Mothering Spiritual Children
A couple of years ago I had a young mother ask me if I would “mentor” her. Since she was not in our church, and she didn’t even live in my town, I wasn’t sure what she had in mind. I knew what I had in mind:
What does it even mean to mentor someone? What does it look like? Do we sit down and study the Bible together? Do we read and discuss books? How would we do it from a distance? Email? Phone calls?
The dictionary says a mentor is “an experienced and trusted advisor”. OK, but still, how would one proceed? I finally asked her, “Can we just be friends?” She agreed to that, and I was much less intimidated.
Even though the word “mentor” intimidates me, the Bible calls older women to love younger women, to teach them how to be good wives and mothers. In short, it calls older women to be mothers.
Mothers are not just those who have children.
Mothers are those who love and care for others even when they are not their offspring. Mothers feed and nurture others. As women, our bodies are designed by God to birth and nurse babies, but we are also called by God to have spiritual children, nourishing and nurturing them.
No matter what season of life we are in, we called to be spiritual mothers. Whether you are single or married and no matter your age, you are called to motherhood.
In Titus 2:3-5, Paul writes:
Older women likewise, are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, so that the word of God not be maligned.
It’s easy to read that passage and think, whew, I’m not an older woman, I guess I’m off the hook. Or, I don’t have the gift of teaching so I don’t need to worry about that. But you can’t get off the hook that easily.
Whether you are single or married, no matter your age, or season of life, this passage is for you.
Teaching does not have to be in a formal setting, you can call it discipling or mentoring or whatever you want.
This sort of “mothering” can take many forms. Recently in my church, a young mother became concerned about what she was observing and hearing about some young women in the church around college-age.
She was concerned that they might not be prepared for some of what they were going to hit in life. So she started a little bible study, reading through a book with them.
Although she is a busy mom, the Lord had laid these younger women on her heart and she was faithful to her calling to have spiritual children beside her own physical children. She was being fruitful.