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Between Ministry and Family

In calling me to get married, God called me to divide my time and energy between home and ministry.
— Larry Osborne

George Whitefield, the greatest evangelist of the eighteenth century, once wrote happily, "I believe it is God's will that I should marry." But he was concerned: "I pray God that I may not have a wife till I can live as though I had none."

Whitefield, it seems, granted his own wish.

During his week-long honeymoon in his bride's home, he preached twice a day in the surrounding countryside. Other than two trips with him, his wife, Elizabeth, remained in their London home during his constant travels (he crossed the Atlantic thirteen times in his ministry). Once he was away from her for over two years.

When his 4-month-old son died, Whitefield did not stop ministry; he preached three more times before the funeral and was preaching as the bells rang for the funeral service itself.

From Whitefield's perspective, marriage and ministry were a troublesome mix. He sometimes spoke about ...

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