Mothering and fathering -- an occupation for all

We are sometimes led to believe that mothering and fathering are human instincts attributable only to those who have children. For how can one be said to have a mother love and a father protectiveness if one doesn't have children to bestow these on?

But mothering and fathering actually involve universal spiritual qualities. Hasn't almost everyone experienced the loving kindness and tenderness of a friend who is not his parent? The fact is, no one inherently lacks the beautiful qualities we ascribe to good parents. These qualities come to us from God. Whether one has many children or none, is married or single, widowed or divorced, he or she is included in the universal occupation of mothering and fathering.

God is the source of all life. He ism Life. He is our true Father-Mother and has created man in His likeness. God's spiritual offspring possess and express the qualities of the one Parent, including love, tenderness, strength, wisdom. When we realize that in our real being we have the parent qualities without measure, we can discover fresh opportunities around us for expressing these qualities.

But we can't give another what we don't know we already have within us to give. We need first to accept love, strength, and wisdom as important elements of our true spiritual nature.Accept them and livem them. As we do so we can share them.

Christ Jesus never married; he never became a parent in the usual sense. Yet he certainly did not lack opportunities to mother and father those around him. He could discern when someone needed a tender word of encouragement, but he did not withold words of correction when they were needed as well. The qualities his various encounters called for he easily summoned, because he knew he expressed God, the source of those qualities; they were not personal attributes belonging exclusively to him. Paul, telling the people that God is "not far from every one of us," added, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." n1

n1 Acts 17:27, 28.

In the same way, one whose parents are no longer with him need never feel something is missing -- a mother's love or a father's guidance. By understanding that God continuously comforts and directs His children, and by seeking to feel and express those qualities, thoughts of aloneness can be lifted. Are we sincerely looking to Himm for our support, or are we seeking to find it through a person? Christ Jesus directed his followers, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." n2

n2 Matthew 6:33.

In the measure of our understanding (no doubts attached to it) of this important facts that it is God who comforts and directs, our needs in this area will be met. We may not know howm they will be met; but we canm know God's law of harmony will take care of them. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, tells us: "God is over all. He alone is our origin, aim, and being. The real man is not of the dust, nor is he ever created through the flesh; for his father and mother are the one Spirit, and his brethren are al the children of one parent, the eternal good." n3

n3 Retrospection and Introspection,m p. 22.

By seeing the parent qualities in their true light, as spiritual, eternal, established by God, we will discover endless, joyful opportunities for mothering and fathering, regardless of our present human role. We will find ourselves able to give and receive love and tenderness, wisdom, guidance, and strength. Our own lives -- and the lives of those to whom we give -- will be more deeply fulfilled. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. II corinthians 1:3, 4

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