I have an older sister and a younger brother. Yet, it has been living in this community of believers, living in Body Life (the ekklesia); where I have learned what it means to be sister. It is here that I am learning what an honor it is to be sister.
When I was part of the religious system, it was often implied that the end-all, be all of experiencing Christ and His love was in a marriage relationship. I was taught marriage was the relationship where you most experience the intimacy of Christ and His Bride. Because of this, the title of ‘wife’ has always been a very deep part of my longings and my desires. I have come to learn that the truth is this desire to be married is just a shadow of a deeper desire, which is to experience the fullness of Christ and His great love for me.
I no longer believe the marriage relationship to the be the end all, be all of relationships. I no longer believe it is the only place we can experience the fullness of Christ. Please do not misunderstand me, the marriage relationship is an amazing and beautiful shadow of Christ and his Bride. By being in community with my married brothers and sisters I come to know a different facet of Christ through them and their marriages.
However, I used to cringe on the inside when someone addressed me as sister. In my fleshly opinion, it was the ultimate “friend card” I had ever heard. At first it left me feeling hopeless. A false feeling, this hopelessness, but something I had to deal with anyway.
Guinness and Texts
The other night I was having a drink with a single brother and we were trying to get the bartenders attention. He said, “We need a hot girl over here to help.” My response was something like “I got this.” After ordering we went about our conversation, more brothers and sisters join us and we watched Star Trek: Into the Darkness in IMAX 3D. The next morning I woke up to a text message that reads:
I didn’t mean to insinuate u weren’t a hot girl. Ur my sister. U are beautiful, K?
At first I did not remember what he was talking about, which is amazing in and of itself. Four or five months ago his “hot girl” comment would have stuck with me for a long time. I was giddy when I realized how much Christ has transformed my heart.
The more I dwelt on this text, the more truth entered my heart, the more freedom I received. I began to realize how much more depth, richness and honor there is in a being a beautiful sister, than in being a hot girl. Again, an example of all Christ has done in the last few months. I used to strive after the lie that I needed to be a hot girl to obtain a relationship full of honor, depth and richness.
In the Scriptures, Christ says that in heaven we are neither married nor given in marriage. Marriage is for this side of eternity, a physical shadow of a greater reality (Christ and His Bride). The eternal relationship that last is the brother/sister relationship. Christ himself calls us brothers. We are co-heirs with the Son of God, part of his family.
First and foremost, should I marry, he will be my brother in Christ. To know him and understand him as this prior to husband will significantly affect the rest of our relationship. It will have an incredibly dramatic effect on our communication and our love for each other. If you are a married Christian you have married your brother or sister in Christ. Honor your spouse as you would your brother or sister. Words simply cannot express the depth of this brother/sister relationship.
It’s a Privilege
Now, sister is a title I wear with joy. When greeted this way, my heart gets all mushy inside. It’s a spoken reminder of a greater reality. It brings great joy to my heart, and ultimately to the heart of Christ, to live within the greatness of this title. It is a privilege to be your sister.