When it’s time to let go (Ch 12—“Spiritual Mothering”)

Read-Chat-Live _ Spiritual Mothering This scares me about mentoring relationships:

Do you ever stop?

What happens when it’s time to let go? Is there a way to gracefully say, “We’re done here; you’re ready to move on”?

Friendships never have to end. I get that. I want that. Love never should stop.

But sometimes relationships complete their purpose and need release so God can do a new work elsewhere.

Susan Hunt addresses this release in the final chapter of Spiritual Mothering, “Staying…and Separating,” by using the example of Mary and Elizabeth.

The time came when Mary had to return to Nazareth…It would have been so much easier to stay in the safety of Elizabeth’s home. Still it was time to separate.

Elizabeth had to wonder what would be next for Mary. Did she prepare her enough? Did she say all that needed to be said?

It took confidence for Mary to leave. And confidence for Elizabeth to let her.

As with Elizabeth, so with us. We “turn loose” not based on confidence in the butterfly in flight words we advised, but in the truth that God is able to make our friend stand (Romans 14:4). A Christ-confidence. He is able to keep them from falling (Jude 24).

Relationships change
Much like letting go of our late-adolescent children, letting go of our mentoring relationship means change. Change in roles. Change in responsibilities. Change in opportunities.

But change doesn’t necessarily mean weakening.

The relationship can become even stronger because of the separation, not weaker. Trusting the one you’ve mentored is a gift of encouragement to her. And it exemplifies an even greater trust in your mutual Father.

Paul must have felt this often. He would birth a church, stay for a time, then have to move on. His writings reveal the depth of love he felt for his spiritual children, yet he separated. And continued to pray for them and celebrate their growth.

Who is available?
Susan closes her book with this final question, a general one about spiritual mothering and using the lessons learned from her book and Biblical examples.

Please consider how you can live out the answer in your own life:

Will you make yourself available to God to be used to nurture another woman?

Summary of previous chapters


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