The only place women can speak from is their own experience. Impeaching other women's viewpoints based on the one you have acquired (whether in person or on social media) is harmful. Maturing into a woman who can see value in different beliefs, attitudes and morals is a rare characteristic these days and difficult to develop from what I've experienced.
All women experience social, financial, emotional, spiritual and physical situations differently. These experiences come because of our good/bad choices and from good/bad choices of others that affect us. Convincing other women to support, change or reject issues because of what you experienced can be difficult. Experiences create emotional responses that tug at our hearts. When another woman does not have that experiences, her need to apply it to her life may not be important. That does not make her wrong and you right? It does not make her right and you wrong?
"One man's logic is another man's crazy," David Rossi (Criminal Minds)
How do you deal with other women who have different values based on their unique experiences? How do you interact with other women when you feel strongly that your position is best and beneficial based on your particular knowledge? Thousands of issues come to mind that are 'hot buttons' in conversation and social media such as vaccinations, homeschooling, church affiliation, politics, essential oils, co-sleeping, elderly parenting and the list goes on and on.
There are hundreds of issues that are not right or wrong, but are personal. Our goal as women should not be to compare or convince other women, but to support, listen, respect and learn. Implying that you are the standard every woman should be measured by causes division, comparison, arguments, belittling, hurt feelings, and relationships that cannot be mended.
The only place we can speak from is our personal experience.
These seven characteristics of a mature woman, wife and mother, when applied, can make your friendships deeper, your family peaceful and your soul tranquil. Even in the midst of restless trials, a mature spirit can find serenity.
Sympathize: "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble," 1 Peter 3:8. Support and understanding for one another comes with knowledge. Knowledge come by getting information about other plight in life. You can support someone in their circumstances and not join them. Mature women can offer sympathy because they know even the prostitute, the murderer and the Atheist can have a place in the Kingdom.
Unconditional: "You have heard, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you...," Matthew 5:43-44. Not being limited by other's actions, reactions, choices and words can open up a whole new area where you can be used by God. I work with felons. I work with teens sleeping with the houseparent's ex-husband. I work with the mentally ill. I work with homeless. Maturity is treating each like a Child of God when they don't act like it.
Comfort: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,...,who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God," 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. There is no situation off limits that we are to reject comfort if needed. A group of ladies go to strip clubs here on Friday nights to comfort the women in the sex industry. Their comfort gives some confidence to change. A mature woman can leave all judgement aside and give hope and strength.
Respect: "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves," Romans 12:10. The highest respect is to value others above yourself according to Philippians 2:3. Mature women can deny themselves to lift someone else up who is in need.
Learn: Jesus said, "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners," Matthew 9:13. Mature women don't weigh their decisions bases on popular culture, societal norms or other moms. They use Truth and Truth always goes against what society deems as 'good'.
Teach: You are being watched. You teach whether you try or not. 1 Peter 3:1 basically says that we (women, moms, wives) can win over others without words just by the behaviors that flow out of us. Mature women teach and sometimes they use words.
Confidence: "Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded," Hebrews 10:35. Even when we are persecuted and bullied and our possessions are stolen or destroyed, we have confidence and a lasting hope in eternity which is better than anything here on earth. Mature women don't allow others to deplete their confidence.
Life is less about trying to persuade other women to believe your beliefs, attitudes and morals and more about your actions, reactions and words towards those who don't agree with you.
Finding common ground, no matter the issue, is a sign of maturity. Allow the cross to bridge the gap between beliefs and compassion.
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Erin E. McEndree
Steeped In Purpose, LLC