Gloria Furman’s work Pastor’s Wife: Strengthened by Grace for a Life of Love is a message to all women who find themselves in the role of being a wife of someone in full time ministry. She shares stories of times when many members of the congregation placed their expectations onto her to fulfill obligations she never imagined were hers, such as working to repair a leaking ceiling in the church foyer. Furman and her husband pastor a church in the Middle East, thus gender roles are defined and experienced differently than in more Western environments; yet, Furman shares stepping into this role God has called her into with courage and care, especially as she has to work so tirelessly to protect her children and care for her husband who faces a muscular disorder.
From her experience as a pastor’s wife, Gloria Furman encourages other women to be aware of the many expectations the church will have for her. She encourages women to have boundaries in place of what she is able to do for the Body and to always first prioritize her individual relationship with Jesus and caring for her husband and family. She bravely suggests as a pastor’s wife to still seek out older women in the Body for mentoring and to allow fellow members to assist with children, when trying to attend to them while a pastor may be busy delivering a sermon or caring for a family.
Pastor’s Wife: Strengthened by Grace for a Life of Love is specifically helpful in honestly addressing many expectations pastor’s wives face with very specific anecdotes that help bring this tension to light. Furthermore, Furman’s experience translates to a variety of global contexts for pastor’s wives in any part of the world. On the other hand, Furman’s work is limited in directly addressing wives of pastors rather than all women in ministry and addressing wives from a very conservative context. She addresses women in similar contexts to her own which prescribes a very small church with limited staff and extremely conservative gender roles.