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When Sisters in Christ Don’t Get Along

It’s not hidden somewhere in the details of Numbers or in the symbols of Revelation. No, right in the midst of one of the most read books and passages of the bible you will find Paul speaking to an issue very pertinent to women. And while you may not find it to be nearly as familiar as the rest of Philippians, it’s just as significant.

“I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel…whose names are in the book of life.” (Phil. 4:2-3)

Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:

Notice how Paul messages each woman separately as if to say it doesn’t matter if one of them is more at fault, they are both equally responsible to agree. If you are in a conflict situation right now, it may be time to let go of who did what, and lead the way towards agreement. One idea is to start by praying for her; it will soften your heart.

Paul did not end that first sentence with the word “agree.” Rather, this agreement is to be done “in the Lord.” Maybe you will never see eye-to-eye with some of the women you do life with, but when you both believe in the Lord, you can dwell on the truths you do agree upon.

Paul specifies the gender of Euodia and Syntych, not because their names are unusual, but because the Lord specially created females. As nurturers and encouragers, women bring unique and needed qualities to creation. He knows their contribution is best in the presence of love and harmony.

Thankfully, Paul does not leave these two women alone in all their emotions to try to work to a logical solution. He knows that by asking a male companion to step in, he can bring a calm, steady strength to an especially intense disagreement. It can be most beautiful to have a godly man help a mother-daughter duo or female friends reconcile. Try it and be amazed. (Reasonable, objective, godly counsel can achieve the same purposes, if a man is not available in some cases.)

Euodia and Syntyche were in ministry together spreading the gospel. Their story is for many women in church ministry in need of peaceful cooperation. And even if you aren’t struggling with any women in the church today, keep this Biblical example in the back of your mind for any future delicate interpersonal events.

Your name is in the book of life along with many other women, even some you may not enjoy. It’s so easy to get caught up in the seen things, but in your interactions with your sisters, it is important to remember that the unseen is all that stands. (2 Cor. 4:18).

Second Call: Girls Group Enrollment Opportunity

Passionate & Pure – affectionately known as “P & P” – is a small group program created and led by Jen Hughes, and purposefully designed to equip godly young women to integrate their faith with daily living, decision-making, and relationships. If you live convenient to the Peachtree Corners, Georgia area, please continue reading to begin discovering whether this group might be a right fit for a teen girl in your life.

There are two unique features of this group program to consider. First, the curriculum and style meets the needs of families and teens who are specifically longing for a dynamic and studious Biblical world-view reinforcement in their lives. Second, P & P meetings are arranged around these committed girls’ schedules, meeting 3-8 times per semester depending on each group’s availability.

Girls frequently describe the P & P gatherings in the following ways:

“It’s like going to a sanctuary and retreat.”

“I love this way of studying the Bible so much.”

“This group always makes me feel refocused.”

“I love how we read Scripture out loud and listen to worship songs.”

“This group helps me feel closer to Jesus.”

“I have grown so much in my faith because of this group.”

“P & P refuels me to go back into the world again.”

Current P & P groups are as follows:

  • Rising 6th grade group (new group forming now!)
  • Rising 7th grade group
  • Rising 8th grade group
  • Middle High group (rising 9th & 10th graders)
  • Senior High group (rising 11th & 12th graders)

For more details, click here, or email jen@keepingroomchristiancounseling.com. Some groups meet over the summer; others will choose to wait until the fall. Contact Jen now to learn more about the process of getting started.

“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21-22)

Girls Group Enrollment Opportunity

Passionate & Pure – affectionately known as “P & P” – is a small group program created and led by Jen Hughes, and purposefully designed to equip godly young women to integrate their faith with daily living, decision-making, and relationships. If you live convenient to the Peachtree Corners, Georgia area, please continue reading to begin discovering whether this group might be a right fit for a teen girl in your life.

There are two unique features of this group program to consider. First, the curriculum and style meets the needs of families and teens who are specifically longing for a dynamic and studious Biblical world-view reinforcement in their lives. Second, P & P meetings are arranged around these committed girls’ schedules, meeting 3-8 times per semester depending on each group’s availability.

Girls frequently describe the P & P gatherings in the following ways:

“It’s like going to a sanctuary and retreat.”

“I love this way of studying the Bible so much.”

“This group always makes me feel refocused.”

“I love how we read Scripture out loud and listen to worship songs.”

“This group helps me feel closer to Jesus.”

“I have grown so much in my faith because of this group.”

“P & P refuels me to go back into the world again.”

Current P & P groups are as follows:

  • Rising 6th grade group (new group forming now!)
  • Rising 7th grade group
  • Rising 8th grade group
  • Middle High group (rising 9th & 10th graders)
  • Senior High group (rising 11th & 12th graders)

For more details, click here, or email jen@keepingroomchristiancounseling.com. Some groups meet over the summer; others will choose to wait until the fall. Contact Jen now to learn more about the process of getting started.

“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21-22)

Circles of Care (Surrounding yourself with the right support at the right time)

Is there a chance you are trying to live your life too much on your own? It’s good to periodically determine if you are receiving the emotional support you need in order to reach a new level of faith, and be all that the Lord intended. There are various types of circles of care to consider incorporating into your life, or you may want to enhance the ones you already have.

Definitions of types of support:

Inner Circle – Comprised of closest friends and/or family, your inner circle is small, safe, close, and intimate.

Small Group – Typically formed based on a topic or stage of life, a small group is often a great place of prayer-partnering and growth. Out of this circle may come a mentor who is further along in his/her spiritual journey who can guide you, or a discipleship leader who may teach you specific material.

Community – Not as close as the inner circle or small group, yet community is still a place to feel known, valued, and encouraged.

Developmental – For a time, your community circle can be expanded to include consultants or specialists who provide specific and additional support to aid in further growth, such as:

  • Teachers & Coaches: Instructing and encouraging you for maximum potential
  • Life Coaches: Coaching for increased productivity, especially in careers
  • Educational Specialists: Offering alternatives to traditional educational methods
  • Counselors or Therapists: Providing exercises to attain healing or help learn new thoughts & behaviors
  • Psychologists: Conducting testing for aptitude, functioning, personality, IQ, etc.

Recovery – Trained lay persons come together to provide support for those dealing with specific hardships such as addiction or grief, providing a crucial circle of care for those in deep pain or destructive lifestyles. Stephen Ministers and pastoral shepherds are often found serving in recovery groups. This circle is also where you might find spiritual warfare prayer warriors, accountability partners for problems like addiction, experienced couples who come alongside divorced couples entering a second marriage, etc.

Functional – Some mental and emotional needs can cripple someone’s functioning to the point where expertise is required from the psychiatric field, adding an additional support circle of professional options:

  • Psychiatrist: Office appointments treating conditions that have not improved with other support
  • Out-Patient Care: Daily group therapy until ready for stepping back into other support circles
  • In-Patient Care: Hospitalization until stability has been achieved

Biblical Starting Point (examples of circles of care in the Bible):

Inner Circle – For Moses: his father-in-law, wife, and sons in Exodus 18. For Mary: Joseph and Elizabeth in Luke 1-2 and her sons and women friends in Acts 1:14. For Jesus: Peter, James, and John in the Gospels.

Small Group – Esther and her maids in Esther 4:16. Daniel and his group of fellow captives in Daniel 1-3. Jesus and His Disciples in the Gospels. Naomi as Ruth’s mentor in the story of Ruth, and Paul for Timothy in the New Testament. Eli as Samuel’s discipleship leader in 1 Samuel 1-3.

Community – The Israelites in Exodus. The early Believers in Acts.

Developmental –God as the acting counselor for the issues between Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar in Genesis 16. Zabud as Solomon’s personal advisor in 1 Kings 4:5. The teachers in the Temple with 12-year old Jesus in Luke 2:41-52.

Recovery – Peter and the women as Dorcas’ shepherding team in Acts 9:36-43. Mary, Rhoda, and the prayer team for Peter in Acts 12:12-16.

Functional – God’s angels sent to minister to Elijah during his collapse under physical and emotional exhaustion in 1 Kings 19:4-9.  Nebuchadnezzar’s advisors and lords waiting for him as the Lord brought him out from a time of senselessness in Daniel 4:33-37.

Keeping Room Tips: 

  1. Be thankful for the people the Lord has brought into your life to surround you with care.
  2. Evaluate your support circles to determine if you need to make any additions or changes.
  3. Obey God if He is prompting you to add a circle, even if you feel like resisting. He really does have your best interest in His mind.
  4. Be aware of where you are in other people’s circles so that you can provide adequate support to others as well.
  5. Teach others how to build, manage, and participate in circles of care.

Online Body-Building (The best way to use social media)

What decision have you made when it comes to social media? Have you forgotten what life is like without it? Or do you stay away from it as much as you can? It might not be for everyone, but if you or your teens are already active on social media, there are ways to make it even better.

Biblical Starting Point:

  1. You are equipped to encourage the Body of Christ (through social media) towards: unity in faith, knowledge of the Son of God, maturity, and the fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:12-13)
  2. One generation to another shall commend His works (on social media)…and pour forth His fame(Ps. 145:4, 7)

Keeping Room Tips:

* Conduct an evaluation of your social media footprint. Have you created a large kingdom dedicated to your fame? How can you shift the attention onto God and His majestic ways? (Ps. 145:5)

* When you share your life with others through social media, do this in such a way that others see what God is doing in your life. This motivates others and gives glory to your Father. (Mt. 5:16)

* Be mindful of the fact that there are people following you on social media who don’t think about where they will go when they die. Use this opportunity to persuade others to think about it. (2 Cor. 5:11)

* Be honest with yourself about how much time you are taking away from others when you are on social media. Consider blocking off specific times to be away from social media so that you can have non-distracted moments to focus on those who are present with you. (Phil. 2:4)

* Think of your soft spot (Christian persecution in Iran, orphans in Uganda, enslaved women in Thailand, etc.) and find ways to use your online voice to raise awareness and refresh the spirits of others you may never meet. (Philemon 1:7)

* Correct false perceptions about Jesus and Christianity by communicating online in a way that presents the truth in love and gently restores. (Gal 6:1; Eph. 4:15)

*Abandon any preoccupation over how many “likes” or “friends” or “followers” you have on social media, and celebrate the ways your spiritual gifts can make you a great online Body-builder. (Eph. 4:16)

Bridging the Gap (Living on Earth while Belonging to Heaven)

The most important modeling you could ever do for others is to demonstrate the various ways you personally bridge the gap between the secular world in which you live and the eternal world to which you belong.

But maybe you don’t feel like you’re very good at it yourself. That’s ok. Jesus has perfectly modeled it for you so that you can look to Him in order to know how to be a good example for others.

Keeping Room Tips:

Imitate Christ’s Time Management – Find solitary places to pray each morning, remaining in prayer long enough to make people wonder where you are, and long enough to be ready to do what you’ve been called to do. (Mark 1:35-38). That means others see you allowing God to schedule your day for you, even if He asks you to make sacrifices in order to live out His purpose for you.

Imitate Christ’s Balance of Tasks & Relationships – Know when to sit at His feet (Lk. 10:41-42), how to give to your relationships (Phil. 2:17), when to get to work (Mt. 9:38), and for Whom you’re working (Jn. 5:17, 36). That means others see you doing only the activities that He asks specifically of you; not the work that others are doing.

Imitate Christ’s Humility – Have the same purpose as the Father and consider others better than yourself. (Phil. 2:2,3). That means others see you thinking of God’s big picture for His people, treating them accordingly.

Imitate Christ’s Attitude – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who took the very nature of a servant, being reduced to human likeness. (Phil. 2:5,7). That means others see you serving them, especially if it means you get especially lessened or soiled in doing so.

Imitate Christ’s Connection to the Father – Ask His work to be done through you (Jn. 14:10). That means others see you sharing what God is doing in your life, acknowledging His goodness shining through despite your sinful nature.

Imitate Christ’s Preparation for His Second Coming – Much of the world is going to turn away from the faith, but remind your brothers and sisters to stand firm for Him and the Truth of His Word, through the distress, until the end. (Mt. 24:4-35). That means others see you defending Him and the Holy Scriptures, no matter what the world thinks of you.

Imitate Christ’s Kingdom Identity – You are not of the world any more than Jesus was’ yet He was fully engaged in it and so must you be. (Jn. 17) That means others see you investing, yet not compromising.