An Iron Pillow

 phykotah2

Friendships are wonderful.  They are simply a blast.  Yet, I think girl friends are the best friendships of all (outside the family, which we will discuss later).  There seems to be an uncanny connection between coffee, chocolate and the giggling girls who use both!  I know that with one of my best friends if we are together, there’s usually only one thing between us — a table with coffee sitting on it.  Or chocolate.  Preferably both.  (That’s me and her above)

There is a reason girl friends are important.  This reason rests on the nature of women and girls.  Females are wired to be conversational:  nurturing, emotional and caring.  Face to face encounters are what they thrive on.  It makes us feel like someone wants to be with us, is genuinely interested, and is enjoying our company.  My friend and I work out the world’s problems in the Roast and Toast cafe!

Men are wired differently.  Have you ever noticed how they talk?  Picture first a bridal or baby shower.  It sounds like a hen house, with every voice raised to congratulate and encourage, all asking the whens and wheres and particulars of the specific occasion.  Men don’t do that, which is good, or we wouldn’t marry them.  When men talk to each other, or even to us, they often turn somewhat sideways rather than face to face.  Their emphasis is not on an emotional connection, but rather on an informative one. 

The reason I bring these things up is to reveal the importance that women place on conversation and social interaction in a relationship.  For most women (although I have met a few exceptions) talking about their lives with someone helps them to understand and deal with issues they may have.  In the world, these issues are never solved because their friends simply tell them to ‘believe in themselves’ and ‘do what feels right’.  However, for those of us fortunate enough to have godly girl friends, we have the duty and the blessing of encouragement in Christ within that relationship.

The Bible says that “iron sharpens iron”.  You can’t sharpen a knife with a pillow, you have to hone the blade with something that provides resistance.  It will grate on the blade at first, but when time has gone by, the knife will be of use because of its sharpness.  In a true friendship, the friends help each other grow in their walk with Christ by being honest.  This does not mean we look for faults to correct, but if our friend asks for accountability, the door is open to speak with her. 

But we can’t be all sharpness, either.  Our job isn’t to simply hone our friends into the women they are ‘supposed to be’.  We must also be there for comfort, hope and a cheerful word.  We need to have a softness about us that will temper the necessity of a harder word later on.  It is a combination of both honesty and compassion — one of the hardest combinations to maintain!  This goes beyond the cafe table to every area of life. 

So there is a challenge for you, me and every other woman, young and old.  Can you combine gentleness and honesty?  Can you be an Iron Pillow?

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5 Responses

  1. Another great post, Phy! I like this new topic. 🙂

    Autie

  2. I agree with Autie. 🙂 I could use one of those iron pillows, though.

    Ella

  3. Thanks for your discussion – really interesting.
    I am very fortunate in that my husband is my best friend and as time has gone on and friends have come and gone, I have always felt that something was missing in my life, that I didn’t have a close female friendship as you decscribe. I have had moments, but not on a long term basis…I think there is a need to share and understand what is going on in our lives through our friendships :0) It is really special – One of God’s many blessings :0). My husband has been and still is a real blessing in terms of friendship to me. I would have to say that he is quite unique in the way he likes to talk, share etc…I think its probably to do with what we have been through, how we have needed each other in tough times and God has blessed me abundantly.
    I still long for a great godly female friendship, who I can have a coffee with, laugh with, cry with, pray with…perhaps God will open that door for me sometime. But for now I just wanted to thank you for a great piece of writing.

  4. Thanks! You are such a blessing! I know what you mean- a lot of times writing out (most of my friends are distant) my life makes it make so much more sense. And when encouraging a friend dealing with difficult stuff, I am reminded too.

    -Maria

  5. That’s such a cute picture of you two!

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