Thursday, January 24, 2008
Book Review: "Desperate Pastors' Wives" by Ginger Kolbaba and Christy Scannell
It's Hard Knock Life for Us
Being a pastor's wife is tough. Everyone judges you, tells you what to do, and you're always in the spotlight. You can't complain about this to anyone else because you're supposed to be a spiritual leader in the church with no problems at all. That's what it's like for Mimi, Felicia, Lisa and Jennifer. The foursome get together bi-weekly to share their problems, frustrations, stories and laughter. This is their chance to let it all out because no one else understands what life is like for them.
This book was a refreshing realistic view into the hardships of what it's like to be a pastor's wife. Reading books about members of a pastor's family are always difficult for me to read. It really irks me about the absurd expectations people place on the the pastor and his family. Why do we as church members think that the pastor's family should be perfect and that we have a right to judge every move they make? We're hypocrites. We think that because we "pay for their salary" we have the right to tell them what to do, call they up at anytime for our bidding, and pass along our advice on how to raise their family.
There were several interesting revelations I discovered while reading. One was how competitive pastor's wives are with each other which was the case with Kitty. Now that was a character you love to hate. I actually enjoyed reading all her scenes because she's the type of Christian who's walking around with the plank in her eye. While I enjoyed the book, there were several things that irked me. Out of the four women, Mimi was my least favorite. Her story just doesn't make as much of a statement as the other 3. I know she was tired of having the church members constantly dictating what they could do but it didn't seem as important as the other 3 stories. And honestly I found her refusal to stop joining things rather annoying. Mark comes off as the most supportive husband in fact. Now as for the other three wives, I could understand their plights more. It's not fair for Felicia to be looked down on simply because she wants to work outside the home.
The pressure put on Jennifer to have a baby is very realistic in this day and age but it's not right for church members to make her feel unworthy for not having a baby. However, the story seemed to portray Catholics as completely different from other Christians. Also I don't blame Lisa one bit for her anger towards Joel for not treating her with love and respect. I've said before, what's the point in helping others if you can't keep your own family intact? I just felt though lot of the misunderstanding and tension in the story could have been made up very easily if people would just talk to each other. It would have made for a shorter story but a lot of drama could have been avoided. Still it was an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to the rest of the books in the series.
Desperate Pastors' Wives by Ginger Kolbaba and Christy Scannell is published by Howard Books (2007)