The VIVE Women Code

 
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John 13:34-35
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

If the world needs to know anything right now, they need to know the existence of a very real God, and that He existed in the form of Jesus. They will know that through you and I and the way that we love each other. This scripture details a very important commandment, and I don’t want us to take it lightly. But then the question becomes this: How do we help each other carry the promise without corrupting each other in the process?

Let’s be honest: I’ve got issues, and you’ve got them too. We all have them. We all have frustrations. We can all be overzealous. We can all be jealous. We can all have anger issues. We can all have ambition. And we can all have agenda. These are the very things that corrupt the process of us carrying the promise of God for our lives. In fact, we can interfere in the process of somebody else carrying the promise for their life.

I believe that some of the frustrating relationships that we have with the women around us are because there’s more to this picture than first meets the eye. Relationships are infused with intent and purpose, but carry the spark of friction. I don’t want us to be under the illusion that once we’ve stepped into the house of God we’re never going to experience that. Every Sunday, I experience the spark. Every Sunday somebody says something that causes a little bit of a spark there. You know what I’m talking about. You haven’t been coming to church long enough if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

I want to prepare us because the church is full of normal people, full of human beings. We are on a journey to getting our stuff together. But we’re on the journey, so we haven’t fully arrived yet. The sparks are still gonna happen. I want us to be prepared, and have a preplanned response, so that when it happens it doesn’t pop us out of the church but builds us into the very foundation of it.

In Proverbs 27:17, it says “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” We can thank Jesus for the people in our world who spark us. They are God’s weapons that have been fashioned and formed, and are His weapon of choice to make us sharper, to make us stronger, to make us wiser, and to make us love better. It’s only under that constraint of friction that we have the ability to expand in our capacity.

The most powerful expression of Jesus’s existence is when women co-exist birthing the promises of God together in love. That right there is a miracle!

To reach that place, I’m going to give us some keys, some rules of engagement, for the women of this church house. I’m calling it the VIVE Women Code.

First, put down your weapons and become human shields. Weapons hurt, harm and harden hearts. But, as 1 Peter 4:8 says, “love covers a multitude of sins.” Our part is to love. God’s part is to do the trimming. Let me tell you, His Word is sharper than my blunt scissors. If I start trying to carve out stuff in your life, I’m going to massacre it with those blunt scissors. But the Word of God is accurate. It is sharper than any two-edged sword - able to pierce between bone and marrow, soul and spirit. He can cut straight to the wound. He can get that thing out of there, and He can clean it up all at the same time. That’s the kind of God that we serve.

In Ephesians 6 it says that we put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the steadfastness of the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit. But there’s nothing for our back. It’s your job to have my back, and it’s my job to have your back. As VIVE Women, we are going to be a company of women who will shield up and have each other’s back. There’s no knives in anyone’s back here. In fact, we’re taking the knives out.

As women of Christ, we also don’t play with matches inside our church house. Just as Proverbs 26:20 says “Fire starters need wood to make a fire” - a gossip needs us, girlfriends, to bring division. We need to resist being the wood to someone’s fire. The best way that we can do that is by loving each other and by watering everything with the grace of God. Grace over a situation extinguishes the fire of division.

In this house, we’re going to be a women who sow grace, and we’re going to sow a lot of it. When we feel like we don’t have anymore grace to sow, we’re going to keep sowing it. Because at some point, probably in about 3 seconds, we’re going to need some grace back.

Finally, as VIVE Women, we chew with our mouths closed. We don’t have to say everything we think! What is often labeled “constructive criticism” may actually be destructive jealousy since the quickest way to raise our status is to bring someone else down. Discretion is classy. Discretion is beautiful. Discretion is going to be that thing that the world goes, “Oh my goodness, they’re shooting arrows at her & she has this grace about her. And she is not retaliating.” Girls, we’re better than retaliation. Don’t play dirty.

I say all of this because I feel like it’s time that we begin to reset our hearts. We have to start by disarming ourselves from our weapons. If we can lay down our weapons of both offense and defense - weapons like blame, self anger, criticism of ourselves and others, isolation, avoidance, and victimization - then we can pursue the promises on our lives together. And the world will know us by the way we love.

Additional Scriptures: 1 Peter 4:8, Ephesians 6, Proverbs 26:20

REFLECTION

  1. Which part of the VIVE Women code do you struggle with most?

  2. What practical step can you take this week to start to show love in situations where you normally act on the offense or defense?

PRAYER

Dear God,

We praise you for giving us people to run the race of life with. Help us to choose, daily, to love those around us. Open our eyes to the ways we reach for retaliation through gossip, unkind words, or harmful actions. Instead, help us to love those around us the way that You love them.

In Jesus’s Name,
Amen

 
EnglishKeira Smallcombe