A Glimpse Into the Schaeffers’ Marriage

July 6, 2012

I always say that marriage is the second hardest thing we do in this life. The only place where failure is more consistent and prominent is in our walk with God. That said, I think that we can be deluded into thinking that somehow, someway, we will reach marital nirvana in this life. Granted, with the gospel as our primary resource we keep battling for bliss. Here is a quote from a new biography about Francis Schaeffer. I use this quote not to dishonor Francis and Edith. Rather, I pass it on to remind us that while we truly battle for bliss, we also understand that marriage is about two selfish, impatient people in need of forgiveness. Marriage is perhaps the best place to see our progress (or lack of it) in sanctification. Even those whom we regard as great struggle to sacrificially love.

“There were almost inevitable tensions in the home. Space was at a premium and Schaeffer’s study was always his bedroom. Fran had a short fuse and neither grace nor the years had eradicated his tendency to flare up. The relationship between him and Edith was a remarkably close and loving one, but a combination of his irascibility and her irritating habits, such as being repeatedly late for buses, was a recipe for frayed tempers…..The strains on family life were immense, probably too great. In the early days, the Schaeffers probably did not give themselves enough time for their family; this was realised and schedules for the workers in later years tried to protect their family life more carefully and avoid putting them under unrealistic pressures; some would say they never fully succeeded. We need to remember, however, that the Schaeffers were of  a generation of Christian missionaries who just gave and gave. It is the seed that dies, they would have said, that bears fruit (John 12:23-26).: (p96, 97)

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