When I meet people, I look for a kindred spirit in them. I look for signs of connection, similar tastes, same pattern of speech, and other qualities that would indicate having a spirit that is kindred to mine. Usually, I am met with disappointment. I don’t get upset about it but I always have my antennas up for one. Even if the person I am meeting, reconnecting with, or whatever the case may be, is not a kindred spirit, I don’t act any differently towards them. They are welcome to hang out with my family and I, I keep them on my radar for any activities I may plan, and I often think about what things we are doing that they may be able to join in with us with the hope that we get to know each other better.
There are exceptions to that. We, my husband and I, have come across some folk that do not get a welcome mat. Those are great exceptions to the rule and those exceptions have shown that they bring discord where ever they go. I don’t do discord and I don’t do drama. If that is what someone shows they are about and that is what they thrive on, they have no access to the Greens. They are cut off from every thing.
A few days ago, I reconnected with someone and it didn’t go how I envisioned it would. Nothing bad happened. There was no rudeness or a complete change in personality for the worse but there was no warmth. As a whole, it’s no big deal now. I was thrown for a bit of a loop at first but I thought a lot about the entire encounter for the rest of my travels that day (it was a busy day) and I was able to dissect and understand what I saw.
What I saw is not exclusive to this one person in particular. It is a popular behavior that I have seen in a lot of Christian woman who I have met and tried to get to know. I call it The Great Stamp Out. Though it seems safe at first, it can be very problematic, can encourage depression, and bring on real heartache at the end. Let me paint a verbal picture for you of a very common scenario.
Jazmine grew up in a married two-parent household. She grew up knowing proper male and female relationships according to the Word of God. Most who knew her would consider her a godly person.
She grew up to be a beautiful young woman, admired by many though she didn’t know it. Jazmine was just being Jazmine. She had close girl friends and welcomed the opportunity to meet more people and develop more friendships.
She eventually married a God-fearing man and they started to plan out their life together. Their family dynamic was pretty normal as far as normal goes these days. They worked on their marriage daily, grew together as one, and children were born along the way.
As Jazmine focused on her family, she took down her friendships shingle. She kept her close girl friends but to those she was getting to know, she cut off. She thought it was the right thing to do. She thought that is what married people, and what a good married wife, was supposed to do. She used to be open to not just meeting people but getting to know people better than just the surface “hello” and “goodbye” (H&G). Now, she has become a H&G person herself.
Her close friends were good friends. Some of them were married as well, some of them were single, some of them were single moms. Regardless of their status, her close friends were in Biblical support of Jazmine’s marriage. They never encouraged her to act worldly and they would keep their personal feelings in check when they weren’t pleased with Jazmine’s husband.
Jazmine relied on her friends. However, over time, she developed a thought process that said all she needed were these friends so she was no longer open to any more friendships. Unknowingly, she stamped out any possibility for other friendships. She stamped out the possibility of having a baking friend, a loves-to-shop friend, or any other interest she might have discovered she had during her married life.
Jazmine’s thought process became even more secluded. She started to question the close God-fearing friends she has now. She started to single out those who were like her. She started to only call and hang out with the ones who were married. She left her single friends and her single Mommy friends by the wayside without so much as an explanation. Jazmine thought that she was in a different place in life therefore she could not associate with anyone who was different then she was even though, they both love and serve the Lord the same.
Jazmine created a pretty tight bubble for herself. It started to get a little lonely. The friends she chose to stay around are busy wives and mothers just like she is. Not everyone is available like they used to be. She realizes that she doesn’t have others she can call on and rely on. She tries to put her friendship shingle back up but she has become so conditioned to her bubble that Stamping Out became a way of life. So much so in fact, that even when she tries to be open, she shuts it down without even realizing what she’s doing.
Jesus never took down His friendship single. He never Stamped Out anyone (Luke 19: 1-9). Ladies, we have to be very careful not to Stamp Out relationships with women for non biblical reasons. Differences in marital status, number of children, bonus children, job status, hair color, skin color, age or any other superficial thing has no bearing on whether you can befriend that woman or not. Keep your friendship shingle up!