I’d introduced my friend to another friend who works at church. On the drive home my friend asked, “Did you see the way she looked at me? Why did she look at me like that?”
I reassured my friend. “Don’t read into it—sometimes we overthink things. She runs many ministries at church. She was just busy and distracted.”
We—including me—look at others through suspicious lenses:
She’s sizing me up.
Is she looking at my husband?
And then there was the time that my friend was shunned at a women’s conference, of all places. She had every right to feel rejected.
Women’s perception of women are not positive—judgmental, self-absorbed, and untrustworthy.
Sadly, these claims are justified. We make assumptions about others, we’ve learned narcissism, and we’ve hurt one another. It makes total sense that we view each other apprehensively.
There is a way to navigate our relationships. With that being said, I don’t have all the answers. I’m simply a journeywoman with you. In fact, I’ve failed more times than I’d like to admit in my relationships with women. Yet I endure, because I’ve seen the immense power that comes when we’re united.
When I look to scripture for a solution, momentarily I’m more confused. Jesus seems to be giving opposing advice: “Be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves.”
Wait. Back the bus up. We’re supposed to be crafty and pure? At the same time?
When Jesus commissioned the twelve disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel He said, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Mathew 10:16 NIV
Jesus said to be practical. The fact is, we live in a predatory world, we must be wise. There are people who are not trustworthy—so be perceptive. And while we don’t have to look through suspicious lenses, we need to wear shrewd glasses. Shrewdness is an asset.
But then Jesus says, “Be innocent as doves.” Doves are symbols of peace…the Holy Spirit ascended in the form of a dove. Accord, friendships, connection, all come about through the peace and love that only the Holy Spirit can give.
When we approach relationships with other women, we love completely—through His Spirit. When we’re doing it right—really displaying His love—His pursuing love—His wooing love—then many will see Love and will be drawn to us. Connection will happen.
And, when there are times of rejection, perhaps we can understand that the person isn’t rejecting you or me, but is rejecting God—His love that is reaching out through us.
There will be many faces of women along our journey:
those who don’t know God.
those who’ve heard about God or even knew God, but because of life’s hardships, have walked away from Him.
those whose hearts have been deceived by the Enemy.
those who are getting to know God, but are still untrusting.
those that know Him, but still fail…
Let’s greet each one with God’s great love. Seeking God’s discernment for who is worthy of our friendship and who is not. Thanking Him for bringing connections in His perfect timing.
Being true to ourselves. Loving who we are and Whose we are.
Giving peace to all and being shrewd in the Lord.
Continue to work at our relationships. We are better together.