Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother. (John 19:25)

Despite the prayers of a Christian mother, the boy was determined to live life on his own terms. Church was not for him, he decided, and he began to run with a fast crowd. By age eighteen he was living with a girl outside of marriage and had fathered a son by her.

When he announced plans to move to the big city and explore all it had to offer, his mother pleaded with him not to go. Her son agreed, just to stop her tears, but before nightfall he slipped away and thought he was beyond her reach forever. He underestimated her resolve. She tracked him down in the city and kept loving him back to God!

It sounds like a modern story, but it’s not. The son was Augustine, who for sixteen hundred years now has been acclaimed as a pivotal figure in Christian history. His mother, Monnica, on the other hand, has largely remained in history’s shadows.

It’s often that way. Time and again, we celebrate great leaders of the faith while failing to notice a faithful mother in the background, out of the spotlight. A pagan philosopher once noticed, though, and famously said, “What mothers these Christians have!”

Their model is Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary never sought to be placed on a pedestal, but her story faithfully points us to her Son.

Give thanks for the unsung heroes of Christian homes.

Bob Black is professor emeritus of religion at Southern Wesleyan University, where he served for thirty-two years. He co-authored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.