Not Your Typical Mother's Day Message
The day set aside to celebrate mothers has already passed. For the last 31 years, I’ve enjoyed being a mother. They say that a woman carries her child or children in her womb for nine months, but she carries them in her heart throughout her lifetime. From infancy, every age and every stage, there is a Mom who is carrying her child in one way or another regardless of how independent they may be as adults.
I am the biological mother of four – one that I lost before I ever got to meet her. These are not my only children. Within the last few years, I have accepted my role as a spiritual mother. Someone tried to call me Mama Ward when I was in my thirties. I was a little ticked – I’m too young for that I thought. Fast forward 20 years, and here I am. Someone recently called me Mother Ward, and I was not willing to accept the title again. “Mother Ward is my mother-in-law,” I told them. Now that I meditate and think past the title, I realize, I embrace the God-given place that I am in.
As a spiritual mother, I have been Mama to many. They’ve eaten at my table, slept in my bed, driven my car, eaten my baked goodies, sat in my Sunday school circle, cried on my shoulder. They’ve been nurtured through Bible study/discipleship, through training and preparation for their careers. They’ve come to me for counsel at least once. Many of them come back over and over and over again. There are some that want me to stay in their lives. Others, they don’t want to have anything to do with me.
I’m not the only one that I know in this group of special women. I dare say that all my biological sisters and my female cousins are spiritual moms to few or many. Add to that, the group of women with whom I share a special bond with – my sisters in Lifeway Ministries, plus a few others that I’ve met over the years, and I realize that God has given a part of Himself to women who are familiar with warfare. We are the group who can be as gentle as doves and as ferocious and tenacious as a pit bull all at the same time.
Women – Mamas – Spiritual Mamas are made for war. They are the church’s best kept secret and God’s greatest weapon. We fight many battles on many fronts. There’s the most obvious one that we older women fight with - our own bodies. We have health issues, and yet we fight. There’s also the battle in the mind, because there are times we wear a smile and are kind when we’d really like to slap someone into next week. Then there’s the battle within our spirits where we have to constantly yield our inner person to the God who created us for His glory so that we can be effective warriors.
Add to these three battles the battle for our marriages, our children, for souls, for righteousness to prevail. We spend time in fasting and prayer. We are not afraid of three, seven, ten, 21 day fasts. We plan private shut-ins and public prayer journeys. We pray in twos, in groups, and alone. We pray on the phone, in the car, at our jobs, in the john. We go to sleep praying and we wake up praying.
One of the things that will make a Mama pray more than anything else is the needs of her children. Years ago, when one of my sons was going through a rough patch, the enemy told me to give up. I shard this with one of my biological sisters, and I will never forget her words. She reminded me that Mamas NEVER GIVE UP. Her words gave me the strength to stand flat-footed and call the devil a liar to his face and then claim victory for my child. I’ve had to do it again. And I will do it again and again. The enemy does not get to win this battle. This is that ferociousness and the tenacity of the pit bull that is built into true spiritual Mamas.
Titus 2 gives the older women the task of teaching the younger women. Only today, younger women (and younger men too) – for the most part – don’t want to hear what we have to say. Every day I go to work, I’m counseling younger women and telling them things they don’t want to hear. But that’s okay. God didn’t give me power over the results, just the authority to tell, to illuminate, to warn.
I remember counseling a young lady that at some point in her life she would make a decision that her mother would not like or would not agree with. And here I am, standing at that point in my own life. What is the consolation in such times? For spiritual Mamas, it’s hearing a definitive Word from the Lord and then trusting in that Word until the end. This is where spiritual Mamas hide away in a place of prayer and fasting and position themselves in humility so they can get clarity from the Lord. Then they obey and hold on to the promises, even when they are weak, like a pit bull holds its prey and you pretty much have to kill the dog to get the meat from between its teeth.
Spiritual Mamas are not perfect; they make mistakes. In one place, Mary the mother of Jesus is on point by telling servants to obey Jesus when turning the water to wine. But when she and her other children tried to convince Him he was insane for calling himself the son of God, she was oh so wrong. What happens when we make mistakes? What else? We repent.
Being Spiritual Mamas, we get accused of being old fashioned, inflexible, intolerable, controlling, self-righteous, holier than thou, religious, or too serious. Many misunderstand our role. We take our God, His Word, our walk and our calling very seriously. The beauty of it is, when you’ve found your identity in Christ, it really does not matter what anyone says. Your life belongs to Him. And for that Spiritual Mama - you can strut your stuff.
We look forward to the day when this life is over, because Heaven is real, and we are packing our suitcases and making sure our garments are ready for that transition. In the meantime, we expect God to show Himself strong in every situation and circumstance – including the lives of all our children.
About: Jane Ward has been involved in ministry for 30 years. Most recently she became director at a pregnancy resource center. Jane is an author, publisher, teacher, whose passion is to connect with young women in order to share Jesus Christ with them and empower them to the abundant life Christ has made available for them. "Abundant life starts within through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It manifests itself outwardly through godly character."Back to Blog | Add to Buddy List