Are You the Pregnant Lady or the Mid-Wife?

Are you the pregnant lady or the mid-wife?

They were staring at me. In silence. I’d never admit this out loud, but 80 silent middle school and high school students are intimidating. I asked a question. They wouldn’t answer. I asked another. Same response. It was my fourth week on the job, and they were stone cold. Like an old west standoff, it came down to who would flinch first. I was determined not to lose. Have you ever been there? In that moment, I had to decide whether I’d be the pregnant lady or the mid-wife.

Baby foot

I run into this decision everyday. You probably do, too. When you’re discipling a young person in the faith, are you the pregnant lady or the mid-wife? When you’re teaching a class full of high school students, are you the pregnant lady or the mid-wife? When you’re parenting your children, are you the pregnant lady or the mid-wife?

Here’s what I mean: good teaching (discipling, parenting, etc) gives birth to good ideas. Whether you’re the pregnant lady or the mid-wife, good ideas should ‘find the light of day.’ But how those good ideas get born makes all the difference in the world.

Often, as leaders and teachers, we see ourselves as the pregnant ladies. It goes like this:

1. We conceive a good idea …

2. We internally allow it to grow to maturity …

3. We birth the idea in the privacy of our study (or a local coffee shop) …

4. We show baby pictures of the idea to everyone else we are leading and teaching …

5. And, occasionally, we even pass the baby around and let others touch and feel our idea …

Sometimes, this is the only option we have, because of time, space, or environment limitations. But it always comes with some obvious costs:

1. Because we birthed the baby, we know way more about it than anyone else.

2. Because we birthed the baby, we own it and care for it, and others only look at it.

3. Because we birthed the baby, it looks quite a bit like us, and not like others.

Sometimes, we try to fix these problems. We dress the baby in attractive clothes, so that others will want to be near it. We ask others to babysit our baby, so they can get to know it better. We try to take clearer and brighter pictures of the baby, so others can see it more clearly.

But the problem still remains. We still own the baby, we still birthed the baby, and no one else did.

What if we saw ourselves differently? How would we lead and teach and disciple and parent differently? What if we are really supposed to be mid-wives?

What if our best moments come when others give birth to ideas, and we help them to deliver?

What if our best ideas are those that look significantly like other people, instead of only like us?

What if our greatest gift is helping others conceive, grow, and birth ideas under our teaching? Our leadership?

What would change?

1. They’d never stop talking about the idea they birthed.

2. They’d die for that idea ‘baby.’

3. They’d take full responsibility for that baby idea, and make sure it grows and is protected.

4. They’d always remember you as the one who helped them birth that idea, and they’d see the idea as their own.

Jesus asked His discples, “Who do people say I am?” and then, “Who do you say I am?” It was a risky question. Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” And he never forgot that idea. He always talked about it. He took full responsibility for it. And he was so sure of it that he died for it. Jesus—God Himself!—chose to be a mid-wife.

What is scary about being a mid-wife? How would this change how we lead, teach, parent, and disicple? Leave a comment here: comments.

  • 4give4life

    GREAT analogy! This helps me not be as nervous, feel a lack of confidence, when I feel God nudging me to teach, this feels the opposite..it empowers me in my teaching…because instead of feeling inadequate and feeling I can never be prepared enough …to other peoples standards….I am just watching for opportunity to build someone else…This helps me keep in perspective that if Jesus commanded all of us to be disciples…then… ALL OF US HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE A DISCIPLE OF SOMEONE ELSE. This is so very simple and helps me realize my identity with Christ and HIS expectation out of me. Wow! This helps me keep it so simple if I think of being a mid wife to those around me instead of waiting until I am “scholarly” and “approved” . Thanks so much! Keep up the blogging…and I think the scary thing for me about being a mid wife….once they have birthed the idea…..I don’t want to drop it! This might cause scaring, or internal damage . ….I need to stay close to the Father, Keep myself faithful, available, teachable from those who are my mid wives and from the Holy Spirit so I can pursue the calling God has put before me.

    • Helen–these are great thoughts! Yes, in some ways the pressure is off, because we’re asking God to birth ideas in people, and we’re the helpers. And, it also means we have to know a lot about how to help people give birth!

      Thanks!

    • Helen–these are great thoughts! Yes, in some ways the pressure is off, because we’re asking God to birth ideas in people, and we’re the helpers. And, it also means we have to know a lot about how to help people give birth!

      Thanks!

      Rob

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