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224 pages
Aug 2004

In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart: Hope for the Hurting

by Ruth Graham

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In the book, In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart by Ruth Graham, Ruth states that God does great work in the ruins of our lives. Ruth Graham, daughter of Ruth and Billy Graham, learns of her husband’s unfaithfulness over a period of prior years during their marriage. In the book, Ruth shares her divorce experience and unwise choices since the divorce; she instructs the reader with memory verses and tips to join her in learning to share openly, forgive freely, and overcome the results of marital trauma.

Throughout the book, Ruth highlights verses that apply to her circumstances and struggles. She encourages readers in similar circumstances to praise God and strengthen their assurance of God’s involvement in their lives. Ruth’s experiences are shared in small pieces, with her most current struggles toward the end of the book. Ruth completed an undergraduate degree in religion and communications at Mary Baldwin College, fulfilling her desire to graduate before she turned fifty at the millennium.

Ruth shares with the reader her rededication to trusting God when she considered her failures. “Commit again to trusting God, and ask him to give you the courage and ability to keep trusting him. Losing faith is so human. God knows our weaknesses. Again, as David wrote, ‘He is mindful that we are but dust.’ (Psalm 103:14). Remember, God is not chiding you for being dust. He loves you all the more for your weakness, and he longs to give you his strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Your job is to keep a right attitude and to continue cooperating as God does his work in you.”

It is evident within these pages that Ruth seeks to better her personal relationship with God. She encourages the reader to converse with Him and depend on Him as well.

In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart addresses the extremely difficult subject of divorce. Though divorce is widespread, it’s painful to those affected and not regarded lightly by any. It’s difficult to write an uplifting message about divorce and its aftermath. Nonetheless, God does have a plan for those who divorce. This book focuses on comfort, reassuring bible passages, and contemplations for women who divorce. Ruth claims in the ‘Impulse of Isolation’ chapter that she is still learning the balance between wise privacy and healthy openness. This insecure balance between the two is prevalent throughout the book. In some instances this causes a lack of clarity or anticipated emotions within the revealed experiences of the author.

This book contains rich pertinent Bible verses for women who’ve experienced divorce. Ruth’s pre- and post-divorce struggles are not uncommon, and relevant for today. This book would be a down-to-earth testimony for any divorced woman who desires a consistent and comfortable relationship with God. Though Ruth’s parsed divorce story is not victorious in all directions, some solutions don’t provide great gain. However, God is always victorious. The relevant scripture provided in this book may help divorced women readers keep on the pathway of salvation. – Kate Fausak, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Offers help and hope to those who wonder if they have out-sinned God’s grace or if their life circumstances have set them aside from being used by God, with practical help to every believer and church leader who sits side by side each Sunday with the broken and hurting. Foreword by Billy Graham.