I love being a mom. Many of you may be surprised to hear that I am the proud momma of about a dozen children. Well, sort of. I have two of my own, but I’m also an honorary momma for a whole gaggle of kids. It’s one of my favorite parts of being in God’s family – now our family extends far beyond our biological one! Years ago, my friends and I discovered that our children would easily go to any of the moms in our playgroup for a hug, a little comfort, or to share a fun new discovery. We all became “honorary moms” to each other’s children. As the years have passed, we’ve noticed that our kids sometimes go to these other moms for a listening ear or a bit of advice. It’s nice to know that when my children aren’t with me, these honorary moms can offer support, love, and wise, godly counsel. And I can do the same for their kids. Over the years, the group of my own “honorary offspring” has grown and now encompasses toddlers to teens, both boys and girls. (I finally have “daughters!”:-) This past Mother’s Day, I was deeply blessed as one child after another came up to me to give me a hug and to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. It’s a treasure, and a trust.

But this treasure (and responsibility!) is not limited to those of us who have children. Whether or not you have your own biological children, God calls us all into ministry and speaks specifically to us about taking our place as honorary mothers.

To those without children, God says in Isaiah 54:

“Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby.
   Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth!
You’re ending up with far more children
   than all those childbearing women.” God says so!
“Clear lots of ground for your tents!
   Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
   drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room
   for your growing family.”
Isaiah 54 (The Message)

And to all of us:

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good.
Titus 2:3 – 8

By following God’s direction, we can be honorary/spiritual moms to those special young people that He has placed in our lives. We can celebrate that God is calling us to a love that is big and “spread out,” calling us to an influence that becomes a legacy through the generations, and I thank God for these precious lives that, in addition to my own children, God has blessed me to be a part of.


1 Comment

Maggie Rowe · 05/11/2011 at

Great post, Kristi. Spiritual motherhood is incredibly important. Not every woman will (or even wants to) bear children, but we are all called to teach and mentor those who are behind us in life’s race. I love the description of Deborah in the OT as a “mother to Israel.” As a judge and civil authority, she gave counsel, settled disputes, and dispensed justice, like a mom must do.

We are starting an “Apples of Gold” ministry at my house next week to fulfill the mandate in Titus 2. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Blessings on your ministry,

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