Book Review: Sacred Privilege: Your Life and Ministry as a Pastor’s Wife by Kay Warren
Ministers’ wives can find hope and encouragement in this brand new book Sacred Privilege – Your Life and Ministry as a Pastor’s Wife. Published in May, 2017 by Baker Publishing Group, Sacred Privilege is already a hit. Author and Bible teacher Kay Warren shares insights drawn from 40 years of experience ranging from church planting to leading international ministries. She and her husband Rick co-founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.
The book begins with Warren describing her upbringing as a pastor’s daughter and shares the pressure she felt to be perfect. She very candidly shares “embarrassing secrets” that she struggled with as a teen and young married. She writes with vulnerability about her battle with breast cancer and melanoma and journey of survival through the mental illness and suicide of her son.
Warren emphasizes the importance of ministry couples being “in sync” with each other and the importance of “figuring out a rhythm that allows each to flourish and thrive.” She writes, “I’ve noticed one common trait in couples who thrive over the long haul: the ability to see themselves as a team who shares a God-given dream.” Warren goes on to offer ways to actually accomplish that.
The book addresses many topics that are common to minsters ’wives:
- Accepting who you are
- Adapting to change
- Helping your children survive and thrive
- Valuing seasons and moments
- Dealing with criticism
- Adopting an eternal perspective
- Finishing well
Two of my favorite chapters are “Sharing Your Life” and “Protecting Your Private Life.” Only until recent years have these topics been adequately addressed. Warren emphatically encourages women to have friends in the church, open up their lives and be vulnerable. Not only does this pave the way to help others, it helps sustain longevity in the ministry. She also maintains that women should accept loss of privacy with grace and live authentically but still be able to draw healthy boundaries to protect the intimacy of the family. Warren writes, “You are entitled to a private life. But while you have the right to a private life, you don’t have the right to private sins.”
“Her book is stellar for any woman called into life and ministry alongside a pastor. I give her book five stars on many levels. Her candor is just a part of the book’s appeal. She is also direct, transparent and raw as she discusses pertinent universal themes in this particular life calling. She teaches, encourages and coaches but does not fail to exhort and correct. And she does it all without failing to remind us of our sufficient and beautiful Savior” — Kathy Ferguson Litton Director of Planter Spouse Care, NAMB
Your husband isn’t the only one who needs a library. This book should be a part of every minister’s wife’s library. It’s a book that should be kept close, even referred to as a handbook, to help when challenging issues arise and be reminded throughout the seasons that being called as a minister’s wife truly is a Sacred Privilege.