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For what reason? Jealousy? She was a pretty girl, but they were also attractive. Pretending ignorance, I pulled them into our conversation. I could see that their involvement went against their natural instincts.

But by the time lunch was over, they were surprised to find that they all had things in common and actually liked one another. They had just never taken the time to find this out.

My gracious young friend, who these other women had decided, based on her looks, was a snob, had some tidbits to share with them that were quite helpful. In the end they appreciated the exchange.

How much is missed when we refuse to be open to those around us based on presumptuous assessments of one another! We should be busy helping one another prepare to receive blessings, helping one another look the best we can and exchanging sound advice and encouragement.

It is crucially important for women to affirm one another. We hold the key to one another's wholeness (see Titus 2:3-5). As we purpose to build up another sister to help her step into the fullness of all that awaits her, we will reap our own reward.

Over the years I have rejoiced in rich friendships with women. We have fussed over, encouraged, rebuked, and celebrated one another and come out the better for it.

As a single woman, my good days outweigh my bad days because of the support and encouragement of my sisters. They are determined to see God's best coming to fruition in my life.

This is my prayer for all women, that they will find the beauty in one another and reconcile their differences. Then and only then will we be able to erase popular misconceptions about women and win others by our blameless example.

Women who know their God can lovingly affirm and support one another without competition or fear of loss. Hopefully others will follow our lead.

This is where healing in the body of Christ begins! It begins with us.


Michelle McKinney Hammond, founder of Heartwing Ministries, speaks at churches and conferences across the nation. She's authored more than 30 books.

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