Bestselling author and entrepreneur Ruth Chou Simons is encouraging mothers to find beauty in the mundane and rest in the Word of God amid the uncertainty and chaos stemming from the novel coronavirus.
“This is a really hard time for many mothers,” Simons told The Christian Post. “We need to have empathy and understand that this is not something we just need to get over. We were thrown into something we weren’t prepared for. We're realizing, 'I have to work from home and scrounge for food. How will I deal with homeschooling and with sickness?’”
But in these frightening moments, Simons, a homeschooling mother of six boys, advised parents to remember that “everything we had in Christ is still ours.”
“The lack of control we feel — maybe it’s a good reminder we were never in control in the first place,” she suggested. “The Scriptures tell us God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. What you really need to tackle this day isn’t just a perfect schedule or more tools and coloring sheets. Even though those things are great, we need to wake up with the reminder of who we are in Christ. That is the most important thing to remember in these times.”
“When we bring that kind of assurance to the dinner table, we can confidently say to our families, ‘We have the security that God loves us. There is no trial or suffering that isn’t ultimately going to be made right in Jesus.' We can rest assured in that. When we understand that God is loving and good, everything is ours.”
An artist, speaker, and owner of the successful faith-based business GraceLaced, Simons recently released her latest book, Foundations: 12 Biblical Truths to Shape a Family, written along with her husband, Troy. In it, the pair invite readers into their inspirational journey of raising their children to know and love God.
“This book has been 18 years in the making,” she told CP. “We are parents to six boys, our oldest just turned 18 this week, my youngest is 6. And while I’ve always written about truth being the basis of our lives, we’ve really just heard from my audience that they’d love some help with the family.”
Foundations features a simple, chapter-a-day format that includes Scripture, devotional thoughts, meditations, and discussion questions.
“This book is a journey through 12 principles for the Christian life that are pertinent to the family and individual,” Simons said. “They’re all based on Scripture and things we say to our children: Love God above all else and with all you’ve got. Hate sin, especially your own.
“Those are the foundations for the rest of the rules, like giving generously and being an encourager and forgiving,” she continued. “Discovering that God loves us, and we’ve got to love Him back. We must hate our sin and fight it daily. They aren’t comprehensive, and there are more in the Scriptures, but these are things we can confidently say we want to be about as a family.”
When writing the book, Simons kept in mind “single parents, grandparents, or families who have lost a spouse” in addition to “traditional” families.
“This book isn’t just for the perfect family sitting with their hands folded on their laps,” she said. “We believe God’s Word is applicable to even those of us who don’t feel equipped. Whatever your situation may be, God will equip you to encourage that person right before you.”
Simons and her husband also host a podcast — also titled "Foundations" — that delves deeper into how parents can root both their children and themselves in Scriptural truths. Training children to know and love the Lord begins, first and foremost, with parents, she said.
“After 18 years of parenting, we’ve realized that the number one thing that has made a difference isn’t the books we’ve read or the schedule we’ve kept, but when we have a vibrant relationship with the Lord,” Simons said. “It starts with us coming to a place where we say, ‘I’ve got to take inventory of where I’m at with the Lord these days. Do I talk to Him about things? Do I go to the Word of God to inform my heart?’”
While plugging into a local church contributes to a healthy spiritual walk, Simons stressed the importance of unplugging, at times, from social media.
“Think through what you’re listening to and what advice you’re getting,” she said. “We will grow if we stay plugged into resources and encouragement that point us to the truth. Just scrolling through social media won’t help you become more equipped or encouraged. Comparison won’t help you love your life more.”
“My encouragement would be, if you feel unequipped and struggling, get plugged into your local church,” she continued. “Fill your mind and heart with encouragement.”
For young mothers “in the thick of it,” Simons advised, “don’t give up investing every day in your personal walk with Jesus, because when you live out the Gospel in messy ways in your home that will be the primary influence in your child’s life. You don’t have to have a perfect walk with God; you have to have a progressing one.”
Simons said she is “obsessed with the idea of investing at home.” She encouraged mothers to remember that through changing diapers, having a conversation with the child on their lap, or even washing dishes, they are “changing the world.”
“It’s easy to get blinded by the successes of others, but realize that the biggest impact I’ll ever have is from within the walls of my home, what I choose to invest with the people God has put right in front of me,” she emphasized. “My encouragement is, don’t dismiss these times at home. They’re not wasted.”
“We’re being transformed in things we don’t find remarkable,” she added. “God is at work and active. I’m right alongside you, striving to tackle my day, remember that.”