The Greatest Spiritual Mom
By Iesha Schreiner
“I do not write these things to shame you, but to warn and advise you as my beloved children. For even if you were to have ten thousand teachers [to guide you] in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers [who led you to Christ and assumed responsibility for you], for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the good news [of salvation]. So I urge you, be imitators of me [just as a child imitates his father]. For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my way of life in Christ [my conduct and my precepts for godly living], just as I teach everywhere in every church.” 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 AMP
I recently started reading a book about the power and influence spiritual father’s and mother’s carry. Six chapters in and I am reflecting about my spiritual parents and mentors who greatly impacted my life. I’m grateful God brought many men and women in my life to model His ways in every area of their life. I remember seeing the joy my mentors had in their life and how they responded in affliction, and wanting what they had. They were authentic and genuine about their life, but persevered in God’s word. They treated the word of God as their instructions for everything in life and really lived it.
I was 17 years old when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and entered into the discipleship process at my church. This is where we were assigned to have leaders/mentors who were trusted to teach us the word, watch over us, be a part of our life, and act as a spiritual parent. My pastor took me under her wing, and I was delighted and felt special to have the privilege of being so close to a giant in the faith. The presence of God would be so strong in our meetings that I could feel the fear of the Lord and I carried a deep respect for her because of the spiritual authority she carried. I was a rough teenager, but I was also ready for more of God, but wasn’t at all sure how that would look. I was rude to others at times, I would offend many people at our church because of the attitude I sometimes took with them, and I was very prideful.
Pastor Patricia did not look at me and think it would be too hard to mentor me and pass me on to other leaders to deal with, she took this challenge and saw me for who I would become. She taught me as if I was her very own daughter. I learned servant leadership, how to steward my time and finances, how to be confident in Christ, and to pursue God holding nothing back. I learned how to be authentic with her and other mentors in my Christian walk. The times when I was not, the Holy Spirit would show her exactly what I did not want to tell her, and I would be exposed. This happened every time I was in her presence, so I quickly learned not to hold things back, even when I was embarrassed to share things.
The book “Sonship Revolution, Where Legacies Are Birthed,” by David McDonald shares two things that spiritual parents do: 1) lay a foundation and 2) build identity, that essentially creates other spiritual parents. Pastor Patricia gave me the foundation of the character of God. In being accountable, teachable, and humble I saw the word of God come alive in my own life. I saw what God was like through her actions towards me. In surrendering all my hopes and dreams to God, I see He had bigger plans than I had for myself. Things I never imagined could become my reality, became what I lived. Pastor Patricia showed me mountains of grace that empowered me to live set apart for the Lord and was firm when I needed it most. I was directed to accept God as my father, mother, husband, friend, and anything I needed in different seasons of my life. I had plenty of room to grow under her leadership.
My husband and I still meet with her at least once a month to share what the Lord is speaking to us, how we are fulfilling our assignments, and to get her advice on different areas of our life. I am grateful that the Lord put me with whom I would consider the greatest spiritual mom of all times, Pastor Patricia! Under her mentorship, I have learned to love, serve, and push others to be all they can be regardless of their background, education, family life, or race. I don’t give up on others I mentor because she never gave up on me.
I have been taught how to disciple others, intercede for those I mentor, and speak into their lives. Spiritual parents are essential in any generation and age. I encourage you to find father’s and mother’s in the faith that highly value discipleship and aren’t afraid to invite you into their life as they follow Christ. If you already have this in your life, then I encourage you to ask God how you can best imitate your spiritual parent/s using your gifts and talents.
“I do not write these things to shame you, but to warn and advise you as my beloved children. For even if you were to have ten thousand teachers [to guide you] in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers [who led you to Christ and assumed responsibility for you], for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the good news [of salvation]. So I urge you, be imitators of me [just as a child imitates his father]. For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my way of life in Christ [my conduct and my precepts for godly living], just as I teach everywhere in every church.”
1 Cor. 4:14-17
“Lord, I pray you would continue to turn the hearts of the spiritual fathers and mothers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their spiritual mothers and fathers. Jesus modeled this way of living when He called the disciples, helps us to be imitators of Jesus. Amen!”
Book on “Sonship Revolution, Where Legacies Are Birthed” by David McDonald