Since I am quite sure that most of my readers of women (sorry, Bill — I know that you do occasionally read my blog 🙂 ) – I know that every woman reading this has been affected by her relationships with other women. So often, women’s relationships with each other are full of hurt and pain. I often tell my daughters that unfortunately, women never really move beyond middle school relationships and it doesn’t matter if you are 12, middle age or older.
Lately there have been several good blog posts on women’s friendships that I would encourage you to read…
Women Judging Women by Lysa Terkeurst http://lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com/2009/02/women-judging-women.html was a good reminder that criticism is not offering grace.
The Friendship Factor was a blog topic for Jill Savage the last couple of weeks. Her first post on friendship revealed her vulnerably with women’s relationships http://www.jillsavage.org/2009/02/friendship-factor-february-discussion.html. She then wrote about several of her different friends and ended with this post about 5 Tips for Women’s Friendship. http://www.jillsavage.org/2009/02/we-have-winner.html
Years ago, I read the very popular book The Friendship of Women by Dee Brestin – this book just celebrate it’s 20th anniversary in print and there is now a Bible Study to join it (Moody’s Midday Connection recently did a show on this book). I remember how helpful this book was when I read it years ago and am thinking that it may be time to pull it off the shelf again. It is always interesting how God brings up the same subject over and over – which is what has been happening in my life recently with women and friendships.
Women’s friendships are difficult – even in the scriptures (I am thinking of Hannah & Peninnah from I Sammuel 1 ). I know that I have been hurt and have hurt women throughout the years. I do believe that Satan loves to cause petty problems between women to keep us distracted from the work that God has called us to do, which is to bring the hope of grace to our families, friends and those we come into contact with.
The Lord has granted me many good relationships with women that I dearly treasure (many of you know who you are – my daughters, Merry, Beth, Stephanie, Kelly, Ann, April, and the list goes on…). But no matter what the relationship situtation is – the answer is always GRACE – I need to offer it and be offered it. Grace for the hurts that I tend to dwell on and grace for the hurts I give. All relationships always come down to the offer of grace, starting with our relationship to our Heavenly Father.
Lord, help me accept grace and offer grace to not only my friends but to those by whom I am hurt and whom I have hurt. I cannot do it on my own – only through your example of grace can I myself offer grace…
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 23:14-15