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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review- The Ministry of Motherhood

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I tend to pick up random books at the clearance section of the Christian bookstore, and I happened to find this one by Sally Clarkson, "The Ministry of Motherhood." It was endorsed by Nancy Wolgemuth, and because I believe in preparing for the future, I decided I would read it.

Sally goes over five important character traits to cultivate in moms and in the lives of their children. She mentions the gift of grace, the gift of inspiration, the gift of faith, the gift of training, and the gift of service. Sally has some basic points, and then she has some not so obvious points, like the importance of praying together as a family and reading the Bible as a family. Sally uses examples in her own life to demonstrate how these five gifts should play out in the life of a family.

I'm picking out the best points I saw from this book. Sally addresses something I've thought about since I was a teen, the importance of encouraging your children to pursue God's plan for their life. She does so though through encouraging her kids in their special gifts and including God in those specific talents. I am a huge fan of this idea. I believe that each person has a specific God-ordained purpose on earth, and it is the parents's responsibility to pray for direction for their child and include their children in prayer in regards to this. I feel this is vital to ensuring a child has a sense of purpose and not laziness or confusion or even regrets. Many young adults go to college confused about what to do and unsure if they've made the right degree choice. How much heartache and regret would be avoided if parents prayed for their children before college was even on their radar?

Another aspect I enjoyed reading about was Sally's commitment not to just telling her kids to read the Bible and pray, but showing them how to do so as well. Sally used a crisis situation in which her husband came home overwhelmed with a huge financial loss at work and had no clue what to do about it, and she turned that situation into a family prayer meeting. Not only did Sally exhibit a Godly example for her kids to emulate, she also displayed some excellent character traits of a wife. She stayed calm and didn't panic. She found a solution to the problem, not adding to the problem. She built up her husband, encouraging him and giving him the only hope we can rely on, God!

The last thing I really enjoyed and took away from was Sally's importance of serving others. I have thought long and hard about this ever since I started volunteering a few years ago, and I came to the conclusion that children must be included in charity work, acts of service in order for them to become selfless and understand the importance of what it means to love like God does. Sally agrees with this and mentions that it's one thing to tell a child that serving others is important and it's another thing to do it. Involve your kids in volunteer work, even if it's sending random gifts to friends and family who need an encouraging word.

There are some great points in this book concerning motherhood, and I came away with some new ideas that I felt were beneficial. Hopefully you'll want to pick up this book too. There are some things in it I don't care for, but Sally's point is to guide mothers, and I believe you will find some benefit in it too!

Do you have a book you want reviewed? Let me know in the comments, and I'll see if I can take a look at it and write a review!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Parenting Techniques

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There's always going to be a debate on parenting techniques and who is doing it right and who is doing it wrong, but there are some things that the world does in regards to parenting that Christians seem to be forgetting is the world's way of parenting, not God's way.

Recently I read a short post about a man who said he would work as much as he possibly could for however long he needed to if it meant letting his kids do whatever they wanted to do in life, ultimately bringing happiness to them, or so he thought. The world applauded him and felt he was doing his kids a service by being a good dad. But is that really being a good dad?

I want to pick apart this idea from a Biblical standpoint. The first thing wrong with this mindset is that the father's life centered around his kids. It was children-focused and not God-focused. We know that we should do all things from a Biblical standpoint as Christians, and the first thing this man did wrong was to center his world around the kids. The father encouraged his children to do as they pleased in life, knowing that dad will provide for them no matter what. This actually encourages an unhealthy character trait called laziness. Laziness is a vice of mine, and I'm sure it's a vice of many others. We shouldn't be tempting our children with such a terrible sin. Laziness should not be fostered. The children will realize that dad will always provide for them and therefore if they wish to work part-time for the rest of their life, they may do so. If they don't wish to work, well dad will still provide anyway. Another reason why this mentality is wrong is that the dad is no longer as involved as he should be when he is so busy working to allow his children to do as they please. An involved dad is a good dad. When dad doesn't have time for his children anymore, because he purposely places himself in that situation, children can get out of hand and take advantage of this. Dads are so important to children. Uninvolved dads are almost as bad as having a non-existent dad. This mentality is really doing a disservice to the child, as the child will never learn what it means to grow from hardships that occur in life because dad shields them from all of it. We know that God allows good things and bad things to happen to us in life to shape us and grow us. God would not be a good father if He let everything go our way. How would we learn to trust in Him? God is our pattern to follow, and if God allows negative things to occur in our life, then shouldn't we pattern off of that and allow our children to learn how to care for themselves too?