Who is the most influential person in your life? Is it your parents? Your former professor? Your boss? Whoever that man/woman is, he/she has impacted your life so much that you have embraced the same values and beliefs he/she has. At the end of the post, I pray that you will be able to reflect on the kind of influence you have on other people. Also, may you find the best influence any woman can ever have.
As we start the Minute Monday series on the Women of the Bible, it is but proper to begin with the very first woman mentioned in the Bible. You all know who she is, her name is Eve.
Who is this woman? After creating the heavens and the earth, all living creatures and man, the Lord said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs[a] and closed up the opening.22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’” Genesis 2:21-23
God’s design for man was to have a suitable partner. God did not pair Adam with any of the trees or nor with any of the flying creatures or beasts of the land. He took a rib from Adam so that the partner would share the same nature as Adam. They were both human, both designed in the image of God.
The woman, Eve, complemented Adam. They were like spoon and fork, butter and bread. God’s design was for them to work together not overpower each other. They were to support each other and not control one another. They were to affect each other for good. All was well with Adam and Eve until their partnership was tested. Read Genesis 3:1-5. The saddest part is found in the following verse.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6
Eve was lured by the serpent and listened to her heart’s desire. She gave in and sinned despite clear instructions from the Lord. In making choices, we desperately seek the opinion of our family, review the principles in a book we read, get advise from well-meaning friends. Most of the time their quick responses would be just “follow your heart” and you’ll never go wrong. There is a danger to this worldview because the heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). If we solely base our decisions on what we feel then we are not making wise choices but unstable ones. At times choices based on our current emotion lead us to more pain, to begin with.
While being tempted, Eve could have gotten back to God and sought his advise. But she did not. She sinned and gave some fo the fruit to her husband. She influenced her husband to sin also. Then both of them, their children and their children’s children have been tainted by sin. One mistake, one sin affected the next generation.
Am I like her?: As a woman, we have a significant influence over our husbands, our children, our helpers at home and our inner circle. We are unaware these people are looking at the things we do and listen to the words we say. They are looking at the way we live our lives. They are watching us when we face disappointments and victories.
As a wife, what kind of influence of do you have with your husband? Do you lead him to be better or do you turn him off by the way you speak or by your actions? Do you put him down, speak ill of him in front of other people or do you encourage him and motivate him?Do you influence him to love God and know Him more? Or is he turned off by your lack of faith?
As a mother, what kind of influence do you have on your children? Do you hear them speak harshly or gently? Do you see them picking up the attitude of impatience, pride, unforgiveness or even have anger outbursts? Where do you think they got those from?
As a woman, do your friends, colleagues, neighbors look to you for support, encouragement or advice? Or do they only call you when its happy hour”? Do you influence them to be better wives or moms or do you push them to dominate their husbands and control their children?
What can I do?: First, answer the above questions truthfully. Ask God to help you see the reality and extent of your influence towards your family and friends.
Second, schedule a date with your husband and kids separately. Let them know that you want to know how you have been as a wife and a mother. They may laugh or feel weird about it especially if it’s the first time you’re having a “serious” talk. Let them know that you are ready to listen and will not try to defend yourself. (DO NOT DEFEND OR MAKE EXCUSES haha) Just listen.
You may ask them the following questions:
- How am I as a wife/mother?
- How have I positively influenced you?
- What are the things I need to improve on?
- If you have hurt them unintentionally, ask for forgiveness and be on the road to becoming better.
- Thank them and pray together. If you are too embarrassed to pray in public, you can pray while in the car or at home.
In conclusion: We learned that Eve’s action greatly impacted her husband. This led them both to sin and affect future generations including us. We are all women of influence. What we say, what we do affect not only our immediate family but also the people we face everyday. Are you a woman of influence? Do you influence others for good or not?
So, who influences you? There are a few women and men I look up to. They have affected my thinking and my values. But the greatest influence I ever had was Jesus himself. Though I cannot have coffee with him or talk to Him face to face, I can know about Him, hear His words when I open my Bible. His words not only remind me of how I should be or how I should act but His words comfort me, bless me and make me love Him more.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Dear Lord, help me to become a woman who influences others for good. Help to make wise choices because the choices I make will impact my husband, my children and the people around me. Give me a teachable heart so that I may learn from you and your Word. May i truly be influenced by you as I start to live a life with intention and purpose. Help me to follow you and not follow my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Proverbs 31:30