One of my favorite things to do is read and study about great women of the past – Those women who are truly liberated in Christ by fulfilling the role He designed for women to have. Anne Bradstreet is one of those women I enjoy reading about. She was a puritan wife and mother who gloried in her femininity. Anne Bradstreet, “a model Puritan woman whose soaring spirit, zest for life, intense love for her husband and children, and beautiful poetry refute the false stereotype of Puritan.”
She left England with her parents and sailed for American in 1630 during the great migration with other notable founding families. She married at the young age of 16 and early on in her marriage she was saddened by the fact that she was unable to bear children. In Gods time, she bore 8 children!
Not only did she endure the hardships of bearing 8 children, but she considered it a blessing to serve God with her life that was filled with repeated illness as well as the hardships of settling in early America.
Shortly before her death, she wrote this for her children that gave an accurate account of her spiritual journey,
“upon this Rock Christ Jesus will I build by faith, and if I perish, I perish, But I know all the powers of Hell shall never prevail against it, I know whom I have trusted, and whom I have believed and that he is able to keep what I have committed to his charge.”
Anne reminds me that life on this earth is not about me, myself and I. So many times we get caught up in our wants and desires and our selfish mindsets of convenience and comforts. She was sold out to God, desiring to bring children into this world that would do damage to the kingdom of darkness. She, like many Puritans, desired to pass on a Christ honoring legacy. One way God used her was through the pen. She published a book of poetry. “Many of the poems were lengthy, poetic treatments of learned subjects, such as the ages of men, the four monarchies of Daniel, and the seasons…they are scholarly poems in a formal style such as one would expect more from a poet at a European court than from a woman on the American frontier.”
I am challenged by the caliber of womanhood she represents.
In expressing her love and devotion to her husband she writes,
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if ye can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
One this day, I remember again the providential hand of God moving in my life, yoking myself with a man whom I am proud to be his helpmeet, visionary support, life bearer and co-laborer for Christ. I am a truly liberated woman and loving it!
(quotes taken from Christian History Institute’s the Chruch Across the Ages. Anne Bradstreet: A Puritan Wife and Mother)