Idols of a Mother’s Heart

Our identity and meaning aren't meant to be found in motherhood, or fatherhood, but in Christ who has redeemed us.

Unlike so many of the books on parenting that I’ve read, Christina’s book isn’t about smacking you on the head with what you’re doing wrong. Her approach isn’t like Bob Newhart’s counseling skit. She doesn’t simply tell you to “Stop it!” From beginning to end, Christina’s message is gospel-centered and full of grace for us all.

 

If you’re a parent and a Christian, you’ve probably read your share of parenting books. Of the making of self-help parenting books, there is seemingly no end. If, like the writer of Ecclesiastes, you’ve been wearied by such study, Christina Fox’s new book, Idols of a Mother’s Heart, will be a balm for your soul. While Christina’s book is directed at mothers, there is much in her writing that would comfort, encourage, and challenge fathers as well.

Unlike so many of the books on parenting that I’ve read, Christina’s book isn’t about smacking you on the head with what you’re doing wrong. Her approach isn’t like Bob Newhart’s counseling skit. She doesn’t simply tell you to “Stop it!” From beginning to end, Christina’s message is gospel-centered and full of grace for us all.

Christina reminds us that our purpose is to glorify God and worship Him (37). Our identity and meaning aren’t meant to be found in motherhood, or fatherhood, but in Christ who has redeemed us (111). Our value and worth aren’t in our achievements and successes as parents. Instead, “our worth is grounded in who Christ is for us, and what He accomplished on our behalf” (122).

Since that’s true, why focus on motherhood and the idols we may have as mothers? Parenting can make us more aware of our sin in ways we didn’t expect (24-25). Christina writes:

First, as mothers, we all face the problem of the presence of remaining sin in our life. Secondly, motherhood is hard. It is challenging and stretching in unique ways, different from other areas of our life. Thirdly, motherhood is another area of our life God uses to transform us. (31)

In other words, parenthood can reveal idols we may not have known we worship. How can we identify our idols? Idols are the things we hope will provide meaning and fulfillment for us apart from God. Generally, as believers, we try to add something to our faith in God, like a job or relationship (67).

But ultimately our idols will let us down. They can’t save us, and they are powerless to help us. Christina reminds us that we need to see that about our idols, not so that we can fix ourselves, but so we can see our need for God (80).

Read More