RSS Feed

Tag Archives: mentor

A friend worth having

Finding a new perspective on friendship

From the Bible

“Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble,  So that they will wisely train the young women to be sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited).” Tit 2:3-5 (AMP)

Relational at heart

We are designed not for isolation but for relation. We, as women especially, have been created with a desire to connect with others in a meaningful way. Our first and foremost human connection is with our husbands and second to that, those select few, those friends with whom we share our heartaches, our hopes, our frustrations, our successes.

In our friends we look for individuals with similar values, moral codes, belief systems and a general desire to move in the same direction in life. Our journeys are as unique as each of us but our friends are often there, at the side of the road, ready to create some respite before we continue onwards. Or so it should be…

The nature of friendship

Friendships are created on the mutual desire to create /  find the best for the other party. These relationships are built on trust, empathy, sympathy and compassion and they should offer honest advice even when it is difficult to share the truth. Unfortunately I believe that:

  1. We have dumbed-down the purpose of friendship. Friendship should offer more than occasional relief or gossip. Our friends should be the ones encouraging us onward in difficult situations.
  2. We have forgotten the true value of friendship. The true value of a friend lies in their ability to offer you an honest word without fear of destroying the relationship. When we can’t see the bigger picture because we get caught up in our own melodrama and perspective, they should be the ones offering us the helicopter view. Even when we don’t want to hear the truth.
  3. We have neglected to nurture and grow the fruits of friendship in our own lives. Paul reminds Titus to teach the women in his church to give good counsel, to be wise and sober, to be kind, chaste and self-controlled. They must be encouraged to submit to their husbands and create homes for their families. And they must train the younger women in the church. We should not only be looking for these qualities in our friends, we should offer them in ourselves!

A friend worth having

Paul encourages Titus to get the older women in the congregation to train and model behaviour to the younger women. I believe that we have a duty as woman after God’s heart, to work at planting the seeds of all the Titus Two women into our own lives. This means that we should:

  1. Look for friends who look to God. Spend time with friends and other women who spend time with God. Learn from them, engage with them and relate with them about the truths the Bible offers. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and counsel on matters of marriage and being a woman after God’s own heart. As women committed to our marriages and children, we need to make sure that we draw our strength from our Heavenly Father who has given us this divine calling. Your friends should be encouraging you in this discipline, not distracting you!
  2. Surround yourself with Titus-Two-women. Identify women in your life, church, workplace or community who work at modelling the qualities listed in Titus two. As a woman after God’s heart, I will need to battle my own selfish nature, stereotypes created by the world as well as the temptation to accept the world’s definition and standard for marriage and parenting. When I am weak or weary, I should be able to look to the wise counsel of my sisters in Christ. My friends (and yours) should be the first to remind me my new identity and calling!
  3. Share values. In our friendships we should see a clear commitment to build strong, healthy relationships based on the what the Bible teaches us. We should be equally committed to honouring, respecting and loving our husbands. Our coffee cup conversations should centre on positively reinforcing the practices needed to nurture our husbands and marriages NOT on criticising or slandering our partners. Gossip should not have any place at our friendship-tables; not when it comes to our marriages or any other relationships or people in our lives.
  4. Be brave enough to demand honesty. An honest friend that offers advice and counsel contrary to what we want to hear should be our heart’s desire. It might be more painful to hear what you wish to ignore, but a true friend is tasked with helping us identify and avoid danger. This includes self-destructive behaviour or thinking, helping us see the good in our husbands when we look to their faults and avoiding other inappropriate friendships and relationships that will be harmful to us.

Be brave enough to expect a friend that offers this and remember that you will have to be willing to offer the same in return.

In closing

Paul offers a list of qualities that makes for excellent friendships and mentors. It underscores the value of female relationships and it should remind us that each of us have a significant role to play if we choose to accept the challenge and responsibility.

It will probably be far easier to find a “friend” who is willing to discuss your husband’s faults than one who will remind you of your duty to honour and respect him above all else. It might even be more tempting to have friends who accept that sitcoms set an acceptable standard for marriage and parenting. The truth is, a true friend will be the source of  hard-to-hear advice, wise counsel, laughter, motivation and a reminder of all that God has called you to be!

Thanks for sharing my Cuppa. I hope you will make time for an extra-special cuppa with an extra-ordinary friend today.

Proud, tough, confident women

Ladies. Sometimes I need to take a step back, observe & reflect in order to understand which course-of-conversation to follow. So here it is! But before we get started, grab your favourite mug or jug, use fresh beans (be extravagant and use the flavoured ones) and make yourself a special “me time” cuppa. Now we’re ready.

Coffee, friends and especially women are some of my favourite things. Simply because they each have so much to offer. In a wash-worn cup a dark brew can house international flavours or aromas. Friendships appear to be made up of laughs, jokes and fun but you surely know (and agree) that below the surface (of a true!) friendship, there is a mortar formed of understanding, support and storm-withstanding-love. And woman. Dresses, make-up and emotions at first glance BUT there is so much more. Strength. Passion. Heart. Love. There is so much to offer.

So why do we sell ourselves so short? Why do we insist on clinging to those we love instead of believing that we are worthy of their love and respect simply because of who we are? Why do we analyse every conversation and deed until we find the fault instead of believing that good deeds, friends and opportunities are available to each of us? Why are we so afraid of ourselves? Our inner voice?

Please forgive me, if you are a woman who is sure of yourself, know your own worth and can comfortably allow your loved ones space to realise their own potential and dreams – then obviously I am not talking to you. But perhaps each of us, as we find our own inner voice of confidence and worth should mentor and guide women around us who still hesitate. Perhaps our confidence will encourage their own.

Let’s redefine our thoughts. Let’s not be afraid to say “I really am worth it”. Let’s not be afraid to just believe that if you sow into a friendship, the love and goodness will be returned because I am worth fighting for. Let’s not stop believing that our spouses / partners / loved ones will not run from BUT RATHER to us because we are worth fighting for.

Let’s not forget that nobody has to define your worth, other than you.

 

the peaceful wife

Helping wives go from hurting and frustrated to empowered, healed, and confident in Christ

With a Cuppa Coffee

Hearty chats for women about this, that and whatnot.