Women can be awful: catty, hateful, venomous, caustic, vindictive and controlling. Sweet to your face but nasty behind your back, gleefully cataloging your faults and weaknesses. Even little girls can be like this – it’s like they thrive on making at least one girl feel left out and ganged up on. It’s sad when you think about it.
Women can wonderful – encouraging and loving and supportive. They truly can give voice to the heart of God. It’s an amazing thing to experience.
Twice in the last week this has happened in my midst in a group setting: with tears and vulnerability, women opened up in a way that was real and honest, and each time they were met with love, acceptance, and sweet words of encouragement. One fears she’s a failure as a wife and mother? Let us tell her all the ways we’ve learned from her. Another thinks she’s not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough? Let us tell her how beautiful she is, how special, how necessary to our lives. Let us tell her what we see: her strengths, accomplishments, and gifts. Let us take this opportunity to minister to her, no matter how long it takes.
It’s not flattery. It’s not insincere. It’s not even dependant on relationship – whether they are close and precious friends or mere acquaintances doesn’t matter. What matters is that each woman’s needs are met and that she leaves strengthened and encouraged.
Every day, the women God has joined me with are sowing seeds of love into my life, just as I do my best to sow into theirs. Friendship is a ministry, but more than that, womanhood is a ministry. It is an unmatched opportunity to be the hands and feet and voice of God, to build up instead of tear down, to bring forth life just as God created us to do.
Now, if you are one of those stereotypical catty women who prefers to put another person down in order to feel good about yourself, shame on you. But if you are one of those other women who are serious about being a life giver, give yourself a quiet pat on the back. You totally deserve it 🙂