Women Hating WomenBy Trillia Newbell | June 24th, 2013 | Category: Uncategorized | 4 comments
By Trillia Newbell
One of my favorite women, Elyse Fitzpatrick, wrote a book called Women Helping Women. Let me say right off, I’ve never read it (I’ve read plenty of her other amazing books). I have, though, met Elyse. She is probably one of the most honest women I’ve ever known in my entire life. She is raw and real and funny. And honestly, this post has nothing to do with her at all. The title of her book simply made me think of the title of this post. Women, we don’t seem to be helping each other, it would appear we are getting really good at hating one another. I know, that sounds strong, but when I look on the Internet, that’s what I read.
I’ve written on this before, I believe, but after watching a friend go through a week worth of criticism, I thought it would be worth repeating, I find that women are tough on each other. If you’ve been in the blogosphere at all you already know that women can be uniquely critical and we’ve all probably heard of the so-called Mommy Wars (if you haven’t I’ve provided a link).
So I wonder, are men really the problem? I just don’t think so. Men aren’t leading this war. And even if you’ve never fully engaged in it, you probably know what I’m talking about. Women who work are accused of being independent feminist, women who stay-home are wasting their gifts, women who do both are ignoring their children, women should breastfeed, babies should sleep with their parents, young girls should go to college, young girls should think about marriage, and on and on. Women who are excited about the Lord—criticized? It’s exhausting.
Surely we, women, know that we are the ones doing the hurting, don’t we? We know this, right?
I do not prefer to bring up what I see as a glaring problem without thinking of a few solutions. I thank God that He encourages us to put-off but doesn’t leave us to our own to figure out what to put-on and that to me is encouragement.
Without the kind encouragement of my friends, my church, my pastors, my husband and my co-laborers, I think I’d have given up on much of what I do. There is a reenergizing and faith-building effect of encouragement. And I’m not talking about the passing word from a friend, “You look nice today.” I’m thinking of specific, direct, detailed encouragement. Encouragement that is pointed and gracious. Encouragement points out the ways God is moving in the life of others. Thus encouragement points others towards God!
And like with all things, Christ is our supreme example of encouragement. His is our example for loving those who walk differently. He is our example for bearing with one another. Paul writes:
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:1-7)
I love how the ESV Study Bible expounds on verse 7. “Therefore, in conclusion, both the strong and the weak are exhorted to accept one another, for they have been accepted by Christ even though they are sinners. Such mutual acceptance will bring great glory to God.” The weak Paul is referring to here are those who felt the need to “keep the law” (See Romans 14). But, I think for us modern day women we can include anyone who thinks differently than we do. There is much more that can and should be said regarding these verses. I’m seriously skimming over the surface and hope to return soon.
Yet, imagine if we banned together with one voice proclaiming that Christ is enough and then proclaiming to our sisters the same—“Christ is enough!” Wow! How powerful that would be. So let’s look for ways to build each other up and to spur each other on in love. For we know that our flesh and heart may fail us, but we also know that God is our strength and portion forever more. Let’s draw upon that strength to point others to Him who is able to make our sister stand (Psalms 73:26, Rom 14:4).