Pastor's wife: When jealousy almost led to 'death by banana bread'


Just after my family moved to Prestonsburg over 20 years ago, Leah Dane, one of our older deacon’s wives, made us a loaf of banana bread. The small bundle was wrapped in foil. Opening it up, we found it already sliced for our convenience.

At that time, we lived in a hollow several miles from the church. You know how starved you are after church on Sunday morning. We tore that aluminum foil open before we had cleared the parking lot. As we headed home, my family started moaning and going on like it was the best thing ever.

I’m not proud to say this, but there came over me an unholy jealousy. I did not like the fact that this new person, whom I had barely known a few months, had entered my family’s life and taken over their taste buds. I did not want someone else making my family moan and go on over food. I wanted them to moan and go on over stuff I had made. I decided right then that I was going to make better banana bread than Leah Dane did.

For the next several weeks, I made every recipe of banana bread I could find. And I found a LOT. Some were good, but none as good as Leah Dane’s. Finally, my beloved asked, “Are you trying to kill us with banana bread?” I realized my problem.

My jealousy affected my family. I was obsessed with outdoing Leah Dane. It was nearly fatal; the first case of DBBB, “Death by Banana Bread,” on record.

Unfortunately, the Leah Dane/banana bread incident is not the only time I’ve wrestled the green-eyed monster. In my younger days, I wasted time being jealous of other’s lives, stuff, and opportunities. As I aged, I measured other’s success, impact, and even ministry against my own. I now understand when I’ve been disappointed or discontent with what God has done in my life, or even the way He made me, I was questioning His wisdom and plan for me. That was an eye-opener. I don’t want to trade spots, lives, or anything with anybody!

The writer of the book of Hebrews encourages us to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (12:1). I need to get rid of false mindsets, unfair measuring, and any sinful attitudes (jealousy) and run my own race, the race marked out for me, not worrying about yours. And you run yours without being concerned about me. I/we can fully trust the plan God has for both of us.

After nearly doing my family in with banana bread, I went to Leah Dane and confessed my sin. She laughed and gave me her recipe. Now I bake it for others. I slice it and wrap it in aluminum foil, hoping they will moan and go on as they eat it.


Dawn Reed is a pastor's wife and newspaper columnist. Reach her at