Milk and Honey Magazine gives advice on how to encourage your girlfriends, remove gossip from your life, and invite new friends to join on adventures! Let's be loving daughters of Jesus Christ, babe.

#Squadgoals

Kelsey Vaughn
03/15/17

Ahhh…it seems like just yesterday that I was rackin’ up my mom’s credit card debt at Target, buyin’ binders, ramen noodles, and a turquoise shower caddy for my quickly approaching college adventure. I remember hoping that, in addition to earning my Bachelor’s degree, I would obtain my MRS. Degree. Although I have yet to meet my future husband, God has provided me with my future bridesmaids. Friends who, first and foremost, set my eyes on Christ when life’s distractions threaten to tear my gaze from Him. As an added bonus, they also laugh at my ‘jokes’ and bring me cosmic brownies when I’m feelin’ low.

This article touches on the beauty of friendship. First, it’s important to acknowledge the crippling epidemic that plagues the world of women.

Frienemies

Gossip

The reality is that many women have a difficult time forming meaningful friendships with other women. The enemy is aware of and threatened by the overwhelming power of friendships and, therefore, wreaks havoc among women with his crafty deception. Comparison and jealousy, which produce gossip, are prominent in the realm of femininity. Although our words are to be used “for building others up according to their needs, so that it may benefit those who listen,” (Ephesians 4:29) we often use them to either bluntly or passive aggressively undermine each other. A common phrase taught to many children to combat the negative emotions that accompany bullying is “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I think we can all agree that, despite the phrase’s popularity, it couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, “telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow,” according to Proverbs 25:18. OUCH!

Because of the back-stabbing- betrayal that many women have experienced in past “friendships”, a lack of trust and an abundance of fear hinder many from pursuing female friendships. We too often believe that by brutally knocking others off an imaginary, woMAN-made pedestal, we take their place of elevation. On the contrary, “those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves” (Proverbs 11:17). Ya see, ladies? Gossip is a lose-lose situation! While we attempt to sabotage another’s reputation and/or success, we are stifling the Spirit in the process. Rather than spreading “He said she said…”rumors, we should be reminding each other that “HE said that she…is fully known, loved, and accepted. HE said that she…is both valued and valuable. HE said that she…is beautifully and wonderfully made.”

That’s the kind of “He said she…” comments we should be spreadin’ around! Go ahead people…talk that talk. Encourage each other, bring attention to another’s beauty, and share in the success of a sister.

Inclusion vs. Initiative

Another issue that I have seen and experienced when it comes to friendship development is a failure to find a proper balance of inclusion and initiative. As mentioned above, don’t talk smack about other women behind closed doors. Rather, open your doors and invite them into the beauty and protection of friendship! Whether you’re sitting in church on a Sunday morning, attending a weekly meeting, or going to see Beauty & the Beast at the movies with a group of girls, be aware of your surroundings! If you notice a maxi-skirt- clad young lady sittin’ in a pew by herself, invite her to sit with you! Better yet, invite her to brunch after the service! Who doesn’t love processing a convicting sermon over a parfait and a blueberry scone?! In any case, include her!

If you’re the “new girl” in a specific setting and are feelin’ a little left out, don’t let your insecurities run rampant or your heart grow bitter. Instead, take initiative and insert yourself! Walk up to a group of people and introduce yourself. If the prospect of initiating a conversation with a group of women activates your fight-or- flight response, causing your palms to sweat profusely and you to puke in your mouth, DON’T PANIC! Start small. Chat with one or two individuals about the abnormally warm winter weather we’ve been experiencing, how beautiful Emma Stone looked at the Oscars, or the cute puppy video you watched 1,234 times earlier that day. Whatever works!

There’s a time for inclusion and a time to take initiative.

Milk and Honey Magazine gives advice on how to encourage your girlfriends, remove gossip from your life, and invite new friends to join on adventures! Let's be loving daughters of Jesus Christ, babe.

Friendship Development

You can make friends in any and every stage of life, if only you’re willing to courageously take initiative. Get involved in the weekly bible study held in the basement of your dormitory. Check out a 20-somethings group available at your local church. Participate in a mission trip offered by your church. Ask a coworker out for coffee. Although it’s good to know your friend’s celebrity crush and their spirit animal (mine is Spongebob, if you were wondering…), aim for transparency and honesty within your friendships. Vulnerability produces vulnerability. In other words, when you are vulnerable with your friends, they will also, more often than not, be vulnerable with you. Are you feeling enslaved by sin and/or distant from God? Confess an area of weakness to a sister and open up about your relationship with God. Are you afraid to take steps forward into an unknown future?

Talk to your friends about the fears that keep you from pursuing your dreams. In a world where physical beauty is worshipped and a women’s value is often determined by a number on a scale, admit that you’re having a difficult time maintaining a healthy self-perception to your girls.

Express your frustration and impatience when it comes to your significant other, or lack thereof! Whether you’re starting a new job or are facing unemployment, recently married, pregnant with your first child, or you’re experiencing destructive drama at home, talk about it! Friends lend strength to the weak, facilitate growth in the spiritually stagnant, bring hope and inspiration to the fearful, remind the insecure of their beauty, and love the lonely. No wonder the enemy wants to destroy friendships!

Ladies, “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). Jesus demonstrated this when he carried our greatest burden, the cross. It’s an honor and a privilege to follow his example by sacrificing our time, energy, and even (sometimes) our money for others! Help a friend move from one cheap apartment building to another, let your sister hog the blankets at a slumber partaaaayyy, bake that funfetti cake and hang those streamers for your roommate’s birthday, and proofread your classmate’s homework assignment, no matter how boring the topic.

Milk and Honey Magazine gives advice on how to encourage your girlfriends, remove gossip from your life, and invite new friends to join on adventures! Let's be loving daughters of Jesus Christ, babe.

F is for Friends Who Do Stuff Together

(That’s a Spongebob reference, for those of you that didn’t know)

Although it’s both fun and necessary to enjoy an evening in, binge watching Stranger Things, be intentional with the time you have with your girlfriends. Before you know it, a few states or a whole world may keep you from seeing them on a regular basis. Make memories!

  • Initiate and participate in an ugly-face contest via Snapchat
  • Treat a sister to a meal at their favorite restaurant to celebrate life’s little victories
  • Explore your local, public museum
  • Eat some nachos at a professional baseball game
  • Go mural-hunting in Minneapolis
  • Make wedding dresses out of toilet paper at a bridal shower organized for a sister
  • Paint a ceramic elephant at a pottery shop

I challenge you to take a roadtrip with your friends across the country, jammin’ out to every song Justin Bieber has ever recorded, which, I believe, is about 114 songs…not that I know from experience. If you’re not a Belieber then 1.) you need to give some serious thought as to why the heck not and 2.) you can listen to Taylor Swift instead. Although T-Swift may be more musicall inclined than I am…her squad has got nothin’ on mine. We don’t got “Bad Blood”, but are redeemed by His blood! Sisters in Christ…now that’s #SquadGoalz.

Category: