28 Mar, 2022 Teaching our daughters to be secure
An exclusive op/Ed by Rachel Haggerty
We live in a superficial world, where keeping up with the Jones is harder than ever, thanks to social media trends and online shopping. How can Christian women today model security and confidence for their daughters in a society that is pushing vapidity and secular values? How can women overcome insecurity so that they can teach their daughters how to build lasting, strong friendships that endure for a lifetime? Writer, mother, and Christian Rachel Haggerty has some thoughts to share today on just how women can do that. Read her wonderful advice below!
It’s getting easier and easier for women to compare their lives to other women. With just a click of a mouse you can browse through what other women did today. What they wore, who they ate lunch with and the new boots they just bought for Fall.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we compare. We compare our marriages, our clothing, and how we parent. How many friends we have or if we are fun enough to be invited back to a second play date at a new friend’s house.
Let’s all think back to our Middle School years. That terrible, awkward stage of trying to fit in and find a crowd that respected your braces and teenage acne you tried so hard to cover up. It was never the grades that I was into comparing, as I didn’t care much about academics, it was the outfits, the way I was very introverted, never making eye contact with fellow peers. I had convinced myself I wasn’t pretty enough, cool enough or curvy enough for anyone to want to be my friend.
I allowed the way I felt about MYSELF guide the way I treated other people, and the friends I made along the way. Since I was insecure, I only had a select few friends. I stuck with those who knew me well and didn’t challenge me to change or try anything new.
Moving into the High School years, my social insecurity got stronger. Many days were spent eating lunch in the bathroom stall (yes, I did ) or skipping school altogether. Again, sticking with the same crowd. Refusing to give new people the time of day. Why? Because I didn’t WANT new friends?
Nope. Because I was sure that no one would want to be my friend.
Was this because people were mean to me? Left me out of conversations, or made fun of my ugly car? No.
It was me. It was all me.
When you choose to seclude yourself from any social situation, or feel insecure about a friendship, ask yourself these questions:
Have I placed expectations of what I think a friend should be like on this person? This is never fair. People cannot read your mind.
Does it upset me when this friend hangs out with someone besides me? If so why? I am insecure about myself, allowing jealousy to creep in and run me ragged?
Do I bend over backwards for this person, only to feel nothing in return? In ANY relationship, not just a friendship we have to be careful how much of our hearts we pour out. It’s just being wise with our time and emotions. Are you filling yourself UP before others?
Have I judged my friend’s heart without hearing them out? Am I jumping to conclusions without having a loving conversation? If so, why? Am I making assumptions based off of what I see on social media and not an actual conversation. This is tricky. We THINK we can see people’s lives through Facebook and Instagram, but there is always more underneath.
Since I haven’t spoken with this friend in a while, or seen them in person… Do I assume they don’t love me anymore? This is where our emotions play in. We can never live by Faith if we only listen to our emotions. Especially as women, we harbor things inside and then allow them to explode. Before you explode, ask yourself why this person hasn’t talked to you. Have they simply been in a busy season of life, a hard struggle, or have you been equally at fault for the lack of communication?
As adults it is okay to go weeks at a time not talking to friends, but only if we are secure in ourselves FIRST, can we be secure in the love that others have for us. This goes deeper. When we believe that the Lord loves us despite our flaws, we can truly walk in freedom in each relationship that we have.
Are you trying to impress a friend, or a new acquaintance? We all love acceptance, but we have to be careful to never conform to what the other persons personality is. Again, we have to be secure in who we are in order to love others well, and to be content in friendships.
Let’s face it, even in our adult years friends intentionally hurt our feelings. Friends unintentionally hurt our feelings. Believe it or not, it’s okay that our feelings get hurt. Pushing down our emotions isn’t healthy in any relationship, but the way that we handle the hurt is very important.
In this life, you will find the friends that value the woman that you are. They see your potential, and they respect you. Not just who you are as a person, but who you are as a mother, a wife and a friend.
You will find out who they really are and how much they really care for you during the hard times. This isn’t just a saying to get sympathy from people, this is a true statement.
One that rings true, especially when you need fellowship the most.
Let us remember what the Bible says about friendship:
One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding. Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been friends with someone. That isn’t what holds a relationship together. It’s taking time to love people. Going out of our way at times to keep in touch. Giving understanding, and the benefit of the doubt when we start to feel insecure in a friendship.
Be happy for others when their marriage is going great, and yours isn’t. Stick around the people that challenge you in your faith, not challenge the person of character that you are.
Remember this above it all, no friend is allowed to judge your heart. That isn’t a friends job, not unless you ask for it.
People will hurt your heart. People will disrespect you, and accuse you of wrong doings. Guess what. Guess who else suffered through ridicule and heartbreak?
Jesus did. All the roughage makes us more like him if we allow his spirit to take hold. He counts the tears we hide from the world. Every hair on your head, he knows. Don’t you think he cares when someone hurts you?
Every wound people leave behind he is eager to heal. We just have to make sure we aren’t blaming Molly for the things that Jane said.
Oh yeah, one last thing. It’s healthy to have a wide range of friendships. Each person brings something new to the table, allowing your mind to expand and for you to get all wiggly in your seat. It makes you move from the back of the classroom to the front.
Getting comfy only feels good until your chair becomes uncomfortable. Your sight to the white board becomes dim. So do you get a new chair in the same place, or try moving up to the front where everyone can see you?
I like shaking and moving.
Want more advice on how to conquer feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt? Check out the Counter Culture Mom’s inspiring discussion with author Erica Wiggenhorn on overcoming internal fears and letting God be enough!
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