(Originally posted on our former blog site on 1/18/2013)
When is the last time that you went shopping for a pair of pants? Does anyone else get discouraged like I do that after fifty trips to the dressing room you are still left empty handed? It isn't that I can't find anything to fit my "mom" hips, a pair long enough for my tall frame, or even that I can't find a few pairs to fit my chicken legs. But there are few jeans that can do all three. And even fewer that can attractively do all three.
I was reminded of this fact when I recently perused the racks after receiving a few gift cards for Christmas. I am sure it was confusing for the other women in the dressing room to hear laughter coming from one of the stalls, but when I try on a pair of jeans "my size" and it looks like I am getting ready for the great flood- it is hard not to laugh. And for those who know me, you know that my laugh can be heard from miles away so there is no keeping it to myself. Thanks Mom.
All of this got me thinking of a movie that came out quite a few years back. One I admittedly have never seen but it's storyline was interesting none-the-less. It was called "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants".
I am sure that you have heard of it. In this movie there are these magical pair of jeans. How do I know that they are magical? Because they fit four friends who are different shapes and sizes, perfectly. My sister and I don't even fit each other's pants perfectly! Magic I tell you. (And by magic I mean that the movie crew bought a few pairs of the same jeans in different sizes so that it would appear that they were all passing around one pair of pants, sorry Hollywood. You're not fooling anyone)
This well-loved movie got me thinking about friendship and girls in general. Because for the most part girls love to share. Unfortunately though, no one is passing around a pair of pants that would resemble anything I could wear.
If we were to make a movie based on real life we could more accurately call it "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Past".
Have you ever been trapped inside this torturous game? Why is it that girls are so hard on each other? A school campus is like a war-zone with every girl for herself.
We judge a girl by what we've heard about her before even getting to know her. And, even worse, we are at competition with one another- waiting for someone else to fail so that way we look better. I wish that I could say that it gets better after high school but the truth is that I see it among women everyday. Something happens over the weekend and by the time Monday rolls around everyone knows about it.
This type of behavior is not what God intended when he created women. We were not meant to be competition with one another, but to be friends and comrades. A sisterhood. We are all facing the same image-is-everything, self-centered, media driven world and it is time we linked arms, putting aside our pasts, and stood up for each other. It all boils down to the fact that we are all lacking in the "love" department, which is the only commandment we were given in the New Testament. To love God and to love people.
The kind of love found in 1 Corinthians 13 that "keeps no record of wrong" and "believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things." Although we may only apply this type of thinking to a dating or marriage relationship, the truth is that these words were penned to instruct us how to treat everyone that happens to cross our paths. The girl who has given herself away too many times to count needs your love, the girl who bullies others to feel superior needs your love, the girl who shares gossip like she gets paid to needs your love, the girl who is mysteriously quiet and reserved needs your love and the girl who pretends to have it all together needs your love.
They need the love that believes in them, hopes for them, and endures with them.
They need the kind of love that doesn't hold their past over their heads or join in when others turn their backs on them. They need a sisterhood. We all do.
This love should be the thing that we all pass around. And believe me, it looks good on every-body! We should declare to be the type of women who build others up, instead of tearing them down.
So here's my declaration, to the best of my ability: I will speak well of you, believe the best for you, and encourage or challenge you to become the women that God made you to be. I will not allow myself to feel let down or offended by your choices, hurt or rejected by your words. I will forgive you no matter the circumstance, knowing that I daily am in need of forgiveness. And when given the opportunity I will not hold your past over your head as I wouldn't want mine to be held there ither. I will believe in you. I will pray for you. And even (or in some cases- especially) if the feeling is not mutual, I will love you. Because this is what Christ requires of me.
This is what should be making it's rounds - this is what we need more of in the world. Are you up for the challenge?
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.