The Influence of a Man
My dad has played a significant role in my life. From teaching me to pray as a child to exposing me to deep, sound theology in college, my dad has challenged me and invested in me. One thing he and I have been doing periodically is sharing the various books we are reading. This simple exchange of words in conversation or text messages containing an author and book title has subtly been a continuing factor of my dad’s influence in my life.
In this recent practice, I have begun to realize the power of men’s influence in women’s lives. Whether it’s a pastor to a female church member, a father to his daughter, a male friend to his female friend, a brother to his sister, there is a degree of authority and influence. In light of this, I have also begun to realize how men are wielding this power.
There are the good men, like my dad and brothers, and many others, who bear this influence with weighted intentionality and with humility. There are lazy men who fail to realize this influence at all. There are abusive men who are aware of this influence and use it for their own gain. But it is for the aforementioned good men that I write this blog.
There are 10 books that these good men might be wise in sharing with the women in their lives and might reap knowledge from for themselves. These are 10 books I hope to offer to the good men of the church who are looking to learn from, as well as protect, women’s tender hearts and brilliant minds. I have included a brief description with each, as well as highlighted a valuable insight these good men might receive about or from women in these female authored books.
1. A Chance to Die | by Elisabeth Elliot
This book is one amazing missionary writing about another amazing missionary. Elisabeth Elliot was a prolific writer that, not unlike myself, was astonished by the life of Amy Carmichael. Elliot wrote about Carmichael in a powerful and moving way, telling the story of her life.
Return: An honest perspective on a single woman’s commitment to ministry
2. Each New Day | by Corrie Ten Boom
Having survived World War II and the Nazi’s worst female concentration camp, Corrie Ten Boom has an astounding appreciation for the everyday faith. Ten Boom offers simple, understandable daily devotionals in her book and offers hope to the broken.
Return: A realization of the resilience and tenderness of a godly woman
3. In His Image | by Jen Wilkin
In this book, Jen Wilkin, highlights 10 qualities of God that Christian men and women are called to reflect. Don’t be deceived by the flowery, feminine cover, Wilkin drops some serious, Grudem-style theology.
Return: A deeper understanding of God’s calling for the Church
4. The God Who Cares and Knows You: John | by Kay Arthur
After getting a taste of her writing, you might want to make some room in your library for Kay Arthur’s Bible commentary series. Arthur is known for her deep knowledge of God’s Word, and for making it understandable to all ages. Her gracious voice in writing all but conceals her vast understanding of theology.
Return: A dependable, female voice for sermon and teaching prep
5. Gladys Aylward | by Janet and Geoff Benge
This husband and wife duo paint a beautiful picture of the young missionary to China, Gladys Aylward. Amidst civil unrest and personal loss, Aylward serves courageously. The Benges have written an entire library of narrative biographies on the heroes of the faith worthy of reading.
Return: A realization of what women endure on the mission field
6. Whispers of Hope | by Beth Moore
In this simple devotional, Beth Moore walks you through a life-changing approach to prayer. Look beyond the female-targeted design, and reap the benefits of an increased appreciation for prayer.
Return: A more intimate, tender view of the Lord
7. On Reading Well | by Karen Swallow Prior
I am currently reading this book because of my dad. He is in the middle of reading it for the second time. He raves of its theological richness and of Prior’s ability to communicate doctrine in its relation to reading.
Return: A creative view on theological topics
8. The Triumph of John and Betty Stam | by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor
Another missionary book by another dynamic, authoring duo! Read the heart-wrenching tale of two martyrs and their love story.
Return: A desire for God’s Kingdom through the faithfulness of men and women
9. The Gospel Comes with a Housekey | by Rosaria Butterfield
In this book, Rosaria Butterfield opens the door to a whole new concept of hospitality. Read about her life story, and the power of showing kindness in a radical way.
Return: A resolve for encouraging women in ministry to use their gifts
10. Gay Girl, Good God | by Jackie Hill Perry
Jackie Hill Perry goes through the story of her early years as a homosexual and of God’s redeeming hand that resurrected her to new life and out of the former lifestyle.
Return: An awareness of the brokenness and needs of women
My prayer, for the good men of the Church, is for them to continue to realize the influence they have in women’s lives around them. What these good men read, what they watch, what they listen to… many women are hearing and seeing, and learning. May these men continue to empower women in their pursuit of knowledge and protect the women’s hearts around them.