I picked up Sally Clarkson’s book, “The Ministry of Motherhood”, purely based off of Goodreads reviews (pretty much five stars) and the fact that I’ve been eager to open my literary heart to books related to motherhood and raising children. Though I am only a quarter of the way through, I’ve realized what a fantastic resource this book is. Sally is a fantastic writer, whom often paints amazing pictures of what biblical times may have looked like.
But I’m not writing this post to share those interpretive stories – I’m here to share Sally’s spiritual priorities for raising her children. Although, I have to be honest in saying that I am writing this post so I don’t lose this valuable information.
Throughout what I’ve read so far, Sally’s main goal of this book is to show that motherhood is more than just cleaning spit-up, washing dishes, and teaching your children how to read. She encourages mothers to not let the demands and business of menial tasks determine parenting priorities – the true priorities being intentionally following the pattern Christ set with His own disciples to reach the heart & life of our children.
Many years ago, Sally and her husband sat down to create a framework for what they wanted their home to look like. They wanted to give their children the same eternal gifts that they had come to understand & they wanted this framework to lead their spiritual priorities. They settled on 5 key priorities, made with the acronym “GIFTS” – as in the gifts we give our children. Below are these priorities, as shared in the book:
G represents the gift of grace–the kind of undeserved but freely given love and favor that comes from God. We model grace by extending it to our children, but also by insisting that they learn to extend it to others. Practically speaking, the gift of grace is all about relationships. It’s the desire and ability to relate personally and lovingly to God and people.
I represents the gift of inspiration–which is all about motivation and purpose. This gift is essentially the desire and ability to view all of life in the light of God’s sovereignty and purpose. Inspiring my children to understand God’s purpose for their lives and say yes to His call provides them with a sense of meaning. It helps give them the energy they need to do what God wants in their lives.
F represents the gift of faith–both content and attitude. We give this gift both by teaching “the faith” (sound doctrine, biblical literacy, practical application) and by modeling what it means to live in faith, trusting God for our needs. Biblical faith gives my children the strength they need to proceed in their walk with the Lord. The gift of faith is the desire and ability to know God through His Word and Spirit and to trust Him for every area of life.
T represents the gift of training–the desire and ability to grow in Christian maturity and godly character in the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not just telling children how to live, not just modeling right behavior, but repeating these lessons with patience and perseverance until they become part of their lives. Training is a process of gradually moving a child’s character and habits in a godly direction.
S represents the gift of service–the desire and ability to minister God’s grace and truth to others. Giving my children a heart for ministry teaches them how to serve God tangibly and practically by using their hearts and their hands for ministry.
I have to say that I am in LOVE with this framework. Each point is filled with truth, how could I possibly read this entire book & walk away without implementing it into my own household?
Perhaps as I continue reading, I’ll come across things that I feel should be added here – but until then, I hope that I am able to implement this into our child’s life come this October.
How do you feel about the GIFTS we give our children? Do you think something is missing?