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Spiritual Motherhood: A Lifelong Calling

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Two of my children have flown the coop. They’re soaring now far from home. A day’s drive away, there are no quick visits for lunch, dinner, or shopping. I miss them desperately.

Our youngest is just two years away from college. We’re soaking in the moments with him as he fluffs his wings yearning to take flight.

Our family is really close – a miracle from God.

God has very graciously allowed me memories of days when our home swelled with the antics, laughter, awesome personalities, perspectives, and love of our children . . . when our family unit was whole and under one roof. The door swung open continuously, friends pouring in, laundry piles mounting endlessly, and life bursting through our home. Those were precious times.

It’s much quieter now. I don’t like quiet for very long.

When we do our job right as moms, our kids say “goodbye” leaving us to embrace adult life. That’s what we want. It’s the best thing for them.

Seeing them thrive makes me really, really happy. 

Yet this phase of life has been much more painful than I ever thought it could be. It’s a big adjustment switching gears and learning how to be a mom to adult children.

Today, I thought it might be important to remind you (and myself) that motherhood isn’t a phase or stage. It was never intended to be. God gave us mother’s hearts. That calling lasts a lifetime – with our own children and with others. Yes. With others.

I recently came across a term that really resonated with me. Spiritual mother.

In this sense, a spiritual mother is not a biological mother. Her purpose isn’t to take the place of a biological momma. She’s a Christian woman who invests herself in the lives of young Christ-followers. She’s an encourager, teacher, role model, guide, trainer, and source of wisdom and love. She prays for her spiritual “offspring” and is deeply passionate about helping them reach their God-given potential.

During the past five years as my children left home, God surprised me with some new opportunities – sweet opportunities to nurture, love, and mentor young adults as a spiritual mother. I can tell you for certain there are a lot of wounded hearts in this world. Those wounded hearts need someone to lovingly help them walk, then run, on strong legs of faith.

For those who have never experienced a healthy family dynamic or experienced a loving relationship with their biological mother, a spiritual mother can fill in some gaps and soothe some mighty big wounds. 

In the Bible, God makes it clear he wants us to be fruit-bearers. Spiritual fruit bearers. First in ourselves, then nurturing others so his family grows to maturity. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed this or not, but there’s an overwhelming need for spiritual fathers and mothers to invest in the lives of young people today.

For those of you who have never had children (and those whose children are now adults), let me remind you how desperately you are needed as a spiritual mother. I’m being serious here. Biological motherhood is NOT a prerequisite for spiritual motherhood. Having your own children does not exempt you from being a spiritual mother to others.

Whether a child comes from a good home or not, there is a special place in their lives for a woman who is willing to pour wisdom, practical knowledge, and love into them. 

Our daughter has benefited from her relationship with a sweet spiritual mother in the town where she lives. She’s been filling the gaps for a momma who lives ten hours away while nurturing our daughter in her faith. She is such a blessing to both of us.

We are all called to be spiritual mothers to the “children” in God’s family. It’s a calling we never outgrow because there’s always a need for spiritual mothers who will come alongside young adults, point them in the right direction, and help them realize God’s created intent for their lives.

Spiritual motherhood doesn’t require perfection or the ability to quote endless passages from the Bible. Your authentic faith, love, obedience, transparency, and enjoyment of God will teach volumes.

Who are you spiritually mothering today? If the answer is no one, I guarantee you someone is out there wishing they had a spiritual parent to invest in them. You have so much to offer. Ask God to help you find that person.

Related posts:

Spiritual Mothering

Answering the Call to Be a Spiritual Parent

Third Leadership Principle: Become a Spiritual Father or Mother



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