For the last two months I’ve been reading through Sally Clarkson’s Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ’s Example in Reaching the Hearts of our Children and loving it! This is the first book I’ve read by Sally and I’d love to read more!
In this book Sally Clarkson talks about the goals and spiritual priorities she and her husband have for their children using the acronym GIFTS: Grace, Inspiration, Faith, Training, and Service. She lays out the details of each of these gifts and explains practical ways of implementing them. Through her retelling of Bible stories as well as personal stories from her own experiences with her children, I was able to see both the Biblical basis for each one of the GIFTS as well as practical ways of applying them. At the end of each section she includes Study & Discussion Questions, which are always a great way for me to reflect back on what I have just read. Most of the chapters also end with a short Mother’s Prayer relating to the material.
Grace-The gift of grace includes both the desire to teach our children about God’s unconditional love for us and about the grace He has for us, as well as to teach them how to extend grace to others. Teaching our children about God’s grace involves us extending grace to them through time spent with them, encouraging words, and loving discipline with forgiveness. We must show them unconditional love and acceptance.
Inspiration-The gift of inspiration includes encouraging our children to discover their spiritual purpose. One way of doing this is through “pointing out to them the abundant evidence of God’s power and glory and presence that surrounds us. This act of directing their eyes and ears beyond the mundane to the wonders of God’s work is one of the most important ways I can give my children the gift of inspiration” (p. 81). I love this practical application of pointing out God’s works so they are able to see how real and active He is and what He can do through us.
Faith-The gift of faith “provides our children the security they need to step out in their lives, making confident decisions because they have developed a relationship with the God who is worthy of their trust” (p. 115). We can teach our children to have faith through modeling our own faith, and instilling in them God’s word.
Training-The gift of training involves teaching our children to think, to pray effectively, and teaching them how to persevere through trials. Some practical applications Sally included are reading through Proverbs with our children and teaching them the Lord’s Prayer.
Service-The gift of service is both “helping them learn to really see the needs of people they encounter on a daily basis,” and “helping our children develop a willingness to take the initiative and act” (p. 190).
I read through this book with Good Morning Girls and you can go here to see videos of Sally Clarkson discussing each section of the book. If you read the book, the videos are a great supplement to what you will be reading and it’s always fun to me to be able to hear and see the author explain in more depth the things they have written. Or, if you don’t have time for one more book, the videos would still be a great way to get a general overview.
Have you read any Sally Clarkson books? Which one should be next on my reading list?
I’ve been enjoying Booking It over at Life as Mom this year. Next up…Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. Read it with me if you’re looking for practical steps to living a clutter-free intentional life.