First Lady Dorothy Patterson highlights women’s roles on Family Talk radio show

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – With Ann Romney, wife of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in national headlines for her choice to be a stay-at-home mom and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s initial disapproving comment on CNN garnering more than 150,000 views on YouTube, it seems the never-cooled coals of culture wars regarding women’s roles have been stoked and reignited. James Dobson’s Family Talk radio show injected a dose of biblical perspective on those very roles, April 11—the same day Rosen appeared on CNN—airing a speech Southwestern First Lady Dorothy Patterson delivered several years ago to Concerned Women for America. In her address to the group, Patterson wove her personal experiences and biblical truths together to present a captivating perspective on God’s plan for women, their roles and their relationship to men.

Psychologist James Dobson, co-host Ryan Dobson and executive producer LuAnne Crane agreed that Patterson’s message, though not popular, offers timeless truths straight from the Scriptures that men and women should take seriously.

“They loved her, LuAnne, and we did too,” James Dobson said during the broadcast. “However, if Dr. Patterson had given that same speech in other venues to other audiences who were not as sympathetic to her theme, I suspect that she would have had a very different reaction because this is very controversial content, and it goes right to the heart of the culture war that’s been going on in this country for a long, long time—certainly since the 80's.”

In the broadcast, Patterson based her presentation on the premise that God’s Word is infallible, and therefore, culture must conform to it, and not vice versa.

“[Men and women] are equal in our personhood and being—our worth—but from Genesis, the time of creation, we were given different role assignments,” Patterson said. “Now you can go around moping and pouting about that, you can take the path of the feminist…but that’s not God's way. It has nothing to do with gifts or intelligence. It has to do with what God says.”

Unlike society’s resilient theory that a woman serving as a wife and mother under the authority of God and her husband has lost all self-respect and any hope of self-worth, Patterson explained unapologetically that the fulfillment and contentment that women long for only exists inside an obedience to Scripture and a commitment to God-given roles established before the Fall, and further, before God ever created woman.

When God said He would make a helper for Adam, He took one of the man’s ribs and, according to the Hebrew, literally “built” Eve from the man and proceeded to assign her a set of her own roles—roles that would allow her to complement Adam and to make “good” out of what was “not good” in man being alone (Gen 2:18). Patterson said the role of helper is far from demeaning and reiterated that women, though distinctive from their male counterparts, are no less valuable but are in fact essential to the human race and precious to God.

“Adam knew and expressed very well what God had in his heart when He made a man and a woman,” Patterson continued, explaining that Adam used the Hebrew words “ish” and “isha” to differentiate between the two, showcasing the unity and distinction between the two genders by allowing only one radical, or letter, to separate the two, but to separate them nonetheless.

Echoing the words of Queen Elizabeth I in 1588, Patterson said she trusts the Almighty Lord can and will work His power through her when she submits to His design and plan for her womanhood.

“I'm here to tell you I may be a weak and feeble woman, and I am in the third quarter, and I am tired, and I’m getting worn out, but in my heart is a King who reigns, and He has the power to turn the heart of earthly Kings,” Patterson said. “God grant that He will do it through us.”

To listen to the Family Talk program from April 11, visit

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