For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
As moms, we sometimes struggle with feeling like no one really understands. We believe Hebrews 4:15 in a general sense, but never really think about how Jesus might be able to relate to some of the specific situations we encounter as moms.
Jill Savage, executive director of Hearts at Home and mom of five herself, sets out to show us that He really does relate to our lives, in very specific ways in her newest book, Real Moms…Real Jesus: Meet the Friend Who Understands. It focuses on the struggles all moms face and offers encouragement that Jesus both understands completely and offers us the perfect example of how to handle each situation.
Real Moms…Real Jesus has a unique format. First comes a short, two to three page “perspective” section, which poses a real-life scenario for a mom and then relates an actual event in the Gospels that illustrates how Jesus’ experiences parallel it. For example, the third “perspective” is titled “Can I please go to the bathroom alone?” No explanation needed for most moms on that one, but Ms. Savage points out that, when we read the Gospels, we see that large crowds were constantly following Jesus everywhere He went. When He tried to slip away for a few moments alone to pray, they found Him. He truly does understand the weariness, the need for just a few moments of peace and quiet so we can hear ourselves think…He’s been there! This is followed by a prayer with space for journaling, a suggested reading (following these will take you through the entire book of Matthew as you read the book), and a key verse.
The chapter that follows explores a character quality Jesus exhibits in that particular situation that we should seek to develop ourselves. This format is followed for thirteen “perspectives” and chapters, covering issues from the aforementioned finding time alone, to dealing with disobedience and squabbling, lack of sleep, and cultivating a gentle spirit.
I particularly enjoyed going through this because it coincided with my reading of the Gospels in my Bible reading challenge and perfectly complemented it.
I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of other books by Ms. Savage on motherhood and household topics, so I expected to enjoy this one as well, but I was pleasantly surprised at the depth and Gospel focus in this little volume! There’s definitely plenty to chew on here.
A leader’s guide in the back makes this a wonderful resource for a group study. I’d love to go through Real Moms…Real Jesus with a group using the guide. It also works wonderfully for personal devotions, with the reflections, prayers, and journaling spaces provided.
All in all, I highly recommend this one to all moms. You’ll find it encouraging, challenging, and inspirational. Thanks so much to Moody Publishers for providing a copy to me for review.