I love my kids. I love God. How do I glorify God in my mothering? I become a passionate mom. Susan Merrill uses the book of Nehemiah to describe how to become a passionate mom in her book The Passionate Mom: Dare to Parent in Today's World. If you're unfamiliar with the book of Nehemiah, let me give you the jist of it. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king of Babylon. Friends of his came and told him how back home in Jerusalem (where Nehemiah had never lived, being born during the exile, but where he considered - like most Jews of the day - to be his home) the wall that protected the city and the Temple (which had been rebuilt by Ezra) was not rebuilt. Nehemiah saw this as a huge problem because it protected God's temple, where the Jewish nation worshiped God and really how they had a relationship with Him. Nehemiah took time to ponder his next step before he brought this problem before the king. The king (through God's mercy and grace) granted Nehemiah the materials and permission to go back and build the wall.
So how did someone like the king's cupbearer get permission from a fearsome king (like all of Babylon's kings were in those days) to go build a wall? He had passion. Not only passion. Nehemiah had perception of the problem, he pondered the problem he was passionate about, he prayed about that problem. He had patience while he prepared for his opportunity to do something about the problem. Nehemiah had purpose for the planning and problem solving that would take perseverance. Notice all the Ps in this paragraph? Those are precisely the things that Merrill shares that moms (and dads) should employ while parenting our children.
Perception. Pondering. Passion. Prayer. Patience. Preparation. Purpose. Planning. Problem solving. Perseverance. What a list. I know for me, the pondering is the most time-consuming and difficult for me. I lack a great sense of selflessness - I gravitate toward myself. I also lack a lot of self-control, taking the time to think about my children and their lives, our plan for their lives...that takes self-control. I don't take a lot of time to waste time; I plan my days carefully. However, I know now that it's very important for me to ponder Moose and Squirt. Their lives are not something I take lightly! Their souls are not something I take lightly!
It's very important to me, as the author, for my children to come into relationship with our savior Christ. Not to rely on my relationship with Him (which will be of no benefit to them because we're all responsible for our own lives in the end), but to love him. Well this is my passion for my children. My plan. I must be purposeful in this plan. I believe Merrill's book has given me the tools necessary to point us in the proper direction to fulfilling this goal.
This is not a discipline book or a parenting book of the norm. No, this is a book about YOU, mom. It is an encouragement that YOU are designed specifically for YOUR CHILDREN. God planned YOU to be their mom, no one else. He gave YOU the tools necessary for guiding your children through this life (as long as they are under your care). Take heart as you read this book that you can do this. I can do this in my own family. We can become passionate moms, just like Nehemiah was passionate for his people.
Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own. Others may or may not have the same opinions.