Far above rubies – a short review by Mrs R
We are constantly being asked the question “can we have it all?” In Christian circles women are struggling with this too and ministers’ wives will certainly be wondering where they fit into the world’s view.
This book, Far above rubies, tells the story of a woman who could be described as having it all – looks, status, talent, career, connections but she gives up ‘wordly’ success to devote herself to support her husband, Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones, and their 2 daughters. We are told how her parents and grandparents were such an important influence to her in the way they kept family and ministry life maintained, and both these and the accounts of her own family life give plenty of food for thought for ministers’ wives. She was willing to give her husband up to the Lord but they always made time for each other. Despite the fact she didn’t become a Christian until after being married and serving with her husband in his first church she became the doctor’s best and severest critic but always gave that feedback in a way that built him up.
There are moving accounts written by her 2 daughters which will bring tears to the eyes. The family were very close and the long lasting effects of motherly love are very evident as they are passed on through the generations. The strong message that comes through is that it is possible to love your husband, children and serve the wider church but that comes at a cost. Bethan willingly and cheerfully gave up herself, her own career and needs to devote herself to serving others. Instead of that being a strait jacket she comes across as wonderfully liberated and free to live life to the full. In case you’re thinking- oh no not another superwoman I could never be like- we are also told of her anxiety and very real fears for herself and her family at different stages in their lives. This is a normal woman but one who placed her life in the hands of an amazing God and without her, Martyn Lloyd Jones would not have been able to do the things he did.
Book review: A minister’s wife
“It takes all sorts to be a minister’s wife”. That’s what Rachel Lawrence writes in ”The Minister’s Wife”. If that’s true, is it possible for one book to help every sort of minister’s wife?
Well, this book does a pretty good job. This is due partly to the fact that eight different sorts of minister’s wives contribute from their own different experiences. This brings all sorts of styles and ways of approaching the topic.
I think it is also due to the way that it addresses the real cause of our issues as minister’s wives. No, I don’t mean our husbands or even our churches but our hearts. The book contains a very helpful chapter on maintaining our relationship with the Lord and one on humility and contentment. These remind us that dealing with the practicalities of being a minister’s wife requires more than a list of handy hints and recipes.
Having said that, there are also some very down to earth practical answers to the “How to…?” questions with a chapter particularly for those starting out in ministry. We are also reminded of the many privileges of being a minister’s wife.
This is a great book to dip into again and again whatever sort of minister’s wife you are. It will challenge you to think about your responsibilities and priorities as well as encourage you to keep on serving God as you serve your husband.
[Ed: boys, buy this for your wife, but here's a tip – don't make it your only Christmas present to her. She may not appreciate that.]