Book Reviews, FAITH

Motherhood by Design

I chanced to see this book while filling my yearly list of books to-read. I was instantly attracted to its title Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God. To my surprise, my husband gave this to me on my birthday. This book is divided into two parts. The first part is quite theological. Furman walks us through Genesis to Revelation and the stories within God’s tapestry that reveal the pattern of his love and goodness together with His promises. Part two is looking at how this grand plan fits in the everyday of a modern-day Christian mom.

The premise of Furman’s book is: You are not “just” a mom. Here are three of the many beautiful insights Furman shared in her book.

  1. God designed women to mother according to his own image.

Furman challenges us to ask, “‘Does my mothering demonstrate that the imaged One is everything?’ Your answer to this question is important as this reveals who we are pointing to in our work. What is it that you want others to see when they look at you? Your marriage? Your children?’”

Image is very important nowadays, especially in this age of social media. But through all this, we have to ask ourselves what image do we portray to the little eyes who see us everyday? Furman asks us to reevaluate our mothering. Are we doing everything “in our power” to take care of our family? The danger, according to Furman, can be that: “In our [children’s] 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.”

I am aware of my shortcomings as a wife and as a mother. I can fail and I can drop a ball in this motherhood juggle. When I read this, I thought through how I interact with my children. Do I point them to the One who can save them come the time that I am no longer with them? Or do I just rescue them and do everything ‘in my power’?

Jesus invites us to dwell in his image and be a reflection of this to our little disciples at home. Motherhood is God’s beautiful way to minister to little hearts.

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  1. God designed women to mother while consuming his Word.

We moms want the best for our children. We shop for the best items, look for the best services, sign up for the best classes. The rise of online shopping opened more doors for consumerism. Furman shares that while these things are good, they are but temporary. Aware of this, moms also delve into the anecdotes for consumerism, like downsizing, decluttering and living simply. These are amazing ways to fight the struggle but Furman encourages us that without addressing the heart issue behind it, we will always feel hungry.

The design of motherhood is looking to Jesus as the Provider of all things. Yes, we still need to shop and search for the best items for our family but let us check our hearts’ motives and also our clocks to see how much time we are spending poring over buy and sell groups, Shopee and Amazon.

The mothers of old had the best things in life, not because they had the latest and the ‘best’ stuff the market had to offer, but because they spent more time kneeling before Him who loves their family more than they will ever love them. They had everything they needed when they needed it.

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well. Matthew 6:33

“Mothering women who feast on God’s word show the world that they’ve learned the secret of contentment.”

  1. God designed women to share his Shalom.

“Through the great cosmic conflict at the cross, Jesus gives his followers his shalom, his peace that surpasses understanding. When our modern ears hear the word peace, we think of absence of conflict, but the Hebrew word shalom speaks to the presence of wholeness.”

This may be the peace that we give our child who has fever, or when we prepare a meal for the people who visit our home, or when we hug a friend to calm her inner storms. God designed us to be nurturers and to bring the peace that extends God’s love to his people. Furman says, “Motherhood is a calling not just for women who have biological or adopted children. Mothering is a calling for all women. Our nurturing is, by nature, missional.” Every woman who extends a hand to help and minister brings the heart of Christ to her home, church, community. She partakes of Christ’s mission wherever her assignment is.

“Word-filled moms who live out their various roles and callings in their homes, churches and communities know and cherish the fact with their whole happy hearts: Christ is all, and he is central.”

Furman summarizes her book with this statement: “Jesus invites women to missional motherhood: to follow his pattern, to trust his promises, and to nurture others by the power he provides.” God never designed motherhood to run everything ‘in our power.’ He designed motherhood in dependence on the One who created it. Will you accept his invitation?

If you are, join me in this prayer:

Father, I acknowledge that You are the One who created motherhood and designed it. I acknowledge that I am important in your mission in my home and wherever you have placed me. Lord, help me be a beautiful reflection of your heart towards my children and to all the people You have surrounded me with. I know it is impossible to reflect you without depending on You, so I ask for your grace, my Jesus. I ask for your strength. Thank you for the privilege of mothering. May I bless your name and glorify you everyday. In Jesus’ Name, Amen ❤

 

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