Ladies, We Gotta Do Better

I realize the topic I am about to hit is not one most pastor’s wives would touch with a 10-foot pole, but then again, I am not most pastor’s wives. So I plan on hitting it head on.

In the seat that I sit, I have the great opportunity to talk to lots of women. I love that. In doing so, I see a common thread with us as women that we have to change because it is dangerous. I also see it not only in the church but in the community as well. Let me explain.

We need to stop competing with each other and love and embrace the heck out of each other. Our insecurities are driving this and because of that we are causing devastation to others lives. We tend to be judgmental to what we don’t understand, so why not extend an understanding hand to other women and not judge them just because we don’t understand them. Ladies, we just gotta do better!

It doesn’t matter if it is in the church or out, it is not partial to economic status or race but it is common to us as women in general, we let our insecurities cause problems with other women. Let me share some examples.

I sat and listened as group of women critiqued a beautiful woman who walked in the room. She was a very pretty blond. She was petite with a slight frame. She had a beautiful smile. She was very stylish (in my opinion), athletically fit and in general, just well put together. When she came in the room, I recognized her. I knew her. The other ladies I don’t believe knew her, if they did it certainly was not to the extent that I did. But just then, the onslaught began.  Every great attribute she possessed, they began to tear apart. She was thin because she was anorexic or vein. She was pretty because she had plastic surgery and was obsessed with her appearance. She dressed well because she was shallow and wanted attention. She probably spent too much on clothes anyway. Her smile was fake and she probably wasn’t happy. Her life was probably miserable. She probably thinks she’s better than anyone else and she must be stuck-up. These ladies actually verbalized their thoughts and it wasn’t as fast as I listed it out, it was over the course of a meal, but they still made their thoughts known. Some of us go there, we just don’t necessarily say it out loud, both are dangerous stances though.

To hear this happening from a group near me made my heart break because unlike them, I actually knew her well. I thought to my self, “They would really have a fit if they knew how talented she is too!” But the thing is, I did know her and she was NOTHING like what they were describing. She is literally one of the kindest, sweetest, ladies I know. She would do anything for anyone, and she does. She has a great family and is upstanding in her community. It made me sad.

I was sitting by the pool with a fellow pastor’s wife. This lady is one of the coolest I know. As we sat there, she recounted the same story I just wrote about but the participants were different. She lives in another state. It was happening across the country too. It made me sad.

I meet on a regular basis with a group of women who don’t come to our church but are from the community. The last time I was with them, not one of us was dry-eyed when we left the meeting. It started with one woman sharing how other women had picked her apart most of her life and ended with all of us feeling that at some point or another in our lives. But judging from the tears, the wounds didn’t seem very old for any of us. After that encounter, I was determined to do something about it. It made me sad.

Ladies, we don’t need to compete with each other. We all have a huge role to play in this life. We don’t need to criticize another woman to make ourselves feel better about our insecurities. We actually need each other. If we could stop judging and start loving I think we would see a powerful move of God happen. Can you imagine what would happen if we decided to become each others solution instead of each others competition? We need to be a place of safety for each other. We need to cheer each other on EVEN if we don’t necessarily understand everything about the other person. We are different for a reason, embrace that.

One of the women closest to me in my life is someone who is totally opposite from me, in just about every way. She is way smarter than me and way more organized than me. However, I get to help her with things that are more creative in nature because that is how I am wired. She keeps me on task and I keep her having fun! We don’t compete, we complete. We need each other. What would happen if we tried to BE each other? We would be insecure and both of us would be missing something valuable in our lives. We would also feel as if we never measured up because I wasn’t meant to be her and she wasn’t meant to be me. I tired to be super organized, it left me frustrated. She helps me with that and she loves it.

Let’s not sabotage the potential for a great relationship because of fear or insecurity. There are some amazing women out there who NEED YOU!

Remember this:

Hurt people, hurt people.

People who feel judged, judge.

Healed people, heal people.

Let’s choose to get healed up so we can help others heal. Let’s love other women and be their biggest fans! Let’s choose to be us and not anyone else. We can be the best us we can be but we make a lousy somebody else. Any ladies with me?

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~ by pennymaxwell on June 9, 2012.

3 Responses to “Ladies, We Gotta Do Better”

  1. Penny,

    I deeply appreciate this for two reasons (quite personal at that):

    1) I’ve lived the life of the one being on the receiving end of being torn apart – behind my back and to my face – by other women since a young child (reaching into my quite recent past).

    and…

    2) Because of the pains I’ve experienced in my life from being torn apart by other women, God prompted my heart over a year ago to work with women. Since then, I’ve struggled to engage in this aspect of ministry He’s calling out of me to live out because of insecurity. However, lately, God has been planting opportunities like crazy in my path for me to start working out this ministry to help young women know they aren’t alone in their pains concerning broken relationships with women, and to encourage their hearts to seek out Christ to discover and live out their identity in Him – for this is the only place we all can 1) heal from any pains in life (especially relationships) and 2) discover who we truly are.

    This post was the third confirmation of this week that I’m to be working in this area – and to just keep engaging the way I have been until He opens the next door to what He has in store next. I’m terrified to do this, because relationships with women can be ugly messy – terribly, ugly messy. I know this pain all too well, and it terrifies me to risk being hurt again. One motto I live by, however, is one that gets me through the moments I feel fear: do it scared. It doesn’t mean I let the fear rule me, it merely means I let the fear I feel in my flesh be a tool to propel me to look toward Him to help guide me to what He needs me to engage in – and I’m just obedient to do it. For one thing I’ve learned about healing in Christ, it will hurt…and it won’t take away the feeling of fear we will experiences in our flesh. As long as our focus is on Him, then no amount of fear that we feel in our flesh will take over us and silence us.

    I am deeply appreciative of this post, Penny. Thank you for always being boldly passionate about sharing the message God plants in your heart constantly. Your boldness continually encourages me to become a better woman in Christ, prompting me to engage with other women in seeking to connect with them in ways this world fails at. I’m honored to be a part of the Freedom House family, and deeply appreciative you and Troy are our Pastors. I’m so thankful God lead us here. Deeply thankful.

  2. Thanks for writing this…it goes true for pastors wives and all other women (and even other people, as I’ve seen men do this too!). Let’s love people because Jesus did.

  3. I read Leora Tanenbaum’s “Catfight” (http://www.amazon.com/Catfight-Rivalries-Women—Boardroom-Delivery/dp/B000C4T1Q8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339383956&sr=1-1&keywords=catfight) several years ago, and it struck the same chord as this post. I highly recommend it, and wish all women would read it.

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