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REAL Women Look Like This: Ann Wilson

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2023 4:15 am

REAL Women Look Like This: Ann Wilson

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 19, 2023 4:15 am

Feeling out the essence of femininity can be mystifying, even intimidating. Ann Wilson shares her insights and acronym for real women—& real womanhood.

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Chip Ingram
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Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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Alistair Begg

So we love to go to the movies. Yes, we do.

I mean, we love it. We go so much as empty nesters that people text us and ask us our reviews because they know we've probably seen the movie they want to see. And one of the things we've commented about is how the Marvel movies and the superhero movies, there's been definitely a trend.

And I'm not a movie critic. Often women instead of the men, not that there aren't guys, but I mean, Marvel, you know, Black Widow. I mean, you just watch these women kicking the tail. And I love it.

A big strong men. I like look at her go. This is amazing.

But then there's this other side of me that's like. 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 or on the Family Life app.

This is Family Life Today. We came home from one of those movies and you're like, I could take you down because you were like, you know, watching these women inspired and you're like, let's wrestle. We're down in our workout room, which is this tiny little room. And you say, I can, I'm going to take you down. I'm going to tackle you. Cause I just watched her do it. Like she knows she has like 10 men and she takes them all out. And I just started laughing like, okay, go for it girl. And you tried. It was so depressing.

It was super depressing. And I'm not like this strong dude anymore. Like I used to be.

I used to be. But I would like to be Wonder Woman. I mean, Wonder Woman, not only is she incredibly strong, capable, can wipe out the bad guy, save the world. But she's like, what, six feet? She's beautiful. You know, it's like what we all want to be. It's kind of the Barbie doll idea, but none of us really are that. So the question is, is that a real woman?

Right. And so let's go back and talk about what really is a woman, especially from God's perspective, from God's word. We started this conversation yesterday where, you know, decades ago I started talking about the four pillars of manhood, what it means to be a real man. And you developed the four pillars, I guess you call them, of a real woman.

And yesterday we covered the R and the E. You can go back and listen to that. A real woman releases control to God. And then the E was a real woman embraces her role. So today we're going to do the A and the L of what is a real woman? And this is just my stab at it, you know, as I think through and I've met with thousands of women doing conferences and speaking. But some of my friends, we all got together and we thought, what would make a real woman? What do we want our daughters to really know? I mean, in many ways, this is life-changing truth because I know at our church, you did the women's retreats and you would do one pillar for the whole weekend.

So you've done all four pillars over four different seasons. And it's interesting, that first one, a real woman releases control. When I say that at the conferences, the women are like, ugh, because it's hard. Why?

What do you mean? Because we all identify of how hard that is to release control to God because we want to manage the situation. When we're fearful, we manage it and we feel more secure. The embracing their role, they're like, you know, okay. Well, embrace the role. Do they think my role has to be a housewife, I'm a mom, I'm in the background?

Is that why they go, oh, or is it just whatever role it is? I don't want to embrace it. It's that we always are wishing ourselves out of a season and a role because when it gets hard, we want to be somewhere else. And so if you have little kids or if you're single or if you're in a hard marriage, we're wishing ourselves into the last season or into the next season. So that one's hard too, and all of these require this surrender to Jesus, knowing that He loves us, that He sees us, that He's refining us, that He's building us and creating us into the women that He wants us to be.

All right, let's go. We've got the R, we've got the E. So the A, I'm interested of what our listeners will think, the A is a real woman accepts herself. Now, this gets a little tricky, so I need to define what I mean by that.

And so I want to go a little deeper into this. First of all, let's talk about just how the culture so often defines a woman by the way she looks. Or her worth is based on how she looks, as I said, like Wonder Woman.

I mean, that hasn't changed. I know because as women, we're still battling that, that my worth comes through what I look like, my size, my beauty, my hair, my skin, am I old, am I wrinkled, you know, or am I young and fit. And that's really hard because a woman wakes up and then she goes to the mirror and she looks at herself.

She says, oh, perfect. No woman in the world ever said that, ever. Like, we don't do that.

We criticize ourselves continually. And somewhere along the line, I bet women have stories like I have. I think I was probably eight years old and my dad was a baseball coach and he had the entire baseball team. You played for him.

Oh, yeah. And they were all in our living room. I wasn't there that day.

Yeah, I had to go to an event and so I had to dress up for it, but I had to walk through this entire room of baseball, high school baseball players. You were how old? Eight.

Eight. And as I walked through, my dad said, oh, yeah, this is my daughter Ann. And when she fills out that sweater, she'll be something.

Words no dad should ever say. I can't even tell you how mortified I was by that comment. I was already small for my age and I had this dream like, oh, when I become, and I loved Barbie, the Barbie dolls. And I thought, when I become like Barbie, I will be a real woman. And, you know, Barbie had a little kid sister named Skipper who was, you know, shorter. She had a square shape instead of an hourglass. And I just thought, I'm just Skipper. And here's what happened. I stayed Skipper.

I totally stayed her. I never grew much. I didn't grow much over five foot. I never looked like Barbie. If I put my worth in that of what I look like, I've got nothing going, you know.

Another thing happened. I sort of differ with that perspective on you got nothing going. I think you're the most beautiful woman that ever existed.

You're sweet. I always thought that and I still think that. But I understand that you didn't think that in that moment. Well, think about that with my dad.

Like your father does so much shaping of what you think about yourself and a mom too. But then when I was 15 years old, I was with my cheerleading squad and we were getting ready to take pictures for the football program. And we're all really excited.

We get to be in this program. We all go out to get our pictures taken, but I forgot something. So I went back into the house where we were getting ready. It was my friend's house. And when I had gone into that house early the day to get ready, my friend's mom said, oh, Anne, you look so cute. And I said, oh, thanks.

So now we are already gone. Everyone is out of the house. But I ran back in to grab something that I'd forgotten. And I could hear my friend's mom and my friend's sister talking in the kitchen.

They didn't know I was in the house. And I heard my friend's sister say to her mom, I can't believe you said that to Anne. She's so ugly.

And then her mom says, yeah, but she tries hard. And I grabbed what I had forgotten. I walked out the door to have my picture taken, feeling like the ugliest person in the world, and also thinking if somebody tells me they think I'm pretty, they're probably lying. And so as I share that, I'm amazed at how many women have some sort of a story about their looks and how it's shaped them or it's made them feel bad or it's marked them. I know that when we got married, and it wasn't just for one year, it was for many years, when I would tell you you were beautiful, you would almost every time say, no, I'm not. And I used to think, oh, you got mad. What are you talking about?

You are gorgeous. You just didn't want to compliment. And I would really, after a while, I just get mad like, what do you? And I don't know, it was five, seven years in when it really hit me that you didn't believe you were beautiful. I didn't know this story. That's part of it. It's sort of in the core of your identity. But you believed what you heard this mom and her sister say about you was the truth when the truth wasn't that.

So how did you get out of that? Well, I think a lot of us, as I said, probably have stories like that. And here's the thing, if you have daughters, like I think it is like tell them they're beautiful because they long to hear that.

But that's not the only thing they have. I wish there had been more compliments about who I was, my passions, my gifts, my strengths. Character was huge. And so I think as parents, I think it's important to do both, but I wouldn't put so much emphasis on the looks because our culture puts so much. But to tell our daughters, you're so cute. You're really beautiful.

And I love that you are and then name some of their talents or gifts or especially and I would say their character qualities are huge. But Dave, I feel like a lot of women get stuck in that area because our culture stuck in that area. So I mean, how does a woman get to a place where she accepts herself? For me, it was really as I started to read the scriptures and I gave my life to Jesus, I would always come to Psalm 139, 13 through 18. The whole Psalm is amazing. But I mean, I'm just going to read it to you. You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex.

Your workmanship is marvelous. How well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born and every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, oh God. They cannot be numbered. I can't even count them.

They outnumber the grains of sand. And when I wake up, you are still with me. And so, I look at that and I think, oh, He's knit me together perfectly, wonderfully. Now, I used to say, well, I know Jesus loves me and my parents love me, you know. And it's great God loves me, but the world doesn't. But I think the more we understand God's love, His care, how He saw us, He knit us together. And I think with our daughters, to read that, I would read that and say to them, God has knit you together fearfully, wonderfully, He made you. And I love, like you're a miracle in front of me as I see you. And I've said that to my grandkids every time I see them. Like, look at you. Yeah, you do.

I do. And I was even thinking of, I just read this yesterday in the Bible, Luke 12, six and seven. And Jesus was talking to the Pharisees, but He was saying, what is the price of five sparrows?

Two copper coins, which actually is one penny. And when they would buy those two sparrows for a penny, they would throw a third one in for free in those days. And it says, yet God does not forget a single one of them. And He's really kind of referring to that third one that was free. God even knows that one.

The one that was free, God knows that sparrow. And then He goes on, Jesus is saying this, and the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid.

You are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. I think as I've gotten to know God more and more, the more I understand God's incredible love for me, His plan for me. And the other thing I want to go into this too, Dave, is not just she accepts herself physically, but she accepts who she is and who God made her to be. And she starts to begin looking for who she is and how God created her. What does that mean? I mean, I know that, as I said earlier, that I did not understand the deep wounding you had about who you were.

And that some of that, a lot of that was physical. And so, you know, as a husband, I think we have power in our relationship with our wives to speak what you just said, life. Like you're saying, do it to your grandkids.

I think we as husbands need to speak it. Because have I done that? I guess I'm being crazy to ask you a question right here on air.

Have I been able to do that? Because I used to just laugh and be mad at you, thinking you really do know you're beautiful. But then I realized, no, that is a deep wounding.

You don't believe that, and I have a role to be able to speak truth and life and Psalm 139 over you. Does that help when a husband does that? Absolutely. But I also think, because here's the downside of the physical part, it's just going downhill, man, you know?

It's just like things are just going to keep getting worse. And so if my identity is wrapped up into the physical form, like you can say you're beautiful, but I also know I'm getting old. So for you, it's kind of that Proverbs 31 woman. As you go through and it lists all the many things that this woman has done, and it's her character, it's what she pours into and how she pours into people. That's the piece I want us to have more focus on. It's almost like my friend Michelle used to say, we should glance at our physical form, but we should gaze at God.

Does that make sense? Like look in the mirror quickly, do what you should do to take care of yourself, but don't let that be your gaze. Let who you are and who God is be the one that you're gazing at. And so what I've started to do too is when I'm with women, I'll try to speak to them what I see their gifts and strengths are.

Like, man, look how passionate you are. Our granddaughter, Olive, who's seven, she loves Bethany Hamilton. And Bethany Hamilton is a surfer. And there was a movie made about her called Soul Surfer.

I bet a lot of you remember this girl, she's the one that was surfing and a shark bit her arm off while she was surfing. And so Olive loves pretending that she's Bethany Hamilton. So she goes around, you've seen this, Dave, she has her arm tucked into her shirt and she's pretending to be Bethany Hamilton. And I said to her one day, like, Olive, what do you love about her? Like, why do you want to be her? That's just, she's like, I want to be Bethany Hamilton.

Because, you know, with our kids, the things that they're interested in, they're passionate about and the things they care about and even how they play, shows us a little bit of who they are inside of what God's put in them. And she said, I love that after she had her arm bitten off by the shark, she went on to keep surfing. And she's still one of the best surfers ever. So for me, that showed me that she loves the overcomer story. You know, she loves to see somebody go through a hard trial, but she overcomes.

And all of her movies, her favorites are based on that kind of thing. So as you look at your daughters, at your friends, your coworkers, we as women, as we start to speak life into each other, I think those are the things that we can start saying like, oh, this is who I am. This is who God made me be. He knit me together. I know this, when a woman accepts herself, she's a confident woman.

Yes. She wakes up with a confidence, not an arrogance, but a confidence in Christ that I'm exactly who God wants me to be and that's a good thing and I can be free to live free in that. That makes her an incredible woman, incredible wife, incredible mom, grandmother. I mean, it just changes everything.

Well, and let me add this too. I think maybe because of my abuse, some of the things that happened to me when I was little, I had this outward confidence, but inside I was continually critiquing myself. You're fat, you're ugly, you're not worthy, you're not useful. You probably aren't as good as the person next door. But if you saw me out and about, you would never think I had those thoughts about myself, continually downgrading myself.

And I'm telling you, women do that all the time. So, as we begin to let God transform our minds, as in Romans 12, 1 and 2, He starts to change it. I stopped letting myself go down that bad place of negatively talking to myself, about myself. That's the accuser, that's the enemy, that's Satan who never wants me to live out what God has put in me. If you're there, I would really encourage you to take note of what you're saying to yourself about yourself and then take those thoughts captive and give them to Jesus.

It might be that you need to memorize Psalm 139 or other scripture. And then the last one, which kind of flows right into that accepts yourself. I mean, is this last one the most important? Yes. The E in real man, a real man engages with God, is the most important.

This L looks like the same thing. It all is determined by this one, because a real woman loves God and she loves others. And this is taken from Matthew 22, 37 through 39. And Jesus said to them, when a person asks them what is the greatest commandment, Jesus said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and the first commandment, and the second is like it.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. As I look at this, and even that A, and she accepts herself, to me this is the gospel. The reason we can accept ourselves is because King Jesus died for us. He's the one out of his death, out of his resurrection, out of his calling.

He's called us to himself. He makes us a new creature in Christ. And that then, as we love God, allows us to love God, give our lives to him. And then that also allows us to love others.

So, what does that look like for a woman? How do you love God and others? I mean, the first one is she releases control, meaning that she releases control of her life to God.

She gives him everything. So, surrender. Surrender. And I would say, too, that we put into practice this living out our faith, which are spiritual disciplines. And we need one another in accountability as sisters in Christ and community to live this out, like being in the Word.

I'd say, get in a group of women that you can be accountable. Like, have you been in the Word? What have you been reading? What is God teaching you? What is God saying to you in the Word?

I think that really matters. And then, as a result of that, the overflow of that, is you will love other people. You'll start to see them the way Jesus sees them, and you'll say to them the things Jesus would say to them.

When we were going to seminary, I was teaching aerobics at this big club in California. And I was just learning what it really was to love God and to love others. I could never love others because I didn't know God's love, and I didn't know what He thought about me. So, as a result, I was super insecure.

And insecure people have a hard time loving others. And whenever I would be around another beautiful or competent or gifted woman, I felt so insecure. I don't think I ever complimented another woman until I was in my 20s. And so, there is this girl, Maria. She taught with me at this club, and she was beautiful. She was nice. She was, like, amazing in every way. And we all hated her.

All the women are so jealous. And she would just gossip about her. And I didn't gossip about her, but I just looked at her like, who is she? She's like Wonder Woman.

There's nobody like her. And I remember she's in the locker room, and she's super happy all the time. This is when God was teaching me, like, Ann, I love you the way you are, and I want you to love other people the way I love them. And so, I decided this first time I'd ever done this, I went up to her in the locker room, and I said, I just want you to know you are so sickening. And she goes, what are you talking about?

I said, I'm so jealous. Like, I look at you, and I'm thinking, oh, you're perfect like you are perfection. And it makes none of us like you because you're so perfect. And I said, I'm just teasing.

Like, if you're going to be perfect, at least you could be mean or something. But you're so stinking nice, too. You're amazing. And that's so funny because she goes, what?

What are you talking about? I said, and you're so happy. She goes, I just feel confident because my mom, this is crazy. My mom and dad always told me, like, Maria, you really have something going on.

They always built her up, not just her beauty, but who she was as a person. And she and I became really good friends, and it's the first time I saw another woman, not being my competition, but she's my partner. Like, man, we could change the world together if we would start linking arms and fighting the enemy with one another, kind of like the superhero women, you know? It's like we are in this battle. We're in the battle for the hearts and souls of men and women, boys and girls. And if women could understand who they are, who God created them to be, they're speaking into their daughters, their sisters, their granddaughters of who God created them to be, that He loves them, He sees them, He's gifted them, and He wants to use them.

Oh, we really could change the world. You're listening to Dave and Anne Wilson on Family Life Today. They've got some reflections on this week's conversation in just a minute, but first, maybe you've heard us talk about Weekend to Remember and our other marriage resources a lot. But really, it's because we see it as the best thing you could do for your marriage this year. And while our getaways are all 50% off right now, did you also know that our gift cards for a getaway are also on sale? So maybe you have another couple in mind you'd like to send to the Weekend to Remember, or you're not sure what date you can actually go? Well, you can buy a gift card now at 50% off and register for an event near you later on. Along with the sale, we also have all our marriage small group resources available and on sale too.

So the discount ends January 23rd, so head over to, click on the Weekend to Remember link, and grab a gift card today. All right, here's Dave and Anne with a recap of this week so far and a look ahead to tomorrow's important conversation. So we've spent this week talking about the four pillars of manhood and the four pillars of womanhood. A real man, and I've got to say it.

Oh, yeah. You know, when we're at a men's retreat, we yell these out with, you know, gusto. A real man rejects passivity and engages with God, accepts responsibility, and leads courageously. I mean, that sort of defines manhood. And by the way, women can live out those as well. They go both ways.

And it's sort of true for the women's sport as well. Yeah, because we talked about a real woman too, and a real woman releases control. She embraces her role.

A real woman accepts herself, and a real woman loves God and loves others. Yeah, and tomorrow, we're going to bring David and Meg Robbins in, you know, as president of Family Life, and we're going to talk about what a real woman and real man look like in a marriage. And so we're going to talk about what would real oneness look like? You don't want to miss this. That's going to be fun. We're longing to be one. What's that look like, and how do we get there?
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-20 04:03:39 / 2023-01-20 04:14:29 / 11

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