You've heard the phrase, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." I've been wondering lately how many of our problems can be blamed on a lack of unity among Christians. When asked what he thought was the biggest problem facing the church today, Pat Robertson said, "Lack of unity." His answer intrigued me because I see the same problem in churches today, but I tend to focus on the lack of unity among women in the church. And one of my goals as a writer and speaker is to build a greater sense of unity among Christian women.
Why is it so hard for women, even Christian women, to love each other and work together? I believe the answer lies in where they are looking for their sense of worth and security. If a woman finds her security in Christ, she'll have no reason to distance herself from women in the church. But if a woman finds her security in the things of the world, then she'll have every reason to compete with her sisters in Christ rather than to love them.
I have yet to walk into a church, even my own church, and feel a strong sense of love and respect among the women there. Instead what I see is women who purposely keep their distance from one another. I see unwelcoming body language and women who again and again walk right past me without even making eye contact.
Some days I want to stand up and shout, "What's wrong here! Why do we bother coming into this building every week if we're going to treat each other like strangers, even rivals? Where is the love of Christ? Why do women have such a hard time displaying that love to each other?
The reason is that our culture sends some very strong messages to women and most of us believe those lies. Our culture shouts, "You gotta be the best. You gotta keep up with the Joneses" The world tells us that image is everything and we must portray a perfect image. And because we are so in-tune with this pressure the world puts on women to be perfect, we tend to see other women as our competition instead of as our sisters in Christ. It's very sad how we've been brainwashed to value worldly opinions more than the word of God.
The love of Christ is not always evident in the way women relate to one another within the church. I've heard other women say this same thing. They're frustrated because they don't feel that they're a part of a circle of friends who encourage and support one another. Women long for that. It's biblical for women to mentor each other and uplift one another, but it's hard to encourage women when you feel so distant from them. I've often wondered what I can do to change this, but have yet to find an answer.
I believe that women are the backbone of the church. If there's a lack of unity there, the whole church suffers. We need to take a good look at how we relate to each other. We need to make more of an effort to reach out to each other and display gestures of friendliness, even if it's just a smile. Don't walk past your sister in Christ without so much as a smile. Make eye contact. Let her know you see her as a friend not a competitor. If women don't stand united, the church they love is going to fall apart.