A mutual purpose (Ch 7 “Spiritual Mothering)

Chapter 7 is one of my favorites so far.
Join Joanne’s group at The Simple Wife for discussion.

Read-Chat-Live _ Spiritual MotheringPurpose
What makes spiritual mentoring work? The mutual desire to live for God’s glory.

In the beginning, we all start out self-centered. As babies, we want our own way. But we soon discover it’s not all about me. It’s also about Mommy, Daddy, others.

But we should also discover it’s not all about others either. There’s Someone Else.

Growing from self-centered to God-centered means I stop using you to serve me, and start serving you to honor God.

When Mary was told she would have a baby, she did NOT say:

  • “I need time to process this. I’ll get back with you.”
  • “But Joseph and I are planning a big wedding—I’ve dreamed of that day all my life. A pregnancy now would ruin it”
  • “I’m not ready to be a mother. I need my space. I need more financial security. I’ll work a few years, then let’s talk.”

No, Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be as you say.” (Luke 1:38)

Elizabeth also submitted to the Lord’s plan, giving birth at a very old age. Both she and Mary understand their life purpose extended beyond themselves—not in honoring self, but in honoring God.


Humility is not a passive, syrupy sweetness. Humility is rugged obedience.

Neither Mary nor Elizabeth let pride rise up when it could have (after all, they were carrying the Lord’s boys!), but they both were humble to the Lord’s call. Easy? I don’t think so.

The humility they both expressed through obedience to the Lord also worked in their relationship with each other. Neither was possessive or needy or overly-attached. Their primary relationship was with God, which then opened up opportunities to enrich their relationship with each other.

Resent or Appreciate?
Susan Hunt explains a common dynamic among women’s relationships in the church.

An older woman may feel threatened by a younger woman’s energy and new ideas, and try to make herself feel better at the expense of the other, criticizing the younger woman’s choices. Or she may feel that today’s younger woman is too vain or self-centered or shallow, and take undue pride in her own spirituality and knowledge above the younger woman’s.

On the other hand, the younger woman may judge that the older woman has “retired” prematurely, and resents that she doesn’t help in ways that she would like her to. Or she feels that the older woman is so out of touch that there’s no way she could relate to the problems of today’s woman, and thus have no use for her.

The answer?

Learn to appreciate the value and meet the needs of each other. God has placed women in the church family in every stage and season of life, and they are to learn from and help each other, not resent each other. Living for God’s glory takes the emphasis off our individual agendas, and opens opportunities to serve each other instead.

Spiritual mentoring itself implies that one is farther along in development than the other. But even while the two are at different levels of growth, they are both heading the same direction.

And the goal of both is not only to live for God’s glory herself, but to help each other live for God’s glory.


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