While this is not a parenting book per se, there are so many powerful and vivid examples of how women – mothers – compare to the lioness, that I thought it worth a review. I do, however, recommend this book to anyone looking to really capture the idea that women were made to be fierce yet gentle, loving, protective and strategic. It’s a fairly quick read and Lisa uses examples from scripture and nature to get her point across in a big way.
Basic points on how we as mothers are like the lioness.
1) We can be ferocious one minute and loving the next.
She gave an eloquent quote about how the mouth of a lioness can catch and devour its prey and later, with the same mouth, pick up her cubs gently and move them to safety. She has paws that can mangle in one instant and pet and stroke her young in another. I’m not suggesting we mangle and devour our foes. However, I believe this is a great illustration of the strength we women possess, particularly when the safety of our young are challenged. (My thoughts on Mama Bear Instinct here). There have been times in my life that I thought if I were to possess less self-control, I would have mangled or devoured something or someone. There is such a thing as righteous anger! I agree with Lisa and believe that when we accept we are made to be strong and ferocious and gentle and nurturing, we’ll actually parent in a more whole way.
2) We team with other women for the good of our own offspring.
Lionesses of the same pride get pregnant, birth, and raise cubs together. So in a lion pride the various lion cubs are all around the same age. The lionesses not only groom their own cubs and provide food and safety, they do so for the other lion cubs as well. As mothers we should surely take care of our own children. But what about the other children of our area and the world? The children who don’t have fiercely protective mothers looking after them? I think women are strong in areas of compassion and nurture and if we use these wisely we can make a difference in the lives of many children. There is a couple that are known to our church who have 6 kids, and the mother just left the family. Here is an opportunity for us to come along side this father and help him in whatever way we can. We can provide food (the lionesses do the hunting, by the way), clothes, fun and even relief for this weary dad. Also, these kids will be suffering from the effects of rejection (I cannot imagine how much it would hurt a child to know their mother didn’t care enough to stay) and this is a chance for us to speak life, hope and love into these children’s hearts. Maybe you know of a similar situation!
3) We support the lion because the future and safety of the cubs depend on him to a large extent.
Single parents will be forced to take on both fatherly and motherly roles for the good of their children. My mother was a single parent and I have vivid memories of the sacrifices she made and how hard she worked for me as I grew up, even when I didn’t realize it at the time. Mothers who are part of a couple, however, have a particular role to play as it relates to their husband. Not only does a husband have the duty of providing financially and bringing a level of security into his home, but he has the role of spouse and father to play. Lionesses hunt, protect and nurture and do so while serving (not in a slave way, now, but in the helper sense of the word) the alpha lion of the pride. The lioness knows that if the male is weak, lazy or hungry he’ll make bad decisions. If the alpha lion makes bad decisions the cubs are in danger because other lions may kill the cubs to wipe out the pride and start over. So the lioness – as part of her duties in the pride – hunts and brings food to the lion, protects him from attackers and other prey, and warns him of impending attack. She is not master over the lion, yet she realizes his well-being is directly related to their well-being and so does her best to empower him so he can be the strongest alpha lion around. As women, we need to help our husbands be the man they should/want to be. We need to watch their backs and warn them of areas where danger could potentially come into the family. We women are intuitive and perceptive so let’s use it for the good of our spouse which will translate directly to the good of our entire family.
A great read whether or not you’re a mother! Find a new or used copy of Lioness Arising here.
PS – For more book reviews visit the archives!
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