When you're praying for members of your family, just talk to God. Just say, God, here's my wife. You know her. You know that she's got this concern about her health. She got this report the other day. You know, she's worried about it.
Help her to feel secure. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson, and you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. So we got a special week this week. I know. I'm pretty excited.
Never done this before. What are we doing? We're doing the best of family life for the past year. You know, revisiting shows, programs that we did with incredible guests that were memorable. Our first day, here's the topic. We got to say we're not doing this by ourselves.
Okay. We got some people in the studio with us. We got the president of Family Life with us, David Robinson, Meg Robinson in the studio. Are you guys excited to talk about the best of family life today?
Definitely. Guys, it's been an amazing year, and to see what we've pulled together, it's going to be a treat. It is going to be a treat, because now I can announce what we're talking about for our first day.
And you're excited about this. Yeah, because we're going to talk about the extraordinary value of a woman. Yeah.
Huh? Isn't that good? You and Meg like this idea.
Yes. And we're going to start out, what we're going to do is we're going to be listening to segments of people that we interviewed on this topic. And the first one we're going to listen to is by Elise Fitzpatrick. Elise hosts a podcast together with Eric Shoemaker. And you were on that podcast. I was, actually. Yeah, I listened to it.
It was amazing. It's called The Worthy Podcast. And so they came on our program to help us to learn about Jesus and gender, living as sisters and brothers in Christ. And this is kind of a cool clip, because it starts out when you wrote a song about this, and Elise got a little teary as she listened to it. Eric and Elise have been called by God, a he and a she, bringing dignity to the shes. They are revealing God's heart for she. They are free, all shes, to feel worthy. She is worthy.
And God says, I see you. I hear you, and I want you to feel worthy. Yay! Oh my goodness. First of all, Dave, thank you. Thank you for that encouragement. It means a lot.
You're welcome. I think that in the discussions of gender and what roles women should play, men should play, it seems to me that the topic that's been missing is the gospel, and in particular, the incarnation. So, when you start at Genesis, which is fine, talking about how men and women should relate, that's fine. But then if you start at Genesis and then don't remember Philippians 2, you're going to miss something.
So, I'd like to read just a short passage from Philippians 2, 5, and I'll just read 5 through 9. Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus. There's the imperative.
There's the command. We are to have this attitude, and what we wanted to do in Jesus and gender was say, we want to bring this attitude into our relationships as sisters and brothers. So, what's the attitude? Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Christ had preeminent authority, but perhaps I have some sort of authority, or Eric, you have some sort of authority.
I don't want to exploit that authority. So, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead, he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity.
And when he had come as a man, the fullness of God becoming as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. So, what we wanted to do was say, okay, let's talk about relationships between men and women, but let's base our discussion on what should happen, on how I should think about Eric as my brother, how I should think about you as my sister. Let's start that conversation with this. I'm going to empty myself and take on the attitude of a servant. That's what the gospel has to say, I think, to gender relations.
Wow. I think the first thing that strikes me from that is just the beautiful way that she encourages us and challenges to enter this conversation. I mean, I think that it's so countercultural to think about emptying ourselves and coming at this with humility rather than demanding the way that we think things should be.
And how am I really entering this conversation? And are we lifting each other up and willing to empty ourselves? Are you saying that as a woman as well? Is there a uniqueness to it as a woman to think about that, or is that just as a person?
Yeah, I think as a woman, I certainly am thankful for men in my life who elevate me and appreciate and value me for who I am as a woman. David, you do that really well. But I think even just being reminded that I don't need to be looking for that. I need to be humbling myself in this conversation and in my own desires as well.
I think that's true, Megan. I find myself, based on what's happening in our culture, I have this tendency, and I think our culture is pushing me this way, to be strong, to step forward, to exert my power or my authority or my leadership gifts. But in the Gospel, I love that she's reading the Scripture of saying that we are all coming humbly to present ourselves in humility, surrender to Jesus first. That changes everything, because there's a part of me that gets scared of that, like, oh, yeah, but will I still be heard? Do you guys think that women can be heard as we step into that?
Oh, yeah. As I was listening again to at least read Philippians 2, which is such a powerful, theological, foundational passage for all of our lives. I did my first all-nighter in seminary, walking through the Greek in that passage, and it changed my life, because I thought, apply it to our marriages. If we lived just that in our marriage, the world would be changed. If I was waking up every day saying, it's not about me, it's actually about serving her, serving my spouse, the way Christ laid down His life for me, I think the whole world would be transformed.
People would be flocking to churches to say, that's how people are supposed to treat one another? I'm in, you know, because that's not the world we live in. It's all about me. It's about my agenda.
It's about my rights. Rather than, no, I'm going to lay those down, I'm going to serve you. I think about your question, Anne, and I go, I think of Meg, and you have to empty yourself sometimes. And in that surrender, God's actually calling you into something and to take a step of faith somewhere to take a risk. And I watch you do that often. Yeah, you empty yourself sometimes to serve our home in amazing ways.
Like I was hearing that just going, I am so grateful to be married. It's what family life today does so often. It lifts our eyes to what we do have and to the power we have in Christ to be able to live it out. But in that emptying, sometimes the Lord goes, nope, I want you to actually take the risk, take a step of faith, go there. And in that, you reflect Jesus in so many different ways. And the great thing about family life today is it does point us to Jesus. You guys help us do that.
The guest that we bring on does that so often. And if you are encouraged by family life today, pointing you to Jesus, helping you always and continuously surrender and empty yourself so that you can day in and day out live for Him and reflect Him in your home and help your home be a beacon of light to the homes around you, then I just want to invite you into a really important time we have right now at Family Life. We have a matching gift where if you give whatever gift you give, it is doubled dollar for dollar, and therefore the impact toward more homes is doubled. And if you're able to give, every gift matters, and it helps us meet this matching gift and helps us bring to you more encouraging content that points you to Jesus.
Yeah, we are so grateful for you considering jumping in and being our partners with us. I mean, it is amazing to sit in the studio and think, what we talk about impacts marriages and families and legacies around the world. As we continue to talk about the best of family life, we had John Yates on. Now, we've known John for decades, way back to when we joined the Family Life speaker team on the weekends. Remember, John and Susan were on there, and he wrote a book called How a Man Prays for His Family. And there's nobody quite like John. His wisdom, his mentoring, it was just a great discussion about how a husband can pray for his wife and his family.
Listen to this. John, you brought your prayer notebook. Do you have any prayers in there that you've written? Oh, here's a whole list of things I was praying for Susan in fall of 1996.
Well, let's see, what can I read? For her to be encouraged and peaceful about our family and our marriage, that God would feed and nourish her and her spirit, that God would be preparing her for the time when the children are gone, because that was not too long before they started leaving. Asking God to guide her in her writing, she was beginning to write some books then. And I was asking God to control her imagination because she has a pretty wild imagination, and sometimes it gets the better of her. I don't know if God answered that one, did He?
I don't know if He did. Probably her imagination was from Him. Anyway, just that sort of thing. I just say to the men, when you're praying for members of your family, just talk to God, just say, God, here's my wife, you know her, you know that she's got this concern about her health, she got this report the other day, you know she's worried about it. Lord, please give her assurance that she's going to be okay.
Help her to feel secure. So you're looking at mental, spiritual, physical, like you're looking at all the areas of her life and how you can pray for her. I get teary thinking of someone, and especially you, Dave, praying for me like that. Man, I just love this model of approaching God's throne with confidence so that you can receive the grace and mercy in your time of need, like Hebrews talks about. And I'm also convicted, but not with shame. And who He is helps you be convicted, but also not with shame, because He's such a man of grace and truth. But I'm convicted in ways of, I'm saying prayers for Meg, but right now they're hurried prayers, if I'm honest, to take time to write them down. We know what happens when we do study, and it goes from our head and processing it quickly, but through our hands, something happens that gets to our heart, and we slow down and we talk with God, not just a rushed prayer, but what we're really pouring out our hearts for. And I'm convicted to do that. I just go, Meg, I'm praying for you, but I'm not praying for you like that.
And I want to do that. Yeah, I think hearing him read those words, it was beautiful, obviously, and did certainly bring tears to my eyes. But it was also empowering and very intimate. He was praying for things that he was able to pray for her because he knew what was burdening her heart.
Like the times that we are approaching the Lord together and linking arms and whether it's fighting for each other. There are times when I know I don't even know what to pray for myself, but David can come alongside and pray for me in ways that I don't know how to pray. And it was really, yeah, empowering to hear John praying that way. John and Susan have been mentors to us.
They're a decade in front of us, and we have watched them and watched their marriage, watched them raise these kids, and they're remarkable. Like their surrender and love for Jesus, their commitment to serving families, to serving their, John was a pastor for years, has really been inspiring. And I think when he sat in that room and he pulled out his old journal, I mean, it's beat up, it's this cool leather journal, and he opens it up and you can just see pages and pages of prayers. And he talked about getting up before his family, and that's where he'd be on his knees praying for his family and his kids. That's what changes a legacy, and that's what we care about here. Yeah, and I feel what David felt, a little bit of conviction.
In a good way. I do remember when John pulled that out and he read those, I thought, I'm going to do that. I'm going to start, because I pray.
In fact, I fast and pray on Fridays for my family, and I've done it for 30-plus years, but I didn't start journaling. It's one of those, I'm going to do this. And it's like, you know what, so now I hear it again. You know what I think? I don't know what you think, David, but I'm like, I'm doing it this time. Ooh, I'm going to get you a cool leather journal for Christmas.
Give me one. And make it all beat up so it looks like I've been using it for decades. But no, I mean, it's like I often go to, what does Ann need? I'm going to fix it. I'm going to love her like Christ loved the church. I don't often think I want to pray for her like Christ is our mediator, even right now. I think that's one of the most romantic things a man can do. I agree. Yes. Don't you think? Most definitely.
I mean, that's why I think it struck me as very intimate. Hey, I'm going to fight for you in this way and go to the one who can change this for you or for us. And I love how you brought up legacy because I mean, in family life, we want to help families be transformed, make Jesus known and leave a godly legacy and to be able to go back and reflect on the ways God has provided and the legacy forming moments that God has had. That alone is worth the journaling because we end up looking back and declaring God's faithfulness.
It becomes not about our prayers, but about how He has been faithful and sovereign and has provided everything we need. Wouldn't it be cool if our kids and grandkids and great grandkids found prayer journals? We were clearing out our attic the other day and just throwing junk away. And I find my old college football films and I'm like, oh, it is cool. You know what?
That's cool. But what if somebody is clearing out our attic someday? Forget the football films. I am picturing you like Chevy Chase right now on Christmas vacation in the attic. He was totally doing that, David. But go back to your main point here.
Okay. I sort of did do that. I did it so much the ball burned out. I had to get a new ball for the projector. But no, that was a moment. It was cool. But seriously, if you think of our grandkids finding our prayer journals, like when John pulled that out, it was like, that does say my wife is valuable. So valuable. I'm not just going to pray.
I'm going to write them down and journal this and then look back at them later. You know, one of the things we get to do is sit in the studio and interview people that are just mentors. Ray Ortlund came in. Ray's another man like John Yates. He's a little ahead of us in wisdom and years and age. And, you know, Ray is the founding pastor of Emmanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee. And he came on the program to give us new eyes to see every woman as magnificent and made in the image of God.
It was a powerful moment. Well, the Bible is very clear that Genesis 1.27, so God created man in His image. In the image of God, He created him.
Male and female, He created them. Now, there are other creation accounts from the ancient world. For example, the Babylonians had their own sort of version of Genesis 1. In the Babylonian creation account, we are not created in the image of God. The creation of the woman isn't even mentioned. But in Genesis 1 and 2, everybody is, in Babylonian mythology, it was only the king who was in the image of God.
And the elite was in the image of God. The Bible democratizes the image of God, gives it to everybody who's human, and the climax of the creation account in chapter 2 of Genesis is the creation of the woman. She's the hero of the story. And in the Babylonian version, she's just assumed. In the biblical version, she's celebrated.
So, the Bible really gives us new eyes to see how magnificent a woman is. For example, I love this in the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. One of my favorites. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Galadriel, the elvish queen, wants to give each member of the fellowship a parting gift.
Everything's sort of noble and wonderful. And she asks Gimli the dwarf what he wants. And he says, I wouldn't dare ask anything. And she's surprised.
He's very humble, you know. But she urges him to go ahead and dare to make a request of her. And he says, there is nothing, Lady Galadriel, said Gimli, bowing low and stammering, nothing unless it might be permitted to ask to name a single strand of your hair, which surpasses the gold of the earth as the stars surpass the gems of the mine. I do not ask for such a gift, but you commanded me to name my desire. And the other elves they're looking on are like, no way. Did he just ask?
Did he say that? And Galadriel says, none have ever made me so bold a request and yet so courteous. And how shall I refuse since I commanded him to speak? But tell me, Gimli, what would you do with such a gift? And he said, treasure it, Lady. And if I ever return to the smithies of my home, it shall beset that strand of hair, shall beset an imperishable crystal to be an heirloom of my house and a pledge of goodwill between the mountain and the wood until the end of days.
And then Tolkien says, the lady unbraided one of her long tresses and cut off three golden hairs and laid them in Gimli's hand. I believe every woman is a potential Galadriel, whom we will perceive in the new heavens and the new earth with awe and wonder. She will be formidable. She will be wise. She will be awe-inspiring. Every woman in this humiliating, degrading world can have that destiny. She too is created in the image of God.
My privilege is to create conditions in this world where she can dare to believe that and through Christ reach for it. The day that Ray came in, I found myself in tears a lot because the way he would describe men and women, he kept calling them magnificent. Like, God has created you to be so magnificent.
And he would say the same to the men. And it lifts your head up, and I think that's what God does to us. When I just hear him speaking about that as a woman, this is who we are, I don't think that very often, Meg. I often find myself looking down, feeling discouraged, feeling I haven't done enough, like I failed as a mom, as a wife. But to hear his description, does it lift you up a little?
Completely. I mean, I certainly am guilty of waking up in the middle of the night and replaying things I wish I'd done differently and feeling bad about certain choices I've made or mother moments. But yeah, just hearing him talk, like empowering and that I should be believing what God says about me. Yeah, he points to the fact that we are his beloved and lifts our head with that. But I love at the end he said, and as a man we get to create the conditions where a woman can see. And I just think about you and our daughter, Mem, in our own home. Am I creating the conditions in our home for you guys to see the glimpses of glory of who you are because you are made in the image of God? Dave, I feel like you've done that really well. Boy, I was just sitting here thinking the opposite.
I really was. I was like, man, have I done? No, you've done it really well because I probably err on the side of I can't do it and I'm not good enough and God can't use me. But you've always believed in me and I feel like God has spoken through you so often where you will say like, you can totally do this. You'll be great at it. I'm thinking, no, I won't.
No, I can't. So thanks for doing that. Thanks for speaking into me. Yeah, and I think it's a privilege to be able to do what we do. And sometimes we have no idea as this message goes out through radio, through podcasts, people are listening to it on a phone. There are people right now in a kitchen listening to this program and it's literally going to change their legacy. That is powerful because you don't realize it when you're sitting here, oh my goodness, God is going to take this.
It's like a little seed planted and there's going to be fruit that's going to be generational. And I just want to say we said it earlier, but we are at a time financially where if you give, it's going to be matched. It's going to be double.
You talk about if you're anything like me, you're like, I get to give something that's going to be double. I'm in. I want to do that. So we would love to invite you to be our partners. Help us get this message into your kitchens, into other kitchens in your neighborhood that can transform marriages and families and generations. I know you want that. We want that. We can't do it without you. So join in and join in right here, right now.
Yeah, that's well said, Dave. And thanks to some generous ministry partners. Our matching gift fund is even bigger now. So every gift through the end of the year, including your gift right now, will be matched dollar for dollar until we hit $2.3 million. You can give today at familylifetoday.com or you can give us a call at 800-358-6329.
That's 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. And tomorrow on Family Life Today, Dave and Anne are back in the studio with David and Meg Robbins, listening back and reflecting over the clips from this last year that shine light on why we should trust God during hard times. That's tomorrow. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
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