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I am always looking for new ways to better myself as a mum for the glory of God and one way I do this is by reading Gospel-Centered Mum books
Here are my current Top 5 mum books that help me stay Gospel focused in the midst of the day to day challenges that I face as a mum
1. The Bible.
The Good news of the Gospel runs throughout the entire bible, from Genesis to Revelation and there is no better book to keep me focused on the Gospel than the Word of God itself. The Bible is God’s Word, it is breathed out by Him, (2Tim 3:16), it is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) and is relevant to every situation. Ok, so there may not be a chapter on how to manage my child’s screaming tantrums, but there are verses on self control, patience, love, peace etc which I need apply to myself in that moment so I don’t have a screaming tantrum too. lol
The Old Testament has a lot of scripture on how and why we should teach our children about the Lord – Gen 18:19, Exodus 12:26-27, 13:14, Deut 4:9-19, 6:7-8 to name a few, with instructions on this topic also found in the book of Proverbs. Ephesians 6:4 and Col 3:21 instruct fathers (and us mums too) to not provoke our children, with Titus 2:4, highlighting that we, mums need to love our children (and husbands). You would think that it would come naturally to love our children, but the fact that God’s Word tells us we need to be trained to do so, shows us that it doesn’t always. I know I do not always sacrificially and unconditionally love my children 100% of the time as Christ loves me. Right now I am seriously challenged by my 2 year old daughter. She is the most intelligent, beautiful, clever, funny little girl I know, (after my first daughter of course), but she is also extremely stubborn, strong willed and determined. I recognise that these are good characteristics to have, as I want her to be strong willed and determined in the things of God and not easily swayed by anyone or anything, but she puts up a fight for anything she doesn’t want to do, which amounts to about 90% of the things I ask her to do. Its like having a head on collision with a train when dealing with her at times and if Im honest, I don’t always feel ‘loving’ towards her when she is telling me ‘No’, or ‘I don’t want to’ for the umpteenth time, staring me down, giving me them side looks while pouting her lips. Yes she does all of those things! But remembering the Gospel; that while I was still a sinner, God showed me love through Christ dying for me, (Romans 5: 8) enables me to not respond out of my feelings, but show her love and mercy.
I thank God that He graciously has not left us to figure things out by ourselves but has given us the blue print for life in His Word. (2 Peter 1:3).
2 . Treasuring Christ when your hands are full; Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms. by Gloria Furman
This book blew me away the first time I read it and still does (Im currently on my 3rd round). Gloria definitely has her hands full with 4 children and a disabled husband to take care of, yet she puts every challenge and mummy struggle into perspective, in light of the blinding truth of the Gospel. And she makes it clear from the get-go that every mum has her hands full regardless of how many children she has.
‘The circumstances of your motherhood may be difficult, troublesome and confusing. Even so, there is a circumstance that supersedes all the complexities of your life. It is the simple truth that one great permanent circumstance in which you live is that you have been allowed to walk in newness of life as you are united to Christ by faith through grace’. p21
Gloria is so transparent in this book, sharing her moments of outburst towards her family and how she overcomes these moments through the Gospel, turning them into teachable moments with her children. She steers everything back to the Gospel, taking the focus off the bad behaviour of her children, the broken washing machine, the needs of her husband etc and reminds us that nothing is as important or as precious as the Gospel.
She discusses relatable topics like seeing our children as creating interruptions in our lives rather than what they actually are – moments to worship God; having parental amnesia – forgetting about tomorrow and eternity; how we as mums need to be able to receive Gods grace to be able to give it to our children, and how we can love our children because of the love that God has shown to us through Christ.
‘It is this love – the love of Christ – that compels Christian mothers to love their children. The love of Christ in her hearts is what overflows when a mother speaks kindly to her children even when they don’t speak kindly back. pg 84
Reading this book encouraged and convicted me as well as teaching me how to treasure Christ when my home feels like utter chaos is taking over and having a 14, 11, 4, 2, and 1 year old, it feels like that very often. ‘Treasuring Christ when your hands is full‘ is jam packed with scripture that gives hope to all mums, reminding us of the Glorious truths of the Gospel. It is such an easy read and every time I pick it up, its as if I am sitting down chatting to a friend over a cup of mocha who understands everything I go through as a mum, with the biblical encouragement I need to dive right back into the trenches with the joy and the truth of God surrounding my heart. Absolutely Amazing!
3. Set Apart Motherhood; Reflecting Joy and Beauty in Family Life by Leslie Ludy.
When a dear friend and sister of mine introduced me to Leslie Ludy through a YouTube video, I immediately fell in love with her. It was so evident that her mothering and life were governed by the Word of God, and in my pursuit of finding out more about this lady, I found her book, ‘Set Apart Motherhood’ . At the time of writing the book, Leslie had 4 children aged 8, 6, 5 and 4 years old. What I love about Leslie is that she keeps it so real, sharing experiences that we can relate to; like dealing with your little ones on zero hours sleep or when your children demand for your attention all at the same time and it feels like you’re being attacked by a wild mob. But through it all, her goal is for God to be glorified and for Christ and the Gospel to be central to how she raises her children and manages her home. She gives amazing encouragement and biblical wisdom to us mothers that we all so need reminding of; there is joy in being a mum, we do not have to be a frazzled, frenzied mummies, that God has already equipped us in our high calling as mums and so much more.
God intends for mothers to experience amazing delight and fulfilment in raising children and running a home. That doesn’t mean that raw and real-life moments wont happen or that every day will end like an episode of Little House on the Prairie. It simply means that when God is at the centre of our mothering, there is beauty, order, peace, joy, honour and dignity to be found, by HIs grace. p8
A great feature of this book is the ‘Make it Practical’ section found at the end of every chapter. Leslie doesn’t just share what we should be doing as mums in light of the Gospel; she gives practical ways of how to make it a reality.
I also love how this book address various aspects of being a mum, such as how to make our home a haven for our children and husbands, one on healthy routines, another on savouring precious moments with our children as well as one on how to share the Gospel to our little blessings. And how to do all of these things for God’s Glory. Amazing!
This book was probably the first Gospel centered book I read on motherhood and a re-read is definitely due.
4. Give them Grace; Dazzling your kids with the love of Jesus. By Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
I absolutely L.O.V.E this book. I’ve a few more chapters yet to read, but it definitely does what is says on the tin. Elyse and Jessica tell you, literally and practically, how to give your children grace, in the midst of their sin, through the Gospel.
Since reading the very first chapter I have been able to put their methods into practice, even with my 2 year old, turning acts of disobedience, unkindness and selfishness into teachable moments on how they need to run to Christ because only He was obedient, kind and selfless all of the time. The emphasis on this book is to turn away from moralistic parenting; trying to make our children good (because we can’t) through our own efforts or the Law, and turn to gracious parenting; pointing our children to the only One who is good.
Raising good kids is utterly impossible unless they are drawn by the Holy Spirit to put their faith in the goodness of another. You cannot raise good kids, because you’re not a good parent. There is only one good Parent, and he had one good Son – Give them Grace – pg 50
‘Give them Grace’ also addresses a key part of parenting – discipline. They breakdown what ‘of the Lord’ means in the instructions given to fathers (and mothers) in Gods Word as to how children should be brought up; (Eph 6: 4) This is changing how I deal with my children when disciplining them; which includes correcting, training, teaching, and nurturing them.
…parents are to think about and remember Jesus Christ and then train their children to understand how everything in their life – their joys and sorrows, their trials and labours, their doubt, sin and shame – is to be understood and approached in the light of Jesus Christ, who…died and rose from the dead. That is the best news any child could hear. Distinctly Christian parenting must be accomplished in the environment of the good news about Jesus Christ or it is not Christian parenting (‘Ouch’) It may work for a while, it may may make your life manageable, and God may use it, but it is not “of the Lord”. (Double ‘Ouch’) pg 93-94
Again, Elyse and Jessica do not simply say we should remember Christ in training our children, they equip us how to do it. They have various conversations throughout the book between parent and child, that can be adapted to our specific situations to show how we can ‘think about and remember Jesus Christ‘ in our child training. There are also questions at the end of every chapter to help ease the application process. Brilliant!
This book is doing amazing things for me; It is helping me enjoy all of my children more, teaching me to no longer get annoyed with them for their sinful behaviour or see it as a failure on my part, but rather help them see, that their only hope is in Jesus Christ. I am becoming a much more easy going mum, allowing my children to be children, correcting their behaviour with more grace, love, nurture, teaching etc and with less disapproval and vexation. Thank you Elyse and Jessica.
5. Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother’s Heart and Hope by various authors including Rachel Jankovic, and Gloria Furman
A sister in Christ introduced me to this book and I am so glad that she did. Reading this book is like a breath of fresh air in a polluted world.
The world tells us that we have to be enough for our children and so we try in our own strength to be just that and when we don’t live up to this expectation placed on us, we are deemed as failures. This book, in 24 short but powerful contributions, clearly answers the question that we are not ‘mum enough’ and never will be, but that God, is, always has been and always will be enough. This is the secret power of godly mothering.
The Gospel and its connection to motherhood is central to this book. Reading it brings clear perspective on my role as a mum and how what I do, or don’t do, reflects the Gospel to my children.
‘At the very heart of the Gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the Gospel… Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the souls that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field’. – pg 18
This book is vast in the topics it covers, having chapters, addressing motherhood from the womb in chapter 10, ‘A pregnant Woman’s Defence Against the Schemes of The Devil’ , The issue of femininity in chapter 13, ‘Femininity; June Cleaver, Clair Huxtable or the Valiant Woman’, How to give God glory in the ordinary tasks of motherhood in chapter 4, ‘How eternity shapes our Mundane’, as well as other chapters entitled ‘ Motherhood is a Mission field’, ‘Desperate, Breathless, Dependant parenting’, Are You Mommy Enough?’ ‘Mommy wars are Spiritual wars’, ‘A Prayer for the Worried Mom’s Heart’, and The Idols of a Mother’s Heart’, to name a few.
These 24 contributions are short, sweet, and to the point. A very quick to read. So no matter how busy you are, and you know us mums are busy, Im sure you will be able to squeeze in 5 minutes to read one contribution a day – even if it is in one minute intervals five times throughout your day – you can do it. This is a definite must read for us busy mums and it can be found on the internet as a pdf so you can download it on your phone and take it with you to the loo. lol
So there you have it. These are my top 5 Gospel-centered mum books. Reading them have helped me realise that I will never be the perfect, excellent mum that I so dreamed of being, but they point me to the One who is perfect, teaching me to become more dependent on Christ, who by His grace, strengthens me to be the mum He has called me to be.
I hope you enjoyed reading my reviews beautiful mummies, but don’t just take my word for it – go check them out for yourselves. And if there are any Gospel centered books you read that help you in your calling as a mum, please do let me know. I am always on the look out for good books on this topic.
I did intend on doing a book review monthly/bi monthly, but reviewing these books has highlighted my need to re-read them, so I most likely will not be doing another one until the New Year – Oh my, Christmas is almost here. I am so excited I could scream. I love the Christmas season but for some reason, this year I am more excited than ever and am looking forward to making memories with my children, I cant wait.
OK, I said wayyyyy too much already.
Until next time beautiful mummies.
Yours in Christ