|"...Not Easily Broken." (Ecc. 4:9-12)|
Tossed in the mix are suggestions for another women's retreat, classes addressing female relationships or most frequently, a no-holds barred boot camp just for women! I can understand why. They would love to experience the camaraderie (the sense of trust, loyalty, and goodwill) they've noticed in the men of our church after theirs. I have to be honest....I've been resistant!
Not because I don't feel it too or don't desire to see this type of spiritual growth but because I'm not yet convinced that we (women as a whole) are truly serious about making the change that I know will be needed to accomplish this:
Complete honesty about our current struggles. Ceasing petty competition between ministries in order to curry favor with the pastor. Continuing to speak and engage warmly with a sister even when you disagree on a matter. Stopping the gossip and down talking of a sister behind her back and refusing to engage in spiritual bullying (lying, saying mean things about others on social media) and ostracizing a sister from social events by conveniently forgetting to invite them!
All of the above violate in my eyes the Christian Girlfriend Code. Just like popular culture, these are unwritten but known codes of conduct adhered to by genuine sister-friends. They are put in place to preserve unity, to show support and love and to create a bond that cannot be broken...not even by a man! To give you some examples, I've christianized six codes that I found online:
1. Never cancel important girlfriend plans for a man (this has more to do with single life, but I see this applicable to Christian life as well. How many times have you committed to support a church ministry function where a spiritual sister is expecting and counting on your attendance and a "hot date" or something more appealing to your fleshly desires conflict? How did you choose?
2. Confidential conversations between you and your girls remain so even to your man. This is a given, but probably one of the reasons good friendships are destroyed. Women have a hard enough time with trust. This is one reason. Also, men...not even some husbands can truly understand the need for Sister friend relationships. If you've got one they don't care for, telling him their business sure doesn't help.
3. Your girlfriend's "Ex" can't be your "Next". Do I even have to comment on this one. I've actually sat in a congregation with a man with two ex-wives. They handled it well but it sure made me uncomfortable!
4. If you come together, leave together. This too, happens in the church. You go out of your way to pick up a girlfriend for bible study, meeting, concert and she hooks up with another friend, disses you and makes plan with them to go somewhere afterwards leaving you to drive home alone.
5. Siding with or speaking ill of a girlfriend's spouse or boyfriend is taboo. Whenever you're tempted to criticize your friend's significant other opt to pray for the situation. Even if she's inviting you to put your two cents in.
6. Be the type of friend that you want. This is actually straight from the Word of God. Some call it the Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12 but it is backed up by all of the scriptural love principles.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 expresses my sentiments about sister to sister relationships. We are so much better together than we are apart. "Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. For if one falls, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
We do need a change but let's first see if we can get past the damage that the violations of the above girl friend codes have done.
Until Next Time...