Book Review: The Minister’s Wife

The Minister’s Wife: Privileges, Pressures and Pitfalls by Ann Benton and friends. Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2011.

How helpful you find this book will probably depend to some extent on how similar you are to the authors. As Ann Benton explains in the introduction, all the contributors are evangelical Christians with a complementarian view of gender (male headship and wives as helpers). So as you probably guessed from the title, it is not aimed at clergy husbands. Despite this, much of the book could be helpful to many CS’s, especially those who would like to read something with a good dose of theology and biblical references. I think much of the content could equally apply to clergy husbands so don’t let the title put you off. I would think it will be least helpful for those of no/different faith as it’s focus is primarily spiritual and assumes you are attending, and being heavily involved in, your husband’s church. However, it may still be useful in helping to prepare you for being married to a clergy person. I found much that was helpful and was often able to agree with bits of advice even if I sometimes took issue with the theology and biblical interpretation behind it. As Benton says, they hope people outside their tradition will be able to benefit, even if they do not agree with all the explanations and applications. Continue reading

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Facebook Support

A couple of weeks ago one of the admins from a Facebook group aimed at supporting CSs got in touch and they have kindly said that I can write a post about the group to help spread the word to those who may not have come across it yet. The group is called ‘Mrs and Mr Vicarages’ but is secret so cannot be found through searching Facebook – only members can see it and the content. This allows for a high level of privacy and makes it a safe space for CSs to bring their questions, worries, prayer requests and on occasion to let off steam. It also means that word of mouth is the only way for people to find out about it so if you know a clergy spouse give them a heads up!

There are almost 300 members so there is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to consult if you need advice or information. I’ve been a member for a couple of weeks and already really appreciate the supportive atmosphere and seeing from others’ posts that I am not alone in the challenges and frustrations I have encountered. The normal way of joining is for a current member of the group to invite you and the admins approve new members before they are accepted. If you do not know a current member but are interested in joining you can contact Jo Perry at joperry014@gmail.com.