A friend came by the other day, just as I was
knee waist shoulder deep in organization and cleaning.
“You actually wear that?” she asked.
I whipped right around and stared at one of my most favorite blouses. It’s a loosely-fitting, supposed-to-be-wrinkled, blue-ish blouse that has adorned both my shoulders and my closet for many moons now. And she had the nerve, the audacity, to point out that it might not be all that flattering?...
“Never be too busy for a brave woman,” she said.
Once a week, I sit in a large auditorium with 120 other women and listen to the words of Jennifer Rothschild on a big screen. These words were probably some of the best I had heard. Brave, by definition, isn’t very pleasant sounding:
Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.
People who are ready to face and endure danger or pain.
Does anyone regularly feel like facing or enduring pain of any kind? With the exception of those wilderness-survivor enthusiasts, hardly. But a woman who is willing to step into her female friend’s closet and say, “that’s ugly” is likely to endure or face the pain of rejection, defensiveness, or loss of a friendship.
Okay, so that might be a bit extreme...I wasn’t that attached to the blouse.
For any real relationship to stand the test of time, to undergo challenges, distance, and disagreements, someone’s got to be brave. Someone has to be willing to say, “don’t wear that bad habit”, or “don’t walk in those shoes”, or "hey, I need you". Without this bravery, there will never be authenticity. Without authenticity, there will never be trust. Without trust, there will never be security or love. You know the story, if you give a mouse a cookie…
Every woman desires a great, deep relationship. This type of relationship, however, requires a great deal of commitment, just like any other relationship—parenting, marriage, faith. Friends find it so easy to gloss over the difficult statements or the words of truth, simply to keep the peace. But without those moments of danger or pain, a relationship never becomes great or deep.
Jennifer told us a story about a man named Naaman and his servants who loved him enough to be brave. Even after he threw a fit, even after he stormed around the house, and even after he didn’t get his way, they loved him enough to redirect his steps, alter his attitude, and dress him with a different wardrobe. (2 Kings 5)
If you aren’t willing to hear the truth or if you aren’t willing to speak truth out of love, then you aren’t prepared to face a brave woman. If you aren’t prepared to face danger or pain to help out a friend or to achieve a deep, great relationship, you may not be prepared to face a brave woman. If you're not willing to feel the pain every now and then, you may not be willing to know a brave woman.
You’ll recognize this brave woman by the way she doesn’t care what the world thinks of her. She’ll be settled and grounded in Truth. She’ll be daring enough to correct you, but respectful enough to speak kindly. She’ll forgive you instantly and be at your side even quicker. She’ll be bold, but not audacious. She’ll be encouraging, not expecting anything in return. She’ll be humble.
So, the next time a friend comes by to say, “I need you”, “I’m hurting”, or “do not wear that ever”, I’ll remember that I am never too busy for a brave woman; I am never too busy to be surrounded by someone I’d like to be.
Rothschild, J. (2008) Me, Myself, and Lies. Nashville, TN: LifeWay Press.