I thought I was being an attentive husband the night I cooked dinner for my wife.
There was a screech from upstairs, and I opened the bedroom door to see her head buried in a pillow. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “How could you? I can’t take that smell!”
This was a new one for me. She usually loved spaghetti and garlic bread. I didn’t realize the intense change that was occurring inside of her. She was pregnant! The best thing for me to do was get out of the house and take the garlic bread with me.
Not only is the baby changing every day inside a new mother, but the mother is changing as well. Neurologists agree that brain remodeling occurs in women during the development of their children. Tests have revealed a change in gray matter within the brain, resulting in a surge of maternal emotions such as love, protectiveness and empathy.
Each of us needs an internal change to occur if we are going to become spiritual parents. When Jesus told His disciples to pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers into the harvest, He was instructing them to beg God to change the hearts of the laborers so that they would be compelled to go.
It will take more than persuasive expositional sermons and guilt tactics to get you out of the pew and into the life of someone who needs a rebirth. Your heart and mind must be remodeled and changed. We will never see a mighty move of God in our communities until God changes His people’s hearts so that they break for those who are far from Him.
So pray! Pray that God would break your heart for your neighbor who is annoying and needs Jesus. Pray that God will give you empathy for the rude waitress at the restaurant you frequent. Pray that God will keep you up at night worrying about the eternal destination of your coworker — until you finally have a gospel conversation with them.
Finally, pray that this year you will become a spiritual parent, someone who has the great privilege of partnering with God through telling His story and witnessing a miraculous new birth. Walk with newborn believers with intense love, overprotectiveness from the evil one, and empathy for their brokenness.
As they change, you will change, too. In the end, you will look just like your Father.