“Never could it be possible for any man to estimate what he owes to a godly mother.” Charles Spurgeon
I often tell young moms that motherhood is both the best job and the hardest job I’ve ever had. Nothing evokes the heartfelt emotion, tireless serving, constant fretting and leaning into God’s promises quite like the role of Mom. I’m currently in the thick of motherhood with four children spanning the ages of 5-15. Each day is filled with laundry, cooking, carpools, homework, late-night chats and early morning bus drop-offs. In the midst of the busyness of life, it can be easy to forget the main purpose of mothering… leading our children to trust and rejoice in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Devoted- Great Men and Their Godly Moms by Tim Challies provides just the encouragement needed to reorient our hearts to the most important task in mothering. Through 11 short chapters, Challies provides brief biographies of some of the most influential Christian men in history, with a view to the women who paved their way. From famous preachers like Charles Spurgeon and John Newton to current theologians like Christopher Yuan and John Piper, we observe the impact of a godly mother. Mothers who persevered in prayer even when their child was living a rebellious life, mothers who faithfully taught the Bible from the earliest of ages, mothers who demonstrated the value of hard work and responsibility, mothers who bore the weight of providing for the family and instructing their children due to the death or absence of a father. Each of the chapters ends with a thoughtful reflection and application questions, perfect for one-on-one discipleship or a small group setting.
Charles Hodge, renowned defender of Reformed theology, seminary professor and author gave this accolade to his mother, “To our mother, my brother, and myself, under God, owe absolutely everything. To us she devoted her life. For us she prayed labored and suffered.”
One of the prevailing themes of the book is how God uses ordinary women, dependent on Him, to accomplish great things. Very few of these mothers had theological training or even higher education. Yet God used their commitment to study His Word and to faithfully teach and shepherd their sons, as a means of producing some of the most prominent men in Christian history.
Devoted provides fresh inspiration to the weary mama in the trenches of motherhood. Reading the Bible to your squirrely toddler and singing the words of hymns is not in vain. You’re planting seeds of truth in the youngest of minds. God hears our prayers and rewards those who seek him. Let the mothers profiled in Devoted encourage you to teach, disciple and pray for the souls of our children. There’s no greater privilege on earth.