One of my all time favorite C.S. Lewis quotes says, “Friendship…is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one buy myself…”
I love this quote because at the core of it, it speaks to all of us.
Our hearts are longing for connection, for community, for fellowship. No matter how much we pride ourselves on being independent and not needing anyone else, our heart desires for deep friendships – we long to be known. As Christians we know that this is fundamental to our walk with the Lord. As believers we recognize that being made in the image of God, we were made for community, ultimately for each other.
Whether it’s our natural disposition or our busy life schedules, many times we can tend to have our focus inward. Living our lives outward can take time, focus, attention, and energy but community with other like-minded believers is so vital for our own personal growth and walk with the Lord, which in turn is a benefit for the church as a whole. “Living life together” is a means of God’s grace in our lives because it can carry us when we are too weak, it can speak truth when we want to believe a lie, and it can share in our joys and hopes of eternity.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) The apostle of Hebrews is emphasizing the importance of the communion of saints by encouraging the readers to motivate each other and to keep getting together with each other. Isolated and friendless lives make it impossible to put this passage into practice. But putting this passage into real life will give us the perseverance and steadfastness that we will need when trials come.
We live in a fallen, broken world that desperately needs the love of Jesus and we need to be motivating one another on in “love and good works”. We can do this in practical ways, but first we have to be in community with one another. For some this can feel more natural but for many people it can take extra work. But fundamentally we were designed for this and we need this for our personal growth. Just like Titus 2 draws out for our spiritual walk, we need older women pouring into the lives of younger women, “and so train the younger women” (Titus 2:4). The key to remember is that we can always find ourselves in the group of being both, there is always someone who can mentor us and someone we can mentor.
Life isn’t perfect, which means ultimately our friendships won’t be perfect either. But perfection isn’t our goal. Our goal is to, “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:10) as sisters in Christ linking arms together, life to life relationships that reflect God’s goodness, beauty, and truth. Women today don’t need more “Friends or Followers”, they need less of what social media offers and more of real life, face to face connections that can only transform hearts towards Jesus over real cups of coffee and ugly crying on couches.
When a lion is on the hunt he will go after the single isolated animal, not the herd. If we are living isolated, this picture should remind us of the real danger that our enemy presents “to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10) – run towards the herd (your sisters). The practice of living life together can ultimately be the protection we need from our enemy. Our sisters in Christ can be the voice of truth when we are tempted to believe a lie, the perspective we need when we can’t think clearly, and the hope we need when our hearts are stricken with grief. We need each other.
Friendships won’t always be easy, we might not always feel like fellowshipping and living inward will always feel easier than the pursuit of Godly friendships. But let’s be women who live upstream from the culture. Different! Let’s be women who live our lives for Him with each other – hand in hand, side by side. We need truth-telling friendships who will go to prayer for us, because no Godly woman is without temptation or won’t face failures in this world. Let’s be a tribe of women who move into brokenness and hurt rather than running from it, and let’s be women who allow these friends to step into our mess as well. Because when we pursue this type of lifestyle together as sister’s in Christ, this is what makes the Gospel beautiful and attractive.
I'm currently living in El Paso, Texas, and married to my best friend, Joel. We're in the throes of raising our three young children (and dog). I never turn down a cup of coffee and a good book. I'm a sometimes writer and always pursuer of truth, beauty and goodness, as I'm firmly living life loved.