1 Samuel 1:6-7
And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.
What kind of woman are you? The battle between women can be so vicious at times it is amazing. We are instilled with a very competitive nature, it is not something we seek or desire to be but we all are and as a result we can be very hurtful to each other. We are made in the image of God so it gives us a “little” insight into just how important it is to Him to feel as though He is number 1 in our lives, He doesn’t want to come after your husband or your children or your job, He wants to be number 1 and so incredibly loved by you to the same degree you want someone to love you that way. It is His competitive nature that we have that we sometimes take way too far with other women. I am sure it breaks His heart to watch women tear each other down and hurt each other too, He made each of us beautiful in our own unique way, we are His creation and each of us play a special role in His plan, He loves each of us tremendously.
Peninnah was ruthless in her attitude and behavior toward Hannah. She was mean and hateful intentionally trying to make Hannah feel belittled. God had mercy on Hannah and helped her by blessing her with children and if you notice Hannah pledged that she would give that child to God, the child would not take the place of God even though she desired a child with all her heart – He would still be first place in her life.
Are any of you a Peninnah with other women at work or maybe in your neighborhood or maybe even at church? Is it difficult for a new lady to “join your group”? Do you sit and talk about her behind her back picking apart everything you can find before you really get a chance to know her? How can we say our hearts are full of God and behave like that? A godly woman is gracious, kind, loving and helpful and should welcome other women so the group can be a place of healing, growth and a shared love for God – someplace safe!
Are you Hannah? Have you started working a new job where the other women aren’t seemingly too receptive? Do you feel the darts thrown your way even though you don’t necessarily hear them? I went to a conference once where the man speaking had several people stand up in front of the room with their backs to us and he would randomly give us either a thumbs up to think positive loving thoughts or a thumbs down to think mean and hateful thoughts and every time the person knew which one it was without anyone saying a word. I just happened to be the Hannah in that group of women I was with at the conference so I knew exactly what he was talking about and I know – so do you! Each of us has been there and has felt that awkward uncomfortable feeling, knowing we are not welcome, but God has your back in those situations just like He did Hannah, pour your heart out to Him and He will deliver you in a mighty way! Don’t retaliate and don’t allow those negative feelings to become your own, stand strong and be the godly woman you were called to be!
Why oh why does this happen ladies? Why do we hurt others without any real reason behind it? Why do we allow jealousy of other women tear our hearts out? Why do women go after other women’s husbands? Why don’t we have the boundaries we are called to have to be godly, Christlike women?
It is time to stop, take inventory of our hearts and ask God to show us the changes we need to make so we can stand together for Him, not apart duking it out behind the scenes. We all have our own wounded heart and we are all supposed to be working toward the same goal of glorifying God with our lives. If there is someone in your office, church or neighborhood that needs someone to reach out and stop the hurt maybe you need to ask God for the words and love to be able to do that. Set aside your own hurts from the past because I know other women have hurt you too and move forward determining to be different starting today! If you are Hannah, just hang on, your deliverer is about to make His move – keep the faith!
I challenge each lady today to be all you were called to be today, don’t be a part of the hurtful nature in your office. Stop it! Give your heart fully over to God today so He can love through you.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt