Sisterhood began here in Houston, it's been a real study in human behavior; how eager young women are to have good friends, to connect with others who will encourage and affirm who they are, and to be guided and given constructive criticism about how they can improve their lives. Of course there was a rigorous screening process to make sure only the girls who were ready for the challenges of real change were allowed to be initiated into the group. But the outpouring of how many more are excited about joining this wonderful world-wide support group, really has me amazed!
Among women, probably from time immemorial, the bonds of friendship have played a crucial part of keeping us strong, focused and emotionally healthy. Women who lack such a network of care, often struggle to keep depression and negative attitudes at bay. And when the friends they thought they could rely on are shallow and self-seeking, their sense of worth can easily be shaken, especially those who don't have a firm relationship with God.
I've seen a lot of sweet poems and lovely words about friends and caring and sisterliness on our blogs and Facebook pages, and it's so good for women to have that freedom to express how we feel. But long-term friendships can go through ups and downs, misunderstandings and moments of disappointments that really test whether the sweet words are true or just words. So before the rough patches in the road come along, take these into consideration:
Your friend may be going through some struggles that she may not feel free to share with anyone, but she still needs your support.
Your friend does not have all the same strengths or weaknesses that you do, and can't be expected to react exactly like you.
You can remember how bad it feels to be judged unfairly. Don't be so quick to become judge, jury and hangman just because she doesn't do everything the way you would.
If you considered her worthy of your friendship before, don't you think she deserves your help in steering her back on course?
When faced with a small amount of information about someone else, we all have the vile tendency to jump to conclusions - and negative conclusions - and we enjoy entertaining them, justifying them, and feeling superior.
Don't imagine for a moment that no one has to endure your flaws as well!
As Jesus said, "If you only love those who love you, what reward will you get?" (Matt. 5:46) Making friends with someone who is a mirror image of you is easy, but learning to love those who are not just like you is an exercise in becoming a Woman of God.