The Influence of a Godly Woman
The Influence of a Godly Woman…
This morning I was thinking about the power of influence.Who has had influence in your life?Today I am thankful for the influence of a godly woman.A godly woman leaves a mark on our life.She inspires us.She encourages us.She changes us for the better.I hope you have had many godly women influence you.Please allow me to celebrate just one who has influenced me.
Her name was Ethel Odell Brown Murphree and she was my maternal grandmother.We called her Mama Dell.She was born in rural Mississippi in 1908.I loved hearing the stories she would tell – the first phone she heard ring, the first car she rode in, the first plane she saw in the sky.Can you imagine the changes she saw during her lifetime?While she would have told you she was more than blessed – she also experienced hardship and great loss in her life.However, she was never angry, never bitter.Instead, she was full of joy.Her laughter was such a beautiful sound.She should have written a book.It would have been one of great hope and total dependence on the Lord.
A Legacy of Influence
If I chose just one word to describe the influence of a godly woman named Mama Dell – that word would be love.The Bible teaches us that love is a gift – a great gift.Mama Dell was a great gift to many.She was FULL of love – agape love!The love we read about in I Corinthians -- the kind of love like God’s love.The first verses of Chapter 13 tell us that if we don’t have love – then we don’t have anything.Let’s look at how Paul describes love beginning with verse 4…
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never fails.”
She was the most loving person I have ever known. Mama Dell understood that love was an action.It is a deliberate choice to give love and it is not based on the worthiness of the one who is loved.Her love was given freely and every family member felt as if they were her favorite.I loved to be with her.I was totally content to swing on the front porch or walk to the dollar store or just sit and talk.Being with her was such a safe and secure place to be.
She loved with a selfless type of love – a love of giving.She never expected anything in return.She loved to serve and serve she did.Whether cooking, cleaning, sewing, or canning, she loved to do for others and to make their life better.Some of my fondest memories are when 40-50 family members all crammed into my grandparents’ tiny little house.Although she didn’t have much – she could serve a feast for us.We would eat until the point of complete misery.I think that gave her such delight.
The influence of a godly woman named Mama Dell taught us to love one another.As I have grown up, I have come to realize that I love others many times more than they love me.This is why.In this family, we were inspired to give love freely, to forgive one another, and to always accept each other.I could tell you stories that would have separated most families - but not Mama Dell’s!She taught us to love one another unconditionally.And 10 years after her passing – we are still a close and united extended family – getting together as often as we can.
Mama Dell lived and loved by the scripture above.Each of those attributes for love is true of her.She loved others when they weren’t easy to love.She was selfless – never envious or puffed up or rude.She loved to look pretty – though.Her hair and nails were always done.For her, that was just being her best.She loved her friends.She loved her family.She loved, loved, loved my granddaddy and loved being his wife for 54 years.I can still hear her call his name, “Dee!”.
Even more than she loved all of us, she loved her Lord and Savior. She loved His word.She loved His truth.Her relationship with Jesus was important to her.It was a part of who she was.There was no way to know her and not know that she loved Jesus.She talked about Him.She sang about Him.She worshiped Him.She lived for Him.Her greatest desire was for all of her children and grandchildren to fall as deeply in love with Jesus as she had.Her influence was strong.But, as much as she loved the Lord and influenced us to do the same – it is up to each of us.I heard someone say recently that God doesn’t have grandchildren.That is an interesting concept, isn’t it?Think about it.God wants a personal relationship with each of us individually.He has called us to be His child – not His grandchild. We cannot join His family based on our mom’s faith or our grandmother’s faith. Each of us must accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our own life. We must fall in love with Him – just as my Mama Dell did.
Mama Dell was special.Yes, she was.She left behind the influence of a godly woman and for that I am so thankful.Are we a godly influence like that?Are we inspiring people to fall in love with Jesus?Are we leaving a legacy of influence for Him?Those are questions we should ponder.Let’s ask God to help us today to choose to be a godly influence in the lives of all those around us.
I would love to hear about the influence of a godly woman in your life.Share with us!