact that God made women and men for distinctive, unique purposes to bring Him glory in this world, that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about our fulfillment or our happiness. I think we had stripped from us, in the last two or three generations, the sense of what it even means to be a woman.

I had a middle age woman say to me not long ago in the very room, "I'm fifty-three years old and I have never been able to embrace the fact that I am a woman and what it means to be a woman. I understand what it means to be a Christian, but when you talk to me about being a Christian woman, I don't get that, and I don't think I embrace it." She's in her fifties.

Now, you take these younger women who’ve grown up with moms who don’t know what it means to be a woman, and what is God’s design, what is God’s purpose, and how do we as women uniquely glorify God, and going back to God’s creation, which He said was good. It does tie the calling of a woman, in a significant way, into her role as a helper to her husband and as a bearer and nurturer of life.

I mean, the name Eve means life giver—mother of all living. Having babies is something that, to date, men cannot do. A specific part, not just physiologically, biologically, but spiritually, it’s a part of the calling of women, and there’s almost zero comprehension of that today, and very little even within the church, sadly.

Erin Davis: I would love to hear you speak to whether or not you feel the world gives you permission to desire to be a wife, to desire to be a mother.

Leslie: Wife, mother, and author Erin Davis moderated a question and answer time with Dannah Gresh, Nancy, and young women in the Revive Our Hearts audience.

Teen: One thing that I’ve been told is that I need to have a fall-back plan. If I do get married and something happens to my husband? I need a way of supporting the family. I agree with it to some extent, but I guess I don’t know how to work through that exactly.

Erin Davis: Anybody else have thoughts on whether you feel free to have your home be your highest aspiration?

Teen: I think the world tells us—or we tell ourselves—that we can be a wife and a mother and have a career. I think they tell us we can have it all. But the truth is: I think that’s a very difficult thing to do.

Erin: My wise friend Dannah told me last week, “Erin, you can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once.” I didn’t want to hear that because I like to have it all right now. But can you guys offer some advice for these ladies that are navigating this terrain?

Dannah: I guess the first thing that runs through my heart is from the Proverbs 31 woman, which you’re all familiar with. Her first priority is her husband.

It starts out talking about her husband, and then it talks about her children. But then it talks about all these other wonderful things that she is. She’s a merchant. She’s a seamstress. She’s a businesswoman. She’s like Superwoman on steroids, really.

But in verse 12 it says, “She does him [her husband] good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” That means today, when you woke up and you dressed, and you chose what you would wear, you wore an outfit that was not only pleasing to God but that would protect your virtue and your modesty because you’re doing him good today.

That means that when you go to school next week—whether you’re a nursing student in college or whether you’re in ninth grade or at a Christian high school or in home school or in a public school—your thoughts are in part about the fact that one day God may bless you with a husband. “Will this day that I’m studying as a student bless him one day?” “All the days of [your] life.”

I believe that, as women, it’s a great honor that we can take a verse like this and apply it each morning to our hearts and say, “God, I’m only in ninth grade, but if You have a husband for me one day, I want to live this day so well that I could look back and say, ‘I did my husband good on that day in ninth grade.’”

Nancy: I’ve been studying through the psalms, and a couple of days ago I was in Psalm 45. This morning when I got up I had actually passed that place, but I felt prompted to go back to that passage as we prepared for this day. I want to share with you in our closing moments a few glimpses about what the Lord spoke to me through that passage.

Psalm 45, if you’re not familiar with it, is titled “A Love Song.” It’s a story of a wedding between a king and his bride.

There are two parts to the psalm. Actually it starts out with an introduction that says, “My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe” (v. 1).

Someone says here, “This is a beautiful story I’m getting ready to tell you. It’s a song; it’s a love song. It’s the ultimate romance.” And then the first stanza is a description of the king.

If you remember Old Testament Jewish wedding customs, they would have this betrothal where they would get engaged. They were committed to be married.

Then the bridegroom would go off and prepare a place for the bride to live. And then the day would come when he would come back to get his bride and they would be officially, formally, finally married.

So this is the processional, the first part, where the king is coming to get his bride. It says, “You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips” (v. 2). It calls him the “mighty one” (v. 3).

It’s really a picture of Jesus, the heavenly Bridegroom, that is being described here. There is no man on earth who fits this whole description except for Jesus.

It talks about his splendor, his majesty, how he’s victorious over his enemies, how his throne reigns forever and ever and he loves righteousness. It describes this amazing bridegroom who is a picture of Jesus Christ.

It talks about how he is glad as he’s coming to get his bride. He’s fragrant. There’s music; there are scents. This is just an incredible wedding procession.

You’ve seen this magnificent procession of this king, Christ Himself. Then the picture turns to the bride. It starts to describe her, and it’s an appeal to her.

It says, “Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house” (v. 10). What it’s saying is, “It’s time to leave and cleave.” It’s time to come away from the earthly attachments, from the things you love, from the things you hold dear, and it’s time to come and be united with your bridegroom in marriage. “Forget your people and your father’s house.” You’re going to be leaving them.

Then it says—and this phrase just stopped me in my tracks— “And the king will desire your beauty” (v. 11).

It has just described this amazing, awesome, majestic king; and it says to this bride-to-be, “The king—that king—will desire your beauty.” I just stopped, and I found myself worshiping the Lord and saying, “In light of who He is, what is there in me that He would desire?”

I mean, I don’t think of myself as beautiful. But He does. And He desires that.

We’ve talked about how there is, in the heart of every woman, this longing to be desired, this longing to be pursued. And I thought, “I am pursued. I am loved. I am desired. I am esteemed.” I’m valued, not because there is anything in me, but because He has eyes of love and because He has chosen me to be His bride.

Then it says, “Since he is your lord, bow to him” (v. 11). Worship Him. Just thank Him. Say, “Thank You, Lord, for loving me the way You do, whether You give me a guy, whether You give me my hopes and dreams . . .”

I have some really precious friends who have always longed to be a wife and mother, and God has not granted in some cases that desire of their hearts. They've had to offer it up as a sacrifice to the Lord because God doesn't bring it to every woman's life.

But it says, whether He does or doesn't, whether He writes the script the way you would have written it or not, since He is your Lord, bow to Him; worship Him. Thank Him for His love, and say, “Lord, You are enough. If You’re all I ever have, I can be satisfied with You.”

Now, we’re natural; we’re human. We have desires. We have longings, and there’s nothing wrong with those longings. But ultimately it comes down to saying, “He is my Lord, and I bow before Him, and I worship Him.”

Then it describes this—it says, “All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her” (vv. 13–14).

There’s this sense of her being brought to the place. It’s kind of like what you see at a wedding, where the groom comes and stands up at the front and then the bride starts the processional down the aisle to meet her groom.

Sometimes I like watching the guy while his bride is coming down the aisle. You see he is just sparkling. He is delighted. Sometimes he’s seeing her for the first time in this spectacular dress, and it’s like he’s never seen her before. He’s just spellbound. He’s “enthralled with her beauty,” is how the NIV translation says it there.

That’s how God feels about us as we approach Him. She’s led to the king. I love this phrase: “With joy and gladness they are led along”—this is the bride and her attendants—“as they enter the palace of the king” (v. 15).

I thought, “You know, Lord, when You called us to serve You, to follow You, to swim upstream, to be counter-cultural, You didn’t say we just have to grit our teeth and bear it.” Yes, life will be hard. Yes, there will be suffering. You’ve got to say no to your flesh, and you’ve got to obey God.

You know, there is obedience and there’s sacrifice and there’s suffering in the Christian life, but there is also tons and tons of joy and gladness. She is led to the king with joy and gladness, and she’s taken into his palace.

And then, very discreetly there, it doesn’t say what happens once they go into the palace. But what happens is they’re married, and they consummate that love relationship in the most intimate possible way. They’ve been saved for each other. We have been saved for Jesus.

There’s a very earthly sense in which you can apply this to your marriage and being saved physically for the one that you will marry. That’s a precious gift for you and for your husband-to-be someday.

But there is an ultimate sense that is greater than all of that, and that is that we’ve been saved for Christ, our heavenly Bridegroom. We are being led with joy and gladness into His palace, where we will spend eternity with Him in the most intimate possible relationship.

When I get that perspective—when I see God’s wedding story and the story He’s writing for my life—then I can endure. Everything else becomes kind of “piddly” by comparison.

So I didn’t have a good hair day. I mean, that can wreck my day. It can wreck your day. But it doesn’t have to if we see it in the context of God’s great picture.

So someone rejected me, or a rejected, or no guys ever pay any attention to me, or they don't even know that I exist. Some of you have experienced rejection from your parents. Could anything be more painful?

Those things happen, and they hurt, and they are hard. It’s not the way God intended that it should be. But you know what? You can live through all of that and more.

Some of the things that are going to happen in your life that are hard, you haven’t even dreamed of yet. There’s more to come. There’s suffering ahead. But you can endure it, and you can go with joy and gladness because you know that God is leading you toward the palace of a King where you’re going to spend eternity.

I just say, “Keep your eyes on the finish line, and know that it’s worth it. It’s worth running the race. It’s worth being faithful. It’s worth keeping yourself for Christ, pursuing Him, swimming upstream, being counter-cultural, not going with the flow.”

The flow is going the wrong way. Jesus said it. He said, “Wide is the gate . . . that leads to destruction” (Matt. 7:13 NKJV). It may seem happy right now, but its end is really not desirable at all. So make the hard choices now.

You say "yes" to the Lord, "yes" to His plans, "yes" to how He works in our lives through His Word, through human authorities, through godly counsel. You say "yes" to that, and God says, “I’ve got something stored up for you that is greater and sweeter and richer than anything you could possibly imagine.”

Our heart in writing this book is for you to experience that. We still believe lies; we still wrestle with those. We’re not living out, to the fullest possible extent, all the things we want to. But we know that it’s worth pressing on, “pressing in” in that battle, and saying, “Yes, Lord.” That’s what we want for you.

Leslie: Making a habit of saying, “Yes, Lord,” will reap rewards in your life, whether you’re a young woman under twenty, or a “young” woman over a hundred. We’ve been listening as Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth challenged a group of young ladies to build their lives on God’s Word.

She’s been talking with Erin Davis who manages the Lies Young Women Believe blog for Revive Our Hearts. And we also head from Dannah Gresh. She and Nancy co-authored the book Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free.

They have just revised and updated the book and that book launched this week. We’d like to send you a copy when you support Revive Our Hearts with a donation of any amount. You can call 1–800–569–5959 to give your gift and ask for the book, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Would you also think about what young women you could read the book with and discuss it together? You can order additional copies and get the study guide to help your discussion. That’s at ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1–800–569–5959.

When a married couple pray and focus on God’s truth together, it will have a huge effect on their relationship. Next week Gary and Lisa Thomas talk about how to focus on the Lord together while drawing closer to one another. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth want to help you know the truth. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV unless otherwise noted.

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About the Teacher

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 for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.