Being a Godly Wife and Mom: Mentoring the Next Generation (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Hello everyone. You're listening to Family Talk, a radio broadcasting ministry of the James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. James Dobson and thank you for joining us for this program.

Roger Marsh: Welcome To Family Talk, the broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Roger Marsh. Hope you enjoyed your weekend. Whether you watched the big game or just found some time to relax, you probably know that tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and while the focus on that day will be on love and relationships, today's broadcast is from the Family Talk archives. And you're about to hear one godly woman who is accomplishing her beautiful goal of passing down parenting and marriage advice to younger generations. She's using a ministerial program she created called Apples of Gold. Her name is Betty Huizenga, and she is a dear friend of Dr. Dobson and this ministry going back many years. Dr. Dobson conducted this interview in a group setting, so you're going to really enjoy hearing Doctor along with Betty and a select panel of lucky women who are invited to participate in this interview.

Now, Betty's program has really stood the test of time, older women meeting younger ladies to discuss a lesson or a topic while cooking, and then sharing that meal together. And this is all done not in a church or in office, but actually in someone's home. Apples of Gold teaches women how to be godly wives and godly mothers, while encouraging the bond between these women. Betty started Apples of Gold at her church in Holland, Michigan, and classes of spread across the country and all over the world in fact. She and her husband, Lee have four grown children and many grandchildren. During today's program, we'll hear from Betty and a group of women that had just completed an Apples of Gold program here in Colorado Springs at the time of the recording. Let's listen in now as Dr. Dobson welcomes the panel and then asks Betty about the calling that she received from the Lord.

Dr. James Dobson: The room is just fairly brimming with estrogen today. Let's begin by asking all of you as our guests today to say hello to the folks back home, wherever back home is. Would you do that?

Panel: Hello.

Dr. James Dobson: Sounds like a mob to me, doesn't it? Well, how many of you all think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread? That got it. If Shirley can see me now, right? We're here to talk about a wonderful program today called Apples of Gold. Betty, you're the source of this information. God laid this on your heart. Don't you feel that way?

Betty Huizenga: Absolutely. God laid it on my heart. I am so aware that he called me to do it and that it would never have been my own idea. Apples of Gold is a program I think that combines both the spiritual part that God says to do from Titus, with a real practical application of it. We don't talk about just how to be kind according to what the Scriptures say, but how to practically be kind to one another. And we aren't naturally kind. If we were, God wouldn't say in Titus 2 to teach to be kind. And same with the six week program is kindness, loving your husband, loving your children, purity, submission, and hospitality.

Dr. James Dobson: Now this is not the first mentoring program to come along. What makes this unique?

Betty Huizenga: This is unique for several reasons. First of all, Apples of Gold is held in homes. It's not a church-based program. I mean it's sponsored by a lot of churches, although it has been held in neighborhoods as well, but it's held in a home.

Dr. James Dobson: There's a strategy then in having it in a home.

Betty Huizenga: There is.

Dr. James Dobson: Someone said, we have these beautiful houses and there's nobody in them.

Betty Huizenga: Kitchens that never operate.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. Yeah.

Betty Huizenga: And the other thing about Apples of Gold is that it isn't a one-on-one assignment. We have six women who have agreed to teach one lesson. It's a six-week program. It's nice because it has a beginning and an ending and it's easier to get mentors to commit to teaching one lesson for one week, although they come to all of the classes. So every week we have three hours and it's segmented. The first hour we cook and that makes Apples of Gold different from other mentoring programs. And we talk about food safety and nutrition and how to prepare meals for your family, how to set the table. There are women today who don't know those things, and their children don't eat meals around the table. And so we're trying to encourage that. We'll get back to that. The second hour is our lesson. Each week a different lesson. And the third hour we eat the food that we prepared the first hour. And we have table talk questions that are really geared toward that lesson where the young women share among each other.

Dr. James Dobson: There used to be homemaking classes that taught a lot of this, and most schools discontinued that in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the rise of the feminist movement. For some reason, all of a sudden it was not politically correct to teach those principles. And so as you say, a lot of young women have no idea of the things that their mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers almost took for granted.

Betty Huizenga: And they also don't have the memories that we had that happened in our grandparents' home, in our homes when they were young. I have wonderful memories of being in my grandmother's home with her lady friends and all. And I think we've just skipped that. And the generation of women who went to work either by design or because of necessity, it changed everything. And we need to I think get back to knowing what it's like to sit around the dinner table and have a wonderful discussion with our family.

Dr. James Dobson: Key in on the title Apples of Gold. Where's that come from?

Betty Huizenga: That comes from Proverbs 25:11. "Let every word be fitly spoken like apples of gold in a setting of silver." A beautiful picture, the gold apples in the silver basket. And I think to me it means a couple of things. One of the things it means is when we do give advice or give our words, that they should be spoken in a way that is godly, loving and beautiful. And another thing is what we do. The way we have our classes and how we do that should be the very best we can do for the Lord.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. Now the Apples of Gold, the apples are young women.

Betty Huizenga: Right.

Dr. James Dobson: And the silver basket is represented by the more mature women. I don't want to say older but more mature. Is that better? Coming right out of Titus 2, which instructs the mature women to teach the younger women.

Betty Huizenga: I think that we have to make that more of a mandate in our churches. We've kind of let that go and it doesn't say, it would be nice if you did this. God just said do it. And he didn't say you had to be perfect. He didn't say you had to be experienced. He just said, do it. And so we need to obey that.

Dr. James Dobson: So you're not looking for women who look like the Proverbs 31 woman who gets it all done right. I mean they don't absolutely have to be perfect.

Betty Huizenga: It might even be better if there's some flaws that are visible. Because I think the young women-

Dr. James Dobson: Guess what? There will be.

Betty Huizenga: ... have learned. That's right. And I've had cooking failures in the class and it's been good. And I think that the young girls can really see from our hearts when we talk about loving our husband. We can share the failures we've had, things we've done wrong, or in submission, how hard it might have been for us to submit at one point. And that's good that they see we had to work through that.

Dr. James Dobson: So let's talk about the mechanics of Apples of Gold, how it happened. Somebody says, "Betty, I've read your book. I've heard this program. I've really been interested in this. This is what I've been looking for. I've never been able to find a mentor. I don't know, what do you do? You go up to somebody at church and say, 'surprise, you're going to mentor me.'" That's kind of difficult to pull off. How does a person go from there to here? How do they get an Apples of Gold program started and what can they anticipate?

Betty Huizenga: Well, one thing, there's a lot of prayer involved in every class that starts. It is just key. A woman shared with me that they had been praying for some time and as the Lord put someone on her heart, she would write that woman's name down as a mentor. And then they had a meeting and there were a couple of women who came who were really a little bit contrary to the ideas and principles. And the woman said, I realized that God had not put those women on my prayer list.

Dr. James Dobson: Mm.

Betty Huizenga: So prayer is key to the beginning of all of it. And I think if you're a younger woman, you need to go to a woman you really respect and ask them if they would consider doing this. You can go to your pastor or your women's ministry head at your church and ask them to do it. My friend in Minneapolis moved into a new neighborhood and didn't know anyone in her neighborhood and she gathered some of her mentoring kind of friends and started it in her neighborhood. And they have done three years of classes there in Minnesota.

Dr. James Dobson: All right. Let's turn to the other ladies who are here, some apples and some silver baskets. Let us hear from you. Why did you get involved? What have you learned? What would you recommend to others?

Panel: The first.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. And Kate, I kind of thought you'd be the first at the microphone.

Kate: Well, every week, I mean the women are so loving, they just hug you. I mean, I don't think I'm ever not touching someone while I'm there. They just surround you with love and hugs and I maybe go through a day without no one touching me. And then I go there and I get so much love and affection and it's just been such an incredible life changing experience. And I want to mentor younger women, 13 year olds or 10 year olds so they can grow up and be my age and be apples someday.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. If there's one characteristic of our culture is that it is that high-tech environment where we don't touch each other, not only physically but emotionally as well. And many people are isolated. People who long for one another don't even know anybody else's out there who also feels the same way. This is a program apparently, Katie in your case, who has made that contribution to you.

Kate: Right. And I lost my mom in many ways, but I've gained six now. They all call me their daughter and I have six moms.

Dr. James Dobson: And would it be too personal to ask about that?

Kate: My mom just separated from my dad. He had an anger problem and was abusive, emotionally and physically. And when she kind of separated herself from my dad, she separated herself from the whole family, and she in turn left us children as well. And so we just felt abandoned.

Dr. James Dobson: So this is a vacuum in your life that this program is meeting.

Kate: Right. And it's not over now. I mean we just finished our last night, but this relationships I think will go on for years and years and years.

Dr. James Dobson.: And you have a mentor from that group?

Kate: Mm-hmm. Her name's Nancy. Mm-hmm.

Dr. James Dobson: Uh-huh. Well, what a pleasure. Okay. Anybody else over here? Give us your name. Why don't we keep it to first names because people are not going to remember 15 names anyway. Go ahead.

Shawn Marie: My name is Shawn Marie. And I think for me, I remember desiring a mentor, desiring to have godly Christian career women or otherwise, and not knowing how to put those pieces together. We've all grown up in a culture of feminism where our mothers worked.

Dr. James Dobson: Are you condemning or criticizing working women?

Shawn Marie: Not so much that, because I think that in our society, it's part of our society that we live in. It's something that we've come to accept just because of whether it's financial conditions or otherwise.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Shawn Marie: But I think that we miss out because of that.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Shawn Marie: We miss out on the time. And I feel like what these women have done, they've filled in a gap in my life and that's available. I don't have grandparents where a lot of children can go back to their grandparents and say, "tell me what it was like. Tell me how to bake an apple pie." I learned so many of those things on my own and I have a good mother. It's not that she was wrong or something for working, but if you don't have the time to put in with your children you're just going to miss out.

Dr. James Dobson: Betty, there are many, many people listening to us who have to work. They absolutely have to for financial reasons. Your purpose is not to disparage them or make their life more difficult through this program.

Betty Huizenga: Hopefully it's to help them. Because a lot of the women who are in our classes are working women. And sometimes classes are held on Saturdays or in the evening just to have classes of Apples of Gold. We're not denying that that's a fact of life. But even if you are a working mom and you're a mom, you still have children who need you and you still have things that they need to learn. And I think it goes way back to teaching your children even around the table, how to set the table properly, how to help you in the kitchen. And especially if you're a working mom, get your kids in the kitchen with you and then you don't feel that "there I am alone working after a long day." Get them in there helping you and then you're having fun together.

Dr. James Dobson: Betty, these testimonials must thrill you to death.

Betty Huizenga: They do.

Dr. James Dobson: To see what's happening.

Betty Huizenga: And I think you know what she said, we do need to realize that whatever home we have, whatever God's given us, it's the right home.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Betty Huizenga: And He still wants us to open it. So we don't need everything to be perfect. But things happen in a home that cannot happen in a restaurant or in a church building. A home is a special place. And I would love to know that these women feel that they can make a home where the very best place to be is home. So that at the end of the day, if they are moms and wives, the most desired place to be is at home. So your husband cannot wait to get there because it's a wonderful safe haven. And where your children cannot wait to get home because they know they're going to have a wonderful happiness there. So I think one of the things we want to learn is how to be joyful in our homes, how to have fun.

We have a lot of fun in Apples of Gold. We have a lot of fun. We have serious subjects, but we really have fun. And women love this and the men benefit. I was talking with a friend on the phone this morning and she said that they had just finished their class in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. And one of the husbands was heard in the church hallway talking about "you will not believe the things that are happening in our marriage because of this thing called Apples of Gold."

Dr. James Dobson: Aw.

Betty Huizenga: So I think the whole family benefits. Probably the nicest letters I get are from men.

Dr. James Dobson: I'll bet you do.

Betty Huizenga: Who say, this has changed our home. And Apples of Gold is not a program in which we get together and we talk about in loving your husband, how to change your husband, or in any of those aspects. We're talking about how can we change ourselves? How can we become the women that God wants? And when we do that, it affects our whole family, everything we do.

Dr. James Dobson: Kate, let's hear from you.

Kate: My name is Kate. And I think the one thing that I've benefited from most or longed foremost was my mom and I are very close and she's always been able to be there to teach me about a lot of cooking things. And I've had my grandmother nearby. I just called her the other day to teach me how to cook a roast because I had no idea. And so I've had that benefit, but what I haven't had is my mom's been divorced since I was eight. And so I've not ever really been able to see a relationship. I think I'm going to start crying. I haven't been able to see that relationship and how a husband and wife are supposed to be able to interact. And so it's been so neat to be able to talk to the women, especially during the table talk time while we're eating, to be able to get their perspective on what a marriage is supposed to be.

'Cause I haven't had a clue. My mom has told me as much as she can and what she's learned from two divorces, she's learned so much about what not to do. And she's been able to tell me that and it's been so wonderful. But that's my greatest fear is that then I'm going to repeat what she's done not knowing. And so that's my biggest fear is that I will get a divorce. And so I want to learn as much as I can about how not to have that happen so that I will know how to treat my husband with the respect and honor that he'll deserve, so.

Dr. James Dobson: Kate, what a beautiful statement you've made. Thank you for those tears. And I trust that the Lord will lead you into that understanding. There's so many people out there today who have never experienced a strong family, they've never seen it. I've talked to college presidents who have said that the freshmen coming in really don't have a clue, many of them, what a family's supposed to be like. They don't even know what the target is. You can't hit the target if you don't know where it is. And Betty, that's part of what led you to form this program, isn't it?

Betty Huizenga: That's really true. I love that. I would really love to hear from some of the mentors too, because these women really get in our hearts and lest you think this is a program for the young women, I want to tell you that when you begin to mentor, it is wonderfully beneficial to you as a mentor. Not only the friendships we make among the mentors, but with the younger women. And I feel like in our churches today, we have missed the mark with the generations.

Dr. James Dobson: Hmm.

Betty Huizenga: So if we don't understand the younger generations, we tend to make judgements about them. And when you love someone from that generation, you listen to them in a different way. And I think this can be very beneficial to a church that we have these programs between the older and younger.

Dr. James Dobson: All right, we're going to go to one of the mentors. Elaine.

Elaine: Hi, I'm Elaine, and I guess I'm the new kid on the block. My husband and I arrived in Colorado in June of this year, and the move from California necessitated my releasing of women's ministry that I was involved in in California. I was on my way to Colorado praying for opportunities to exercise the gifts and to fulfill the calling and passion, which I share with Betty. And as God orchestrated it, I've had the privilege of being one of the mentors here.

Dr. James Dobson: Explain what messages you want to give to younger women? What do you come with in those meetings? What is it that God has laid on your heart to say to them?

Elaine: I believe women of today, the women of the new millennium are bombarded with a message that is in direct opposition to the Word of God.

Dr. James Dobson: Mm.

Elaine: And so I believe as a Christian woman and as an older woman, and it's all right to call me older, the Word of God does. I believe we must be proactive in lovingly imparting to these beautiful young women God's will and God's ways. And in Titus 2, the Lord has clearly spelled out the criteria for being the older woman, and the curriculum that we are to teach them. And I've been very privileged to have been a part of the Apples of Gold program, and to be teaching them these biblical principles of loving their husbands, loving their children, being keepers at home and so forth.

Shawn Marie: And Julie just mentioned this to me, that the feeling that we have now after having gone through this program and feeling the warmth, just that incredible warmth when you walk into the house and the house smells good, they've prepared this for you. It's a beautiful experience that you want to go out and in turn pour yourself out into other young women. And there are so many just broken people in this world that crave to be known, to have you pay attention to them. And whether it's other women or other just people, it's so fulfilling as a woman to have that opportunity and to have to say that, Elaine taught me about hospitality, now I can come and serve you and in turn serve the Lord through that.

Dr. James Dobson: Thank you, Shawn Marie. And our last question or comment.

Serena: I'm Serena and I was not a mentor and I was not an Apple. I was the one that opened my home. But I wanted to say that it really blessed me the book that you wrote, Betty, because the women that are mentors actually have a heart like Elaine for hospitality instead of a Bible study where one woman is trying to teach all of us, all these really neat things, and may struggle in a couple of areas. In this case, six different women come in and they have a heart for loving their husband or they have a heart for loving their children. They can really convey that to us.

Dr. James Dobson: Mm-hmm.

Serena: And I really felt that the whole time, and that really blessed me. So that's one thing that made that special.

Dr. James Dobson: Yes. As a matter of fact, that's one of the unique characteristics of Apples of Gold, isn't it? Because in other cases, one person carries the load, and it may be that a lot of people have something to say.

Betty Huizenga: Well, and even in the class when we're sitting around talking, the person who's facilitating the lesson may have a stop gap moment, but there are other mentors who can pop in. If someone asks a question and maybe you're having a struggle with that answer, there will be another mentor there maybe who has struggled in an area with that, a child on that same issue.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Betty Huizenga: And they can jump in. And so we help one another. It's needed that we're together.

Dr. James Dobson: What a great idea, Betty. This had to come from the Lord.

Betty Huizenga: Absolutely.

Dr. James Dobson: And it's popping up everywhere.

Betty Huizenga: It is.

Dr. James Dobson.: That must really excite you.

Betty Huizenga: It's very exciting.

Dr. James Dobson: And you don't even know all the places where it's operating.

Betty Huizenga: I wish I did.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Betty Huizenga: I hear about many of them, but I know I don't know about all of them.

Dr. James Dobson: Your curriculum comes out of Scripture, doesn't it?

Betty Huizenga: Yes, it does.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. Give us the headings now, again. There's six.

Betty Huizenga: There are six. Kindness, loving your husband, loving your children, submission, purity, and hospitality.

Dr. James Dobson: Ah. Well, our time has gone. It's been a pleasure talking to you all and sharing the individual stories because there is something there. There's a need. And Betty, that's why you got into this in the first place, isn't it?

Betty Huizenga: I think we're going to see a big response to this because I do know that this is what young women want in their lives, and I think that older women need it too.

Dr. James Dobson: Yes. Well, thanks for being our guest and to all of the ladies here in the studio, appreciate you coming by to be with us.

Panel: Thank you.

Roger Marsh: Well, what a wonderful group of inspiring women brought together because of Betty Huizenga's obedience to the Lord. There truly is something remarkable about the special bond formed between women coming together, sharing God's message, and enjoying a meal. To listen to any part of the program that you might have missed, just visit our website at In Psalm 127:3, the Psalmist writes, "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring, a reward from him." As God gave us the example of Jesus' family. We strive to build our own strong families and we aren't meant to go it alone. That's why we have a great resource for you to share today. It's the "Building a Family Legacy" eight DVD video series created and produced by our own Dr. James Dobson. What's great about this video set is that Dr. Dobson has compiled his more than 40 years experience into each DVD with practical tips and advice. For a suggested donation of $50, you can get your own copy today.

To order yours simply visit That's, or you can order by phone when you call 877-732-6825. That's 877-732-6825. And for your convenience, you can also use the U.S. Mail to reach out to us. Our ministry mailing address is the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, P.O. Box 39000, Colorado Springs, Colorado, the zip code 80949. Once again, if you're writing this down, our ministry mailing address is the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. Or you can just write JDFI for short. P.O. Box 39000. Colorado Springs, Colorado, the zip code 80949. Here at the JDFI, we completely get it. Being married and having kids brings its own set of unique challenges. That's why our customer care team is here to listen when you need a friend. We're here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

We'll be happy to recommend materials and resources from our library for you at no cost. Just call 877-732-6825. Learn more when you call 877-732-6825. I'm Roger Marsh. Thanks for joining us today, and be sure to join us again tomorrow as our own Dr. Tim Clinton welcomes renowned Christian apologist, professor and author, Dr. Sean McDowell, to discuss God's never-ending love for you. The true biblical guidelines for love here on m earth and the pitfalls many young people are facing as they chase love in a mixed up culture. That's coming your way tomorrow and Wednesday, right here on Family Talk, the voice you trust for the family you love.

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