Well, we are moving right along with this great book study. There is a terrific group of ladies reading this book and commenting on what they are learning. Be sure to check out their posts, you can find them by clicking on the button on the left. And it’s never to late to join in! So if you’re interested, grab a book and get reading! Thanks so much to Joanne Heim at The Simple Wife for moderating our study and developing such great questions every week!

At the end of this week’s notes, there’s a question for everyone to consider. Hope you’ll take a look and jot a note or two with your thoughts!

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?
• Reverence (love)
• Not slanderers (relationships)
• Not addicted (conduct)

I’m most excited (and challenged!) by reverence and love. I’m mindful that Jesus said love is the greatest of gifts. Being able to model this, to give this as a spiritual mom to my Goddaughters is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility. I realize that I need to pray for wisdom and circumstance to reflect love and reverence with and for the daughters I’ve been given.

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?

Interestingly, it’s the same — reverence and love. And I learned the value of giving it, of being loving through the failure of my marriage. It was a most painful lesson, one that has made me exceedingly sensitive about serving and caring for the people in my life with love as the motive.

2. “Biblical love does not come naturally” (page 57). What’s your response to that statement? 
What particularly stood out to you in the section on “Love” beginning on page 56?

It’s so true! I learned through my failure that real love, true loving behavior is not and cannot be a feeling but must be an action. And at it’s purest, being loving, acting in a loving way happens in spite of feelings. And that’s not natural. Biblical love is supernatural, powered and motivated by the Holy Spirit. I can only “do” Biblical love when my spirit is in submission to Spirit of the Lord.

Two statements out of this section made me underline and draw stars in the margins:

“Love demands dying to self and this makes no sense until one has come in reverent submission to the authority of God.” (page 57) — Don’t even try it without submitting yourself to the Lord!

“To ‘do love’ we must take off those things that will prevent us from being a servant. This demands dealing with selfishness, pride, laziness, insensitivity, and anything else that hinders our ability to execute love.” (page 58) — A servant considers others more highly than herself!

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?

James 1:19 comes to mind…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…

For me, submitting my speech to the Lord requires me to be thoughtful about what I say. Words have such power. Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue holds the power of life and death. I want my words to always speak life in and over the people I love.

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?

Knowing that people are praying for me has always been such an encouragement to me. This is especially true when I learn that people are praying for me when I haven’t asked them to. It always reminds me that the Lord sees me, that He sees when I need to be lifted up and puts me on the hearts and minds of people who will pray.

Interestingly, I tend to be someone who gives practical advice more readily. I do pray for people often and always when I’m asked but I always find myself wondering why I don’t do it right on the spot, with the person when they ask but hold the prayer for my quiet time. I should pray for them in both instances! I need to be more mindful of this and remember to pray for people in the moment. I think it will require a boldness I don’t have a comfort level with and need to develop more.

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?
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’m recognizing that I am the Lord’s servant at all times, not just in formal ministry occasions or when I’m interacting with my Goddaughters. My identity is not circumstantial but constant. As I embrace this more fully, living as His servant 24-7 becomes more natural. I like that!

Each day, I’m challenged to remember that the Lord never ceases to think of me in my true identity. In order to have His mind, I need to do the same thing. Daily, I need to remind myself of His truth about me and purposing to live in the fullness of that truth. When I see my behavior or my thought life going astray, I now have a place to take it captive.

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?

These five words struck me as powerfully truthful. There isn’t anything that I think I’m in danger of overindulging but I was reminded of something that the Lord recently removed from my life because He was wanting more of my attention. It was something I thought pretty innocent (a radio program) but He was wanting me to spend the time I gave the program listening to radio ministries that would allow Him to speak to me. When I/we overindulge in anything, we lose out on opportunities to grow in intimacy with the Lord. For all of us, I’m praying the Lord will remove anything from our lives that keeps us from deepening our relationship with Him.

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?

“Which of the elements of training do you most hope a spiritual mother would help you develop? Which element do you most want to help your spiritual daughter grow in?”