Are Women being discipled by each other?
Since I began this blog and started to talk to women about their understanding of discipleship and the fulfillment of the call to “spur one another on” I have noticed something. There have been a few who have spoken of women who have come alongside them, encouraged them, and lived their lives of faith beside them, wanting to see them grow. But for each of those women there have been many more who have expressed a desire to have just such a relationship but don’t.
The call to a life of Encouragement
I believe that desire stems from the reality that God designed us to live that way as His people. Passages like Titus 2:3-5 are often used to encourage women to mentor and encourage each other. However there are many other passages which also call us to lives woven into and impacted by, the lives of one other.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Hebrews 3:13 – “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Hebrews 10:23-25 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The call to a life of Relationship
How do we establish those relationships where we know one another well enough to genuinely encourage each other? How do we develop those relationships? Ones where we trust one another enough to share our struggles and weaknesses? Ones which allow others to speak wisdom and truth into our situations? How can we spur one another on, when we only know enough to talk about the weather or other safe topics?
It is one thing to write about my own experiences and what God has taught me. (I will continue doing so. I believe God is glorified in it and that there may be some encouraged in specific circumstances by it.) It is another thing to enter into the lives of others and walk with them in the realities of their lives. To know them well enough to know when to speak truth and when to comfort in silence. To be known well enough to know that challenge will come when it is needed, just as quickly as advice about home making or a much needed hug.
The intentional pursuit of relationship
I am challenged by my own “research”. I want Graciously Redeemed to be a place where women can be encouraged and motivated, equipped to both live their own lives of faith AND to reach out and “spur others on”. But I also intend to examine where I can be even more intentional about developing just such relationships in real life. I hope that in future posts, I will be able to encourage you to do that too!
Which group of women do find yourself in? Those who have had wonderful discipleship experiences? Or are you one of those who long for such relationships but don’t have them? Share with us about your experiences of discipleship in the comments.
One of the ways I have been “researching” the needs and understandings of discipleship has been to conduct a survey. If you were able to take a few minutes to fill in the survey today, I would really appreciate that.
Hugs and Prayers,