Best of 2022! Our picks: David and Meg Robbins
About the Guest
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David and Meg RobbinsAs 17-year veterans of Cru, David and Meg Robbins have served in a variety of capacities, beginning as ﬁeld staff at their Alma Mater, the University of Mississippi. In 2003, they moved to Pisa, Italy, to serve as overseas team leaders for Cru. It was during that time they fell in love with ﬁnding ways to relate and communicate with a secular, pluralistic culture. They trained to serve overseas long-term until God surprisingly led them back to the U.S.
On FamilyLife Today, Dave and Ann Wilson bring on their FamilyLife President, David Robbins and his wife Meg, who kick off a thought-provoking series of FamilyLife Today’s best, don’t-miss episodes of 2022.
Best of 2022! Our picks: David and Meg Robbins
John: When you’re praying for members of your family, just talk to God; just say, “You know, 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, help her to feel secure.”
Ann: Welcome to FamilyLife Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I’m Ann Wilson.
Dave: And I’m Dave Wilson, and you can find us at FamilyLifeToday.com or on the FamilyLife® app.
Ann: This is FamilyLife Today.
Dave: We’ve got a special week this week!
Ann: I know! I’m pretty excited. I think our listeners—
Dave: We’ve never done this before.
Ann: What are we doing?
Dave: We’re doing “The Best of FamilyLife Today” from the past year, revisiting shows/programs that we did with incredible guests, who were memorable.
Ann: Our first day, here’s the topic—
Dave: Well, wait! We’ve got to say we’re not doing this by ourselves.
Ann: Okay. [Laughter]
Dave: We’ve got some people in the studio with us! We’ve got the president of FamilyLife with us, David Robbins, and Meg Robbins in the studio!
Ann: Woo hoo!
Dave: Are you guys excited to talk about “The Best of FamilyLife Today”?
David: Guys, it’s been an amazing year—to see what we’ve pulled together—it’s going to be a treat!
Ann: It is going to be a treat, because now I can announce what we’re talking about for our first day.
Dave: Yes, and you’re excited about this.
Ann: Yes, because we’re going to talk about “The Extraordinary Value of a Woman.”
Ann: Isn’t that good?
Dave: You and Meg liking this idea?
Ann: 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 whom we interviewed on this topic; and the first one we’re going to listen to is by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Elyse hosts a podcast, together, with Eric Schumacher.
Dave: And you were on that podcast!
Ann: I was, actually.
Dave: Yes, I listened to it; it was amazing.
Ann: It’s called the Worthy podcast. They came on our program to help us to learn about [their book] Jesus & Gender: Living as Sisters & Brothers in Christ. This is kind of a cool clip, because it starts out when you wrote a song about this. Elyse got a little teary as she listened to it.
[Previous FamilyLife Today Broadcast ]
Eric and Elyse have been called by God,
a he and a she, bringing dignity to the she’s.
They are revealing God’s heart for she.
They are free,
all she’s, to feel worthy.
Wor-r-r-thy; she is worthy.
And God says, “I see you,” “I hear you,”
and “I want you to feel worthy.”
Elyse: Yay! Oh, my goodness! First of all, Dave, thank you. Thank you for that encouragement.
Elyse: It means a lot.
Dave: You’re welcome.
Elyse: 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 has been missing is the gospel; in particular, the incarnation. 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.
I’d like to read just a short passage—
Dave: Oh, yes; please do.
Elyse: —from Philippians 2:5; I’ll just read 5-9:
Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,
There is the imperative; there is the command: “We are to have this attitude.” What we wanted to do in Jesus & Gender/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 authority; or Eric, you have some sort of authority—I don’t want to exploit that authority.
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. 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.
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.
Meg: Wow! I think the first thing that strikes me from that is just the beautiful way that she encourages us and challenges us to enter this conversation. I mean, I think it is so counter-cultural to think about emptying ourselves and coming at this with humility, rather than demanding the way that we think things should be. “How am I really entering this conversation?” and “Are we lifting each other up and willing to empty ourselves?”
Dave: Is there a uniqueness to it, as a woman, to think about that? Or is that just as a person?
Meg: Yes, 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 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.
Ann: I think that’s true, Meg. I find myself, based on what’s happening in our culture—I have this tendency, and I think our culture’s pushing me to be this way, to be strong—
Ann: —to step forward: to exert my power, or my authority, or my leadership gifts. But in the gospel—I love that she’s reading this Scripture, saying that we are all coming humbly/to present ourselves in humility, surrendered to Jesus first—that changes everything. There’s part of me that gets scared of that, like: “Oh, yes; but will I still be heard?”
Ann: Do you guys think that women can be heard as we step into that?
David: Yes; I think about your question, Ann, and I go—and I think of Meg: you have to empty yourself sometimes; and in that surrender, God’s actually calling you into something—to take a step of faith somewhere/to take a risk. I watch you do that often as you empty yourself, sometimes, to serve our home in amazing ways.
I was hearing that, just going, “I am so grateful to be married to [Meg].” That’s what FamilyLife 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. In that emptying, sometimes, the Lord goes, “No, 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.
You know, the great thing about FamilyLife Today is it does point us to Jesus. You guys [Dave and Ann] help us do that; the guests that we bring on do that so often. And if you are encouraged by FamilyLife 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 FamilyLife.
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Dave: Yes, 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 FamilyLife Today,”we had John Yates on. Now, we’ve known John for decades, way back to when we joined the FamilyLife speaker team, on the Weekends to Remember®. John and Susan were on there, and he wrote a book called How a Man Prays for His Family.
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.
[Previous FamilyLife Today Broadcast]
Ann: John, you brought your prayer notebook. Do you have any prayers in there that you’ve written?
John: Oh, here’s a whole list of things I was praying for Susan in the fall of 1996.
Ann: Oh, let’s hear that!
John: 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 in her spirit; that God would be preparing her for the time when the children are gone.
John: That was not too long before they started leaving.
Asking God to guide her in her writing.
She was writing—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. [Laughter]
Dave: I don’t know if God answered that one, did He?
John: I don’t know if He did.
Dave: It’s probably her imagination was from Him! [Laughter]
John: Anyway, that sort of thing.
John: You know, I’d just say to the men: “When you’re praying for members of your family, just talk to God; just say, ‘You know, 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 help give her assurance that she’s going to be okay. Help her to feel secure.’”
Ann: 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.
David: 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. I’m also convicted—but not with shame—who he is helps you be convicted, but not with shame, because he’s such a man of grace and truth. 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 hand, something happens; it gets to our heart; we slow down, and we talk with God—not just a rushed prayer—but what we’re really pouring out our hearts for. 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.”
Meg: Yes, I think hearing him read those words was beautiful, obviously, and did certainly bring tears to my eyes; but it was also empowering and very intimate. You know, he was praying for things that he was able to pray for her because he knew what was burdening her heart.
I feel like the times that we are approaching the Lord together, and linking arms, 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. It was really empowering to hear John praying that way.
Ann: John and Susan have been mentors to us; they’re a decade in front of us. We have watched them and watched their marriage—watched them raise these kids—and they’re remarkable. Their surrender and love for Jesus—their commitment to serving families, to serving their—John was a pastor for years—has really been inspiring.
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. He talked about getting up before his family—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.
Dave: Yes, and I feel what David felt: a little bit of conviction, in a good way.
Dave: 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, but I didn’t start journaling. [Laughter] It’s one of those: “I’m going to do this”; now, I hear it again; and you know what I think? I don’t know what you think, David, but I’m like, “I’m doing it this time.”
Ann: I’m going to get you a cool leather journal—[Laughter]
Dave: Get me one!
Ann: —for Christmas.
Dave: And make it all beat up, so it looks like I’ve been using it for decades! [Laughter]
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’m going 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.
Ann: I agree! Don’t you, Meg?
Meg: Yes! 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.”
David: Ann, I love how you brought up legacy; because at FamilyLife, we want to help families be transformed: make Jesus known and leave a godly legacy. To be able to go back and reflect on the ways God has provided—and the legacy-forming moments 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.
Dave: Wouldn’t it be cool if our kids, and grandkids, and great grandkids found prayer journals? That does say: “My wife is valuable—so valuable—I’m not just going to pray; I’m going to write it down and journal this, and then look back on them later.”
You know, one of the things we get to do is sit in this studio and interview people, who 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. Ray is the founding pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee. 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.
[Previous FamilyLife Today Broadcast]
Ray: Well, the Bible’s very clear. 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—
Ray: —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 is human—and the climax of the creation account in Chapter 2 of Genesis is the creation of the woman; she is the hero of the story. [Laughter] In the Babylonian version, she’s just assumed. In the biblical version, she’s celebrated. 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—
Ann: One of my favorites.
Ray: Oh, yes.
Ray: Oh, yes; Galadriel, the elvish queen, wants to give each member of the fellowship a parting gift, everything sort of noble and wonderful. She asks Gimli the dwarf what he wants; and he says, “I wouldn’t dare ask anything.”
She’s surprised; he’s very humble, you know; but she urges him to go ahead and dare to make a request of her. He says, “’There is nothing Lady Galadriel,’ said Gimli bowing low and stammering, ‘Nothing unless I 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.’” The other elves that are looking on are like: “No way! Did he just ask that? Did he say that?” [Laughter]
Galadriel says, “None have ever made me so a bold a request and yet so courteous. How shall I refuse since I commanded him to speak? But tell me, Gimli, what would you do with such a gift?” He said, “Treasure it, lady. And if I ever return to the smithies of my home, it shall be set—that strand of hair—shall be set in 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.” 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.
Ann: 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. 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’ve failed as a mom/as a wife.” But to hear his description, does it lift you up a little?
Meg: 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—
Meg: —feeling bad about certain choices I’ve made or mother-moments—but yes, just hearing him talk! [It felt] empowering and that I should be believing what God says about me.
David: Yes, he points to the fact that we are His beloved and lifts our head with that; but I love, at the end, he said: “As a man, we get to create the conditions, where a woman can see.” I just think about you, and our daughter Mim, 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.”
Ann: Dave, I feel like you have done that really well.
Dave: Boy, I was just sitting here, thinking the opposite. [Laughter] I really was! I was like, “Man, have I done…”
Ann: 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. I feel like God has spoken through you so often; you will say, “You can totally do this! You’ll be great at it!” And I’m thinking, “No, I won’t! No, I can’t!” So thanks for doing that; thanks for speaking into me.
Dave: Yes, I think it’s a privilege to be able to do what we do.
Dave: And sometimes, we have no idea—as this message goes out through radio/through podcast; people are listening to it on their 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! You don’t realize it, when you’re sitting here; but 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 doubled! Talk about—if you’re anything like me—you’re like, “I get to give something that’s going to be doubled? I’m in! I want to do that.” We would love to invite you to be our Partners: help us get this message into your kitchen, and 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. Join in, right here, right now.
Shelby: Yes, 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.”
Tomorrow, on FamilyLife Today, Dave and Ann 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 Ann Wilson, I’m Shelby Abbott. We’ll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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