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Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God Paperback – May 31, 2016
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"Sumptuously written and accessibly presented, Gloria Furman's Missional Motherhood brings the riches of the gospel and the glory of Christ to bear on every mother's work. Her book was like a firm hand of a wise and loving friend, bringing both conviction of sin and a fresh bounty of grace. This book is rich, deep, funny, startling, edifying, encouraging, and God-honoring. It is a book for all women—not just mothers by adoption or childbearing. It shows how being born male and female as image bearers of a holy God matter in all areas of life. In a world awash with gender-neutral language, gender-neutral bathrooms, and and gender-neutral roles, this book is our generation's clarion call that mothering is humble and high women's work, and it matters to God and to the world."
—Rosaria Butterfield, former professor of English, Syracuse University; author, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert
“Gloria’s words, challenges, and high view of mothering were what my heart knew to be true in the years of my own mothering journey. I enthusiastically endorse this call to us as women to nurture, to create, and to believe God for the glory of the gospel in the lives of those he has placed in our paths. May thousands of women accept Gloria’s challenge to be used by God to transform lives for the glory of his kingdom in their homes and in their worlds. Selah!”
—Barbara Rainey, Cofounder, FamilyLife; author, Letters to My Daughters: The Art of Being a Wife
“With Christ-centered clarity, Gloria shows that our Savior calls us to a grand, global mission to nurture his disciples for his glory. This book is for every redeemed woman whose mothering heart longs to nurture biological and spiritual children.”
—Susan Hunt, former Director of Women's Ministries, PCA; coauthor, Women's Ministry in the Local Church
“With a firm grasp of the biblical narrative and a sharp focus on the mission of God, Gloria Furman challenges us to see motherhood as it is—not just a high calling but a part of the mission of God. You’ll be encouraged and challenged by this book!”
—Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism, Wheaton College
“Gloria Furman writes from a place of great wisdom and deep trust in Christ, but she also just gets the chaos of it all. She will humbly take you by the hand and help you dream about how to unleash into the world children who actually love Jesus and want to impact their world to do the same.”
—Jennie Allen, Founder and Visionary, IF:Gathering; author, Anything and Restless
“Missional Motherhood is an excellent reminder of my most important job: to teach my children the glorious gospel. Gloria Furman encourages us as moms, amidst all our other responsibilities, to make disciples, starting in our own home. You will be challenged, encouraged, and blessed as you read this beautiful, powerful book.”
—Heather Platt, mother of four; wife of David Platt, President, International Mission Board
“This is no DIY-perfect-parenting book. The cross looms large over its pages as Gloria swings open the gallery doors of Scripture to show us stunning portraits of Christ and the panorama of his far-reaching redemption. Reading this book made me want to get ahead of the kingdom choir in Revelation 5 and sing with joy, ‘Worthy is the Lamb!’”
—Tim Keesee, executive director, Frontline Missions International; author, Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World’s Difficult Places
“Gloria shows us that motherhood is more about God than about mothering, and that brings me great comfort as I parent four children and disciple other women around me. Missional Motherhood is about living, doing, teaching, and talking all about the Word of God and not just how we parent our children in our home. If you are a woman who loves Jesus, this is a book you should devour, regardless of whether or not you are a parent. I can’t wait to share this book with all the women in my life!”
—Jamie Ivey, host, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast, JamieIvey.com
“Believing that our biblical theology as moms directs the way we view the mission of motherhood, Gloria takes us through a journey in both marveling at the greatness of God’s plan for redemption and embracing the opportunity to make an eternal impact from the everyday context of mothering. Missional Motherhood leads weary moms back to the gospel and reminds us that we are investing our lives in what is eternal.”
—Ruth Chou Simons, mother of six boys; artist, writer; owner, Gracelaced.com
“Gloria Furman does an incredible job of helping mothers rediscover the pattern, promises, and power of Jesus in the midst of everyday life. This book will galvanize you to see and treasure Jesus as the aim and fuel of your everyday mission as you make disciples. So, moms: pour over this book to get a renewed vision for the radically significant mission you’ve been called to. Sons and daughters: read this book to catch a glimpse of the soul-stirring vision of Jesus your mother sacrifices to live out in front of you. Fathers and husbands: read this book to see the all-encompassing mission of God that your wife is living out right now.”
—Michael "Stew" Stewart , Founding Director, Verge Network and Conferences
About the Author
Gloria Furman (MACE, Dallas Theological Seminary) is a wife, mother of four, cross-cultural worker, and writer. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor.
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I read snippets aloud to my husband, stifled laughs (so as not to wake my sleeping babe), and suffered from hand cramps because I underlined on every single page. THIS was my FAVORITE part of all:
"Do we, with glad hearts, glorify God for designing this cruciform pattern for our work in nurturing others? I mean, it's wonderful that Jesus, "for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross" (Heb. 12:2), but me? How can I gladly lay down my comfortable schedule in order to serve someone? How can I gladly lay down my body to carry someone else inside it for nine months? How can I gladly lay down my fears and insecurities, pick up a Bible, and disciple some women? How can I gladly lay down my coffee to do anything? The answer to those how questions is found in the cross. We follow Christ, who laid down his life in order to nurture our lives. Serving others from a position of personal weakness is embarrassing for us prideful people. We like to be seen as sufficient. We enjoy admiring glances. We brush off compliments of, "Wow. How do you do it?" but we relish those words and pay them back in our minds. Distinctly Christian mothering is done from a posture of weakness and dependence. We nurture life in the face of death by grace through faith in Jesus" (p. 127).
I recommend ordering a hard copy (not kindle) and to invest in a new highlighter, because you'll probably run out of ink. As you read, know that the two parts of the book build on one another. Part I is a beautiful unfolding of the "tapestry of the Gospel" that will require your undivided attention. Your study will be enriched if you have your Bible in hand and read the text alongside the book. Unlike many current, Christian lit authors, Furman handles Scripture with care and incorporates it fluidly. I greatly appreciated the intentionality with which she highlighted the thread of the Gospel throughout the entirety of the book. After establishing a solid foundation of God's promises to us as believers in the Old Testament, Part II offers practical applications regarding what it looks like for God to keep His promises through the person of His Son, Jesus.
As a mom of young kiddos, chatting over coffee or going to Christian conferences or isn't a frequent occurrence. "Missional Motherhood" set my heart ablaze like I'm across the table from a kindred-hearted friend discussing the impact of the Gospel on our lives. It made me feel like I was in a room full of people singing praises to Jesus at the top of our lungs. It's impacted my perspective as I'm doing the glorious, everyday tasks of motherhood, like pushing my daughter in the swing at the park. I just finished reading and I'm scheming how and when I can squeeze like-minded ladies into my tiny living room so we can pour over the book together. I hope you'll buy it, read it, and be just as encouraged as me!
A few friends and I took her advice at the beginning of the book and discussed it over some scones. This book could stand alone but is so great with supplemental discussion amongst friends.
The book has two big sections: 1. A grand sweeping narrative of the Old Testament (which was surprisingly meaningful! I was tempted to skim, but then found myself hanging on every word) and 2. A theology of motherhood within God's mission in the world (in light of the OT narrative and the work of Christ.)
I'm not finished with the book yet, but I know God is using it to change my heart and lift my eyes. I'm so thankful and definitely recommend. It is a great personal read or could be used in a book club!