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by Mariali @ DaySpring April 15, 2016
I love the way God designed us to operate within the body of Christ– basically, like a family. Now, when I say the word “family” you’re probably either smiling if you have a close family or cringing if you’re not exactly looking forward to the next family get-together. While some of us have grown up in families that know how to love well, most families have challenging dynamics where perhaps traditional roles were not always present. We see throughout Scripture multiple times when the terms ‘brother, sister, mother, and father’ are used to identify people in the church, but they were not always necessarily related by blood. From the very beginning, we see God operating in a family relationship (the Father and the Son). His desire for us to belong to His family is ultimately an expression of God’s relational heart. He is all about relationship and His desire is for us to walk in the same relational dynamics that He walks in. John 1:18 shows us that the Son has a very close relationship with the Father, this is what a good and healthy parent-child relationship should look like.
God has a specific purpose for everything He created, and mothers are no different. When He designed the heart of women, He had specific purposes in mind that were intended for them to carry out. There is something unique and special about how God designed a woman’s heart to love tenderly, teach wisely, and nurture selflessly.
I left home when I moved away to college 3000 miles away in a completely different country. Being only 17 at the time, there were a lot of things I still needed a mother for. I remember the first time I took my pile of dirty laundry to the dorm laundry room. I reached out for the phone as I stared at the washing machine wondering how to do laundry…I needed a mother’s instruction. As I walked through my college years on my own in a new country, I found myself in this same spot several times: the times I got sick, the times I felt alone, the times I didn’t know what God’s will for my future was, etc. But in God’s sovereign plan for motherhood, He put older women in my life at the time (and continues to do so) that have come alongside and loved me “like a mother.” The counsel in 1 Timothy 5:2 came very handy, “Treat older women as you would your mother.”
Our stories are all different. Some of us might’ve grown up without a mother, others may have a challenging relationship with our mother, and still others might live miles away from their mother like I did. The beautiful thing about our Heavenly Father is that no matter what our story is, He desires to meet all our needs so that whatever we lack, He will provide. During all these times when I needed a mother’s love, God sent other women who became “like a mother” to me over the years. Sometimes it was my roommate’s mom, other times it was my Bible study hostess, and yet other times it was the sweet older lady I sat next to at church. You’ve probably heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” and while no one will ever replace a Mother, I am grateful that the Lord provided many women throughout various challenging times that allowed God to use them to be like a mother to me.
Do you have those women in your life? As the Holy Spirit how you might be able to bless them back? Or perhaps you might consider being “like a mother” to a younger woman the Lord is leading you to mentor? This Mother’s Day, remember to honor your Mom and all the beautiful and selfless ladies that have been like a mother in your life.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB