Book Review: Lost & Found by Sarah Jakes

Jakes
Bishop TD Jakes is the pastor of a mega-church in Texas, comprised of 30,000 people in multiple campuses. I’ll be honest; I’ve heard his name before but am really not familiar with his ministry.

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.

Comments

  1. Andrea says:

    I work with the divorce care ministry and single mom ministry at my church. We DO push for reconciliation with spouse; there are many, many women who stay in marriages with men who have been unfaithful. Some of those marriages are restored and some of the men don’t want to end the affairs. My mom married a youth pastor, who had affairs with 7 different women. Some of us walk into marriages knowing exactly what we’re getting into (signs of rebellion, ungodly behaviors). Others of us are completely fooled. I stayed for 3 years after my ex cheated on me; I prayed for him, we went through counseling. I ALWAYS believed that God would restore my marriage, but He didn’t. I do have peace that He pursues and loves my ex-husband, but I know I made the right decision by filing for divorce. Walking away from my marriage after he had been unfaithful for many years, was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. I had to pay a HUGE price for his unfaithfulness and our divorce. But God IS able to restore us, and make all things new. I’m actually speaking at my church next week about trusting God to restore your life after divorce. I’ll put the video up on my FB if anyone is interested. Also check out http://www.divorcecare.org if you’re going through a separation/divorce. It’s a Biblical support/counseling group available at a church in your area.

    • Andrea, I really hope I didn’t offend you. I know that there is a huge need for divorce care within the Christian community, and I also acknowledge that relationship problems don’t have one-size-fits-all solutions. There’s so much brokenness in the world. Thanks for pointing people back to Jesus after a traumatic event like a divorce. It’s brave of you to share your story.

      I think what saddened me about this book is that the *only* ray of hope she presented in the book was divorce. She didn’t talk about the Holy Spirit pulling her through her everyday life, or challenge the reader to make godly decisions each and every day. The storyline was SIN – SIN – SIN – SIN -SIN – DIVORCE – ALL BETTER. As if divorce was the only thing that could motivate her to make godly choices…not the power of God’s Spirit? I won’t pretend that life would be easy in a marriage with an unfaithful spouse, but as a believer, she still had the responsibility to act like Christ. Or at least acknowledge to the readers that she should have acted like Him?!

      Does that make sense?

  2. Andrea says:

    I totally understand. My life didn’t get “better” after my divorce. It got better when I allowed Christ to reign over my life again. It got better when I gave Him my failed marriage, my kids, my failures, my disappointments, my fears of the future. It sounds like there are better books out there to communicate the power and love of Christ. I’m reading through some right now; I will pass onto you. :)

    Ps. Wondering if you/Luke read Jefferson Bethke’s book: Jesus > Religion. I’d love to know what you think…

    • I think your viewpoint is MUCH more encouraging than this book was!

      I haven’t read Jesus > Religion. I just requested it from the library, so I’ll let you know what I think. But I’ll warn you – I’m TERRIBLE at finishing non-fiction books. So there’s always the possibility that I’ll let you know what I think of the first half. :-)

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