“Please don’t judge me.” Her words caught me off guard, as judging her was the last thing on my mind. Here was my new friend, tears fresh on her cheeks, sick baby on her hip, 4-year-old at her side, rushing her daughter into acting class early on Saturday. She’d obviously had a rough morning. She repeated the phrase often that morning while we entertained her boys and waited for our daughters to finish their play practice. “I’m not judging you. I think you’re doing a great job. You’re boys aren’t bothering anyone. Let them run around.” I pulled out paper for them to draw on, then my phone, then finally walked around with them as we waited for the time to pass. Anything to help her de-stress. But I just kept thinking, this is my friend. Why is she so worried about me judging her?
The answer’s really not that hard is it? That’s what we women do to each other. ALL. THE. TIME. Even to our “friends.” Oh, we’d rarely admit it. But there’s pretty much a non-stop commentary going on in our heads of what other women are doing (or saying or wearing) that’s wrong. Even in us Christians. Maybe especially in us Christians.
Although they officially started way back in 1986, the “Mommy Wars” are alive and well. And they are destroying us. Destroying our friendships, destroying our families, and destroying the Church as a whole. Think about how many friends you have. True friends. Friends that you never judge and who you never worry about judging you. Up until this year, I had maybe one. My divorce pretty much ruined friendships for me. I lost ALL of my friends from my previous church in one fell swoop. I tried out moms groups in my new town after I married Andy, but it seemed like it was just a big competition of who’s kid was smartest or who had the most expensive outfit or purse. It was exhausting. I never fit in.
We judge each other on whether we work or stay home. On whether our kids go to school or are homeschooled. We judge each other on the types of snacks our kids eat and the brand of clothes they wear. We judge each other on the cleanliness of our homes and the kinds of birthday parties we throw for our children. The list is exhaustive. And exhausting.
So what’s the result? We now live in a society where we was women never truly connect with one another, because we don’t feel we can ever trust each other. Instead, we are constantly evaluating how the women around us are judging us. We don’t trust their words, because we believe they are just covering up negative thoughts they are thinking about us. We have no real friends.
What are the implications for the Church?
- It hinders our worship – We are too focused on how others are viewing us to focus on God. Your mind is not prepared to praise the Lord or learn from His Word when you are worried about how other women in the Sunday School or Sanctuary are viewing you or your children.
- We are not fulfilling the command given to women in Titus 2:4- “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children…” How can we teach one another when we can’t form trusting relationships?
- We are not reaching other women for Christ. If we are too busy judging or worrying about being judged to reach out to new women, we will never be able to share the Gospel with women who desperately need it.
It wasn’t until this year that I finally found a core group of homeschool friends that I can honestly say I never feel judged by. And it’s amazing. It’s something that I wish I could give to all of you and a peaceful place I pray you can all find for yourself.