When I first started this blog, my husband said, “Well, are you the older woman or the younger woman?” I thought this was interesting because when I felt led to start this blog, age never crossed my mind, but I guess since the foundation of the blog is based on Titus 2:3-5, then I should probably have a clear perspective as to if I am an older woman or not.
It’s so cliché to say, “age is just a number,” but I believe that to be true. I think our life experiences define us more than our age. What events did we have to endure in our life to build our character, mature our thinking and rely fully on God? Those things are what makes us older women or younger women. The reality is, I’m not that old. I have been walking with the Lord for 16 years though, because he captured my heart and the young age of 14. I’m still young in my marriage (7.5 years), but my husband and I have been through a lot of things that most young marriages do not endure. I’m also still a new mother, but I have a high needs/spirited child, which is very challenging. I still feel young, although the more couples I meet at church, the older I’m beginning to feel! So, the truth is, by the standards of numbers, I’m young by age, but old by life experiences.
That being said, I’m not trying to justify to anyone whether or not I am too young to write a blog based on the Titus 2 woman, instead I’m just trying to talk about women supporting women. I may not be the exact Titus 2 woman that you’re looking for, but what I am is a young woman who the Lord has matured through many challenging times, who believes strongly in the connection and community building of women, which is what I believe God is calling us to do in accordance with Titus 2.
We live in a strange world. It’s amazing how often we women do not support one another, we tear each other apart with our words, our judgements and our attitude. We do this at work, at play, in parenting, on Facebook, everywhere. This is not how it was meant to be, we MUST encourage each other in ALL situations. This is something that has been on my heart for many years now and even more recently as I have become a new mom and realize how much we judge one another, especially in regards to “mommy wars.” In order for us to love our husbands and our children more thoroughly we have to start loving other women too. Loving and encouraging other women is what will help us all love our husbands and children more, which ultimately helps us live out the word of God.
Here are some things to think about when we relate to other women:
1. STOP JUDGING: This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT point about all of this. We have to stop judging each other. Stop it, stop it, stop it. I know this is easier said than done, but we really need to ask God to convict us of our judgements of other people. This is particularly important in regards to parenting. All of those things that you think matter don’t. It doesn’t matter if the mommy at the park next to you is raising her kid on organic food and you’re not. It doesn’t matter if you’re breastfeeding your toddler, but the other mommy formula fed their child. It doesn’t matter and quite frankly, it’s none of our business. Instead of passing judgement because another mom is doing something different, we should encourage that mother to keep trying her hardest to raise the best children she can. We don’t know what other moms are going through at home. Maybe they are a single mom and they are doing the best they can, maybe they are not only raising little ones, but taking care of an ailing parent. Maybe they just lost a loved one around the same time they gave birth to their child and they are just trying to make things work as best as possible. The reality is, we don’t know, so we have to stop judging! “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37
2. YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD: Think about your relationship with God. Are you praying that God shows you how to raise your children? Are you praying that God will fill you with his spirit daily, so that you are guided in actions by him and not by your own means? Are you concerned about how God will judge you based on how you raised your children and lived out God’s calling in your life? If you are doing these things and you feel confident that you are living out God’s truth in your family, then it shouldn’t matter what other people are doing with their families. If you are in constant communication with God and God tells you to be a stay at home mom, then that is great that God has convicted you in this way, but your relationship with God is just that, your relationship and not everyone has the same relationship with God and not everyone is convicted to stay home and not everyone is meant to stay home. My mom did not stay home with me and if it weren’t for public schools, I would not have become a Christian and even though my mom felt that was how she was supposed to raise me, I feel called to stay home. My mom and I are both Christians, but we are raising children differently and yet perfectly for the dynamics of our families. God convicts us all of different things in accordance to his will, so just remember when you are relating to other women, think only about your relationship with God and how those convictions may be different for you than they are for other women.
3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE: Just love other women! Plain and simple. Say nice things to other women, stop gossiping about each other. Don’t be sneaky and tell someone that another woman needs prayer and use that as an excuse to talk about that person. That’s not nice, it’s manipulative and it’s a justification for gossip. If another woman needs prayer and you think you should share that, then either don’t say their name, or say their name and don’t say what the specific prayer request is. Send encouraging notes and emails to one another. Hug each other. Hug each other’s children. Love each other’s children as our own. Make meals for each other, go out to lunch, dinner, drinks, whatever. Share scripture with each other, confess sins to each other, offer biblical advice and be empathetic. Just Love!
My goal for this blog and for life in general is to build up other women, so that we can live our lives in accordance with God’s will. Ladies, we have to stop tearing each other a part and start lifting each other up. Please know that I am just as guilty of these things as well. God has been working on my heart for a few years now about how to relate to other women and I’m so thankful that God has shown me how ugly I can be.
Do you find yourself judging other women, do you find it hard to love other women? I encourage you this week to make an effort to make a difference in at least one other woman’s life. Pick a friend and pray for her all week, send her a note of encouragement and let her know you’re praying for her and if you have the time, maybe send her some cookies or offer to bring her lunch! It would mean so much to her!
I leave you with this prayer:
Lord, I ask that you convict our hearts of our ugly attitudes towards other women. I pray that you show us how to love the way you love, help us to see how important it is to have a network of women around us and help us to build, foster and lift up that community. I pray that your holy spirit will guide us daily in the way we interact, treat and speak to other women and that you will use us a vessel of your love to lift one another up. Amen.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
*Please know that there are certain circumstances when the way other people raise their children is our business. This is in regards to abuse and other dangerous or destructive situations. I am not referring to those situations and I am not a qualified professional to address handling those types of scenarios.