Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect meeting together, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. Heb. 10:24-25
They say that women need other women. Why do you suppose that is? You may think of several reasons, but did you know that our body chemicals actually change when we’re in each other’s company?
Are you familiar with the body chemical Oxytocin? Oxytocin is the hormone released during breast feeding that gives that relaxed, sleepy feeling. Perhaps you’ve experienced it. Oxytocin rises during sex, childbirth, and breast feeding. Oxytocin also counteracts the stress hormone Cortisol. It is an anti-depressant, anti-anxiety hormone, which creates feelings of calm and a sense of connection.
Emotional connections with others is the only way to raise Oxytocin levels. It has been used in clinical trials to lower social anxiety and help children & adults feel more comfortable in social situations. It helps married people live longer and recover from illness more quickly. One researcher said that if you hung an Oxytocin meter around people’s necks, you could tell who is in healthy relationships and who isn’t. It is indeed the hormone that helps us bond.
Why do I tell you all that? Because a study showed that when two or more women (specifically women) are in a room together, Oxytocin levels rise, and they rise higher depending on whether you are with a stranger or a friend. If there is touch involved, Oxytocin levels rise even higher.
It’s no wonder women like to go to the restroom together. And if they go alone, you may find them talking to someone they don’t even know. Men use restrooms for purely biological reasons. Women use restrooms as social lounges. Men in restrooms will never speak a word to each other. Women who’ve never met may leave a restroom giggling together like old friends. Who knew it is because of Oxytocin.
So, there you have it. Women really do need other women.
However, according to Nancy Leigh DeMoss, women today don’t take the time to cultivate relationships as they used to. She says that, “Women are more harried and hurried and flustered than any other generation, even though we have more time-saving devices than any other generation. The chronic state and condition of women today is, ‘Oh, (huge sigh) I’m SO busy!’ Women today have a chronic and profound sense of loneliness, alienation, and isolation.”
A study showed that young moms have the highest stress levels, that they need a lot of help because the extended family is not in place. We need to come along side these young women as stated in Titus 2.
This stress and busyness and lack of meaningful connection surely results in decreased Oxytocin and higher Cortisol levels.
I wonder, does anyone relate?
A LifeWay study showed that 75% of women are hurting and have an exaggerated sense of responsibility and guilt if they’re not busy. Consequently, they don’t take time for themselves and they put themselves last. We need to learn it’s okay to take time for ourselves and in so doing, we can take better care of others. Much like the oxygen mask on a plane, “Remember to put the mask on yourself before others.”
Another study showed that 43% of women have had abortions and are still hurting, along with other hurts that no one knows about. That’s almost half of us! We wear our masks well.
To me, this speaks to the great need for women’s ministry. Angela Thomas says, “Healing happens in community.” But who has time for it?
Leighann McCoy says, “The devil doesn’t care how many times we get together to eat fried chicken and sing Kumbaya, but come share your faith and pray fervently for each other, and the devil does everything in his power to distract you from doing that.”
The devil knows relationships are built when we pray and grow in our faith together, and it affects everyone around us. Entire families, churches, and communities can be affected, and it all starts with women.
Iron sharpens iron, and so one [woman] sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
“Women of God have a powerful influence in the church. Great acts of faith are displayed in critical moments by desperate people willing to place their lives on the line for the Glory of God.” Leighann McCoy
TOP TEN THINGS ONLY a WOMAN UNDERSTANDS
10. Cats’ facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren’t just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your bangs to make them grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.
AND, the Number One thing only a woman understands:
1. OTHER WOMEN