Have you ever noticed how NICE women are? Especially Christian women, especially at church? I mean, of course, there are those few meanies out there. Mean girls are alive and well, and some are eighty years old. But, for the most part, women are really, really nice.
We’re trained to be that way from birth. Boys are to be rough and tumble, are to stand up for themselves. But, girls? We’re told to be sweet. And, I like that and still teach my daughter the same. Nice is, well….nice.
But, do you ever feel like a phony? I do. And, I think I’ve figured out why.
I used to insist that niceness is NOT phony. Even if you have “issues” with another woman, I firmly believe you should be nice when you see her. You should compliment her, ask her how she is, and be genuinely kind to her. God calls us to be this way. Romans 12:18 says: “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” You can’t have peace if you aren’t nice.
But, it recently occurred to me why niceness sometimes IS phony. It’s because of what we say once that woman walks away.
Let’s face it, women don’t have to be having “issues” with others to talk about them behind their backs. I’ve heard women say it, and I’ve said it myself: “I love so-and-so, and she’s a good friend of mine, BUT…” and some ungracious string of useless criticism falls out of our mouths like a big, mean waterfall. It’s pitiful.
Why do we do it? To make ourselves feel bigger, I guess. To make people think that we’re awesome. But what we actually end up doing is making people think, “I wonder if she talks about me that way when we’re not together?” And, we expose ourselves. As phonies.
The issue is not with what we say to people’s faces. I’m all about hearing women exclaim to each other: “Oh my GOODNESS!! I love your SWEATER!!!! You are GORGEOUS!!!! You did such a good JOB!!! I LOVE YOU, girl!!” THAT is not being phony. Even if we don’t 100% “feel” that way when we say it. What IS being phony is saying those things to a woman’s face and then dragging her through the mud behind closed doors.
Let’s be nice and leave it at that. Phoniness has no part in the Christian woman’s life. Our daughters should not have cause to question whether we are genuine. Let’s speak with that same love about our Christian sisters when we’re at home talking to our husbands. Our daughters will notice and will learn what being nice is REALLY all about.