A WOMAN OF VALOR
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. Judges 4:4
The Scriptures give us very little background information about Deborah; however, we are told that she was “the wife of Lapidoth.” The Jewish writings tell us that “Lapidoth” was a name that Deborah’s husband earned, but Deborah was credited for starting him on his road to success.
According to the Jewish tradition, while Deborah was an intellectually and spiritually advanced woman, her husband was nothing special. He wasn’t even motivated to grow and change. This must have been disappointing for Deborah, but she didn’t shout at him, attack him, or tell him he was no good. Instead, she made Lapidoth, or wicks, and she asked her husband to bring them to the Tabernacle to be used for the menorah lamp.
Deborah’s husband went on his errand and he was completely inspired by the holiness of the Tabernacle, as she knew he would be. Motivated to be a part of it, her husband realized that he could make even thicker wicks so there will be even more light in the Tabernacle. Deborah’s husband was honoured for his contribution and became known as Lapidoth for what he accomplished. The Tabernacle was enlightened, Deborah’s husband was elevated, and she had never even said a word.
This is powerful leadership. That is feminine leadership, nurturing and encouraging, inspiring growth through love.
There is a story told about a circus clown and an elephant who sits on the clown’s hat. The clown gestures wildly and yells at the elephant to move, but the animal ignores him. Frustrated, the clown kicks the elephant, but it resulted in a sore foot. Finally, the clown ridiculously and unsuccessfully tries to lift the elephant. After that, he sat down defeated and ate a peanut. Upon smelling the peanut, the elephant immediately gets up and walks over to the clown, freeing the hat from underneath him.
When we want to get someone to do something, be it our children, our spouse, co-workers or friends there are two ways we can go about it. We can use force, or we can use love. As Deborah teaches, and as the clown unwittingly demonstrates, the softer touch is often a more powerful force for change.
Whom might you motivate, and more importantly, how will you do it?