The tendency to compare yourself with other women

It is so incredibly easy to get out of balance as a wife, mother, employee, homemaker, ministry leader, etc. We focus on our roles and begin feeling pretty insecure. We start comparing ourselves to other women and feel we’re somehow lacking. Then we start picking up self-help books, we google “how to become a better ________”, we attend classes and workshops, we beat ourselves up for not being as “good” as other women, and we relentlessly push ourselves to be better!

The crazy thing is that we get so consumed with beating ourselves up and reading self-help books that we push our relationship with God farther and farther away! I mean, who even has time for God when we are completely focused on being as “good” as the other women around us.

As I was pondering this dilemma the other day, I sensed God convict my heart in a way that I had not expected. Instead of him assuring me that I’m amazing the way I am, God gently revealed to me that these thoughts that “I’m not good enough” are really prideful thoughts! In other words, I want people to like me, to approve of me, to think I’m pretty incredible as a wife, a mom, a ministry leader, etc! This tendency to compare myself is actually rooted in pride. Ugh. We know that pride is something God detests.

What’s a woman to do? Well, how about if we agree with God that we’re NOT “good enough” and that Jesus is the only one who is?! How about every time we start comparing ourselves to other women, we stop ourselves and remind ourselves how thankful we should be that Jesus died to save us from our imperfections and sin? Maybe at that very moment, we should turn our thoughts toward Jesus in gratitude and adoration. In that moment, spend time worshipping your creator and Savior. Colossians 3:1-2 “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”

Bonus: When I start worshipping the Lord in song, I find that I quickly gain a whole new perspective on what’s important. I am better able to choose how to spend my limited time and energy. I don’t feel so driven to compete with other women. As you focus on the majesty, grace and love of Christ, you will develop a heart posture that brings balance and peace.

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2 benefits from refusing to wear a mask

Before you slam me, please understand that I’m not advocating defying the government order to wear a face mask during the pandemic.  I’m talking about the invisible “mask” that many of us wear around others, in order to keep them from truly knowing us!

Have you ever felt trapped in a dysfunctional part of your marriage?  Do you struggle with feeling hopeless about something in your marriage?  Well, over the years, I’ve learned that I begin to break free from that hopelessness and oppression when I rip off my “mask” and drag the problem into the light!  Here’s what I mean by that.  I mean doing something extremely courageous by revealing the problem to a godly friend or counselor.  This means, not only revealing what your husband is doing, but also bravely revealing your own part in the dysfunction.

Proverbs 28:13 says this:  “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”   This is a wonderful verse to live by!  You will most likely find that as you begin to drop your “everything is just fine at our house” mask, that other women will begin dropping their masks as well.  You will find it comforting to realize you’re not the only one struggling with issues.

You will also find that dropping the mask means you will be more open to receiving godly wisdom and direction.  Instead of pretending that everything’s great, you’ll be in a position for God to speak counsel into your life, through both the Bible and wise people.  This doesn’t mean you go around telling everyone about your husband’s faults!  It means getting real with a few trusted, wise, godly women or a trained counselor who can help you apply Biblical principles to your marriage challenges.  You will also receive encouragement, prayer support, and hope in the process!

If your marriage doesn’t seem worth fighting for

Do you feel tempted to throw in the towel regarding your marriage?  I know it can be tempting to just bail out, but please let me encourage you to do everything you can to fight FOR your marriage!

When you’re going through a serious challenge in your marriage, it seems right to choose the path where the pain can be quickly relieved.  In a nutshell, it often seems best to choose divorce.  But I’ve been through divorce, and I can honestly say that even though some of your pain will be relieved, you’ll be faced with a whole new set of problems and heartbreak.

So, maybe you should try something else.  What if you were to seek outside counsel for your marriage? What if you were to spend time on your knees crying out to God on behalf of your marriage? What if you were to courageously, but respectfully, confront your husband if he is seriously out of line in some area?  That could be the beginning of a turn-around in your marriage.

And also, please consider that other people are watching how you handle challenging times. Your children are watching how you handle this.  Are you teaching them to bail out of situations and relationships when the going gets tough, or are you showing them how to persevere and do the hard work to restore the relationship?  Meditate on Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…”