the thing about girls is that we are all kind of wired the same way. some of us would never admit that, but if you truly sit back and evaluate yourselves, you would see that we actually all kind of basically the same in some ways. sort of. wow. now that i'm off to a really solid, committed start, let me explain. i'm just going to put it incredibly bluntly: there are some mean girls in the world. and not like, the rachel mcadams kind. because that movie was actually awesome -- both in writing caliber and in meaningful message. i mean, rachel mcadams was hateful, definitely. but please get tina fey and lindsey lohan images out of your head while you read this. because i'm talking about so much more than a movie.
i think there is a serious, devastating lack of respect amongst christian women.
ladies, are you ever mean? do you ever get so mad or embarrassed or hurt that the ground feels like coal on your bare feet? does your anger or embarrassment or self-deprecation overwhelm you so much that it manifests itself in hateful words? and do you feel incredibly satisfied once you shoot out the witty array of snarky words? do you catch her eyes as you completely defeat her with your rhetoric? when she looks completely distraught, do you feel bigger?
let me break it down.
we are taught how to be good daughters. when we are little, there are well-thought-out VBS curriculums that do a phenomenal job at teaching us how to be good daughters. with bright colors and simplified Bible stories, we learn to be obedient and to be forgiving toward our siblings. we learn to share, to say sorry, to repent.
i remember when i was 7 or 8 we were at a vons grocery store getting milk or something else that a family of 5 frequently runs out of. when we were paying for the milk, i saw a packet of bubbilicious bubble gum that just simply. looked. divine. so i grabbed the packet of gum, put it in my pocket, and went on my merry 7-or-8-year-old way. as we were driving home, the gum felt like a ten-ton-fireball -- i had to get it out. as i chewed on at least three huge pieces, making a giant wad in my mouth (the only way to eat bubbilicious bubble gum), my dad noticed my bulging cheek. "rachel, where did you get that gum?" silence. (well, slobbery chews. but no words.) "rachel, did you take that from the store?" my face got hot. i think i drooled. i'm always a dead giveaway under high-pressure situations. instant tears and a quiet "yes." was all i could get out.
we immediately turned around. my loving, purposeful, sometimes-not-so-patient, teacher of a father marched me right back to that same cashier who had just facilitated our milk transaction. my dad held my hand -- and by held i mean death-gripped it -- and told me to give the gum back to the cashier and to say sorry for what i had done. i had to sit there with a sore cheek and a wet face and tell a lady i had never met before that i was sorry for breaking the law and hurting her feelings.
i haven't stolen since.
we are taught how to be good wives. there is some great, Biblical, transformative teaching on how to be a good wife. the Bible has plenty of good wife examples: esther, abigail, sarah, elizabeth. there are examples of bad wives, too: job's wife, michal, samson's wife. premarital counseling is highly encouraged in christian culture, and there are plenty of resource for that. there are internet forums, faith conferences, and church groups that are overflowing with wifely wisdom. there are plenty of married women who are currently reaching out to young women in order to show them how to be good, faithful, loving, supportive wives. as a young woman who desires to one day become a good wife, i am confident in the abundance of resources around me for that time, whenever it comes.
we are not taught how to be good sisters. this is a specific teaching that i have found very little on. don't get me wrong -- the Bible is filled with instruction and stories that will continue to sanctify us and make us more like Christ, which will ultimately make us good sisters. i know that. there are incredible christian women who do nothing but respect their fellow sisters -- they exist; my life is a testament to that truth. but i really am finding that there is a serious disrespect among christian women. and it needs to stop.
ladies, have you ever watched helplessly as a girl in your youth group flirts with your boyfriend? have you ever disliked the girl that one of your guy friends is dating, and bashed her behind her back to all of your friends? have you ever been intentionally betrayed by a girl who claims to love Jesus? has a girl ever said anything bad about you behind your back? did it feel like a slug in the gut when you found out?
i don't have an answer to this problem. not yet, anyway. but there are a few things i know for sure: we are supposed to be better to each other. we are supposed to be good women to each other. comparison thieves away our joy. taking something that belongs to another girl is painfully cruel. judgement always hurts the person, especially when it isn't founded on factual truth. i hear stories all the time of girl-on-girl battle and it breaks my heart. we were made to love each other, to lift each other up. we were made to be daughters of a King, who calls us to be pure in heart with gentle and quiet spirits. we are supposed to be kind, not mean.
dear sisters, please be kind. please be so intensely and passionately pursuing the heart of Jesus, that you are able to love your sisters out of the overflow of that Love. please be so confident of your place in His heart that you never feel the need to compare yourself to other women, to take what is theirs, to speak hurtful words, or to gossip and slander. please saturate all of your interactions with love, even when that means you have to have a hard conversation that is filled with apologies and iron-sharpens-iron moments. please uplift your sisters -- we need each other more than we know. we need to be strong, good women. oh, we need it far more than we will ever know. <3