In my first post in this series, I challenged us, as moms, to be intentional in our approach to our own personal growth. [If you haven’t read that post yet, please do so before moving forward with this one.] I also shared this quote from John C. Maxwell.
In that first post, I stated that God has given each of us moms a special, powerful leadership role within our families, but to be a good leader, we have to learn the art of influence. We cannot lead our children if we do not have influence.
After I wrote and shared that post, I was asked multiple times what that looks like in practical terms. One sweet mom told me that she knows she needs to grow, but she doesn’t know how – she doesn’t know where to start, in what direction to go, or even the first step in that new direction.
Here it is: We have to recognize the significance of our role. It’s not only important to our being a life-partner to our husbands, a nurturing teacher to our children, and the keeper of our homes, it’s significant in the big picture of history, because God is the One who decided so. He is the one who chose us to be born, did the work on the cross in order to redeem us from our sinful nature, and chose us to be His representative in this time in history. Our being here is not a mistake; it is part of His plan.
Extraordinary leaders call others to action by taking a hold on this truth that it was GOD who created them and has a plan for them. That alone is enough to make them significant. Without grasping this truth first, we cannot and will not move forward.
I want to make an extremely important point here towards the beginning of this post…I have a passion to spur myself and others into moving forward and being courageous, and I know that this takes having direction, passion, and determination; however, I want to be crystal clear about motivation. I am never going to tell you to allow your heart to lead you [Jeremiah 17:9] – this is not about living our dreams, it is about aligning our lives with HIS dreams and plans that He has had for us since He thought of us.
This is not a plan that He has for us because we are so worthy – actually it’s just the opposite…it’s because of His ability to use broken things. And, honey, we’re all born broken, sinful, and completely and utterly unworthy. This is not about our strength and worthiness, it’s about His. It’s not to bring us glory and fame, it’s about bringing it to His name. Perhaps this is the first reality that we need to grapple with, because the world constantly tells us that it’s all about us. To be a Godly leader in our homes, we must be like Jesus, a humble servant.
It’s truly about running the race set before us, and it’s about shedding the weights that are holding us back. It’s about living in the victory that He gives us through His death and resurrection. Our worth is determined by what God says about us, not by our performance. We must never mistakenly confuse doing what we need to do with having to gain His approval. He already approves of you because of what He did.
I clearly remember a long period of time that I did not even know how to grasp that truth of my God-given significance. Life experiences had beaten me so far down that I couldn’t pull myself up enough to even peep over the edge of the hole I was in. I was stuck at the bottom, entrenched in habitual ways of thinking that ran like deep wagon wheel ruts through the stoney terrain of my life. The majority of those thoughts were self absorbed in the sense that they were focused on the reality of my own measly abilities instead ofHis unlimited ones.
These thought patterns were at least 99% negative, and they set the tone of negativity in many of my relationships – including the one I had with my children. I had a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset [I’ll talk more about that in a coming post in this series.] that kept me from moving forward even an inch.
Whatever standard we may choose to measure ourselves by always makes us feel that there is something defective about us. Our thinking is distorted because it is not based on the truth of Who God is and what He says about us. When I was stuck in the wrong direction, I was not gripped by the greatness and holiness of God, I could not perceive the significance that comes from being His child. Perhaps you are in that place.
If you are, I want to help you put your feet in position to take that first step. When we are stuck going in the wrong direction, we have to determine that we are going to turn in a new one. Then we have to do it.
Determination + action = change.
If you truly do not know and believe that you are loved and significant because God redeemed you, I challenge you to examine your view of God.
Our God-view is the lens through which we look at ourselves and the world around us. I know from experience that having a broken God-view can keep us from grasping the truth about ourselves.
For many years, I was like an airplane pilot flying through thick fog in an aircraft with nonfunctioning flight instruments – in fact, my cockpit instrument panel was completely dark. As I cried out to God to heal me, He rolled away the fog and showed me that I had been flying upside down in a direction completely opposite of what He had planned for me, with no sense of direction or purpose. He showed me that when I allowed Him to show me and teach me who He truly is, everything else falls into place.
When I learned that the “if part” is my responsibility and that my life will be askew until I build everything on the foundation of the reverence for the Maker of my soul and the universe, it completely changed the way I did life.
Perhaps you do know who God is, and there is nothing wrong with how you view Him. If this is true, then you will not argue with the truth of your significance through redemption. If this is the case, I encourage you to spend time reiterating and reaffirming your God-view by working through the following Scriptures about His greatness and holiness. We all could use a little refocusing once in a while…
If you know that you need to fine tune your God-view because you do not see your redeemed soul and life, or your calling as significant, then I invite you to work through these verses with me. This is that first practical step you can make in growing in your leadership role.
In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah has a vision in which he was taken to the very throne room of God. He is completely undone by the Holiness of his Creator. I love these verses and find them challenging in the extreme. Carefully read each verse, taking the time to visualize the scene being described (imagine Isaiah face down in the presence of the God of the Universe), then work through the questions at the end.
Isaiah 6 It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.
2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
Join me in asking…
- Do I live my life with this awe-and-wonder view of God’s greatness and holiness?
- Does this view serve as a constant reminder of my own unworthiness?
- Do I live in absolute humbleness knowing that I am a [wo]man of unclean lips who lives among people of unclean lips?
- Do I live from a place of remembrance that He has touched us and made us holy in His sight?
How we view ourselves and our leadership/influence role is completely dependent upon our view of God and the extent that we are gripped by His greatness and holiness. When we understand that He has placed on each of us a calling to join Him in His work in our lives and in the lives of our children, then we will become women of influence.