Revive Our Hearts Weekend Podcast

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A Friend in all Seasons

Dannah Gresh: Are you feeling lonely today? I know a lot of women are. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says that God has an answer for that. 

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: God has given us women—and friends—within the body of Christ to help us grow and serve. There really shouldn’t be any such thing as a “lone ranger” Christian, and there shouldn’t be any such thing as a lonely Christian.

Dannah: I need you. You need me. Women helping women today on Revive Our Hearts Weekend. 

Welcome to Revive Our Hearts Weekend. I’m Dannah Gresh. 

It’s summertime, and one thing I always find a lot around the farm is ants. Those crazy little six-legged creatures. 

Have you even taken the time to just sit and watch them work? Once in Panama I watched an entire colony of leaf cutter ants at work. At first, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me? What were those little green things walking on the pathway in the rainforest? And then as I got closer, ants carrying pieces of leaves! I was mesmerized! I ending up watching for an hour! Just witnessing their hard work as they carried leaves back to their little dirt home. It was unbelievable to me how they walked in a long orderly line, like something out of a movie. 

Those six-legged creatures had an insane sense of teamwork. They worked together perfectly for the good of their community. It’s something that scientists have been studying for years, and you know, we can learn something from those little bugs. I’m thinking that maybe we sisters and women of the church need to look something like those ants. Now I don’t want to compare us to bugs, but think about it . . . together we can get a lot done. 

Let’s explore the power of sisters living in community. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth unpacks our need for each other as a way to live out the gospel in a book she wrote titled Adorned.

On the back cover you’ll see these words, "Imagine older women investing themselves, younger women widening their circle, women of all ages and seasons making the gospel beautiful and believable to those around them”

Nancy wants us to have a vision for the greater goal. Because when we come together, there is something special that happens. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: We’re committing to live out the beauty of the gospel . . . together. Together. In the passage we’re going to be most focused on, Titus 2:3–5, Paul stresses the importance of women having intentional, cross-generational, invasive relationships with each other: older women/younger women.

I want to suggest that this is not just a theory. Paul’s not just pulling out his textbook on women’s discipleship. This is actually the way that the apostle Paul himself did life as a man. Throughout the book of Titus, Paul models and stresses the importance of relationships—of living and growing and serving in community with other believers.

Let me just point out a couple places where that’s highlighted. I’ll take you to the first paragraph of Titus, and then I’ll take you to the last paragraph, so you can see how Paul is committed to this thing of relationships.

In the opening paragraph Paul writes, “To Titus, my true child in a common faith” (Titus 1:4). So here you have Paul, who is the seasoned, mature, anointed, appointed apostle of Jesus Christ, speaking to a much younger, less-experienced man.

But Paul is not condescending. He’s warm; he’s loving; he’s engaging. He says, “You and I, Titus, we have a common faith. Yes, I know I’ve been at this a lot longer than you have, but we share a common faith.”

He reaches out, and he takes time out of his busy “apostle schedule” to encourage this young believer, and then to release him into a place of fruitful ministry. So sweet! Then in the closing paragraph, it’s very intimate.

The end of Titus 3, beginning in verse 12, it’s personal. It’s all about relationships, serving the Lord together. Listen, it’s just so personal here, verse 12: “When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.”

Paul says to Titus, his beloved son in the faith, “I’m sending two men that I know and trust to relieve you there in Crete. And when they get there, do your best to come and visit me.” I think that’s so touching. There’s this sense of, “I need you. I want to spend time with you.”

Verse 13, “Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing.” He’s saying, “Take care of these servants of the Lord. Make sure that their needs are met.” Verse 14, “And let our people [that’s a relational term, “our people”] learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”

And then the last verse, “All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all” (v. 15). There are a lot of plurals in that verse.

So Paul is not alone. He says, “All who are with me.” And Titus, over in Crete, is not alone, “Send greeting to ‘those who love us in the faith.’” Both of these men are doing life with other believers. They’re living out the beauty of the gospel together.

They’re always connecting with other believers and connecting those believers with each other. God’s grace in your life, spiritual growth in your life, fruitful ministry through your life, will be best experienced in the context of community.

You see, our union with Christ makes us a member of the family of God. That means that we are related by blood. We’re organically, inseparably connected to each other. We need each other. And the good news is, we have each other!

God has given us women—and friends—within the body of Christ to help us grow and serve. There really shouldn’t be any such thing as a “lone ranger” Christian, and there shouldn’t be any such thing as a lonely Christian.

There shouldn’t be anyone among us or in our churches who is suffering through affliction, or walking through unfamiliar or trying circumstances, struggling to make it on their own. There’s not one woman here—starting with this woman—who can make it on her own. We all need other women in our lives.

Now, those relationships are not always easy; they’re not always neat; sometimes they can get messy. But I’m going to tell you, done God’s way—under His leading and by His grace—they can be incredibly life-giving! They are God’s way of making the gospel believable, through us, to the watching world.

Listen to the entire episode, "A Woman Adorned and Adorning." This is from the series, "Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together."

Dannah: Okay, did you catch that? Our relationships with other women are God’s way of making the gospel believable to a watching world. That’s why talking about friendship and mentorship is so important. Not so we get things in the friendship department right, but so that we realize the importance of God using these relationships for the good of His kingdom.

In Nancy’s book Adorned she talks a lot about being a mentor. Older women investing themselves in the lives of younger women.

But what does it look like to be a mentor? You may be asking how and when you can become one.

Susan Hunt had many questions when she began mentoring. She didn’t have a formula or curriculum. She’d just been asked to lead a women's Bible study at her church. Younger women came, and so did women twenty to thirty years older than her. She says she was a little intimidated then the older women showed up. But she found her rhythm in teaching and mentoring women and saw that by studying and discussing God’s Word, relationships started to develop that she hadn’t anticipated. Here’s Susan, a beloved grandmother figure in the Revive Our Hearts True Woman movement, talking with Nancy.

Susan Hunt: As I began to try to do things to help them connect and communicate with one another, it really came to a head when (whatever we were studying and I don't even remember what book it was at that time, what book of the Bible) we came to a passage on marriage. And I thought, How can I do this because most of these older women were widows? I just didn't know how to go about doing that.

And then I thought, Well, I'll just teach what's there. But I told the women how uneasy I was. I asked the older widows, "Will you help us? Will you show us what it means to be godly wives? Will you share your memories with us?"

And I knew we had struck gold when afterwards one of the younger women said, "How can I go home and complain about dirty socks on the floor after I've listened to these women share their precious memories of their husbands and their marriages?"

Nancy: Who at that point would have given anything to have their husbands back—with the dirty socks on the floor.

Susan: Yes. That's right. Everything came into perspective for all of us. Then I began to see what it would mean if younger women could hear the perspective on life of older women who had walked with the Lord, who were walking with the Lord, whose consuming desire was to honor and glorify Him. And it was just beautiful, just beautiful.

Nancy: Did any of those women take a role in your life in spiritual mothering? Have you experienced that personally?

Susan: Every one of them. As they opened up and learned that this was what God was calling them to do. Remember, Nancy, this was brand new for all of us. It had not been talked about at that point, in our history as a church anyway.

As they understood the biblical principle, and as we looked back in Scripture and began to attach it to the covenantal principle throughout the Old Testament of one generation telling the next generation the praise worthy deeds of the Lord, it's like it loosened the lips of these older women, and it loosened the ears of the younger women. We were listening to and hearing each other and the way it was transforming our lives and our relationships. But every one of those women had a pivotal role in my life at that point—the younger and the older.

As I watched the eagerness of the younger women to learn from the older women, and as I watched the eagerness of the older women to pour into us, it just became such a wonderful thing to experience.

So all of them. I still visit with many of them who are still alive in their assisted-living homes, or wherever they are. And they're just great, dear friends, and they continue to point me to Jesus.

Nancy: Can you think of specific areas where—take yourself back to that fifty-ish women—that season of life that you saw something in them that you wanted to emulate or that modeled Christ to you? Are there any specific areas where they spoke into your life by their lives?

Susan: Oh, yes. One thing that fascinated me about them was that they were in charge, every Sunday. Everything that was going on in our local church, they were there. And I knew that they prayed faithfully for everything about our church life.

But not only did they show up always, but they looked so beautiful. They dressed beautifully. Their nails were done. They just looked beautiful. In every area, they radiated something to us—gospel beauty. It was that adornment of the gospel. I was fascinated by that, that these women had not let themselves go. They were showing Christ to whoever was around.

And that has served me so well because now, there are lots of times that I think, Oh, maybe I'll just sleep in. There is no energy today. But I think back to those women, and they showed up, and in so doing, they taught me to love my church. They taught me to love the Savior of the church and to be there as a support for the pastor, for the other people in the church.

So that was one thing they taught me. But another thing they taught me is when I would be with them, particularly with the widows, they always had such encouraging things to say to me about my husband. They would tell me ways that he had ministered to them. They would tell me about his visits to them. And instead of me becoming negative about my husband and seeing negative things about him, these women were always pumping me full of the good things about him.

Nancy: Giving you perspective again.

Susan: Yes. So I learned to see those things. They would tell me what they had gained from his sermons, what they had learned from his lessons, his Bible studies. And that was, again, a strong lesson for me.

So I now try to do that. I try to tell young women the positive things I see in their husbands, the way I saw their husbands minister to a child at church, or whatever it is. But just to turn around and tell them positive things about their husbands.

Nancy: Which is really teaching one of the pieces of the curriculum here in Titus 2: "Teach the younger women to love their husbands."

Now, you would think you wouldn't have to teach that, but there are times when you see things in each other that aren't loveable, and that's when we need that gracious encouragement and reminder to see that mate through the eyes of love, through the love of God. And that's what those women modeled to you and what you're now encouraging younger women. You've encouraged me as a married woman now to love my husband.

This isn't get up in front of a room necessarily with a PowerPoint presentation, with a notebook and fill-in-the-blanks lecture. You are a marvelous teacher, a gifted teacher of God's Word, but so much of what you're talking about in spiritual mothering is not formal. It's not structured. It's life to life, as you just described

Susan: It is so relational. It's showing Jesus, showing the life of Jesus to others and helping them to see life from the perspective of God's sovereign love and our purpose to glorify Him. As they begin to see that as young mothers, seeing them caring for their children is not putting their life on hold. Changing the diapers, whatever it is, that is their mission. That is their calling. And that is the place where they are to glorify God.

But those older women also helped me to see the potential in my children and not just the negatives and to have hope for my children as they were, by that time, young adults. Those women just continually gave me hope for my children.

Listen to the entire episode, "Investing in the Next Generation." This is from the series, "Spiritual Mothering, with Susan Hunt."

Dannah: Mentoring is caught more than it’s taught. That’s what Susan Hunt says. Mentoring is befriending someone in a younger stage of life. Sometimes it’s with the intention of having a Bible Study and other times it’s sharing our lives and struggles and joys.

Susan Hunt not only mentors, but she’s been teaching the older women how to teach the younger women. She’s written several books on how to do this. We have her latest book, Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women in our store at ReviveOurHearts.com. There you can also find her entire conversation with Nancy about how women need each other.

You’re listening to Revive Our Hearts Weekend, and I’m Dannah Gresh.

Life is hard. I can’t find anywhere in the Bible that God promised it’d be easy—quite the opposite, in fact. We need each other on our journeys. Remember what Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth talked about at the beginning of our time together? She said “God has given us women—and friends—within the body of Christ to help us grow and serve. There’s not one woman here—starting with this woman (referring to herself)—who can make it on her own. We all need other women in our lives.”

Let’s listen to the story of how some beautiful relationships formed through mentoring in three women’s lives. We’ll hear from Susan Seeger, Judy Barnette, and Mary Arnold. 

Susan Seeger: I became a Christian at sixteen, and I’m in my sixties now but had never been mentored myself. My name is Susan Segar, and I’m from Evansville, Indiana.

Especially after I became a Christian and into my, probably early thirties, I felt very alone—just no one to really talk to about questions that I had. I especially wish I’d had a mentor after I first got married.

I have a wonderful husband, love married life, but I just feel like having an older woman would have helped me go through different seasons in life, and I could have had someone speaking into my life things that I needed to work on or changes that needed to be made. I just really had that longing to find a woman who could speak into my life and answer questions that I had and just walk beside me.

Susan: Our church had just started focusing on discipleship, and so I knew that I was going to be interested in reading this. I actually got the book right after it came out.

I began praying and asking the Lord, “Who might fulfill that role in my life?”

Judy Barnette: I’ve known Susan from a distance. I saw her at baby showers and different things, so I’ve known her from a distance. Then when her husband came on the elder board with my husband, I met her more officially then. She called and asked us to pray with her and her husband about another matter. We invited them in our home, had dinner, and I just fell in love with her.

When you get my age, you realize you’ve lived the three-score and ten years. My husband and I both turned seventy this year. We call it the last chapter in our lives. We want it to be very relational and very intentional.

I guess I felt so alone as an elder’s wife, and I just thought, I really want to help Susan through this time in her life. I started praying about it. I didn’t ask her, I just started praying about it.

Susan: One day we got together, and I just asked her if she would consider discipling me, and she teared up, and she said, “I don’t need to pray about this because I’ve already been praying that the Lord would bring someone into my life that I could mentor, and you were the one.”

So we began, about a year and a half ago, our mentoring/discipleship time together, and it’s been precious.

Judy: One thing I did not want to do was be put on a shelf or relax and rest. So I’ve just been really trying to walk it and live it.

Susan: It just made me happy because I knew that I had been praying and knowing that she had been praying, I knew it was a God thing, that this is who was really supposed to be speaking into my life. It’s been wonderful.

I usually go over to her house. We always start our time just praying. We are doing Nancy’s book, Choosing Gratitude. We will read a chapter, and then we will discuss it.

Judy: The reason Susan and I chose that book is that, as we started meeting together, we realized that that’s one of the things that God really wants us to be—thankful. We both struggle with that and having joy and being thankful, so that’s why we chose that book.

Susan: But Judy’s always there, like when there’s issues that I’m trying to deal with in my own personal life. I feel the freedom just to talk with her about it and receive insight from her as an older woman as to what are better ways to deal with life situations.

Judy: And, honestly, she’s mentoring me as much as I’m mentoring her. Sometimes I wonder, Who’s the mentor here? (laughing)

Susan: I guess it was about seven or eight months ago that I was praying that God would bring someone into my life that I could now mentor.

Mary Arnold: Susan is someone who is so dear and so loving. My name is Mary Arnold, and we met for coffee at a local coffee shop. Instantly, we clicked. I knew from there on out that I wanted to be around her more.

Susan: I met Mary through our youngest son. She was in college at the time, and he just really felt like Mary and I were so similar that we would enjoy one another. So we grabbed coffee when she was in town one time and just really felt a connection. We would stay in contact through phone, actually doing lessons, discussing Bible things over the phone.

Mary: It grounded me in my faith because I had gone through a college program that was a liberal arts college program. I was learning so many different viewpoints of the world and worldviews. There were just so many things that were against what I had grown up believing. I needed a foundation that I knew this is the plumb line. This is what I can look to and not stray away from.

Having Susan ask those questions back to me and just seeing how I was doing, checking in, it grounded me in my faith, and I knew what I believed in and was able to stand firm in it.

Susan: Then Mary actually moved to Evansville, and we continued our conversations. As I thought about it and prayed about it, Mary just kept coming to my mind. So one day at lunch, I just asked her if I could be her spiritual mama . . . and we’ve been connecting ever since.

Listen to the entire episode, "Titus 2 in Action: Susan, Judy & Mary's Story."

Dannah: Isn’t that beautiful? I love the kindness of God in giving us one another to walk through life—an older sister to ask questions of and a younger sister to encourage.

Now, let me give you a little tip. I’ve never experienced a strong mentorship that began with formality. Like when you sign up for a mentor at church or you approach someone and say, “ Will you be my mentor!” I do think sometimes God uses that, but in my life it’s been more organic than that! Did you hear how Susan felt that “connection” to Mary? And then, the relationship became . . . well a mentorship.

Right now, I’m thinking of Aubrey! She’s my coworker at the ministry I lead True Girl. We partner with Revive Our Hearts to bring biblical truth to tween girls and their moms. Aubrey is our brand manager. And when she showed up, well something special just happened. And for three years now, we’ve been meeting at Cafe Lemont for tea . . . and to just  hash out life. It’s been my great joy to watch her identify lies she believes and to replace them with God’s Truth and to grow strong enough that, well, today I see her mentoring another one of our teammates, Noli. Now, here’s the thing. I am Aubrey’s mentor, but she’s never asked me to be that, and I’ve never called myself that, until today! I’ve just been enjoying the special connection God’s Spirit has created between us and being faithful to have God-honoring, biblically based conversations with her! It’s that simple! Really. That simple.

Is there a younger woman in your life? Someone you might meet for tea or coffee and begin that friendship we’ve been talking about today? Maybe text her right now and just see what God does.

If you’ve been listening to the daily episodes of Revive Our Hearts, you’ve noticed that we are talking about kindness a lot. You know, kindness goes a long way in our relationships, especially friendships, and it helps put the gospel on display to a watching world. 

To help you cultivate kindness in your life, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has written the booklet A Deeper Kind of Kindness. We'd love to send you that resource when you give a gift of any amount to support this ministry. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call us at 1–800–569–5959, and make sure to ask for the booklet. 

We’ve been spending time this summer discovering the riches of friendship, and next week Nancy shares how encouragement to our souls is like oxygen is to our brains. She’s going to unpack the one another’s for us—you know encourage one another, comfort one another, exhort one another. That’s on the next Revive Our Hearts Weekend.

Thanks for listening today. It’s an honor to be on this journey with you.

Thanks to our awesome team who worked hard all week and want to relax on the weekend. Phil Krause is floating down the river right about now. Dylan Weibel is getting his well-deserved nap. Rebekah Krause is enjoying her family (but is probably wondering where her dad is). Justin Converse is sitting by the pool. Michelle Hill is reading a book by the lake. And for Revive Our Hearts Weekend, I’m Dannah Gresh, the only one left in the studio right now. Hey guys, guys . . . 

Revive Our Hearts Weekend is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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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.

About the Host

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

About the Guest

Susan Hunt

Susan Hunt

Susan Hunt is the widow of Gene Hunt, the mother of three and grandmother of thirteen, and former Coordinator of Women’s Ministry for the Presbyterian Church in America. She has written several books for women, including Life-Giving Leadership co-authored with Karen Hodge, and Aging with Grace: Flourishing in an Anti-Aging Culture, co-authored with Sharon Betters. She loves time with her family, sitting on her porch with younger women, and tending the flowers her grandsons help her plant in her yard.