I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the reason you decided to open up this article is because, like me, you are or have at one time experienced the frustration of trying to find balance in the midst of all the roles, responsibilities, and RELATIONSHIPS.
You are busy, and always surrounded by children, but for some reason, you feel completely alone.
Maybe you feel like no one really knows you?
You want friends, but you can’t even imagine where you could fit in the time required to develop the kind of friendships your heart so deeply yearns for.
You are in the most physically exhausting season of your life when you are pregnant, having babies, and caring for your sweet precious children under 7-years-old. They need you around the clock. It’s a 24-7 job and though you love it and are thankful to be home with them, there is this unquenchable need for adult contact– for adults to acknowledge and respect you, enjoy your company, and know you, right?!
You have the deepest need for friendships, but the least amount of time for them!
This reality is an equation for disaster escalating the odds of depression, divorce, and the temptation to become enslaved in the comparison trap through escapism in social media and other non-relational outlets.
You might think that things change when your kids get older, and I do have some hope to share. You know how expensive date nights can get and how hard it has been to find a sitter you trust that is available on a night when you need them, and your littlest isn’t catching a cold?
It isn’t always going to be like this.
One day, your child will hit the maturity level where they can stay at home alone, they can even babysit their siblings!
This is when LIFE begins to change! You get to BREATHE again. A quick grocery store stop– no problem. The baby is napping with big sister at home!
But then as the season’s change, you find yourself in a new sort of busy life. One where you are not only managing a home and little people naptime, playtime, and playdate schedules, but now you are in the midst of carpooling, getting kids to all their activities and sports, helping them with more intense homework which tends to take HOURS, and feeding them… oh my, that never seems to end.
You may not be waking up in the middle of the night to change the sheets on a bed that just got wet or nurse a teething, fussy baby, but instead, you are up late at night counseling your son or daughter towards their future. There are tears, laughter, intense debates, and building relationships with these young adults who still call you mom.
You find yourself in a new season, but struggle to balance it all. Friends? Who has time for friends?
The truth is that when Mom gets to a season where she feels like she doesn’t have time for friends, that usually when she needs them most.
I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted most of the time. Everyone needs something from me. Do you ever feel that way?
I’m a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a home manager, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a landlord, a writer, a ministry worker, and that’s not even to list all the basic roles I play in one of those relationships.
It seems like out of those relationships God is the only one who doesn’t need something from me, yet if I don’t connect with Him, all the other relationships start to suffer.
Finding balance is a paradox when you think of balance as a pendulum. I personally like to pursue wholeness from a perspective of harmony and peace.
I want to exhort you to make time to build relationships that are going to build you up, encourage you, who get it– the season of life you are in!
We need to have three types of relationships with other women in our lives to experience wholeness the way God intended.
3 Types of Female Friendships that God Designed Us For:
1. Women we are running the race with.
These are women typically in the same season of life. They are running the race of life next to you. As you raise your kiddos together, you help one another out with car rides, meals when you have babies, go on vacations together, and just enjoy fellowship together as families. These are friends with a like-mindedness and soul desire and they encourage you to be who God made you to be.
2. Women who you are being discipled by.
These women are typically, but not solely, in a season of life ahead of you, but not always. Sometimes you meet someone who isn’t much older, but they have a maturity in the Lord and have skills you desire to learn. They are women God has placed in your life to teach you as Titus 2 commands them to, to love your husbands and children, be busy working at home, so that the Word of God is not reviled. These women are mentors who bring hope, encouragement, teaching, and support into your life.
3. Women who you are mentoring.
Every woman is older than someone else. You are never too young to be intentional in someone younger’s life. However, I must warn that God does hold teachers to a higher standard of authority and warns us about the consequences of leading someone astray(James 3:1), which is why I believe that in Titus 2 God does directly instruct the older women to teach the younger ones.
An Additional Exhortation:
As a woman who has been married for 20 years and had MANY, many mentors in my life, I would encourage you to be wise in who you allow to have influence in your life.
- Does she have a fruitful marriage and family?
- Can you honestly say that you hope your kids grow up to be like hers?
- Are they respectful, honest, integral, Christ-following people?
- Do they have healthy relationships with their kids?
- Is there marriage one you would hope to mimic?
- These are all powerful questions you need to ask yourself in addition to the most important one, does this woman exemplify biblical womanhood?
- Do we agree theologically?
- Is she humble and growing in her walk with the Lord?
The truth is, that there truly is a LOT of power in generational friendships and they are God’s design for His family! We must find time to invest in each other! But at the same time, we need to encourage one another to keep our first priorities first. There are seasons of life that are generally more busy than others. Offering grace to one another is a MUST in these relationships.