Woman of Influence
But Ruth replied, “Don’t try to make me leave you and go back. Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God. Where you die I’ll die. And there my body will be buried. I won’t let anything except death separate you from me. If I do, may the Lord punish me greatly.” Ruth 1:16-17
As Christian women we have a tremendous opportunity to impact the lives of family members in a positive way for the cause of Christ. Recently I came across a quote of John Maxwell’s, “She is only one, but she can influence her world.” It made me think of Naomi. She was a powerful influence on her daughter-in-law. How are you influencing the people in your world? Are you influencing them in a positive way for God?
Ruth was so influenced by the godliness of Naomi that she converted to Judaism and literally did not want to live without Naomi being a part of her life. What a wonderful example Naomi has left for all of us to glean from as mother-in-laws! Often times mother-in-laws are negatively stereotyped! Her story makes me examine myself to determine how I am influencing my daughter-in-laws.
Naomi shows us how we can influence our in-laws, but who else can we influence? We can influence unbelieving husbands. In the first letter of Peter, chapter 3, Peter writes that the best witness to an unbelieving husband is testifying conduct. Peter is saying to be the best example of a Christian you can be so that your husband might be won over to salvation by your Christ-like behavior.
We can also influence our children. Hannah is a model of motherhood who influenced her son Samuel for God. For Hannah, living as an example of a woman of great faith and prayer resulted in a godly child. You can read her beautiful story in the book of 1 Samuel chapters 1 and 2.
Lois is the grandmother who influenced her young grandson in the knowledge of the scriptures. Her grandson grew up to be Timothy the Evangelist. Timothy had a Jewish mother and grandmother, but a Greek father. The apostle Paul reminds us that even one parent or grandparent can have great influence on a family. Timothy had the benefit of being taught the faith of God by his mother and grandmother. Paul reminded him, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” 2 Timothy 1:5. Notice that only these two female caregivers are praised and acknowledged for the excellent example they provided at home to young Timothy.
Examine yourself. Are your words and conduct a godly influence? Or are they the total opposite? We are influencing someone by our behavior whether good or bad. Influence sways people and impacts them enough to possibly change their beliefs and their behavior. I urge you to make sure you are leveraging your influence for good by following Christ as closely as you can, so that you can win others over to salvation who will then also influence even more people for the cause of Christ.
Father in Heaven, Help me to be a Christian example to all of the people that are in my circle of influence. I am convicted by the examples of the godly women of the Bible as I read how they made such an impact through their love for you. Today I commit to being a positive influence in the lives of my family by honoring you through my words and my conduct. In Jesus name amen.
- Darla Martinez
1 Peter 2:11
1 Peter 3:1
1 Peter 3:15