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Beside Every Good Man: Loving Myself While Standing by Him    by Serita Ann Jakes order for
Beside Every Good Man
by Serita Ann Jakes
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2003)

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* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Christian women and wives are bombarded with messages about how to improve their relationships with the men around them. Serita Jakes, wife of renowned pastor and author T.D. Jakes, has written a wonderful book to instruct and encourage women to achieve everything God has planned for them.

Beside Every Good Man is divided into four sections. They encompass the seasons generally experienced in each woman's life. The first, I Stand Without Him, speaks of the time before marriage. It explores family relationships and how those shape our lives. The study and journaling questions at the end of each chapter encourage the reader to dig deeper and apply the messages to her own life.

The next section, I Stand Before Him, relates both to single and married women, teaching about God's leading in love, as well as godly sexual relationships and dealing with the extremes of life. Part three, I Stand Beside Him, discusses the roles of a husband and wife, the myth of 'having it all' and doing it all, and finding time for yourself. The final section, I Stand Beyond Him, deals with the difficulties after a divorce or the death of a spouse.

Serita Jakes writes with the experience of a mentor and the intimacy of a big sister. She frankly talks about situations in her own life, and her transparency makes it easy to identify with every example. Beautiful prayers are sprinkled throughout each chapter, allowing the reader to talk with God about what she has read, and to commit herself to making changes. I found the questions and suggestions for journaling particularly helpful. They allowed me to really think about concepts and analyze and apply them to my own life.

Not everything in the book will apply to the reader's current stage in life. Beside Every Good Man is a book to re-read during the different seasons. It is one of the most practical and inspirational books I have read this year, and one I plan to read again in the future.

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