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.