On Wire Talk this week Sunny and I answered questions from moms who host a Birds on a Wire group. We discussed everything from how to get a new group going, to what to do when moms are ready to move on from leading. Regardless of if you’re in a formal group of moms studying the Word together or if you’re just navigating friendships with other women around you, here are four tips for building authentic relationships:

Be Transparent : In relationships we tend to follow one another’s lead. If all you ever talk about is the small stuff, chances are that the women around you will stick to the small stuff too. Lead in vulnerability and I think you will find that the women in your life begin to open up to you and feel comfortable sharing what is truly going on in their hearts and in their homes.

Be Real : If it has been a tough month with your kids or your family, be honest. Y’all know it has been a rough year for me personally. Being a group leader or an older mom doesn’t mean that you never walk through difficult seasons. If your faith feels stagnant or your heart is weary, be real with the women in your inner circle. There’s a story in Exodus chapter 17 about a battle the Israelites are fighting against another people group. Joshua is leading the Israelite army and Moses is standing high on a hill, overlooking the battle. As long as he keeps his staff lifted in the air, the Israelites are winning. But midway through the day he begins to get tired. Read what happens next, “When Moses’ arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur brought a stone for him to sit on, while they stood beside him and held up his arms, holding them steady until the sun went down.” (Exodus 17:12-14, GNT) Isn’t that beautiful? His friends came to the rescue. Without them, the battle would have been lost. We were made to live in community, but our friends can’t help us if we aren’t real about our struggles.

Be Loving : If there’s anything moms get more than enough of these days, it’s advice. What we can never get enough of is love. Lead with love, whether that looks like sympathy, empathy, or just a shoulder to lean on. If a mom asks you for advice, then feel free to offer it up. But most of the time, we can get out what we are facing when we are surrounded by a community that loves us in word and in action.

Be Yourself : If you’re a working mom and you love it, don’t downplay your career just to fit into a mold you think moms are supposed to fit into. If you love cooking and make homemade meals every night, don’t feel guilty for doing so! Our differences keep friendships fresh and fun. Be proud of the way you are wired and share your gifts and passions with your community of friends, we will all be better off because of it!

Because of people like you, we can have an even greater impact!

Birds on a Wire is grateful for the continued support of the Jeff Gore Scholarship Fund which allows Moms to attend Birds on a Wire events at reduced cost.