Guest Post: All My Sisters in the House — Appreciating Sisterly Differences

Appreciating Sisterly Differences guest post by Jessica summer Overstreet
guest post by Jessica summer over street
The popular novelist, Linda Sunshine once said, “If you do not understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child!”
Can I get an Amen from the Sisters?
Being the oldest of an all daughter household, I totally relate with Linda.
It is amazing how we sisters can be so alike, yet so different. So in tandem yet so scattered.
Let me give you a few funny little examples of the differences between me and my sister Lauren:
  • In college, I grew and planted flowers while Lauren grew fruit flies in a test tube
  • I get excited over cute clothes and jewelry but Lauren has zero enthusiasm for anything that sparkles
  • I am loud and Lauren is quiet
  • I move 100 miles an hour and Lauren likes to relax
  • I do not think you can be too dressed up, Lauren prefers fleece…anything!
How in the world are we expected to get along with someone who is so much different than us? As Christians we are expected to get along and connect with everyone. Right? But how?
Beaty Within guest post by Jessica Summer Overstreet
Well, let’s look at a pair of sisters in the Bible and see how well they clicked.
In Luke 10, the story of two sisters, Mary and Martha is recorded. You are probably familiar with this narrative, but I would like to really unpack it for us in order to see how it can pertain to our lives today.
We are first introduced to Martha and Mary in verse 39. Jesus and His disciples came into Bethany and Martha invited Jesus into the home that she shared with Mary. Jesus accepted her invitation and went to their home. Once they got there, Mary came to Jesus sat at His feet and listened to Him talk while Martha busied herself in the house. Verse 40 says that she was making preparations, so I guess we can assume that she was cooking a meal. Eventually, Martha met her threshold of patience. Can anyone but me identify with that? Martha asked Jesus if He cared that she was doing all of the work alone. She told Jesus to tell her sister to get up and help her. That was a pretty bold demand to make to one’s guest who just happened to be Jesus!  Well, rather than getting angry with Martha for her outburst, Jesus calmly said to Martha that she was preoccupied by so many things. He went on to say that only one thing was needed, Mary had chosen what was better and it would not be taken away from her. 
I have always loved this story, but now that Lauren and I are grown up, I see it in a whole new way.
What would you have done if you and your sister had been Mary and Martha?
What would your thoughts and reactions have been? Which sister would you have been?
If this story had played out with me and my sister today,  it would have looked a little something like this:
I am Martha. I am the one who invited Jesus over to our house probably because I am the more outgoing and social of the two sisters. Jesus accepts my invite and we head home. When we walk in the house, Lauren (Mary) is sitting in the family living room relaxing. I am very formal and give Jesus a ceremonial welcome while Lauren just says ‘sup and invites Jesus to sit down. Jesus begins to talk while I take on the kitchen like a whirlwind preparing to feed my hungry guest. I can hear their voices and soft laughter in the next room and a little resentment rises up in me. I would think to myself that I could be in there enjoying a visit too, but someone has to fix supper. No take-out in Bethany! I peak in the living room where I see Lauren sitting at the feet of my dear friend Jesus listening to the stories about His travels, gleaning from His wisdom and marveling at His miracles. I think about simply asking Lauren to come help me, but I can hear her now…”Well you’re the one who invited Him, Summer.” Maybe when I bustle by them to set the table, Lauren will jump in to help me. I rush past them twice as many dishes as we are going to need hoping someone will notice me. Nope! That’s when I’m over it! I am going over Lauren’s head and getting Jesus involved. I say “Jesus, do you not see that I am flying around trying to make your visit a comfortable one while Lauren sits here getting in some conversing? Jesus would look at me with a patient smile and a gentle voice and tell me that the perfect meal and a perfect home do not matter in light of eternity. Lauren has chosen to invest her time with the things of His Father, the better things, and that opportunity will not be taken away from her to free her up to run down to the well. 
While this little role play skit may be humorous, the truth is, we have all been in these shoes. Sometimes with our birth sisters. Sometimes with our sisters in the faith. How do we respond to our differences of priorities and opinions without losing our minds and creating discord?
Sisters, we must show grace for one another. God’s grace towards us is unmerited, undeserved love. If He can extend grace to a world of scandalous, hateful sinners like us, then we can certainly offer grace to our sisters.
The bottom line is, whether by our parent’s blood or the blood of Jesus, we are all family. We are called to love each other as family.
Matthew 12:48-50 But she replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” And stretching His hand toward His disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother and sister and mother.
The concept of grace used to be over my head. Yes, I understood that God offered grace to me, but I had no idea how to show it to others. Being from the South, I have always been surrounded by women of kind, gentle manners. The hospitality runs deep around here!
Grace creates paths, builds bridges and fortifies cities. It makes the sisters strong!
Romans 12:5 So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 
As Christians, we are unified as one under Christ. If we move through this life in a unified fashion, as family, what a testimony we would be to a lost world. Let’s not be unkind or impatient to our brothers and sisters. Let us all be challenged to show a little more love and just relax with one another. We never know what may be going on in the life or heart of our sisters. Just show them love, patience and grace. I can promise you, God will reward your behavior and reactions if they mirror Him. He knows every situation, just like He knew that Mary needed to be listening at His feet no matter what Martha was burning in the kitchen. Jesus knows where everyone needs to be. Do not be a Martha and tell Him where to send people or what to make them do. Take hope in the fact that every nursery worker, snack provider, small group leader, coworker, neighbor and mother-in -law are in His hands. Jesus will take care of you and your situation every time!
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I am forever grateful for all of my sisters in the house of God!
For more encouraging posts from Summer click HERE.

Jessica Summer Overstreet


Hey Sisters, my name is Summer Overstreet. I am a Christ believing, Sunday school teaching, sweet tea drinking Southern belle. I have been a floral designer for fifteen years and I LOVE my job! I am new to the blogging world and am seeking to encourage and inspire women to embrace a lifestyle of joy and hope in Christ. I would love to see you at soon!

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