Revealing a non facebook-pretty life

posted in: Women | 7

I’ve learned in such a short time from my post yesterday that a lot of women out there struggle with being a wife and a mother – but they aren’t allowed to voice it in whatever “bubble” they live in.  Sometimes life is just hard, but they feel such retribution if they voice it.

Folks – this Christian life will be a struggle, but are we living such “ideal” lives that we aren’t allowing each other to voice it and or share it without cause for rebuke.  Are we allowed to be real and open and honest with ladies who are around us without fear of guilt, failure, or preachiness thrown at us.

If we admit our struggles – we will get sometimes much more than just a listening ear.  Sometimes all you want is someone to listen to you – not someone to tell you how you are wrong, change your attitude, what your sin is in the matter, or how they don’t ever feel that way and you need to be like them.

Look at the psalms – there is much lament in there – there is much crying out to God – sometimes without any answer from God.  Psalm 88 begins in despair and stays there.  Others tell us to fight for joy – find out hope in God.

I’m learning much about listening to folks lately.  In my friendships – most of them know what they should be doing.  How they should love their life, not worry about tomorrow, love Jesus, walk with Him, trust that He has a great plan for everything, know that He will provide.  There are some situations that don’t call for me to preach that to them.  Sometimes these friends just need a listening ear.  I’m a terrible listener (ask my husband).  I am the fixer in our relationship.  35 years of being single will make you into that, I think.  But, after yesterday’s post – I am realizing I need to be a better listener.  I need to hear people.  If they ask me to give them counsel or advice – give it – but be willing to just listen.

And when they do ask for advice, pray about it – find where the gospel meets their lives and their situation – and humbled go to them and share that with them.  Passive aggressive and rebuke aren’t always called for.  REbuke is sometimes called for – but let the Holy Spirit lead you when that is necessary.  Many times we like to play God in our counsel and we aren’t God.  We’ve been given what we need to give counsel but only God is God.  The Holy Spirit is a much better and wiser counseler than we are.

So, especially women in churches where this is so clearly evidenced… Let women be real and voice their problems without being rebuked for it.  Allow for openness.  I’m not talking about gripe sessions or gossip or putting down their husbands.  But, when fear, doubt, and worry are present – they may just need a listening ear – and may ask you to speak into their lives.

listen and be real.

7 Responses

  1. Mark Etherington

    Kimberly, I just happened to see this post in my FB news feed, so don’t think I am stalking your posts!!LOL Some would say I have a feminine side in me because I like many things that women are typified to like or do, ie. cooking, etc. I also tend to have more of the sensitive, tender side more like women when it comes to discussing spiritual things. Often I find conversations with men to run to work related topics, money and other mundane things but I often enjoy listening to the conversations my wife has with her godly yet struggling friends because I find myself in the same place and long to discuss freely my struggles and to be encouraged by those friends toward a closer walk with the Lord without fretting over my constant struggles to choose sacrifice, service, loving others over self…! I hear you loud and clear on this post and the one from yesterday and while it is uncomfortable to hear a pastor’s wife who “ought to have it all together, LOL” transparently open up and honestly share her struggles it is refreshing to know exactly where you are rather than being a hypocritical two-faced non-real person trying to impress people with a shell of a person. People gravitate to those who can relate like Christ in all respects can relate to the extreme temptation we face every day. Thanks for honesty and realistic struggles along with the desire to battle which reveals a transformed life. Thanks for not being a man pleaser but one who desires to bring all things under submission to Christ through the help of the community of believers.

    • Kimberly

      Thanks Mark. Transparency can get a bad wrap – and then knowing how to answer people who are being transparent can also be a discipline that has to be learned!

  2. Great post. You know…I really sometimes wonder if it’s certain areas because the church where I was discipled and other areas, I was around women who didn’t mind sharing their issues. I think that’s why it’s been hard for me when I got married, joined a new church, etc. It was then I realized that not everybody is open to sharing. LOL I’m one that doesn’t mind sharing. I think it’s just hard for people to be transparent. I confess, I’ve at times kind of fallen into the trap of not sharing. God convicts me of it when I’m tempted to not share. But, for me, I KNOW I need it. So, when the time comes (of course being wise on who to share what with), I share. I get the silent, eye dropping, hearing the pin drop moments. LOL But, you know…I feel it’s a relief AND prayerfully, I know that person will pray. But, it’s still hard. But, even in those times, God is showing me His grace as I strive to be patient with others.

    • Kimberly

      As long as our sharing doesn’t lead to gossiping and griping about others – than we need to be transparent with some (I’m not advocating all – especially as women whose husbands are in ministry leadership). But, I think the reason many women don’t share is not a fear of sharing, but a fear of feeling rebuked because they are feeling a certain way. We should listen and encourage.

  3. I find that asking questions helps me understand better where the person is — where their heart is. I am often guilty of assuming very quickly that I know where they are (and I usually judge that is it SIN quickly) before hearing well, asking questions to clarify, etc. If a good friend, who is listening to me, will ask me questions, God often uses it to open my eyes to my own sinfulness OR helps me process and get my mind to thinking truth again (if I’m totally focused on myself). Honest posts, Kimberly. May God help us be godly friends to each other in the body of Christ and may we all strive to pursue holiness together.

  4. Hilary Renaldy

    Yay!!! Thanks, Kim. Excited about what The Lord is showing you. 🙂 in my work as a chaplain (and in my own life!), I see all of the pain and struggle that we go through in this exile- and how amazing that The Lord loves us so deeply even in our weaknesses and unfaithfulness. Often the compassionate love and acceptance of others is used to draw us more deeply to the heart of Jesus, more than a rebuke could ever serve to do. You are so right that discernment is key in when and how to speak and when to just listen!

  5. Shyre McCune

    Good post. I struggle with this in denominational work. It is hard to have a friend to talk to about what I am really struggling with because everyone in my circle knows my husband, is a colleague in ministry, etc. I am so thankful I have one friend now who I can be totally honest with, knowing she won’t think I am a failure just because I am struggling in some area of life. She shares with me, too, and I don’t feel that way about her either. She has given feedback a few times when I was really struggling with something and was having a hard time seeing my way and I have done likewise with her. A lot of times though, it is just being honest with each other without judgement.