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Peer Pressure

April 19, 2009

At the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s Conference a few weeks ago, Carolyn Mahaney reminded the women at the conference of the importance of mentoring younger women. She reminded us that we need to be concerned about principle over practice. There’s lots of ways a principle can be worked out. In doing so, she shared the following quote, which I think is a great reminder for those of us falling into the “younger women” category, in particular.

Young women need to be taught, but not necessarily by other young women. Age brings wisdom and maturity which can only be gained through experience. Young women can be very strong in their opinions about what makes a good homemaker, but they can lack the wisdom and understanding needed to teach with balance. For example, young mothers can be very opinionated about how to feed their babies and can unknowingly (or knowingly) put pressure on newer mothers to feed [a certain way]. The same thing can happen with regard to schooling choices or meal-planning or house-keeping. Young women can be very excited about “their method” and then express their views too dogmatically. Young women, especially young mothers, are very vulnerable to this type of peer pressure, and they can come to think that their spirituality depends upon whether or not they are doing their shopping or their house cleaning the same way so-and-so does.  -Nancy Wilson, The Fruit of Her Hands

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. zoanna permalink
    April 19, 2009 8:20 pm

    That’s good, practical advice. I know I appreciate the rare “young woman” who actually asks the opinion of someone older. I wonder if peer pressure in Chrsitian circles is more predominant that in “the world”? I have felt snubbed sometimes by young moms whose babies are sockless in a very cold church nursery. The response I have gotten to “where are his/her socks?” is like the one I gave older women who asked. “Ah, she can’t keep them on.” Yeh, well, you wonder why she’s kicking her feet and legs so hard and crying, maybe she’s trying to keep herself warm?? And then I feel like an old fuddy duddy. It’s refreshing when a young mom at least pretends to want advice.

  2. April 19, 2009 8:32 pm

    For most of my mothering career, I’ve skipped all the good books and gone to older moms who have passed through my stage of life. It’s very helpful — not only do they have ideas on how to help, but they also are living proof that This Too Shall Pass.

    Mind you, it’s great to have friends in the SAME stage of life, also, because as your kids get older, you really do forget the confusion and intensity of any given phase. But we young moms (or moms of young kids) do tend to pool our knowledge instead of looking farther along the path for advice and wisdom.

    — SJ

  3. melodyejoy permalink
    April 20, 2009 7:14 am

    That’s why I started to blog!! I have so much advice, but no one will listen to me!! The best advice I usually give is “don’t sweat the small stuff.” I unfortunately was very hard on my kids. They survived, but in hindsight, grace and mercy should have abounded in many instances!! I also found that I was much better as my kids got older. I just wasn’t a baby person — still am not 🙂

    Melodye

  4. Ashleigh permalink
    April 20, 2009 9:01 am

    Love this, Danielle! I think there is so much value to talking to women who have “been there, done that.”

  5. Anne & Justin permalink
    April 20, 2009 10:42 am

    So good.
    I’m so thankful that I’ve learned that I have SO much to learn about many aspects of life…and asking older. wiser women we trust and respect is such a WONDERFUL resource for us.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    Hope you are well!

  6. April 20, 2009 11:10 am

    Amen and amen! That quote got me, too – unfortunately in the convicting sense, since I’m the mom who’s too dogmatic about her method.
    Aren’t we blessed to be in a church full of women who are happy to share their wisdom?

  7. April 20, 2009 2:48 pm

    Kelly, I can be that way too, which is why I love the quote. I don’t WANT to be that way! I don’t like it when others are that way towards me . . .

  8. Julia permalink
    April 20, 2009 3:30 pm

    Ah, so SO true! I find it disheartening when other women impose their methods on me, but it’s so easy to be indignant about it myself. Thanks for the quote!

  9. April 21, 2009 7:59 am

    SO true! great reminder.

  10. April 21, 2009 9:52 am

    oh, and by the way – thanks for pointing me to the ROH podcast last week. the Holly Elliff messages have been great.

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