Thursday, June 23, 2016

Empowerment in Sisterhood

You see it all the time on reality shows like real housewives,the bachelor and many many others; portrayals of cattiness and disregard of character between females. It's an unfortunate truth used to entertain an audience, perhaps make us shake our heads and scoff at how ridiculous these women treat one another. This type of disrespect can only be the result of living without Christ at the forefront of our lives though, right?...WRONG. As women, we are guilty of consistently comparing ourselves to those in movies, television, and the very ones closest to us even as Christians. Faith doesn't exclude us from falling short of always doing the "right things", but we certainly should uphold a higher standard of relationships.We have endless opportunities to uplift and encourage one another, but instead fall short with criticism, and accusations. Worst of all, we fail to acknowledge one another all together, resulting in feelings of seclusion even within our own church body. So why are we as women toughest on our own sex, when societies standards alone should give us profound reasons NOT to be? We have the strength and determination to endure the miracle of childbirth, but find it painfully difficult to simply compliment a fellow sister.

Recently, I was confronted by a female individual, who attempted to degrade the truth of my character over a misunderstanding, which left me highly discouraged. The foolishness of one's comments profoundly impacted me, created doubt, and made me question the image I was portraying. The days and weeks following, I have over-analyzed every aspect of my character, asking God to point out my faults, and what I could've done differently. It led me to confide in family, and encourage any criticism on the individuals behalf. The situation ultimately motivated me to address the problem, instead of sulk in emotional defeat towards the issue. During one of my discussions with my parents regarding the topic of sisterhood, my well-versed Father brought up the story of Naomi and Ruth which inspired me greatly.

Naomi had two daughter in-laws, Orpah and Ruth. After death has claimed all three of their husbands, Naomi decides to retreat back to her homeland of Bethlehem, and asks Orpah and Ruth to return to their families in their homeland, Moab. Orpah is convinced by Naomi's request, but Ruth insists on staying by Naomi's side and traveling to Bethlehem, although she had nothing to gain by doing so. With only famine and poverty to welcome Ruth, she vowed to watch over Naomi saying  "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16) Once in Bethlehem, Ruth begins to work the field owned by Boaz, a relative of Naomi. Not only was Ruth known for her loyalty, but also her modesty and humility. Ruth, who was a famous princess in her homeland, went from rich in material things, to poor and persecuted in Bethlehem, because she was neither married nor a Jew. Her obedience and hard work in the fields, gained her attention, and ultimately lead to Naomi giving her blessing to marry Boaz (who was very wealthy, and was in the direct lineage of Christ). Ruth became one of only five women in the Bible who were blessed to be in the lineage of Jesus, and one of two to have a book in the Bible named after her. In the end she was greatly rewarded for her loyalty, so just imagine the overwhelming effect that would happen in our lives if we all sacrificed for our friendships, as Ruth did for Naomi. She was in no way indebted to journey to Bethlehem but simply motivated by LOVE.

We live in a society that bleeds insecurities, specifically those towards women, but we tend to forget the bigger picture; to glorify God in ALL we do. If we can't find support and understanding in our own church families, we have failed to sacrifice like Ruth, and furthermore love like Jesus. I pray for Godly bonds that strengthen, encourage, and uplift. More women empowerment within our social circles, and far less name-calling,shaming, secluding and bullying.
We truly are in this together.

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