On Friday I was having the WORST day! It seemed like everything that could have gone wrong did, and I was in a terrible mood. Poor Ike had to deal with an impenetrable wall of grumpiness. I was SO ILL. Oooh it was bad.
Fortunately, I had plans that night. It was my first “girls night” since I’ve moved to the area. And boy was the timing PERFECT! We got dressed up, went to a cute little downtown area in a local village, ate Thai and talked the night away. By the end of the evening all my grumpiness had melted away and I felt like myself again. That sweet fellowship with my girl friends was just what the doctor ordered.
Later that night as I thanked God for the gift of friendship, I remembered a blog I wrote a couple years ago called “Too Good for Girl Time?“. Female friendship is such a blessing and a valuable resource for Christian women–one that is too often underestimated. With that in mind, I decided to repost an excerpt from that blog that I refer to in ministry all the time. It examines the top two reasons that women should have consistent, intentional fellowship with other women. As you will see from the excerpt below, women sincerely need other women in their lives. Even on a biological level, it’s clear that God designed us this way!
1. Girl Time is Good For Your Health–Studies have shown that spending time with other women has positive biological effects on your body. God desires that we take care of ourselves, and the women around us, and girl time is a crucial part of that equation. One article explains:
When women are stressed, the hormone oxytocin [known as the “love” hormone] is released as part of the stress response; it buffers the typically male “fight or flight” stress response. Oxytocin production encourages women to gather and gab with other women–and when a woman does bond with her pals, studies indicate she’ll release more oxytocin, which further alleviates stress and creates tranquility.
That’s the good news about female bonding: When we talk to each other, we feel better-at least temporarily. But there’s a bigger picture effect at work. What often occurs in conversation between women, especially under stress, is commiserating. Haven’t you noticed that when you have men, motherhood, or career problems, you tend to gravitate toward friends who have the same kinds of challenges?…Friends who praise and appreciate life together get closer to each other and soar higher in their personal and professional lives. (For whole article click here)
2. Girl Time is a Scriptural Mandate–Ok, so maybe there’s no verse in 2 Chronicles that specifically commands women to spend time together (although Titus 2 comes pretty close!). But what is mandated by Scripture is fellowship. I’m not sure why we’ve come to think of having fun with other Christians as a lesser spiritual practice, but given that Jesus’ final words to his disciples were delivered in the context of a group meal, we can surmise that fellowship is pretty important.
That said, going bowling, going out to dinner, hanging out at a friend’s apartment–all of these activities are valuable forms of Christian fellowship. We may not be explicitly talking about Christ, but the way in which we listen to one another, build one another up, and create an environment of trust has the fingerprints of Christ all over it. The Body of Christ is a refuge of safety and strength, but we’re also allowed to have fun in the process!
If you’ve ever wondered why women gravitate to women’s ministry events en masse and love spending the day just being together, I hope the above thoughts shed some light on the topic. As a general rule, women are relational beings and we will naturally be inclined to fellowship with other women when we have the chance. And given that the church is designed as a body, our inclination toward community is actually a God-given strength. Isn’t God amazing that He could use something for His glory and work that we LOVE so much?!