Friday, January 6, 2012


"With great power comes great responsibility." - Uncle Ben, Spiderman

Okay - so living with a geek for the past 6 years has kind of rubbed off on me a little bit. But regardless of the source of the statement, I still think it holds a lot of truth.

We have all been given the ability to influence, whether for the good or detriment of those around us. I think this is particularly true for women. I think that women have been given the ability to influence, lead, and on the converse side, manipulate, in ways that men cannot. (I'm not insinuating women are greater than men - I also think the statement is true for men - they can lead and influence in ways that women were never meant to.)

Before I go any further, let me put out this little disclaimer: The following is not meant as a bash of women or men, but rather I'm trying to just put the facts out there to explain how the choices that we make as women do have a great effect on those that God has placed in our lives (specifically if you are married, the man that God has placed as the head of your household), and that we need to consider the circle of influence that God has given us when making choices that will either sew peace and righteousness, or chaos and confusion.

Examples of how women have chosen to use their power for harm:
There are so many Biblical examples portraying how women can influence men to second-guess what God has spoken or promised. One well-known example is Eve in the garden, choosing to personally question not only God's command, but to question his intent as well. ("For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God." -2 Corinthians 2:11) And we know how it played out - Adam chose to follow Eve's example, instead of standing firm in the leadership role He was placed in, and the rest is history. (Genesis 3)

Another example is Sarai, Abram's wife. Not believing God's promise that He would grant Abram a son, she chose to take matters into her own hands by offering up her slave instead, rationalizing that she could at least have a surrogate child this way (since God was obviously not following through with His end of the deal). (Genesis 16) And once again, you see man following a women's suggestion - choosing also to disbelieve and question whether God meant what He said.

(On a side note - I find it rather funny that after Sarai's slave, Hagar, gets pregnant, Sarai becomes upset because it's not turning out the way she thought it would, and so she comes back to blame Abram about it! (Genesis 16:5) I have to be honest and say I can relate to the temptation to blame when something doesn't turn out the way I planned. Anyone else want to admit to that one?)

I go into these examples because I believe it's one way God has chosen to reveal the power a woman has been given in order to offer advice, wisdom, and discernment to others. Wives have the awesome ability to offer insight to their husbands, an incredible gift when that is given prayerfully and in humility, not trying to manipulate and control, but as God intended. And single women - you have the ability to encourage & offer that same gift to the people that God has placed in your life as well.

Examples of how women have chosen to use their power for good:
Look at Esther! Here is a woman that was placed in the role as queen in order to plead for the lives of the Israelites. She chose to accept the place of honor God had granted her, and with humility, advised her husband, the King, to show mercy. (Esther 7) Because of this, the people of God were saved.

And I'm sure the list could continue, but for the sake of this note becoming a novella, I will get to the conclusion.

The other day the Lord brought to mind Proverbs 14:1,
"A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands."

Whew -does that hit anyone else in the gut like it does me? It's so true. I don't know how many times I've set out to be encouraging and uplifting to my husband, and then end up tearing down those efforts with my nagging and nit-picking tendencies. And what about the times I don't even recognize I'm doing this?

What if we recognized the power of our suggestions - that they will either bring light, clarity, and freedom, or deception, confusion, and bondage?

I pray that the Lord would reveal to us what we have been given the ability to do - to build His Kingdom by using our power for good - for choosing encouragement over criticism, humility over our need to be right, submission and trust over control - love over fear.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

"Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you." - 2 Timothy 1:14

"for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7

because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." 1 Thessalonians 1:5a

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