Seeking Wise Women — & where I went wrong

When I first got into the deep, scary waters of a relationship a couple years ago, I knew I needed to seek wisdom– and every single bit I could get. My eyes fell upon the scripture in Titus 2, where the younger women were to learn from the older women when being instructed in the matters of marriage and motherhood.

This isn’t the only place such an order is established, and Proverbs is loaded chock-full with instructions for young people to seek their elders, learn from them, and respect them. A wise [wo]man is one who humbles herself, pursues understanding, and accepts correction. Blessed is she who seeks knowledge!

I {Wisdom} love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. –Proverbs 8:17

Oh, how I wanted to do things right! There was nothing I feared more than making a mistake with my life and winding up a fool. I didn’t want to do anything that was against God’s way, either. So I formed in my head the idea that I was going to reach out to the various older women I knew and respected– those who had good marriages and were raising their families steeped in the Lord– for advice. I had sort of “hand-picked” those that I wanted to learn from… (which maybe sounds weird…)

Well, due to circumstances, things didn’t end up working that way.

At any rate, that was my plan, and we all know that plans set and carried out without seeking the Lord are a recipe for disaster. It wasn’t that my idea wasn’t based on scripture… it was just that I had my own perfect idea of how *I* would work it out.

And when I look back now, I recognize a few of the wrong fundamentals that I was building upon…

 

  • I was putting certain women on pedestals–

Or to say it another way, I was judging. I was glossing over the tiny pieces of other women’s lives– only the fragments I saw– and forming conclusions.

Then, I was relying on the filtered material portrayed through their social media, or the tiny bits of their lives I got to see, as an accurate depiction of what their lives were really like. I was drawn toward those who appeared to have good marriages and healthy families. I was setting eyes upon those I perceived as nearly perfect, and I was setting them on pedestals in my mind. (Without seeing it this way!)

But honestly… what I did was a form of idolatry. I was placing human women as lines on a measuring stick, and considering their lives to be my standard… rather than God’s plans for my life.

  • I was discontent with what God had already provided–

I was forgetting that it’s the quality, not the quantity, that counts. God had already given me exactly what I needed in wise counselors (of course He had!), but I wasn’t seeing it that way. At the time, I had about two women that I could talk to. Very dear to me, invaluable, and absolute God-sends who helped me through difficult times. But somehow I had it in my head that this wasn’t enough… I was supposed to surround myself with *many* wise women and gather counsel from as many as possible… right?

Maybe that idea isn’t completely wrong… but in my case, it was. Because where God had very obviously closed several doors and had given me exactly who I did need in my life at the present, I still strained for what I thought I was missing. I was frustrated at what seemed to me as a lack of resources!

Do not mistake what I’m saying about the others- most of these women were respectable, wonderful, and godly. But their doorsteps were not where God was leading me, or at least, not at that time. Because I had an incorrect perspective, and He didn’t want me to idolize anyone or be discontent with what He had provided.

I was going through some very rough stuff… and I was trying to fill the void with counterfeits… instead of letting go, falling into my Master’s arms, and finding joy in all that He had for me– which was more than enough.

(Don’t worry, eventually I did give in to Him. It just took hitting my head against a few walls to figure it out. 😉 )

  • I was discounting the value of having peers–

Oh… here’s a big one.

Unfortunately, in my search to grow up and prepare for the huge responsibilities of adult life– and all the matters that accompanied it– my focus got stuck in “adult only” mode. Unconsciously, I had adopted the idea that wisdom could only come from older women. Or even that strict counsel was all I should be seeking in relationships.

With so much stuff exploding in my life, I really did need counsel at every turn, and the majority of my seeking was God and adults. But I actually ended up missing something I didn’t know I was missing… and that was close relationships with women/girls my own age.

I’ve always had my cousin (Hi, Iz!) with whom I could lay bare my heart, but I began to get away from discussing the big things with her. I had other friends, but our connections were casual, or we didn’t talk very often. Even my sister– I’ve found that there is a gap carved between us. I don’t really talk to her about the matters on my heart, or tell her what I’m thinking anymore. And this. has. to. change.

But to sum it all up, I didn’t have– and wasn’t pursuing– intimate friendships with peers. I didn’t have deep sisterly fellowship with any young women that I could pour out my heart to, or just discuss life and God with — or even just laugh with and have fun around in general!

And while seeking the wisdom of older women is invaluable, so is strong friendship with girls/women your own age. It is healthy, and it is precious. 

It hit me like a V-8 commercial this Summer.
God brought two sisters into my life, and opened my eyes to a type of friendship I didn’t realize I had lacked.

There’s a certain relief when you encounter someone in a familiar season of life, with the same Faith, and the same yearning for a Christ-centered walk. That sense of a lifted burden upon finding common ground… the epiphany, “I’m not the only one who thinks this way!” and a wonderful fullness in dropping your guard, sharing strengths & weakness, and finding a particular kind of encouragement you can’t get anywhere else– this is what I found.

Fellowship. It’s what we were designed for as human beings, and especially meant for as the Body of Christ. It’s actually the main reason we are supposed to gather at church– because we actively drain ourselves and miss out on the uplifting of ourselves and of others if we do not.

hebrews“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” {Hebrews 10:24,25 NIV}

God knows what He’s doing when He gives instruction like these, ya know? 😉

I pray for friendships to strengthen in these coming days, that we would all find a deep desire within ourselves to reach out and touch the lives around us, to Love deeply and commune richly with those God has led alongside us. Blessings on all friendships this new year: may they be strong, deep, and overflowing with the Love of Christ. ♥

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18 Responses to “Seeking Wise Women — & where I went wrong”

  • This is really great.

    It’s so true that we need community- but sometimes the way we seek out community can be with the wrong hearts… and we can often neglect the community we’re already a part of! Some of the women who have poured the most into my life are the ones I had no power in meeting- it’s all God’s grace!

    • Amen! It’s important to seek advice and wisdom, to keep our eyes open. But, like you said, sometimes we can stray with a wrong motive of the heart: like searching for others who will tell us what we want to hear, when we don’t like what God is speaking through the ones He has already placed in our lives.

  • We all need community and sisterhood – from older, wiser women and from those our own age. I’m glad you learned from this experience and it helped you share this lesson with others through your blog! In a different life stage, I’m now learning to seek out and build connections with other women myself, after “lone rangering” it for a while.

  • WE do need each other but sometimes we do need to let the Lord refresh our hearts! I’m so thankful for how He cares for us

    Marie
    @spreadingJOY

  • I know how you feel. I am in a situation where I don’t really have many peer to lean on and it difficult. My friends live far away and I miss them! God definitely intended for us to have friends and I am looking forward to making more friends soon.

  • I enjoyed your post! I can relate so much to putting others on a pedestal! That is not good for you or the other person. Thank you for your honesty as you wrote. It was encouraging.

  • This is a great post, very wise and mature in its own very special way. And you learned exactly v the lessons you needed to for the next stage/season in your life.

    Shalom x

  • Oh, Hannah. I’ve hit my head against the wall numerous times trying to make things work the way I thought they should.
    I, too, seek after friendship from godly women. It can be hard to come by. But God is faithful. He will reward those who desire His will.
    Thank you for writing this. I hope your day is blessed.

    • I hope your day is blessed,too! And while it is not quite the same, I’m also thankful for these communities online, where women can share and connect through their blogs– I’ve actually made some very sweet friendships this way, too! I just prayed for all of us as I went through these comments (also, floored by the huge response to this post- thank God!), and pray that we will all be forming close and godly circles with women we love and respect, to keep us accountable to the Word and to uplift one another in these times.

  • So much wisdom in this! I’m surrounded by mentors and not many friends my own age, but I know that when the time is right God will send some friends in my same walk of life, for now I sit and listen and learn from the godly woman God has placed in my life! Great post!

  • Oh my heart is rejoicing so much right now! “I’m not the only one who thinks this way!” I did the same thing a year or more ago with Titus 2. I wanted to get “specific counsel about relationships” from older women. I didn’t get too far though with the way “I” thought it should go. Instead, God brought my attention to some books and sermons that helped me. He also has shown me examples of godly relationships that I have gleaned understanding from. I know that there is so much more to learn, but I know that with time He will show me that too.
    Fellowship is amazing! Yes, to be able to open up your heart to someone you know will understand you because they have a heart centered on Christ is wonderful. Like you said, godly peers are important because we are going through the same difficulties. I praise God that He is using these posts to bring more of us girls together 😉
    Bless you!

    • I Love you, Rachel. 😉 (And I’m so sorry I haven’t emailed you back yet! I will this week, before school!)
      That’s so funny that you did the same thing… I’m glad we both were able to stop when things weren’t working out and listen for the leading He was offering instead. His timing in perfect, and He Always provides. ^_^

  • There’s a great deal of wisdom (and humility) in this post. Thanks for being willing to write it. It’s important that we, in our own hearts, don’t determine who is ‘allowed’ to be wise and who is not–God is the one who knows the heart and knows what we need.

  • It’s all been said in these comments but wow! Great perception Hannah to His will for your life. Witnesses to me too. Too easy to idolise here on social media. Great stuff. Thank you!

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