“… so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2:4-5
On July 28,1727, Jonathan Edwards, one of America’s most well known and influential theologians, married Sarah Pierrepoint. A little over a year later, Sarah began her role as a stay at home mom to raise the first of 11 children. In the 1700’s, that meant along with tending to her children, she also looked after the chickens, broke ice for water, weaved cloth and sewed her children’s clothing, tended to the household chores, butchered and cooked the chickens for food, and homeschooled her children. While you’ve probably heard much about Jonathan Edwards, the woman that stood behind him is even more incredible in my eyes. With all of that responsibility and work on her hands, what amazes me most is the kind of man Jonathan was able to be. Sarah worked hard at loving her husband and her children so well that Jonathan was freed up to become one of the most well known theologians in history.
For a long time, I would’ve looked down on Sarah’s role as tedious and boring. Looking forward to a life in full-time ministry, I didn’t want to be cooped up inside a house, I wanted to be on the front lines winning souls to Jesus left and right. I didn’t understand the value and importance of a role like Sarah’s. When my husband and I got married, we had already both been working in full time ministry with college students for a year so I knew my role on campus well and assumed it would remain the same. I quickly realized that my time was now divided. I didn’t just have a group of girls to pour my heart into at all hours of the day and night, I had a husband to spend time with, meals to cook and a home to look after. A dear friend of mine helped me to process that my new and most important ministry was not to the girls in our ministry anymore, but to making my husband successful in his ministry. If I could give a few extra hours a day to cooking and cleaning, I was freeing up my husband to give extra hours on campus to sharing the gospel with students in the same way that Sarah’s hard work at home allowed Jonathan’s work to flourish.
In a culture that is screaming that we women are to be strong, smart and independent, it’s easy to lose sight of what a beautiful and important role this really is! Sarah was not weak or stupid and her dependency was on the Lord alone. Because of her hard work, she was able to disciple 11 children and undergird her husband with a home of peace, comfort and affection. Sarah’s role in Jonathan’s ministry and life work was important and necessary for Jonathan to become the man he was. In the past year I’ve grown to understand the significance of my role as a wife, but in the past couple of months I’ve grown to really love it. Seriously, I get to encourage and support the man of my dreams and watch him succeed in the things the Lord loves!? My heart just screams YES!! Being his wife and spending more time at home to support him does not make me weak, it makes me strong as I stand behind the man I trust 100% and watch the Lord use him in amazing ways.
I’ve grown to love this role the Lord has given me as a woman. While I may not love scrubbing the toilet, gutting a chicken (praise Jesus for whatever sweet soul thought to put the guts in a little baggy), or shopping for toilet paper, I love knowing that my hard work is freeing up my husband to give himself fully to the work of the Lord. I still work on campus with college students and I still get to share the gospel, but my first ministry is to loving my husband well. I am so excited for the arrival of our sweet little one in the spring when my role as a momma will begin too. Not only will I be supporting my husband, but I’ll begin my role discipling this little life and teaching it to love Jesus and the Gospel relentlessly. I may not be on campus with our students as much, but I will have a whole new avenue of reaching out to the other mommas in our community to share the Gospel with them!
Sarah Edwards loved her husband and her children and because of her faithfulness to the role the Lord had assigned to her, our nation and our understanding of theology was forever changed. My hope is to love and embrace the role the Lord has put in front of me as a wife and a mother and to allow my husband and children to change the world for Jesus because I have cared for them well.
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