I was sitting in a coffee shop yesterday when I overheard a woman across from me say very matter-of-factly, “I just don’t get along well with other women. I never have. I’ve always gotten along better with men”.
Hands raised if you are a woman who has ever heard that comment before.
Okay, hands down.
I hear that comment all the time and my reply is usually something like:
“Wha??” Followed by a head nod. Nodding my head when I am completely baffled, seems to put people at ease and make them think I can totally relate.
Confession: I cannot.
Here is why:
- I am a woman. I don’t often find myself in conversations with people who I do not get along with. So when another woman tells me they don’t get along with women, the statement leaves me confused and unsure of the status of our relationship. I want to lower my voice a bit and whisper, “we’re cool right?”
- She is a woman. I don’t know if it’s a weird byproduct of a patriarchal society, but I’m pretty sure, in every other context, blanket statements that imply disapproval of an entire people group are called discrimination. It’s 2014 ya’ll, that is not cool. Even if you are a member of that group. I am sad that women have been so well branded that even other women don’t want to associate with them. Ya’ll, each woman is unique and different! God hasn’t typecast or branded women into a single group and neither should we.
- God is a woman. Oh relax. I know God is neither male nor female. But He does encompass all the wonderful characteristics that make men men and women women. In fact, He made both men AND women in His image.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
I whole-heartedly agree with that woman in the coffee shop and other well-meaning friends that say women are difficult to get along with. But I won’t stop there. Men are difficult to get along with… and don’t even get me started on children.
People in general, God bless them; are sometimes very difficult to get along with.
Women have a unique and beautiful opportunity to change the world by how we minister to each other. No one says, “I don’t get along with women because they are too kind and encouraging” and yet, that is exactly the kind of woman YOU and I have the opportunity to be.
As women, we can be teachers of good things. Things like self-control, love, kindness, purity, respect (Titus 2:3-5). Ladies we cheat ourselves of this amazing opportunity when fail to “strive to keep a spirit of unity and a bond of peace” Ephesians 4:3 (to get along) with all of God’s children.
Radical love is not easy but it’s worth it. Take a chance on someone this week, you just might make a friend for life.
Are you a woman who doesn’t get along with other women? I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions. I value you and your contribution. Look forward to hearing from you.