Many of the problems addressed in this book by Jani Ortlund are common to all marriages. Everyone wants to support their spouse in his or her calling, everyone sometimes struggles with putting romance back into their relationship, managing a career while raising small children or dealing with depression. As the wife of a pastor for the past 16 years, I’ve also been the wife of banker, a financial advisor, a political appointee (yes, they were all the same man) and faced many of the issues that the author describes before I was the pastor’s wife.
Of course, there are some areas that are unique to being a ministry wife. Mrs. Ortlund discusses how to respond to hearing her husband criticized, the hurt experienced when members who are also friends leave the church, or when false rumors circulate. Families of pastors often feel pressured to be everything to everyone in the church, and to be perfect. These unreal expectations can lead to disappointment and burnout. This book will be helpful to any pastor’s wife who needs to know shie is not alone, that others have walked in her shoes and understand her feelings. It will be especially helpful to younger women who find themselves immediately in a role that demands both self confidence and humility.
At the end of each chapter there is a short letter to the pastor, explaining how he can help his wife cope with the pressures of her position within the church. The book also includes an appendix of scriptural prayers a ministry wife can pray for her husband.
VERDICT: 3 STARS. Well written and practical, but it was not especially useful to me. Younger wives may appreciate it more.
The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.
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