Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It was a day to celebrate mothers and all they do. It wasn’t too long ago that I avoided church on Mother’s Day. It made my empty womb too much to bear. And yesterday, as we headed into church, my heart broke for those battling infertility. I wondered how many were staying home, avoiding the very real reminder of what they were not. And it reminded me of a bible study I did a few years ago called “Five Aspects of Woman”. It’s a college course I did through my church, with a bunch of other wonderful women, quite a few years ago now. I had pulled it out a few years ago and written a summary for a friend who God told me needed to hear it. And yesterday I really felt He wanted me to share it again, for the women who “survived” yesterday.
The course covers five different aspect of a woman in the biblical sense. The aspects are Mistress of the Domain, Helper Completer, Lifegiver, Lady of Wisdom, Glory of Man. I won’t get into all of them right now, but I want to offer this summary of what a Lifegiver looks like for a women without a child…
In this section, the author is talking about how every woman has an innate desire to give life. However, she points out that having children is important, but it isn’t the sum total of “life giving”. We have a created capacity in our bodies and in our spirits to give life, to encourage, to nurture, to heal, to comfort, to make things alive. She discusses Moses, and how it took 5 women in his life (mother, Pharaoh’s wife, 2 midwives and his sister) to help raise him up for God’s great calling on his life. His birth mother only played a partial role. We have the physical make-up to give life. In Luke 11:27-28 a lady exclaims how proud his mother must be. But he responds “blessed are those who hear the word of God and do it”. Jesus taught the greatest thing about us is not that we can give birth. In Isaiah 56:3-5 it says those of us who love God will be honored more than those who have sons and daughters. What makes us great is hearing the word of God and doing it.
Part of the role as a “lifegiver” is to be a “home builder”. House work is not the same things as home making, and home making is not the same thing as house building. Understanding these aspects help us guard our priorities, maintain our self respect, and keep our long term focus. Each area is important, but not the same.
- The mundane task of housekeeping gives us time to pray and rest our mind. Our family becomes more secure because our mind and heart are focused on the family’s “world”
- Homemaking is habitually creating an atmosphere at home conducive to rest, fellowship, love, learning and security. By creating a sanctuary, we give life and rest to others by giving them a place to come and rest so we can pour into them.
- House building is the thing we do to give roots and wings to those around us. It is the prayers we pray and the scriptures we teach to ground our families in God. It is the celebrations we host, the memorabilia we keep, the blessings we give, and the challenges we put forth for the future. The Elders of Bethlehem called down a blessing on Ruth in Ruth 4:11: “May you be like Rachel and Leah who build up the house of Jacob.” House building in this sense is the long-term life work of helping a man, creating and nurturing the family, producing wealth, earning a reputation, blessing the local church and community, strengthening the nation and thus influencing the world.
Overall, Life giving is anything that raises us above mere existence to life. This is our animation, vitality, interests, vigor, joy in multiple forms – physically, socially, artistically, spiritually, intellectually. God’s word is the ultimate food to the spirit, but ALL words are food. Proverbs calls words “a healing tree” a “sword” or a “fire”. Words have power to nurture, hurt, or to be a medicinal balm. This world is full of “junk food” words for the spirit. Can we train ourselves to give life to those around us through good words? All women should be life givers through words. Nurturing, encouraging, teaching, beautifying, healing. “Take inventory of your domains and identify where you are giving life. Whom am I nurturing? How am I doing it?” There are many techniques and ways to do this: music, cards, visiting, hosting parties, etc. When you pour into others through help and encouragement, you are a “House builder” and a “life giver”, which are desperately needed.
So thank you. Thank you for the women who have been lifegivers to my family. Thank you to the women who have been lifegivers to others. You are needed, and God will bless you for your work!