Archive for January 23rd, 2015

Marriage to a Difficult Man

This is a book on Sarah, the wife of Jonathan Edwards.  I thought this was a wonderful book that was a window into the family life of the Edwards and also the larger Puritan world.  I know there are many negative stereotypes people have against the Puritans such as the fact that they wore solemn dark clothes and total killjoys but I was blown away at the description of Edwards’ family life that was filled with many joys and laughter.  I thought it was interesting that the book described how Puritan brides wore beautiful dress for the wedding and was expected to wear the same dress the following Sunday at church so that the rest of the Congregation could admire the dress for the occasion.  Again, this goes against the stereotype that exists in some people’s minds against the Puritans.

As a pastor I thought the book was insightful into the life of a pastor’s wife.  The book talked about how strong Sarah was but the author was also honest about Sarah’s struggle.  In particular I found it very helpful to see the author discussed the moment in which Sarah Edwards was at her lowest.  In the midst of her depression she learned more about God and grew from it.  This was wonderful to see in Sarah and made me think about the difficulties a Pastor’s wife faces in fulfilling her responsibilities all the while knowing that people have an expectation upon her.  The book was also insightful of the responsibilities of a Pastor’s wife during the Puritan era; in a day and age before Seminary, many young men interested in ministry would find a Pastor to be their mentor and they moved in with the Pastor.  That meant there was constantly another mouth for Sarah to feed.  This burden increased with the growing fame of her husband.

There were portions of the book in which the author went on an extended discussion that wasn’t focused on Sarah Edwards.  For those who are interested in the bigger picture of Jonathan Edwards’ ministry these moments in the book can be quite insightful although I imagine some might find this distracting.  I appreciated the book’s discussion about the missionary Adoniram Judson and also Aaron Burr (the father of the infamous Aaron Burr).  Both Judson and Burr married Sarah Edwards’ daughters.  It is interesting to know about the men of God whom Sarah’s daughters married to and their contribution towards the works of God.

I recommend this book.  In my opinion it is especially good for pastors and pastor’s wives to read.

Purchase: Amazon

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