Liu Jingwen and Her Quiet Strength

 By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth:

The saying is well-known: “Behind a great man there is a great woman.” In the case of Chinese pastor and theologian Wang Mingdao, someone suggested that eighty percent of Wang’s achievement was due to his wife. Was it an exaggeration?

A Mature Young Lady

Liu Jingwen born in Dinghai, Zhejiang on March 29, 1909 into a pastor’s family. She met Wang Mingdao when he visited their home in Hangzhou in 1925. But initially Wang paid no attention to her. She was just a child, he thought. Besides, he had no intention to marry. He thought he could do more for the Lord by remaining single. But when a friend convinced him of the contrary, he started to look around and pray for a proper companion.

It was at a convention where he had been invited to speak that Liu Jingwen first caught his eye. She had been asked to play the organ instead of the ordinary pianist, who was busy on that day. As he watched her playing, he realized that she was quite mature for her 17 years. He later learned she was working as a school teacher.

He began to think she would make a lovely wife. As it was common in China, he asked an elderly woman to speak to her family on his behalf. Liu Jingwen and her parents took some time to think and pray. Finally, they agreed to his proposal. The couple became engaged in 1926 and married two years later. Jingwen was 19 and Mingdao 28.

Until then, Liu Jingwen had led a quiet life. She had been studying, working, and attending church with her family. In fact, Mingdao had been impressed from the start by the loving and peaceful atmosphere in her home. Growing up without a father and with a mother who struggled to manage the bickering, rude, and unruly tenants she was forced to keep, Mingdao had never seen an example of a joyful family life.

Once, when he spoke of the many trials that had shaped his life, Jingwen’s mother asked him if trials were always necessary for spiritual growth. If so, what would happen to Jingwen, who had never experienced any? Mingdao didn’t know how to reply. Soon, however, trials came her way.