Friday, July 27, 2007

searching for a fellow like Tertullian!

I was just glancing through a Christian History magazine on women in church history, and I ran across this quote by Tertullian -- from a letter he wrote to his wife, asking her to marry a Christian if he died:

A pagan would not be "willing to let his wife go through one street after another to other men's houses, and indeed to the poorer cottages, in order to visit the brethren? Who would like to see her being taken from his side by some duty of attending a nocturnal gathering? At Easter time who will quietly tolerate her absence all the night? Who will unsuspiciously let her go to the Lord's Supper -- that feast upon which they heap such calumnies? Who will let her creep into jail to kiss the martyr's chains? Or bring water for the saints' feet?"

I love this description -- part of the reason I love being single is that I CAN have those kinds of ministries. And the married ladies who I find most close fellowship with are those whose husbands understand and support those kinds of ministries.

It was neat to see this description going back SO far in church history.

He valued his wife's active life of service to the Lord and His people, and wanted to be sure that continued after his death. The way to be sure it continued was that she marry another believer.

Loved it! A man like THAT, is who I'm looking for! (Obviously he believed some odd things too -- but the church was SO young at that point, that they were still flailing a bit, getting their feet grounded in orthodoxy.)

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