Book Review: The Mission of Motherhood
by Sally Clarkson
I really enjoyed this book. I love reading these books where the author talks about some of the specific things they have done in raising their children for Christ. It is so great to read some personal examples and then to hear from the kiddos and how they were affected by it. This book reminds me of The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot in that regard.
I also really liked how much this book focused on your heart as a mom. Several times she emphasized that even if your circumstances mean the mom has to do some work outside of the home, it does not mean her HEART is not at home. This was so encouraging for me because of our recent change in circumstances now that I had to go back to work full time. I really struggled with transitioning back to work even though I didn’t go back because I wanted to but out of necessity, I still felt like I was abandoning my heart which desires so much to just be home full time. I was encouraged to hear about other women in the same situations and to know that my presence at work does not change my heart status.
“… the fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God and his purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully.” p. 3
“For thousands of years… Motherhood was seen as a noble and important calling. Women considered themselves blessed to bear many children, and it was considered normal and good for home and family to be the central focus of a woman’s life… Somehow, over the course of the last century, traditional motherhood had become a lifestyle option – and to many, a lesser option – rather than a divine calling.” p.9-10
“As important as my role is, and as important as my children are, they are not to be the center of my life, and my central calling is not to motherhood… My calling as a mother is the same as any other Christian’s: to fulfill God’s will for our lives and to glorify him.” p.14-15
“The mission of motherhood is strategic in providing the next generation with whole-hearted, emotionally healthy, and spiritually alive adults… It is a divine calling that will indeed affect eternity.” p.16
“When God’s commands are obeyed, people flourish because they are living in harmony with the way they were designed.” p.29
“Children do not accidentally become righteous leaders or emotionally healthy and productive adults – any more than seeds thrown randomly to the wind grow to be part of a thriving garden. Simply throwing children into a cultural tornado and hoping for the best gives them little chance of living up to their potential or coming out unharmed.” p.43
“… a divided mind that comes from a lack of wholehearted commitment to the home, as well as the simple time pressure that comes from supporting a dual career of home and family, tends to rob mother and children alike of the freedom they need to grow and thrive.” p.47
“Each of us is different, each of us finds herself at a different point on this path of motherhood, and our individual decisions will reflect the difference in our circumstances. But once we commit to embrace the vision of motherhood, God always provides the creative guidance we need to keep moving toward our goal.” p.51
“All that God requires from any of us is a desire to serve him and a trust that he can make up the difference for the things we lack… He will use our willingness and or efforts, then fill in the gaps of our inadequacies, to prepare their hearts for what he has in mind.” p.84
“… unless we take the initiative to gently and lovingly confront our children’s sin and selfishness, they will not learn to be mature adults… The wise mother takes the time to correct her children over and over again so they can experience the peace and freedom of knowing how to govern their lives in such a way as to be mature, wise, and at peace with God.” 91
“Children do not accidentally become mature adults of strong character, great faith, gracious relational skills, effective leadership qualities, and sharp intellects. God’s design includes the presence of a hands-on gardener, a mother, to tend and cultivate their hearts, souls, minds, and relationships… a child whose growth is unsupervised or left to chance will likely grow wild and undisciplined or stunted and unfruitful.” p.142