Are the difficulties of life getting you down? Keep your chin up and keep reading 3 things every woman should remember about life.
By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer
It doesn’t matter what it might look like on social media – no one has a perfect life.
Every woman deals with struggles. Every woman has difficult days and seasons. And most likely, every woman keeps much of the stress to herself.
These difficulties may involve your homemaking or your marriage or mothering. Or, if you’re going through a particularly trying phase, you might struggle in all three areas all at the same time.
Because of these realities, it’s important for every woman to remember three things about life:
- Your life will never be perfect, so you need to give yourself grace.
- No other woman has a perfect life either, so you need to give others grace.
- Because no one is perfect, find and give encouragement.
Giving yourself grace
For whatever reason, you might find yourself falling into a trap of perfection. It might happen when you’re searching for ideas on Pinterest or scrolling through your Facebook feed. Maybe you find yourself feeling frustrated after you watch HGTV or go shopping and see things you don’t have. Or you might see another family and think that their life is so much easier than yours.
If you’re feeling discontent and dissatisfied a lot of the time, you may not even realize you’re comparing your life to what you see. Yet all of the stuff in the world won’t satisfy – in fact, the more you consume, the more you’ll want.
The thing is, we’ll never achieve perfection. Not through our homes or our belongings or our families or what we do. But it’s so easy to trick ourselves into believing that if we keep pursuing it, we just might reach perfection.
Just like stuff won’t satisfy, neither will our accomplishments. And as hard as we try, mistakes still crop up. Life happens. And life has a funny way of being imperfect.
Since it’s frustrating and futile to expect perfection from yourself or this life, it’s a good idea to replace that perfectionism with grace. It’s not like you have to celebrate your failures, but don’t beat yourself up over them, either.
Giving yourself grace might be as simple as reminding yourself that you don’t have to be perfect. It might look like telling yourself that you can learn from your mistakes instead of defining yourself by them. Grace can include giving yourself permission to start over and try again.
Remember that you’re a work in progress. Even if you think you should have everything down by now, it’s OK to keep having a learning curve.
You may think you should know how to care for your home by now, but it’s OK if you’re still struggling.
Maybe you’ve been married for years and think you should know what to expect or how you should treat your husband. But it’s OK if you’re going through a rough patch.
If you’re at your wit’s end with parenting challenges, hang in there. This particular season will pass.
Giving others grace
Just like you’re imperfect, you need to remember that every other woman is, too. We’re all just trying to manage life as best as we can.
Even if a mom at the store looks like her kids are under control and her entire family is laughing, remember that they have struggles and battles every day.
When a wife is holding her husband’s hand during church, remind yourself that they have gone through rough patches in their marriage – and they might be right then.
If you visit a friend and her home looks spotless, remember that it’s not. She has messes and cleaning challenges somewhere, even if she doesn’t share what they are.
As you remember these pictures of perfection are just perceptions – and not reality – take comfort. Remind yourself that lives of other women might look so much better than your own because you simply don’t know the details. You don’t know the stories of their dysfunctional families or their struggles and fears.
It’s also important to remember to give a healthy measure of grace when another woman clearly doesn’t have her life together. When her toddlers are melting down in the middle of a restaurant, remember your own struggles. If her yard is littered with a mess of toys, think of your own messes. When her husband acts like a jerk in public, remember that your own husband isn’t perfect.
Finding and giving encouragement
As you’re giving yourself and others plenty of grace, be sure to also receive encouragement – and give plenty of it, too.
If someone compliments you, accept it gratefully. Don’t try to read into things for a different meaning. Don’t twist it into a backhanded compliment. Let the encouragement soak in. Things in your life really are beautiful, even if you don’t always realize it.
Then look for ways to encourage other women. Speak a kind word to a young mom to help encourage her to make it through the day. Congratulate wives when you know they’re celebrating another wedding anniversary. Compliment something you admire in a friend’s home.
Make another woman’s day a little brighter by pointing out the good you see. Instead of keeping what you notice to yourself and potentially turning it into jealousy, turn it into a way to bless another woman.
Every woman could use some encouragement in keeping their home. Every wife could use some encouragement in their marriage. And every mom could use some encouragement to keep on keeping on.
As a woman, what are some things that you try to remember about life?
If you could use some encouragement in your marriage, Hilary would love to help. To encourage you to build your marriage and stay faithful both to God and your husband, she’s created The Faithful Wife eCourse for wives. Click here for details.