Sisterhood as a concept is starting to gain some traction in Christian circles and non-Christian circles alike. Like there is this longing in all of us women to connect with one another and build something beyond ourselves.
The problem? Most of us struggle to know what sisterhood truly looks like because our “sister” relationship experiences have left us feeling less than safe and secure.
Have you ever seen the movie Frozen? I am assuming if you don’t live under a rock the answer will be yes.
Frozen is really a story of sisterhood.
I hope to use this story to help us discover something about #howtosister in a way that builds the kingdom.
I am an only child. Maybe you are too. Or maybe you are estranged from your sister(s). If that is you, it can be easy for us to “check out” when we hear the word sisterhood. It can feel like something foreign, or maybe it brings up negative emotions, or bad memories or perhaps it just hurts because we know something is missing.
However, this isn’t about our blood relationships but instead it is about the sister relationships we inherit when we are adopted into the family of God.
Let’s be honest. Sisterhood can be messy. It isn’t a neat and clean or easy concept. But it is one of the MOST rewarding communities when we get it going in the right direction.
In the beginning of Frozen we see these two young sisters who have a beautiful, but young relationship! They do everything together and there is deep joy in spending time with one another. They are discovering things about one another and learning how to interact. Just like we can be when we find a new friend.
But then something happens, and the relationship becomes shattered. We get offended or frustrated or overwhelmed with unmet expectations. Hurt becomes a catalyst that causes division between these sisters.
I think most of us can relate to this scenario. We have all been hurt or hurt our friends or have hurt our friends. We are far from perfect. So how do we work on becoming better sisters? And how do we keep from getting stuck in this hurt and disconnected place? I hope to give you some practical tips on #howtosister.
1. Keep your eyes and your heart open.
Sometimes our past experiences can cause us to close ourselves up, much like Elsa in Frozen. We have been hurt, or we feel insecure, so we close up and we don’t allow ourselves to see those God has placed in our path to do life with. “Conceal…..don’t feel”. WE HIDE. We are not willing to be vulnerable with others. It feels just way to out of control!
Romans 12:9 Love others well, and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it. 10 Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first.
2. Be Brave and take risks.
Reaching out to a new sister can be very intimidating. One of the biggest lies we can buy into is that we are better off alone. Alone we can’t hurt anyone and we can’t be hurt. If we refuse to risk, we will always miss out on something great! Ana kept pushing even though Elsa rejected her over and over. Ana knew in her heart that her sister was hurting and scared, and that the rejection wasn’t about her. She didn’t get offended and take it personally. She kept reaching out.
3. Be consistent and loyal. Be in it for the long haul.
Relationships are always messy. Let me say that again; RELATIONSHIPS ARE ALWAYS MESSY!!
It is because WE are messy. We all have bad days or bad seasons. We have to guard against allowing ourselves to be a fair-weather sister.
Elsa kept running away. She was hurting and afraid.
Ana kept going after her.
Consistently practice forgiveness!
Peter: Lord, when someone has sinned against me, how many times ought I forgive him? Once? Twice? As many as seven times?
Jesus: You must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.
Ruth 1:16-17 But Ruth replied: Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May Yahweh punish me, and do so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.
4. Know that together you are stronger to fight any foe.
In the end of Frozen, it is the bond between the sisters that helps defeat the enemy.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help. If two lie down together, they will be warm, but a person alone will not be warm.
The most intriguing thing is that their ability to work together and defeat the enemy is about more than just their own relationship. As they connect and trust one another, the strength of their relationship brings freedom to the whole kingdom.
I want to ask you two questions:
1. Who are your sisters? Who is God pointing out to you to build a relationship with? Perhaps God is building your family even right now. Who is sitting close to you, who do you have an opportunity to reach out to.
2. What can you do to intentionally build your sisterhood community? Because it isn’t just about who you have as a sister, it is about building strength into sisterhood as a family.