Today I bring you a little interview with my mentor and friend, Sally Clarkson. She is an inspiration to me to hold onto biblical ideals and to pursue integrity. She encourages me, admonishes me, and loves me. I am grateful for her wisdom. I know you will be, too. Enjoy.
Sarah Mae: In your book, The Mission of Motherhood, you say this: “To have significant energy for the task, we must make the choice to embrace motherhood wholeheartedly.” What does it mean to embrace motherhood wholeheartedly?
Sally: I think that if you are a mature Christian who has committed in your life to glorify God, and if you believe you’ll be held accountable for the souls, minds, and hearts of your children, you have to make the decision to obey Him in being present with your children – giving them the best and the first of your time, your life, and your heart. It’s an issue of obedience to God, not just a philosophical choice. “I must obey God before the voices of the world.”
Sarah Mae: When it comes to the souls of our children, what responsibility do we have, and where do we just let go and trust God with them?
Sally: There are two sides to the coin. You must fill your soul and heart with biblical wisdom. God commands us to read the Word. If you’re not feeding on truth, than you’re not going to be making wise decisions. You must constantly be disciplining yourself to be as wise as you can be. The other part is we say, “Lord, you have access to my heart and my brain, please instruct and lead my children to you.” I have no power to lead my child’s heart to Christ because only God can do that. But I have the responsibly of reflecting Christ to my child, and I do this by feeding my mind on His wisdom.
In the absence of biblical conviction, we go the way of the culture. If we’re not building on biblical faith, than we’ll be susceptible to following the voices of our peers, or bloggers, or our culture.
To build a relationship with a child, a deep, loving, trusting, affirming, life-giving relationship, requires lots of time and focused attention. Moms are trying to find formulas to make it easier so they don’t have to take the time to develop the relationship, but without the relationship with child, they will not embrace your message about God.
People are trying to replace time with formulas: “Just give me the rules, the formula.” It’s not easy to build a deep relationship, it takes time, but that’s the way you’ll influence your children.
Sarah Mae: What is an issue you see facing moms today? Can you give us some encouragement when it comes to facing these issues?
Sally: Moms and social media. It’s addicting to be in media; it’s as addictive as pornography. I fight it myself. If I get up and I feel like I want to go to my computer instead of to the Lord, than I’ve made the internet the idol. He will not bless somebody who is following idols, anymore than you can say to your husband, “I really love you, I just have one boyfriend.” Either you take me or you don’t take anyone.
But even beyond media, I think moms are isolated, and feel alone and unsupported in their tasks and often they lack vision and have nothing in their background that would help them know how to have a healthy relationship with their children. This is a discouraging combination and so many moms feel inadequate but don’t know what to do about it. I wrote Mission of Motherhood to help moms know how to find interest, challenge, fun and inspiration in their mission as a mom so that they can find deep fulfillment as the design of God unfolds in their hearts. it’s sort of like getting a new pair of glasses in which to see the world and suddenly you begin to see things that you have never seen before.
Moms should also find another mom or two to read the book together so they can develop ideals with another friend who will give accountability, encouragement and grow their families together. My friends who have the same vision provide so much fun and encouragement to me and to my children and it has kept me from being lonely and it has given me hope along this journey.