Posted by: chuckbumgardner | January 20, 2008

Sarah Pierpont Edwards

A song our family recently sang included the injunction “Acclaim within thy house the men who fought for truth and right” (“Give Ear unto God’s Holy Word,” Nathan J. Arnold).  This is certainly appropriate to do in regards to biblical characters who fit that category, but also encourages me to hold up godly saints from church history as well.
It is the case that biographies of godly men significantly outnumber godly women.  This is not to say that women are generally less godly than men, for experience demonstrates that is not the case, but that men have been more often written about.  And for our wives and daughters, the accounts of godly men are certainly well worth reading.
But for the womanly graces, I would recommend learning about certain women of time past.  One of these is Sarah Edwards, the wife of Jonathan Edwards, who exemplified Christian womanhood in many ways, and (no surprise, given her upbringing and marriage) held a deep trust in the good and sovereign hand of God.  Consider what she wrote to her daughter Esther after her husband died at 54:
My very dear child, What shall I say! A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands upon our mouths! The Lord has done it. He has made me adore his goodness, that we had [your father] so long. But my God lives; and he has my heart. O what a legacy my husband, and your father, has left us! We are all given to God; and there I am, and love to be.
Your affectionate mother, Sarah Edwards.
You might find profitable this presentation by Noel Piper, the substance of which is also found in her book, Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God.  Two books which present Sarah Edwards’s life are Elisabeth D. Dodds’s Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards and Edna Gerstner’s Jonathan and Sarah: An Uncommon Union. (The first one is, I believe, the standard biography of Sarah Edwards.)
It has been some time since I read Dodds — over a year — but I still remember being struck by the account of Sarah’s industry and hospitality as a pastor’s wife.  Dodds is well worth reading.


  1. […] could do much worse than Sarah Edwards, the wife of Jonathan Edwards.  I posted a bit about her here, along with further resources for […]

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