Women of the Bible Podcast

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Deborah - Week 5: A True Women's Movement

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Laura Booz: Okay, troops! Here’s how we’re going to win this war! We’re going to get out on that battlefield, and we are going to wave the white flag of surrender! (background military music grinds down to a weak stop)

Could I let you in on some important battle strategy? The good fight of faith is not fought with sheer willpower or personal drive. It’s actually fought by waving the white flag of surrender to God. Deborah waved the white flag of surrender. She chose not to fight against her God-given design as a woman, but she went into battle as an affirmer, a receiver, a life giver.

Eve disobeyed God’s command, and ever since, a battle has raged in all of our hearts—a battle for authority, a battle for truth, a battle for trust. But God is calling us into a movement of women who surrender to His will.

It’s a movement of women who trust Him, who walk in the truth of His Word. Deborah surrendered to God, and she left a legacy that still inspires us today. As we study Deborah’s life today, let’s consider the mark we may leave on future generations as we surrender to God’s good will for our lives. C’mon, let’s join Erin now.

Erin Davis: Okay, I have a question, and I really want to know your answer. Specifically, how do you encourage your husband?

Laura Gonzalez: I usually just try to not be critical and look at the things that he does well and how the Lord is using him . . . and tell him! Just the other day he received a note from someone that he’s helping, he’s encouraging. And he said, “I can’t believe that he wrote that!” And it’s a person that you wouldn’t have expected that he would write that.

And I said, “You’re the servant of the Most High, and he’s acknowledging the things you’re doing, and the Lord is using you.” So, just try to look at those things and not try to look at the things that he does not do well, in my opinion, that he could be doing better. So, it’s a battle, but you have to be conscious about it.

Laura B: Yes, that’s true. I think my husband really feels encouraged when I’m just with him. Like, he loves to hang out and have fun and go out and do something or even just sit together on the couch and watch his favorite show. I think companionship goes a long way.

Erin: I think my husband is very encouraged when I take his advice. It’s happened many times that he’s advised me to do something—and I didn’t pay attention to it—then someone else gave me the same advice, and suddenly it was very interesting to me. That’s not encouraging! He is wise; he does give good advice. So to take his advice, I think, is encouraging. 

Laura G: And you know what, Erin? Ask his advice, not only take it. Sometimes I run to do something that I feel is right, and I forget to go to him and say, “What do you think about this?” Even with the ministry [Aviva Nuestros Corazones], he likes it when I come to him: “What do you think about this?” And sometimes, I forget to do that.

Laura B: I’m glad you said that, because I find the same thing. It’s always helpful, whatever he has to say. Because I make this assumption like, “I know what he’s going to say.” But he always has some new insight.

Erin: Ask his advice. That’s my nugget; I’m going to take that home today. Well, I’m back with Laura and Laura, and we are looking at the life of Deborah. It’s recorded in Judges chapters 4–5. We’ve talked about lots of things we admire about Deborah like: She’s a woman of valor, and she’s a woman of influence, and she’s a woman who knows and lives God’s Word.

But I think we might have missed something obvious: Deborah was a woman! She was the only woman judge. There are twelve judges in the book of Judges, and Deborah is the only woman listed. We’re going to look at that and see what that has to tell us about our own womanhood. 

So let’s go back to the story; it’s found in Judges chapter 4, and we’re going to have a little geography lesson. Laura B, how good are you at geography?

Laura B: Terrible! 

Erin: Terrible! Okay, great, well there’s going to be a quiz, so pay close attention! I’m going to read us Judges 4:1–5. We’ve read these verses before, but we’ve read them looking for names, we’ve read them looking for how long Israel endured oppression. This time we’re looking for places. Maybe make a mental list as we go.

And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim.

Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. 

Alright, here’s the quiz, three questions only: 1) Where did Jabin live?

Laura B: Canaan.

Erin: Yes, he was from Canaan in Hazor, Scripture says. Okay, 2) where did Sisera live?

Laura G: Harosheth-hagoyim. 

Erin: Ooh, that’s a tough one to say! That’s right. And 3) Where did Deborah live?

Laura G: In Ramah in Bethel. 

Erin: Okay, none of those names mean much to me. But here’s what we need to know: Deborah lived about five miles north of Jerusalem. Jerusalem should ring some bells for us, because it was the hub of activity for God’s people--and she lived pretty far to the south of some of these Canaanite strongholds, that’s what we’re mentioning here, where these Canaanite rulers lived.

Laura B: So she wasn’t in the midst of it.

Erin: She wasn’t in the midst of it, it wasn’t in her backyard. The fight had not yet come to her, and yet we’re going to see her get involved. I think that can speak to some of the things we’re going to talk about. 

I’m going to read a quote, I think it’s also a helpful lens as we jump in here. It’s from a pastor, and it’s talking about masculinity and femininity. And yes . . . we’re going to go there. I know it’s a lightning rod. I know these are tender topics to talk about, but they’re important topics to talk about.

The quote goes like this:

The heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm [that’s what you were talking about, Laura], receive and nurture, strengthen leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationship.

So different right there—that’s counter-cultural and complementary, that we affirm something in men. I want to go back to the text. Laura, can I assign you kind of a big chunk? I’d love for you to read Judges 4:4–14, ten verses.

Laura B: Sure, okay. 

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.

She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, "Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, 'Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin's army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” 

Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go." And she said, "I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.

And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him. Now Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, Sisera called out all his chariots, 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon.

And Deborah said to Barak, "Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?" So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him.

Erin: There are a lot of things we could talk about in this passage, and we’ve talked about many of them. Primarily we need to look at Scripture to see the character of God, we need to look for the impression of the gospel, but there are other threads we could pull on here that have application to our lives.

I want to talk about how Deborah related to Barak. How did she respond to male leadership? Now, this is a woman and a man in ancient Israel, but the application for us is as people in the church, aIs God’s people, how do we relate to each other in the church, how do we relate to each other in our homes?

So, as you hear those verses again, how did Deborah affirm male leadership? What do you see, Laura?

Laura G: I think she encouraged him to step up and do God’s work! You know, the Lord was calling Barak. He was being disobedient—or just waiting and delaying—and she just encouraged him: “C’mon! Step up!”

Erin: What do you see as you’re looking at that again?

Laura B: I see that she’s honest and specific. She’s very clear in her encouragement, so that doesn’t leave things nebulous. I feel like sometimes women can kind of try to manipulate and guilt a man into doing something. She’s very direct and clear to set him up for the next right step. I like that!

Laura G: And she did it in a positive way. She didn’t say, “You are being a coward!” or “You are being disobedient!” She just said, “Has not the Lord told you before that you need to do this?”

Erin: Yes, she doesn’t diminish him at all. She doesn’t call him names; she doesn’t make him feel small. She’s short, that’s what I see. I can use many, many words when a few would work! She is short, to the point, without shaming him at all.

Laura B: And we know from his response that her tone of voice was amenable, because he was like, “Well, I want you to go with me!” If she was crabby and cutting him down, he would not have asked her.

Erin: He would have been like, “Woman, you stay back here! I’ll go to the fight.” 

Laura B: Yes, instead he’s like, “Okay, I see a companion and a helper in you, so will you go with me?”

Erin: Again, this is a specific man, it’s a specific woman.

Laura B: Not her husband.

Erin: Not her husband, right? So how do we make the leap to us, to our relationships with men? What are the principles that we can take here that are applicable and biblical? And what is unique to this story? I think to understand that, we need to head from the palm of Deborah to another tree.

Let’s go to Genesis 3. The reason I want to take us to Genesis 3 is because this is the first time we see the “4-D” cycle that we’ve been talking about—disobedience, discipline, desperation, deliverance. 

Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command that they not eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. And because of that disobedience, they experienced discipline, and I want to focus on that discipline. Let’s read the curse. We’re going to skip where the Lord cursed the serpent, not because it’s not inspired or important, but it doesn’t pertain to our conversation in this episode. But I do want to talk about the Lord’s curse on Adam and Eve. Laura, can you read us Genesis 3:16–19?

Laura G:

To the woman he said, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be [for] your husband, [and] he shall rule over you.”

And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life."

Erin: We know this story if we’ve read the Bible very long at all. We learned it in Sunday school, right? There was some sinful passivity in Adam. God gave him the command to not eat from the fruit, and he abdicated that leadership. The results were disastrous! We see sinful desire to control in Eve.

She’s going to take over; she’s going to disobey God. She did, and it’s disastrous. Let me read us verse 16: “To the woman he said, ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.’” Now, we could swap birth stories endlessly! But I want to hone in on the second part: “Your desire shall be [for] your husband, [and] he shall rule over you.’”

Ooh! How have you seen this in your own life?

Laura B: That’s interesting that your version says that, because mine says, “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (ESV) So I can see how they kind of dovetail.

Erin: Sure. Laura, you’ve been married the longest. 

Laura G: Yes, thirty-four years.

Erin: How have you seen this curse?

Laura G: Many times I think I have a better idea—and sometimes I might have a better idea. But I cannot impose it on him or manipulate him into it. I just have to wait and pray that the Lord will show that to him as well. That happens, and he’ll get around it, and we’ll end up better as we listen to each other. Because he knows I’m listening to the Lord as well.

Erin: Does this ever happen? You share your idea in a way that’s respectful, and Fausto chooses his own idea. Then, how do we respond?

Laura G: Yes, and then we just have to believe God, because in the end I’m not submitting to Fausto, I’m submitting to God. I know that he is in the Word, he’s praying, so he’s also listening to God. I just submit to God and wait . . . and pray.

Laura B: Well, for me, it has always flared its ugly head in the form of self-righteousness. I feel like my walk with the Lord is more noble, and my desires for spiritual things and whatever are better. But the Lord really opened my eyes to recognize Ryan’s walk with Him and Ryan’s faithfulness and what it looks like and to respect that and not to always be putting it down. Instead, to get behind him and cheer him on.

Erin: Yes, don’t compare it to yours. Well, I think some of us do this: We live out this curse in quiet., manipulative ways, and some of us do it in loud, obnoxious ways, and some of us are like me and do it in all the ways. But men and women, we both need the Spirit’s help to resist the temptations to control each other or to respond to each other in ways that are sinful.

But this is the Women of the Bible podcast, and we’re women. So we’re going to focus there and see, what can we learn about Deborah about some of these tendencies to relate to men that are outside of God’s design?

Let’s head from Genesis back to Judges (it should be easy to find Judges by now!) and kind of pick it apart again, even closer under the magnifying glass, how Deborah responded to Barak. I’m going to read us Judges 4:6 again.

[Deborah] sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, "Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, 'Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the [respect] of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun.'"

We’ve said it before; I think it’s worth repeating: She didn’t tell Barak what to do. She communicated the Lord’s words. I’ll be interested in your input, because you all have been parents longer than I have.

I’m in an interesting tension with my own children. My oldest just turned thirteen, and he’s turning from boy to man. I have a sense of change in our relationship, in where I’m just telling him what to do in the ways I might have when he was a toddler and they don’t work anymore. There’s a growing desire in him for me to respect him.

Now, he’s not a man, he’s thirteen. He’s not ready to run our household or anything like that. But I’m talking to my husband often like, “How do I now parent this young man out of respect, instead of just mandating, ‘Bud, you need to do this; you’re going to do this, do this, do that.” I’m learning. It’s new for me.

But I wonder about your input about communicating out of a place of respect with the men in your world—it could be our husbands, our pastors, our sons, our grandsons, our neighbors. But how do we communicate from a place of respect?

Laura G: I guess the words we use, the tone we use, not putting people down, or men around us down--even women--not putting others down. But you know, communicating respect and not coming across too self-righteous, like you were saying.

Erin: I think Deborah communicated in ways that were respectful, she didn’t demand, she didn’t tell Barak what to do. She was also a responder. She responds first to God, and then she also responds to Barak.

Let me take us back to Judges 4; I’m going to read Judges 4:9: “And she said, ‘I will surely go with you.’” She responds to what he asks her to do. What does it mean to be responders? All of this feels very foreign to us, to be responders to men, maybe versus initiators.

Laura B: Well, I just recently worked through the True Woman course, which is amazing to me! And when it comes to being a responder, what I learned is that doesn’t just mean saying, “Yes, I will go with you,” in every case. It means being wise and discerning about your response, and having the appropriate response. But yes, responding to that leadership when it’s appropriate.

Laura G: And letting him take the initiative, because you’re going to respond. You don’t take the initiative if you want him to take the leadership.

Erin: And Deborah models this first in her relationship with the Lord. We’ve already said that we see in her a woman who heard and understood the Word of the Lord. She responded to the Word of the Lord in the ways that He called her to be a prophetess and a judge. And that has to be true for me.

If I get those reversed and I try to learn how to relate to God in the ways I relate to the human men in my life, the whole thing goes haywire! But if I try to learn to relate to the human men in my life as an outflow of the way that I relate to God—there’s still some haywire-ness (I invented a word there) because I’m still human and they’re still human—but things are rightly ordered.

Laura B: Yes! As you’re talking, I am picturing so many things! In my early years of marriage, I would often give my husband a script. You know, I’d say, like, “You need to say this XYZ back to me.” That’s not being a responder and allowing, giving him, the dignity of having his own thoughts and letting him hear from the Lord and search out the Scriptures, and then to lead me well.

Laura G: Right.

Laura B: So, that was really helpful.

Erin: Good. Well, we see Deborah is a respecter of persons, of men. We see that she’s a responder, but we also see that she’s a helper. If we keep looking, again at verse 14: “And Deborah said to Barak, ‘Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?’” 

What this reminds me of is a different battle, which is where Moses is overseeing a battle of the Israelites, and he has helpers who physically hold up his arms. (see Exo. 17:9–13) 

Laura B: Because as long as he is holding his arms up, they’re winning, right?

Erin: Right! This reminds me of that. Barak’s not waiting for Deborah to give him the word. It’s not like, “When Deborah says ‘fight!’ I’m going to fight!” But she’s holding up those arms in a way that is a helper.

We’re just laying it all out here; we’re saying we don’t do this perfectly, nor do we fully know how to do it perfectly. One way that I struggle is that I sometimes manipulate others under the guise of helping them. “Let me just help you. Let me just help you do that better; let me just help you do that differently . . . let me just help you.”

Laura B: “. . .nso that it goes my way.” 

Erin: You know, it’s not only women who are helpers. My husband helps me in a million ways; my sons help me in a million ways; the men in my church help me in a million ways; my pastor helps me in a million ways. We help each other. But, what does it mean to help others in uniquely feminine ways that are not manipulative?

Laura G: I guess, like we said before, to come alongside and be there to encourage and affirm and, like she said to him, “Up! Go! Get up and go!” It’s not diminish them and not filling them with doubt about themselves, that they’re not doing things right, but affirming their strength.

Erin: I think for me it means helping men in the things that are of interest to them, that they are gifted in, that are very rarely in the things that are of interest to me. Like, getting on board with the things that they’re involved in, the ministries where they’re serving, the ways the Lord is using them, rather than, “I’m doing this thing over here. Can you come help me?” It’s going to where they are.

Laura B: That reminds me of our women’s ministry team. We have our core values; we use the acronym of SEEDS for each of our core values for our women’s ministry. And our very first one, “S,” is for “strengthen,” because we really want to strengthen the male leadership in our church.

We want to strengthen our church as a whole. I think women’s ministry teams can kind of be their own little church—like a church within a church—and do their own little thing. But it keeps us accountable to, Are we strengthening these men because God Himself has established them as male leadership in our church? Have we strengthened them? Is it about their vision, not just our own.

Erin: I think that’s a beautiful way to think of being a helper, as a strengthener . . . not a manipulator.

Laura G: Like the psalm says, “as pillars in the palace,” (Ps. 144:12) they can have great burdens on top of them; they can carry great weight. They are strong. We as women, we are the weak vessel, but we can also be strong women who can help our husbands and instill courage in them.

Erin: So she’s a helper, but she’s also a truth-speaker. We see that in this verse. She says, “Up!” So sometimes this discussion about, “What does it mean to be a woman and relate to men? How do we relate to each other?” . . . we can wrongfully assume that, “Well, it means to be silent.” We don’t see it in Deborah’s story.

She was one woman, and God used her so mightily, and God can use each of us in unique ways--not in the same way He used Deborah. But it is counter-cultural to just start here. It’s counter-cultural to just start with, “I care about manhood and womanhood.” It’s counter-cultural to just start with, “I want to know about what the Bible says about manhood and womanhood.”

It’s counter-cultural to say, “I’m going to seek to live out these principles, knowing that I won’t do it perfectly.” And we don’t be counter-cultural just to be counter-cultural. We’re counter-cultural to be salt and light.

Laura B: We’re biblical.

Erin: We’re biblical, right.

Laura B: This is good news! This is good for us, to live this out! 

Erin: It is good news! And it needs to point to something bigger than manhood and womanhood; it needs to point to the beauty of the gospel! That’s why these things ultimately matter, not to shape us as who we are.

Laura, I would love to hear what God is doing in Latin America. He’s using this conversation that we’re having here to open women’s hearts to the gospel. Tell us about it.

Laura G: Yes, well it all started when we went to True Woman ‘08. We were believers; we were in the Bible, but we had not come to understand how the gospel intersects with who we are—men or women—we were just believers. And there is a role to play.

So we got back home, and we just saw that so clearly. And then when we started doing these messages in Spanish, women started embracing their God-given roles—in their homes, as mothers, as wives, in the workplace. 

They just understood that as women they were beautiful, they were valued, they were strong, they had a role to play, and they just embraced that. And then you see the effects of that in their families, in their marriages, in their children, and it’s been beautiful to see! So the gospel is not unattached to our lives, you know, in our gender. It’s all part of it. 

Laura B: I love Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s book Adorned, and that word comes to mind as you’re talking. I can just picture the women in Latin America adorning the gospel by living according to God’s plan for women. 

It’s just so beautiful to see—just like the flowers on the hillside or the ocean waves obeying His command. Women who are living in that model are just stunning and bring Him all the glory!

Erin: You know, there are some who hold Deborah up as an example of women leading over men, or women triumphing over men, of leading in ways that are tough or angry or take-charge. There are some who would say, “Look at Deborah! You guys don’t actually even believe this, because look at Deborah!”

What would you say to those people who would use Deborah as an archetype for womanhood that doesn’t necessarily adorn the gospel?

Laura G: I don’t know if we can say this how we’re wording it, but Deborah was an exception. I mean, men were usually the judges, and she was just one woman that God used in a specific time of the history of Israel that was not the best time. And she did it, still, in a feminine way.

She did not take over. Women did not usually go to battle then, so she did not go herself to the battle to fight the Canaanites. She called the men who were the leaders. Usually the judges were the ones who went to the battle, and she did not go. She called the man that she thought that the Lord had spoken to, so he could step up and do what the Lord had called him to do.

Erin: I look at it and go, the fact that Deborah stepped up to lead was not a sign of cultural health. Things were not going well. Everybody did what was right in their own eyes! Chaos reigned.

Laura G: It was a shameful time for them at that time.

Erin: So it’s not an example of, “Oh, here’s a woman-led society that’s thriving.” That’s not what’s happening.

Laura G: And yet, she had her role as a helper. She helped Barak.

Erin: I hope women will fight for true womanhood. I don’t want us to fight for it on social media. I don’t know that that’s fruitful. I don’t want us to debate it, but in our own lives that’s the battleground, right? That we would seek to live out these qualities we see so clearly in Deborah. 

She was a Word-filled woman. She was a responder to God and then to others. She was a nurturer; she was a mother in Israel. She was a helper. You know, there is maybe a temptation to think the fire around these topics is just too hot. I mean, it is a bonfire, and “I don’t want to be near it,” or “I’m going to focus on other parts of walking with the Lord,” or “I have a lot of questions about this manhood/womanhood stuff, and I’m going to relegate it to the back closet of my mind and my heart,” or “I’m not going to be interested in God’s design for the church, for the home. I’ll let other people consider that.” 

What’s at stake when we don’t fight for the ways that these topics in particular—manhood/womanhood—are designed to adorn the gospel? What’s at stake?

Laura B: Well, first of all, when I look at chapter 5 here of the song of Deborah and Barak, I see that it matters that we fight for righteousness, and that we are mindful of the Lord’s cause, and we’re ready, we’re available.

So, he asks the different people groups: “Where were you? Why were you with the flocks? Why were you just wondering whether or not you should engage?” And in verse 23 especially, that pops out to me. It says, “Curse Meroz . . . because they did not come to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.”

Now, that’s kind of interesting because we were like, “Well, the Lord won this battle; He doesn’t need our help!” And yet, how amazing that He does call us into this with Him! Like, “Be on my side! Come on, this is good over evil, and good will triumph over evil.”

“You matter!” Like I see Him looking over all the earth and looking at me, saying, “You! Go, get up! Let’s engage in this battle!”

Laura G: I think we leave the battlefield when we leave our area of influence, which as women is our home. And I think when we leave that battlefield, we are leaving it for the enemy. And I think that women have a strategic role to play in the family.

And when they are seduced by the ideas that, like you were saying, “Oh, be empowered!” or “Take the role; you’re so gifted! Go out there and fight this other battle!” But there is this battle that is very important in God’s kingdom, which is the family, and that we are losing to the culture.

And so, as women, we are not being salty enough--living our womanhood and teaching our kids who God is and who they are as boys, as girls. I think we’re just leaving the door open for the enemy and the lies.

Laura B: It takes so much time and attention and intention, as a woman, to disciple your children, day upon day. I think sometimes I believe the myth that I can just kind of do it in the margin . . . and I can’t.

It is a daily walking alongside and having all of our hearts transformed by the gospel to walk with the Holy Spirit. Yeah, so it is daily, and it takes time and work!

Laura G: That’s a battle. And then there’s a battle in churches where older women need to come alongside younger women and remind them like Deborah reminded Barak: “You know, hasn’t the Lord told you? The Lord is with you; He’s alongside of you; He’s helping you; He’s strengthening you. It’s a long battle, it’s a stretch, but He’s there, and you’re doing great, and He’s with you! He’s our Captain!” 

So I think the battle is not out there in the culture, the battle is in our hearts, it is in our homes, and we are just being seduced to fight other battles that are not. 

Erin: Mmm, so good.

Laura B: This is kind of off-topic of what you asked, but what comes to mind is if we’re not prepared to engage in the battle. It sometimes takes time . . . like, perhaps a woman is listening to this and she thinks, Yes, I want to engage! I don’t want to run away from it! It’s okay to prepare to engage.

Erin: In fact, it’s wise. All warriors do.

Laura B: Yes, exactly! Do some learning and some digging and research and conversation, to know how to enter it with compassion and truth. 

Erin: Well, as we wrap up this episode, I wanted to pull from something we call The True Woman Manifesto. It’s not the inspired Word of God—it pulls from biblical principles. But it is a document we have here at Revive Our Hearts that just affirms that we believe, and we desire to live, what God says in His Word about what it means to be women, women of God, women of valor—as we’ve been calling Deborah.

We won’t read the whole thing, but I wanted to read some “We Believe” statements, and they just put a steel rod in my back a bit to continue to stand for righteousness, as you have called it. So, we’ll read a couple of them. Then, Laura, if you would just end us in prayer.

WE BELIEVE that God is the sovereign Lord of [all] the universe and the Creator of life, and that all created things exist for His pleasure and to bring Him glory.

WE BELIEVE that the creation of humanity as male and female was a purposeful and magnificent part of God’s wise plan, and that men and women were designed to reflect the image of God in complementary and distinct ways.”

Laura G:

WE BELIEVE that sin has separated every human being from God and made us incapable of reflecting His image as we were created to do. Our only hope for restoration and salvation is found in repenting of our sin and trusting in Christ who lived a sinless life, died in our place, and was raised from the dead.

Laura B:

WE REALIZE that we live in a culture that does not recognize God’s right to rule, does not accept Scripture as the pattern for life, and is experiencing the consequences of abandoning God’s design for men and women.

Laura G:

WE BELIEVE that Christ is redeeming this sinful world and making all things new, and that His followers are called to share in His redemptive purposes as they seek, by God’s empowerment, to transform every aspect of human life that has been marred and ruined by sin.
[from the True Woman Manifesto, authored by Revive Our Hearts and signed by many women]

Laura B: Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, we desire to honor You by living counter-cultural lives that reflect Your beauty and Your gospel to our world. 

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One thing I’m certain of is that God’s Word is good news for women! Deborah challenges all of us to evaluate our relationships, our words, priorities, behaviors in light of God’s Word . . . especially when it comes to womanhood.

I hope you’ll take some time to ponder what we’ve been talking about and ask God how He wants you to respond. Maybe some of this seems a bit foreign to you. You can explore the topic of biblical womanhood by checking out the Revive Our Hearts podcast.

One series that I want to recommend to you is, When Men Don’t Lead: A Look at the Life of Deborah. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth teaches through this story in great depth, and I think it might be really helpful.

Another series that you might be interested in is called The True Woman Manifesto, where she unpacks that manifesto that we were just reading from. You can hear both of those series and many more at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Here is some of what we’ll hear next time as we continue to study the life of Deborah. 

Erin: We don’t just need a revolution of women willing to live for Jesus; we need a revolution of women willing to keep living for Jesus . . . you know, that they don’t just burn hot and then peter out. We don’t just have a lot of zeal and then get squashed by the world and then have no zeal, just tread water for the rest of our years.

Staci Rudolph: We don’t just do it when it’s comfortable for us.

Laura B: I’m Laura Booz. I’ll see you next time on the Women of the Bible podcast! Women of the Bible is a production of Revive Our Hearts, calling women to freedom, fullness and fruitfulness in Christ!

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About the Panelists

Laura Booz

Laura Booz

Laura Booz is the author of Expect Something Beautiful: Finding God's Good Gifts in Motherhood and the host of the Expect Something Beautiful podcast with Revive Our Hearts. She'll cheer you on, share practical ideas, and point out the beautiful ways God is working in your life. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan, and their six children. Meet her at LauraBooz.com.

Laura Gonzalez de Chavez

Laura Gonzalez de Chavez

Laura's passion is to disciple women of all ages with the solid foundation of God's Word and to help them live up to the faith they have embraced. Laura is a biblical counselor and mentor to many young women. She currently directs Aviva Nuestros Corazones, the Spanish arm of the  Revive Our Hearts ministry, a task that has helped her reach the women of her generation with the message of the gospel and biblical womanhood. 

About the Host

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Women of the Bible