Among other things, I am an ordained Shepherd/Pastor/Teacher by calling, ministry and anointing. A short definition of nurturing is the process of caring for and encouraging the growth and/or development of someone.
What is Spiritual Mothering? First, let’s look at what it IS NOT.
It IS NOT taking the place of someone’s mother (although that might happen in some cases). Therefore, it IS NOT parenting in the full sense of that word. It IS NOT mentoring (mentoring comes from a different place, but mentoring is involved). It IS NOT life management (managing someone else’s life). It IS NOT being perfect.
I appreciate what Susan Hunt, the author of the book Spiritual Mothering once said, “Spiritual Mothering is investing in the lives of others in a nurturing way so that we share the gospel as well as our lives with them.” Some examples of mothering/nurturing behavior are: being fully present in your interactions (verbally and non-verbally); validating feelings; providing physical affection and comfort when sought or needed; laughing and playing games, when appropriate; providing safe mental, physical and social challenges that promote healthy Christian growth and development.
Now let us look at what Spiritual Mothering IS:
Foremost, Spiritual Mothering/Nurturing is my Ministry. The Apostle Paul talked about it in Titus 2:3-5. My Ministry is serious because peoples lives are at stake and not trivial. Spiritual Mothering IS being mature, being wise, being Loving and prayerful. Spiritual Mothering IS a relationship. It IS honest but kind and loving communication. It IS discipling. It IS connecting. It IS giving of oneself. It IS being human. It IS modeling/living a Christ led way of life and sharing that with another. It IS showing Christian character while providing a confidential and safe environment.
Daily, I pray for God to show me what I need to see and be aware of. I pray for God to give me His perspective and insight. As I am with people, the Holy Spirit might prompt me to speak to a woman (sometimes young men) and listen to her and see her. From there, based on the situation and the leading of the Holy Spirit, a relationship can be formed.
At times, one of the problems that confronts me is some women won’t take the time or see the need for another relationship, especially with an older woman. However, I was brought up in a church culture where older women (“mothers”) of the church were honored and revered. Their relationship with God and prayer life was enviable. Their relationship with God and prayer life wrapped around their life experience was powerful. When they spoke you listened. When they talked, you were attentive because what they had to say was worth hearing and much was to be learned.
Here are a few women’s testaments to our Spiritual Mothering relationship.
A mothering relationship cannot survive on its own. It needs the care and nurturing of two adults, giving to each other in a way that creates God’s Love and respect and a mutually beneficial connection. To foster a deep and Loving relationship, there needs to be: Prayer, Integrity, Trust, Patience, Kindness, Fun, and continual and honest communication.
Elaine Jacobs is a talented leader whose ministry encompasses a rich spiritual life with a solid community volunteer component. Her strengths include financial planning, teaching, counseling mentoring and an intuitive facilitator.
Elaine is currently actively retired and is actively involved in various ministries at her church, The Crossing LV in Nevada. She is also an active elder in The Cross Ministry Group of CO. She has a B. S. in Management from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. In addition, Elaine attended the New York Theological Seminary.
As part of her ministry, she speaks both formally and informally. Elaine teaches on everyday issues of practical Christian living, resolving family conflicts, goal setting and many others. Elaine has shared her beliefs and spiritual guidance as part of a prison ministry and on mission trips to Malawi, Africa and Taipei, Taiwan. Elaine is a comforting, nurturing woman who seeks to help all those with whom she comes in contact.