Dr. Tim Clinton: Hello and welcome to Family Talk, the broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, co-host here at Family Talk. I'm honored to serve alongside Dr. Dobson as the resident authority on mental health and relationships here at JDFI. We're in Colorado Springs today for the James Dobson Family Institute Annual Gathering Conference, credible week coasted by Dr. Dobson and his wife Shirley, with dynamic speakers, one of those speakers that rocked the house on opening night, Michele Bachmann. So we've decided to sit down together, unpack a few things that she said and help share them with you so that you may be encouraged and challenged and strengthen you in your own heart, especially in this difficult and dark moment in American history. Our guest today again is the Honorable Michele Bachmann. She's an American politician who served as a member of the US Congress representing the sixth District as a Republican from 2007 to 2015.
She sought the Republican nomination for the United States presidency in 2012. She's the first and only Republican woman to win a presidential primary contest. Michele currently serves as Dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University. That's a pretty big deal and she is a proud member of the board of Directors of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. She's married to a good man, Marcus, for over 40 years. They have five biological children and 23, let me get that right, 23 foster children and they are the grandparents of seven. I like that. It's almost a football team. Michele, thank you for joining us.
Michele Bachmann: Thank you so much. What a thrill to be with you, Tim. It's a great, great gathering here in Colorado Springs.
Dr. Tim Clinton: It is. Michele, you and Dr. Dobson have quite a history together. You've been standing bold for faith and righteousness and culture for a long time. But where did that kind of, those seeds of drive and determination and this calling on your life began?
Michele Bachmann: I would say when I was 16, when I came to the Lord, I had grown up in a home that was a difficult home. It wasn't a perfect childhood by any means. And so when I came to Christ when I was 16, it was almost like I'd been living in a closet for the first 16 years with the door shut. And when I came to the Lord, literally it felt like Jesus had opened the door and now I was living in technicolor, and he brought me through healing of my younger years, and he set me on a path and my calling then just began to deepen. I remember when I was in college, and I was sitting at my desk in my dorm room, and I was studying on a Friday night. Everybody else was out at the bars. And so it was kind of a lonely life in a way.
But all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit spoke to me when I sat there and he said, if you are diligent and steadfast, I will take you to law school. And I remember I put my pen down and I thought, "Law school, I have no interest in law school. What are you talking about?" And I stood up and I went out and I looked out the window of my room and I thought, "What does all this mean?" But I knew the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, that is the gift God gave me to be able to understand that that's his voice calling. And so I just trusted him. And so I did school and all the rest. And then at that time the Lord was moving on hearts and at Oral Roberts University, they were about to begin the first modern biblical worldview law school in America.
There wasn't one at that time because I graduated from college in 1978. And so, I got married to my husband and sat out a year until this biblical worldview law school opened. I'd been accepted at a secular school, but I decided it was worth the wait to go and it changed my life forever to go to a law school that was based on biblical worldview. That law school ultimately was gifted to Regent University, Oral Roberts gifted it to Pat Robertson at Regent. So the law school moved and that's where it's been for 45 years that law school's been in existence just as committed to biblical worldview today as it was then. And it's exciting because the lawyers that have come out of that school had an impact even on this Dobbs decision on the amicus brief that was written, that Justice Alito looked at that brief.
You just can't believe what the Lord can do with yielded lives. It wasn't me, it was other people, but it's just an example of what the Lord does when we listen to his still small voice and take our own plans and put them on the shelf and instead try to listen to, what's your plan, Father? I'm a yes, I'll do what you want me to do.
Dr. Tim Clinton: I love it.
Michele Bachmann: And that's kind of been it. I'm not a complicated person. If the Lord called me to do something, the answer was yes because I knew that his plans for me were good and altogether righteous. And if there's anything that I could say that I would encourage the listeners on this broadcast, it would be to learn to hear that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. And when he calls it may sound crazy, but say yes to Him because you have no idea what the impact will be. Not only just in your own life, but how he's going to impact others, how he's going to bless others and how he's going to advance His kingdom through you.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Well, God has certainly given you a voice, especially in this hour and your heart for the public square. I was talking not long ago to a lady who was the head of the office of the public liaison for the White House under the Trump administration. Her name was Jenny Korn.
Michele Bachmann: Oh, yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And Jenny said, "Tim, there's a lot of debate out there about Christians and politics." But she said, "The way I look at it is politics are important because policies are important." And she said, "Policies are important because people are important." And she said, "People are going to make these decisions and they affect the everyday life of Americans." And to ignore that or to turn away from it to pretend like it isn't important for people to engage at that level is insanity. Michele, just talk a little bit about how that calling of God, that voice of God in your life and that sphere came together for you in a special way.
Michele Bachmann: Well, I actually had no interest in politics. I wasn't interested. The Lord called me to law school, but then he also called me to go into a very difficult program at the College of William and Mary Law School. That's where I went for my post-doctorate in federal tax litigation law. I took a job then with the United States Department of Treasury as a federal tax litigation attorney. And then I was assigned to the field office in Saint Paul, Minnesota. So I got my tax background, but my real heart quite honestly, I wanted to be a mother. And so we had I think maybe two children, then we had a third born, and then when I was pregnant with my fourth, my husband Marcus had finished his doctorate in clinical psychology and he was starting his private practice and then we could afford to have me stay at home at that time.
And that was my dream come true to stay home with those kids. So our fourth baby was born, I stayed home and we went to church one day and some friends of ours had this teenage girl with them and we said, "Oh, who's this?" And they said, "Oh, this is our foster daughter." And she was obviously expecting a baby. And they said, "We took her in through the foster care agency as an unwed mother and we're going to take her through her birth and then depending on what decision she decides to keep the baby or put the baby up for adoption, we'll walk her through that." And instantaneously, both my husband and I, our hearts were both broke at that moment for at-risk kids. And so here I was pregnant with number four, and I looked at my husband, he looked at me and we said, "As long as I'm going to stay home full-time, why don't we just take in more kids? I'll be home."
And so we just made that decision. It was sounded like a good idea at the time. And so we were licensed as foster care parents to this agency and we got our first foster daughter and we thought we would do the same thing to take in girls that were unwed girls because we were committed to being pro-life. We didn't get one. We ended up getting girls that all had eating disorders and as you know the eating disorder isn't the problem, it's something else underlying.
So we weren't there to be her therapist, we were there to be surrogate parents and to be helpers. And so then that led to 23 more children coming into our home. And so we had 23 foster children over the years and then we had another biological born. So we were kids are us, we had 28 kids in that house, not all at the same time. We had our census was nine kids at a time. We actually had to get licenses a group home.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Michele, in the midst of all this journey and love Marcus, we obviously share a common bond in Christian counseling and you guys have had a great ministry up there in Minnesota continue to. What has God taught you? I guess maybe just some basic things about life and family, words of hope and encouragement to people are out there. A lot of people... I mean people are getting beat up pretty bad and they're just looking for encouragement and some of them are families are really struggling since the pandemic, I think people have gotten killed.
Michele Bachmann: Yeah, it is a hard time. There's no question. We own two Christian counseling clinics in the Twin Cities area, and we see it now through this pandemic. We have some of our own children have gone into the mental health field and we've never seen people come in and the condition that they're in right now. So that what you are describing is accurate. It's real from our experience. I will tell you from our own personal life experience, we've been married 44 years right now. We made a commitment that one of us would be home. We spent a lot of our marriage tag teaming with our children because my husband got his doctorate, I got mine and we've just had full lives. But we couldn't always be in the house at the same time, but one of us was.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Always.
Michele Bachmann: And that made a huge difference. Plus, we ate dinner together at night. That was huge. Another decision that we made that was a great decision. It was no TV during school nights, and we didn't have video games. We never bought video games in our house. So we kept our environment pretty quiet. We had a schedule, and the kids knew what to expect. Everybody had to do chores. We actually, we were mean parents. We didn't pay allowances because we told our kids, we don't pay you to breathe, so everybody has to work. Everybody has to pull the wagon.
Dr. Tim Clinton: That's old fashioned.
Michele Bachmann: That's old fashioned, but we were mean parents because we disciplined our kids. I'm so glad that we made the decisions we did.
Dr. Tim Clinton: What a bond took place in there that you can't even describe.
Michele Bachmann: Because they know the Lord today. They know the Lord. They've got their heads screwed on straight and we're so proud of them. They've married well, four of the five live right by us. And the fact that they love the Lord that's home free. I mean we weren't a perfect family by any stretch of the imagination, but we have no guilt about the way that we raised the kids because we tried to listen to the still small voice of the Lord and to follow his directive in parenting. Every family's different. They've got to run their family differently. So just dial in to what you hear the Lord saying to you, plus read the word on a regular basis and that wisdom will carry you through with your family.
Dr. Tim Clinton: That's that Psalm 127:1 accept the Lord build the house.
Michele Bachmann: Amen.
Dr. Tim Clinton: A labor in vain that build it.
Michele Bachmann: It's so true. It's so true. It isn't theoretical. It is rubber meets the road.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Michele, you are engaged in a lot of different things following you over the years. We've had many conversations together. I know that you're a woman of deep prayer. I mean that's wired into your DNA, people call you. I know Tony Perkins, are good friend of Family Research Council sought you out to pray earnestly through a lot of what we went through over the last few years. Lead that. In addition to that, I know that you have an amazing love for Israel, which is so significant, and people often look to and want to hear what you have to say about what's happening over there and why it's important to us as believers to really pray for the peace of Israel and more.
But Michele also on top of that, now you have recently taken this position as Dean of the School of Government at Regent University. Obviously, you're stepping in and you're shouting about a lot of what's happening in our culture. While you were here, you took on a subject, it's very prominent in culture right now. Christian nationalism and Michele kind of weave all this together and take us from that passion of praying earnestly to that love for Israel, to love for our country to this pushback that people are having because there is a real attempt to silence and shame and stigmatize conservative people, Christians, keeping them from going to the poll, whatever it is. What's going on? Share your heart.
Michele Bachmann: There's a national smear campaign going on right now. We're in the middle of it. I wasn't aware of it. The effective president of Regent University walked in my office of the book, and he said, "You're named in this book. And Regent University is named, and Dr. Dobson is named." And it is smearing Christians who take their faith and who are public about their faith and who try to apply biblical principles in the public sphere, especially in terms of government and the public sphere. And so I read that book and I started looking at the academic literature and this concept called Christian nationalism was coming out only. It isn't a nice thing, it's meant to be a negative pejorative term. And so what I saw very quickly is that right now people are being scapegoated and Christians in particular are being scapegoated and pastors are being intimidated to silence themselves in the pulpit from talking about biblical issues.
We're not saying be political, we're saying be biblical. People go to church because they want to connect with the Lord, but they also want to see what's going on in our life. We're living in a very odd, odd time in history. Everybody knows that when we're being told that boys aren't boys and girls aren't girls, the church has to speak out on this. Because where are we going to get that point of view, the biblical point of view if a pastor doesn't preach. So this Christian nationalism is a national smear campaign intended to silence pastors in the pulpit but also to silence those of us in the pews so that we don't vote. So that we don't think that the Bible should have anything to say about these issues. It's absolutely shocking. And it came to a height at Regent University. We sponsored for the second year in a row, 40 days of prayer and fasting.
We had people literally from all over the world join us for half hour every day online. And we sought the Lord in prayer and fasting for our nation, but also for Israel. Israel is in turmoil. This is unprecedented. It's never happened. They've had five elections in three years. So we've got to be praying for the peace of Jerusalem because it is not at peace now. It's in turmoil. So the United States is in turmoil, Israel is in turmoil, Brazil is in turmoil. Australia just pulled their support for Jerusalem. There's turmoil that is happening in our world. That's no genius comment. Everyone knows it. So what does that tell Christians to do? We are to get on our knees and not fear and not despair and not be overcome because that's the natural instinct without the Lord. That's how you feel. You feel overcome. You feel like there's the ocean is coming over you and you can't make it anymore, especially because of inflation.
When I go to the grocery store, I buy a lot less than I used to because I'm shocked by the prices. So especially young moms with children, those children have to eat. It's really a hard time. But I'm telling you, this is not unseen by our God. He is omnipotent. He knows everything. He is all powerful. And so we go to him with what we have. He will see us through. So I want to encourage every mom, every family that's listening right now, he is enough and he is going to see us through. I just feel impressed that we should just pray briefly. Is that okay?
Dr. Tim Clinton: Oh, it's okay.
Michele Bachmann: Father, I thank you so much just for this moment with my beloved brother Tim Clinton here with James Dobson Family Institute. Lord, would you take the brokenness, the brokenheartedness of everyone who is listening right now thinking our nation is done. They don't know what to do with their children. They can't afford to pull them out of public school and yet they see what's happening.
Lord, you are enough. We trust you for those families. You are not a broad-brush stroke God. You're a very personal intimate God. Therefore, you will take your banner over every person listening, you will unfold that banner and that banner it says in your word is love. And so I pray love, the love of God over everyone listening right now, that they would experience the love of God and accept you into their life and then trust you because you have a great and a marvelous future plan for every single person listening today. And I thank you, God, we are in your hands. We confess our sins to you. We repent, meaning we turn away from our sins and we turn toward you. I pray, oh God, that you would make your word. Just leap off the page and come to life as everyone reads the word of God. And bless mightily everyone who is listening today to this message. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Amen. When I grew up as boy, people get to praying like that. They joke and say, "Put the dogs up under the bed, Michele." There's an energy out there. It's like we're going to do something. This is that. Hey, let's start praying. Let's start engaging and then show up and show out as they say in sports.
Michele Bachmann: Amen.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Get it done. It's not enough. You've got to get after it. You've got to be about doing it. I mean, we're in what I think people call Marcus would understand this, a collective trauma is happening in our country. The antidote to trauma relationships. When we press sin together, when we realize that God is here, he's for us. He's in the midst of it. Psalm 46. He's in the midst of it. And when you hear someone say, "I'm here. I'm here. There's a strength that begins to really be cultivated. There's an earnestness. The climate begins to change." And Michele, I think we're seeing some of this.
Michele Bachmann: 100%. What is the worst punishment you can have? Solitary confinement. And that's collectively we've been in solitary confinement. And so now, when we had done these 40 days of prayer and fasting, it was on a Zoom, a webinar thing so we could see each other. We could hear each other. We had people from Indonesia, Japan, from Australia, and I had a woman just writing me from Australia who was a part of this call. She's in a wheelchair. She can't go anywhere. And this was her daily lifeline to do this. This was the relationship that she could have. If you have a daily relationship on the phone, if that's all you can do, do that. God designed us. We are relational people. He wants relationship with us. That's the vertical. But the horizontal, if you look at the cross, the vertical is us and God, but the horizontal is each other.
The Saints we're supposed to love each other. We're supposed to carry each other's burdens. We can do that, whether it's over the phone, whether it's over Zoom. That's kind of a good thing. Now, I mean that's a good thing that's come out of the pandemic. Is now we've overcome that barrier. We can have that relationship but also go the extra mile to do what we always used to do before cell phones dominated our lives. Put that cell phone down and instead get some coffee or get some juice and be together as couples. We've been in a couple's Bible study for 30 years and it is one of the most important things of our life. So I want to encourage everyone, if it's even just one other girlfriend or one other couple that you can get with, get somebody, maybe your older widow, get a couple of other older widows together. Just do something or reach out to an older widower. Bring him into men need relationship too-
Dr. Tim Clinton: They do. They're stopped for it.
Michele Bachmann: Men are-
Dr. Tim Clinton: They're so alone.
Michele Bachmann: ... isolated, they're so lonely. And so I think that's the thing. Our society's kind of taught us to leave each other alone. And I think we need to resist that impulse. One of the kindest things you can ever do is show value to the other person that you go to them, you extend yourself to them. It's one of the greatest acts of love. You can have no idea that person's life might turn around because you've extended yourself by valuing that person.
Dr. Tim Clinton: In sports, Michele, there's a line that goes like this, "I see you." And if they know your name, that's a good thing. I see you. Thank you for the work you're doing. I know these are unprecedented times and these are challenging. They're dark moments-
Michele Bachmann: But they're great times.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Like God, is at work.
Michele Bachmann: Amen. He is at work.
Dr. Tim Clinton: What a time to be alive.
Michele Bachmann: It's the greatest time ever in history to be alive. That is not phony happy talk. It truly is because the Bible prophecies are being fulfilled before our eyes. There is the prophets long to live in the days that we are living in. So if you just look at the natural, you despair, look up, look up, because our redemption draws nigh. And so this is the greatest time to interact with those around us with the gospel. The greatest time to witness ever in the history of man. So let's enjoy every day. Let's be fulfilled every day. Let's make every day absolutely full with what we can do to advance the kingdom of God.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Michele, what fun to have you. On behalf of Dr. Dobson, his wife, Shirley, the entire team of Family Talk, we love you and thank you and pray earnestly for you as God continues to strengthen your voice for such a time as this.
Michele Bachmann: Thank you, Tim.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Thanks for joining us.
Michele Bachmann: What a blessing.
Roger Marsh: Those were beautiful stories from Michele Bachmann. We've been listening to Michele share special moments from her life today here on Family Talk. Today, we learned while Michele was in college, God called her to study law and eventually she became a United States Congresswoman for her home state of Minnesota. She served as a US representative from 2007 to 2015. Michele and her husband Marcus, have five children and they've fostered over 25 kids as well. She now serves as Dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University.
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