One day I was on my phone checking messages and I received one asking me to do a reader’s review of Missional Motherhood, Gloria Furman’s newest book.
My jaw hit the floor and left my husband puzzled as to what caused so much shock for me. I was shocked because I don’t do this. I am not a writer, a reviewer, crazy reader-type….unlike my husband who is all of those things and much more. Nope, I’m his crazy artist wife who wrangles our kids full-time, draws pretty things and spends time with our youth and college group students. Now you understand my reaction.
However, I am a huge fan of Gloria Furman’s writings. I am always challenged by her books in a richer and deeper way than other “mommy books” out there. So to hear she was most excited about this newest book she was about to release I knew it had to be good. And I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
If you are uninterested in this post because you are not a mother of the traditional sort with children running a muck at your feet, then I’m going to ask you to please stay with me. This is for you too! Something that Gloria does a beautiful job of in this book is to help us see, as women we were all created to nurture, to mother others. Even if you do not have children or maybe even want children, there are people in your life that you care for or could care for. As women we are designed by God to nurture life.
“Mothering (or nurturing) is a calling not just for women who have biological or adopted children. Mothering is a calling for all women. Every Christian woman is called to the spiritual motherhood of making disciples of all nations. Our nurturing is, by nature, missional.” p.24
I was so encouraged reading this book not just as a mother to my own two small kids, but as the wife of a student pastor to middle, high and college students. Weekly we meet students at church, at coffee shops, go to games and they come to our house. Our lives are full of young adults and we love it. I have always had a feeling of being motherly towards them. Which could seem odd because many of them could be my siblings more realistically than my own child. So to read things like the quote above affirm in my heart what God has been calling me to for over a decade now! I am spiritually mothering, nurturing, caring for the next generation. In hopes they would be enraptured with the Savior that sacrificed Himself for them. Then, to disciple them in the faith so they will turn around and begin doing the same to those in their schools and homes, and eventually, the world.
Like I said, I am also a mama to two littles whom I stay home with everyday. The struggle is oh so very real. And Missional Motherhood is just what we need as mothers. It is not a quick fix of “7 Steps to Being a Better, Godly, Patient, Organized, fill-in-the-blank Mom”. No, this is a beautifully crafted book to remind us of what we need the very most of all – the gospel. This book refreshed my spirit again with how big my God is. His sufficiency, His sovereignty, His enoughness.
“God is faithful. Do not presume, dear life nurturers, that you are ever alone in the good work this God has commissioned you to do.” p.61
Even though I know these gospel-truths, it is refreshing to hear them again pertaining to my mothering. Just to be reminded I am not alone in this, that, ‘Yes! God IS faithful!” And these children, they are a good work. Messy faces, whiny noises and squishy bellies. They are more than mere mortals, they are eternal souls I have been stewarded. As they grow I am tempted to shelter them from all the harmful things of this world. I don’t want them exposed to too much, too soon. Many days I wish I could just freeze time and keep them so tiny and innocent and sweet! But there was great warning in the book to this desire to overwhelmingly protect our children from every little thing:
“The overarching consequence of obsessive over-parenting is simply that in our failure to live out the truth of the big story, we fail to pass on that big story. What is helicopter parenting subconsciously teaching our children about God, themselves, and his call to spread his glory to every corner of the earth? In our disciples’ eyes it may seem that God, who is so big, so strong , and so mighty, is really no bigger than we are. God is not mighty to save; Mommy is.” p.168
I am thankful I was given the opportunity to review this book, it has strengthened my resolve in motherhood, my faith in God’s sufficiency despite my weaknesses, and challenged me to live out my faith right in front of my children every day and not just on Sunday. If you are at home with children hanging from every limb, are single, an empty-nester, or new to the faith, read this book. The great story of our Savior’s work on the cross will revive your souls and the message of our job as life nurturers, as mothers to the world will fill you with purpose and mission. Exactly how God designed for us to live.
Thank you to Crossway for providing a copy of this book to review.