A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Power of Influence

Nancy Demoss said recently that “It’s not the power of control, but the power of influence that we have as women."  That statement really made me stop and think. 

There is nothing so distasteful as a controlling woman.  They try to control everything and everyone.  They try to control their husbands, they micromanage their kids,  they try to control their friends and extended family to suit their whims, desires, thoughts and convictions.  They are rigid people, not able to bend or give, not able to handle anything spontaneous.  

What a terrible way to live when it is in the original design of a woman to be flexible and pliable.  It's part of the definition of being a helpmate.  In one commentary I read, it describes a woman "submitting" to the idea of her wrapping her life around her husbands thus changing her shape into his shape.  They are two but they appear as one and function as one.  I know personally the wonderful freedom and blessing gained by melding your life with another so much that yours disappears so that another's may thrive!  As weird as this sounds, letting go of the need to have control of my life has been the source of my greatest personal freedom.  

Being a helpmate and being controlling are directly opposed to one another.  A helpmate is not in control.  She is waiting on instruction from the one who is. She is constantly looking for ways to bless her husband.  She is a giver who neither expects nor demands anything in return except the opportunity and privilege to make his life better. 

"OHHHHH!  That's pie in the sky!", you might say.  Not so.  Doesn't Philippians tell us that this was Christ's attitude?  Do we not, as Christians, have the mind of Christ?  Did not His resurrection grant us power to live as He lived?

1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;  4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

Jesus was not a controller.  He was an influencer.  He didn't herd the sheep, He led them and they gladly followed.  His influence with others was great because He was controlled Himself by the Holy spirit who is perfect in everything He does and in the way He does it.

Reality check:  It is absolute truth that there is only one thing that we, as humans, have absolute control of.  We absolutely have control over choosing between the control of God in our lives or the control of Satan. There are only two options.  The truth remains that we are always under the control of one or the other and never truly in control ourselves. 

Joshua 24:15
"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

There is a huge difference between influence and control.  Control makes people do what they do.  Motivation makes people want to do what they do.

Just as we saw in the example of Christ, his great influence was the result of his great willingness to be controlled.  When you are controlled by love and the fruit of the spirit, people want to emulate you.  So just as it is better to give than to receive, in this context, it is better to be controlled (by the Holy Spirit) than to control others.

People of influence have often been greatly influenced by others before them.  How did this happen?  Humility, teachableness, and a vulnerability that comes only by putting complete trust in God.  Influence requires that you have knowledge, character, humility and love.

A person under another's influence will not always feel comfortable, but they will always feel safe.  When someone is being controlled, they do not feel emotionally safe and often want to run but for fear of the controller will stay and take the abuse.  A person being influenced will feel their best when in close proximity to the influencer.  People were never controlled by Jesus but they were influenced to the point that they would go days without going home just to be near him.

Oh, God, would you continue to transform us into women of faith, courage, and humility, whose words inspire courage and faith in the men around us?  In the words of Pastor John Piper, I ask that you would help us to embrace what is “at the heart of mature femininity: a freeing disposition [inclination] to affirm, receive, and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationships.” Amen.

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