But lately I walk through school hallways, watch women scroll through social media, gossiping and throwing verbal jabs at each other’s selfies, clothes, amount of likes, love lives, and intelligence. We live in this culture where women call each other hoes and ugly and stupid and worthless and it’s supposed to be taken as a joke and we feel oversensitive for being hurt. Where we get annoyed with each other for our accomplishments. Where we resent each other for looking nice. Where we have friendships that look like “goals” on social media but in reality are packed with exclusion and shallow drama. Where we try to remedy our own insecurity, but it only perpetuates because we pass it on to others.
And I’m tired of it. Because it’s not “just how we are”. It’s not “how we treat each other because we’re comfortable”. We don’t naturally “be mean to each other because we like each other.”
And yeah. Some people are okay with that. But they are missing out big time. Because those friendships are the ones that become bitter real fast. They are the ones that fall into petty drama. And they are shallow. And that has proved to be the case in most friendships where women “treat each other bad because they are so close.”
Every woman’s deepest fear is that they’re “too much” or “not enough.”
Teasing is one thing. But there is a line between telling a joke and turning a knife, and it’s important that we recognize that line.
C.S. Lewis said that “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'”
Friendship between women is so necessary. And it can be something really really beautiful.
We are all broken. There is something in all of our lives that has broken us. Dysfunctional families, abusive relationships, disorders, insecurities, anxiety, bad circumstances, the list goes on and on. We all have problems.
What would it be like if we could address the hard things, if we could build each other up in our struggles instead of tearing each other down and making things worse. If we could be inspired by each others’ successes instead of defeated? If we could be each others’ cheerleaders instead of each others’ critics. If we felt like we didn’t have to pretend.
What would it be like if we allowed ourselves to be challenged by other women, if we surround ourselves with women who challenge us to be kinder, more intelligent, and more godly people. If we weren’t perpetually driven by comparison. How incredibly nongratifying is that?
I once heard that we are the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with. And I am a living example of the truth of that. I know that I have been beyond blessed to have some wonderful friendships in my life, friendships that have shaped me in huge ways. These young women have no idea how much they have influenced my life, my decisions, my growth. We seek holiness together. These girls always have challenged me to be a healthier, more patient, more loving, more joyful person. They have strength in places where I find weakness, or share my weaknesses and we learn together how to overcome them. As women, having such friendships is nothing short of a necessity while navigating the hardships of life, large and small.
My challenge for you is to be a woman that is the good, true and beautiful influence that this world desperately needs. It is clear that we are so so influenced by the people around us. So it is also clear that our influence on the world has more impact than we know. It is our own gifts, our own approach, that could make all the difference.
Here’s a pretty amazing quote about this.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Since we were created in the image and likeness of God, (Genesis 1:27) and we are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) we are actually representatives of God’s love to each other. We. have. so. much. power. I firmly believe that examples can influence and inspire more than any book. Because good examples show that what we strive for can be attained. What a great calling for us to be those examples! To be women that show others that confidence and healing and empathy and healthy relationships are things that are possible and real and bring joy.
Womanhood, authentic womanhood, is one of the most beautiful expressions of God’s love. This paradox of simultaneous strength and gentleness that has been birthed by suffering mirrors the strength and gentleness of a God who redeemed the world through suffering. It is knowing our own hearts, and feeling those same vibrations in the heart of another. It helps us understand that all is a beautiful mess held under control by an incredible God, even though the mess often doesn’t feel so beautiful. It is real, it is imperfect, and it is raw.
I’m so sick of this normality of unkindness and comparison and shallowness. It makes me so sad that this is what has become the norm for friendship between women.
Let’s be the change. I challenge you to be the change. Whether that means giving genuine compliments, taming the jealous monster, being kind, being open, being there. Maybe it means changing what you let change you.
Just be nice to each other.
And I promise that
the fruits will be good and real and way less cliché than that statement. 🙂