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Families Where Grace Is in Place: Building a Home Free of Manipulation, Legalism, and Shame Paperback – November 1, 2010


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Families Where Grace Is in Place: Building a Home Free of Manipulation, Legalism, and Shame + Tired of Trying to Measure Up: Getting Free from the Demands, Expectations, and Intimidation of Well-Meaning People + The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Reprint edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764207938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764207938
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff VanVonderen is an internationally known speaker on addictions and church and family wellness. He is the author of several books, including The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse and is one of the featured interventionists on the A&E documentary series Intervention. Jeff makes his home in Hayward, Wisconsin.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It is very clear and applicable, with plenty of real-life examples.
Mother in Mexico
These pages helped us (my wife and I read the book together) understand better changes we had made in the past that had greatly improved our once sinking relationship.
Rondall Reynoso
I HIGHLY recommend reading this book it has impacted my parenting, how I relate to my husband and how I relate to God.
Nicole

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By jenlemen on April 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is an absolute must read if you privately wonder if God is more concerned with your behavior than the needs of your heart. Vanvonderen explains why we will never feel fulfillment or joy simply by conforming to Christian standards. Using the Bible as the basis of his discussion, he reveals a God who wants to meet our deepest needs and transform us from the inside out. Vanvonderen shifts the focus from outward performance to the "fight of faith" in our marriages and our family life--defining the fight as the struggle to believe that Jesus can truly fill us when we are tempted to find our significance in people or things. Much of the book is devoted to parenting, and Vanvonderen shares honestly about his own process of becoming a grace-full parent. Without shaming or guilting, this book helped me reconsider what it means to really live a free and honest life. This practical and insightful discussion of grace is one you won't want to miss.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Davina Lock on April 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book. Now I really know what a shame-based family is. OUCH! But I also now know how I can change to make my life better. To become more gracious in my relationships. It was so good, I ran a workshop at our church to share the excellent information to others. No one can afford to spray shame on our spouse and children. This may just be what you are looking for if you are READY TO CHANGE.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Tanja L. Walker on April 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book at a point when I was frustrated and at the end of my rope as a parent. This book was a God-send. Now, the challenge will be to work on ways I can change my discipline style from one of controling behaviors to controling environment and let my kids choose their behavior (and the consequences thereof). But at least I know that God loves me, and loves my family, no matter what. Thank you!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. Platter on November 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
First published in 1992, this book is an eye-opener and fresh wind of hope. The concepts and truthes presented are timeless and very understandable with the authors real-life stories and examples. Read this book if you're looking for solutions to a marriage relationship turned stress-filled over time. If you realize some struggles with your children really come from actions and attitudes all too familiar (Oh no, they've picked up MY worst attitudes & habits!) then read this book.

In Part One author Jeff VanVonderen describes relationships (marriage or parent/child) where grace is NOT in place detailing out the resulting operating model borne from the C.U.R.S.E. = Controlling, Unforgiving, Reactive, Shaming, and Ego-Driven. The result is T.I.R.E.D = feeling Trapped, Indicted, Responsible, Exposed, and Defensive.

Part Two describes Families "By the Book" (Bible), then on to a wonderfully convergent Part Three - Families Where Grace Is in Place. Very practical explanations and strategies on the road to a Grace-Full Family, Spouse, and Parent. The list of ten characteristics found in a shame-based relationship hits right between the eyes (or into the heart), followed 10 points unfolding God's design for a Grace-full Family. If you're looking for lasting changes and a way out of the pain, through God's grace, this easy-to-read book is worth the investment.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. Raymond on April 26, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up in a very controlling family. To date this is the best resource I have been able to find to address most of the issues that come along with this type of abuse. This book is a true gem for anyone struggling to understand their controlling upbringing, or even their own controlling behavior as a result of it.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K. Olgren on August 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
In this book, Vanvonderen describes how many of us feel -- inadequate and unable to do what we are called to do and to be. But he also explains that that comes from doing or trying to be something other than what you are or were called to do. When we actually try to do what we are called to do and be what God wants us to be, He gives us the grace and the capability to do exactly that. We simply are not equipped to be or to do anything else.

Vanvonderen talks about Grace-full relationships and contrasts them to Curse-full relationships. Grace-full ones are those that are built on grace and spring from a right relationship with the Lord. Curse-full relationships are those that are run on the basis of wrong values or with a worldly philosophy. He describes the Grace-full relationship and how it should be done and lived (and on what basis -- that of a close relationship with the Lord). Then he contrasts it with practices that shouldn't be engaged in and often are. These are Curse-full relationships.

This transformed my approach to how I related with my husband and children. God has given me so MUCH, much that I didn't deserve (thus, His grace to me). I need to reflect that and be gracious to my family members. I believe it has strengthened all my family relationships, and I credit much of Vanvonderen's ideas with actually saving my marriage.

I was brought up in a Grace-full home. It is my belief that my husband was brought up in a Curse-full home; and many of the Curse-full practices were repeated in our home (not just by him, but by me, following my natural fleshly inclinations). It is my desire to create, as much as I possibly can, a Grace-full home for my husband (like he's never had) and for my children (the kind of a home every child SHOULD grow up in).
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