Catherine J Stewart, ed., Letters to Pastors’ Wives: When Seminary Ends and Ministry Begins. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Publishing, 2013. 286pp. Paperback
Reviewed by Ryan M. McGraw
Contrary to the attitude of some, being a pastor’s wife is not an official position in the church. I have always told my wife that she is not a pastor’s wife, but the wife of a man who happens to be a pastor. Her calling, as with that of all “pastor’s wives,” is to trust in the Spirit’s help, to serve the Father, where He has placed her in Christ’s church. She is to be no more, and no less, than a faithful Christian woman.
The book is divided into issues related to personal piety, practical counsel, and various circumstances in ministry. The resources included here are so insightful that it is difficult to summarize them effectively. The authors press readers to make the right priorities in life with humility and guarded speech. They address improper self-imposed expectations, hospitality, friendship, respect, conflict, mothering, the Lord’s Day and many other areas of practical responsibility. The last three chapters address special circumstances in life, including addressing a husband who is living in sin, ministering in a foreign culture, and life in campus ministry.
There is a subjective element to which chapters will stand out to which readers. There are flaws in some chapters, such as Betty Jane Adams suggesting that women should cut off all former friendships when their husbands take a new call. This hardly matches Paul’s description of his relationship with church members in the New Testament. However, such flaws are few. Some of the chapters that my wife and I found most helpful were those on setting our priorities straight, humility, hospitality, handling criticism, dealing with conflict in the church, and ministering to a different culture. It will be tempting for some readers to skip those chapters that do not seem to be immediately applicable to them, but this is a mistake. For example, while we have never labored in ministry in another country, the chapter treating ministry on the mission field gave us some of the best advice that we received in order to help us settle into a new pastoral charge in this country.
|Reviewer Ryan McGraw and his|
We should desire to bring every thought captive in obedience to Christ. This book includes wise counsel from eighteen godly women who will help you do this, both in light of Scripture and the from the suggestive wisdom that comes only through the experience of godly living under great trials.