Long before the ‘90s female pop group the Spice Girls popularized the phrase “girl power,” the feminist movement sought empowerment for women. One way the movement seeks empowerment for women is by challenging (or obliterating) the roles of men and women in society. What feminists fail to realize is that every woman already possesses power. That power exists apart from her holding a high-profile corporate position or exchanging her role with that of a man. That power is exerted through a woman’s influence. A godly woman has the power to change hearts, homes, and the world around her.
Women of the Bible
Throughout Bible history, we see women who exhibited a powerful influence over the lives of others – some for good, some for evil. Eve - the very first woman created - influenced her husband to sin, and the consequences her sin continue to effect women even today.
Abigail – a woman of understanding
In the Old Testament, Abigail is described as a “woman of good understanding.” She held no prestigious position in society and referred to David as “lord” and herself as his “maidservant,” yet this meek and humble woman stopped the future King of Israel from committing murder! In 1 Samuel 25, God tells us how Abigail humbled herself before David and pleaded (not nagged) with David to listen to her. Instead of berating David or tearing him down as a man, Abigail reminded David that he is the man who fights the battles of the Lord. In return, David respected Abigail and eventually made her his wife.
Eunice and Lois – raising a servant of God
In the New Testament, Timothy’s mother Eunice and grandmother Lois taught him God’s word from his youth, influencing Timothy to become a faithful servant of God and preacher to the lost. Paul tells us that Timothy knew the Scriptures from his childhood. A woman fulfilling her role as a mother has a wonderful opportunity to teach her children from youth about God and His word, thus influencing her children to develop characteristics that are in tune with God’s will.
Delilah: a Bad Influence on her Husband
Another woman of influence, Delilah, sought to tear down and destroy her powerful husband Samson. Far from the positive influence Abigail had over David, Abigail negatively influenced Samson to reveal the secret of his strength. Delilah employed childish tactics that eventually wore out Samson’s patience. She cried and played “the victim” by claiming her husband did not love her. She nagged him daily until Samson could no longer take it. To his demise, Samson revealed the secret of his strength, and Delilah delivered Samson’s secret into the hands of evil men.
“Curse God, and die!”
During Job’s difficult days, his wife encouraged him to curse God. Rather than supporting and uplifting her husband, Job’s wife asked her husband to do the unthinkable. Instead of reminding Job that he serves a powerful God, Job’s wife pleaded with him to abandon the only One who could make things right.
What kind of influence are we exerting on our husbands, families, and those we come in contact with on a daily basis? Are we like Delilah, nagging and trying to make others feel guilty in order to get our way? Are we like Job’s wife, encouraging others to abandon God during difficulties? Or are we like Abigail, humbly and meekly reminding others to do what is right?