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Men's Relational Toolbox Paperback – January 22, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Smalley is one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the author and co-author of 16 best-selling, award-winning books along with several popular films and videos. He has spent over 30 years learning, teaching, and counseling. Gary has personally interviewed hundreds of singles and couples and has surveyed thousands of people at his seminars asking two questions: What is it that strengthens your relationships and what weakens them?

Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 40 years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children, Kari, Greg and Michael, and six grandchildren.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0842383204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842383202
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kevin A. Decker on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a relationship and romance author, speaker, and coach I read a lot of books about dating, marriage, and romance. "Men's Relational Toolbox" is a MUST HAVE for guys!
The metaphor of tools in a toolbox gives guys immediate access to the message with terms and concepts that are easily understood. I really appreciate the fact that they thought long and hard about how to convey a positive perspective on men participating in a relationship.
You will find out:
Why men are the way they are...
What tools do we already have that we can bring to bear...
Conversational style differences between men and women...
The right tool to use and when...
Adding new tools...
The book then summarizes the one-two punch that has the greatest impact on relationships - good communication and positive action.
The best part of the book though is the final chapter on forgiveness. Every relationship brings hurts as we give more of ourselves and become more and more vulnerable. The levels of love given and pain inflicted are can be exhilarating and debilitating. I recently read a comment that said "Hatred is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." Whether simple dislike, anger and frustration, or out and out hatred; Forgiveness is the antidote that heals the hurt and turns us back toward love. The five step process the book gives is an excellent tool that you should keep on the top of your toolbox.
Get yourself a copy of this book now. You, and your partner, will be glad you did.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kyle J. Baker on December 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a quick read, but it very comfortably covers a lot of important topics. Contrary to one of the reviews on the site, it tries very hard not to belittle men. Of course the authors are men. It starts with the premise that men are designed by God to do certain things well, lead, protect, and problemsolve, and that men get into relational trouble when they bring the "tools" of these trades and try to apply them in a relationship. Together with "Wild at Heart" by John Elderidge, it is a good kick in the pants to become the man God intends you to be.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kelly K. Dunn on September 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Men's Relational Toolbox is a great resource for any man who is serious about his relationships. The Smalley guys have done a great job in presenting doable solutions for those who are relationship challenged. Men are NOT from Mars and women are NOT from Venus, we live right here on planet Earth and are wired different on purpose. Read this book to see why we are different, to understand that these differences mean that we ca relate to each other in such a way that can strengthen their God-ordained estate as husband and wife.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Tadlock on September 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a great tool for the man that would like to better his relations with his family and friends. It has a lot of thoughts and ideas for improving your relationship, especially with your spouse. It's a great book for a group of men to study together to become a better person. I think that every man should read this book and it would not hurt for every woman to read it too. I believe that it would help make better relations between both sex.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book many years ago on a whim. I have re-read it twice, purchased it for a friend who is having marriage issues and referred it to my mens group. It gives men explanations on how they think and feel and descriptions that they can use to explain to others. It is written in 'man speak' which makes it a fast read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Drensek on November 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked this book. It is written in a manner to be approachable to many men. They use the toolbox as a metaphor on aspects of relationships. The toolbox makes this subject more approachable than other texts I've read. The gist is that men are are innately expert in 6 aspects of relationships, (fact giving, fact finding, take charge, task oriented, problem solving, competitive drive), while women are innately expert in a different 6, (open sharing, patient listening, win-win, selfless honor, time and energy).

The authors make no bones that each individual is imbued with differing levels of the 12, but they offer extremes or gender generalizations to illustrate the topics. Each reader will have to determine how expert they are with each tool. This ground has been ploughed before with John Gray's book, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus", among others. The topics is approached from a different point of view, with this one being Christian/bible based.

One main point of the book is that to be a complete person, as illustrated by Christ's examples is to be expert in all the tools. All the tools are need to form complete, sustained, and fulfilled relationships. The 6 "female" tools being that areas for development for men.

I could be overly sensitive, but I'm bothered by the hidden assumption that men need fixing. I struggle with a society that seems to assume that men are in need of fixing, hence the number of books that strive to help men. There seems to be fewer books to help women develop their lesser areas. I suppose if you accept the biblical proposition that men are the leaders of the family and the body of Christ, the onus is on us to to seize the opportunity. It would be nice if some one said that the other gender needs some help too.
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