Tuesday 9 June 2015

Far Above Rubies

This is a biography that many will consider long overdue.  Apart from Bethan Lloyd-Jones' own 'Memories of Sandfields', there is little known about the woman who supported the well known D Martyn Lloyd-Jones through his years of influential pastoral ministry.  Interviews with the Lloyd-Jones' daughters and access to letters written by and to Bethan have made this biography well researched and full of anecdotes. 
Bethan was by all accounts a remarkable woman, a strong character who initially clashed with the man she later came to marry. Interestingly, she was truly converted only after their marriage and under the ministry of her husband, and this changed her legalistic 'Christian' ways to a life that was lived through love to the Lord and to others around her. She was clearly an independent thinker and neither she nor Martyn followed tradition for tradition's sake. This is notable in her efforts as a pastor's wife and as a parent.  Bethan did though have her difficulties: one that came through clearly was her struggles with anxiety.  This was a particular problem for her in the area of travel, and also in illness.  However, it is evident that she was brought to find peace through trusting in God in these matters.

Indeed, there are many spiritual and practical lessons to be learnt from this account and the author is particularly skillful in drawing these out.  To further this end there has been added a 'Questions for Reflection' section at the back of the book.  This gives a number of questions exploring the subjects and spiritual lessons that can be learnt from each chapter. These would be ideal to use as prompts in a group setting. Additionally there are also helpful Appendices giving further pertinent information related to each chapter.
Overall, Far Above Rubies is a fascinating insight into the life of a woman who played a hugely important supporting role in the life of 'the doctor'.


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