Speaking Truth: Hard Yet Healing Words for Women

In his lifetime, renowned preacher Charles Spurgeon drew strength from his mother’s fervent prayers. As he grew older, Spurgeon found great impact in his mother’s earnest appeals to God, praying that her children would find their salvation in Christ, lest they perish due to ignorance. It’s the poignant memories of her tear-filled eyes, warning him to steer clear from the impending wrath, that left an indelible mark on Spurgeon.

My own mother’s stern admonitions about the repercussions of my sins during my teenage years were echoes of Spurgeon’s experience. Her keen perception of my hypocritical behavior – one at home, another at church – was a bitter pill to swallow. Yet, those uncomfortable conversations exposed my blasé attitude towards God and illuminated my lack of reverence for Him.

These harsh realities, though bitter to digest, tenderized my heart, making it receptive and sensitive. In her role as an ambassador of God, she paved my spiritual journey at crucial crossroads: I could either follow Christ or pursue my self-centered ways.

As I’ve journeyed through life, I’ve realized how truly uncommon it is to encounter a person courageous enough to sound the alarm against the lethal nature of sin. The fear of potentially damaging relationships often prevents women from delivering these necessary truths to their loved ones. This fear seems to favor vague, soothing words over those that might risk causing offense, even if they ring true.

Common refrains like “You’re doing a great job, Mama” or “You did the best you could with what you knew” are often shared without regard for their veracity. These phrases tend to pacify a troubled conscience, rather than courageously echoing the warnings that Scripture provides. Particularly, admonitions shared woman-to-woman seems to be a rarity.

In this age, it appears that many, including pastors, are reluctant to apply biblical truths to the lives of women. This might stem from the apprehension that women, especially those going through challenging times, may misinterpret these biblical truths and become distressed.

However, Scripture abounds with transformative directives, often targeted at women. Imagine what could transpire if we boldly voiced these imperatives without hesitation, evasion, or apprehension:

Deny yourself and follow Christ (Mark 8:34).

Exhibit self-control, purity, and kindness, work diligently at home, and submit to your husband to avoid reviling God’s word (Titus 2:5).

Young widows should strive to remarry and serve the Lord rather than be idle or become busybodies (1 Timothy 5:11–14).

Let go of vanity and worry about physical appearance, cultivating a gentle and quiet spirit instead (1 Peter 3:3–4).

Submit to your husband in everything, just as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:24).

If you disobey the Son, God’s wrath remains on you (John 3:36).

Churches where such truths are openly declared may witness a blossoming of spiritual strength among women, rather than an exodus or an outpouring of tears. Speaking hard words about their sinfulness is a path to healing, as it exposes their need for repentance, faith, and conformity to Christ.

Failing to confront a woman’s sins with the hope of the Gospel might be deemed as a manifestation of hatred. In our noble attempt to nurture and empower women, we often tiptoe around their sins, instead of loving them enough to help them abide by the Lord’s commands. The internet may reassure you that you’re an excellent mother, but the undeniable truth of Scripture will always guide you toward self-denial, obedience, and faith.

The love we share with women should be steeped in truth, even if it stings, causes pain, and guilt, and pierces the heart. Such discomfort can open the path to healing, forgiveness, and comfort found only in Christ. Pondering over my mother’s stern warnings, I realize how her words kept me from ruining my faith.

A lack of hard truths may be the reason why some daughters stray from the path of faith. One phrase my mother was never afraid to tell me was, “You’re being too sensitive.” It is vital to remember that our God-given sensitivity can become sinful when it makes us easily offended.

Exposure to the unfiltered word of God is a potent antidote for a sensitive spirit. Speaking aloud the parts of the Bible you find most challenging can desensitize us to uncomfortable truths. Recite them to a friend in love and make them a part of your everyday speech.

Above all, reject the impulse to be offended by God’s words, whether they come from the pages of your Bible or from a trusted friend, spouse, or pastor. You may feel wounded, but these are the words of your truest friend, and they are the only words whose wounds can make you whole.