The minister's wife

Privileges, pressures and pitfalls

War brides?

Privileges, pressures and pitfalls
By Ann Benton and friends
Inter Varsity Press. 199 pages. 8.99
ISBN 978 1 844 745 562

With the help of other experienced women, Ann Benton here sets out to ‘inform, prepare and inspire’ that unusual breed of woman known as ‘the minister’s wife’.

I have to say that I was a little reluctant to read this book, as I thought I would be smothered with advice and left feeling a little peeved at the obvious flaws that I have as a minister’s wife. However, I found myself drawn in by the funky cover, and discovered an absorbing, rich mixture of instruction and relevant, lively comment on what it is to be a minister’s wife.

The Minister’s Wife has an easy-to-read structure with clear topics and a number of different ministers’ wives writing about their experiences. Some parts made me laugh out loud — or nod knowingly, as I recognised the relevance of what people were saying. Other sections contained sound advice on how to deal with pressures that may arise: how to forgive, how to encourage or be encouraged, what to think about awkward church members, or how to serve in the church.

Believing that I was one of the most ‘reluctant’ ministers’ wives in the country, I wasn’t keen to read a book on the subject! However, I soon discovered that things that I struggle with are everyday occurrences in the life of a minister’s wife. I can honestly say that The Minister’s Wife (although it only has a very specific and small target group) has been extremely helpful, if only to affirm that I am not so unusual!

The most encouraging aspect to this book was that it regularly brings you back to the importance of your walk with Christ and your own ‘spiritual health’ before everything. I really enjoyed the fact that it recognised that the minister’s wife has her own identity, and, most important of all, an identity in Christ.

I would recommend that all churches ensure that ‘their’ minister’s wife has her very own copy of this useful guide to the privileged but often complex situation she finds herself in.

Miriam Jenner,
pastor’s wife at Grace Baptist Church, Halifax