SPIRITUAL PARENTING AND MOTHERING
One of the things that people seem to remember most about my wife, Diane, is the fact that she has raised seven children. We actually have eight, but due to a sad miscarriage, our son, Michael, is now with Jesus in Heaven.
Diane gave birth to all of our children without any medication. She homeschooled each of them for most of their school years. She made thousands of meals, changed hundreds of diapers, gave hundreds of baths and said thousands of bedtime prayers. All of this was done in the context of a massive ministry commitment, caring for hundreds of spiritual sons and daughters at any given time. I am in awe.
I am in awe, not only of Diane, but also of every ministry mom who manages to juggle all the responsibilities and challenges of natural motherhood and spiritual motherhood at the same time. Let’s hear it for kingdom motherhood!
Mother Heart of God
One of the most popular teachings in recent years is on the Father Heart of God, but sometimes we forget that there is also a “Mother Heart of God” as well. Throughout the scripture God speaks through prophets and apostles about his maternal care for His people.
“Can a mother forget her nursing child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget but yet I will not forget you. Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands…” -Isaiah 49:15-16
“ We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother nurtures her own children. We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel but also our own lives because you had become dear to us.” -1 Thess. 2:7-8
It should not surprise us that our heavenly Father experiences a kind of maternal love for His sons and daughters. As the Creator, He is the source of all good things and true motherhood is certainly a good thing. When God ordained the human family it was clearly determined that it was not good for a man to be alone. From the one, God made two. The beautiful mystery of marriage is that the two will become one again. The oneness of marriage can be expressed in many ways but perhaps the ultimate expression of oneness is the conception and birth of a child. A family that flourishes as a result of the loving impartation of a godly father and mother has always been God’s strategy for fulfilling His purposes on the earth.
This is obviously true in a natural family. It is also true in a spiritual family. We need both powerful spiritual fathers and mothers to raise the family of God. We need both aspects of the heart of God to be manifested to raise spiritual sons and daughters into full maturity.
Women of Destiny
Over the last month we have been emphasizing the Reformation 2.0 Every Member Movement, emphasizing the priesthood of all believers and the maximized mobilization of every member for ministry. This applies to all believers and followers of Jesus.
“…You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus… there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” -Gal. 3:26, 28
I am convinced that the Church of Jesus Christ will never fully represent Jesus nor achieve its full impact in the world until every woman is fully received as a true partner in kingdom ministry according to her God-given design and destiny. We have come a long way toward making this happen but we still have a ways to go. Some of the most effective ministries on earth have gifted women at the helm or in a strong secondary role. It’s time for spiritual mothers to rise up in even greater measure to take their place in nurturing, equipping and empowering the people of God.
To all the women who are pressing through the false beliefs and broken barriers to become the spiritual mothers that Jesus created you to be – Happy Spiritual Mothers’ Day!