Here are three approaches to consider as you seek to find deeper relationships with women.
Be the friend you wish you had.
Don’t wait for the perfect friend to find you. Be that friend. I’ve had seasons of life surrounded by “kindred spirits;” ladies who I could meet up with for coffee, last minute playdates, or go on fun double-dates. Other times, I’ve been isolated, without a soul nearby in my stage of life. Other times, the potential for friendships abounded, but the connections just didn’t seem to naturally happen.
If you find yourself in a lonely place: Be a good friend. Relationships take time. Like, years of time. Instead of wallowing in the “no one sees me, no one cares” pity party, stop waiting around for the perfect friend to show up, and start being a friend to someone. As you initiate with others, God might surprise you with a friendship from an unlikely place.
And if you find yourself surrounded by friends: Be a good friend. It is all-too-easy to stay in that circle of friendships and miss the girl who is desperate for someone to acknowledge her. Be on the lookout for the woman in need of a friend.
Be the mentor you wish you had.
I think we all wish we had that older, wiser woman pouring into our lives. Yet, there is a great void in the church today when it comes to mentoring. The only way that is going to change is for you to become one. One by one, as we each step forward to become the mentor we always wish we had, the gap in mentorship will close.
Being a mentor doesn’t mean you have to have it all together, and it doesn’t mean you have to be older than someone. You have something you are good at and life-experiences others do not have (even if it simply means your kids are out of diapers!) Look for the woman you see your past-self in. Befriend her. Share your life with her. Pray for her. And when issues come up that you have wisdom and experience to speak into, do it.
Be the mentee you wish you had.
This might just be the hardest one of all. We all have a specific kind of mentor in mind, right? She is 20 years older, never yells at her kids (or her husband), her house is always perfectly put together, she has a quiet time everyday, is a prayer warrior, with a perfect, homemade recipe for a mean lasagna. Ladies, this women doesn’t exist.
We need to put down our expectation of who the mentor looks like, look around at the women God has placed around us, and (here’s the key…) initiate and be teachable. There may be a woman younger than you who is great at home-management. Learn from her. Seek out the older woman in your church that may not have all her ducks in a row in the meals and laundry department, but she has consistently spent time in the Word for decades. Ask her what tools and habits have been helpful for her. Find the empty nesters and ask them what one thing they did as parents that they are really glad they did.
I know it can be tiring and uncertain to put yourself out there like this, but as we choose to be the very person we are looking for, God will meet us in that place.
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25 NLT
Have you seen God meet you as you seek out deeper relationships? Which of these three approaches seems most doable to you?
Published February 11, 2015