Life as a preacher’s wife? book notes

I received a free copy of You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes: And Other Unlikely Great Advice from An Unlikely Preacher’s Wife from the publisher (David C Cook, 2010). The author is Lisa McKay. You can find her at

Since there are few books out there for pastor’s wives, I decide to check it out. Right out of the starting blocks, Lisa addresses two common concerns:

1. Is his calling my calling too? I’ve heard a number of pastor’s wives who appreciate their husband’s ministry calling but do not own it for themselves. Others do. Is this essential?

2. Appearances. What are the pressures for appearing as a pastor’s wife? Can I be me?

To the first issue, she says one of the reasons is this (quoting another pastor’s wife): “The hardest thing for me is everyone wanting a piece of my husband and not acknowledging me in the least…I feel like the person in the background who is here only to take care of the kids so he can be free to take care of everyone else.” (p. 24). Lisa goes on to articulate through story and verse that the wife is called too. Don’t get hung up in the how but that the calling, at a minimum includes trust, obedience to Christ, and hope. To the second issue, no you don’t have to wear doilies. Be more concerned with cultivating Godly character.

The books won’t knock your socks off with new ideas. However, Lisa does a great job identifying the key challenges pastor’s wives face, pointing them to Scripture, focusing on simple truthes and being wary of the stuff that can build up inside her heart. She covers everything from parenting to having friends in the church to not defending pastor husbands (not having hissy fits in the church). This is an easy read and a good reminder for all on how to live under pressure.

Her final chapter is written for the pastor. My only disappointment in this book is that she didn’t triple the length of this chapter and really speak boldly to pastors about their care of their wives.

One great aspect of the book is that she includes so many quotes from other wives and application questions at the end of each chapter for the reader to consider.  On top of that, she’s quite humorous. No bitter pastor’s wife here!


Filed under Christianity, church and culture, pastoral renewal, pastors and pastoring, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Life as a preacher’s wife? book notes

  1. Sounds like a good book and much needed. I wonder if there are books for pastor’s children. They also have unique pressures. My friend told me she didn’t like being called “the pastor’s daughter.” She said she is her own person and doesn’t identify with this label. She wanted to separate herself from her father’s ministry so badly that she ended up going to a different church. I learned to never call her a pastor’s daughter again and now I’m also careful not to do that with pastor’s wives either. I suppose once they find their place, identify with their calling, and have peace about being themselves, it won’t bother them?

  2. Thanks for reviewing this. I’m a counselor as well as a pastor’s wife and have not found many good resources that address the unique calling of being a pastor’s wife. (and it is a unique calling with many various challenges!) I will put McKay’s book on my “to read” list.

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