Whose Advice are You Taking?


"I mean to have a quiet time, I want to read my Bible every day, but life is just so busy and I hope that God knows my heart. I just can't seem to fit it in."

Busyness truly does wrap itself around our moments and squeeze out our moments of quiet and the peace that comes from pondering God, His word, His ways. Having just come to Oxford to await the baby, I have been most grateful for a slower lifestyle, walking to the grocery store, rubbing shoulders with real live people along my way, having a break from the constant press of social media.

"He restoreth my soul," a phrase from my childhood comes to mind. This is my hope for myself right now--that He will lead me beside the still waters, and restore my own slightly empty, weary soul from all the happenings of life I have born the past year. God daily wants to companion every moment of my journey and without His voice, I find my heart and soul dry, thirsty for His love and reality.

Do you feel some of this dryness or need for restoration?

I recently ended a speaking tour in another state by giving a talk at a lovely ladies' tea. The precious moms who attended were quite responsive to my talks and seemed to especially enjoy the civilized atmosphere in which we ended the day. As I sat enjoying my nibble of scone and sip of tea, a young woman came up to talk to me after the other women had dispersed to chat with friends or pick up their children from the nursery. She obviously didn't want anyone else to hear what she had to say to me.

"I feel so confused, and I'm desperately hoping you can help me," she said, diving right in as she sat down. She took my hand and continued speaking in a whisper. "I am a new Christian and didn't have a very good foundation in life—as a matter of fact, I was just left to myself to discover what I thought was true about life, morality; and values. I made a lot of mistakes and have a lot of emotional scars from the choices I made. I decided I didn't want my children to be scarred like I was, so I wanted to do a better job with them. I feel like I am starting this journey of motherhood already miles behind because I have nothing in my background that would show me the way to walk this journey.

As we talked the next half hour, I could sense her frustration mounting and spilling out from her tear-filled eyes.

"Because I didn't have my own beliefs, I feel that now I am subject to whatever I hear. I will read one book and it says to discipline in a certain way that feels harsh, so I will try to practice these theories for a while. Then I will hear a speaker or read another book that teaches exactly the opposite but also sounds reasonable. I am tempted to think I have ruined my children and need to go in yet another direction! How is a mom to know what to do?"

She isn't the only one asking. I have had many such conversations and talked to many women who feel the same way.

Our conversation is representative of the hearts of many women I've met. In the absence of having nurturing mothers who met their needs and cultivated a close relationship, they had never developed a plan or biblical direction that would guide them in their own lives. They had no basis or picture of what it meant to be a "good mother."

Through our years of ministry, Clay and I have coined a phrase:

In the absence of biblical convictions, people will go the way of culture.

Sally Clarkson

What we mean by this is that if a woman doesn't develop her own foundational principles of biblical wisdom to guide her through life, she will base her decisions in life upon the relative truth of those around her: friends, neighbors, and media. But Scripture is crystal clear about how important it is to turn from the world's counsel. Walking according to worldliness is a recipe for brokenness and disaster.

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

2 Timothy 4:2-4

Preach the Word so that people can discern God's truth and be kept from turning aside to myths. I see this process in the women I just mentioned. A thousand insistent voices constantly shout in our ears and hearts as a result of living in a media-driven, "expert"- informed age. Magazines, television, websites, newsletters, and the newspaper all pour out different perspectives of counsel. Advice is heard from every direction.

But we can't listen to all these voices just because they are loud. The wisdom that informs our lives must come directly from the Word of God.

As you make decisions about parenting, whose advice are you listening to? Is the Word of God your primary informant?

I write this blog because I know Jesus cares for you and I pray it might lead you into His presence. I also conduct the membership. It is my hope that many of you will be refreshed in March as you make time to listen to the content on our new membership, Life with Sally. Our desire is to fill your soul with the truth and words of His word and wisdom so that you may be refueled in all the places we, as a team of women, speak and write.

I am praying for you this very morning, that you will find rest for your hearts and souls. .