This world is extremely tough for women, in so many different ways. On a daily basis, women are constantly inundated with images of what we should look like, expectations of how we should act, and are expected to stand strong through difficult circumstances. It is, however, much too unrealistic to expect women to adhere to the world’s standards and still stand strong in their faith.
Women in today’s world need a place to belong, a safe-haven where they don’t feel judged by the world’s standards, and a setting where they can go to be re-fueled. Women have a great desire to be surrounded by people who love them by Jesus Christ’s standards. Jesus is the optimal example of unconditional love, peace, gentle reproof, steady grace, mercy, and faithfulness in relationships. It is for these reasons that a small group of my own close friends decided to start our women’s fellowship.
Our fellowship is designed as a small group of close friends that come together in the midst of our busy lives to go deep, support one another, and journey through this season in our lives together. We purpose to do these things in an effort to jointly pursue God and Jesus Christ. Our cozy sisterhood is designed to strengthen and encourage one another, which in turn enables us to go out and be God’s hands and feet. Each one of us is unique in our personalities, experiences, circumstances, and relationships. One of the beautiful things about our fellowship is that each of us can bring our own individual experiences and meet one another where we are.
A quick poll of some of the dearest women in my life revealed a great truth to me: most women seek fellowship for many of the same reasons!
Getting Real (Finding Authenticity)
Every woman desires a place where she can be real and genuine, where she can trust in and depend upon those around her. A women’s fellowship modeled after the life of Jesus Christ can provide just the right place for her to feel safe enough to be her own, authentic self. Jesus showed these qualities in his daily life with everyone he met. There wasn’t anywhere he could go and not have followers, and he didn’t get many chances to rest. Yet, Jesus taught his followers everything he could, while still being his genuine self along the way. He may have gotten angry from time to time (like when he overturned the money changers’ tables in the Temple, Matt. 21:12 and 13), but he continuously showed great mercy and love (he healed a man born blind, John 9, and many others).
A Place of Refuge
Every woman needs a place where she can feel safe in who she is as a woman, and to feel safe as a woman in this world. This world holds many dangers, and if you are like me you always keep an eye over your shoulder wherever you go. How refreshing it is to be in a setting where women can gather and know for certain that they are safe and loved, and for a short time don’t have to be wary about the world around.
(9) If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the LORD, who is my refuge—
(10) then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
(11) For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
(12) they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
Life throws some pretty crazy things at each and every one of us. Many times you get hit with things successively, and it feels like you’ll never be able to get out from under what you’ve been hit with. Sometimes a fellowship of women can help you find the strength and determination to persevere (2 Thess. 3:5) and overcome any challenge! I have often found that a simple verse brought forth from a fellow sister-in-Christ was just what I needed to hear in order to regain the strength to endure hardship.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Search for Inspiration
It’s very easy in our daily lives to lose inspiration. After all, it’s hard to find the time to delve into God’s Word amidst our busy days because of the constant demands on our time. It’s no wonder that women seem to lose inspiration! Women’s fellowship can provide just the inspiration you need, and the reminder that God’s Word really does speak for any and all situations.
…with God all things are possible.
Friendships are a very important part of every woman’s life. We all need other women who can spur us on in the great hope we have in Jesus Christ. Building strong, faithful, lasting friendships with other women is important in our walk with God and Jesus Christ. Friendships with Christian women can support and encourage us in that walk and help keep us on track. Likewise, spurring on our sisters-in-Christ also strengthens their friendships, which often become life-long via the common faith shared between them.
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Longing to Hear God’s Voice
All woman encounter times in life when their faith wanes. In these times we often feel abandoned by God because we’ve blocked our hearts from being able to hear His voice. Good relationships with other rooted Christian women who speak God’s words to us and build us up again are often just what we need to start hearing God’s voice again.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 and 10
(9) Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
(10) If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Maturing in Christ
Most of us know we cannot grow in our relationship with Christ on our own. We all need a little help in learning to study and decipher the Word, and in relating to the Word in our own lives. A great women’s fellowship can provide just the setting to learn how to delve deeper into the Word and into our relationship with God and Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 4:15 and 16
(15) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
(16) From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
There are seasons in life when specialized or group-specific fellowships can be very beneficial to an individual. Some of those groups might include Men’s, Teens, Twenties, Business, Children’s, Retired Folks or a Women’s fellowship, like the one I have described. Our women’s fellowship has been a great gift in my life, and I wouldn’t want to go back to life without it. I encourage individuals everywhere, if you are not involved in a fellowship, please consider getting involved in one, or starting one of your own. I promise it will bless your life immensely, probably in ways that you never imagined!