but do we really need girlfriends?
Welcome to Chapter One of Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have by Natalie Chambers Snapp!
If you haven't already, you can order her book HERE.
We will be sharing chapters from Natalie's book here with our readers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting today, June 2 and continuing through July 7, 2015. We'll have a book giveaway for one lucky reader to finish out our Book Club on July 7! At the end of each chapter, we'll offer thought-provoking questions and encourage you to participate by commenting here on our website and/or on our Facebook page.
Our prayer is that this book club and Natalie's book will encourage you to grow deeper in your friendships and to place Christ at the center of them. If you're experiencing conflict, we hope Natalie's wisdom will aid you in handling it in a Godly, Biblical way.
Without further adieu....
Natalie opens Chapter One by sharing with us that it was after she became a Christian at 27 years old that she realized it's God who created us as women to be relational beings. She shared that she over-shared with her husband in their early years of marriage. She would be frustrated when he would lose interest part-way into her story. As she sat with a girlfriend, however, her friend asked guideing questions and encouraged Natalie to share more. She learned that while her husband can and will listen, he is not geared in the same way as herself and as other women. In her words, she "gave him the whole book when what he really wanted was the summary on the back cover."
"HOwever, the truth of the matter is, we need other women in our tribe."
As Natalie points out women from the Bible, we begin to understand that God did indeed create us different. Beginning with Eve, and moving on to Ruth and Naomi, and Mary and Elizabeth, we see the power in relationship. We see the bonds that are created when two women become close. We also see what can happen when relationships are unhealthy as in the case of sisters Leah and Rachel. Jacob wanted to marry Rachel, but was tricked into marrying Leah, and years of jealousy and strife were created.
Sarai (later called Sarah) and Hagar are also another excellent example of strife in women's friendships. When Sarai was barren, she became impatient to wait on the Lord and offered her maidservant Hagar to her husband Abram (later renamed Abraham) to begin a family. After Hagar conceived, Sarai was so eaten up with resentment and jealousy that she sent Hagar away. while our situatios may not be as dramatic as Sarai and Hagar's I'm confident many, if not most, of us can relate to being wounded by a female friend. It's hurtful and it cuts deep. Sometimes, it's even enough to cause us to pull away and build up walls.
While guarding our hearts is wise and prudent, building walls that keep everyone out is not. Natalie explains that "as followers of Jesus it's our responsibility to monitor what we allow to enter our hearts." Natalie was referring to media and music in this instance, but I believe it extends further--to confidences with other women as well.
We are called to be salt in the world. That may be confusing to some, but I like the way Natalie breaks it down: "Salt is not only precious and valuable. It's useful. And we are called to be 'salt and the light'--which means we are precious, valuable, and useful" (pg 10).
We are called to be set apart, different. We are called to bring out the better flavor in others. We are called to camaraderie not competition.
I love the way Natalie ties up this chapter:
"what could happen if we started a revolution of love, support, and sisterhood among women? how much freedom would we feel if we gave each other the benefit of the doubt and chose relationship instead of conflict?"
As we finish Chapter One, consider these questions:
join us here again thursday, june 4th, 2015 for chapter two!