Women Wars- Why Must We Judge?
Claws out, lots of hair pulling, mixed in with some high pitched squealing. When I think about “chick fights”, that picture comes to mind. Suddenly I am transported back to my high school days, where an occasional girl fight would break out in the courtyard. I would stand back, shake my head a little; all too innocent to understand that what I thought of as a “cat fight” was not limited to clawing and scratching over boyfriend stealing. Little did I know that I, and really most females, would be a part of a a much greater fight, one I have nicknamed the Women Wars.
Is there really a battle going on between women? Is there really a sense of fighting and judgement with the women in our modern society? As much as I hate to admit it ladies, we are at war. It is raging all around us; not with bombs or guns, but with words and dirty glances. It is tearing our gender apart and it has to stop.
As heartbreaking as it is, I witness the Women Wars everyday, everywhere and in all walks of life.
I’ve seen the mom with one child glare at the woman struggling to keep her four rambunctious kids from disrupting the entire grocery store.
I’ve seen the woman who is a stay at home mom judge the working mom for heading out of the home and taking her kids to daycare.
I’ve seen the skinny woman scrutinize the overweight woman who has put on a few pounds and is enjoying a cookie.
I’ve seen a woman scorned because her home isn’t immaculate and filled with clutter.
I’ve seen a lady snubbed because her clothes are out of date and her hair looks unkempt.
I’ve seen a mom judged because her child’s birthday party doesn’t resemble a Pinterest board.
I’ve seen a mom frowned upon for parenting strategies that others don’t agree with, although her kids are safe and healthy.
At any time, women are aimed and ready to fire weapons of slander, disdain, dirty looks, gossip and judgement. In the blink of an eye and without speaking, women can make about 20 snap judgments that are not necessarily grounded in truth and reality.
I am not just a victim of these wars, but am guilty too, of every single one of these and I am ashamed. I’m ashamed because I know the sting of judgement that the Women Wars can cause and yet I can turn around and judge another without thinking twice. I’m ashamed because that is not the command God has given me for treating others. Instead I am called to lovingly respect another, differences or not, with dignity and humility.
But how as women do we fix this problem? How do we learn to live together without battling, without judgment, without slander? For me, I am praying for change, praying for a new heart and that God will cleanse me of my ways that do not reflect Him.
Here’s my starting point. I will be diligent to follow these steps daily and try to be the change I want to see in my society, in my community, in all of my relationships. Will you join me?
1. Stop judging.
It’s easy to glance disrespectfully when other women are acting on behaviors we would NEVER do. For example, I would NEVER yell at my kids in public. I would NEVER leave my dirty dishes in the sink and choose to watch TV instead. I would NEVER run to the store in my flannel pants, with greasy hair and without makeup. I would NEVER let my kids watch movies most of the day so I could sit down and have a break. I would NEVER eat a giant double cheeseburger and large fries, then have dessert. Nope. I’ve NEVER done anything like that. (If you know me, you know I’ve done every.single.one!)
Since I’ve NEVER done any of these things, I am pretty close to perfect and have the right to look down at you from my high horse, or so I think. Let’s be honest, my friends, we all have some issue, some ‘thing’ that others could judge us for and run and gossip about. But why do we feel the need to judge others, when God tells us WE ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? There is not one of us who is close to perfect, even if we try to exude perfectionism in all we do. The only perfection this world has ever known is Jesus and He calls us to stop judging others and take a look at our own lives and faults instead.
Matthew 7:3 states, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
Why do we judge others when we so clearly have missed the mark ourselves, and even on our best days, do not mirror God’s perfection? When we are tempted to roll our eyes in judgment or pick up the phone to spread a rumor to our BFFs, remember that God is our standard of perfection and we are so far removed from His faultless ways that we have no right to think mean thoughts or judge another.
2. Be respectful at all times.
God’s Word calls us to love one another in all we do. Love, in this case, translates to respect. We are not called to best friends with everyone we meet or have deep relationships with all the ladies in our lives. But God does call us to respect, even when we don’t agree with someone and the choices she makes. Be respectful, not judgmental.
For example, my kids go to bed super early, but because yours go to bed at 10:00, doesn’t give me the right to judge you. I need to respect what works for your family and realize we don’t have to agree on all aspects of life to be pleasant and cordial to each other. I can still disagree with you and reflect the respect (love) that God commands us all to extend to others.
3. Give others understanding and grace.
You may never know that the mom with baby formula all over her shirt and disheveled hair was up all night with a sick baby. You may never know that the woman dressed in provocative clothes suffered abuse as a child and seeks attention from men because that is all she knows. You may never know that the lady who comes across brash and outspoken really longs for a friend she can confide in and be herself with.
You never know what path someone has been asked to walk down, so be understanding of the burden she may carry. When we are quick to throw the stones of judgement, we miss the opportunity to understand what it is like to walk a mile in her shoes and offer support in some way. There have been many times I have drudged my way through life, beaten down by the cards I was dealt. Those who took the time to encourage instead of judge, helped heal my wounds with their words of encouragement. Those who extended grace when I dropped the ball on our friendship and were quick to forgive, showed me I mattered and they were willing to stick by me through thick and thin. The gift of understanding and grace, even to a complete stranger, can be the ray of hope and a glimmer of Jesus to someone who needs it desperately.
4.Adjust your standard.
As women, we are taught to believe that we have to be Super Woman, Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, and a Victoria’s Super Model rolled into one perfect package. The truth is, that standard is unrealistic and daunting! I can’t live up to that and most ladies I know can’t relate either, so why are we allowing this to be the norm? Why are we holding ourselves to standards that no one will ever conquer? We need to ban together and adjust the unnecessary expectations we place on ourselves and other women. Do not let these unrealistic standards inhibit you from being you simply because you worry about what others will say.
Ladies, it’s time to take off our masks and reveal to each other who we really are and embrace both our strengths and our shortcomings. Let’s help each strive to better in all aspects, knowing that our goal is to be a little more like Jesus every day, and give each other room to fail and make mistakes without fear of judgement or slander. If we made encouraging others our goal, being in a group of women would not be intimidating, it would be freeing and beautiful to know you are accepted no matter what.
I’m calling for a cease fire of the Women Wars. I’m waving my white flag of surrender and vow to stop judging others, and hope that you will do the same. Together, you and I can be a catalyst for change, one positive interaction after another.
This post is dedicated to my faithful friends who allow me to be me and to take off my mask. Thanks for loving me despite what you see and for not judging me in the areas I need to grow. May I do the same for you!
Calling all bloggers!!! Check out the new blog party on the link-up scene, Saturday Soiree Blog Party! starting July 12, 2014! The link-up opens for bloggers on Friday night at 8:00 pm and I would love to have YOU share your stories of faith, encouragement, family and more every Saturday!!! Spread the word through social media and your blog. This party is open to everyone!!!
The cover picture is from the movie Mean Girls (2004) and was produced by Paramont Pictures. The copyright belongs to Paramont Pictures.
This post was linked to A Mama’s Story., Cornerstone Confessions, Thankful Thursday and Christian Mommy Blogger. Check it out!
So true! Let’s ban together and be the example.
Great, Sarah! I’m so glad you are on board!
Amen! We need to work on being kind, gracious, and forgiving of ourselves and one another. I must admit, I have to work on this. I think it is difficult not to judge, but so important to stop, rethink, and give the benefit of the doubt. I need the benefit of the doubt. I am practicing giving it to others. Thanks for the post and the reminder!
Yes! It is difficult not to judge! Even after writing this, I catch myself doing it and quickly have had to change my thoughts. I think being aware and recognizing the judgment when it happens will help us curb our initial response and be slower to judge. We are all works in progress! Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to visiting your site!
Oh I totally needed to be reminded of this tonight! Good thing there is always a tomorrow to try harder to be more loving like Christ. Thanks for writing this post! I’m now a new follower 🙂
Thanks for following, Tiffany! I think we all need this reminder from time to time!
So true. I have both female friends and male friends, and very few of my male friends have ever betrayed my trust… but many of my female friends have. Years ago, I struggled with even wanting to be friends with ladies at all because of that. Now that’s better, and my best friend is a girl and I have many close girlfriends… but I do wish that women didn’t bicker. Ugh. We should watch one another’s backs, not stab one another in the back. Loved the post.
Thanks, Jamie! I have been in the same boat you have been in before and it is so disheartening when another judges or gossips. Why can’t we agree to spur each other on instead of ripping each other down? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
This was such an insightful piece. I’ve always noticed the competitive nature between the ladies in my workplace/higher education but it wasn’t until I became a mother that it really shone through. It’s sad to say that during some of the most overwhelming phases of our lives, such as motherhood, we as women can be more inclined to judge than to support. I hope to be more conscious of this in the future myself!
I’d love for you to check out my own post about Mom on Mom competitiveness if you get a chance! http://www.theblossomingbump.com/?p=822
Thanks so much for sharing these great thoughts!
Carly @ http://www.theblossomingbump.com
Thanks, Carly! I think it is easy to slip into judgment without realizing it and try to change our ways when we realize it! I look forward to stopping by and checking out your article. Many blessings to you!
Stopping by from Capture Your Journey. I love that you are acknowledging this for what it is and how it’s hurtful to all. I know I have been part of this on occasion, though I’m always on the lookout for not causing more injustice in the world, I am surrounded the world and the social influences that are there. Good luck to you in your journey! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by! It IS hurtful and while I would love to say I have it all figured out, I am a work in progress and looking for ways to be an encouragement. 🙂 Blessings to you!
Wow, thanks so much for this honest and insightful post! It is timely for me, because I experienced something like this just the other day… which was hurtful and disappointing to me. I hope that many people read this post. Thank you and Blessings! 🙂
Thanks, Lily! I’m so sorry you had to experience something like this. 🙁 Ironically, I had a supposed friend judge me recently and it hurts, plain and simple! Thanks for stopping by and I will be sure to check out your site soon!
Such a great post! The comparison, judgement, competition, etc. that occurs among women (even Christian women) is astounding.
Thanks for the reminder to love and have grace for others instead of judging.
Thanks for the encouragement! May we all learn to apply more grace and to love with the openness of the Lord! Thanks for stopping by!