The purpose of “Spiritual Mothering” (Ch 2)

She had only been a Christian a few months. But she offered no excuses. She was now pregnant, single. And repentant.

She asked for a second chance. And the church rallied around her. Thank God.

Her baby turned one this weekend. Her decision against abortion and her resolve to raise her child has blessed many.

It was evidenced by the variety of people that showed up for the birthday party. Retired folks; little kids; old men; new mommies; great-grandmothers.

Her spiritual mother was there, too. They’ve shared much together. I’m blessed to be on the sidelines, watching, cheering, praying.

In such moments, I’m quite proud of God’s people. They make the Father look good, as he always is. Such a divine purpose

* * *
Chapter 2: A Life-Purpose

1. Purpose of Spiritual Mothering  Sunflowers
The goal? To glorify God.

When that drives our human relationships, it takes the pressure off. No more burden of having to meet outward goals. Focus on revealing God’s splendor.

Allow him to bear the burden of the outcomes. He can handle it; we don’t have to.

We plant seeds and work the garden. He is in charge of how pretty the flowers turn out.

2. Mary’s Response
Mary, mother of Jesus, is an example of a spiritual daughter. During her pregnancy, she went to Elizabeth for a time, perhaps to receive encouragement and advice and spread the good news.

But she didn’t stay there. She continued on with her husband, doing what God called her to do—glorify the Father by serving him.

How could Mary be such a faithful and obedient servant?

Susan Hunt, the author of Spiritual Mothering, points out that

  • Mary was the object of God’s grace. She didn’t have to depend on her own merits or abilities, but on the favor of God.
  • The Holy Spirit came upon her (Luke 1:35). She experienced extraordinary things and was led by God’s hand in extraordinary ways.
  • Being certain of her life purpose, she was able to focus on glorifying God through simple obedience. As he led, she followed. Having a single focus simplifies.

3. Confidence in Christ vs Self-Confidence
Because Mary had given control of her life to God, she could let go of self-interest and self-promotion. She could let go of having confidence in who she was, and instead put her confidence in who God was.

The lesson is equally true today. When we’re focused on developing our own self-confidence, we live off-centered.

But if we want to live full of sureness and hopefulness, we place our confidence in Someone else. Jesus Christ is the one worth believing in and putting our hopes in. Not ourselves. Not others. 

In mentoring relationships, the focus should never rest on our abilities to teach or to learn, to comfort or to be comforted, but on how to glorify God through obedience to his teachings. Keeping his glory as our central focus clears away many obstacles that can trip us up in our earthly relationships.

Scripture does not record much about Mary’s influence or interactions with other women of her time. But certainly she was an example of a spiritual mother. We do know that women throughout all generations, including ours, call her “blessed” (Luke 1:42, 48). 

Not because she was perfect or worthy to be worshiped. She was neither. But she knew who is perfect and she worshiped him.

May we do likewise. Together. Mothers, daughters, sisters, friends

O magnify Jehovah with me, and let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34:3 (MKJV)

Mary's song

Discussion on Ch 2
Next week Ch 3: “The Command

3 comments:

Sandy said...

It is so difficult not to focus on ourselves, but Jesus said, "Whoever loses his life for Me, will find it". "The gospel doesn't tell us to change; it tells us to die" - so opposite from our self-seeking culture. If we died to our selves, we wouldn't worry so much about "what others think", our pride, our image, etc... (I love the book Dancing to Zion by Judson Edwards) about this topic.

Shayla said...

Excellent post!

I love the story in the beginning- what an awesome group of believers yall have at your church

My favorite part of this post is where you wrote about how Mary went to Elizabeth for advice, but kept on with what needed to be done in her life. I didn't realize it but that is SO TRUE.

Sometimes we *as Christians* expect others to feed us (our pastor, our Sunday school, our Bible Study) but we forget that we have our own duties for the Lord that must be taken care of!!!

Thanks for posting this, I am looking forward to coming back here every week!!!

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

I'm with Shayla...Mary went to Elizabeth but didn't stay there. Elizabeth EQUIPPED Mary to go back and live the life God had called her to.

Letting go of confidence in ourselves and putting our confidence in God...that'll preach!

Joanne

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