From the most ancient times women were sharpened by one another. Skills of daily life were handed down through the living of life together. I imagine it must have been almost seamless as the generations worked together, parented together, worshiped together and interacted with a synergism that we stumble in duplicating today.
We are fiercely independent in this twenty-first century! Most families have a personal vehicle for transportation, we often live in homes with only two generations, we may travel for fellowship with a body of believers in the next town over rather than remain with only those within walking distance and to the matter of sharing knowledge, we have “Google”!
When in doubt, we run to the resources that are most accessible and so often that is not another person as it once was. Pinterest is a great resource for redecorating a room, coming up with a craft project and so many good and worthy endeavors. When my children ask me questions and I don’t know the answer, you know what my answer is??? “Google-it.” Technology can be so helpful and certainly it has innovated our lives and the way that we live. But still, there are some things that really aren’t best supported through virtual means. It seems that we could live our lives in total seclusion from others and still be “normal” ( isn’t that strange?)
As women, (single women, married women, mothers, grandmothers) having real life friendships and mentoring relationships would do us some good. I am guilty of it too….it’s just so much simpler to pop online and get your questions answered or get inspired in seconds. Perhaps we need to balance that, there is just something about people. Real life people with real life wisdom and knowledge. There was a reason that we were instructed in Hebrews 10:24-25 to not give up meeting together. And in Proverbs 27:17 we were told that as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. There is a model in Titus 2 of older women teaching younger women. But here in this modern day we tend to wade into the deep waters of life alone. We are overwhelmed, confused and our hearts are heavy because we choose to stand alone. It’s time for a change.
Everyone loves a good party! Have you ever gotten an invitation for a product party at a friend’s home? For decades now, we in the US have been gathering for sales parties. What started with door to door salesmen seemed to morph into gatherings where women invited all of their friends into their homes for a “social gathering” and product demonstration. There have been so many products sold in this manner, I cannot even start to name them (but you know what they are!). The product parties can really be great fun for those attending and bring a nice little pay out for the demonstrator but this just got me to thinking……
What if instead, we had mothering parties? So often in our years with young ones at home, we don’t have the disposable income to make purchases at the product parties but we sure could use the social gathering. What if we were as intentional to reach out and host a party simply to encourage one another? The method has changed over the years. It used to be a postcard invite followed up by a phone call or two reminding you how much the hostess anticipated your attendance. Now, it is perhaps a facebook invite or an e-mail followed up by a text to make sure you saw the invitation. The point is, let’s be intentional to meet, let’s be just as fervent in our quest to bless each other and build each other up as we would be in inviting people over for a product party! Let us eagerly live out the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and “encourage one another and build each other up”.
Start where you are. As you have the time and ability, host a gathering. There are seasons that the preparations can be elaborate and other seasons in your life when the planning must be kept simple. Our daily lives don’t look like the lives of the women in ancient times but we can learn from them. We can share our lives, share our hearts and be a blessing. It just takes a little time and before you know it, you will have a community of women sharpening and encouraging one another.