It’s a weird one, isn’t it? Women are not good at this stuff on the whole and I find it bizarre. I have been in deeper, open relationships with other women and yet none of them lasted. Whereas it is supposed to be women who are good at talking deep personal stuff and men are supposed to struggle with that, preferring football and beer to anything remotely intimate, I find the converse is often true. The challenge involved is often unwelcome.
There aren’t that many women I know who are secure enough to both be loving but to also dare to say and hear the tougher stuff. Many women are too scared of losing their friends to handle the depth of mutual accountability. They may try it for a while but then give up when it gets hot enough to burn. There can be immense power in this for women, but it is rarely seen. The power and strength of the compassion and empathy that women can offer can be quite scary to touch and many simply run from it.
There is a vulnerability needed and humility, but you also have to trust the person you are sharing with. It is immensely painful to think you have someone you can go the long haul with, who says they will still accept you no matter what and stick with you through it all, only to find they don’t and they take your vulnerable places and leave with them, or gossip to other people about them. Women are desperate for trust, for safe places, for acceptance, and fear the lack of them. Betrayal is a strong one for girls. Most of us have seen a lot of it and felt its sting repeatedly and are wary of doing it again.
I think the God-given heart of nurture, protection and encouragement that was invested in women at Creation has been corrupted by the fall into self-nurture, self-protection and a wayward tongue that criticizes and gossips out of fear that someone will actually find out our hearts and it won’t look pretty.
I’m not a very girly girl. I’ve always hated whole days of shopping for no reason, spiteful and cruel talk about other people, small talk that only lives on the surface of life and never looks deeper. You can’t open up your deepest fears and struggles to that for fear of being the one they talk about next time you are absent. It’s such a corruption of the power, beauty, tenderness, nurture and strength that is the character of God in woman.
To grow covenantal relationships the way you talk about among women, the very essence of what is woman has to be redeemed. Romans says that Creation stands on tiptoe, eagerly waiting for the sons of God to be revealed. I think it also strains and aches in desperate hope, waiting for the daughters of God to be revealed for who they really are, who they were created to be. And maybe it’s time.