Have you ever noticed the number of things women do in groups? Women enjoy having company while they are doing things. We look for any possible excuse to spend time together! Men and women alike were created in the image of God and part of that image is a deep desire to know and be known by others.
In Genesis 2 God says that “It is not good for man to be alone.” Now, in this particular passage, God is talking to Adam, but the same principle rings true for all of us – we were not created to do life alone! We were all created (men and women alike) in the image of a relational God and as a result, we crave and desire a depth of community and sense of knowing that goes beyond just knowing someone’s name. We desire to know and be known by those around us. We were created to live life together. To come alongside one another, bearing each other’s burdens (Galatians 6) and building one another up (1 Thessalonians 5).
John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” I want to break this passage down a little bit and look at three truths in this passage that have changed my view of community.
The first truth Jesus teaches is that we are to love one another. Now, to most of us this is probably pretty straight forward. Love others. Great! But I think sometimes in assuming that it’s straight forward, we actually start missing the opportunities God puts in front of us to love one another. We get to the point where we actually make it too simple. How often do you intentionally look for opportunities to love others? For me this can be incredibly hard, especially when life gets busy! (Which, let’s be real, is all the time!) A lot of times the opportunities to love others look a lot like distractions in my daily routine. I get stopped in the hallway as I’m headed from one meeting to another, I’m tired after a long day at work and have to get home to eat dinner before small group and someone stops me for a conversation, the list could go on! It’s in these moments that I have to remind myself that people are more valuable than the task I’m doing! Loving that person in that moment is more important than an extra half hour at home before small group comes over. I have to remind myself that maybe the distraction is the most important thing for me to focus on in that moment! Maybe that person needs me to love on them more than I need the half hour at home. I also have to remind myself to trust that God is going to work through me to love them in a way that they need in that moment.
The second truth I want to look at in this passage is that we are to love others as He has loved us. Did you catch that? In order to love others well, we first have to know the love that He has for us. We can’t love people out of our own love, we have to love them out of an understanding of God’s love for us! Our love for others should come out of knowing the deep, deep love that God Himself has for us. If we are loving people on our own, our love will run out. We will get tired of loving people. We will get distracted and our primary focus will become the task to do instead of the person to love. But if we are loving out of a deep, personal relationship with our heavenly Father, a deep knowledge of who He is, then our love for others will never run dry! Do you know the love He has for you? Do you love out of that love He has for you? Or are you trying to love others on your own?
The third truth Jesus teaches is that our love points to a bigger picture. Jesus tells His disciples that the way they love one another shows the world that they are His disciples. Wow! I don’t know about you but when this truly sank in for me, it was a game changer! Think about it for a minute. The love we have for each other as believers shows non-believers that we are HIS disciples. When someone walks through our doors on a Sunday morning, what kind of community do they see? What kind of community are they pulled into? Do we, Friendship Church Women, strive to know people? Do we seek to love them in a way that shows them that we are His disciples? Our community and the way we love each other has a kingdom focus that I think we often lose sight of. God has called us to love one another and live in community with one another – to KNOW one another. Do we strive to know one another like this?
As we start into this new year of Women’s Ministry here at Friendship Church, it is my hope and prayer that we create a community where we truly KNOW and LOVE one another! My prayer is that we have a community among our women that shows anyone who walks through our doors that we are HIS disciples.
Will you join me in creating this kind of community? Throughout the year we will have many opportunities to come together and build our community. I would challenge you to use these events to get to know other women here at Friendship Church. Grab a friend and join us as we strive to know one another and love one another out of our love for Christ!
Our first Girlfriend Gathering event will be held on Friday, October 2 from 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Prior Lake Campus. Join us for a night of worship and fellowship as we kick off an awesome year!