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LaughterRecently, on my beach retreat in FL, this topic was brought up as an important one to add to this series.  There were a few versions mentioned, but I think this post will include most of  what was mentioned.  The way it came up was, “Tell them to not be so critical of each other.”  (other women)

Do you enjoy women as friends or see them as competition?

In the past few years, I have met women who really don’t seem to like other women much.  Often, they didn’t have girlfriends in high school.  All their friends were guys.  I don’t get that really.  Yes, I can see why they enjoyed guys…I definitely enjoy the male outlook on life.  But I don’t understand why women don’t enjoy other women.  We have way too much in common!

I realize I had a weird high school experience.  I lived in a girl’s dorm in high school.  We had to learn to have each other’s backs.  That isn’t saying everyone did, but those of us who wanted to do the right thing, learned how to watch out for each other.

We weren’t allowed to wear make-up so all we could do to look good was fix up our hair.  We taught each other how to curl our hair and some of the girls even cut hair.

Oh yes, and developing a meek and quiet spirit was also on the agenda.  I didn’t do that one so well.  I talked constantly!  I lost points on my conduct score because I talked so much.  I recently learned that it is the most common symptom of ADD in girls…whoops!  But that is a story for another day.

A constant barrage of  “you aren’t measuring up,” “you need to do more,” or “stop doing x.”  It was a great enviornment for people in power, but not for ordinary people with sensitive souls…especially if they were lonely teen-agers.  So I learned to find friends who were fun and helped me laugh.  We had fun together, encouraged each other and found lots of ways to laugh and enjoy the good things about our lives.

I feel sorry for girls who go through high school without having close girl friends.  Having a group of friends that you enjoy rather than looking at them as competition (for dates) is so much healthier.

Join the sorority of the messy and goopy…our illusions of a perfect life are over.  It will be a good life and happy too, just not perfect!

If we become adults and still have a competitive attitude toward other women, we are truly handicapped.  Once we are married and are moms, we are part of a sorority of the messy and goopy.  There is no illusion anymore that we are going to be perfect.  We need to surround ourselves with lots of friends who help us remember that.  Our husbands are wonderful…mine is, but a lot of girl talk isn’t always his cup of tea.

Having things I did for fun with girl friends enriched my life over the years.  Sometimes, it was an interest in crafts of various types, or learning a new skill.  At other times, we met for group birthdays.  One group of friends used to exchange hilarious birthday cards together when we would celebrate birthdays a month or two at a time.  I was the newcomer to the group, but I still laughed and enjoyed their stories of when their kids were little and they all went to the same church together…a different one than many were attending at that time.

A few years back, another friend from a different group of friends, was telling me about a situation where someone had left her husband.  I thought they were close friends but she said they really hadn’t been all that close and when things started going south with her husband, the “friend” pulled away.

She said that for many of her friends, if the same thing had happened, she would have gone over and had a straight talk with one of them to find out what was going on and then said, “OK, now it’s time to get over yourself.  Do what you have to, to get yourself right with God and your husband.  We’ll do all we can to help.  But we won’t stand by and watch you ruin your life and that of your family!”  However, the friend with whom she had previously been close had shut her out and wouldn’t even talk to her at all!

Girlfriends have your back…and help you stay on a Godly path…

That’s the kind of thing girlfriends do for each other.  Of course, there can be times when competition can flare its head, but we put it aside, apologize and repent if needed because there is no room for it.  This is a place where you care about each other.  You love each other and give support when needed. Sometimes, you have to be blunt.  Often, girlfriends can figure out that you are having problems in certain areas, long before your husband can because of their intuitive abilities.

That is why you need girlfriends…and why they can be a wonderful blessing.  They can tell you to get over yourself if you are on the verge of making a really stupid mistake…or jumping into a sinful place.  They will comfort you when you are sad…they won’t judge you for having a messy house if you are sick…even if you aren’t!   They will laugh with you and cry with you.  They are a wonderful gift.  I have friends like that sprinkled around the country in all the places we have ever lived…and a few are in heaven.  I think of those friends often.

ChangePoint:

Do you have a close girlfriend or friends?  Is she an influence for good in your life? Think about your attitude toward the women in your life.  Do you see them as allies or competition?  Ask GOD to give you a view of them that is more healthy and hopeful…if they indeed are influences for good in your life.

Do you have new women you are just getting to know?  What do you do to encourage closer friendships with them?

Most of all, can you count on them to encourage you to be honest with yourself and love truth?

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