So when I chose to review this book, it was because I love to hear testimony of God’s redeeming grace in others’ lives. It was NOT because I’m a superfan of the Jakes family. I really didn’t know anything about them before I read this book.
Sarah Jakes is the daughter of this well-known pastor. Once the church boomed during her childhood, she grew up in the “fishbowl” known as a pastor’s family. She was under the spotlight.
I have to say that it was brave of her to write this book, chronicling her many, many poor decisions. It would be hard to admit (let alone let the entire world read) your stupid mistakes.
But can I just stop right there and say it was one of the most depressing Christian books I’ve ever read?
Here’s a very quick synopsis:
She was pregnant at age 13, gave birth to a little boy at 14, finished high school early at age 16, went on to college. Met a boy at college who was not good for her, but she wouldn’t let that relationship go even though it was obviously unhealthy (he was unfaithful from the beginning)…Ended up living with him. He became a pro football player after college. They married. They had kids. He was unfaithful. A lot. She apparently cussed him out, a lot (though no cussing was present in the book). They got divorced. The end.
See what I mean? The subtitle of the book is “Finding HOPE in the Detours of Life.” But the only “hope” she seems to present is divorce.
At the very end of the book, she divorces him, and is now living for the Lord, working at her parents’ church. Because she couldn’t make godly decisions while married to her husband?
I’m not going to pretend that I know what it’s like to live with an unfaithful spouse. Thankfully, Luke is a loyal, faithful man. And for that I am SO THANKFUL.
But I want to put this out there…God IS BIG ENOUGH to redeem even the greatest of disasters. I’m not saying it would be easy, or that separation wouldn’t be necessary, but I believe God IS POWERFUL ENOUGH to work through even the toughest of marital problems.
Our God is a God of reconciliation and redemption. Those things are beautiful. And they are not present in this memoir.
I’m a HUGE advocate of the sanctity of marriage, in a culture where the “vows” people take are just words they say until they decide not to believe them anymore.
On the contrary, I took vows before God, family, and friends…and I intend to keep those promises until death separates Luke and me.
And I think that’s why, after I turned the last page on this book, I was so very sad for Sarah Jakes. Because while she did challenge the world to be transparent about their struggles, she never did challenge the world to be HOLY in the midst of their struggles. And that, dear friends, is a waste of a book.
Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of review. All opinions are mine, and I was not compensated monetarily for the review.