Archive for the ‘wives’ Category

20:28 Elisabeth’s Extravagant Love

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Elisabeth of Hungary

Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne. Proverbs 20:28

Elisabeth of Hungary was just fourteen when she wed Ludwig, but was wise beyond her years. While he was away fulfilling duties with Emperor Frederick II, famine overtook their land. Over the objections of her greedy inlaws, Elisabeth opened Ludwig’s treasuries and set up soup lines and a hospital to provide for the starving populace.

On Ludwig’s return, his family assaulted him with angry charges of Elisabeth’s “extravagance,” but he endorsed all that she had done. Both died young, but the people of Thuringia cherished their memory and considered them saints. They retained a kingdom in the hearts of people.

Christ is a ruler of lovingkindness who purchased his subjects from slavery with his own blood. In all our trials he shares our suffering. He is our bread. He is our healer. He, too, is a ruler of hearts.

12:4 Excellent Wife

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4

Ann Hasseltine Judson

Adoniram and Ann Judson were pioneer missionaries to Burma. Before her conversion to Christianity, Ann had been a society girl, flinging her life away in frivolity. Afterwards…what a change.

It is arguable that Adoniram’s work would have come to nothing without his wife. For instance, she was quicker than he at solving the language problems. Her letters home roused interest and support for their work. And when Adoniram was imprisoned under torturous conditions, it was only through her herculean efforts his life was sustained. Her exertions destroyed her health and she died shortly after his release.

The work of other Christian leaders has been hindered by wives who were out of sympathy with them. If I choose not to mention specific cases, it is because no one but God ever knows the full story of what has happened between a man and his wife, in which he is perhaps as much to blame for the disaster in his home as she is.

The ideal character of a man toward his wife is best set forth by Paul in Ephesians 5, and comes from a comparison of what Christ is to his bride—the church. Christ lived, suffered and died to win his bride, and prepare her radiant and spotless for an eternal marriage. What man can claim to have fully lived up to that high standard?

14:1 Wise and Foolish Women

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1

Gulag prisoners at work, courtesy of wikipedia.

Georgi Vins tells of Christian wives who made dangerous trips of thousands of kilometers to visit their husbands imprisoned for their testimony to Christ in Siberia. Non-christian prisoners were astonished. Their godless wives did not brave distance to visit them. In fact, many divorced them; others did not even bother with that formality but informed their husbands they were living with other men. What is even more astonishing, the Christian women did not reproach their husbands for the hardships which had befallen themselves and their children because of their husbands’ arrests. Even those women who were never to see their husbands again maintained godly homes for their children.

This is owing to Christ. Such is his power in relationships that the contrast between a marriage of convenience and a marriage of true Christians can be enormous. Christianity elevated the status of women. For instance, by likening marriage to the relationship between Christ and the church, Christianity gave women a higher status than was normal in ancient societies. Anyone who studies anthropology and archaeology with honesty cannot help but notice the different status of women in non-Christian societies and in Christian.

19:14 Prudent Wife

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Anne H. Judson, prudent wife.

Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord. Proverbs 19:14.

When Adoniram Judson became a Christian, his father, a minister, immediately had visions of him becoming a notable pastor in the United States. Adoniram grievously disappointed him. He told his father he was leaving it all to go to India.

Shortly before sailing in 1812, Adoniram married Anne Hasseltine, a young woman who had been a socialite before her conversion. They wound up in Burma, where Adoniram was imprisoned and tortured. Although a new mother, Anne exhausted herself to preserve his life and succor him. She died soon after his release.

Adoniram could have taken the course his father wanted. Instead he took a harder path, on which he was accompanied by a wife from the Lord. The pair became household names in America.

Everything of the Father belongs to Christ. He also is preparing himself a bride without spot or wrinkle, a prudent wife.

18:22 The Favor of a Wife

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

James Gilmour grew lonely, tramping Mongolia for Christ.

James Gilmour grew lonely, tramping Mongolia for Christ.

Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.

James Gilmour, Scottish missionary to Mongolia, felt strongly the weight of loneliness and the need of a wife. He related to a friend, “I proposed first to a Scotch girl, but found I was too late; I then put myself and the direction of this affair—I mean the finding of a wife—into God’s hands, asking Him to look me out one, a good one too; and very soon I found myself in a position to propose to Miss Prankard with all reasonable evidence that she was the right sort of girl, and with some hope that she would not disdain the offer.”

Emily Prankard was the sister of missionary friends whose portrait he had seen. Emily accepted.

The match was not foolish. As James explained to his parents, “I wrote her, and she has written me in the most unrestrained way concerning her spiritual hopes and condition, and though we have never seen each other, yet we know more of each other’s inmost life and soul than, I am quite certain, most lovers know of each other even after long personal courtship.”

She travelled to China and they were wed. Emily proved to be an ideal companion. “Without any gammon, I am much more happy than ever even in my day-dreams I ventured to imagine I might be. It is not only me that my wife pleases, but she has gained golden opinions from most of the people who have met her among my friends and acquaintances in Scotland and China…The young lady went to Scotland, and was with [my parents] two weeks, and came away having made such an impression on them that they wrote me from home to say that ‘though I searched the country for a couple years I could not have made a better choice.'”

Emily proved to be more of a soul-winner and a better linguist than James, a real helper in his work. It was a faith-marriage truly made in heaven.

Jesus also has a marriage made in heaven. His Father selected for him a bride—the church—”without spot and wrinkle” and promised “greater things than I have done, you will do.”