Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt was published in 1992. I have had it on my shelf for a while, but the time was right for me to read it now. I have enjoyed the examples of relationships provided in the book. The purpose of the book is to shine a light on relationships between women that lead to a growing faith and maturity.
Each chapter is preceded by a real life example of a relationship. The lessons are developed from the example. Biblical women and scripture verses are included. The beautiful relationship between Mary and Elizabeth is referred to in several chapters.
The chapter on forgiveness highlights Abigail, the wife of Nabal. Her story is told in the 25th chapter of 1 Samuel. From Susan Hunt’s perspective, Abigail had an attitude of forgiveness toward her rude husband who was prone to drunkenness. She was free to focus on the dramatic events when David, the future king of Israel, was requesting food for his men.
I had never thought of Abigail in that way. It is true that a forgiving heart has freedom. An attitude of unforgiveness/bitterness is a burden that impacts relationships negatively.
The book points out the value of women’s relationships and the potential for mentoring. In our culture we have much busyness and competition between women. The loving encouragement in a friendship, modeled by Mary and Elizabeth, is a gift. This is a season of life when I am thinking more about the way I relate to younger women.
As the book concluded I thought about the pattern of a one-on-one relationship—the intensity of this manner of mentoring. A few years ago I participated in a discipleship group with two other women. Although I led the group, we were learning and growing together. We shared our lives and challenges with transparency. We prayed for each other. We all benefited.
I am blessed to have two daughters and one daughter-in-law. It was wonderful to spend four days, all together, during the holidays. We have good relationships and will continue to learn from each other.
This book makes the point that a woman does not need to have a biological daughter to have a mentoring relationship; she doesn’t need to be a certain age. A godly woman can bless a younger woman by taking an interest in her and making herself available. The book is organized for group study, with discussion questions at the end of each chapter. I recommend it!