Every February, we’re inundated with messages about love, and the focus is almost always on romance. While loving and serving our significant other is important, God has blessed each of us with many different types of relationships and calls us to love others as He has loved us.
What does that mean for different kinds of relationships, especially our relationships with other women? Friendship matters, and we are called to love the women in our lives – friends, mothers, sisters, daughters, and colleagues – well.
Here are three things to keep in mind as you navigate the sometimes tricky but always important relationships with the women in your life.
1. Keep God at the center of all your relationships.
This is true for every relationship, including with those who aren’t Christians. Colossians 3:14 tells us that love binds us together in unity, and 1 Peter 4:8 commands us to “above all, love each other deeply.” God wouldn’t command us to love one another if it always came easy. Think about the women in your life that can be difficult to love. Is there a co-worker who has a tendency to say mean things behind your’ back? Do you have a mom friend who loves to gossip? Perhaps God put that woman in your life for you to share the love of Christ with. Remember that if God commands you to love others, He will give you the ability to do it.
2. Invest, don’t compete.
As women in the workplace, we’re wired to work hard and achieve our goals. But being an achiever can lead to competition among our female colleagues and even our friends. Even as a boss, I must be cautious that my drive to get results doesn’t leave my team feeling stressed, uncared for and burned out. As I’ve taken a step back from my career to care for my daughter Annie in the midst of her health struggle, I’ve learned that investing in relationships is so much more important than achieving results. The investment you make in your relationships will sustain you through difficult times and give you an opportunity to love others and be loved as God has loved us.
3. Know yourself.
Unless we are rooted in Christ and believe that He created us with a unique purpose, we can easily fall into the trap of bitterness, jealousy and competition with other women. Spending time with God every day and seeking His truth will root you in confidence and give you the freedom to love others without fear or insecurity. It can also be helpful, especially at work, to find a common language to discuss different personalities and work styles through assessments like the DISC Profile or Strengthfinders. God has given you a unique set of gifts and talents, and understanding the ways we complement each other as well as how our work styles and personalities can clash makes it easier to work together in harmony instead of ending up frustrated with our coworkers, family and friends.
Now that Valentine’s Day is over, think about how you can show Christ’s love to the women in your life and invest in your relationships with friends, family and coworkers today. Know who God created you to be, and never let results come before loving others the way God has loved us.