1. So far, what's your favorite thing about this book? What's been your biggest "a-ha" moment? What are you telling others about this book? I've always known in my mind that mentoring is a good thing. I have a mentor who helps me with my photography. She's amazing. I also know the importance of mentoring young women. This became VERY clear to me as I worked as a youth director. Those young women struggle and would benefit a lot from having a spiritual mother to walk with them through the valleys and mountains. But what I love the most about this book so far is how excited it is getting me to have my own spiritual mother. I really feel that I too would benefit greatly from having a "spiritual giant" walk with me hand in hand along lifes valleys and mountains. I am praying that God would reveal the right woman to me and I am confident that in HIS time it will happen.
2. From page 40: "Paul did not expect or want the women in the Cretan church to change their conduct without changing their thinking. He wanted them to think Christianly so that they would act Christianly. And sound doctrine is essential for right thinking."
The truth is that for change to last, for it to be effective, our thinking must change--not just our behavior. How have you found this to be true in your life? Is there an area in your life where you are asking God to transform your thinking? Feel free to be specific so we can pray for you as we visit with each other this week.
I have been talking about the "lifestyle" change that I so desperately seek for a long time. I know that many things need to happen in order for my lifestyle to change but I guess I just need to take the first step and really change my thinking. I take one step and eat right for a week or so and then go back to my old ways. This is the same with other aspects of my life as well. I really want to transform my thinking in regards to being a stay at home mom. I need a transformation of my mind when it comes to organization, simplifying life and being in the moment.
3. Hunt talks about the urgency of this call to invest in the lives of younger women (page 42), stating that it is a "pivotal issue" in our culture. How do you respond to this? Do you agree that the way "to combat the decadence of [your] culture" is to focus on energies on these kinds of mentoring relationships? Why, or why not?
I agree wholeheartedly in that statement. I know that many young women suffer silently and deal with many issues alone. I feel that if we want our culture to be one firmly rooted in Christ we need to reach out to the younger women and help them become firmly rooted in Christ. They are not the church of the future...they are the church of right now. Mentoring the younger women will lead to a whole new generation of women on fire for Christ and living for His glory. They will be the women who are mentoring the next generation as well so we need to reach out to them so they can be equiped to handle what is before them.
Look too at the quote from John Adams on the bottom of page 42. If this is true, what do you think it says about the country in which you live? Does how you respond to this affect how you view mentoring as both "urgent" and "pivotal"? Yes, yes, and yes! If the "degree of morality and virute of a nation" is based on the women of that time period then yes, I feel that mentoring the young women of todays culture is very urgent and pivotal. They need to know the love of Christ more now than ever before!
4. Review the characteristics of the command on pages 43-44. As you read this (and remembering that God equips women to do what he has called us to do), what stands out to you? Is there an area where you need some additional discipline or help? How could you make that area a focus of prayer in the next week? I can always use a little help in each of these categories but I feel that I especially need to watch my tongue and not complain so much. I am blessed and have been given a great life to live and I want to give God glory for what He has blessed me with. When others hear me complain they cannot see the glory of God but rather just my sinful nature peeking out.
5. "Older women are to encourage and equip younger women to live for God's glory...The older women in the congregation were to be taught how to live in accordance with sound doctrine so that they could train the younger women--no exceptions" (page 46).
All of us are older than someone else. So none of us can use the excuse of being too young to adhere to this command. Read through the section "Who Are the Older Women?" once more. Here's what it comes down to: "No theological expert. No super saint. Just a woman willing to be obedient to the command to mother."
Take a look at the reasons you've thought you might not be qualified to mother another. What kinds of things have held you back? Do your reasons still stand in light of what you've just read? I think that the things that have held me back are not taking enough time to devot to mothering...and not knowing who would like a spiritual mother. I know that God qualifies us all to be spiritual mothers so I would heed the call if he placed me in the life of a younger woman to be their spiritual mother.
6. This is getting long...so let's end with the usual "Anything else?" In some ways this is my favorite because I'm always so curious to know what jumped off the page at you! "If you are a Christian woman who is seeking to grow in the faith and to live obediently, then you are qualified for spiritual motherhood." Okay, now I guess I just need to know where to sign up :)!