Elizabeth Dwight, and her husband Harrison, were among America’s first missionaries to Turkey. She accomplished what few women in her generation were able to do—model on the mission field how to be a godly wife and mother. She sought to raise her children for Christ in the midst of the same crooked and perverse generation that she and her husband were trying to reach.
Her children’s conversion was her constant theme. Her words, “My children must be converted early in life", is a sentiment which ought to be adopted by every Christian mother and deserves to be written in letters of gold daily before her eyes; or rather, so indelibly printed upon the heart as never, for one hour, to be forgotten. Though it must and can only be accomplished through the grace of God!
Shortly after arriving on the mission field, she suffered physical complications that often left her bedridden. She attempted to instruct her children from her bed, but struggled with feelings of failure and fear. She learned to rebuke her feelings and replace them with faith in God’s promises, trusting that as she employed the means of grace in her mothering, the Lord would make those means effectual unto their salvation.
Her prayer was that as she raised her children for Christ, He would raise them up as missionaries. She encouraged others to do the same. She wrote, “Your daughter may hereafter be a solitary example of true female piety to multitudes in an unchristian or a heathen country. Educate her as much as possible to be everything that is amiable, worthy, and desirable as a wife. She may, at some future period, be the sole companion and help-meet of a man of God under labors most weighty and trials most severe.
Life, under God, in some solemn hour, may hang on her skill and tenderness. Will you then train your children wholly for God, and give them up expressly to bear the glad tidings of salvation to those who sit in darkness if He shall see fit to use them? Her perseverance in raising her children for Christ in spite of her scars manifests Christ’s beauty and displays His worth.
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