Sociologists have devoted many hours and words to detangling the mysteries of female friendships. As a wife, mother, daughter and friend that’s been on this earth for a few decades now and participated in many successful — and maaaybe a few possible failed — friendships, there’s a thing or two I could share to save them some time and energy.
Sometimes we make friendship way more difficult than it needs to be.
We avoid confrontation at all costs.
And yes, we always to go the restroom in pairs because that short trip really is better with a friend in tow.
One thing that always remains are the girlfriends God gives you to help you walk through these seasons. We need each other.
But above all, the one thing about women that I believe more than anything else is this: we’re better together.
We’re better when we listen without an agenda.
We’re better when we support instead of compete with each other.
We’re better when we lock arms and stand up for each other’s children.
We’re better when we do whatever it takes to point each other to Christ.
As one author found, women, though thought to be less competitive than men, really just compete with a different currency: we value the degree to which one is privy to the details of her friends’ lives—which is what makes us so prone to gossip.
But the other side of that coin is that women are relational. We care — deeply. And while there might be an underlying drive tinged with a hint of competition, overall, women tend to love each other well. (And mostly hold close each other’s confidences!)
I am fortunate to be surrounded by a group of women who are committed to being there for each other. We’re all different ages and in different stages of life, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t relate. It does mean, however, that sometimes friendship might look a little different or require a bit more effort for one of us than it does for another. But thankfully, there is much love and grace for each other on our journey.
Here are a few ways these women make me better.
They challenge me. As a follower of Christ, I am called to be in relationship with others. The other women in my close circle are Christians, too, and not only challenge me to be a better Christian by reflecting Christ in our personal relationships, but also by reaching out to those who don’t share our faith. They challenge me to be a better mother, a better servant, and a better friend, oftentimes by doing nothing more than being an excellent model of each of these things.
They support me. These women know what’s going on in my life and are my go-to support system. They send me quick text messages to check in on me. They lend a helping hand when they’re able. They pray for me and let me know when they’re thinking about me. They don’t let me walk through this life alone.
They love me. Love can look like many things. For these women, it looks like forgiving me for my shortcomings. It looks like showing up during a stormy season. It looks like holding my hand while I mourn a loss. It looks like giving me their honest opinion and wise advice. These women are Jesus in the flesh when I need Him most.
They encourage me in the Lord. These women know me and they know my heart, therefore, they also know when I need to be reminded of what the Word says about my situation. Their friendship not only makes me a better friend — it makes me a better follower of Christ.
These women do these things for me, and it’s my joy and privilege to do the same for them. We’re meant to walk through this life in community, sharing in each other’s joy and sorrows. We’re meant to be better together.
And as summertime is upon is, mamas with school-aged children will revel in more quality time with their children. I was one of those that was always so excited for summer to start, anticipating the many adventures awaiting us over those special days.
I think if we could just remember to view these days as fresh opportunities to make lasting memories with our kids, it will help you get through the full and sometimes stressful moments that can come along with all the free time they have! Just soak it all up because in the blink of an eye, they’re grown and getting married and out of your house!
One thing that always remains through these changes are the girlfriends God gives you to help you walk through these seasons. We need each other.
Take a minute to identify the women in your life who make you better. Whether they’re mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, or all of the above, these women have shaped us into who we are today and will help us make it through to tomorrow (judgment free!). Don’t let today go by without thanking your tribe for doing life with you. We’re really better together.