I often wonder if women really realize that God created powerful, influential creatures when He created women.

One Sunday morning, I happened to need to look up for a moment during the prayer in worship. There was a three-year-old little girl sitting a row in front of me to my right. During the prayer she was nodding her head heartily.

I smiled. I had that little girl in Bible class. I knew that when someone else is leading prayer, I often nod my head in agreement with what they are saying. I realized that this little girl had seen “Miss Sheila” doing that and was following my lead!

Women are leading many times when we don’t even realize it. Do you remember when Vashti refused the king’s command to march herself before the king’s visitors who had been drinking “royal wine in abundance” for seven days? (Esther 1:7)

The Bible tells us that the king was furious, “and his anger burned within him.”

Whatever her reasons were, sadly, the “politics” of her decision had to be considered. There was clearly no division of church and state here! The king asked his wise men, those who “who understood the times,” what should be done to Queen Vashti who had disobeyed his command. “Understanding the times” most likely referred to those men who understood the prevailing culture and the mindset of the people in the kingdom.

Memucan, one of the wise men, answered that “Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who are in the provinces of King Ahasuerus.”

He continued “For the Queen’s behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes when they report, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she would not come.’ This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king’s officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath.”

Memucan convinced the king that Vashti’s influence would be felt throughout the Kingdom. He told him that all the wives of the nobles and all of the wives of the people in the kingdom would follow her lead and would despise their husbands. Her decision was going to cause “excessive contempt and wrath” throughout his entire kingdom of Persia and Media.

Whether this was all true or not, King Ahasuerus believed it. He believed that Queen Vashti had that much influence! I have to wonder with this being the case, if Queen Vashti may have been a beautiful, wise woman whom many in the kingdom loved and respected.

King Ahasuerus then decreed that Vashti could never come into his presence again. He also sent out a decree that “each man should be master in his own house and speak the language of his own people.”

The Book of Esther highlights the leadership of two women, Esther and Vashti. I don’t believe either one of them realized the vast amount of influence they had. I believe that each one’s leadership ability and position were given “for such a time” as they were living. Many people were following their lead in a time when women in leadership positions would have been extremely rare.

Just like Esther and Vashti, every one of us has been created “for such a time as this.” God has providentially put us here with a certain measure of talents and gifts to be used for His glory. All of us need to live everyday with the end in mind and show Christ living in us in our homes, in our workplaces, in the grocery store, at the Post Office and even when trying to get a parking spot!

Remember: Someone is following YOU!

Sheila Butt
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Sheila Butt was born in Rockford, IL, and attended East Tennessee State University. She graduated with a B.S. Degree in English with a minor in History. She has also studied Greek and Hermeneutics at David Lipscomb University. She is married to Stan Butt Sr., a minister, and the Executive Director for the Tennessee Dairy Association. She and Stan have three sons and nine grandchildren. Her two oldest granddaughters, Emma and Grace Anne are students at Freed-Hardeman University.

Sheila graduated from the women’s program at Bear Valley Bible Institute and has taught Ladies’ Days and in Lectureships for the past 25 years. She has been on numerous mission trips to many of the Caribbean islands, Honduras, Panama, and Alaska. She taught in the Horizons Program for many years and received the Kay Battles Service Award from that program. Sheila has written two books for ladies and teen girls and co-authored another with several women entitled “We Bow Down.” Sheila was the recipient of the “Golden Pen Award” from Publishing Designs for her work on those publications. She has written articles for Christian Woman and been featured in Christian Woman for her service as a Tennessee State Legislator.

Sheila Butt was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 2010 serving the 64th District and served in four General Assemblies.   She served as a Co-Chairman for the Congressional Prayer Caucus of Tennessee.

Sheila was the 2016 recipient of the Agriculture Legislator of the year by the TN Cattlemen’s Association. She is the recipient of the “Iron Lady Award” by the 9.12 Nashville Project in 2015.  She is the recipient of the 2013 Legislator of the Year Award by the South-Central Tennessee Development District. In November of 2013, Sheila received the “Elected Women of Excellence” award by the National Foundation for Women Legislators for her “dedicated service, leadership and passion for Tennessee and her country.”

She is known nationwide for her integrity and an articulate message of standing for “faith, family and freedom.”

Since deciding not to run for a 5th term in 2018, Sheila began a Women’s Ministry called “Sisters, Servants, Soldiers” and much good is being done in the Kingdom of God as this ministry enables women to teach, mobilize, motivate, and provides opportunities for women to serve The Lord with their talents to His glory!

Currently, Sheila also serves as the Mayor of one of the fastest growing counties in the State of Tennessee.