Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman
Although this is a Mother’s Day message, it is just as applicable to those women who are not mothers. It is also applicable to young girls for you girls are going to be the future mothers and teachers of children of the next generation. That’s exciting to me, for I know the power of godly wives, mothers and teachers of children.
Looking back on my life, I can see the tremendous impact that godly women, including godly single women had on my life as I was growing to adulthood.
The Most Influential Women in My Life
Let me list them in chronological order, The first four were married. The last seven were single.
Mother and Dad were missionaries in Peru where I was born. Dad died when I was four and Mother returned with my brother and me to her home in Canada. Mother’s greatest influence on me was in the first ten years.
My mother’s mother, Grandma Smith, often took care of me during several of those early years while Mother traveled to churches in Canada and USA on behalf of missions. She certainly had a godly influence on my life.
When I was nine years old, I went forward in a children’s meeting in the People’s Church in Toronto, Canada to receive Jesus as my Saviour. A godly woman ( I don’t remember her name) knelt down with me with her Bible and led me to a simple child-like faith in Christ. God saved me and began a life-changing work in my life that night.
Mrs. Westervelt was the next influence in my life from ages 10-16. She operated a Boarding School for missionaries’ children in Batesburg, S.C. Mother enrolled my brother and me in that home and school as she continued her travels. Mrs. Westervelt, a stern, but loving woman, raised us along with about one hundred other missionaries’ kids from 1944-1949 from my last months of fourth grade through ninth grade.
Miss Vera Deardurff was my teacher at that school from fifth through eighth grade. Needless to say, she had perhaps the most powerful impact on my life of any woman, including my mother, as she instilled character principles and gave me my philosophy of life. Grades five through seven were in a one room school house. She also taught me eighth grade later.
Miss Violet Bohy was my piano teacher for five years at Westervelt School. She taught me by example to use my musical talent for God’s glory.
Miss Verta Needham, a Columbia Bible College student, was my Sunday School teacher in a small church in Columbia S.C. (Westervelt Home had moved to Columbia for the final year of their existence.) Verta asked me to lead a devotional time at a class picnic by the Congaree River in Columbia. As a sixteen year old boy, that opportunity set me on a path to becoming a pastor. Now after nearly fifty-five years of pastoring, I am still actively involved pastoring full time.
My mother by this time had remarried a missionary bachelor on the island of Haiti. In my 16th summer my brother and I spent the summer with our Mother and step-Dad and little sister, Carolyn, in Haiti. One of the influences in my life were a group of about 6 young single ladies who were missionaries on that Mission Station in Aux Cayes, Haiti. I was impressed with the zeal and joy of those young ladies who had given their lives totally to serve the Lord there.
Miss Pamela Reeves was the next influential lady in my life. She was my Bible teacher as a Junior at Culter Academy in Los Angeles, California. Not only our Bible teacher, but our class sponsor, Miss Reeves radiated the joy of the Lord and taught that victorious Christian life in her Bible class.
Miss Ruby Grey, my English grammar and composition teacher at Bob Jones University, encouraged me to write. This Hidden Treasures web site is some of the fruit of that encouragement.
Miss Pat Gumm, a C.B.C. student whom I met while visiting Columbia Bible College in Columbia, S.C. in December of 1953, caught my eye and soon won my heart. We were engaged in August of 1954 and married in August of 1955, She has been my faithful, loyal, sacrificial, loving wife and mother of our two sons and one daughter for almost 54 years. God had His hand in helping me find just the woman I needed to complement my life as a pastor. She’s never been an Assistant Pastor. I wasn’t looking for an Assistant. Rather, she has been the wife I longed for and the almost perfect Mother of our children. We share the same values.
A Woman’s Place in the Church
According to I Timothy 2:12 a woman is not to teach nor usurp authority over a man; but that does not rule out the fact that God uses women to influence the lives of men and nations as mothers and as teachers and friends.
Miss Deardurff, Miss Bohy, Miss Needham, the single missionary ladies in Haiti and Miss Reeves, many of whom are now in Heaven, continue to influence my congregation through me as their pastor. Think about that!!!
Godly Mothers in the Bible
I think of Godly mothers of the Bible who had such a powerful influence on so many people through the ministry of their sons.
Jochebed, the mother of Moses. Read Exodus 2:2-9, Acts 7:20-23 and Hebrews 11:23.
Hannah, the mother of the Prophet Samuel. Read her story in I Samuel 1:11, 20-28, and 2:18-19,
Lois and Eunice, the grandmother and mother of Timothy, a disciple and fellow pastor and evangelist of the Apostle Paul.
Consider their faith
I. It was an unfeigned faith II Timothy 1:5
That is, it was a genuine faith; not hypocritical. Some young people turn away from the faith of their parents. I wouldn’t presume to know why any young person turns from the faith of their parents. There are all sorts of reasons- some not even related to the parents.
Certainly some turn away because of the hypocrisy of their parents. Children are very alert to whether someone is real or hypocritical and they are repelled and repulsed by hypocrisy and double standards.
They must observe integrity in their parents their teachers and their pastor. Integrity is simply what we believe being integrated into the way we live each day.
Some women who attend church with their husbands are destroying their homes and turning their children away from Christ by their gossiping tongues and their rebellious attitudes towards their husbands. Feigned faith and feigned religion is ugly. It is a cloak put on just for show and children see right through it.
We can only live a genuine Christian life by coming to Christ, admitting our sinfulness and accepting His righteousness by faith and surrendering our lives to Him who alone enables us to live the Christian life. Anything less is hypocritical and repulsive to our children.
II It was an influential faith. II Timothy 1:5
It passed on from generation to generation. First to grandmother Lois, then to mother Eunice and then to Timothy. Salvation, of course, is not inherited from our parents; but our lives can have a powerful impact on generations to follow,
III, It was an under girding faith.
Grandmother Lois and Mother Eunice lived consistent lives that influenced Timothy positively, Possibly, Timothy’s father, a Greek, was not saved, or perhaps he had died. Regardless, the womens’ faith undergirded young Timothy. No matter how difficult your circumstances, you will find support in Christ. Deuteronomy 33:27 is true in any age. “The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
IV. It was a rewarded faith.
The rewards were not immediate, but they were certain. As James 1:13-15 warns us that sin does not always have immediate consequences, but the consequences are ultimate and certain; so, Hebrews 11:8-39 encourages us that faith does not always have immediate rewards, but those rewards are ultimate and certain.
Jochebed’s faith was rewarded as Moses became the deliverer and leader of Israel for forty years.
Hannah’s faith was rewarded as she saw her son, Samuel, became a great prophet in Israel.
Lois and Eunice’s faith was rewarded as they saw Timothy become Paul’s right hand man and become a faithful pastor to the church of Ephesus.
God bless you, Mothers and single ladies who influence children for Christ. May He keep you unmovable and unshaken in God’s Word. May He under gird you and enable you to accomplish the task of discipling the children committed to your care. May He one day reward you as you see your sons and daughters and students, and children you baby-sat standing fast in The Faith, living consistent, fruitful lives for Christ and serving Him with all their heart.
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