Monica was a strong Christian woman who had married an unbeliever. She, of course, desperately wanted her husband to know salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection. Monica realized, though, that according to 1 Peter 3, her words would not influence him nearly as much as her conduct. So she was patient and respectful, praying and waiting for the day when her husband would become one with her in faith. But it was a long and difficult journey.
Monica was careful to teach their children the Scriptures. She taught and lived the Bible to best of her ability. Much to her dismay, however, the son she thought had the most promise strayed far from the faith. His teenage and early adult years were filled with gross immorality. Although he was extremely intelligent and continued his education in earnest, he ignored his mother’s warnings against youthful lusts. He ended up living with a woman, and they had a child out of wedlock. Monica was frustrated, but she continued to consistently pray for her son. Day by day, year after difficult year, she carried her wayward son before the throne of grace through prayer.
Eventually, through an odd “coincidence”—one of those uncanny situations that only God can set up—her son was befriended by a man he admired, who also happened to be a strong, committed Christian. The process was slow, but the influence of the man eventually led to the conversion of Monica’s son. The year was 386.
Through Monica’s prayers and perseverance, both her son, Augustine, who, most scholars agree, was the most important figure in the ancient Western church, and his father, Patricius, came into the kingdom of God. Monica didn’t worry about her husband and son. Instead, she did just what the Scripture says, and cast her cares on the Lord.
What cares and anxieties do you need to cast upon Jesus today?