Review of Pastor’s Wife: Strengthened by Grace for a Life of Love

 

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.


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profMy name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

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Review of Audacious by Beth Moore

I feel like this idea of living “audaciously” or being brave is really popular amongst Christian women right now. I’m not sure why exactly. Why for such a time as this are we choosing to be brave? But I have found myself in circles and Bible studies and reading blogs all surrounding the same topic, being brave.

I wasn’t sure which angle Audacious was going to take along those lines. If you visit my “RESOURCES” page, you will very quickly discover that I am extremely biased when it comes to Beth Moore. I love listening to her, have fallen in love with so many of her Bible Studies, and look up to her in so many ways (namely- holding to her southern roots 😉).

I will honestly say that at first I was scared I wouldn’t like this book. I had high expectations for a Beth Moore book and wasn’t so sure at first. My first problem is that my copy was written in green font and I have terrible vision. But second, I felt like this was just an explanation of what a audacious life looks like and why it’s important. And in my brokenness and emptiness and inability to have time to do laundry, better yet change the world, I was ready to close this book. But it was Beth, so I kept going and I’m so thankful I did.

I love Beth’s power when she writes. I love the beauty in very strong statements made about God. I literally drew 19 hearts in the margin of my copy.

“Freedom is telling God what we desperately want. Trust is asking Him to change our want if gaining it would poison us.”

And as I was beginning to fall in love with the message on these pages, I tweeted Beth about this book review to come and she responded with these ever so anointed words:

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Just Jesus.

So once I got past the clutter of being tired of hearing about bravery when I felt like I had none to give, I reached my favorite part of the book. Beth dives into our unmet needs and our hurts that keep us from living an audacious life and how they must be sat down at the feet of Jesus. I loved the way she worded these scars that “dull the glorious inside of every one of us,” as she beautifully elaborated on some of her own scars.

Here. Here in this chapter I could get on board. I didn’t feel like this bravery was something I needed to muster up anymore, but this audacity was found in letting Jesus love me extravagantly and claiming the power that is mine as His daughter.

So I’ve summarized this book into one sentence:
We cannot audaciously live and love until we’ve accepted the audacious life that has given us audacious love.

And in the last few chapters, Beth reached the most beautiful point of all- Jesus is our adventure to be enjoyed. And I’m so thankful I kept reading to close the back cover in love with Jesus all over again.

So purchase Audacious. I would recommend trying to purchase it on Audible and listen. That way you hear the power in Beth’s voice you shouldn’t miss out on and there’s no font color to worry about.

Don’t give up. Don’t stop reading until you reach that back cover completely in love with Jesus all over again.

To all of the women being challenged to be brave feeling like you have little to offer- I pray you catch the vision that the bravery we are called to is not necessarily social change, ending world hunger, etc. though it very well may be. The bravery we are called to is loving someone who has hurt us, choosing not to talk about that person who crossed us, saying yes to being that Sunday school teacher, classroom mom, or small group leader, talking to that person sitting alone at lunch or at church, loving or choosing to believe tomorrow will be better. These acts of bravery, though not creating a Netflix documentary, are all the same impactful and important.

We are all seeking a grand adventure but sometimes it just means saying yes to what’s in front of us.

Live audaciously. Love audaciously. But first, receive audacious love and life even in your most tender of wounds.