Most people know that John Wesley was the founder of the Methodist Movement and a preacher who God used to bring about the Great Awakening in the 1700s. What most may not know is that he had a lousy marriage.
William Carey is considered the father of modern missions, but did you know that he, too, had a matrimonial monstrosity?
John Wesley’s wife Molly was so unhappy that she decided to make John’s life miserable as well. Because he was away often preaching to crowds of thousands in the open fields, she grew resentful of his long absences. She destroyed some of his writings, criticized him publicly and repeatedly accused him of adultery.
According to Church History Blog “on several occasions she left home, only returning after he begged her repeatedly. Although he had been unspeakably angry with her, he kept aiming at reconciliation.
“But the home life was unhappy. John Hampson of Manchester ‘once entered a room unannounced to find Molly dragging her husband across the floor by his hair.’
“Finally, she left for good. Wesley wryly reported in his journal, ‘I did not forsake her, I did not dismiss her, I will not recall her.’ ”
You’d think that this was straight from an 18th century edition of the National Enquirer, but sadly, it’s all true.
William Carey’s wife Dolly refused to go with him to India but was pressured to go. Once there, their 5-year-old died and the other children continually contracted tropical diseases.
His wife started to go insane and constantly followed him down the street berating him, accusing him of having affairs with women, even threatening him with a knife. Finally, he had to keep her in a locked room.
His motto for life: “Expect great things; attempt great things.” *
On the one hand, I’m distressed that God didn’t change the hearts of these wives to support their husbands in their respective Gospel ministries.
On the other, I’m greatly encouraged because God uses people who have lousy marriages. He uses less-than-perfect people to do his will. You don’t have to have it all together nor have all your ducks in a row to do God’s will.
Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:33-37)