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The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children

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Because Motherhood Isn't Just a Job. It's a Calling. A mother's day is packed with a multitude of tasks that require energy and time: preparing meals, washing clothes, straightening and cleaning the house, and caring for children. These jobs all are necessary and crucially important. But in the dailyness of providing for a child's physical, emotional, and social needs, vita Because Motherhood Isn't Just a Job. It's a Calling. A mother's day is packed with a multitude of tasks that require energy and time: preparing meals, washing clothes, straightening and cleaning the house, and caring for children. These jobs all are necessary and crucially important. But in the dailyness of providing for a child's physical, emotional, and social needs, vital opportunities for spiritual nurture and training can be overlooked. This doesn't have to be the case. You can focus your energy on what matters most. Learn how you can: - Make Life's Mundane and Nitty-Gritty Moments Work for You and Not Against You. - Discover Ways to Make Character-Building a Natural Part of Live. - Teach Your Child in the Same Way Jesus Taught the Disciples. - Pass on Crucial Gifts that Will Serve Your Family for a Lifetime. Using biblical wisdom and practical teachings, Sally Clarkson shows how you can make a lasting difference in your child's life by following the pattern Christ set with his own disciples-a model that will inspire and equip you to intentionally embrace the rewarding, desperately needed, and immeasurably valuable Ministry of Motherhood.


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Because Motherhood Isn't Just a Job. It's a Calling. A mother's day is packed with a multitude of tasks that require energy and time: preparing meals, washing clothes, straightening and cleaning the house, and caring for children. These jobs all are necessary and crucially important. But in the dailyness of providing for a child's physical, emotional, and social needs, vita Because Motherhood Isn't Just a Job. It's a Calling. A mother's day is packed with a multitude of tasks that require energy and time: preparing meals, washing clothes, straightening and cleaning the house, and caring for children. These jobs all are necessary and crucially important. But in the dailyness of providing for a child's physical, emotional, and social needs, vital opportunities for spiritual nurture and training can be overlooked. This doesn't have to be the case. You can focus your energy on what matters most. Learn how you can: - Make Life's Mundane and Nitty-Gritty Moments Work for You and Not Against You. - Discover Ways to Make Character-Building a Natural Part of Live. - Teach Your Child in the Same Way Jesus Taught the Disciples. - Pass on Crucial Gifts that Will Serve Your Family for a Lifetime. Using biblical wisdom and practical teachings, Sally Clarkson shows how you can make a lasting difference in your child's life by following the pattern Christ set with his own disciples-a model that will inspire and equip you to intentionally embrace the rewarding, desperately needed, and immeasurably valuable Ministry of Motherhood.

30 review for The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Snell

    "The Ministry of Motherhood", by Sally Clarkson, is a gift. A pure gift. I'm so grateful for this book. Now here, full disclosure, before I go on with the gushing, let me tell you what I didn't like about this book. Each section starts with an imaginative retelling of part of the gospels, and I disliked that part. But I think it's primarily a stylistic preference. I only mention it in case someone else like me picks this up and also dislikes that feature. Don't worry about it. Skip it if you like "The Ministry of Motherhood", by Sally Clarkson, is a gift. A pure gift. I'm so grateful for this book. Now here, full disclosure, before I go on with the gushing, let me tell you what I didn't like about this book. Each section starts with an imaginative retelling of part of the gospels, and I disliked that part. But I think it's primarily a stylistic preference. I only mention it in case someone else like me picks this up and also dislikes that feature. Don't worry about it. Skip it if you like. Consider it a drawing illustrating the title page of each section and just flip past it. Do not let it stop you from reading the book. Because the rest of this book is so, so good. This book is amazing. In each chapter, it felt like the author takes my face by the chin, and turns me 'round so I can see things from a different angle, and I go "ohhhh. I get it now." It's like she says, "look at it this way. See?" And then I see, and I am so, so glad. This book is a gift. Sally Clarkson talks honestly and earnestly about her experience of motherhood, and easily segues into giving advice and even commands that don't sound at all presumptuous, they just sound right. Here are a few samples to give you an idea of the way she writes - things I particularly liked: “Through his Word, God had given me all I needed to live productively through the challenging circumstances he brought my way. He will do that for my children, too, which is why the Bible must be at the center of all we do as parents. One of the central ways we give our children the gift of faith is to base everything we do on the Word of God.” – pages 124-125. Such a good way of reminding me of the way I need to be an example to my kids. And that even before I look to how things might be affecting my kids, I need to be looking to the Lord. And then this part - this amazing part - where she reminds me about how my children are really in the Lord's hands, not mine: “To me as a parent, this ‘vine’ reality has two implications. First I must do what I can to stay connected to Jesus at all costs. Only when he lives through me will I have the patience, love, faith, strength, perspective, and understanding I need to raise godly, faithful children. Spiritual fruit in the lives of our children even depends – up to a point – on my staying connected to the Lord. “But the other side of this truth is that eventually my children must attach themselves to the Vine, not to me. Only the Lord can draw our children to himself. Only he can give salvation to our children. And only he can convict them of their sins. I can and must love my children, nurture them, comfort them, teach them. I can and must model for them what a life as a ‘branch’ looks like and show them ways to stay ‘attached’ through prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with other believers, and so on. But I cannot be their ‘vine,’ and I cannot play the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives.” – pages 131-132. That truth is so terrifying to me, and yet so reassuring. I can't tell you how many times I've prayed over my children at night, and come to the conclusion, "Lord, you love them so much more than I ever could. May they be yours. May they always be yours." Because He does. And because He can. This book reminded me of that. I loved it. And I really want to spend some time rereading it, and journaling through the study questions Clarkson provides at the end of the first section. Really worth reading. And rereading, I think. Highly recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sara H

    If you're looking for a step-by-step approach to parenting, this isn't the book you are looking for. Sally Clarkson's "The Ministry of Motherhood" is a book of encouragement for mother's designed to show them ways to reach their children's hearts. There are plenty of Christian books out there giving us specifics on how to dole out the discipline and keep our kids in line, but far too often, imo, these books focus mainly on outward behavior, and pay only lip service to the core of the matter, nam If you're looking for a step-by-step approach to parenting, this isn't the book you are looking for. Sally Clarkson's "The Ministry of Motherhood" is a book of encouragement for mother's designed to show them ways to reach their children's hearts. There are plenty of Christian books out there giving us specifics on how to dole out the discipline and keep our kids in line, but far too often, imo, these books focus mainly on outward behavior, and pay only lip service to the core of the matter, namely, the heart. I for one enjoy books like this one that remind us that there is something far more important than first time obedience and outward respectfulness. Mrs. Clarkson's stories from her own family accompanied by the insights she gained through the experiences help the reader to look at child rearing in a positive way.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    I know there are many awesome moms that are Sally Clarkson super-fans. (I even know a few personally and can testify that they are, indeed, awesome moms.) I am neither. Her style is just too sweet and scented-candle-and-lace-tableclothish. You can very much tell that her family is full of "creatives and dreamers". I like candles and lace, but she just isn't there for me in the mud and screaming. (Rachel Jankovic is, though!) Worth reading once, but doesn't need to live at my house. 3.5 stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Esther Hsieh

    This book really had so much potential and I want to say I enjoyed it overall. I like the overarching theme of her position in advocating parents as ministers for their children for the purpose of God's glory and showing others who Christ is. There were definitely good reminders and insights that I took away. But here is what I didn't like: 1. The literary re-telling of the Bible stories before each chapter: ....but why?? It was a waste of time on both the author and reader's part. Should have ju This book really had so much potential and I want to say I enjoyed it overall. I like the overarching theme of her position in advocating parents as ministers for their children for the purpose of God's glory and showing others who Christ is. There were definitely good reminders and insights that I took away. But here is what I didn't like: 1. The literary re-telling of the Bible stories before each chapter: ....but why?? It was a waste of time on both the author and reader's part. Should have just referenced the reader to the passage in the Bible and let the reader read it and left it at that (which the book does). Or if Clarkson was afraid the reader wouldn't read it, then just type out the actual Bible story from the Bible instead of typing out a dramatic, superfluous recount of it. 2. Her children's experiences were too picture perfect. It was to the point that it felt fake. There were a lot of times I kept thinking: "But did her son really that...?" I mean it seemed highly edited and I can't imagine a child/parent dialogue being that sweet and scripted. It sounds skeptical and cynical, but it was almost like I felt guilty if my interactions with my children weren't the way she exampled them. 3. It irks me when authors write "I almost didn't finish this book because (insert busy reason)". We get it, you're a mom of 4 and trying to publish books while serving in a ministry. But why write a book if you're going to mention many times that you were not about to finish it? I don't see how that adds depth to the book at all. Ok, now that I sound like a pious book critic (I really didn't mean to, just want to give a warning to those who are about to read the book), let me say that I still finished the book. I did the discussion questions in my journal and it was a good time of reflection. Though, I couldn't really apply too much of the book because my child is still a small baby (so disciplining, training with prayer, teaching acts of service, etc. wasn't something I could practically do). But it was good for me to practice for my own self so that when my child does get older, it will just be a normal habit. Perhaps this book will come in more handy when I have multiple kids or when the kid(s) are older, but for now, it was more of a book that I had to really push myself to get through. All this to say, I really do appreciate Clarkson giving her time and energy to help mothers pursue holiness in themselves and in their children. Just wasn't my cup of tea in terms of style of writing and the examples/stories (which there were a lot of) to support her points. Will try and read another book of hers to see if sentiments are the same.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    “Perfection is not a standard he requires of me as a mother, for his grace extends to me as well as to my children. My heartfelt trust in him will be the fuel that energizes my days as I see him draw my children through this gift that will serve them their whole lives.” • I recently finished The Ministry of Motherhood by @sally.clarkson and it was just what I needed to read. It’s not a formulaic prescription for how to make the perfect kid. It doesn’t give you five steps to being the perfect mom. • “Perfection is not a standard he requires of me as a mother, for his grace extends to me as well as to my children. My heartfelt trust in him will be the fuel that energizes my days as I see him draw my children through this gift that will serve them their whole lives.” • I recently finished The Ministry of Motherhood by @sally.clarkson and it was just what I needed to read. It’s not a formulaic prescription for how to make the perfect kid. It doesn’t give you five steps to being the perfect mom. • Instead, Sally looks to the life of Christ to walk us through the challenges and heartbreaks and joys of parenting. It’s amazing to view Jesus’ relationship with his disciples as a pattern for motherhood, because isn’t that what Christian parenting is about? • My home has two little “disciples”, and I have the amazing task of shepherding them towards a heart that loves Jesus and a life that serves him, all while working through my own failures and flaws. Her journaling questions and ideas for implementing the principles also help connect her stories with real life. This is definitely book I want to return to in the years to come. • What books have encouraged you in your role as parent?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Grace Haeun

    I loved this book. Caring for a sick toddler this past week, it was maybe just what I needed- a reminder that motherhood is a calling. I appreciated the anecdotes from the author’s personal life and especially liked the idea that as moms, we gift our children GIFTS (acronym stands for: gift of grace, inspiration, faith, training and service). As a mom, I often lose sight of what I am actually doing and the value of it but this book provided a framework around what we should aim to do. The author I loved this book. Caring for a sick toddler this past week, it was maybe just what I needed- a reminder that motherhood is a calling. I appreciated the anecdotes from the author’s personal life and especially liked the idea that as moms, we gift our children GIFTS (acronym stands for: gift of grace, inspiration, faith, training and service). As a mom, I often lose sight of what I am actually doing and the value of it but this book provided a framework around what we should aim to do. The author constantly referenced Christ as our model and used the Gospels as the foundation of what we are called to do.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This was just a good reminder of how we can turn to Jesus’ life and example for how to guide and train our children. One reviewer said that the authors life and interactions with her children seemed too perfect and scripted and I have to agree. My life does not look like this! But I liked the re-telling of the Bible stories (even if they were embellished). It made them easy to imagine and I was able to see how Jesus relating to the disciples is similar to how I relate to my kids.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Grace Seow

    This book spoke to me in the season where I was raising 3 kids below the age of 3. When you are adjusting to the demands of motherhood you need to mentally focus on what is important and find purpose in the everyday drudgery. Sally Clarkson's encouragement refreshed me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    What a wonderful and encouraging book. I loved the examples of how Sally Clarkson handled situations in her family. The scriptures and prayers in each chapter were so perfect...krb 7/24/17

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Clarkson writes about motherhood as a season of life where the mother intentionally plans out how to train and disciple her children. She writes about giving children a foundation of a biblical world-view, proper understanding of the real Christ, showing them what real faith looks like and giving them a pattern to follow. She describes her personal experience raising four children in the Lord outlining the acronym GIFT, in the book as: Gift of Grace, Gift of Inspiration, Gift of Faith, Gift of T Clarkson writes about motherhood as a season of life where the mother intentionally plans out how to train and disciple her children. She writes about giving children a foundation of a biblical world-view, proper understanding of the real Christ, showing them what real faith looks like and giving them a pattern to follow. She describes her personal experience raising four children in the Lord outlining the acronym GIFT, in the book as: Gift of Grace, Gift of Inspiration, Gift of Faith, Gift of Training, and Gift of Service. I enjoyed the lovely, down-to-earth narrative writing style. The story of her and her children on p. 85 pointing to God's presence, glory and power displayed in the rainbow and ocean is one of my favorite parts. Easy, light, and enjoyable to read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This was not quite what I expected. It was a bit too spiritual for my taste and not at all practical, in my opinion, which is something I look for in parenting materials-practical application. I didn't give this book a mere one star for the reason that the author has good points and good intentions, but the book itself isn't written particularly well and the way she presents her points truly annoyed me- she presented her family in such an idealistic way, it seemed almost fake. It's hard to imagi This was not quite what I expected. It was a bit too spiritual for my taste and not at all practical, in my opinion, which is something I look for in parenting materials-practical application. I didn't give this book a mere one star for the reason that the author has good points and good intentions, but the book itself isn't written particularly well and the way she presents her points truly annoyed me- she presented her family in such an idealistic way, it seemed almost fake. It's hard to imagine a family truly acting and speaking the way she says that hers does. Furthermore, in her colorful re-telling of a few choice moments in Jesus' life, I believe she got a detail or two wrong...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    It's not that I want to complain about this book, because there's certainly nothing worthy of that. It just wasn't my cup of tea. There were some very encouraging thoughts, and a few real gems, but the narrative license in the Scriptural retellings made me a little uncomfortable, and much of the book was episodes of the author's family. No doubt many of the vignettes from the Clarkson home were more illustrative of the author's intended point than just a theoretical/practical explanation would h It's not that I want to complain about this book, because there's certainly nothing worthy of that. It just wasn't my cup of tea. There were some very encouraging thoughts, and a few real gems, but the narrative license in the Scriptural retellings made me a little uncomfortable, and much of the book was episodes of the author's family. No doubt many of the vignettes from the Clarkson home were more illustrative of the author's intended point than just a theoretical/practical explanation would have been, but if you're looking for a more generally applicable and encouraging book, this one may not be the one for you.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    I read this via an online book club and found it wasn't what I was looking for. This book is geared toward mothers of young children and not for mothers of teens and adult children. I abandoned the book at the midway point as it did not meet my needs in this stage of my life. This would be beneficial to mothers of young children who are interested in homeschooling.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Rasberry

    This book was thoroughly encouraging to me in regards to motherhood. There are so many factors to parenting and I believe Sally has given me a lot to consider. My children are young but its never to soon to began training them in the ways of ministry. Thank you for challenging me to be a more hands on parent...because lets face it its exactly what the Lord has designed me to be. God Bless You!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I've now read this and Sally Clarkson's The Mission of Motherhood. The Ministry tends to be a bit more about conversations with our kids and all the things we should be teaching them. The Mission tends to be a bit more all-encompassing. While both are beneficial, I highly recommend The Mission of Motherhood if you are looking for a challenging and encouraging book for your mother heart.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    Good book with reminders and tips of how to encourage the gifts of: grace, inspiration, faith, training, and service in our children. As another reviewer stated "the narrative licence of the scriptural retellings" at the beginning of each section bothered me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I'm giving up on this one. However, I love the prologue and the title!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alison Bjorklund

    Going to read this again!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book really gave me a vision for what I wanted for my family.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Leah Feltner

    Parenting books can sometimes really make you feel awful about yourself. I feel like this book, however, was encouraging, with me wanting to do better in certain areas, without feeling that weight of condemnation. The author has 4 kids who are now grown adults, so all these stories and examples are over years of parenting. This book felt like getting great advice from an older mom who has been where you are right now. She breaks down ministering to your kids in 5 different gifts. The gift of Gra Parenting books can sometimes really make you feel awful about yourself. I feel like this book, however, was encouraging, with me wanting to do better in certain areas, without feeling that weight of condemnation. The author has 4 kids who are now grown adults, so all these stories and examples are over years of parenting. This book felt like getting great advice from an older mom who has been where you are right now. She breaks down ministering to your kids in 5 different gifts. The gift of Grace, Inspiration, Faith, Training and finally the Gift of Service. It’s about parenting intentionally. All throughout the book she took examples of Jesus, with how he spoke or treated his disciples or different people in the Bible and how we can use that as a model for how we should speak and train our children. After reading this book, I feel motivated to try new things and attempt to be more intentional with how I speak to and love on my kids. Definitely a great book for moms...I might recommend for moms with elementary to teenage kids but really any mom would be blessed by this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Trepp

    This book will change the way you look at being a mother, because motherhood is not only a calling, but it is your ministry during this season of life. Sarah Clarkson uses personal experiences, her own family's triumphs and struggles, to paint a picture of the importance of raising faithful children and our task as their leader through five gifts; she calls readers to give the gifts of grace, inspiration, faith, training and service. The book uses scripture with practical application, written in This book will change the way you look at being a mother, because motherhood is not only a calling, but it is your ministry during this season of life. Sarah Clarkson uses personal experiences, her own family's triumphs and struggles, to paint a picture of the importance of raising faithful children and our task as their leader through five gifts; she calls readers to give the gifts of grace, inspiration, faith, training and service. The book uses scripture with practical application, written in the style of a friend discussing parenting techniques over a cup of coffee. She includes the tough questions at the end of each part to challenge us to personal growth and help us on our mission to raise faithful, productive children. If you are a mother struggling to feel like you are making a difference for good, if you are trying to find your place in God's plans, or if you just want some encouragement that you are doing okay, this book is for you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kayla D.

    My all time favorite “parenting” book. Hands down. If you can even call it that... it is not the typical “Do this and that and that to have good children” but more about encouraging you in how to grow closer to your children cultivating a relationship with them in the way God calls us to and encouraging their individual personalities to flourish, encouraging your walk with God along with theirs. I can’t say enough about this one, you’re just going to have to read it and find out for yourself but My all time favorite “parenting” book. Hands down. If you can even call it that... it is not the typical “Do this and that and that to have good children” but more about encouraging you in how to grow closer to your children cultivating a relationship with them in the way God calls us to and encouraging their individual personalities to flourish, encouraging your walk with God along with theirs. I can’t say enough about this one, you’re just going to have to read it and find out for yourself but I promise you will walk away feeling like a brand new parent, more confident and ready to enjoy your role as a parent the way God intended you to.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sara Hollar

    Excellent book! I have now added all her books to my To-Read list. She so deeply encourages moms to love their children well, which sits so well with my soul. But she also uses Jesus's life to show that's how He operated, which is even more important. It's like a hidden piece of advice that you rarely hear in Christian parenting books: give them grace, adore them deeply, speak purpose over their future, set the example in faith. This book is so good. I highly recommend to any mama!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kaleena

    The Ministry of Motherhood is a beautifully written book. The chapters are short and easy to read for busy mamas. There are engaging questions for study and lots of scripture, which is always good for the heart. I would recommend this book for mothers that need encouragement to engage their children in a biblical life. This book left me inspired to keep going...to keep investing...the labor is intense, but the rewards are bountiful! :)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shara-Rae

    Do you want to raise godly children who will love the Lord and serve and follow Him long after they leave your home? This is the book to read. I am so thankful I read this book when my children were young because I have time to implement the practices she shares. Each chapter ends with some biblical study and questions to inspire thoughtful action. I greatly admire how she (and her husband) raised her children; she is a wonderful role model for raising children to love the Lord.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    "Jesus wasn't asking his disciples to go into all the world and set up church buildings or youth groups or Wednesday night church suppers but to make disciples - to cultivate spiritual relationships with people, to draw them to Christ and then to train them to reach out to other people who also would be trained and able to make other disciples "

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a very encouraging read, woven with scripture. I read a chapter a day (most days) as a sort of devotional. Sally is a mentor mom, full of such wisdom from above! I only docked it a star because the retelling of Bible stories got old to me. she was making a point with them, but I felt they were a bit much.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    This book was really good. It gave practical advice and lots of good information on raising kids in a godly home. It broke down several ways to do that and actually made it seem doable. Ha! She’s such a gifted writer and makes it easy to understand and implement. Thankful for this author and her words on motherhood.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    This book is great to create vision on how to pray for and train your children. My kids are still little (1&3), so I wasn’t able to glean as much practical advice (besides praying mostly). But I love Sally’s heart to minister to her children. Only 4 stars because it felt a little slow to get into. This book is great to create vision on how to pray for and train your children. My kids are still little (1&3), so I wasn’t able to glean as much practical advice (besides praying mostly). But I love Sally’s heart to minister to her children. Only 4 stars because it felt a little slow to get into.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Wyse

    What a great book for exhausted moms! I love how Sally Clarkson used so much scripture to illustrate her points and didn't just give "her word for it." I emotionally and spiritually connected to the chapters discussed in this book.

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