I received a copy of Missional Motherhood, The Bible Study from Lifeway for the purpose of reviewing. I purchased the book that inspired the study, Missional Motherhood. This is an honest review of the STUDY, and is in no way influenced by the gifted study.
I have been a mother for over 17 years. During that time I have not only been a part of Women’s Ministries that are full of moms, but also MOPS International groups. One thing I have learned about being a mom, over all of these years, is that I still have room to learn more. Another thing I have learned is that many of us mothers share a similar feeling, a desire to be more than “just a mom”.
There are some women who were born to be mothers, and what I mean by that is that these are women who desired nothing more than being a mom when they were of age. They played house, always taking the role of mom. They loved on other babies, and the news of becoming a big sister was something that excited them beyond measure. They were babysitters and helped in the church nursery as soon as they were old enough. In fact, at a very early age they probably knew how many babies they wanted to have and even what their names would be.
Then there are other women, who didn’t have motherhood on their radar as their ultimate calling. It wasn’t something that they desired from a young age. When they played with their dolls they took the role of teacher or doctor. Their life goals were aimed at having a successful career, doing something significant in the world, or even serving as missionaries in a foreign country. Children may or not have been included in those dreams and goals.
I was in the latter camp. When I was pregnant with my first child the plan had been that I would return to work & my husband would stay home those first few years. At the time, I made more income than he did. It just made fiscal sense. Yet, once that tiny little body was place in my arms… the Lord changed my heart. We decided that I would stay home and we would trust in the Lord’s provision. He never failed us.
Yet, it was very difficult for me when I would be asked the question: So, what do you do?
It wasn’t common in our area for women to stay home with their children. Even members of my own family didn’t understand the decision. Was I wasting my education, my skills, my talents, and my potential? It was like I lost my identity and become someone’s wife… someone’s mom. Over the years, as I have sat with other women … I hear those thoughts echoed.
We desire to be known, to be seen, to have purpose, and to have impact. Somewhere along the line we lost the view of motherhood as a calling and instead it became something we just “do”. Our value and worth began to reside in our accomplishments outside of the home, and when that was no longer an option… we felt lost. Like we were doing nothing important, and yet the Lord had given us a very important calling.
Society’s focus on accomplishments have tainted our view’s of motherhood, and Gloria Furman does a great job at point out our need to reclaim this role. Utilizing scriptures from the Old and New Testament, we examine how the role of Motherhood fits into God’s plan. The Bible Study encompasses many of the bible study techniques that we may be familiar with in conjunction with our own personal reflections. What I also appreciate is Gloria Furman not only talks about the mission of motherhood in regard to the typical American family but explores what this looks like in other cultures and how we interact with other cultures.
Throughout the study we begin to see how our role as mother is part of our Great Commission calling, for every woman. For the mom who questions her purpose, this study helps her find her identity in Christ and the mission God has called her to fulfill in this season of her life. We explore how our every day lives fall into the larger story of God’s redemptive plan.
From life giving creation to The Great Commission, our role as mothers is far beyond “just a mom”. We are disciplers, mentors, teachers, leaders, guides, nurturers, providers, and so much more…. all in the confines of our own homes. When our identity is rooted in Christ, then the gifts we have been given by the Holy Spirit are put to use in our homes. This is our mission field, where we serve as a teacher to those in our charge and an example to the world watching us. We are a family set apart, different… and we can find satisfaction in our purpose.
Whether you are a first time mom, a seasoned mother, or an empty-nester serving as a mentor mom… we all still have a thing or two to learn and share. This would be a great study for a small group of mothers, MOPS group, or even as a gift to a mom to be.