By Becky Hunter
In the 1700s Sarah Edwards, was busy being the wife of pastor Jonathan Edwards and the mother to their 11 children. Jonathan was brilliant theologian who God used in a significant way during the First Great Awakening. He was a man of God who was able to be successful at his calling, in large measure, because of the kind of wife he had in Sarah Edwards.
She was beautiful and was known for her gentle spirit, kindness, and deep devotion. Jonathan and Sarah had completely different personalities but nearly identical convictions. He was the introverted scholar, content to spend 13 hours daily in his study. She thoroughly enjoyed conversation with others. Both were deeply committed to Christ; in fact, it was Sarah’s devotion to the Lord that drew Jonathan to her.
They married when she was 18, and for 31 years she and Jonathan had a complex and challenging, but very successful marriage.
In a preface to the collected works of Jonathan Edwards, a contemporary wrote of Sarah:
In the midst of complicated labors, when the revival was going on, and life was very, very busy for Jonathan Edwards, as well as other times, he found at home one who was in every sense a helpmeet for him. One who made their dwelling an abode of order and neatness, of peace and comfort, of harmony and love to all who lived there, and of kindness and hospitality to the friend, the visitor, and the stranger. While she paid a becoming deference to her husband and treated him with entire respect, she spared no pains in conforming to his inclinations. She rendered everything in the family agreeable and pleasant, considering it her greatest glory, and that wherein she could best serve God and her generation; promoting her husband’s usefulness and happiness.
Sarah considered her greatest means of bringing glory to God and fulfilling God’s purpose for her life to be promoting her husband’s spiritual usefulness and happiness. How different from the way so many of us believe we can bring glory to God and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives today. But Sarah was sure if she could create a climate in the home where her husband found encouragement, could continue to grow in spiritual maturity and learn how to best be used by God, then she would know that she was the helper suitable to him.
God has given to each one of us exactly the husband that He wants us to help, and God fashioned each of us to be the helper suitable to that partner in our marriage and ministry.
May each of us, sustain our husbands, with joy, throughout the long hours they spend pouring their lives into ministry service. And, may we, like Sarah Edwards, never fail to consider what truly brings glory to God and fulfills His purpose for our lives. Now the Lord God said, ˜It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him."–Genesis 2:18 (Amplified Version)
I am praying for you and I hope you are continuing to pray for pastors’ wives around the world as your worship service begins each weekend.
Excerpts: “Memoirs of Jonathan Edwards,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1987)