by Molly Audiss
There was only one Marlene Evans. The founder of the Christian Womanhood Magazine was one of the most unique ladies I have ever known. I met her in the last 8 years of her life, as she was dealing with cancer. But you’d hardly know it! She was one of my college teachers, and had a personality that could not easily be forgotten! It filled the room, everywhere she went! When she walked in, things happened! Happy things, goofy things, teaching moments, life-lessons… they were always present wherever she was, along with a bright smile and infectious laughter. You almost forgot she was ill, she was just so much fun to be with. Everyone 3-93 enjoyed her company.
Among the most famous quotes for which she was known was her formula with getting along with others. She was a stickler about getting along! She felt every woman should make all the effort necessary to get along with everyone. And she was a walking example of just that!
Her Relationship Formula:
- Cheerfully and Willingly
- Giving up Your Way
- Several Times a Day
- And Never Mentioning it.
I first heard her teach this in 1994, and many times thereafter. Mrs. Evans graduated to Heaven in 2001, yet still, I can hear her saying it. Sometimes I wish I didn’t hear her! 😂 Yet her words come to mind so often when I want my own way, when I think I know best, when I just don’t feel like getting along, etc. Let’s break down the formula.
Cheerfully and Willingly – Being unselfish is one thing, but doing it with a GOOD ATTITUDE? Now, that seems like too much to ask on some occasions and with some people. There’s nothing as difficult as being cheerful to someone who is rude to you! But Mrs. Evans actually thought that Christians were supposed to act like Jesus. (Crazy idea!😂) Christ wants our WILLING sacrifice.
Giving Up Your Way — Being kind and nice and courteous is not always hard. Our mothers taught us all manners from a young age. But being nice and giving up your own way are 2 totally different things! If you’re like me, you have a way you like things done. You have an opinion (about everything!) how things should be. These opinions can be really, really strong and hard to give up. Mrs. Evans reminded us that we are to live IN HONOR, PREFERRING ONE ANOTHER.
Several Times A Day —. This part just seems to drive it too close to home with me. If I act unselfishly, like a good Christian, I am pretty much throwing myself a party in my own mind. 😂 We can be pretty proud about our humility and our good deeds! Once a month is about how often we should do the hard things, then pat ourselves on the back the other 29 days, right? But several times a DAY? Isn’t that overkill? 😂 It’s almost as if she meant that we didn’t get a break from living like Christ between our good deeds. They were supposed to just roll from one to the next. The only way this could even be possible is through the power and strength of the Spirit of God. We cannot live like this alone. We need God’s help daily!
And Never Mentioning It —. Well, if that doesn’t beat all! What’s the use of humble servitude if you can’t brag about it? 😂 Mrs. Evans expected women to do their good deeds AS TO THE LORD, and be satisfied with pleasing Christ. This does away with hypocrisy, manipulation, bragging, ulterior motives… all the things that petty women have the reputation of being. The world should look at us and see the love of God in our lives for others, not self-serving duties performed for applause or in exchange for service from others.
This formula is tough! Yet it captures, in one sentence, what it means to truly live out our Christianity through Christ and for His glory. Today was just a reminder of a great women who showed us how it was possible to get along with everyone, if we were willing to die to self. If you had never heard this teaching from Mrs. Evans, I challenge you to memorize it and use it often as a reminder of Christ-likeness.