Loving Myself While Standing



by Him
By Serita Ann Jakes
Warner Faith (224 pages)
Hardcover / ISBN: 0446531308

             Almost everyone has heard the saying, “beside every good man stands a great woman” and Serita Ann Jakes takes this one step further in her new novel, BESIDE EVERY GOOD MAN:  Loving Myself While Standing By Him.  In this four-part book, Ms. Jakes covers keys on how a woman is to stand beside her man in a godly way that will not interfere with the her individuality, nor her commitment to God.  Additionally, she points out how our relationships with the men in our lives (fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands) shape who we are as women and inspire us to better our lives.  The four parts of the book are focused on standing without your man (seeing yourself in the mirror), standing before him (seeing yourself in his eyes), standing beside him (seeing yourself in the spotlight), and standing beyond him (seeing yourself through new eyes).  Each chapter also closes with a prayer followed by a section for questions and reflections.

         Most known through her husband Bishop T.D. Jakes, who refers to her as his “First Lady,” Mrs. Jakes shares her lessons learned while working in the ministry and counseling at her husband’s church, The Potter’s House, on tours as well as conferences for women.  Mrs. Jakes shares not only things she’s experienced, but also bits and pieces of the lives of women she’s encountered through her ministry. 

Mrs. Jakes takes the reader through a section on exploring what it means to be a woman and how our experiences shape and define us.  Not only does she look at the relationship of a daughter to her father, but also with other men in our lives such as brothers, uncles, and grandfathers, as well as male peers.  Moving on, she journeys to the romantic relationships we have in our lives, first teaching what it means to be single and being okay with the fact that you are single, without looking for “the one” in each man you encounter.  Jakes then focuses on how we as women nurture and support our mates and what we should expect in return using our faith as a foundation upon which to build our relationships. 

The segment discussing standing next to our man and figuring out what kind of leading lady we want to be was a welcome addition to the book. Although, the final section focusing with how we look at ourselves after life’s events and disappointments have taken their toil on us was a definite favorite.

            For the most part, this reviewer enjoyed the BESIDE EVERY GOOD MAN

Loving Myself While Standing by Him and the lessons taught along with the references to the Bible. However, the book was often repetitive and translated more like a Bible-Study reference vs. an inspirational read. This book will work well for those who are already secure in their positions in life (with God), but may seem a bit preachy to those who are hoping to become more spiritually grounded.  Additionally, those looking for the “key” to making their relationships successful with the men in their lives may be a bit disappointed as the book concentrates more on our relationship with God and the correlations between the Bible and to our mates.

            In spite of this, there are numerous valuable lessons in BESIDE EVERY GOOD MAN Loving Myself While Standing by Him, such as women looking for men to fulfill their deepest needs and complete them instead of going to God for the spiritual thirst that only He can quench, suggestions on being content with not having a man in our lives, and thinking that our worth is conditional upon another person. 

Tee C. Royal is the founder of, an online book club for both readers and writers interested in AA literature.  She is also the editor of several African American literary newsletters and resides in the Atlanta, GA area.