Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sophia Wisdom

God the Father, Jesus the Bridegroom, and Holy Spirit the… role model for mothers? 
The Holy Spirit is described in the Bible as an Advocate, comforter in suffering, encourager, witness, teacher, and God’s gift to believers.  The Holy Spirit is closely associated with words, both written and spoken.  The Holy Spirit is among us and in us.  We are a temple filled with the Holy Spirit if we obey God.  You can speak against many things, but it is not forgiven if you speak against the Holy Spirit (Luke 12:10, Matt. 12:32, Mark 3:29, Acts 5:3).  Though the Holy Spirit is often used when talking about baptism, it would seem that it is also present when people hear the gospel and believe (Acts 10:44, 11:15) or when men of faith pray over believers (Acts 8: 15-17, 8:19, 19:6). 
How does any of that equate to being a role model for moms?  Sure we could go the way of the High School English paper and say something poetic about birth and water being feminine attributes.  I would like to shy away from that though because as cool as that might sound it really doesn’t help us in our daily struggle to parent. 
God has the sometimes annoying habit of being perfect.  He doesn’t say anything He doesn’t mean and He doesn’t mince words.  God gives us a clear picture of Himself as triune.  He is the Father and the bridge-groom, that much is not really up for debate.  But what to do with the Holy Spirit?  The Holy Spirit has several very feminine qualities.  “She” likes to: talk, listen, comfort, fill us with love, and bring hope.  The Holy Spirit is a nurturer who excels in interpreting the prayers we can only groan b/c we can’t find the words ourselves.  Every time the Bible says the Spirit testifies I have this image of a strong southern woman belting out, “Preach it honey, cause you know I saw it,” with her hand raised up in the air. 
There are a number of lessons we can learn from this Advocate.  I want to look at one of those today.  The Holy Spirit comes as a gift from God.  Those who are “filled with the spirit” are directly plugged in (as much as a human can be) to the Truth and Love of God.  Those are some mighty big shoes to fill.  As mothers we are the nurturers; relationships are important to us.  Connections matter and we cultivate them.  We want our daughters to get along with their siblings, their father, and especially with us.  We also need to nurture our daughters’ relationships with God, her Father in Heaven, and Jesus, her future groom.  Do we fill our daughters with a sense of dread in their obligations to religious rules and doctrine?  Or do we help “the God of hope fill [our daughters] with all joy and peace as [they] trust in him, so that [they] may overflow with hope by the power of the [our example and teaching].”

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.      Luke 10:21

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.      Romans 5:5

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