Edith Schaeffer, a twentieth century heroine for Christ, wrote two of my favorite books: L'Abri and The Hidden Art of Homemaking. I love her style, her love for Jesus, and her wisdom. She was one smart lady. And she devoted her life to husband, children, home, and fulfilling the Great Commission. She is a personal heroine and example to me.
Edith Seville Schaeffer (1914-2013) was born in Wenzhou, China to missionary parents who worked with China Inland Mission. Her Chinese name, given to her by her parents, was Mei Fuh, or “Beautiful Happiness.”
Years later, while Edith was in college, she was attending her Presbyterian Church when a visiting Unitarian pastor gave a sermon against Jesus, the deity of Christ, and the Bible. She was outraged and prepared to set him straight publicly. Before she could speak, another young man stood up and said, “My name is Frances Schaeffer and I Know Jesus is the Son of God.” The young man shared his testimony and gave clear evidence for why the Bible is trustworthy. Edith added more to his statement, defending the faith. The couple got married three years later.
While Frances was in seminary, Edith sewed wedding gowns and men’s suits to bring in extra money. After graduation, Edith pastored alongside her husband for three years. A growing concern for the invading liberalism invading mainline denominations rose in their hearts. The years after World War II were fraught with turmoil, confusion, liberal theology, and doubt. Francis and Edith went to Switzerland as missionaries and founded L’Abri Fellowship, a place to learn about the grace and truth found in Christ.
L’Abri was not a building, a club, or an organization. It was their home. They welcomed people into their home to discover Truth and Love in Christ in a time when the world was turning upside down with drug use, divorce, immorality, and corruption. Young people from around the world found a shelter from the storms of life. More than that, visitors met Jesus Christ, the True and Living Word. They found answers in Scripture for life’s problems. Even notables such as Timothy Leary and Eric Clapton visited L’Abri along with hippies, hikers, and searchers.
God blessed Edith and Frances with four children: Priscilla, Susan, Deborah, and Frankie. Their daughters all grew up to serve alongside their parents in the L’Abri ministry.
Edith took great delight in homemaking. She loved to bring loveliness to her home, table settings, food, teatime, and garden. An avid reader, she loved to read classic books aloud to her children. She delighted in beauty, whether it was hanging in an art museum, spilling out from a song, or in the backyard. She believed that we are created in the image of the Ultimate Artist, the perfect Creator of Loveliness in all ways.
An enchanting hostess, Edith entertained her house guests like they were royalty, serving them homemade goodies and hearty food, making them feel at home. She extended love and kindness in all her conversations so that people felt secure and safe.
Like her husband, Edith was a heavyweight intellectual who was not afraid to answer the tough questions about faith in Jesus and the Bible. Also, like her husband, Edith was a gifted writer and speaker. These conservative theologians and philosophers were a strong voice for Christian worldview and apologetics in the 20th Century.
At the end of her life, she longed for Heaven and spoke often of it as a real place that was her true home.
You can learn more about Edith's life and ministry by reading two of her books: L'Abri and The Tapestry: The Life and Times of Frances and Edith Schaeffer.
You might enjoy one of her wonderful books: The Hidden Art of Homemaking, What is a Family, Christianity is Jewish, Affliction, Common Sense Christian Living, The Art of Life, Forever Music, and more!
Edith is just one of many heroes and heroines I want to teach my children about. One way I introduce my family and friends to Christian heroes is by having a Heroes for Jesus Party where folks dress up as a Christian hero or heroine, share their testimony, and play a game or make a craft with visitors to their station.
Do you want to have your own Heroes for Jesus Party?
Celebrate Our Christian Heroes encourages families to give their children true heroes in their lives, shares ideas on how to learn about Christian heroes, gives instructions to host a Heroes for Jesus Party, gives a list of heroes with monologues, costume suggestions, and games, and includes autumn recipes to use at your Heroes for Jesus Party. An additional Bonus is Paul's Missionary Journey to Rome Game with instructions, templates, and rules.
Celebrate Our Christian Heroes is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHIp or Currclick.