Marriage And Family In The Life Of Andrew Fuller -- By: Matthew Haste

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 17:1 (Spring 2013)
Article: Marriage And Family In The Life Of Andrew Fuller
Author: Matthew Haste

Marriage And Family In The Life Of Andrew Fuller

Matthew Haste

Matthew Haste is a PhD candidate in Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

He also oversees the office of Ministry Connections. He previously served as the Adult Discipleship Pastor of Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green, KY.

In the memoir he wrote about his father, Andrew Gunton Fuller (1799-1884) rightly observed, “There is no division of a man’s life so marked and characteristic as that which is made by the door of his own house, on the two sides of which are witnessed sometimes two distinct men, and always two distinct phases of character which act and react on each other.”1 While many men do not give the same level of energy and attention to their families as they do to their public pursuits, the younger Fuller argued that this tendency was not true of his father, Andrew Fuller (1754-1815).2 The following study will look at Fuller as a father and husband, demonstrating that he was as exemplary in his domestic life as he was in his better-known public ministry.

A Devoted Father

J. W. Morris provides an excellent window into Andrew Fuller’s experience at home:

In domestic life, he was calm and tranquil, reposing in the bosom of his family with great contentment and satisfaction. No man more enjoyed the softened pleasures of “home, sweet home,” or entered with greater feeling into its interests and concerns; yet he never returned from his numerous fatiguing journeys to indulge himself in ease … but solely with a view of renewing and multiplying his efforts in another form.3

His memoirs reveal that such efforts sprang from the heart of a devoted father. Fuller was dedicated to training his children in the ways of the Lord, as is evidenced in various diary references to family worship and spiritual conversations.4 As his children grew older, his letters encouraged their faith and offered wisdom amidst their trials.5 Throughout his life, Fuller remained committed to the spiritual welfare of his children, exhibiting a love that his son called “remarkably intense.”6

His wayward son, Robert (1782-1809), put this love to its greatest test.7 On May 12, 1796, Fuller

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