Use words to encourage (Ch 6 “Spiritual Mothering”)

Elizabeth’s words
Read-Chat-Live _ Spiritual Mothering Did young Mary wonder how older Elizabeth would react to her? Mary was pregnant, unmarried. And a virgin? Would she be judged? Or would she be believed?

Luke 1:42-45 shows Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, believing and rejoicing. How encouraging her words must have been to Mary!

So Mary, in turn, used her own mouth to rejoice over her situation and praise God (Luke 1:46-55). And now those very words have encouraged millions more (including me) for the past two thousand years.

Say it
Women need to hear words from other women
. Don’t you blossom when you receive affirmation that you’re doing well? But not because you need flattery. You need words of assurance to equip and inspire you to continue in obedience, seeking the Father and living for his glory, not your own.

Be approachable
Author Susan Hunt points out that Elizabeth was approachable. Mary must have felt welcome going to her. Don’t you also seek out the approachable ones when you need a listening ear or sympathetic shoulder? How approachable are you to others? Are others comfortable coming to you?

One way to be approachable is to be a woman “saturated with God’s Word.” A working knowledge of Scripture leads you to offer grace and truth-filled advice, to encourage the pursuit of holiness that satisfies, not merely happiness that disappears.

Another characteristic of approachable is “brevity of expression.” Can you speak to the heart of the matter sooner rather than later? A few power-packed sentences can mean more, and be remembered better and longer, than hours of chatter.

A Spiritual Mothering challenge
The chapter closes with requesting you to pray, then. . .

  1. Reflect on Proverbs 10:11
    “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”
  2. Ask yourself
    Are my words a fountain of life?
    How often do I verbally affirm other women?
    How often do I say, “I love you . . . I appreciate you . . . I am proud of you”?
  3. Make a list
    Write down names and traits you admire or appreciate about the women in your life. Say those words to them this week to encourage and equip them to live for God’s glory. 
  4. Write a young woman away at college
    Let her know you’re praying for her. And send a “goodie box” if you’re able.

I have four nieces and a daughter away at college. A month ago we sent them each a goodie box. Not only did it make their day, but it made our day.

Encouraging others is not a dead-end street. Speaking strength into you is often the surest way for me to be re-energized myself. 

Summary of previous chapters
Discussion on Chapter 6
Next week: Ch 7, “To Live for God’s Glory

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