In Everything Else, Resist Me

Renouncing her lavish lifestyle, beautiful Mary Bosanquet opened an orphanage for London’s street children; and for years she had little time to think of marriage. I had no other thought but devoting myself to God in a single life; only I sometimes thought, were I to be married to Mr. Fletcher, would he not be a help to my soul.

She was referring to John Fletcher, well-known Methodist leader and close friend of Wesley. And so it happened. On November 12, 1781, to the delight of their friends, the two married. Mary was over forty years old at the time; John was ten years her senior.
Returning from the wedding, the groom read Ephesians 5:25, telling their assembled friends, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. My God, what a task! Help me, friends, by your prayers to fulfill it. As Christ loved the church! He laid aside His glory for her! O my God, none is able to fulfill this without Thine almighty aid.”
He read the next words: “Wives, submit to your own husbands.” Mary piped in, “ … as unto the Lord,” and Fletcher responded, “Well, my dear, only in the Lord. And if ever I wish you do any thing otherwise, resist me with all your might.”

Some time later, this entry appears in Mary’s journal: I have such a husband as is in everything suited to me. He bears all my faults and failings, in a manner which continually reminds me of that word, “Love your wives as Christ loved the Church.” He is in every sense the man my highest reason chooses to obey.

At the same time, we find this in one of John’s letters to a friend: I was afraid at first to say much of the matter, for new-married people do not, at first, know each other; but having now lived fourteen months in my new state, I can tell you, Providence has reserved a prize for me, and that my wife is far better to me than the church to Christ.

Robert J. Morgan

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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