Beautiful Gifts of Christian Women: The Art of Encouragement

Food is love. At least, it is for me. While I do try to be careful about the types of things that fuel my body there is no denying that I enjoy delicious food. Appetizers. Snacks. Meals. Desserts. I’m not biased. I get excited about all of it.

My sisters and I grew up in a small community, a village of people who would randomly drop by with a “just because” pie. Who would welcome a new neighbor by delivering a homemade meal. Who would plan regular potluck dinners just so everyone could get together to enjoy each others company.

But there is more to these food experiences than eating. They represent friendship and hospitality. It’s a tool used to show love and offer encouragement.

I no longer live in a small town. Community is harder to find now. But that is not an excuse. Making time for other people should not be optional, it should be a priority. I am constantly reminding my children that in order to have good friends, you must first be a good friend.

But what does being a good friend look like? For me it’s finding special ways to love and encourage the people I cherish. Which brings me back to food.

When a friend welcomes a new baby into their family, I bring them a meal. When a friend needs someone to watch their children, I fill my car with our extra car seats and load my pockets with kid friendly snacks. When a friend is going through a difficult situation I deliver flowers and fresh baked cookies. When a friend needs a listening ear I put on the coffee and pull out the chocolate.

Because friendship is an action. It’s taking time out of your own busy schedule and putting the needs, the hurts, the joys, and the feelings of others above yourself. It’s about acts of kindness. It’s about encouraging one another in love. Food is how I love to encourage those around me but it’s not the only way to do it.

Encouragement can take many forms.

There is an amazing woman I know who is gifted at writing cards. Snail mail cards. I have been the recipient of many. Each time I open the mailbox to find one of these cards, I am unexpectedly blessed.

Another friend regularly hands out little gifts such as magnets, mini devotionals, and bookmarks. A small token reminding those she cares for that they are being thought of and prayed for.

Someone I’ve had the privilege of knowing for years grows her own beautiful flowers. In the spring and summer you can find her going door-to-door delivering homegrown bouquets, brightening the home and hearts of many.

As sisters in Christ we need to take the job of encouragement seriously. So tell me, sister, how are you are encouraging your friends this very day?

“And let us consider how we can spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”-Hebrews 10:24

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