We’ve all heard it before. Some of us have lived it. While the prospect of wanting to align oneself with only the men in one’s life to establish more peaceful relationships seems noble, this is actually some pretty dangerous thinking, especially for Christian women.
The two major issues in this school of thought are that it’s a pitfall of pride and it’s divisive. Women are not to be trusted? I beg to differ. This first part is tricky. Love is going to get tough here, just a fair warning. When you put down the rest of womankind –deeming them judgmental, catty, and ultimately, unworthy of respect– you elevate yourself above them. However, you turn the tables on yourself because you then become judgmental and catty – the very things you hate. It’s the vicious cycle of this particular breed of pride.
What can be done to end it? Philippians 2:3 offers some instruction on how we should view others. Paul urges his readers, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Some versions say rivalry rather than selfish ambition, which I think better applies to this situation.
Don’t make rivals out of other women. Your relationship with them should not be marked with trophies won of who has more male friends. [At this point the writer lost the will to administer tough love.] It may not be easy, especially if you’ve ever had to sit with the dreadful thought that another girl was talking about you behind your back. But, as time goes on, you’ll find that rivalry isn’t very easy either.
You’ll also find that girls change. Sometimes, they were never really all that bad to begin with. Let the pride wall crumble down, and give other women their due respect, all to Christ’s glory. You may think that strategically making only male friends is a foolproof plan to avoid drama, but in reality, it’s only making things worse. It drives a wedge between you and them, thus fueling the aforementioned drama. It’s another vicious cycle. It’s uncomfortable enough in a school setting (albeit entertaining, if we take the Mean Girls approach), but it’s downright insufferable in a church setting. The end of Sunday service is a race to the nearest exit. Youth group gatherings get awkward. The mere idea of a girls’ Bible study is almost more than you can bear! Does this sound ideal? Of course not! Of all places, your church should be a place where you can celebrate like-mindedness in Christ. So stop drawing lines between the pews.
It’s not unrealistic to believe that there are kind women out there who are adept at maintaining healthy friendships. In Ephesians 4:3, we’re given a bit of homework: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Emphasis added. Don’t be deliberately divisive. Gal pals are meant to be embraced, not kept beyond arm’s length. Remember, this present darkness known simply as drama is only as powerful as you allow it to be. So don’t let it be.
Equipped with the raw power of friendship, I charge you now with this: get out there and love your sisters in Christ – because that’s what they’re supposed to be, your sisters. Be good to each other, my dears. I expect some Leslie Knope & Ann Perkins level affection by the time we’re done here.