A while back an article entitled “The Life- changing Power of Female Friendships” caught my eye. The article told stories about friendships among women that emerged from shared life experiences like child rearing and other joys and challenges. It told of women who walked beside each other during unsettling, unknowable times of life turning the memories of those difficult times into warm wonderful, bittersweet times. It told of women whose tears and thoughtful touches, laughter and love bonded them for life. I enjoyed the article because I knew the gift of that power.
I grew up in a household of boys, and being the only girl in the family gave me a unique but very limited perspective on female relationships. I’ve always had a fascination with the relationships of sisters and wondered what that relationship might be like. The sisters I knew growing up seemed to have built in female friendships that I envied. I had a difficult time establishing that kind of bond with the girls in my neighborhood or in my class. I had good friends in high school and college but I never saw them again after graduation. I had friends for all of the different chapters of my life, but when those various chapters closed so did the friendships.
The gift of the life-changing power of female friendships I have now discovered is from the many women who are sisters-in-Christ in my church family. They are female friends who show me the love of Christ. They were there for me in the difficult times when I experienced the death of a family member, or had a life changing health diagnosis. They have encouraged me, prayed for me, listened and shared. These are friends who have been like Jesus. They have been there to stand or sit, walk and work beside me. These are friends in my Grace Group, friends in Holy Yoga, friends in Bible studies. I have met so many dear friends in women’s ministry who have embodied the love the apostle Paul speaks of in Colossians 3:12-14:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Who are the friends who have changed your life?
How have you been that kind of friend to others?
Thank you for the gift of sisters in Christ who demonstrate your love through the life-changing power of female friendships. Help me to be that kind of friend to others.
This devotion is written by Kathy Paisley, as a way to encourage women to know, love and serve Christ.