The Preacher's BrideThe Preacher's Bride
Jody Hedlund
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Interview, Excerpt

In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher--whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John's protests of her aid. She's even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family.

Yet Elizabeth's new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John's boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher's enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she's more determined than ever to save the child--and man--she's come to love.


 Preacher's Bride Discussion Questions: Jody Hedlund


1.    Elizabeth compares her physical appearance to the women around her and feels like a plain moth among beautiful butterflies. Why do women have such a tendency to compare themselves to others? What are the results of such comparisons? And how can we avoid the comparison trap?


2.    Elizabeth believes if she serves the Lord diligently, He will reward her efforts. Often we too think we can earn God's favor by serving him. What’s wrong with this philosophy? Does God's love and blessing really depend on anything we do? Or does he bestow blessings because of his great love and mercy?


3.    John’s friend Gibbs encourages him to take the "hard path" because it will lead to greater holiness. What hardships have you faced lately? Why is it our natural inclination to take the easy way out of hard situations? How can doing the hard thing lead you to greater holiness?


4.    Elizabeth was tempted to steal papers from John in order to protect herself. Have you ever been in a situation where you were tempted to do wrong in order to protect yourself or someone you love? What happened? Is there ever a time when it’s okay to do wrong to help yourself or others?


5.    John's quest to serve the Lord through preaching eventually became more about what he was accomplishing than about God's glory. What examples have you seen where people in ministry lose perspective and end up neglecting marriages and/or family in their efforts to build their ministry?


6.    When Elizabeth lost her baby, she felt abandoned by God and by John. Have you ever felt abandoned by God or someone you love? How did you recover? What do you think of Sister Norton's statement "Hardships are the Lord's greatest blessings to a believer. Without them we would love the Lord only for what He does for us. Our troubles teach us to love Him for who He is"?


7.    John was eventually faced with a difficult choice: give up his preaching or go to prison. Have you ever had to sacrifice something because of your beliefs?


8.    Elizabeth felt the pain of rejection from John. For a time, he put his work and ministry ahead of their marriage. She came to a point of forgiveness and a willingness to support John's calling whether John changed or not. Have you experienced a time when you've needed to forgive someone who hurt you, regardless of whether they changed? What was the situation like?

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