Women have always had special friendships and science explains why.
I recently read a blog post about a lecture at Stanford University on the relationship between stress and disease during which the head of psychiatry said that one of the best things a woman can do for her health is to nurture her relationships with her female friends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
He said women connect with each other differently: they tend to share their feelings and to talk more than men. Because of this, they create support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences.
Apparently, while we are sharing we produce a chemical called serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. The lecturer concluded by saying that these relationships are as good for our health and wellbeing as physical exercise. No wonder you feel so good after a good talk and cry!
Women’s business, ministry and social groups in the bible and throughout history
I thought about this in relation to the way women’s lives were during biblical times and have been down the ages.
Women spent a lot of their time together providing this type of moral support and encouragement. They delivered each other’s babies. They reaped, weaved, sewed and performed other work together. They met up at the water well during the evenings. They visited each other, served at the temple in worship and prayer and, later as the new church began to grow, held prayer meetings in their homes and in other places outside the city gates.
Women played pivotal roles as a group. Many of them supported Jesus’ ministry from their own means. They turned up at the tomb to embalm the body of Jesus, having earlier spent time together to prepare the spices and ointments.
Later, when the Jews wanted to incite hatred against the new bold followers of Jesus Christ their targets included groups of influential women in the community.
The periodical gathering of women provided something good in their lives and has been a pattern consistent throughout history, but at least now you know why.