Most Christians who study church history and Christian theology or delve deeper into their studies have heard of Saint Augustine. He has profoundly impacted the Christian church with his writings left behind.
However, how many have heard of Monica, his mother? She was born in 331 A.D. in North Africa. She was raised in a substantial Christian home and was deeply committed to her faith.
When she grew older, she got married to an unbeliever named Patricius. He had a violent temper and was known for his infidelity. As a result, her marriage was difficult. However, Monica stayed faithful to loving him and showing him Christ. She prayed for him all while raising their children in Christ. Though many days were difficult, she believed God would honor her devotion to her marriage and children.
As the children grew, her son Augustine did not embrace Christianity. Instead, he enjoyed the pleasures of this world and all it had to offer, especially beautiful women.
Monica was sometimes overwhelmed by her husband's and son's rejection of Christ, whom she loved so much. However, she was a determined woman of faith. She prayed fervently for them both and continued to be a loving example of Christ.
After many years of struggle, prayers, and devotion, Augustine, who had studied many different philosophies, realized the only truth that made sense was Christ and Him crucified. So, in his early 30s, in 387 A.D. he gave his life to Christ. Short Biography of Augustine of Hippo
His life was so radically transformed from that moment on that he became devoted to the teachings of God's word and is known as one of our greatest early theologians. His writings touched the lives of St. Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and many others.
Eventually, Monica's husband joined her in her walk of faith, and he, too, gave his life to Christ.
at can we learn from this faithful wife and mother? Scriptures to Encourage You
1. STAND IN PRAYER
Do not give up! Even when it looks like nothing will ever change, prayer changes everything. God is faithful to hear our prayers, and we must be devoted to making our requests known to Him. The widow never stopped knocking on the door; Hanna never gave up asking for a child, and Sarah is known for her faith in God for a child long after she could naturally conceive. We have a long line of women who never gave up—the prayers of the righteous avail much.
2. WORLD CHANGING IMPACT
Sister, you don't know, but you could raise the next Augustine, Billy Graham, or a missionary. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed and think you may have blown it. However, your love for Christ, dedication to His word, and faithfulness to your family speak volumes to your kids. They see a mom who won't give up! She keeps getting up each day and trying again. Augustine and Patricius would have seen a determined woman who continued to love them despite their failings and looked to Jesus in her weaknesses.
You are raising the next generation of Christian world changers, and it may look different from what you want it to look like. But know that you are planting deep seeds that others will water, and we believe God will give the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)
I am sure Monica had no idea she was raising Augustine! Maybe our kids will never become famous theologians whose writings are read by every generation. However, if they impact one soul, they affect a soul for all eternity. How rich and great is that? Most men and women who have done the mightiest work for God have no name in history. Still, they are named in the Lamb's Book of Life and will be rewarded for all eternity for their sacrifice.
Stay faithful in prayer and service to your family. Your love and sacrifice are precious in the sight of God.
Connect with me if you need prayer or support.