Where Are All the Women Like Me?

I'm thrilled to be able to introduce you to my daughter-in-law, Amanda. (I asked Amanda to write a devotional for this series.) She'll be attending True Woman '14 with me. She's a great thinker and writer, and she's just started a blog at www.AmandaKassian.com. Enjoy! ~Mary Kassian

Years ago, I started attending a new church when I moved back to Houston. I had a difficult time making new girlfriends because I formed this bright idea in my head that I needed to find other women like me to befriend. Same ideas. Same background. Same hobbies . . . not too much to ask, right? A few months later, I was making minimal progress.

I have found that some of the most dissimilar women I have encountered are the most endearing and uplifting to my soul.

Bottom line, I made excuses for not investing. Yes, I admit it—I was critical and held on to first impressions far too long before God opened my eyes and gave me a righteous taste of discipline. We worked it out, thankfully (and painfully) . . . and God gave me a new truth to live by when meeting new people: "Amanda, in My household, you can have fruitful relationships with people who are starkly different from you."

Ephesians 2:13 and 19 tell me that at one time I was far off, separated from Jesus Christ and the church:

"Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. . . . So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."

I was a stranger. An outsider. But God drew me into relationship, made me a daughter of the King, and brought me into a new family. Astonishing. In Christ, I have a new identity. I am no longer a stranger. I am a part of something. As a family, we now have common ground—we live, breathe, and labor for the same purpose.

Far too often, we hold on to first impressions and make excuses rather than make the effort to invest in relationships. For the new believer—we may not invest because they won't get it or get us. For the strikingly gorgeous girl standing in the foyer—we avoid her because, who are we kidding? She's got it goin' on. Or maybe you fail to reach out because of an age difference, different ethnic background, or different hobbies or interests.

We need solid community with other believers. The enemy will work hard to prevent community within the church body. I have found that some of the most dissimilar women I have encountered are the most endearing and uplifting to my soul. Those friendships are an absolute joy—a mighty blessing to my own spiritual growth. We have a responsibility to fight against judgments and first impressions that prevent us from fruitful, diverse, godly relationships.

In Christ, we are fellow citizens in God's family. If we are to match His affections, we should desire to be intentional and invest in our brothers and sisters without hindrances and without lasting, negative first impressions. Remember that we were once far off and needed the tender mercy of our Father to draw us near. Let us become intentional investors. And who knows? That stranger across the room may turn out to be your very best friend.

Spend some time asking God if there is any area of your heart that needs to be refined and refocused when it comes to being intentional with others. Are you allowing preconceived judgments to prevent potential relationships? Ask Him to reveal individuals that may need your tender investment. Once those names come to mind, ask Him to show you how to reach out to those individuals.

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian is an award-winning author, internationally renowned speaker, and a distinguished professor at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She has published several books, Bible studies, and videos. At home in Alberta, Canada, Mary watches lots of sports! Her sons play ice hockey and her husband, Brent, is chaplain for the local professional football team. The Kassians enjoy biking, hiking, snorkeling, music, board games, mountains, campfires, and their family’s black lab, General Beau.

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