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Book Review

Mission of Motherhood: Reaching Your Child's Heart for Eternity - by Clarkson, Sally

Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook, 2003. 256pp.
Jennie Pulliam, wife of TMS student John Pulliam

Last year a friend recommended that I read Mission of Motherhood: Reaching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity by Sally Clarkson. I was refreshed and encouraged by the author’s words of wisdom and reminded and convicted of what my “mission” is as a mother as I had been experiencing a particularly difficult season of motherhood.

“The fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, to 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…” (p. 3). Sally Clarkson begins her book by using the Scriptures to remind readers of God’s initial design for mothers. Our calling as Christian mothers is to “fulfill God’s will for our lives and to glorify Him” (p. 15). This is accomplished by following His plan for families laid out in His Word. The chapter, "An Undivided Heart," brought immediate conviction. Though she begins the chapter talking about the consequences of mothers who are away from the home, Mrs. Clarkson points out that being present with our children is not solely a matter of being physically near our children; it really is a matter of the heart.

As a stay-at-home mom I am often with my children, but how often is my heart aware of my mission as a mom? Am I pouring myself out for my children as a spiritual act of worship? Do I desire to be doing something else or do I embrace that this is the calling the Lord has given me?

The last chapter of the book was particularly encouraging for me as it dealt with the faithful mother. The author writes that the task of “stewarding children’s lives is not a short term process. There is no quick list of rules that can be followed in one short year that will ensure success. The mission of motherhood requires grit. It requires perseverance. And that often means years of repetitious and mundane tasks, years of repeating yourself, years of wondering whether anything you do or say makes a difference… We must choose to believe that God himself will eventually reward our choices and efforts to raise a godly heritage for his glory. It is for Him and His purposes that we must endure, trusting that He who promised is faithful” (pp. 226-227). These words were a great encouragement to my heart.

The book is divided into five sections: A Mother’s calling; A Mother’s Heart for God; A Mother’s Heart for Her Children; A Mother’s Heart for Her Home; and A Mother’s Heart for Eternity. Each section consists of one or more chapters that develop these themes. At the end of every chapter, there is a “For Thought and Reflection” section. There is also a “Something To Try” section which includes practical and creative ways to solidify these themes in the mind and heart and some fun, practical ideas that Mrs. Clarkson has used with her own family. Also, the author shares “Our Twenty-Four Family Ways,” which is a list of household ways that she has taught her children.

Overall, I thought this book was helpful and encouraging and would recommend it to other moms seeking to be faithful to their God-given "mission".

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