As women, we automatically live in the comparison game–anything from the physical, the mental, the spiritual, the maternal, the material is compared. We often feel we are “not enough”–and that is true. We cannot be enough for everyone. The lie that feminism brought is that we could be all things to all people excelling as working women and moms and athletes and entreprenuers. It only takes a few days of living as an adult woman to see there is not enough of us to go around–something suffers if another thing is gained.
What is cruel is that we like to “one up” each other. We like to feel better about ourselves by putting others down or being critical of the way they …… (Pick any aspect of life here–housekeeping, going organic, the way one dresses, the way their kids act, what their attitude is like, how many things the person has on their plate, etc, etc, etc). We do this because we feel soooooo lost ourselves on all we have to do. We do this because we totally forget the grace given us and the rest God calls us to have in Him. We start measuring ourselves and others by works and the law instead of unmerited favor.
I came out of the womb and was groomed as a people pleaser. I have struggled and grown and struggled and fallen and grown again on this journey. I already feel the pressure rising in life right now for another massive battle on the people pleasing front—PARENTHOOD. Add in being on display as a “pastor’s wife” in this life and I am in trouble if I don’t say Uncle right now. Uncle!!! Uncle!!! Uncle!!! I totally need the Lord, his grace and to listen to Him and Him alone.
I know some of the time when people share advice, they really mean it with love and concern. I also know what it’s like to be a woman who shares advice because they think they have the only way–the pride pushes through in my life (so I can feel it in other’s lives as well). We have gotten helpful encouragement so far, but we have also gotten condescending judgement from people judging our parenting ages, our choice of birth plans, our finances, our health,etc. “Are you going to use “this” or “that” method?” It is like a whole new world of keeping up with the Joneses in style and content. The fact is, whatever we do, we will be judged. There is no way to please anyone:). That is freeing when you think about it because you might as well deal with your “stuff” and pray and seek His word and listen to Him and know how to graciously respond to criticism.
In thinking about these issues, I have also begun to examine my heart about how I corner people without grace–specifically other women. Whether girls I disciple, family members or even strangers that I critique from afar. Criticism and a critical attitude is our defense in this culture–we don’t have to risk if we are simply critiquing those around us all the time. No one has to know our weakness and our need–we don’t even know our weakness and need because we are too concerned with judging others. I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE IN THAT WAY. I was not created in Christ to live in that way. That is not the way of freedom and truth. I do not want Jack to grow in that prison.