I always like to know a little something about an author before I sit down and open up his or her book. Today, I interview my friend Christina Fox about her new book, A Holy Fear: Trading Lesser Fears for a Fear of the Lord. I always enjoy Christina’s books, and I know this one will be a timely encouragement for all of us dealing with fear. Make sure to get a copy!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. I’ve been married to George for almost 24 years now. We met my freshman year at Covenant College. We have two boys, ages 13 and 16, both whom I’ve homeschooled for many years (they are both now in a hybrid/homeschool school setting).
I have my master’s degree in counseling psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a counseling license in my state. My passion is to help women see how the gospel intersects with their daily life, bringing light and life to the darkness of life in a fallen world.
I’m a writer, blogger, and retreat speaker. I’ve written several books, including A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope Through the Psalms of Lament, Idols of a Mother’s Heart, and my latest, A Holy Fear: Trading Lesser Fears for a Fear of the Lord. I serve on the PCA’s National Women’s Ministry Team and edit our ministry blog, enCourage. I’m also an advisory board member at Covenant College.
Currently, I’m in the planning phase of developing a counseling ministry for my church.
When did you first start writing? What do you enjoy about it?
Like many other writers, I loved writing as a child and wrote for the school newspaper and my church’s newsletter. I rediscovered this love as a young mom when I needed a way to process all the swirling thoughts, emotions, and challenges of motherhood. What I love most about writing is zeroing in on one topic and exploring its depths. It never ceases to change me.
Is writing ever difficult for you? How so?
Finding time is difficult! The past few years have found me spending my days as the family Uber driver. It’s hard to have blocks of time to write when you always have to pick someone up or drop someone off! I find myself constructing a piece in my mind while I drive, hoping I remember at least some of it so I can later write it down.
What led you to write A Holy Fear?
My interest in the topic began with a conversation I had with a relative when we talked about the fears of life. I share about this conversation at the beginning of the book. I’ve had many fears in my life, and I wanted to understand the fear of the Lord and how it relates to our other fears.
“Do not fear” and “Fear the Lord” are both common commands found throughout the Bible, and though they are different, they do have a relationship. One is greater than the other. One imprisons us; the other frees us. One makes everything in life great; the other makes God great.
This world has much to fear, and the Bible acknowledges that. But it calls us to something greater in the face of our fears—to Someone greater. In writing A Holy Fear, I wanted to help my own fearful heart—and that of my readers—to see God as greater than all that we fear.
What’s the central message you hope readers will take away from your book?
A Holy Fear helps readers understand what the fear of the Lord means, what it looks like in our lives, and how it relates to our lesser fears. It’s a systematic theology of sorts on the fear of the Lord. My hope is that readers walk away seeing God as greater.
How has writing this book affected your own life?
The word of God changes and transforms us as we read, study, and meditate upon it. As I studied the fear of the Lord throughout the Bible, I couldn’t help but pause and worship the Lord for who he is and what he has done.
Like the prophet Isaiah and the apostle John, the more I dwelled on this topic, the more I found my heart prostrate before the Great I AM. Studying the fear of the Lord helped shape my heart to respond to fearful circumstances with a holy fear.
For a sneak peek, here are some quotes:
“Fearing the Lord doesn’t mean you will never again feel any fearful emotions in the face of troubling circumstances. Rather, the fear of the Lord is the posture of your heart in the face of life’s fearful situations.”
“If you want to know the fear of the Lord, look to Jesus, the ultimate God-fearer who perfectly feared the Lord in our place.”
“But as we grow in the fear of the Lord, our hearts yield a harvest of trust. We find ourselves looking ahead to the future with expectation and anticipation, wondering what our great God has in store for us. We know that whatever it is, it will be for our good.”
“When we dwell on who God is and what He has done, our fear of Him disarms our lesser fears.”
Here are some endorsements:
“As human beings we all have our fears and are all motivated by our fears. In their own way our fears drive us and direct us. What Christina Fox does so well in this book is address the facts of our fears, diagnose the source of our fears, and prescribe the solution to our fears. As you read her book you will come to see that the cure to our fears is fear, for the problem at the heart of each human being is not that we fear, but what we fear. Or, better said, it’s who we fear.”
— Tim Challies, blogger, Challies.com
“In our modern vernacular, fear of the Lord sounds anything but good. It doesn’t sound life giving. It evokes thoughts of cowering in dismay in the shadow of something terrible. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so it’s gravely important for believers to understand what God does, and does not, mean by the phrase. Christina leads us through Scripture to understand the phrase as God uses it. Christina is an able guide, and the reader will benefit from her thoughtful and thorough look at Scripture on fearing the LORD.”
— Wendy Alsup is a mom, math teacher, and author of Companions in Suffering: Comfort for Times of Loss and Loneliness
“We all struggle with fear and need to embrace the truths captured on these pages. Christina’s clear and relatable words invite us to look past our fears and towards the Lord’s love for us. She gently teaches us how to embark on a journey of growing in our reverence and awe of the Lord, so we can find comfort in him.”
—D arby Strickland, CCEF counselor, teacher, and author, Is it Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims
When will A Holy Fear be coming out?
November 28, 2020, but you can preorder it now.
If you had an afternoon to do whatever you’d like, where would we find you?
Some of my favorite things to do are exploring antique shops, hiking in the mountains, or kayaking.
Christina Fox received her undergraduate degree from Covenant College and her master’s degree in counseling from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She writes for a number of Christian ministries and publications, including TGC, Revive Our Hearts, and Ligonier Ministries. She is the author of A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope Through the Psalms of Lament, Closer Than a Sister: How Union with Christ Helps Friendships to Flourish, Idols of a Mother’s Heart, Sufficient Hope: Gospel Meditations and Prayers for Moms, and A Holy Fear: Trading Lesser Fears for a Fear of the Lord. Christina serves on the advisory board at Covenant College and on the PCA’s National Women’s Ministry Team as regional adviser of the Southeast. She is also the content editor of their ministry blog, enCourage. She prefers her coffee black and from a French press, enjoys antiquing, hiking, traveling, and reading. She lives in Greater Atlanta with her husband and two boys. You can find her at www.christinafox.com.