This may seem like an odd headline to a blog for women in ministry, but it is one of the most glaring messages I received during my time in our Still His Princess class. Godly men and their call to leadership is so impactful, because they play such an important role in all of our faith journeys. This was evident to me in nearly all our class discussions. The male relationships of all the women in our class even had a significant impact on how our Still His Princess blessing ceremony culminated.
For boys and men, it is clear the value that their fathers and other men, such as teachers, coaches, and youth leaders provide in their maturing process. Their positive influence will lead their boys to become godly young men.
The powerful impact that fathers and other men have in women’s lives is just as great. This was clearly evidence in the personal stories that were shared in our class. It proved to me that the men in our lives highly influenced us when we were young girls, and also do so just as much today. It makes sense, as God clearly tells us that male leadership is His perfect design. For example, Ephesians 5:25 calls them to “Love your wife as Christ loves the church.” Then in Ephesians 6:4 it states, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children…” Just those two verses cause us to recognize the big responsibility they carry.
Each woman in our class brought stories, good and painful, to the discussion table regarding men either providing a springboard or detour through each individual’s spiritual journey. Some male examples were absent, reckless or sporadic in their modeling, which left clear stumbling blocks, confusion and pain. Some male examples were engaged; courageous and intentional in their modeling of what it meant and looked like to be a Christian. The support, clarity and security resulting from those stories made it as clear as night and day, what a positive difference strong godly male leadership makes.
Relying on God’s strength, a prayerful father can be instrumental in encouraging their daughter with good habits toward a solid relationship and foundation of their own with God first. Knowing God’s word and Christ’s example, the display of love from a father toward his daughter’s mother, can be her best example of how her future mate should treat her. A father with a heart for God can provide useful mental pictures for what a godly man behaves like in life’s various circumstances, a priceless gift his daughter can most definitely use when she gets to choose a man of God to lead her. It was clear to me the different outcomes in just my small group of classmates’ stories, of those that had a strong example of a godly man actually walking the walk in their lives and those that did not. For example 1) current strong God centered marriages/relationships vs. current divorces/weak/unequally yoked relationships, and 2) strong steady life long faith journeys vs. rollercoaster–like faith journeys. Of course God can work in any situation for good, but having strong biblical guidance, teaching AND example proves key in what a girl/women will mature into and what she will lack. It will determine what she will search to fulfill – either God’s purpose and plan for her or she will continue to search for what she is missing in an ungodly way.
In our blog last month I described the blessing ceremony that takes place at the end of every SHP class. Each woman is to request a man in her life to give her a blessing. Out of a class of six women, by the closing weeks of our class, over half of us were unsure who would bless us. I was one of those women, and in last month’s blog I shared how God used this event to show me what a godly man does in such situations without even being asked! In addition, one of our pastors graciously stepped up and gave a very meaningful and special blessing for each of the other women in similar situations as mine. God sure provided in a special way that day! Our blessing ceremony also included the blessing from a husband to his wife and a fiancé over his bride to be. Watching the love displayed in their blessings made it obvious how important and beautiful it can be when we follow God’s design. What a an amazing difference a Godly man filling their God given appointment makes in the life of a woman.