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Tending Your Garden: Wisdom for Keepers at Home - Paperback

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By Denise Sproul • Foreword by Carol DeMar


Denise Sproul was a wife, mother, teacher, and friend. She was married to Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. and the mother of eight beautiful children. In addition, she wrote a column for each issue of Every Thought Captive magazine, and her writing has appeared in several other national publications. Denise was a joy to be around and brightened every place she went. She is now being brightened by the joy of her Lord. She went home to Glory on December 18, 2011 after a long battle with cancer.

A touching tribute to here life can be found here.


Denise shares the challenges and fulfillment of being a "keeper at home" in a collection of short captivating essays. Encouraging and enlightening, Tending Your Garden provides real wisdom for keepers at home.

"Denise is my friend, so when I read her words, I see her face and hear her voice. But even before we were friends, I loved reading her articles in Every Thought Captive. I find myself mulling over and reflecting on her message throughout the next several days. Readers will find this collection of essays in Tending Your Garden just as refreshing and encouraging. Denise writes as one sister sharing with and exhorting another sister as we rejoice in our calling to "tend our garden." Beall Phillips


If you are a mother or hope to be one someday then this book is for you! It is short and easy to read which makes it perfect to put down and pick back up again. But it is so practical that you will not want to put it down.

Denise Sproul was the wife of R.C. Sproul, Jr., and the mother of eight children! So she certainly speaks from experience. The fact that a mother of eight can write a book both encouraging and enlightening attests to the fact that she has seen the fruits of her labors!

That being said, this book is not for the faint of heart! If you have ever tended a garden, you know that it requires much work and constant vigilance. This analogy works well throughout the book. The weeds must be removed and the garden cultivated continually. At some point, all mothers must answer the inevitable question, “Do you work or do you stay at home?” The answer is a definitive “Yes.” As Denise puts it, the two are not mutually exclusive of each other.

Mothers must take their role seriously. The example set forth in Proverbs 31 is that of a woman who works hard caring for her children and providing for her household – among other things! If you stay at home with the children, then you are doing the work that God has called you to do, so don’t be apologetic. If you are even trying to do all that you should, this is a tremendous undertaking.

While the work is never ending, keepers at home are (in most cases) very blessed and should view it as such. “Generally speaking, unlike many of our husbands, we aren’t dealing with cut-throat competition on the job…There isn’t a great deal of office politics to maneuver around…Our commute to work is extremely short…We are, under our husbands, our own boss in the day-to-day labor.” And I will add one of my own—the rewards at home are much more fulfilling than they are outside the home!

Perhaps the greatest blessing is also the most difficult—training up the next generation of warriors. The importance of this can not be overemphasized. This training is in and of itself an “act of war—a declaration to the world and to the powers of darkness that we will not sit back and let someone else’s sinful agenda reign.” If only this view permeated our thinking, how much easier many decisions would be!

Mrs. Sproul goes on to encourage us that “This is not a petty war over such things as who will govern the world in the here and now, but over who will rule in eternity. This will have far more impact than mere weapons that can kill the body but will never touch the soul.” Of course, who will rule in eternity is of the ultimate importance. But I would hasten to clarify that we should also be very concerned with such things as who will govern the world here and now. Romans 13:4 states that civil government is a ministry of God. Therefore, we should be actively seeking to have leaders at all levels that will punish the wicked and protect the innocent. Otherwise, the freedom and protection that our gardens currently enjoy will be seriously threatened.

Tending Your Garden was both a surprising and a challenging book. As I am single, I must confess that when I was given this assignment, I was not thrilled at the prospect of having to read a book which I was convinced did not apply to me right at this point in my life. But as I began working my way through its pages, I was surprised at just how practical and applicable this book really was—even for someone who I am relatively sure wasn’t in the author’s target audience. I was challenged by Denise’s wisdom and insight and I believe that her book will be helpful to women of all ages. Those who are not yet married can store up knowledge, and even those who have passed that stage of life can use it to instruct younger mothers as Titus 2 calls them to do.

Paperback, 142 Pages

NOTE: Tending Your Garden is also available for sale on Kindle and Barnes and Noble's NookBooks.

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