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May 19, 2021 2:00 am
Abigail Dodds teaches on the beauty of God's good design regarding gender. Women, Dodds explains, are absolutely just as fearless as men, but their physical reality naturally makes them nurturers. If women are created to bear life, then what about single women? Though singles are excluded from childbearing, they aren't excluded from anything essential to God's kingdom. Hear how single women can be nurturers and life-givers in their homes and communities.
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Abigail Dobbs is concerned about the message that's being communicated to women today. The message that being a woman means your empower, you're free to be who you want to be in this we make sure were telling women. This is what Jesus means my freedom.
She wants you free from your sin, and he wants you free to walk with him toward holiness. Then it will end up becoming a little of what the world says real self empowering them to be something we want to be empowered by the Holy Spirit of the Lord. This is family like today. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Lapine. There is a right kind of empowerment and the wrong kind of empowerment for both men and women need to make sure were focused on the right kind of empowerment talk more about that to stay with us and welcome to family life today.
Thanks for joining us. Would you say you said this is going to get some backlash and what you say I'm getting okay getting used to backslashes, Abigail Dobbs, which is good in family life today and the woman who says this is good get some backlash and Wilson.
Why is because some women are getting really angry about this.
These episodes of saying I totally disagree women are just as strong, just as fearless as men and so there's can be something some people that don't like your book which is called a typical woman free whole and called in Christ.
And the thing I love is that Abigail has taken on the courageous task of saying okay, let's look at how the Bible helps us understand that womanhood and manhood that gender is is God's good design and is to be celebrated and embraced rather than rebelled against and done away with and that that's been what we been trying to explore because as we said this week Abigail to try to get to a cohesive definition of femininity is a daunting challenge. There are words I've heard used soap a woman is life-giving that a person right and in a biological sense, women can give birth. Men can be life-giving to other men right when when we say life-giving is a quality of womanhood, but men can still do it. Help us understand that that distinction isn't everything that men are courageous. Well our women courageous women are tender. Should men be told how may we deal with all of this is what makes it also difficult is, and even just what you said and at the beginning about women. I'm feeling offended because they think they also are just as strong and fearless and I'm thinking just yet and yet I do think that the physical reality gives that essence or a shape to the even the spiritual reality of the nurturing reality it's not so much that we don't have certain qualities and we do have others in men don't have certain qualities they do have others in the spiritual realm. Let's say, but there is a matter of emphasis that happens and as someone who hasn't often thought of myself as particularly typical for becoming a mother did show me that I was maybe a bit more typical than I had thought so.
For instance, I learned that my has been really does take a lot more risks than I do. Even though you know going into being a parent I thought of myself as pretty laid back pretty open to risk in some ways I am more than other women but when it comes to me next to my test. I'm not I'm not I'm the one who is like a slow down and I realize that I felt like I'm not a risk taker and adventure. I will take any risk that Dave will have you cut my kids with Dave Wright and Jane.
Suddenly she said my kids, you know, I thought.
I am not a risk taker with my children without children because that Dave wise and so that's where I thought that you like, well, right.
I guess I don't have quite as I can see some more innate differences coming out like some of these stereotypes make a lot more sense to me now so so it's going on a culture where nobody wants to address that. I mean you been preaching for 29 years, 10, 15 years ago I could stand on stage and say men and women are different is how people laugh. They enjoyed it. Now you say that there's like who they're not different were really similar tells what happened well when you've completely deconstructed biological sex then saying what you just said isn't just a small thing to say it can take leap because the general hive mind of our culture that the general mindset is so, so far down the road from that and it really is a deconstructing of everything it's worth. Self makers we say what we are full autonomy we get to choose how this all works and just a little thing to throw in there, which probably would've made for another great chapter that I didn't write but I think social media and the ability to be completely disconnected from your body at all times via the Internet. See your with people but your body isn't with them has done something strange to our psyche where I think Gnosticism it's an ancient heresy and it basically means these people thought that special knowledge from God. Special revelation and matter that is your physical body with an evil thing that was a heresy that was refuted and I think our phones and our current society is steeped in Gnosticism we don't really view our material bodies as a good as a matter fact were willing to cut them up, sliced them, entice them to remake them as we wish.
And it's really just what's going on in our mind that is true, whatever we think or feel really feel is the better word, and we get to gender how I feel about my gender is more true than what my body tells me about gender so that's kind of exhausted lately. Not a way of thinking, and so what you say, then, is you're saying all this is true. Men and women are different and everyone says no and exactly when I say I am so you mentioned that when you became a mom all of a sudden some of the inmate woman.
This started to emerge and so often when we talk about what it means to be a woman or what femininity is we define it in comparison to men or in the context of marriage. How husbands and wives are different were moms and dads. We put it in the family structure.
I'm thinking what about the single woman.
How does she understand her woman. Most as a standalone. Certainly there are other men in her world and so it's not like were were absent of that. Can a woman be complete if she never married or never has a child.
This country before you woman absolutely yes no equivocation's. Yes, in every way because while there is a reality that God has made the world in such a way that marriage must exist for the stall go forward. Children must be had there. Such particular provision in the Scripture for the single people and the intense value that they bring to the body of Christ is like a very distilled dense value that they bring to us because as Paul says they're able to be single-minded in their mission for the Lord and the church desperately, desperately needs them, and not just as a babysitter. If we need their their minds, we need yes, we need even their physical bodies to him and labor among us gifts that he original various spiritual gifts to be enhancing and in so many ways and so for single women. I think Elizabeth Elliott probably said it the very best when she said that singleness is a gift and we don't choose our gift she was single for so much of her life. And when you think of the disproportionate impact that she has had as moms are in the church and I mean I just think it should give single women a vision that they need to cope Elizabeth Elliott that you can have a disproportionate impact in that role and so question of embracing your womanhood. Certainly you bring value when you bring gifting the new bring who you are to serve, but you're not called to be a specific help me to a man you're not called to be a biological life giver and a nurturer to your child who would like a like a nursing mother. Paul says we we came and cared for you. So if if those are off the table for you. You can understand where a single woman would go. It does feel like part of what it means to be a woman I'm excluded from how do I process the right.
I don't know that I deny that yes you are excluded from something, but not from anything that is essential and so for some women that might not be a grace they might be very content in their singleness for others that might be a gigantic grief worth craving over and moving forward.
Recognizing that again. Those spiritual realities are still there in terms of what it means to be a woman so like I said, Elizabeth Elliott being a mother or just because your body can't nurture and grow life as a home doesn't mean that you can't nurture and grow life in the church and in your home or your apartment or your dorm room or wherever you are making a home can still be a massive priority with incredible kingdom impact in terms of hospitality and ministering to the needs of the saints and doing all the things that Paul even talks about when he's giving qualifications for widows CME talks about how they washed the feet of the saints, and they've done these things well we may not have children that you phrased that there great many things that you can still do in serving the Lord Christ and in sharing him with everyone you meet, so here's a question I'll be interested to see how you introduce a woman who is married is to be a helpmeet to her husband should an unmarried woman seek to be a helper to the men in her world or is that my requirement for hers is not a part of her femininity to look around and say well I'm I'm a woman. I am here to try to be a helper to the men around me, someone will hear me say that go on another to be there helper on their peer worksheet were just great help because I look that up one time because as I was looking that up. I thought I need to get a better definition because I first looked at that Webster's dictionary and networks it said in the dictionary. A gopher a person that does the dirty work. Someone important tells them what to do and so of course any woman would rate it that word.
However, what he think Abigail what a single woman is that her place to help a man. I still think it is. But I want to be really careful with my qualifications because what some people might hear when I say that is that somehow there's some sort of weird husband-wife thing going on where all women are submitting to all men and I don't believe that one that I don't either and neither will just be really clear that it is not the responsibility of women in general to submit men in general. The Bible talks about husbands and wives. Yes men and women know right exactly with that very clear.
I feel very comfortable thinking I would just say yes I do still think there would be a disposition to help and I don't think that's degrading and I don't even think that that means she can't be a leader in certain ways, or in many ways even.
But that's God glorifying, disposition, and so who wouldn't want do that. Like I said, rightly oriented about God understanding him as a loving father who made his creation and called it very good.
Then I think it's a good thing then to want to be that want to be an easier helper wheat we were out at dinner the other night Miriam and me.
We were in one of these restaurants that has two B-flat penalties going on there were sports on the TV and there were two women who were out of the cage fighting or boxing, but they were going at each other and Mary looked at me and she said, is that something you're interested in watching this. This is a trick question and understood the bigger question play in terms of things that we think of in traditionally male categories like wrestling, we don't typically think of a four-year-old and a two-year-old daughter in the living room wrestling with each other right that might happen somebody to write me and say that my brother okay, but if it'd been you would a sister would that have happened or were you doing it with your brother because your brother was looking for another guy to play with them. You were the closest thing around and you and you were happy to join in because you want to be one of the guys yes my sister was very feminine and so I let it probably like to do that with her because I would beat her so it in them in the midst of these kind of typically guys Russell and girls do something else with dolls right in those kinds of general categories.
If a woman whose young woman whose grown-up goes. I want to be the kick room football team. I just have always wanted to play. I'm a good kicker. I should be able to go out there. If I get tackled by the guys I can get tackled by the guys should moms and dads say if that's who you are matching the commercial on TV using commercial on TV now are talking real stuff hits the football good the gold one goal and her dad puts his arm around her and and and high-fives and they smiled have a moment and I forget what car company is advertising this for their car, but I'll just take you to Abigail, would you let your daughter be the kicker on a football. She said that's what I want every player I would say aim higher matter, let's get a new dream family.
I mean aim higher in the sense of this too shall pass like this doesn't need to be your ambition their identity right.
I mean there's nothing wrong with kicking a ball, so don't hear me say that because that's silly, legalism, nothing girls can't kick balls and kick them well, but to be on all male sports team is a whole another thing to put yourself in a position where you could potentially be tackled by men.
First of our training our men and that it's okay to tackle women. This is not okay. My summer on the team. I would hope he would say I'm sorry I'm not playing because I want do that and so to have a daughter who would want to put herself in position I would just say you were made for Martin Dare I think I would ask tell me that absolutely what you want similarly is there.
There are other ways then directing her she that she could be answering want to empower all women around the world so she could answer, my vision is so big you don't mean like I could ever I can kick a 48 yard field goal as good as the other guy and I'm better and I'm to get it and then go to get a scholarship which there is a girl.
They got scholarship to play football not kicker defensive back commercial about her during Super Bowl very interesting there like manner visions, probably beyond what you would even imagine thinking I can do this. Why shouldn't I this was me.
I loved football.
I wanted to be a linebacker on 55 cried at night thinking I wanted to do. I would be so good at it again if I went deeper into that I'm in my dad's approval I wanted my brother's approval and I would also think what would I do for the locker room. The great part of sports is community team and so to have that with girls like that's this great relationship building time our son in the eighth grade was a wrestler and he wrestled a girl. It was the most awkward thing you member this day. I just read this year. I high school senior state championship wrestler had to wrestle girl the semi finals and infused with a title that I will not do that. He said I don't know what to do like should I been taught to protect in so should I wrestle her eat her and it's weird were in these positions. There are parts of her. Me I should not be having my own so that that is a part of the bigger picture. The nobler picture. And when you when you mix it in the sports and I think part of this is the idolatry of sports in our culture, we put sports in a place where we've said this is Gloria Mrs. worth. And so, who doesn't want the glory of the work we we put our glory work in the wrong stuff because we've said these are real heroes, rather than slinging what heroes really are right, exactly. And so even even if it were all same-sex sports and you had a child wanting to really do something great.
Yes try hard to be excellent, to the glory of God. Absolutely.
Do your best bet.
You would have to be reading out the self glory issues there anyway and so far out young or a daughter to want to do something like that on a male sports team, they would be so many different facets of that that would have to be taken apart and talk through and reoriented in my opinion Abigail in the last part of your book you talk about being fearless and free winning in Christ.
When I hear that I think I think every woman longs for that she wants to be fearless, but she also wants to be free. And what I've encountered over the years is women are not free.
I think they're shackled by shame.
There shackled by comparison, there is a part of us that as women wheat hard for us to celebrate each other because of our own insecurities. What is it mean as we finish up to be free and I think you said it exactly right.
And that's also what I've seen is a huge amount of insecurity in women and so where all that comes from.
Of course there are external forces that can play into that but primarily I think we need to say.
Insecurity comes from not trusting in Christ, who is our security and so the more we can get our footing in him. The more we can identify fully and wholly in Christ, the more secure will be the more free will definitely be in the more freedom will be conceived of appropriately so sometimes you use a word like free. And people think I will free that just means I get to do whatever I want. That is not the definition of freedom in the Scripture when Christ sets us free.
It so that we can be unshackled from the chains of death.
It is not freedom to be autonomous and go on singing and so defining appropriately is so essential right now in our culture because we've completely misconstrued the idea of freedom. And so, in less we make sure were telling women.
This is what Jesus means by freedom.
He wants you free from your sin he wants you free to walk with him toward holiness.
Then it will end up becoming a little finicky of what the world says real self empowering where we be self empowered. We want to be empowered by the Holy Spirit of the Lord. I love what you wrote is back in the chapter about single women. It was Jesus doesn't complete the incomplete. You know like these will be the want to complete you.
You said he utterly overcomes and swallows us up in himself.
We are made new and whole. In Christ, not merely completed by him really beautiful beautiful truth of the redemption of Christ that I'm thinking about Galatians 51 as you're talking were pulses for freedom Christ has set us free and then you go free from what will he answers it. Don't go back to the yoke of slavery to sin.
Right. That's the slavery on them later on in verse 13 he says you were called the freedom, brothers.
Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one that verse and in the midst of the good free grace culture that I see sometimes in the church were people so give others grace on free in Christ, what, it's not freedom to indulge the flesh. It's freedom to love and serve your brothers and then to be free from the yoke of slavery and from the bond of the flesh, and kept you just want to ask you as weak as we come to draw this to a close. If you were pointing your daughters young women to verses in the Bible to say this is going to help you understand what it means that God made you a woman to take and Proverbs 31 start there. Yes, absolutely.
I went where I would start and where I started with this in the was simultaneously two passages. Colossians 115 to 20 and then Genesis 11 and two, Colossians 115 to 20 is a him that Paul wrote about the supremacy of Christ and what it tells us is that not just is Christ our Savior, who enters the world sent by the father but that Christ was before all things, and that word before really is what prompted so much of this thinking that he was before all things, and that all things were created through Christ and for Christ will then go back and read Genesis then go back and think about the fact that we were made male and female through Christ and for Christ starts to put a little bit of a new dimension on how we think about what we were made for. And it just gives me tons of hope and anticipation of what he's done and what he has created in us. And when you brought up Colossians 1 thought of the key verse for the passport to purity series.
The family life produced years ago. The one verse that starts off when you want to help your kids understand what it means to do emergent adolescents, though the hold the birds and the bees peer pressure. All those issues are to face we take you to Colossians 118.
He is also the head of the body, the church and he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he himself might come to him first place in everything in everything when you think about your femaleness and your maleness does Jesus have first place in those things.
It's the Lordship of Christ over every aspect of your life. Are you surrendered to that or are you rebelling against out yes I'm watching Abigail. I hardly Abigail. Thank you for your work for your courage for your thinking or tackling hard issues and all of the letters we give her something to you, Raymond, and we've got copies of Abigail God's book typical woman and we walked to the resource Center for most when your minded family life today.com or call to order one 800, FL, today is our number in the title of the book is a typical woman and the ideas in parentheses. A typical woman or drum on the family life today.com or call 1-800-358-6329 2000 F as in family L as in life, and the Lord today. Those of you who listen regularly to family life today know that during the month of May we got some exciting stuff happening here.
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