(Original article appeared in Presence Family Magazine, September 2016, Issue 8)
“It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms…”
Over the course of my spiritual journey, I have been nurtured mostly by women. Ever since I became a Christian, God has continuously put spiritual role models in my life, and most of them have been women. Among these role models are my aunt, my coworkers, my Sunday school teachers, older sisters in the Lord, fellow students and even Christian authors who have ministered to me through their writings. Some of these women are gentle and quiet; some are wise and decisive. What they share in common is their generous love and mercy toward me. Some of them are like mothers, while others are like sisters. They show sensitivity and care for me in many ways. They are angels sent by God, taking me by the hands and teaching me to walk, cheering me on and guiding me at the same time, saying, “Left, right, left, right… Wow! You did it.” When I look back, in spite of the ups and downs I have experienced growing in the Lord, my life has always been filled with encouragement, love and laughter.
When I think about the influence these women have had on me, I’ve realized that through learning from these female spiritual friends and mentors, I have become more able to cry, to show empathy to others and to express my feelings. I have begun caring more about my female family members, friends and other believers. I love to listen to their hearts, and I enjoy seeing the world through their eyes and understanding the Bible from their perspectives. I have learned to respect women more and to encourage them to explore their gifts and full potential. I am so amazed by the beauty of God’s creation and how both man and woman are created in the image of God. God has used these Christian women and their love across the boundaries of gender and blood-relationships to equip and make me into a better man – a better son, future husband and father – and a better servant of God so that I can be a blessing to others.
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