The Power of Christian Sisterhood

Esther Kuku writes why it’s important for women – no matter their relationship status, age, professional success or level of spiritual maturity – to nurture friendships with other women

Do you have women in your life you can honestly share your heart with and be completely vulnerable? If not, what’s stopping you?

Last year I celebrated my 50th birthday and received some lovely gifts. However, the most precious present of all was to be surrounded by women I’ve done life with for over 25 years. They know every scar and success and have never left my side, for which I am grateful.

We are all hard-wired to desire a sense of belonging and connection. Our friendships provide a social family and enable us to feel safe, loved and accepted for who we are.

Our lives have changed so much following the COVID pandemic. I must confess to being much more confident in my own space and with little company. I’m introverted and far from a social butterfly, and I have to be intentional about maintaining my friendships – especially with the cabinet of key women God has brought into my life.

We need one another when we’re single and when we are married. God gave us friendships and told us to live in communities, not simply so we won’t get lonely, but so we can help one another grow, and support one another through the challenging moments we all face on our spiritual paths.

‘These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the Word of God’ (Titus 2:4-5).

As a sisterhood, we should suspend our natural inclination to surround ourselves with people who are like us. We don’t know who God is going to use to help us along our journey. Humility and prayer will ensure we are drawn to the right ‘metal’ in terms of building relationships. Remember, the Bible tells us that ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another’ (Proverbs 27:17).

This also brings an aspect of accountability into our lives, so that a trusted friend can look close enough and lovingly advise us when we’re making wrong choices. Helpful and real conversations come out of sisterhood. Ask God to open the eyes of your hearts, so you can recognise the help He is bringing in terms of a spiritually sharpening relationship when it comes your way.

In the last year, I have really felt challenged in raising my seven-year-old son. I have a former colleague who has become a good friend. She is 20 years younger than me, but here’s the thing, she is a single mother, working full-time, raising two children under 14. There is no time for unruly behaviour in her world. She came to my house and observed the ‘state of play’, and how my children were running things. She was like, “This has got to stop! You say yes to everything, and they’re running rings round you! When you tell them off, they know you don’t mean it…”

Her stern sisterly voice helped to restore peace to our home, and there has been a marked change in how we do parenting. I could have chosen to sideline her and not develop a friendship, as our lives are very different, and had it not been for work it’s unlikely our paths would have crossed. But that young lady was and is a lifeline, and my world without her in it would be smaller.

We must be mindful of our throwaway world, where everything and everyone is expendable. We must hold on to generational sisterhood, where all ages and voices are valued.

Proverbs 17:7 says: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

This verse emphasises the value of true friendship and the bond of siblings. In the context of sisterly love, it reminds us of the importance of being there for one another during both good times and bad. By treating our sisters like close friends, we can develop strong bonds that transcend adversity and disallow room for jealousy and competitiveness.

Nurture those special relationships with the woman God has brought into your life and be open to new ones – even if they do not come in the form that you expect. Remember, it is iron that sharpens iron. Ensure you are the right metal and remember the process is mutually beneficial – both pieces of iron need to rub together to be sharpened and that rubbing may cause friction sometimes – but ‘faithful are the wounds of a friend’ (Proverbs 27:6).

Ultimately, these relationships will smooth off any dullness and rough edges we may have, and we will all shine all the more brightly for Christ.

Esther Kuku
love God, love life, love people.

Twitter: @mew36

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