Influence proceeds from identity.
A wife’s influence may have many expressions in a marriage and family, but I believe that one stands out. In his book, Sacred Influence, Gary Thomas states that the place to begin releasing influence in your husband’s life is to first ask who or what defines who you are. Does your identity come from your marriage relationship, or does it come from who you are in God? A wife’s influence proceeds from her identity in God.
Honor and respect are primary avenues of “helping” our husbands.
God created Eve, and called her Adam’s “helper.” When God created me, I believe He knew I would marry Mike, and His plan has always been for me to fulfill this role in his life. I do not look at this title God has given me as something “less than”, remembering that many times in the Scriptures God Himself is referred to as our “help” or “helper.”
I can think of many practical ways that I can help my husband, which are all good and profitable. Yet, I understand from scripture that there is a desired, strategic manner in which a wife’s influence plays out. “Let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Eph. 5:33 You may think that respecting your husband does not really fall under the job description of “helper.” However, God has designed men to need respect, therefore when we give to our husband what he needs, we are indeed helping him.
God’s Word commands us to give to each other what He designed us to need. Respect is the only thing the Scripture commands wives to give to their husbands. Why aren’t we commanded to love our husbands; don’t they need love? Of course they do, but women are nurturers by nature; love is natural for us to give. I have been able to bless my husband in this regard by becoming a student of sorts, and asking: “What does respect look like to him?” It is in this realm that a wife’s influence grows exponentially.
Humility is the most beautiful adornment.
Along with respect, a wife’s influence increases as the character trait of humility is manifested. Naturally, I’m not saying this is easy. I haven’t kept records over the past thirty-seven years of marriage, but it’s safe to say that Mike and I have each been responsible for varying proportions of discord. I may observe that a conflict is eighty percent his doing, and twenty percent mine. Or, it may even be more lopsided, like ninety-five percent on one partner. Even so, the key is to take responsibility and own what’s mine. Humility says: “Please forgive me for ___.”
Be secure in your own identity. Honor, respect, and help, the man God has given you. Walk humbly before your God. Mic. 6:8
A wife of influence, you will be.