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You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

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Announcer: Thank you for listening to this message from True Woman ‘08, Revive Our Hearts' first national women's conference. It's our prayer that God blesses you with His Word and His heart as you listen.

Mary Kassian: Women, you have come a looooong way, baby. You've come a long way. In the late 1960s, the Morris Tobacco Company introduced the slogan, “You've come a long way, baby,” to launch Virginia Slims, their new “women's only” cigarette. In the ads, staged black and white photos picturing the miserable state of women prior to the women's movement were juxtaposed against other photos of far happier, modern women who demonstrated their emancipation from male dominance by smoking Virginia Slims.

In the ad on the left, there are three black and white scenes that depict an arrogant, overweight husband impatiently ringing a bell to have his wife bring him food, a newspaper, and slippers. The caption reads, “With this ring, I thee wed: ring for paper, ring for supper, ring for slippers.” The full-color, happy, modern, Virginia Slims woman pictured in the forefront rejects the male-defined institute of marriage. “You've come a long way, baby.”

The ad at the bottom states, “Back then, educationf taught men to run the world and woman to run the home.” It depicts miserable, bored women sitting at old-fashioned desks learning about home economics. The blackboard proclaims that there will be a laundry quiz on Tuesday and that their homework consists of several cooking and cleaning assignments.

The full-color, happy, modern, Virginia Slims woman on the adjoining page knows that running a house is a low-class, demeaning job for someone with a university education. She wants to get out of the house and do something really important, like run the world. “You've come a long way, baby.”

In the top ad, an old-fashioned, black and white scene depicts women working hard and their male boss holding his lapels, taking all the credit. The caption reads, “Virginia Slims looks back upon the self-made man and all the women who made him possible.” The smug Virginia Slims woman in the foreground holds lapels of her business suit in the same manner as the boastful, male boss, but there is no one propping her up. She is a self-made woman, and she makes herself possible. “You've come a long way, baby.”

The final ad features a large, black and white photo of two policemen forcibly removing a woman from a public beach wearing an immodest bathing suit. The woman is screaming, “You just wait! Someday, we'll be able to wear any bathing suit we want! Someday, we'll be able to vote! Someday, we'll even have our own cigarette!” The policeman retorts, “That'll be the day.”

But the happy, enlightened, Virginia Slims woman has the last word. “It will be the day,” when she has the right to set her own standards of sexual conduct, morality, and propriety. She's aiming for the day when she dismantles all the rules. “You've come a long way, baby.”

In the past fifty years, women have come a long way, but a long way isn't necessarily the right way or a good way. Up until the middle of the last century, Western culture as a whole generally embraced a Judeo-Christian standard, Judeo-Christian framework on gender and sexuality and the purpose and structure of the family.

Heterosexual marriage and marital fidelity were highly valued concepts and the norm of society's practice. Most agreed that the primary responsibility of the male was to lead and to protect and to provide for his family while the primary responsibility of the female was to nurture and care for children and home.

Differences between male and female were accepted and seldom questioned, and for both man and woman, the sense of duty and responsibility to family was far greater than the quest for personal fulfillment. Though they may not have been able to identify the source of their values, individuals had a sense of what it meant to be a man or a woman and the appropriate outworking of gender roles and relationships.

The speed and magnitude with which all this has been deconstructed is absolutely phenomenal. It's mind-boggling. Consider the image, the cultural image, of women back in the 1950s, represented by the popular TV sitcom, Leave It to Beaver. The Cleaver family exemplified the idealized, suburban family.

In the series, there are four things that are presented as requisites for happiness for both man and woman. They are marriage, children, education—both of the Cleavers, man and woman, they both had a college education, and they met at college—and hard work. In typical late-1950s fashion, June worked hard at home all day taking care of the house and serving the community while her husband, Ward, worked hard outside of the house to financially support the family.

June was there with fresh-baked cookies and a tall, cold glass of milk when her children, Wally and Beaver, got home from school. When Ward came in the door after work calling out, “I'm home,” June, wearing a pretty dress, greeted him with a smile and a kiss, a clean house, and a hot meal on the table for supper.

In the show, adults who didn't follow this marriage were depicted as troubled or missing out. Life for women was very different 50 years ago, very, very different. Almost everyone got married. The average age for getting married was 20 years old for girls and 22 years old for men.

  • Once married, a woman could normally count on her husband to financially support her and the children.
  • The divorce rate was very low.
  • Chastity and virginity were virtues.
  • Sex outside of marriage was considered shameful.
  • Scarcely anyone lived common-law because it carried the stigma of living in sin. So few couples lived common-law at that time that statistics for this phenomena wasn't even recorded. They didn't even keep statistics.
  • Having a child outside of wedlock was also considered shameful. Now, one American child is born outside of wedlock every 25 seconds, and tonight, more than 40 percent of children will go to sleep in homes in which their fathers do not live.
  • Only 30 percent of women were employed outside the home in 1960. Very rarely was there a woman who had under school-age children who went out and worked outside of the home.
  • There was not the birth-control pill.
  • Abortion was illegal.
  • Pornography and rape and homosexuality, sexual perversion, sexual addiction, sexually transmitted diseases were uncommon and rarely encountered.
  • Men regarded it as their responsibility to protect and provide and care for their families.

That was the world that I was born into, and it wasn't all that long ago. We've come a long way, baby. Our ideas about what it means to be a woman have come a long way.

By the late 1960s, the image of June Cleaver being happy at home in her role as wife and mother were gone by the wayside, replaced by the 1970s Mary Tyler Moore image of a pretty, single woman in her 30s pursuing a career at a television station. The show was lauded as a breakthrough because it had the first, independent, attractive career woman as the center.

It discreetly implied that Mary was single. She was on the pill. She was also sexually active, but the focus of the show was on her career, not on her association with men. She truly was on her own, without a recurring father or husband or boyfriend or anyone looking out for her. Every episode, the theme song proudly alluded to her autonomy. “You're gonna make it after all.” Okay? A lot of you women remember that. You remember that. You're shaking your heads.

In the 1980s, we're introduced to Murphy Brown, an investigative journalist and news anchor for FYI, a fictional TV news magazine. In contrast to the gentle sweetness of Mary Tyler Moore, this character, Murphy Brown, has a loud mouth, is rash, driven, self-assured, self-absorbed, and highly opinionated. She is a divorcee and a proud atheist, and during the course of the series, Murphy becomes pregnant but chooses not to marry her baby's father. A man would cramp her style. She has the child none-the-less and leaves the baby in the care of a revolving door of nannies so she can pursue her career. The child is merely a side in the plot that revolves around Murphy's self-actualization in the workplace.

In the mid-90s, enter Ellen, a woman who doesn't work for someone else but who independently owns her own business, a bookstore. Ellen lives with a man, but the relationship is platonic. He's just her roommate. She's not sexually attracted to him, and gradually, we discover that Ellen isn't attracted to men at all. She's a lesbian, a woman-identified woman. She has the right to define her own sexuality and her own morality, and no one has the right to judge her for it. She's out, and she's in charge, as are virtually all the women portrayed in the media in the past decade. From children's cartoons to television series to movies, women are portrayed as having an in charge—don't need a guy—I'm powerful, traditional marriage and family and morals are outdated—I have the right to rule—how dare you tell me what to do—mentality.

In the past decade, we've been inundated with the message that when it comes to relationships, women can hook up, be in a casual or long-term relationship, live common-law, get married or not, get married and then get divorced, get pregnant or abort the babies, sleep around, live with a guy or a girl, have sex with a guy or a girl, and participate in a whole assortment of immoral and perverted behavior as long as they are friends. In other words, woman makes her own rules and sets her own standards, and as long as she is nice, it really doesn't matter what she does. Who are you to judge?

The epitome of this is reflected in the most popular sitcom recently for and about women, Sex in the City. Selfhood and sisterhood is what it's all about. As long as women are first loyal to themselves and second to their female buddies, they're on the right track. Single, married, lesbian, heterosexual, promiscuous, perverted—they can be vulgar, crude, and crass, but if they are for themselves and for other women and are caring and nice, then they're okay.

In the new worldview, men are whiny and needy and not too bright and totally unreliable. They're marginalized and de-masculinized, used, regarded, and discarded like Kleenex out of a box. The Sex in the City character, Charlotte, only hesitates a moment before giving up her engagement ring to help her girlfriend pay for the down payment on a house.

Now days, the epitome of empowered womanhood is to live a self-serving, self-righteous, neurotic, narcissistic, superficial, and adulteress life. The main character in Sex in the City series wraps it up well when she counsels women that, “The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.”

So in a few short decades in the span of my lifetime, the ideal of a happy, fulfilled woman has gone from one who serves and exalts her children, her husband, and her community to one who serves and exalts herself and has a very different type of commitment, very different type of idea towards men and women. This begs the question, how did this all happen? How did it all happen?

The factors are many and complex, but a very large piece of the puzzle is feminism. Feminism is a distinct philosophy that shook the underpinnings of society in the early 1960s like a tsunamic earthquake shaking the ocean's floor. Feminism is an “ism” like atheism, humanism, Marxism, existentialism, post-modernism, the “ism” indicates that we are dealing with a theory, a philosophical theory, a doctrine, a system of principles and ideas.

Feminism encompasses much more than the cultural pursuit of women's rights movement. It's more than yesterday's fashion. It's more than a neglected piece of hippie beads hanging in the back of our mothers' closets. Feminism is a distinct worldview. It's a distinct worldview with its very own thoughts, its ideologies, values, ways of thinking, and whether or not you would admit it, whether or not you know it, all of us in this room have been profoundly affected by feminist thought.

Now, some of you may think that what we're doing this morning as an intellectual foray into the past, philosophy is an exercise in futility. But ladies, it's the student of history who understands current culture and is equipped to envision a path for the future. During a time of national turmoil, the nation of Israel was served by the men of Issachar, men, Scripture tells us, according to 1 Chronicles 12:32, “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” So my purpose this morning is to help you understand the times.

See, I want you to understand the times so that you know what to do and you know how to live. I'm praying that God is going to raise up a counter-revolution of women, women who hold the knowledge of our times in one hand and the truth and the clarity and the charity of the Word of God in the other; women whose hearts are broken over the gender confusion and the spiritual and emotional and relational carnage of our day and who, like those men of old, know what to do.

Now, I'm going to take you back to the 1950s and paint some broad brush strokes of how the philosophy of feminism developed and was integrated into culture, and then we're going to end on Scripture. What do we do? What do we do about that?

First, let me give you a little bit of a historical background to that era. Geo-politically, the world was witnessing an era of revolution. The American Revolution, French Revolution, Russian Revolution had been based on the enlightenment idea that all people are equal and no one group has the right to rule over any other group.

The word revolution, from the Latin revolucion means “a turnaround.” It's a fundamental change in power that takes place in a relatively short period of time.

In the 1940s and 50s, the world witnessed revolutions in India, Korea, China, Hungary, Iraq, Cuba. In these revolutions, the ruling class was, either through violence or civil disobedience, overthrown by the class that they had ruled and sometimes oppressed. Revolutionary fervor was in the air, and the fight for rights was in the air, and it spread from political to social structures.

  • Workers demanded their rights and formed unions.
  • Students demanded their rights and marched against the oppressive educational structures.
  • Attention was drawn to racial inequality between blacks and whites. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, and the Civil Rights movement was born.
  • During the 1950s, there was a French philosopher, and her name was Simone de Beauvoir, and she proposed that a revolution in gender roles also needed to take place.

She argued that in the relationship between men and women, women were the second class and men were the ruling class. They got all the perks. They had the power. They had the authority, and they got to say what the world looked like.

De Beauvoir argued that in order for women to live as full human beings, they needed to demand their rights, collectively rebel against men, and overthrow all of the societal structures that men had constructed to keep women in a state of servitude. Most specifically, de Beauvoir encouraged women to get out of the home and deconstruct the Judeo-Christian ideas about marriage and motherhood and morality.

In the late 1950s, an American political activist and journalist, Betty Friedan, picked up on Simone de Beauvoir's thinking. She constructed a questionnaire for the 15-year reunion of her college class. She asked her college-educated, female colleagues about the level of happiness and fulfillment they were experiencing in their marriages and in their roles as wives and mothers. Friedan noticed that there was a level of discontent and dissatisfaction present.

She interviewed dozens of other women and concluded that a discrepancy existed between what society told women would make them happy and fulfilled and how happy and fulfilled they actually felt. In her resulting book, published in 1963, Friedan argued that women were trying to conform to a male-dictated image of womanhood, the feminine mystique, but that doing so left them with vague feelings of dissatisfaction and that yearning and emptiness and that feeling that there had to be something more to life.

She identified this as a common problem amongst women. It was a female problem, a problem without a name. She concluded that the dissatisfaction that women were experiencing in that time in their role was a problem with the role itself. She suggested that in order to find fulfillment, American women should begin to question and challenge and rebel against being wives and mothers. A woman could only be fulfilled if she had a life plan for herself that included education, a career, and work that was of serious import to society, and each woman needed to name herself and take control and take charge of her own life and develop a vision for her own future. Here's the underlying presupposition behind Betty Friedan's ideas and the ideas of feminism as a whole. We—women—need and can trust no other authority than our own, personal truth. We need and can trust no other authority than our own, personal truth.

Alvin Toffler, the author of Future Shock called The Feminine Mystique the book that pulled the trigger on history. Indeed, once woman accepted this very basic premise of needing and trusting no other authority except her own, personal truth, she set her foot on a path that would take her, and ultimately the whole of society, in a direction diametrically opposed to the heart and the purposes and the ways of God.

Simone de Beauvoir's and Betty Friedan's writings gained popularity amongst North American women. Evidently many women were experiencing feelings of frustration and discontentment, and many eagerly yearned for the something more preferred by these feminists.

A problem had been exposed, and feminists were convinced that it was the problem. They hadn't yet found a word to adequately describe it, but that came quite quickly. In the 1960s, late 60s, feminist author Kate Millett used the term patriarchy to describe the problem without a name.

Now patriarchy derives its origin from two Greek words, pater, meaning “father,” and archi, meaning “rule.” Patriarchy was to be understood as the rule of the father. Feminists argued that patriarchy is what caused all the heartache of woman. Patriarchy, the condition of having male in a leadership, authority role is what caused woman's heartache and heartbreak. It wasn't just an abstract concept of men having more power and authority than woman. It was woven throughout our entire society's family and social and political and religious structures. It was laced throughout our social etiquette and our customs, our rituals, our traditions and laws, our entire system of education and division of labor, and all of these things were responsible for keeping men in a dominant position and women in a submissive, subservient position. Patriarchy was seen as the ultimate cause of woman's discontent, and only the demise and the deconstruction of all patriarchal structures would lead to her freedom. Only when woman broke free from the traditional, male-defined, Judeo-Christian roles and rules would she find meaning and fulfillment, and thus, the trigger was pulled.

In the first phase of feminism, women claimed the right to name themselves. Their goal was to shed the differences that made women weak and vulnerable to become more like men. They began to dress like men and smoke and drink and swear like men and to claim sexual freedom and participation in the work force.

Newly established feminist groups like NOW, the National Organization for Women, gave public lobbies and demonstrations in order to further the feminist agenda, which consisted of these points:

  • Full self-determination—woman needed to decide who she was and needed to have the legal right to act independently of her husband.
  • Freedom from biology—that prompted feminists at that time to lobby for birth control, for legalized abortion, state daycare, reproductive technologies, such as test tube babies, anything that took the burden of bearing and caring for children off of a woman's shoulders and put it more on society as a whole.
  • Economic independence—pay equity, equal pay for work of equal value, changes to financial practices, total and equal integration, affirmative action.

Women began to seek these things with passion and fervor—sexual freedom, changes in adultery and decency laws. Feminists picketed outside New York Times building in opposition to the male-segregated help wanted ads. They organized a splashy protest of the Miss America contest. But although the awareness of a woman's movement was spreading, allegiance to the feminist perspective was not yet widespread, and feminist theorists concluded at that time that woman as a whole needed education.

They needed enlightenment. They didn't get it. They didn't know how bad their situation really was. They didn't know how bad men really were and how repressed they were to be just seeking happiness in motherhood and childbearing and being wives.

They needed a tool to show woman and to educate women how oppressed they really were, and inadvertently, quite inadvertently, they unearthed one. Feminists in New York discovered that if they gathered women together in small groups and got all those women talking about their hurts and grievances against men, then all the women in the group would begin to get upset with men, even those women who didn't have any hurts and grievances themselves, and then their anger could be directed into action. They could be empowered to rebel against the authority of the males in their homes and also in society as a whole and change the rules of the game, and this technique was called consciousness-raising.

It wasn't new. Consciousness-raising was actually a political technique used by the revolutionary army of Mao Tse-tung. His slogan was, “Speak bitterness to recall bitterness. Speak pain to recall pain.” To promote discord and instability in a village, his political revolutionaries would call the townswomen together and get them to talk about their hurts. “Come tell me about the hurts that you've experienced.”

So the women were encouraged to speak bitterness and pain, and the initial reluctance gave way to collective anger as woman after woman told stories of being raped by landlords, being sold as concubines, or physical abuse. As women vented their bitterness, they experienced a newfound strength and resolve that empowered them to corporate action.

For example, in one village, a peasant man was physically pummeled to a pulp and attacked by an entire group of women because he hadn't been treating his wife well. Together, the women found the strength to act and to confront their situation and the resolve to be active in forcing change, and that is how Mao Tse-tung got his revolution.

In the fall of 1968, feminist leader, Kathie Sarachild, organized a guide and a manifesto to consciousness-raising and presented it to the first Women's Liberation Conference held in Chicago 40 years ago. She proposed that the feminist movement use this political technique to activate a broad scale gender revolution. She argued that through consciousness-raising groups, women's small sparks of discontentment that they felt in their spirit could be fanned into an inferno of corporate discontent and political action.

The dynamics of the small group was the most powerful, effective tool to lead women to a personal, “aha” moment of consciousness-raising—the moment that she accepts and she understands that all the problems in the world and all the problems of women are due to the rule of men and that she has the right to take things back into her own hands.

Consciousness-raising encouraged women to change their beliefs and behaviors, to make demands in their relationships, to support the woman's movement, to become politically active. These groups just proliferated like wildfire throughout the 60s. Some of you will remember an old commercial for hair products that went, “And she told two friends, and she told two friends, and she told two friends.” The commercial started with a picture of one woman and then added the pictures of the two women that she had told and then the women that they had told, and soon, the screen is full of hundreds upon hundreds of pictures of women, and that's exactly how feminism spread.

There were only about 200 women at the first National Women's Conference in Chicago in 1968, 40 years ago, but with the help of consciousness-raising, women across the continent began to claim the right to name and to find themselves. By 1970, 20,000 women marched proudly down New York's Fifth Avenue identifying themselves as part of the Women's Lib Movement. Betty Friedan summed up the tenor of the movement when she blazed, “There is no way any man, woman, or child is ever going to escape the nature of our revolution.”

The shift in mindset—the feminist movement began to shift in mindset at this time. Women began to see themselves as a sex class and as a distinct class of people that needed liberation, that needed freedom, and that needed freedom from oppression. The first phase of the movement viewed women's differences as weaknesses. The second phase viewed their differences as a source of pride and confidence. The shift in mindset was epitomized by the song we played when I first came up to the stage. I remember that song. I sang it as a young girl.

I am strong.
I am invincible.
I am woman.
Hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore.

Women turned their attention at that time from naming themselves to naming the world. History was just arbitrary. It was all the rules and all the ideas that men had made. It was his-story, and it was time for that to change. So woman took it into her own hands to change that from economics to politics, psychology, linguistics, relationships, religion. Women needed to change that which had been construed for male advantage.

Women began to institute women's programs in colleges and universities. Prior to 1969, there were no women's studies courses. By the end of the 70s, the number of women’s studies courses had mushroomed to over 30,000 across the United States. Educators modified grade-school curriculum, continuing education courses, and courses at technical schools.

This was the golden age of feminism. At the opening of the decade, there were very few women who would call themselves feminists, but by the end of that decade, feminism has dispersed—the ideology had dispersed to affect almost every member of society. Many women had claimed the feminist right to name self and to name the world, and soon, both in secular and religious circles, they started to claim another right that logically followed, and that was the right to name God.

When Helen Reddy accepted the Grammy Award for I Am Woman song, she said, “I'd like to thank god because she made everything possible.” Betty Friedan, earlier that same year, had predicted that the great debate of the next decade would be, is God He?

Feminists had named themselves and their world, and in the final phase, they began to turn their attention to naming God. They concluded that if God is male, then the male is God, so of course God isn't He. Well then, who or what is God? According to feminism, women decide, and ultimately, that means that they themselves are God—follows logically.

The feminist metaphysic teaches that each woman contains divinity within her own being. New Age philosophy, Wicca, goddess worship are all expressions of this feminist spirituality. Have you ever wondered how and why advertisers named their new women's shaver after a goddess and market their product as being able to provide stubble-free legs worthy of the goddess in you?

The fundamental premise of feminism is that women need and can trust no other authority than our own personal truth, and that was a really quick fly-over of just where we've come from in the last 40, 50 years.

It was a philosophical quake that shook underground, and like a tsunami—the waves of the implications of that have come back over society in wave after wave after wave, and the carnage is unbelievable. The carnage in young women's lives, in older women's lives, the carnage is unbelievable. We are so broken.

We have been taught that we ought not to bow and submit to any external power, but that's not the message of the Bible. God created us. He created us male and female, and that's not inconsequential. That means something.

The Bible informs us that there was an essential difference in the manner and the purpose of the creation of the two sexes. The New Testament reiterates that there are basic differences between men and women that are to be honored as part of God's design.

By refusing to honor these differences or by defiantly shaking our fists at God and saying, “It cannot be so!” we define, or we claim the right to name for ourselves. We take authority into our own hands. Naming is a right which belongs to God. It is God who made the earth and created mankind upon it. We have no right to question the wisdom of His directives for our behavior.

God spoke through Isaiah,

Woe to him who quarrels with his maker, to him who is but a potsherd [that's a broken piece of pottery] among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?” Does your work say, “He has no hands”? Concerning things to come, do you question Me about my children, or do you give me orders about the work of My hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it,” Isaiah 45:9-12.

Paul repeats the admonition in Romans. 

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why did you make me this way?” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Romans 9:20-21.

The Creator fashioned the two sexes differently, and this is a fact that we dare not overlook or trivialize. In 1 Corinthians 11:9 & 12, we are told that, “The man did not come from the woman, but the woman from the man. Neither was man created for woman but woman for man.”

Furthermore, “The woman is not independent of man. Nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman came from man, so also man is born of woman, but everything comes from God.” Very unpopular to read these Scriptures nowadays, isn't it? Very unpopular.

But I am crazy enough to believe that God knew what He was doing, and what He was doing was good. Indeed, it was very good.

Our identity as male and female is important. As John Piper says, “It speaks to the glory of God.” Who I am as a woman and who I am in relationship to my husband, how I relate should cause people to look and say, “Wow! I see Jesus.” Women, I believe that God's instructions for us in His Word are not only right, they are also good and pleasant and desirable. Our problem is, we come and try to present a whole list of do’s and don'ts. We don't capture women's heart for the beauty of the vision of what womanhood is all about, and it's our only hope for wholeness to understand that our whole purpose is to live for the glory of God.

So what's the answer to the question feminism posed almost 50 years ago? It was a spiritual question, the whole question of, “Well, what's going to bring women happiness and fulfillment and joy in life?”  Do we reel the clock back, go back to the 1950s? Is it true that woman will only find satisfaction when she's the mom and a wife and has a station wagon and a white picket fence? Is that true? That's not true.

There is no man on the face of this earth that is going to fill your needs and desires. We need to turn that desire to the right target. We were created with needs and desires in order to point us and to draw us and to lure us and entice us and make us fall in love with Him to whom those desires point. That is true.

It was 40 years ago that 200 women gathered in Chicago at the first National Women's Convention. There were only 200, and at that time, they instituted a program of consciousness-raising, of speaking bitterness, of being angry and rebellious.

Forty years later, and here I stand before an army that God has called. An army that knows it is not by might, not by power. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. They have divine power to demolish strongholds and bring evil to its knees.

The Lord isn't so concerned about whether or not we're married, whether we're single. Those things, ultimately, are an outworking of His plan and purposes in our life. What He is concerned about is that we have hearts that say yes to Him and that love Him and that are willing to be crazy enough to say, “What He has made is beautiful,” and crazy enough to say, “Selfless living, sacrificial living, laying down my life in emulation of the Christ I love is worth it!”

In that, and in only in that, am I going to figure out the path to happiness and fulfillment. So women, what are you going to say yes to because we have been inundated with images. Every day it's in our face. What it is, the world's solution to our happiness, the world's solution to that problem, that yearning, that discontentment.

Christ is the solution, Christ alone. I want to stand before you, and I pray that you will stand as a woman who says, “Yes, yes, Lord, may it be so. Amen.”

Announcer: This message was presented at True Woman '08 in Chicago. Check out all of the messages delivered there and more by visiting www.TrueWoman.com. There you'll find even more ways to connect, from books and resources you can order for yourself, your friends, or your life group, to on-demand multimedia, to ongoing conversations you can be a part of, and we're updating it all the time.

True Woman '08 is a ministry of Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.