From J. Hudson Taylor's Journal
Great grandfather did not impress his new bride, not one bit.
He wouldn't go to the parties with their friends any more. He even stopped playing his fiddle at the county fairs. This business of him choosing to live a life totally for Christ made his new wife, Betty, angry.
Great grandfather started going to special meetings at the neighbor's house. The group read the Bible and talked about what they learned. James played his fiddle and sang in their church services. Betty huffed. "What will our friends say when they see you, James?"
He made a decision to read the Bible with his family every night after dinner. Betty folded her arms, stuck her chin up and hurried away from the table. Dishes needed to be done, laundry had to be washed, certainly there was some chore she could do at that second. "There is no way I am going to sit down and listen to you read that Bible every night, James. I have too much work to do."
Betty usually stomped off and mumbled something about him embarrassing her. All her friends stayed away from the girl whose husband joined the Methodists.
But great grandfather was as stubborn as she. Each night he read the Scriptures real loud to insure she heard every word. When he finished, he prayed in the same loud voice. I don't think I would have wanted to be in that house at night!
Betty fought back by complaining just as loud. After several evenings of this battle, James closed his Bible and walked toward her. She stepped back until her heels hit the wall. James picked her up and carried her upstairs and sat her on the bed.
James got on his knees and spoke softly. "Betty, I love you with my whole heart. You are the girl of my dreams and I am so glad you married me."
She looked at him and sighed. He gently took her hands and prayed. "God, I pray your mercy on Betty. Please touch her heart and save her from her sins. Open her eyes and give her the faith to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior."
Something happened that night to Betty. Apparently the Lord spoke to her heart and helped her to see the need for a Savior. While James slept, she prayed for God's forgiveness and asked Jesus into her heart.
After dinner, James brought out the Bible. This time, Betty didn't fuss or complain. She sat at the table and listened to the Words. When James closed the Bible and prayed, she held his hand and prayed with him. James turned to her and smiled. "I love you, Betty."
Betty squeezed his hand. "I love you, and God."
Their life didn't get easier. In fact, well, maybe I'll tell that story next time.
J. Hudson Taylor
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Photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.