What is sisterhood? Sisterhood is an intense close friendship amongst women who share the various facets of their lives together. “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends, even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious” – St. Thomas Aquinas
We look at media sand other peoples definitions of sisterhood. Women’s relationships are always centered on drama, bickering, back biting, hate and envy e.g. movies with men bonding over football etc while women bicker and fight. We were given the example of the movie “A walk to remember”.
A biblical image of sisterhood should be rooted and can be found at the foot of the cross when Jesus took his final breath. Or with Mary and Elizabeth’s relationship. Mary conceived Jesus when she was 14 years old and while she submitted to do the will of God, “I am the handmaid if the Lord, may it be down to me according to your word”, she still sought out her friendship with Elizabeth who was also pregnant for moral support and she stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months!
True sisterhood should be founded on love, respect, truth and Christ. True sisters are on the same page and path in life. They may not necessarily be in the same exact place but the sisterhood should help each other grow closer to God.
True sisterhood can be lived out in our lives if we be the friends we want to have. This simply means that if you want to have a good friend, you need to be a good friend…simple! Keeping Mary in your view can help with forging and maintaining relationships. The ladies were asked what qualities they were looking for in a friend and almost everyone said “loyalty, truth, ride or die.
The two biggest challenges however of true sisterhood are competition and comparison. Social media has played a part in propagating these competitive and insecure attitudes however the discussions bordered around getting to the root cause of the perceived “inherent” competition women have towards each other. Insecurities were listed as one of the factors that breed bad blood amongst women. Society has created an idea of perfection that is possible for women to achieve, and when coupled with the flamboyant nature( peer pressure) of social media coupled with insecurity, the outcome is not an optimistic one. Hurt people, hurt people…its that simple
There is hope however, as the greatest weapon to combat comparison and competition is COMPASSION! We are all wounded and we internalise our wounds which breed insecurities differently so if we all acknowledge that we are all flawed and treat each other with a little bit of empathy and compassion, we will create better friendships and be better sisters.
Someone brought up a scenario where Friend A and Friend B had been friends for a really long time, and friend B had questionable morals and behaviour which led to friend A distancing herself away in public to save her reputation. The discussion then became, is this the christian-like thing to do? All attempts had been made to discuss, caution and coax friend B into understanding the error of her ways and its implications on her reputation and that of her friends but to no avail. Friend A then decided that the sisterhood meant too much to her and was too valuable to discard, however decided to pray for her friend while limiting their activities outside the house for fear of being labelled as a morally defunct individual by virtue of friend B’s behaviour.
In a situation like this, it is important not to forget the presence of Jesus and to ask him to come in and fix the situation. Jesus came for the poor, the criminals and prostitutes and even his disciples were sinners. This goes to show us that God loves us the way we are and meets us where we are…we should employ this same strategy and show empathy for our broken friends and be there for them in good times and in the bad.
“The friendship that can cease has never been real” – St. Jerome.
We are all broken and Christ loves us in our brokenness and accepts us the way we are.