Last Girls! Series post we talked about friends. We talked mostly about the friend you are, and the capabilities you have to be a great friend, awful friend, and everything in between friend.  Our society blurs the lines of literally every relationship; we feel entitled where we shouldn’t be, and make things tough on others when we don’t have to. Today we’re going to talk about the differences between the types of relationships in our lives, and why it is so important to honour them for what they really are.

MOTHERS

I know some mom’s who say their kids are their best friend. I might get some angry face Emojicon responses to this, but how about no thanks. Mom’s aren’t meant to be friends. Those who don’t like my thoughts are probably thinking: You’re not a mom! To which I’d respond, you are correct! I’m not a mom. But, I’m a daughter. As a child and as an adult, what I need as a daughter is my mother to be my mother, not my best friend. That’s what you need too. Mom’s are meant to be disciplinary (for those underage), a reminder of boundaries and identity, soft, snuggly, fierce, and give instruction. Honour your mom as your mom. Allow her to be the relationship in your life that instructs (reminds), comforts, disciplines, and makes you really yummy pies. Or goes shopping with you, or, whatever she does for you that you love.

(And maybe the relationship is dicey with your mom. Maybe she isn’t worthy of your trust, your daughter-ship, and to that I just want to say I’m really sorry about that. If that’s your case, go ahead and strip both friend and trusted mom from your vocabulary until she’s able to connect with you in a healthy way. Give her honour, but also guard your heart.)

LEADERS

There’s also leaders in our life like a pastor, a supervisor, or a boss. If there is a woman who is a leader in your life, don’t bring her or yourself the dishonour of making her your friend too. Don’t get me wrong, female leaders care deeply about the people they’re instructed to lead. More often than not, leaders grow to love those they lead. In fact, this part is hard for female leaders too. They too like deep friendships. And being relationally built, it can be hard if a leader feels a tension because of a pressure to be more friendly, and less leader-y. But if you’ve been placed under her care, let her lead you! Respond with maturity to her trying to lead you. Any response otherwise is kind of sad, and puts you both in a compromising position. Honestly, it’s the worst form of denying God of placing a worthy leader in your life. Don’t do that.

MENTORS

Mentors are much like leaders, but this one can be even more tricky than a leader. I’ve been both, and both roles suck when you just want to be people’s friend. Being a boss, I have had girls roll their eyes when disciplinary action happened, and it was my fault because I allowed a blurred line between friendship and #GirlBoss. Being a mentor is trickier because the setting for such a relationship is inherently more personal. I led a small group for girls, and over the years I’ve heard some people say, “It’s so nice you have become friends now that they’re adults.” Let me just straighten that out; I’m a mentor. I’m not trying to cross over into friendship. And as long as they’ll allow me to be a mentor, that’s what I’ll be. Otherwise, I’ll be part of a past we all loved, I’ll check in from time to time, and that will be it. Mentors aren’t meant to be your friend, they’re meant to be your mentor. Allow them the position, or don’t.

Lastly, be the sort of woman whom mothers, leaders, mentors, and friends are drawn to in life. Walk their dog, babysit their kids (OR, sign up to watch their kids during significant days of the week), bring them flowers, don’t text them every day, and honour them behind their back. 

We talked a lot last week about our potential lack of honour for friends, whatever their current season is. I realized afterward that we have so many types of relationships as women, and we need to stop blurring the lines of acceptable behaviour with these different relationships. Especially because God intended to bless us with more than just different layers of friendship. God intends to place mothers, leaders, and mentors in our life to challenge, grow, comfort, remind, and simply be with us. So, write down your list. Who is your friend, your mentor, and your leaders? Now… treat them as such.

Are you the mother, the leader, the mentor, or the friend? Well then, check yourself girl! You’ve been given these roles because God trusts you. It’s so cool. It means you are worthy of his handing people over to you. What does that look like in your life right now? Do you see the line between friendship and these other roles you’ve been given? Write them down, talk to God; see where you can improve, but allow God to also affirm all the ways He’s already so proud of you!