The Influence of a Woman
Under the influence of a woman, cities have crumbled (Joshua 2-6), and kings have caved (Mark 6). The power that a woman has to influence those around her is one of her strongest resources. And yet, some of us underestimate this influence. Scripture says differently.
The faith of a woman directly affects the atmosphere of her home and shapes the dynamics of her marriage.
We had a saying growing in our house. “If momma ain’t happy, there ain’t nobody happy.” With this one comical phrase we acknowledged the external impact a woman’s attitude had on those living around her. If she was pleasant and contented, the home was calm and happy. But if she was sputtering about something that really made her mad, the house was on edge and chaotic. Proverbs says, “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.” Why? Because the attitudes women have directly affect the atmosphere of their homes.
What type of environment are we creating in our homes? Our faith is being continuously influential on those around us. We can’t choose who or when our faith impacts them, but we can always choose how. How is your faith impacting your home?
The faith of a woman directly influences the direction of her children and grandchildren.
There’s no denying Rahab was a woman of great influence. Her faith in Israel’s God outshined even some of the Israelites. It was her faith that enabled her to go out on a limb and help the spies escape. It was her faith that threw the scarlet cord out her window in an effort to save her household. I don’t know about you, but I think if I knew the city walls were about to crumble I would suddenly develop an interest in camping…OUTSIDE the city limits! My stuff would be packed and I would be leaving…and I’m not so sure I would see the logic of hanging a scarlet cord outside my window in “hopes” that my house wouldn’t come toppling down with the rest of Jericho. But this is what Rahab does, and her faith is evident to all. It directly affected the nation of Israel. It eventually affected her descendent, Boaz, who is a man known for his righteousness. And ultimately, it brought a legacy of faith for the generations that came behind her to follow after (Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25). Rahab’s faith directly influenced the direction of her children and the generations of children that followed.
The faith of a woman potentially moves a nation.
In the grand scheme of things, it is unlikely that Esther ever thought that her life would amount to much. She was an orphan. She was Jew. She was a woman. Three strikes…you know the saying. Even though she was an unlikely candidate for national fame, she did have three things going for her. She was an orphan…with a wise uncle. She was a Jew…meaning that she was part of God’s chosen people. She was a woman…and a beautiful one, to boot. And what seemed to be her pitfalls in life, turned out to be the very catalysts that propelled her to stardom: Queen of Persia.
It is evident that she had faith. She listened and obeyed the authority God had put in her life (Esther 2:20). She fasted and prayed, and called on the nation to fast and pray as well (Esther 4:16). She stepped out in faith believing in God to take an impossible situation and turn it for His people’s good (Esther 5). Her faith moved the heart of a godless king to have faith in her as well (Esther 8:8).
While it’s unlikely you or I will ever have the chance to be the Queen of Persia, we must not limit the potential our faith can have on changing a nation for Christ. The question isn’t who are you influencing. The question we must ask ourselves is HOW? How is my faith affecting those I come into contact with? In an effort to be positive influencers to the world around us, Mary Kassian offers four key ingredients that every wise woman takes to heart:
- Choose positive and not negative influence. In other words, in order to choose what type of influence you are becoming, discern what types of influences you are letting in to your life.
- Affecting Others through Strength of Character. Peter speaks about women using their conduct as a source of impact on an unbelieving husband, “that they may be won by the conduct of their wives.” (I Peter3:1-2)
- Judicious with Words. Proverbs 16:23 says, “The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” A woman’s speech holds great power to influence those around her. Be wise with your words.
- Rely on God to Effect Change. As Mary Kassian says, “A positive influencer kn ows that ultimately it is God, and not she, who effects positive change in a person’s life. So she relies on Him and on her most potent, influential tool – prayer.”
It is true: we are all influencers. We can’t choose who we are going to influence, or when we are going to influence them. But we can always…always…choose how.