I started reading Families Where Grace is in Place thinking it was a parenting book….which in a lot of ways it is, but it’s much more than that. It not only discusses parenting, it also talks a lot about marriages, but in reality this book could serve useful to anybody in any kind of relationship, parent-child, husband-wife, or even friend-friend.
It’s not a book full of little tips and tricks to successful living. It’s not the answer guide to life. And it most certainly isn’t telling you how to do the right kinds of outward behaviors. In fact that’s what I loved so much about it, it’s about dealing with the deep-rooted heart problem.
I could relate on so many levels. It talks about trying to find value and approval from others, whether it’s in your spouses’ actions, or how well-behaved your kids are. But it’s so evident in Scripture that Jesus isn’t concerned with outward behavior, He’s after the heart. He slammed the Pharisees, who followed the rules, but He knew the gunk in their hearts.
So much advice out their stays on the surface level, or acts like if you get your actions fixed, then the heart will somehow get fixed. This book really delves into the hard-to-admit secrets of our hearts that serve as the engine driving our actions.
I borrowed this from a library, but it’s so good….I might….just might actually buy myself a copy. I wish I could post the whole book here, but since I can’t here’s a few quotes:
It’s okay for outsides to match insides (vs. empty people learning to act full). In grace-full families, what is real is more important than how things look.Having a safe, unconditionally accepting place where outsides can match insides is really the only way to find out if there are inside needs and problems that must be addressed. pg. 163
Always remember this: Under the best circumstances, the most healthy, most sensitive, most educated person is still not capable of meeting the needs of another. This is God’s responsibility. pg. 168
It is never your job or mine to protect our loved ones from bad news. We can, instead, support them as they learn to cope with the tough challenges of life. pg 171
As I re-read this post before posting it, that last quote really hit home again, as I think about taking care of our little foster son. I so badly want to protect him from any hurt or sadness, but I have to come to grips with the fact that it’s out of my control…but I can love him through any hurts and point him to the True Comforter.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?