Posted By Mrs. Wayne Hunter on November 30, 2010
To Older Women…
It’s very easy for older women to make remarks or comments to or in front of younger women that are discouraging. We ought to be very careful about this, for we are to instruct the younger women, not destruct them. Oftentimes many of these comments are “off the cuff” remarks and aren’t given much thought by those saying or writing them, but can burn down into the innermost parts of a young woman’s impressionable mind.
Disparaging remarks by older women about children are a big discouragement. Perhaps a woman comes to church and is overheard telling someone that she is with child for the fourth time. An older woman chimes in or says to someone else something along the lines of “Doesn’t she know what birth control’s for?” Or the disparaging isn’t verbal, but is in one’s expression: a roll of the eyes, a mouth that purses and a head shake, a frown. God hates a proud and haughty look as much as He hates arrogance; this type of reaction is wrong as it is hurtful and hateful. Children are a gift from God, all children, and regardless of what we may personally think about a child’s mother, earthly father, or family, we must remember that each human born is another chance for all of us to hope – this child is a gift and a human being worthy of love and worthy to be valued as much as anyone else. The same God we serve created him or her, and the same Christ we believe in lived and died for this child, too.
Disparaging remarks about husbands can lead to arguments in the homes of other women. Hearing a woman speak badly about her husband is a poison. I am not referring to a woman in a counseling session with a therapist working out issues; I am referring to a woman who “bad mouths” her husband in public. It is very easy for younger women to hear such things and think, “Yeah, my husband does that, too,” or “If my husband ever did that I’d…” and then this topic becomes a somewhat hot topic between a husband and wife, and before one knows it, an argument.
Disparaging remarks about housework: Making light of a homemaker’s job as concerns running a home or encouraging younger women to give up by stating or writing that running a smooth home can’t be done is discouraging. On the other hand, pitying a homemaker and saying things like, “I don’t see how you do it all” in a condescending or questioning tone is disparaging and discouraging, too, like one is expecting to see this woman fail. Plenty of younger wives, mothers, and women run their homes like clock-work and do an excellent job; it’s not impossible, it’s not overwhelming, and it makes a woman and a home very often feel very, very good.
Disparaging remarks about God-created womanhood: Even stating, “I’d have gone crazy if I’d have stayed home with my children” and things along those lines are destructive. If one didn’t stay home, she can’t actually know that she’d have truly gone crazy. If a woman tried to stay home and didn’t succeed, it was most likely because she didn’t give it her all or perhaps even very much real effort, or perhaps she just didn’t realize how many opportunities existed to create an amazing and fulfilling home and personal life. It’s not worth discouraging others just because of a personal experience.
To Younger Women…
The majority of disparaging remarks made by older women are usually the result of one or more of the following three things:
1. Ignorance. These women just don’t realize the power of words. These women can also be ignorant of how to be successful in their own and home lives and may just be settled into “getting by,” thinking that the current American way of life (dysfunctional or barely functional) is all that can be expected of anyone. They probably don’t mean to be hurtful and actually have no idea that a better life awaits any woman; that children can be the most enjoyable, lovable, fulfilling human beings on earth; and that a marriage that is akin to heaven on earth can exist. But you know that a better life awaits, that children are treasures beyond value, and that marriage is created to be exquisitely and immensely powerful and pleasurable, and you, by reading good books and writings, and, most importantly, by seeking God’s leadership, know exactly where to find information and encouragement to become the woman you want to be.
2. Arrogance. Some older women, inside and outside of churches, think it’s funny or that they appear “big,” or “wise,” or even clever by making disparaging remarks about other human beings (husbands, children, other people) and the importance of maintaining a smooth-running home. What they are actually doing is displaying utter arrogance. Watch out for arrogant women and head the other way. They are not humble, they are not meek, and they aren’t speaking or behaving wisely.
3. The fruits of their own trees are “sour grapes“. They didn’t devote themselves completely to their own marriages, families, and betterment of themselves, didn’t find the true paths to happiness and a good life, for whatever reason, and reason that no one else can find the paths of goodness and truth just because they didn’t or that it is impossible for any woman to succeed fully. Maybe it’s too late for them to re-raise their children or get back an ex-husband, but it’s never too late for them to love themselves and do better. Just don’t listen to such a woman’s unwise words on the surface, but listen to the woman speaking on the inside. Maybe she’s hurting, discouraged, and has given up herself. Maybe your standing strong and becoming a woman of excellence through-and-through will be just the light she needs to find happiness herself and turn whatever grapes she has left on the vine into a sweet, bountiful harvest!
A note to younger women: Don’t let any older women discourage you. Don’t be disrespectful to your elders regarding this; just purpose in your heart to do things differently than those who discourage so that you don’t end up like them. Many older women need womanly encouragement themselves or they wouldn’t be so discouraging (it comes from somewhere inside of them, discouragement does). Be a light, be an example, seek true wisdom, knowledge, instruction, and understanding–the kind that comes from God through asking Him for it in heartfelt, earnest prayer; He’ll show you the way, and let your eyes not turn from this True knowledge. In so doing you will be encouraged, and encouraging, and in this day and age, the gift of encouragement is of tremendous worth on earth, as it is in Heaven ♥.
Every word we say or write is important and will be called into judgment by God. It is worth working towards making everything that we say and write kind and wise. I know that I need to work on this myself. Let us refine ourselves and be refined by God in this area, if He will so bless us, until all of our words reflect wisdom and kindness.
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