True Women Speak Out, Part 2
About the Guest
Who are the mentors who have shaped you the most? Hear some of the leading ladies of Christianity--Barbara Rainey, Karen Loritts, Mary Kassian, Holly Elliff and Carolyn McCulley--answer that question and offer their own parting wisdom to women attending the True Woman conference held last year in Chicago.
Who are the mentors who have shaped you the most?
Bob: If you could pass along one key piece of advice to a younger woman, to a young mom, do you know what it would be? Here is how Barbara Rainey would answer that question.
Barbara: The most important thing that I've learned is the importance of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and learning to listen to Him. He loves to speak to us. He wants to speak to us. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "I will send a helper, and He will remind you of all that I said. He will bring to you remembrance all that I have said," and I need that. I need that every day of my life.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Wednesday, May 6th. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We'll hear a lot of sound counsel today from women like Barbara Rainey, mentoring younger women like you. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us on the Wednesday edition. We're going to spend a little Titus 2 time today. And for those of you who aren't familiar with what Paul wrote to Titus in Chapter 2 of his letter, he instructed older women to teach younger women – and I guess we ought to presume that if he instructed older women to teach younger women, he meant that the younger women ought to pay attention to what the older women wanted to share with them.
Dennis: Do you think?
Bob: Before we get to our Titus 2 moment, today, though, we wanted to give our listeners an update on our financial situation here at FamilyLife.
Dennis: Bob, I have been in ministry for 38 years, and a lot of those years in leadership, and I have to tell you, there has never been a time in my life when I have been as challenged as I presently am in leading this ministry.
I know that the financial crisis has impacted individuals who are listening to this broadcast – marriages and families and there are homes tightening belts in all kinds of ways, even as we speak. But as a ministry, I am coming to you today to ask for your help, because we've got a $1 million shortfall compared to what we've received in donations this time last year.
And I am coming to you because I need your help. We have done everything we can do back here. We have cut our staff by 14 percent, we've taken pay cuts of 5 percent, 10 percent, and our leadership team is addressing this through all kinds of cost-cutting measures and, frankly, Bob, I don't want to have to go off the air on stations across the country.
Bob: Our listeners need to know that FamilyLife does not have debt, and it's not a debt issue that has us in this challenging situation. We operate with the funds that God provides, and as He provides them, we move forward. Right now we have a unique opportunity for listeners to get involved and to help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today.
We've had some friends of the ministry who have come along and offered to match every donation we receive during the month of May on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a total of $356,000, and that is a very generous offer on their part. But for us to take full advantage of that matching gift, we need to hear from as many listeners as possible, and we need to ask you to be as generous as you can possibly be.
And, Dennis, for some of our listeners, they are not going to be able to be as generous this year as they have been in times past because of the current economic situation.
Dennis: No, they're not, Bob, but every person that's listening right now could do something, and that's what we're asking listeners to do. You can't do everything, you can't solve our whole problem, but you can do something, and the question is what does God want you to do? There are tremendous things happening in this ministry. Lots of lives, marriages, and families are being impacted as we present God's blueprints for how to have a godly home, and we are challenging our listeners right now to join with us.
In fact, I just need to ask you, I need your help. Would you step up and stand with us right now and help us bridge this financial gap we are experiencing? Just do what you can do, that's all I ask, and God will take care of us.
Bob: You can donate online at FamilyLifeToday.com or you can call 1-800-FLTODAY to make a donation over the phone, and we just want to say thanks in advance for doing what you can do. We appreciate your partnership with us.
Now, let's get to our Titus 2 time. I had the opportunity a number of months ago, as a part of an event called True Woman '08, which was held in Chicago – the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion that took place – five women talking about what biblical womanhood has looked like in their lives. And one of those five was your wife, Barbara. She was on the panel along with Karen Loritts, Carolyn McCully, Holly Elliff, and Mary Cassian, and it was a great conversation.
These women were very transparent and just shared from their own lives and from their understanding of the Scriptures about what biblical womanhood looks like.
Dennis: And when mature women speak who have experienced a lot of life, they bring a lot of life to a younger generation, and I think if there has ever been a time when older women need to be speaking out on behalf of God's perspective of how to be a woman, a wife, and a mother, and do it in a biblical fashion, it's today.
Bob: Well, let's listen to a portion of the conversation that took place as we spent time in that panel discussion.
Bob: Let me ask you about tools and mentors, either people from a distance or people up close, who have influenced your life or tools, books, messages you've heard, maybe, that have shaped your thinking about biblical womanhood and, as you think about those tools and mentors, just what's been most influential for you? Is there anything that comes to mind immediately?
Mary: I have a friend who is quite a big older than I am, and she has been just an incredible example to me just on how to live life. She's a godly woman, and she has modeled to me how to stay engaged over the long run and how to balance marriage and ministry and kids and how to retain having a passion for the Lord and to be missionally [sp] minded. She is getting older in years, and she is still missionally minded, thinking that God has a purpose and a reason and a plan, and I am going to pursue that right to the very end. And so …
Bob: Do you go have lunch with her from time to time?
Mary: Yeah, I have lunch with her, and I phone her, and she's just my hero, and I just ask her all sorts of questions saying, you know, how – that's actually one of my favorite questions is when I find an older woman who is walking in godliness, I go, "How do you do that?" Because – and how do you retain that? How do you love Jesus more at the end of your life than at the beginning? How do you become refined in holiness? How do you walk that path? And I think that's why the Bible has such a focus on female relationships – that mentoring relationship. I think we all need girlfriends that can challenge us and ask us the hard questions, comfort us when we need it, shore us up and strengthen us when we are just discouraged and feeling – and just really challenge us to be strong and not be wimpy.
Bob: This older woman who is a friend of yours, did you just start asking her a bunch of questions, or did you go to her and say, "Will you be my mentor?" Or did she come to you and say, "I'd like to mentor you," or how did that happen?
Mary: You know, it's nothing so formal. It's not like, "Oh, here's a contract, let's mentor." It was just – I thought she was just really cool, and so it was, like, "Can I hang out?"
Bob: Carolyn, how about you?
Carolyn: Actually, I would say the marriages I saw in the first church where I became a Christian were so important to me because there I was, a former feminist and encountered with those passages in Ephesians about submission, and no one thought it was a joke. They took it seriously, kind of concerned, what kind of church am I in?
But my pastor and his wife at that time, and the numerous couples I became friends with really modeled for me what those Scriptures were supposed to look like. And that's why I want to encourage married couples to make the investments in single friends to not forget that that form of mentoring is very important. It will model it for the next generation to get married, and, honestly, in a culture that doesn't value marriage, the most important weapon, in my opinion, is married men reaching out and mentoring single men and saying, "This is the high view of marriage."
So go home and enlist your husbands.
Holly: I think, for me, it was beginning to have some relationships with women who were thinking women, and in that sense, I mean, kind of in the sense that John Piper was talking about when he said, "If we have wimpy theology, we're going to be wimpy women." And I had never really wrestled through to the point of sound theology, and so Kay Arthur was one of those women who came into my life through Precepts …
… and as I began to take some Precept training, as Barbara said, just getting into the Word and realizing what God had for me there. And what happened during those years, motherhood was not separate from theology. It was part of my theology – that God living His life out through that was connected to what I believed and what His Word said. And putting that all together began to really change my thinking and shape my life.
Karen: For me, God is so good. When I became a Christian as a young girl in junior high school – from junior high, high school, and college, the Lord brought in my church – I left a really big church in Philadelphia and went to a smaller church that was changing, and I remember going to this church because they were getting out a 12:00. I don't want to stay in this other church all afternoon, so I went to this church that got out at 12.
So when I went, as a young girl, meeting me at the door was Pastor Peter Kowalchuk, a gentleman from the Ukraine that had left his Russian-speaking church to stay in this community to keep this church going, and his family stayed there.
A year or so later, China Inland Mission that changed its name, China Inland Mission, Hudson Taylor's group, moved two blocks from my home there in a suburban area of Philadelphia, and out of that missionary came into our church. And so I was discipled my junior high years, my high school and college years by missionaries from China.
And so they invested my life, and there were four specific women – two of them single, two married. None of them had children, and they were older women that just loved on me and showed me about love of evangelism, about community outreach, discipled me how to love your husband, and this was not anything formal. They just lived it and showed me because I was clueless. I didn't have that in my own background. So I had a lot of women invest their lives in me.
And then the last lady, when I was in college, she introduced me to this guy named Crawford Loritts and just said, "You have to meet him," and so because she was my discipler, I went ahead and met him, and the rest is history. But that, and also the Word of God. I just cannot say enough about the Word of God. The Word of God is true, and it works. I used to put God on the 30-day plan. "God, I'm dealing with this certain issue. I want to put you on the layaway plan, God. In 30 days if it doesn't work out for me, I know it doesn't work."
But God has been true, and so it's the Word of God.
Barbara: And, for me, one of the women who was most influential in my life was a woman who was long distance from me, and that woman was Elizabeth Elliott.
I was just – I read almost everything she wrote. I subscribed to her newsletter, and I still have them bound in a notebook, because I looked forward to those newsletters coming on a regular basis, and I would underline and highlight, and she discipled me long distance because of her life and the godly way that she lived. I thought, "I want to be like her." So it was years before I finally met her, but from the very beginning, I loved her writings, and I loved the way she was devoted totally and wholeheartedly to Christ, and I wanted to be like her.
Bob: All right, we've talked about the priority of mentors in your lives. I'm going to turn the tables on you now, and we're going to put 6,000 mentors and mentees, protégés, in front of you here, and we're going to let you be a 60-second mentor for these women. So you get one shot, one piece of advice. They are about to reenter reality because this has been kind of unreality here. People make your bed for you, you know, that kind of thing? You are about to go back to the real world where people have needs.
You've got one piece of solid advice. Who is ready?
Barbara: I am. The most important thing that I have learned over the – however many – how many years have I been a Christian? I'd say pushing 40 – is the importance of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and learning to listen to Him, learning to hear Him speak to you. I've realized in the last 10 to 15 years, there is more than I did earlier, and I wish I had known it earlier; that He loves to speak to us. He wants to speak to us.
Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "I will send a helper, and He will remind you of all that I said. He will bring to you remembrance all that I have said," and I need that. I need that every day of my life, and it's a joy to me when the Holy Spirit reminds me of something that Jesus said; reminds me of something that's in the Bible.
And so my prayer and hope for you is that you will depend on the Holy Spirit, and that you will ask Him to speak to you, and you will say, "Holy Spirit, speak to me. Give me ears to hear and a heart to obey when you speak to me."
Karen: I would encourage all of you, as you are going home, that you were in a holy hole here for a while, and now you're going back to reality. I would even suggest, extending maybe for one more day over the weekend to keep that media fast because it's still kind of bad news.
It hasn't stopped since we've been sitting here, but enjoy that media fast. Make those hard decisions that I am going to deny myself the rights that I have to do whatever I want and just say, "Lord, I surrender." I would take that little white flag, little handkerchief that you have – keep it going, and every time you would tend to fall back to the old you, take yourself into the bathroom, look in that mirror, talk to yourself, and raise the flag.
Also, I would suggest, too, that you would find someone that will hold you accountable and say, "You know, Lord, I was at this conference and out of all the things that I heard, there is one thing that you kept over and over whispering in my inner being that I need to step up and change." Tell that person and then walk it, and believe God for it. Don't keep listening to yourself. Talk to yourself, believe God, and put God to the test.
Holly: I think I would encourage you to remember that when you get home, God is not someplace else. He is not just here in this room in Chicago. And when you get home, and you're in your kitchen or you're at school or in classes or driving carpool or at work, remember that God can be just as present in your life there as He was here. It's a matter of remembering that He is always present; of turning to Him in tiny little moments. It only takes a heartbeat to turn to the Lord and say, Help."
And so His presence does not stay here when we go home. Aren't you glad?
Carolyn: I think I would say to take what we've received in terms of the rich teaching here and turn around and be intentional about discipling another woman to really look in the context of your local church for women through whom you can fulfill the Titus 2 mandate for the older woman to mentor the younger woman. I think maybe we're a little reluctant to admit we might be the older woman, but let's just think that's in terms of maturity not chronology, right? And we have received much, and those who have received much, much is required, and there are many, many young women who have no knowledge of biblical womanhood because it's so contrary to what our culture teaches, and they're hungry, they're really hungry for this kind of material.
Bob: And the truth is, everybody is older than somebody, right? And even you high school young women who are here, there are junior high young women, and you can start pouring into their lives, too, right?
Bob: You don't have to wait until you're 50 to be a Titus 2 woman.
Go ahead and start pouring. Mary?
Mary: Okay, ladies, let me challenge you with this – the world is going to dangle before you things that seem very desirable. And the only way that we can say no to those things is by replacing it with something that is oh, so much more desirable. Some by being captured in our hearts by a vision that is so beautiful, so high, so holy, so pure, so fulfilling that we are willing to sell all we have for that pearl of great price. Never forget.
[end of audiotape]
Bob: Well, we've been listening today to a portion of a conversation that took place – it was a crowd of about 6,000 women in the room for True Woman '08, and as our listeners have heard, it really was a very helpful conversation and as Mary Cassian was speaking there at the end, I was reminded, we have to decide, are we going to go our own way when it comes to living as God's men or God's women, or are we going to yield to the Scriptures, are we going to go in the direction that He points us and be obedient and find the joy and the value that is there in obedience.
Dennis: You know, there are really two issues I want to just mention here briefly, Bob. When God went to the trouble, in Genesis, chapter 1, "In the beginning, He made them male and female in the image of God He made them." He imprinted His image in man and woman, and somehow, mysteriously, together they reflect the greatness of God.
And I think one of the great needs today with a bunch of young people who are growing up in a culture that is distorting this image of God and distorting the sexual identity of women is to hear from older women who can mentor them and understanding and knowing what true femininity and womanhood looks like.
And these ladies did that, and I think there is need for more than just 60-second mentors, the advice you just heard on the broadcast. What is needed is an army of women. Can I use that word, Bob – an army of women?
Dennis: I guess that's appropriate for an entire movement of women to be raised up by God who say, "You know what? I want to invest in the next generation of young ladies so they can get it. They'll know what the image of God looks like in a woman, and how she can reflect the glory of God. That would be a great mission for every woman who is listening to this broadcast to be on for the rest of her life.
Bob: Mm-hm. A number of the women who were a part of the True Woman '08 conference are also contributors to a book that Nancy Leigh Demoss is the general editor of. It's called "Becoming God's True Woman," and it addresses a lot of the things you're talking about, Dennis. It helps women understand the distinctive calling and mission that God has for women, for wives, for moms, and it's a book that we've got copies of in our FamilyLife Resource Center.
You can go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com, and the information is available there about the book. Again, it's FamilyLife Today.com. There is also information about a book Carolyn McCully has written called "Radical Womanhood." In fact, next week Carolyn is going to be our guest on FamilyLife Today, and we're going to talk about that book.
Again, you'll find information about both of these books at FamilyLifeToday.com, or you can call 1-800-FLTODAY, 1-800-358-6329, and someone on our team can let you know how we can make arrangements to have either of these books sent to you.
You may have missed the beginning of today's program. Dennis was talking about the unique opportunity that is available to us during the month of May – a great opportunity to provide help during these financially challenging times.
We have had some friends of the ministry come forward and offer to match every donation we receive during the month of May here at FamilyLife on a dollar-for-dollar basis. So when somebody makes a $25 donation, we wind up getting $50; somebody makes $100 donation, we wind up with $200. They are going to match each donation all the way to a total of $356,000.
And, as Dennis said, this could not have come at a better time. We find ourselves right now about $1 million behind where we were at this time last year in terms of donations, and we're hoping that this matching gift will help make up some of that shortfall. So let me ask you, if you can, to make a donation either online at FamilyLifeToday.com or by calling 1-800-FLTODAY. We know that times are challenging for many of you as well, but we are asking you to do whatever it is you can do. If it's $5, $10, $15, whatever it is, go online at FamilyLifeToday.com or call 1-800-FLTODAY and help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today and let me say thanks in advance for even considering making a donation, and we hope to hear from you.
Now, tomorrow we're going to hear from a pastor about what the Bible means when it says women are saved through childbirth. We've got a message from Mark Driscoll tomorrow on the program, and I hope you can be with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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