I almost titled this post The Final Judgment because this is my last installment in this series… but I figured my play on words might scare some away! If you subscribe to my blog, then you know that for the last two weeks I’ve addressed the ways in which we as women judge other women.
So, a little quiz as we start today. In what area(s) do you tend to be critical of other women?
As you identify an area or two, consider if this applies to you: I’ve found that the root of my judgment is usually based in my own insecurity. If a woman has less on her calendar than me, I’d much rather make the assessment that she’s lazy than wrestle with the fear that I’m too busy. If I see a woman who looks nicer than me, it’s much easier to cast a stone that she must be vain about her looks than to be honest that I feel inferior when I compare myself to her. Please tell me I’m not the only one!
If there’s ever a final place to land on judgment, I think it has to be in the explosively charged area of judging other women based on their children. (Please don’t act like this is a new revelation.)
Yep… every momma in the world, regardless of the age of her children, can easily move into this particular judgment zone. If you have little ones, you just have to look at Instagram or Facebook over the last couple of days since Easter to stir up a little of that emotion. All the professional looking Easter pictures, with immaculately dressed children in monogrammed, matching outfits stir up jealousy or judgment from any mom who didn’t obtain the same results on Sunday morning. The reality is that underneath all those beautiful smiles are moms that actually struggle with a host of different issues. Yet we forget that.
I used to stand in judgment of the mom who had children running around with snotty noses. What type of mom can’t keep her child clean? Then the day came when I had a child who required WWIII to get a clean nose. At some point, it just wasn’t worth it.
As children get older, we judge moms based on the success of their child in sports, school or even friendships. We either covet the successful child or we assume that the results must have been achieved in an unhealthy way. Maybe the mom who’s had a child make a significant lapse in judgment feels the heaviest of all scrutiny. Even the mom of the toddler who bites in Mother’s Day Out can feel the cold stares… as if she had bit the classmate herself.
As children grow, so does the sense of pressure we cast. The mother of the suspended child, of the pregnant teenager, or of the drug user has a prison all of her own as most moms nearby step back a few hundred feet and pretend not to know. And all the while, their silence speaks volumes.
Womanhood (and in this specific case, motherhood) has enough pressures of its own. The next time you feel tempted to silently compare or criticize, I challenge you to do two things:
- Check your motive and identify what insecurity or fear is causing you to want to judge another woman.
- Break the pattern of judgment by speaking words of encouragement and life into that woman.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
(Proverbs 18:21 NIV)