Wonderful Womanhood

30 Ways To Walk With Women

How to walk with women? How to support and encourage? How to advocate and defend? How to love and befriend?

It doesn’t take a march on Washington (though I’m not opposed to writing legislators, voting in the good guys/gals, and peaceful protests), it only takes some thought, some prayer, and some follow through.

Be warned though, that the prayer could be risky and the follow through costly. I promise that the rewards make it worth every sacrifice

Giving their time and talents to provide a meal for others.

Here’s a confession: I didn’t really have the confidence to truly walk with women when I was younger. I had ideas, but lacked the courage to initiate. Watching other women sacrifice boldly for me was how I learned…

One courageously shared a struggle. The other was relieved to know she wasn’t alone. A friendship was formed and two women gained strength together.

Miss Riggs, my middle school teacher, wrote notes, cooked special meals, and remembered birthdays.

Cathy fed me dinner every Monday night along with her family of six while Robert was in seminary.

Bertha, an older woman, took me out to lunch and welcomed me to town.

Tamyra brought me two bags of Old Navy clothes for my toddler boy when I couldn’t afford winter clothes.

Karla hugged me, and listened to me, and remembered my stories and the names of every person involved.

Deborah bought me a dress for Easter Sunday complete with jewelry.

Caryl stopped by with the $200 she’d just earned “for your ministry of hospitality.”

Romy sends me postcards and remembers my birthday.

Alena, a student, asks questions, prays for me, and thanks me for serving.

Lois changes the sheets on my bed to welcome me home and stocks the frig with treats.

Betsy smiles at me, laughs with me, and asks “How are you?”

Lizzie, a student, invited me to lunch in her dining hall and asked about my life and my health.

Jayden, my teenaged daughter’s friend, tells me I look pretty or that she likes my outfit.

Cas taught me the Bible and had high expectations of me.

Sara allowed me to share in the natural birth of her firstborn.

Christy babysat for free when I was too sick to get out of bed.

Kayla gave generously for my mission trip and many other mission trips and projects.

Women taking time to write the other women at the retreat a note of encouragement and blessing.

From these women and so many others, I learned to how to follow through with what I knew to be our call in Christ…

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus… Philippians 2: 3-5

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16

A single PhD student taking her turn as baby-snuggler so another woman and mother could lead others in worship.

I have a feeling that if you are reading this, you are probably already engaged in loving and serving other women well, but here are some things that came to mind just in case you need a bit of inspiration:

  1. Love her children, offer to babysit, bring them a new book when you do.
  2. Write her a note. Start your sentences with this: “You are so…thoughtful, beautiful, faithful…”
  3. Take her a meal. Organize a week/month of meals during a difficult time.
  4. Invite her over for tea/coffee/lemonade. Ask get-to-know-you questions.
  5. If she’s single and you’re not, invite her to your family birthday, Christmas, or Easter celebration. Maybe even your weekend vacation?
  6. If you’re single and she’s not, offer to cook for her family in their home one night. (Be sure to do the dishes, too!)
  7. Ask her what her current challenges are, and then pray for her on the spot.
  8. Organize her pantry or clean her bathrooms – or both!
  9. Send her flowers or stop by with them just because.
  10. Tell her she is beautiful and capable.
  11. Believe her. Believe in her.
  12. Go with her…to the doctor, the lawyer, the bank, the counselor, the admissions office. Speak up for her if need be.
  13. Encourage her gifts, her calling, her dreams. Give her the supplies she needs to realize them.
  14. Ask this: How are you? Then listen and ask questions.
  15. Share the gospel with her – even if she already knows it.
  16. Read/Study the Bible with her.
  17. Invite her to church.
  18. Love her enough to speak truth to her. Don’t indulge her sin or selfishness.
  19. Be patient with her limitations and fears.
  20. Look for burdens to lift and lift them. Recruit others to help if need be.
  21. Provide for her financially when she’s struggling. Take her to Target. Buy her some gas.
  22. Go to her presentation, her graduation, her concert performance.
  23. Give her a book that will help or encourage her.
  24. Visit her in the hospital – or go with her to visit her own loved one.
  25. Be honest with her about your own life and struggles.
  26. Praise her. Showcase her gifts and abilities in front of others. Speak up for her.
  27. Rejoice with her – when she’s promoted, gets engaged, pays off her loans.
  28. Mourn with her – when he breaks her heart, she loses the baby, feels betrayed.
  29. Rally your contacts or network on her behalf.
  30. Don’t say “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” (She won’t. Trust me.) Say this instead: “Would Wednesday be a good day for me to do this: ____________________?”
The privilege of being a friend and shepherd.

Recently, a young mother didn’t abort her twins because of the generous encouragement and provision of other women. I count it a privilege to have been a part of it all. If you’ve been reading here, you know they story. All it took was one trip to the pregnancy center with a concerned friend and one Facebook plea from an almost complete stranger to provide every single item two babies and one single mama might need in the first year of life.

And not only did she receive physical, tangible help, but she also received the kindness and emotional support of the many women who approached her in the back of the church a few Sundays in a row with a smile and inquiries about her well-being. More than that, she received (mostly unaware) the prayers of women all over the world.

Oh, it will take much more than a fulfilled Amazon baby registry. The days ahead will be difficult, and she’ll likely need years of emotional and financial support, but I’m convinced we can do it – for her and for all of the women in our midst.

Believing women know that their treasure is in heaven, and so they can help rather than horde.

They can give with courage rather than grasp in fear.

It doesn’t take an angry march.

It takes a walk of faith.

6 thoughts on “30 Ways To Walk With Women

  1. Thank you, Melanie. Beautiful, real-life examples to run with…together as sisters.
    May God continue to richly bless your ministry.

  2. I really appreciated this blog post. Walking with women is a lifestyle. A lifestyle of serving, listening, and walking with women through many of life’s trials and tribulations. It cannot be confined to one day, but rather it should be apart of weekly practice. Walking with women is also far more meaningful when you are building relationships and meeting people where they’re at…all year round. Not just marching the streets one day out of the year.

    Although, I must comment on one other thing. Your ‘Hey Girl’ podcast. I really enjoyed listening to it, hearing your story, and seeing how Mercyhouse came to life. However, their was one portion that made me cringe a little bit. How you described homosexuals in the podcast. Even if you didn’t say “homesexuals” outright, I knew who you were talking about when you said “alternative lifestyles”.

    While I have no intent on changing your stance on homosexuality and respect your viewpoint in accordance with your Christian faith, I do want to point out that I find that terminology very offensive as a gay person. I pray that if you do walk alongside anyone in the LGBT community that you don’t use that phrase in speaking with them. It implies that a particular group of people is “less than” on the basis of who their in relationship with.

    I can tell you first-hand that the only thing “alternative” about my lifestyle is my sex life. Other than that, I go to work, go grocery shopping, go to the gym, just like any other straight individual. My lifestyle is really not all that alternative.

    To me, walking with someone means listening to their story without judgement. You’re not required to agree with their life choices and, to be honest, the last thing I want you to do is change your opinion on the basis of cultural pressure. Just step in their shoes for a moment and imagine how you would feel if someone referred to your sexuality as an “alternative lifestyle”.

    I don’t expect you to fully understand the deep conflict many LGBT people experience with reconciling their faith and sexuality identity…I also don’t expect you to affirm homosexuality…but I hope my two cents helped in how you can better walk with LGBT people.

    – Nikki

    1. Hi Nikki – Thank you for your encouraging words. I truly appreciate them.

      I also appreciate you pointing out that my language on the podcast was offensive. I am so sorry about that. I actually remember struggling mentally with how to be sensitive in that moment, but I obviously failed! Please forgive me. Now I know that it is better to just say “homosexual” or “gay.”

      And I don’t know if we’ve actually met, but if not, I’d love to do that someday. For now I will just say thank you again. You have taught me how to better love all people.

      1. Hi Melanie,

        I forgive you. While I was offended by the language, I wasn’t at all surprised because it’s very common in fundamentalist Christian circles.

        I’ve had many conversations over the years with fundamentalist Christians concerning sexuality and faith, and I think the lack of exposure to the LGBT community understandably leads to mistakes. We’re not perfect.

        I was involved in born-again circles back when I was in college at UMass Amherst. In the end, I separated myself because the conflict between my sexuality and faith was too much to bare.

        Unfortunately, I feel the divide between LGBT people and Christians has grown wider and wider. To the point, where if anyone (straight or otherwise) disagrees with traditional sexuality…their faith and service to the gospel as a Christian is automatically called into question. A good example of this happening is the Intervarsity purge back in October 2016.

        I’m no longer in the Amherst area but I’m curious to hear your thoughts about some of the things I’ve mentioned.

        1. Hi Nikki ~ Sorry for the delay. I haven’t been able to spend much time here lately. I wanted you to know that I contacted the producers of the Hey Girl podcast and they actually edited out my comments hoping to prevent further hurt or offense. Interestingly, last week’s podcast featured a young man (a guy appears on the podcast every now and then) who has same sex attraction. His story was very interesting to listen to. Here’s the link.

          I guess one way to answer your question about my thoughts on all of this is to say that I believe that what you call “traditional sexuality” is actually biblical sexuality (sex is only to be between one man and one woman within marriage), and that any other version of sexuality (premarital, adulterous/extramarital, homosexual) is not what God intended when He created it. I understand that this can be a difficult thing to accept, especially when our sexual desires do not line up and feel so much a part of who we are. But God often asks of us things that do not line up with our natural desires, and I have many gay friends choosing to live a life of celibacy in order to honor and obey the commands and designs of God. It is a very difficult path for them, and I admire their great faith and humility in walking it.

          I’ve learned a lot from reading two books by Rosaria Butterfield ~ a former English Literature professor/LGBTQ advisor and lesbian at Syracuse University. I would love to send you one of her books. If you’d like to receive one, please send your address to my email: melkrumrey@gmail.com

          I hope you have a good week. Take care, Nikki.

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