The Remains of the Day

This morning was great. Attendance was up, even though it’s summer in Florida and the week of a National Holiday. By accident, I wore red, white and blue…which caused people to comment on my patriotism, Oh well…I am very patriotic, just not very organized in my fashion, but it all worked-out.

For some reason, I keep thinking about one thing today…I’ve been mulling it over since lunch, and even dreamed about it in my afternoon nap. I keep thinking about influence – specifically the influence of women. What does it mean to be a woman of influence? Not just a woman known for her skills as a manipulator, a convincer or arguer, and not one just known for being able to “get her way” – but what allows a woman to truly be able to influence, to effect a change in a positive direction?

I’ve seen it more times than I care to count: the spineless husband apologetically or rebelliously following behind his unbending, opinionated wife who through fits of complaints, the silent treatment or frigidity, or just sheer demands, controls every aspect of their lives – from how to raise the kids to where they’ll go to church.

I’ve heard many of these women ask fervently (and in their most spiritual voice) for prayer that their husbands would become the spiritual leader in their home (“I don’t want to lead, but I have to lead!”). Yet, if one of these men would dare to try to make a decision, much less actually LEAD, these same women would throw a tantrum that would make a three year old on a candy binge take notes.

Being good at making those around you (especially your family) dread one of your lectures, pouting-fits, or super-spiritual glares, shouldn’t be the caveat by which we influence those in our circles. Submission isn’t about not having strength or a mind of your own – it takes real strength to place your rights and wants under the submission of someone else – but it’s the only way to be free…

Being a strong woman who follows a strong leader (Christ first, my husband second) isn’t easy, but it is the true path to greater influence. And it can allow for greater growth and development of my children and all those around me. And my husband and kids don’t have to live in fear of embarrassing moments when “mom doesn’t get her way”. This is something I have to work on every day, and after observing a scenario like this at lunch today (and being embarrassed for the husband and kids of a woman who hasn’t gotten her attitude in order), I am reminded again to be vigilant in my efforts to be strong in the true sense of the word, not as a sour-faced bully who leads my husband around like a “purse-dog” (I already have one of those, and I certainly don’t wish for my husband to be like him).

Just a thought, and a challenge – to myself first, of course.

Peace.

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