Time for Chapter 2 of Susan Hunt’s “Spiritual Mothering” read along. It’s not too late to join in — if you’re interested, click on the button on the left for details. Thanks to Joanne Heim at The Simple Wife for hosting this great reading group!

1. In the first short section of chapter 2, Hunt talks about the second-pivotal principle of spiritual mothering: that our life-purpose is to glorify God. The driving force of any spiritual mothering relationship is not the relationship, but God’s glory.
How does this alter/change/influence/affect what you’ve thought so far about this topic? Does it change how you perceive this kind of mentoring? If so, how?

It such a powerful reminder about what my life is supposed to be about — His glory. That’s it. I love having a clear picture of what my goals are supposed to be. I’ve always felt that it made decision making easier. My choices either move me toward my goal or away from it. So the way I conduct my life either glorifies God or it doesn’t’. I need to live accordingly. That’s helpful to me!

With regard to mentoring, it’s clear that I need to make sure that what I bring to the life of my Goddaughters or other young women moves them forward in living a life that glorifies God. I need to be so sensitive to the counsel I give, the conversations I have, that my time with them is about directing them toward Him and not about having them live life the way I think it should be lived. I think I will be much more thoughtful about what I say, do and share with them to be certain that everything is in line with what the purpose of our lives is supposed to be.

2. Much of the chapter examines Mary. “I fear that too often we do not hold Mary up as an example, because we are overcompensating for some who have elevated her above humanity. This robs us of one of the most beautiful examples of faith found in Scripture…In Mary we do see a woman who embraced God’s glory as her reason for being and translated that into her experience” (page 26).
What struck you fresh about Mary’s story after reading this chapter? 

I never really thought through all that Mary must have gone through during that rollercoaster ride that took off after the Holy Spirit confirmed that she would be the mother of the Messiah. Talk about a tough road to walk! Her world was turned upside down and yet she stayed focused, stayed trusting, continued to believe that the God who had chosen her to do this would work everything out for her good and His glory. I’m not always so good at that…and my life, while it’s had it’s dramatic events and challenges, has never been given such a heavy burden to carry. Considering her life was humbling and challenging to me at the same time. I need to be more like her!

3. Hunt made a couple of statements about Mary’s response to the angel:
“This young woman handled the situation without her brain or her emotions being scrambled” (page 27).
“This was no emotional reaction but rather a deliberate and logical response based upon the character and promises of God” (page 28).
How do these statements compare to how you typically respond to something? Are you more on the side of being scrambled, or more deliberate and logical?
How does/should having a life-purpose of glorifying God and an identity of being the Lord’s servant affect our response any kind of situation?

I’ve always thought that most people have an emotion of choice when they confronted with difficult situations — they get angry, giddy (in order to avoid dealing with things), or whatever. My emotion of choice tends to be sadness so I guess I fall into the more scrambled camp. I realize that when I do that, I’m 1)unable to glorify God because I’m not focused on Him, I’m focused on me and 2) I’ve completely forgotten who He is and what He can do — if I would just remember that, there would be no need to be sad! I’ve worked on this part of my character for a few years now and it’s/I’m so much better than before but I know I need to fight the constant battle to see Him in my circumstances because He’s bigger than anything that He allows to come my way. This attitude should be the mark of the Lord’s servant. And I recognize that I need to model that for my Goddaughters so they can have a real-life example of what this looks like.

4. On page 32, Hunt distinguishes between confidence based on our identity in Christ and self-confidence. How do you see these as being different?

When I have my identity based on Christ and my position in Him, I have access to His power. The power that raised Him from the dead is available to me and all that He has for me to do — that’s a rich truth! When I am nothing more than self-confident, my power is limited to what I can do in my own strength. And while in the world’s way of thinking that may seem like quite a bit, it’s so much less, so much weaker, so inferior to what I have when I let my identity be in Him. The choice would seem to be so easy…makes me wonder why I allow myself to struggle so sometimes…

5. If you had to pick a sentence or a phrase from this chapter to write on your bathroom mirror to see each and every day, what would you pick? Why?

“(Mary’s) purpose was not her convenience but God’s glory.” — Page 31

Living for God’s glory is not always going to be convenient, I need to remember that. But inconvenience does not change my purpose. I must be faithful to the purpose God created me for regardless of whether or not it suits my plans. Spiritual mothering — any mothering, best I can tell — is anything but convenient! But God is honored and glorified when I choose obedience over my convenience. And more than anything, I want Him to be honored and glorified by my life.