Without a doubt, most women are relational. We enjoy our book groups and coffee talks, morning walks with a friend, and quiet discussions with close friends. In thinking about relationships, I have concluded that they should be guided by the Word of God.
One verse to consider is Philippians 4:8. I have spent considerable time and space on the blog recently writing about various aspects of this important verse. It has been well worth the effort! What I have determined is that women who think about what is true and real have relationships that are characterized by sincerity and genuine love for others.
When I am involved with a person who spends her time analyzing other people's words and actions, or second-guessing what they really mean by what she said or did, I know there is trouble ahead.
Two principles from Scripture help in settling down the thoughts in regard to relationships. The first is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (NLT)
Not only our friendships, but our marriages would greatly benefit from application of this wisdom! The Bible says that love is not jealous of another woman's blessings, whether it is her home, income, or husband. A true friend does not brag about her blessings or accomplishments because she understands that others are not blessed in the same way and it is at times hurtful to be reminded of all you don't have. A true friend is not proud or rude. It doesn't always have to be your way, and you are not always right!
In a loving relationship, you won't think evil of another but you will strive to think the best. Don't speculate about what she really meant, or second-guess her motives. Stop your interpretation of what she did and accept the explanation at face value. To do otherwise is accusing her of deceit.
We call these charitable judgments and applying this principle will eliminate reading between the lines and stimulating an overactive imagination.
The second important Scripture is found in Matthew 18:15
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. (NASB)
If we would all obey this command there would be no need for second-guessing and speculation. You would know that if you sinned your brother or sister would come to you privately and tell you (not their friends), and that the intention would be restorative. Wouldn't there be freedom and peace in our lives and homes if we practiced restorative confrontation? If I offended someone and did not realize it, I would be glad she came to me and let me know so I could make it right with her.
Make it your personal practice to be straight with your friends. Confront and rebuke when necessary, but only in love with an eye toward restoration. This will leave no room for mind games or manipulations. Be a peacemaker!