You see her, Sunday after Sunday. You notice how pretty she is. She seems to be everything that you aren't. Everyone seems to like her. She seems to have the "happily ever after" that you only dream about! Her marriage is perfect. Great family, great kids. She always smiles, always seems to have it all together. You have her all figured out. You assume she never gets angry. She never yells at her kids. She never misses her daily time with Jesus. You are so sure that she never feels awkward or insecure. There is a big part of you that wishes your life was more like hers. For you, life has been so unfair. You think if she had half the problems you do, she certainly wouldn't be smiling so much. She is so intimidating to you. Why would she want to be friends with someone like you? Your life is so messy. She certainly wouldn't understand.
So what do you do? You keep your distance. You may even avoid her at times. Even though she has tried to reach out to you, your assumptions about her will not allow a relationship to take root.
But, what if your assumptions are all wrong???? What if the thoughts you are having are not reality at all?
Can I be frank with you, dear sister? If you look closer, with your heart and not with your eyes you may see something you never noticed before. She is a woman just like you, a woman with a story. Her life is not perfect as you have invisioned. She may look peaceful and happily married but it did not come without a price. She is not what you think. Maybe if you befriended her, you would find out that she struggles, has insecurities and a heart that is covered with scars. Maybe if you reached out to her, got to know her, shared your own story with her...you would know the truth about her instead of the imaginary picture that keeps you at a distance. Maybe you could help her and she could help you. Please, dear sister, stop the assumptions. Open your heart and allow the walls that keep you from connecting with your sisters in Christ to come down once and for all.
Bottom line....we need each other. We were not created to go through this journey of life in seclusion. Relationships are what God uses to fulfill His plans and purposes on this earth. It is through these relationships that we learn more about ourselves and the LOVE of Christ.
It is in the confines of community that our character is molded and shaped to be more like HIM. We need real relationships with our sisters in Christ. Not only do our relationships challenge and change us for His Glory, they also are a mighty force against the enemy and his schemes. Satan is quite aware of what happens when we come together in the name of Jesus. That is why he wants you to be paralyzed by your perceptions in such a way that you miss what is real. He WANTS you to stay in seclusion. He knows how powerful the encouragement and wisdom of a Godly woman is to a sister who is broken. He knows how powerful the prayer of agreement is when sisters in Christ unite. The giftings, the sensitivity, the passion and the discernment that God has placed in each one of us is a force to be reckoned with. He knows that when we engage in spiritual warfare on behalf of our sisters, our husbands, our children, our communities....... something changes.
Together, we are stronger and together we can win battles as we lock our shields in prayer. We must not be blinded by what we percieve to be truth about our sisters in the body of Christ. We must not allow the enemy to separate us or to seclude us.
I have been BOTH of the women mentioned above....too insecure to befriend a woman who seemed to be all that I wasn't AND I have also been misjudged to the point that I was kept at a distance. In both cases, wrong assumptions and perceptions stole the blessings that might have been.
Lord, help us to not allow insecurities and our perception of others keep us from the divine connections that you have for us. Convict our hearts where we are judging instead of loving. May we see others through your eyes. Help us to reach out and befriend those you place in our paths. Lord, you know this can be scary. For those of us who have been hurt by others, this can seem downright risky. Deliver us from our fears and help us to live life in community with our sisters in Christ. Help us to find joy in our journey as we share our lives with others. Help us to be real and transparent so that others will not be intimidated by what we seem to portray on the outside. I pray for my sisters that you will send divine friendships their way. That your daughters may embrace all that you have for them. May our influence point others to YOU in such a way that lives are changed for YOUR GLORY. May we be a powerful force that pushes back the enemy as we join together in friendship and love. For such a time as this!! AMEN!!!!!
Fox News recently did an article entitled, “8 Signs Your Partner Is Addicted to Porn” written by FOXSexpert, Yvonne K. Fulbright. Sexpert? Huh?! Anyway… the article reads more like “Is he cheating on me?” and less like “Is he, she, or even AM I Addicted?”
What I found most intriguing is the blog connected to the article… entry upon entry of placating a behavior that wounds. It wounds us, and the ones we love. One of the defensive responses that we hear when we breach the topic of porn and sexual addiction is that it doesn’t hurt anyone. I think anyone who has struggled with this can recall the inner voice of “reason” explaining the “coping-method” concept, the “not-a-physical-affair” argument, or even the “it-will-help-my-relationship” justification. It’s just NOT true. The pain of pornography IS real. So who does it hurt… REALLY?
Homo simul iustus et peccator :: Mercy, not condemnation