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Letters to Pastors' Wives: When Seminary Ends and Ministry Begins by [Stewart, Catherine J.]
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4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 289 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"At last here is a much-needed guide for pastors' wives penned by seasoned pastors' wives! In preparing future pastors for ministry, my wife, Mae, and I have always sought to hold special teaching times for seminary wives in our home to address many of the issues that these women of God handle so well in this new P&R book. I believe this is now the standard text for seminary wives, as well as those pastoral families—pastor and wife—who should set apart time to revisit the timeless themes. A few years ago I wrote a song called, 'Thank God for the Pastor's Wife.' After reading this book, I starting singing it again! I commend this wonderful collection of thoughtful and Biblical essays to the Church with joy and confidence!"
—Dr. Michael A. Milton, Fourth Chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary, Author, Singer-songwriter

"What a privilege to glean wisdom from these women who have served faithfully in the church and in the home as pastor's wives. I was challenged, encouraged and refreshed by this insightful and helpful book."
—Trisha DeYoung, Wife of Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

"An exceptional book written by seventeen different pastor's wives and one pastor's daughter. The letters are personal, warm, convicting, and engaging. The wives' use of Scripture shows not only each wife's maturity but also their love for the Lord and for their husbands. I highly recommend this book to all women and especially to pastor's wives!"
—Martha Peace, Biblical Counselor; Author of The Excellent Wife

"I have spent more than thirty years in a pastor's family—first as a pastor's daughter and then as a pastor's wife—and this is the first book I have read addressing the full range of experiences in ministry life with the perspective that this is truly a life of privilege and blessing. When my husband finished seminary and began at our first church, I had no such book, though I could have used one! Stewart has assembled a much-needed tool for pastor's wives and addresses our unique situation with gentleness, honesty, and wisdom."
—Megan Hill, Blogger at SundayWomen.com; Contributor to Christianity Today's Her.meneutics ---

Letters to Pastors' Wives is an exceptional book written by seventeen different pastor's wives and one pastor's daughter. The letters are personal, warm, convicting, and engaging. The wives' use of Scripture shows not only each wife's maturity but also her love for the Lord and for her husband. I highly recommend this book to all women and especially to pastors' wives! --Martha Peace, Biblical Counselor and Author of "The Excellent Wife"

About the Author

Catherine J. Stewart is a pastor's wife and a graduate of Queens University in Belfast, where she studied theology. Originally from Northern Ireland, she and her husband, Neil, now live in Savannah, Georgia, with their five children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 699 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: P&R Publishing (August 29, 2013)
  • Publication Date: August 29, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FBTHAOY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,221 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Given the range of joys and challenges in the life of a pastor's wife, I was delighted to discover this book. Its eighteen chapters each cover a different aspect of ministry life--from personal holiness to besetting sin in the life of a pastor--and each chapter is written by a different pastor's wife.

You will recognize the names of some of the godly women who contributed. Others are ordinary pastors' wives, unknown in the eyes of the world. I am privileged to know a few of them personally. But when you have turned the last page, you will feel--as I did--that all of them are now dear friends, a cloud of witnesses, pointing you to Christ in the midst of ministry life.

The book is written with a new pastor's wife in mind, though there is wisdom here for even the woman who has been a helpmeet in the pew for years. Each chapter concludes with questions for thought or discussion and includes suggestions for further reading. It would make an excellent tool for mentoring or a group of ministry wives.

The first few chapters deal with the foundational issues of piety, humility, and self-control. Catherine Stewart writes, "Whether we see it or not, our lives are already prioritized. The daily habits we establish, the manner in which we speak, the people with whom we spend time, and the places we go all indicate where we have placed the focus of our hearts. The habitual bend of our soul reveals where we look for satisfaction, security, and significance. Do we look to God for these things, or do we scatter our hopes elsewhere?"

The later chapters of the book are focused on challenges that pastors' wives encounter in a unique way. I appreciate the careful editing done by Stewart in choosing her topics.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Usually, when my wife is reading a good book, she will relate to me later what she has been reading. With this book, she frequently interrupted what I was doing in order to read an excerpt to me. Rather than trying to join with her and commiserate like many articles and books of this stripe do, the articles in this volume started from the same biblical commitments that my wife shares, and directed her to her Lord for joy, stability, and instruction. Some of the letters did a better job than others of applying Scripture to the issue; others did a better job of giving practical suggestions. In any anthology-type volume, there will be a little unevenness, but this one was heavy on the helpful contributions and light on the unhelpful ones.
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Format: Paperback
I am a future pastor's wife, and I found this book so encouraging and thought-provoking. The women chosen to write each chapter were very well-suited to their assigned topics. The Practical Counsel section was most helpful to me; as I was reading the chapter on depression, I stopped to write a note of encouragement to a family in our church going through such suffering, and already felt better equipped to address their pain. The women quote many scriptures that are appropriate, empowering, and Christ-centered. I thought it helpful and affirming how many women recommended The Valley of Vision book of Puritan prayers as a resource. In addition, the unity of the view that a pastor's wife is first and foremost her husband's wife and her children's mother, not an additional employee of the church, was also very strengthening. I highly recommend this book to any woman looking to support her husband in ministry.
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Format: Paperback
I loved the idea of this resource. Finally, a book written by pastors' wives FOR pastors' wives. However, I was disappointed with all but a few chapters (notably, the chapter written by Catherine Stewart the editor was probably one of the best - I wish she had written the whole book!). As a seminary graduate and pastor's wife, I was hoping for more specific gospel-centered encouragement and hope for "the trenches." Instead the picture painted was a idealistic version that seemed like more burdens added to my plate - like having people over for lunch every Sunday after church (which is usually the worst time as a ministry family with young kids who need to nap) and only letting my children play with biblical-themed toys on the Sabbath. It was overall devoid of the grace of encouragement that I could tell the editor hoped for in her book, and I also wanted to hear more about the stories behind each author - not simply a glowing introduction by her husband that again felt like a burden piled on to a wife who loves God, my husband, my children, and my church but who also struggles with the unique aspects of my calling as a pastor's wife.
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Format: Kindle Edition
What a gem this collection of letters is to the specific role of a pastor's wife! The women writing the letters are all experienced PWs (or a PK in the case of the letter regarding PKs) writing from their own individual experiences. Each letter tackles a specific topic and the ladies picked for the topics seem to be experts in these areas and are such blessings pouring out their thoughts, a plethora of Scripture, and most of all a constant pointing to get back to the Word and prayer, and encouragement to keep striving to focus energy and thoughts toward our primary "job" of being a wife and mother above being a servant to the church, despite what members may expect of us.

The letters dealing with the topics of Part 1: the Piety of PWs were so encouraging and dense in the Word of God. Part 2: Practical Counsel For Us All was a mixed bag of mostly encouraging and practical wisdom (I especially appreciated the topics of Expectations, Sharing My Husband, Criticism, and Conflict), and those that I just didn't think applied or I didn't agree with Biblically (Adams' letter on Friendship was especially a low point and portions of Hospitality and the Sabbath day were not necessarily agreeable and seemed to me to be a bit legalistic and contained extra-Biblical imperatives that I didn't think were fair, which I thought would be more hurtful or stressful for a brand new PW who may still be confused about her role). Part 3: Particular Circumstances may be of interest for ladies dealing with specific ministry challenges in Missions, Campus Ministry, and a pastor's habitual sexual sin.
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