Warning – this is not my typical post. I’m angry, and you’re either going to love it or hate it. The following letter is from a woman who has been deeply wounded. You may know this woman – you might even be her, or maybe you are the woman who has attempted to destroy her.
“All through-out my adult life, I seem to have been disliked by a majority of women. Some people have said that it’s just my perception, or that I’m overly sensitive. I know that I am very sensitive, but I have spent plenty of time considering whether or not this is all in my head, but there is so much evidence that I have come to accept that there are way too many mean women out there. I have noticed women examining me from head to toe, and their looks were not compliments. Women rarely welcome me into their circle. I’ve even had a woman back me into a chair as she shook her finger in my face and told me off, simply because I expressed an opinion that differed from hers. I’ve been gossiped about and I know this because sometimes the gossip made its way back to me. In my professional life, I’ve had a female boss build a false case against me which made my work life so miserable, that I eventually resigned. A woman at church once took something that I said, twisted it, blew it out of proportion and proceeded to spread it around. Once I discovered this, I asked her to set the record straight with those that she told but she never did so her husband and others continued to have a low opinion of me. Thankfully, there are women in my life that have taken time to get to know me, love me and appreciate who I am. I am so thankful for these women. They are like a cool drink of water in the middle of an arid desert. I am not a horrible person. I am sensitive and I try to be kind. I’m attractive but I’m not a beauty queen – I’m kind of the girl next door type. I’m a wife and mother and I try to do my best at whatever I do. I really wish that these hurtful women understood how much that they have hurt me and probably other innocent women. I really just wish that they understood that their looks, judgements and behaviors really cause another human to feel despair. These experiences that I have described have happened over my lifetime and at times I have believed that there was something wrong with me and that I’m not worthy of being accepted by women. I am fighting my way back but unfortunately, after all that I have experienced, it only takes one more woman rejecting me and I spiral downward again. Madeline, please shine a light on this hurtful behavior that goes on everywhere including in the church.”
This is a topic that I feel passionately about. The behavior that this reader describes, I have witnessed, and the fact that this goes on in the Church is inexcusable. This type of behavior is cruel and devastating, especially to a woman who has a tender heart. The Bible says that your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. We are to love one another and the Bible defines love for us as patient and kind, not jealous, boastful, proud or rude. It says that love does not demand its own way, is not irritable and it keeps no record of being wronged and that love is never glad about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out. As you can see, there is absolutely no room for us as women to be cruel to one another.
Another woman may be more attractive than you or more organized or a better cook. Her children may be more successful than your children. Maybe she is successful in an area that you had hoped you would be. Maybe she even succeeds at everything that she puts her hand to. She may be a little kooky or eccentric and difficult to relate to. She may be introverted which might make her appear to be arrogant. She may stumble verbally and unintentionally say something that is offensive. No matter how she appears to you, I assure you that she probably doesn’t think that she has it all together. She is just as insecure as you are and speaking of insecurities – many times a woman’s own low opinion of herself is to blame for her cruel behavior? We tear others down in an attempt to build ourselves up. Tearing down another woman reveals the true condition of your heart. Did you know that every woman has wonderful attributes that are unique to her? That includes you. Don’t compare yourself to other women. Comparing yourself is a trap that will enslave you in unhappiness and discontentment.
It is difficult to admit that we are guilty of treating another woman badly but before you pronounce yourself as innocent, please consider these questions carefully. Have you ever eyed her attractiveness and felt jealous or threatened? What did you do with that? Have you ever manipulated a situation to make sure that another woman was excluded from your life or from your circle of friends? Do you diligently search for the chinks in her armor? Have you avoided her or had unkind thoughts or words because she said one thing that offended you? Have you spoken about her in an untrue way to your husband? Have you ever conspired with another woman against her? If you have been guilty, it’s never too late to change. We are not enemies and we are not in competition with each other. Be her cheerleader and supporter. Only a woman can truly relate to the struggles of another woman. We can be sisters who cry with a hurting sister and rejoice with her when she rejoices.
Now, may I talk to the wounded woman? The way that other women treat you, does not define who you are. It does not declare your value. You are defined and valued by your Creator and He purposely made you exactly the way that you are – uniquely beautiful inside and out and if you have trusted Jesus for the payment of your sins, He now calls you friend and beloved. You are a daughter of the most-high King. Remember, when a woman attempts to tear you down, it is her stuff. It is not about you – it is about her and she is the one that loses credibility in the sight of others and above all, God knows the truth. Seek out women who genuinely like other women – they are out there and make sure to be that woman to others.
From this day forward, reject the path of destroyer and choose the path of supporter. Believe the best about her and get to know her heart. You may just gain one of your best friends.
Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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