Monday, October 12, 2009

spiritual mothering: chapter 4

I've really been enjoying this book study and learning things again and in a new way. If you want to see more of what the other ladies are saying please go here.

1. Hunt identifies the elements of curriculum for this relationship as love, relationships, and conduct. "There seems to be a direct correlation between the characteristics discussed in the last chapter that qualify women to train younger women, and the elements of training" (page 56).
As you look at the list below, which elements are you most excited about? Which elements make you think, I'm not sure about that one?
I always need help remembering to die to self and live for Christ. Although my home is filled with reminders it's just not that easy to make sure that I wake in the morning with the attitude of Christ on my heart and mind. I feel that in order to better mentor that to someone younger I need to first understand and practice it more myself. When it comes to relationships I feel that I do not have enough experience to be able to teach others about their own relationships. That is why I feel that having a spiritual mother would be so beneficial for me.
Reverence (love)
Not slanderers (relationships)
Not addicted (conduct)
Now think about the flip question. Is there an area in which you feel God has especially gifted you--either through natural ability or even huge failures and so knowing what NOT to do?
I do not feel that I am especially gifted in any of these areas.

2. "Biblical love does not come naturally" (page 57). What's your response to that statement? I agree wholeheartedly. We are born sinners. We may not even understand our need for a Savior and His love if we're not taught about our sin. We need to be taught to love. We need to be shown how Biblical love plays a VERY important role in our daily lives.
What particularly stood out to you in the section on "Love" beginning on page 56?"Love demands dying to self, and this makes no sense until one has come in reverent submission to the authority of God. Love means taking enormous risks, and this surely makes no sense unless one has yielded to the sovereignty of God." I need to be reminded of this everyday!

3. Here comes that speech thing again! "Until a woman has submitted her speech to the Lord, she surely cannot influence a younger woman to build right relationships."
Note that it does NOT say, "Until a woman has her speech perfectly under control."
What does "submitting" your speech to the Lord look like? How might you make that a daily (hourly?!) practice?
I think it's all about taking our thoughts captive. If we can learn to die to self and take our thoughts captive our speech should be submitted to Christ. If we give him true reign and power in our lives, hold our tongue and understand that grace abounds when we do mess up then we will be able to model submitting our speech for younger women. IT has to come from your thoughts first, out of the thoughts of men come the words and actions as well. I believe that it all starts with a transforming of the mind! Something I truly seek to have!!

4. Prayer AND practical advice are part of what an older woman offers a younger one. How have both prayer and practical advice been helpful to you? Which do you tend to give more easily? How could you work on developing the other? I feel that I get a lot more practical advice than prayer, but then someone at church will blow me away and tell me that they've been praying for me. I think we as women are so used to just talking (and listening) and giving advice that that's what other people see us as or view us as doing. I think if we made a more conscience effort to let people know we were praying for them we'd make a bigger difference in the world than if they just knew we'd be there to give advice. I'm just as guilty and tend to give practical advice when I feel my advice might be helpful rather than just shouting from the mountain tops that I'll be praying for that person. This is not to say that I never tell people that I'm praying for them but my sinful nature gets in the way and often times I feel "dumb" or "self-conscious" and don't tell people that in fact I am praying for them.

If I had a journal with a list of the people that have asked for prayers...or people that I just pray for I think I'd be better at saying the prayers and telling the people that they are in my prayers. It all comes back to my reminders that I need and seeing right in front of me what I can do always helps too.

5. "Only a passion for God's glory can overpower our self-interest" (page 63). We're back to knowing our purpose and identity again. How is identifying yourself as "the Lord's servant" and living with a purpose of glorifying God going? Is it starting to come more naturally? I feel like I have a LONG way to go. Although it's been a little better and I'm starting to transform my mind to see how I can glorify God in all I do but I need a LOT more work.
It's a process to change how we think! What's helping you keep these things in the forefront of your mind? How are you "setting your mind" on these truths each day? I have made little reminder cards that I like to hang around and scripture paintings. I need to have the reminders all around me and just spend more time in prayer that I would seek to glorify God rather than myself in all I do!

6. "Overindulgence in anything eventually enslaves" (page 63). How did this reminder hit you? Is there anything that immediately came to your mind as something you're in danger of overindulging with? Again, how can we pray for one another in this? I don't feel like there are too many things that I am in danger of overindulging with. Although I know that some weeks I spend too much time on the computer or allow the kids to watch too much TV. I think that with having an unplugged day that will help. I also know that when I set my limits (and maybe even a timer) then I am forced to only do what I need to do on the computer and not spend tons of extra time tied down.

7. So you've seen what stood out to me from the questions and quotations. What's one question you would ask everyone from this chapter? I guess I'm just looking forward to seeing everyone's answers to these questions. I often wonder what other people do to remind themselves to glorify God in all they do or how they begin the process of transforming their mind.
8. Anything else? I loved the part about submission. I've never really had trouble with the whole "submission" thing because my husband had explained it to me but that doesn't mean I'm always submissive. I have trouble with explaining it to other people and I think Susan did an excellent job of that on page 62, my two favorite lines on that "Submission has nothing to do with equality." and "Submission is an attitude of humility". So good to hear that!

One other quote that I totally love is, "The fact that God has entered into a relationship with us should radically change the way we relate to others." That is my prayer!


Lisa notes... said...

# 2. I really agreed with that statement, too, about love needing to be taught. I'm not sure I've ever heard it put in those exact words, but it's very true. And like you said, if we're never taught about our sin, wouldn't it be harder to even know we need a Savior?

# 3. Transforming the mind first. Yes.

# 4. I love when someone tells me they've been praying for me. I have one dear friend who is so faithful to do it, and it has meant the world to me. I think it's really the first time that someone has been truly faithful on a regular basis to pray for me about everyday stuff.

I have to keep a journal of names of people I say I'll pray for, otherwise I would totally forget. It's been great keeping the little book because I can see how God answers things over time, sometimes MUCH time, but he answers nonetheless.

I love the final quote you have. Our relationship with God DOES radically change our relationship with others. In ways we'll probably never understand on this side of heaven.

Blessings to you!

Pam said...

Jamie -

I love keeping a prayer journal. I especially love looking back and seeing all of the answers to prayer.

I think you sound wise and kind, and probably don't give yourself enough credit for having something to teach and offer others.


Aurora said...

Jamie, I loved the last quote you picked out as well. Entering into relationship with the Lord changes EVERYTHING! I need to be more mindful of that and live in light of that truth.


Anonymous said...

At last, I found your article again. You have few [url=]useful tips[/url] for my school project. Now, I won't forget to bookmark it. :)