I always like to know a little something about an author before I sit down and open up his or her book. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing a sneak peek interview with my friend Christina Fox about her new book, Idols of a Mother’s Heart. Christina writes with a wealth of wisdom and theological understanding as she exposes the idols we often battle in motherhood—control, comfort, achievement, and approval—and helps diagnosis the problem in our own hearts. Most importantly, Christina points to the grace of God by encouraging mothers to turn from idolatry and find life in Christ alone. Her book releases this Friday, December 7—just in time for Christmas!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Maryland, in the suburbs outside Washington, D.C. In undergrad, I went to Covenant College (Go Scots!) and then went on to get my master’s in counseling at Palm Beach Atlantic University. I live in the Atlanta area with my husband of almost 22 years and our two boys. I spend my days homeschooling and chauffeuring my kids around from one place to the next. I serve on the national women’s ministry team for the PCA and as the editor of the enCourage blog. I also enjoy serving Covenant College in my role on the advisory board there. A few of my favorite things are writing, coffee, reading, antiquing, hiking, and traveling.
When did you first start writing? What do you enjoy about it?
I loved writing as a child and still have most of my stories and poems from that time. I was also involved in the school newspaper; I served as editor for my high-school paper. In high school, I mostly wrote poetry. It served as an outlet for a difficult and emotional season of life. As to the writing I do now, that grew out of blogging, which I started right after my oldest was born. Before my son was born, I worked as a psychotherapist and wanted to find a way to use those skills in some way, even though I had transitioned to being a stay-at-home home. Blogging became a way for me to encourage other women (and myself!) to live out the gospel in whatever our circumstances.
Is writing ever difficult for you? How so?
Sometimes I wonder if I have a limited amount of creativity and when it’s used up, I have nothing to say. I sit at my desk and stare at a blank screen. That’s when I know I need to go out and live life for a while before I try writing again. Sometimes it’s challenging finding the time to squeeze in writing with all the other responsibilities I have at this season of life. Rather than having designated days or chunks of time, I often write during pockets of time, such as during my son’s sports practice.
What led you to write Idols of a Mother’s Heart?
When my kids were little, I hosted a discipleship group with other young moms in my home. We read books together, prayed together, and encouraged one another. One of the books we read was Tim Keller’s Counterfeit Gods. As we read it, I couldn’t help but apply it to my life as a mom. I thought through the idols he discussed and related them to motherhood. I wrote an article about it for Desiring God, which ended up in a book they published, Mom Enough. I thought there was more there for me to explore on the topic, so I wrote a book on it.
What’s the central message you hope readers will take away from Idols of a Mother’s Heart?
We were made to worship God alone, but because of the fall, our hearts are prone to wander. As moms, we often look for life and hope outside of God. We search for it in a change of circumstances, a well-ordered routine, or successful children. This book helps moms look at and evaluate the idols they worship, see their need for Jesus, and turn to worship God alone.
How has writing this book affected your own life?
Was this book ever hard to write! I was convicted throughout the writing process as I saw the ways in which I worship idols such as children, comfort, control, approval, or parenting success. But I was also encouraged as I looked at what the gospel had to say and was reminded that my meaning, purpose, identity, and value are found in Christ alone.
For a sneak peak, here are some quotes:
Moms, we have significant value and worth. But it’s not based on what we achieve. It’s not about our success as a mother. It’s not about how well our children turn out. Our worth is grounded in who Christ is for us, and what He accomplished on our behalf.
The truths of the gospel, of who Christ is and what he has done, are our confession of hope. They are our security; they anchor us in the storms of life and in the chaos of motherhood.
Here’s what others are saying:
“Page by page, Christina Fox peels back the layers of a mother’s heart, helping her pluck out idols until there is nothing left but the grace of God. Idols of a Mother’s Heart is a convicting surgery of the soul, as Fox delicately deals with our rogue, wild hearts, continually pointing us back to the transforming work of Jesus Christ—the only one worthy of our worship. With penetrating questions, humble honesty, and gospel freedom on every page, this book will not only stretch and challenge a mother, but point her to the joy and satisfaction found in her Savior alone.”
—Laura Wifler, co-founder of Risen Motherhood
“I always enjoy reading what Christina Fox writes. Her books are thoughtful, clear, practical, and full of the riches of Scripture. Idols of a Mother’s Heart is no different. With gentle precision, Fox exposes the lesser gods that take up residence in our hearts. And, with wisdom born of personal experience, she helps readers tear them down—so that Christ might have his rightful place. Mothers, if you want to learn to hate sin and love Christ, this book is for you.”
— Megan Hill, author of Praying Together, editor for The Gospel Coalition, writer, speaker, pastor’s wife, mother of four
If you had an afternoon to do whatever you’d like, where would we find you?
First stop would be my favorite local coffee shop. Then I’d explore an antique shop. And maybe top it off with a hike around a park near my house.
Christina Fox received her master’s in counseling from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She is the editor of enCourage and writes for a number of Christian ministries including Revive Our Hearts, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and TGC. She is the author of A Heart of Set Free, Closer than a Sister, and Idols of a Mother’s Heart. You can find her at www.christinafox.com.