Revive Our Hearts Radio

Living Out the True Woman Manifesto

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth describes the True Woman Movement.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: We are believing God for a movement of reformation and revival in the hearts and homes of Christian women all around this world. I believe that God has given us an opportunity today to be a part of His great redemptive plan, "for such a time as this" (Est. 9:27). 

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Adorned, for Friday July 20, 2018.

Starting in March, Nancy began walking with us through the True Woman Manifesto in several series. If you missed any of these foundational messages, you can hear them at ReviveOurHearts.com. You can also read the True Woman Manifesto for yourself. Today Nancy gives us the final message in these series.

Nancy: I'm so thankful for the way that God has used this series in my own life as I've taken each of the thirty-five or so statements in the Manifesto and fleshed them out, and studied them out, and drawn Scriptures together that make these points and then communicated them through this series.

Over and over again, I have found the Holy Spirit searching my own heart as I’ve processed and tried to internalize the points in this Manifesto. So it's been for me a source of encouragement and a source of challenge and conviction as well.

Now, for those of you who may have just joined us recently, let me just remind you that the True Woman Manifesto is an attempt to make a concise statement of core aspects of what it means to be a true woman of God. This Manifesto is not the Bible—its principles are drawn from Scripture—but it's just a lens, a way of looking at some of the foundational aspects of what it means to live as Christian women.

  • We started out early in this series laying a foundation which is true for everyone's life, whether male or female.
  • We talked about the authority of Scripture as it reveals God's pattern for womanhood.
  • We move from there to various point that talk about what is God's intention and design for our lives as women and how we can best fulfill that.

It's been so encouraging to see the response to this series from many of our listeners over the past several months. For example, one woman wrote and said,

Thank you so much for the programming you've been doing recently, going through the True Woman Manifesto. I've been passing printed copies around to the women of my church.

Let me just remind you that we have copies of the Manifesto available. Its just a simple little brochure that will fit in a #10-sized envelope. We have packets of the Manifesto available to distribute to the women in your sphere of influence. We'll tell you at the end of the program how you can get some packets of the Manifesto. We want to encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to share this message with others in your church or your small group or Bible study.

This woman went on to say, “Biblical womanhood and being a true woman for Christ is the glue holding my marriage together.” I loved hearing that, because this message really does impact and affect every area of our lives. It speaks:

  • to the way we think
  • to our worldview, our perspective
  • to the way we respond to pressure
  • to our values and our priorities
  • to our commitments
  • to the way we talk to women and to men
  • to the way we show respect to others created in the image of God

Every area of our lives is impacted by whether or not we live out God's design for our lives as women.

In this case, this woman said understanding these principles has actually been glue that is holding my marriage together. She went on to explain why that was true in her case. She says,

I don't know if you remember me, but I am the impassioned atheist who met Christ almost two years ago, married to an atheist—still married to an atheist. Only Jesus can receive credit for that.

Here's a woman who is living in a difficult circumstance. She came to faith out of an atheist background, and is now living in a marriage with a husband who is hostile to the gospel. She is finding that the grace of Christ is sufficient to enable her to be God's true woman in that difficult marriage. I want to underscore the importance, the necessity of the grace of God as we seek to live out the principles that are found in this True Woman Manifesto and in the Word of God.

Some women have responded to this series at points, saying this is just too difficult or too hard. I could never live up to all of that. You know what? They're right. They can't live up to what is in this Manifesto or what is in the Word of God. Nor can I. Nor can you. We cannot be God's true women on our own. We don't have the capacity, the desire, the ability to be this kind of woman. That's why we've tried to stress throughout this series that we are utterly dependent on the grace of God, and in the power of His Holy Spirit living within us to be the kind of woman we are talking about.

If you've had a chance to attend one of the True Woman Conferences that we've had, you know the True Woman Manifesto is the centerpiece of that conference. Throughout the weekend, we encourage women to read the Manifesto prayerfully and carefully, to consider what it says. Then in the closing session of the conference on Saturday morning, we've had a ceremony to affirm this document.

I can remember back to the first time when we shared the True Woman Manifesto at the True Woman '08 Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois. What a powerful moment it was as the points in the first part of the Manifesto were read by individuals who had had a part in that conference. Then as we joined together—thousands of us—to say, “Yes Lord. We want to be women who reflect the heart of Christ in this way.”

How thankful I am for the way that many of those women left that conference that are now spreading the message of biblical womanhood, calling women to be true women of God, and using this Manifesto as a means of doing that.

As we bring this series to a close, we want to share with you portions of that closing ceremony. I want you to imagine that you are one of the women in that audience of thousands of women who gathered together in Chattanooga. I want to encourage you over these next few moments to join with those women in listening to, and then affirming these principles based on the Word of God, and to say from your heart, “Yes Lord. I embrace, I affirm, I accept these principles, and I want them to be a part of my life.”

[Beginning of True Woman Manifesto Ceremony in Chattanooga, Tennessee]

The True Woman Manifesto is a personal and corporate declaration of belief, and of consecration, and of prayerful intent. To the end—here's the objective. Here's the goal—that Christ may be exalted, and the glory and redeeming love of God may be displayed throughout the whole earth. That's the goal. That's the burden.

I’ve invited a number of people who participated in various ways throughout this weekend, some of the speakers, some of the sponsors, those who served administratively behind the teams, others to join me on the platform and to lead us in reading through the first portion of this document, an expression of our corporate affirmation of these statements.

I want to ask you to follow along as these women read and lead us through the first portion of the document, and then we’ll provide a chance for you to respond. So starting here with my friend Dannah.

Dannah: We believe that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe and the Creator of life, and that all created things exist for His pleasure and to bring Him glory.

Mary: 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.

Kristyn: 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.

Kim: 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.

Susan: 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.

Monica: As Christian women, we desire to honor God by living counter-cultural lives that reflect the beauty of Christ and His gospel to our world.

Hannah: To that end, we affirm that Scripture is God's authoritative means of instructing us in His ways and it reveals His holy pattern for our womanhood, our character, our priorities, and our various roles, responsibilities, and relationships.

Carrie: We glorify God and experience His blessing when we accept and joyfully embrace His created design, function, and order for our lives.

Paula: As redeemed sinners, we cannot live out the beauty of biblical womanhood apart from the sanctifying work of the gospel and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Fern: Men and women are both created in the image of God and are equal in value and dignity, but they have distinct roles and functions in the home and in the church.

Tisa: We are called as women to affirm and encourage men as they seek to express godly masculinity, and to honor and support God-ordained male leadership in the home and in the church.

Rosalyn: Marriage, as created by God, is a sacred, binding, lifelong covenant between one man and one woman.

Judy: When we respond humbly to male leadership in our homes and churches, we demonstrate a noble submission to authority that reflects Christ's submission to God His Father.

Cindy: Selfish insistence on personal rights is contrary to the spirit of Christ who humbled Himself, took on the form of a servant, and laid down His life for us.

Susan: Human life is precious to God and is to be valued and protected, from the point of conception until rightful death.

Holly: Children are a blessing from God, and women are uniquely designed to be bearers and nurturers of life, whether it be their own biological or adopted children, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, or other children in their sphere of influence.

Carolyn: God's plan for gender is wider than marriage; all women, whether married or single, are to model femininity in their various relationships, by exhibiting a distinctive modesty, responsiveness, and gentleness of spirit.

Alice: Suffering is an inevitable reality in a fallen world; at times we will be called to suffer for doing what is good—looking to heavenly reward rather than earthly comfort—for the sake of the gospel and the advancement of Christ's Kingdom.

Devi: Mature Christian women have a responsibility to leave a legacy of faith, by discipling younger women in the Word and ways of God and modeling for the next generation lives of fruitful femininity.

Nancy: Amen. Thank you, ladies. They’re going to stay with me up here on the platform as we now come to our opportunity to join in responding personally, saying, “Yes, Lord,” to these we-will segments of the Manifesto.

Now, just to set that up for us, I want to acquaint you with a term that strikes me as being really appropriate for what we're about to do. You may have heard the phrase, “Nail the colors to the mast.” Are you familiar with that phrase? The origin of the context of that phrase was in naval battles. A sign of surrender was to lower the flags—or the colors—that identified your ship. And nailing the colors to the mast meant that those flags could not be lowered. It indicated that you had no intention of surrender. You intended to win the battle, or die in the attempt.

So, “nail the colors to the mast” is a phrase that has come to mean to make a firm declaration of what you believe. The implication is that the declaration may not be popular. You may be criticized when you nail the colors to the mast. But, you are saying, "That doesn't matter. I believe in my cause. I've committed myself. I've taken a stand, and there is no turning back."

C.T. Studd was a British missionary in the late 1800s and early 1900s. There is this paragraph in his biography that I think speaks so powerfully to us as we get ready to nail our colors to the mast. He said,

Nail the colors to the mast. That is the right thing to do, and therefore that is what me must do, and do it now. What colors? The colors of Christ—the work He has given us to do. Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible, by faith in the omnipotence, fidelity, and wisdom of the Almighty Savior who gave the command.

Is there a wall in our path? By our God, we will leap over it! Are there lions and scorpions in our way? We will trample them under our feet! Does a mountain bar our progress? Saying, "Be thou removed and cast into the sea." We will march on.

Soldiers of Jesus! Never surrender! Nail the colors to the mast!

Are you ready to nail some colors to the mast? Then let me ask you to stand, and as I lead us—right where we left off in the Manifesto. As I come to each of these points, I'm going to ask you if this an expression of your heart, please do not say something that is not in your heart. We don't want to make  hypocrites out of anybody. This is between you and the Lord. But if you desire to join those of us here on the platform saying “Yes, Lord,” then as I read each of these statements, just affirm by saying “Yes, Lord.”

Believing the above, we declare our desire and intent to be “true women” of God. We consecrate ourselves to fulfill His calling and purposes for our lives. By His grace and in humble dependence on His power, we will:

1. Seek to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

2. We will gladly yield control of our lives to Christ as Lord. We will say “Yes, Lord” to the Word and the will of God. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

3. We will be women of the Word, seeking to grow in our knowledge of Scripture and to live in accord with sound doctrine in every area of our lives. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

I want to hear this strong, okay? You’re going to need that conviction when you get out of here. 

4. We will nurture our fellowship and communion with God through prayer—in praise, thanksgiving, confession, intercession, and supplication. (Audience responds louder with: “Yes, Lord.”)

That’s better.

5. We will embrace and express our unique design and calling as women with humility, gratitude, faith, and joy. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

6. We will seek to glorify God by cultivating such virtues as purity, modesty, submission, meekness, and love. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

7. We will show proper respect to both men and women, created in the image of God, esteeming others as better than ourselves, seeking to build them up, and putting off bitterness, anger, and evil speaking. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

8. We will be faithfully engaged in our local church, submitting ourselves to our spiritual leaders, growing in the context of the community of faith, and using the gifts He has given us to serve others, to build up the Body of Christ, and to fulfill His redemptive purposes in the world. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

9. We will seek to establish homes that manifest the love, grace, beauty, and order of God, that provide a climate conducive to nurturing life, and that extend Christian hospitality to those outside the walls of our homes. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

10. We will honor the sacredness, purity, and permanence of the marriage covenant—whether ours or others'. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

11. We will receive children as a blessing from the Lord, seeking to train them to love and follow Christ and to consecrate their lives for the sake of His gospel and Kingdom. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

12. We will live out the mandate of Titus 2—as older women, modeling godliness and training younger women to be pleasing to God in every respect; as younger women, receiving instruction with meekness and humility and aspiring to become mature women of God who in turn will train the next generation. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

13. We will seek opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with unbelievers. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

14. We will reflect God's heart for those who are poor, infirm, oppressed, widows, orphans, and prisoners, by reaching out to minister to their practical and spiritual needs in the name of Christ. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

15. And we will pray for a movement of revival and reformation among God's people that will result in the advancement of the Kingdom and the gospel of Christ among all nations. (Audience responds: “Yes, Lord.”)

As a pebble dropping in the water sends out ripples, our desire of the ripple effects of this weekend would touch every corner of the earth for Christ's name sake and for the sake of His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.

Lord, I want to pray for my sisters. Thank You for their earnest, eager hearts, for their “Yes, Lord” hearts. Lord, we're here as your handmaidens to say we love You, we worship You. This is not about us. This is not about True Woman. This is not about Revive Our Hearts. This is certainly not about Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I am so weak, but You are great and You are strong.

I pray that as a result of what You've done here this weekend that the women of the church of God would arise. Arise as mothers in Israel, to trust You, to obey You. And when we fail, as we will, remind us that we're nothing apart from Christ. That all of this is only possible because of His redemptive suffering and death and work for us on the cross. It made it possible, as He died in our place, for us to be clothed in His righteousness, to be credited with His righteousness life, and to have His Holy Spirit living within us.

Father, may we never think we are anything. When we think we are, remind us that we aren't. Keep pointing us to Christ. It's all about Him. In Christ alone we stand, we serve, we love, we give, we weep, we pray, we go forward, we go back into our homes, into our churches, into our communities. Standing alone sometimes, but never truly alone because our hope is in You, O Christ.  Amen.

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, in the final message teaching through the True Woman Manifesto. If you missed any of this extensive series, I hope you’ll visit the archives at ReviveOurHearts.com. That’s also where you can read the True Woman Manifesto for yourself.

This series really lays a biblical foundation for us to understand our identity as women—why God created us, how He saved us, and how He wants us to live in the world. Nancy’s book Adorned does that as well. It’s an in-depth look at a few verses in Titus 2. But those few verses are packed with meaning for us as women. Some people call this Nancy’s magnum opus—the book that’s been inside her for years and has finally come out. And it just won a Christian book award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. It was named book of the year in the Bible study category. You can check it out for yourself.

We’d like to send you Adorned when you support Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any amount. That’s right, a hard back book for your donation. You can support the ministry at ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1–800–569–5959 and ask for Adorned.

When we tell our kids Bible stories, it’s easy to focus on “the moral of the story.” But Bible stories offer far more rich theology than a set of rules to follow. Learn how to dig in the Old Testament for pictures of the gospel and then pass on that good news to your kids. We’ll talk about it Monday, here on Revive Our Hearts

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to lead you to a heart that says, “Yes, Lord.” The program is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the radio series.

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