“A real queen fixes another’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.” Anonymous
I have no idea who wrote these words, but whomever did hit the nail square on the head with its simple, profound – truth.
I know some women who have announced to the world the crookedness of another’s crown – (ahem – I’ve even been that woman) As women, we recognize this inclination and truth that friendship with other women can be a hard thing with its drama, cattiness, competition, and stress.
Finding true friends is hard, and then having to maintain them – Oye! It’s intentional and requires effort. Effort that after I look at all my responsibilities, I just don’t feel like putting forth. At times I’m maxed out, with no time left to try to draw another person in – and honestly, I don’t need drama, and I don’t want the strife of competition. That sounds awful. It sounds as though I’m heartless, and self-consumed, however, there are lots of you reading this that feel the same. You want friendship, but looking at your role as a wife, your career, children (if you’ve got them), and all your other responsibilities – friendship is something you’re willing to sacrifice. If anything should go, this is it – right? But as easy as that may seem –letting this go sets into motion a ripple effect that carries us to a path of loneliness and isolation.
God’s word and friendship
Proverbs 17:17, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”
Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Proverbs 12:26, “The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
Godly friends, uplift, sharpen, and spur us on. They are wise council. They tell us what we need to hear. They see us when we fall, and they offer a hand to pick us up and dust us off.
The Biblical friends every woman needs…
When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
Did you catch that? Jesus saw THEIR faith, the man’s faith is not mentioned.
Life has a way of cutting us all to the point of being crippled. Maybe we aren’t bedridden with poor health like this man, but maybe our faith us under such powerful attack that we don’t have the ability to press on.
Have you ever experienced a time when you didn’t have the ability to pray, or move another step? Have you ever been in a place of life that required you to dig your way out of? Perhaps you’re in one now.
This man was in a situation of impossibility. He had no strength, however he had friends and they were the faithful kind. They understood that faith is a conduit that possesses the ability to carry another person to their healing. When he could not help himself, his friends picked him up, and not only did they carry him, but they dug their way to the Savior. They dug a hole in the roof and lowered him to the feet of Jesus. Isn’t this amazing?
Reading this causes something to stir within me – desire burns beckoning me to throw off all sense of ordinary friendship and grab hold of friends like this. It shifts my thoughts and causes me to think the friendship we need as women is made of a tribe who will recognize the beating we are taking, step in to help, and dig through the emotional mess we’re in and carry us to the One who saves.
4 characteristics of the friends you need
- Women who pray for each other daily.
- Women who are aware. They see our stubbornness and our refusal to walk to an altar of prayer and are not too intimidated to grab us by the hand and walk us there.
- Women who know Truth – not “truth” as the world thinks – but Biblical truth and they’re willing to speak it whether we want it, or not.
- Women who are willing to step in when life has us bound and are prepared to carry us when we can’t do it on our own.
Truth? For years, I looked to my husband for this. I attempted to replace friendship with other women with him – and it didn’t work. Don’t get me wrong he is everything a husband is supposed to be. He has awesome running through his veins, but in the midst of his superhero status, he can’t relate to me on certain levels. I mean, we walk the same path of faith, but I need someone who walks this path of faith AND does so experiencing the same hormones.
Let’s face it – there are pieces of us that overwhelm the men of our lives and require a woman’s help to carry us through.
Men can’t serve as a replacement to female friendship, and if you’re the type of woman who thinks you can walk through life as “just one of the guys” I encourage you to think differently. There’s something powerful that happens when a group of women lay down sharp words, cattiness, drama, and competition. There is something incredible that happens when we stop competing and start cheering each other on. It makes me consider that the Enemy of our soul realizes this power and purposely works to drive us apart.
How do we overcome?
We follow Jesus’s lead. He was all about relationships. He didn’t shut down and run to isolation in the face of rejection or pain, no, rejection happened and he didn’t look at those who rejected him and spew words of hate or backbiting. No, full of integrity he continued to love them and pressed on reaching to anyone willing to step into relationship. If we want to be like him, we have to do the same. We have to be vulnerable and willing to open up the places where we have been hurt, give the time we don’t think we have, sacrifice parts of us we don’t feel like sacrificing, and do the hard work we are called to do by living out Hebrews 10:24, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
When we isolate ourselves we selfishly remove the light we were created to shine from those who were purposed to see it, and not only that, but the ability of another person’s light from shining into our own dark places. What we need is a circle of women around us who are willing to take the time and live these words out by pushing us to be the woman we are called to be, and in doing so refusing to feel threatened, by the success that happens when these words are lived out.
It is a small-minded woman who is threatened by the success of another. I’ve been that small-minded woman – and I’m here to tell you buying into this mindset limits your own success and restricts you from ever experiencing the power I describe to you today. This is a great big world where opportunity for success abounds for ALL women. Let’s not be small minded. Let’s stand in agreement with the word of the Lord by linking arm and arm with those women around us. Let’s allow God to transform us into the battering ram of faith we are called to be by stepping into the powerful community we were called to abide in.
My encouragement for you today is to pray. If you don’t have friends like this, pray for them. Pray that God will lead you to those who will be a friend the same as Jonathan was to David. Pray for someone who is loyal, who will see the crookedness of your crown, and love you enough to stand beside you and do the hard work of helping to keep it straight by allowing you to bear your faults, share your burdens, and when life has you crippled is willing to push you out of your comfort or carry you to your healing so that you are able to accomplish the work you are called to do, by being the women you were made to be.