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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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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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VanVonderen spells out the details of getting it wrong, and I saw myself in those pages. That was humbling. He also details what getting it right is all about, and I hope to see myself in those pages more and more. It will require a re-read for me to progress, but that's because of me. The writing style is simple, clear and direct. The text rings with honesty and resounds with biblical solutions. Even the most rock-solid couples could learn something from Jeff VanVonderen. Worth every penny.
It starts with a lot of foundations, but ends with tremendous information. Highly recommended for all parents of kids of all ages.
Publishers. Pages – 172.
In today’s culture raising a Christian family presents more than a few daunting challenges. This challenge can be felt in our own misconceptions of how we can be most effective in our marriages and child-rearing. We can be our own worst enemy. The theme of this book is that having a proper understanding and acceptance of the place of grace in our family relationships will best result in a healthy and God honoring family. Our focus of attention should not be on the application of pressure, control and manipulation, but on a proper heart-felt understanding of both our role and God’s.
Using easy-to-understand acrostics and many illustrations, the author clearly and winsomely differentiates between the grace-filled and non-grace-filled families. He speaks to the importance of getting beyond addressing behavior and to the importance of seeing the need motivating the behavior. It is not our place to “fix” those in our families, but to depend upon the Holy Spirit to both serve and equip those in the family.
The usefulness of this book comes in three forms. First, the author suggests a sound theological understanding of the role of grace in the family. Secondly, he brings practical application, painting various illustrations of what a healthy and Godly family might look like. Additionally, the size of the book, the chosen vocabulary and acrostics make this an ideal book to suggest to a broad range of people.
Patrick J. Knapp – M.A., A.B.D.
VanVoderen correctly applies Scripture in showing the reader that God is less concerned about standards and more concerned about finding Joy in Him.
He goes onto explain that we often try to find fulfillment in other people or things - a classic look at modern-day idolatry. Much of the book has to do with parenting and his own struggles in leading his family in becoming grace-filled rather than using shame-based methods in interactions.
This book can also be a great eye opener for those who have experienced spiritual abuse or who'd like to avoid spiritual abuse in their families and lives.
After reading the book I walked away encouraged, challenged, and grateful for a God who would love His children so. I hope to pass on this attitude of grace towards others to my children and generations to come.
This is definitely amongst my top 5 books of all time.
Reading this book has helped my focus to be giving grace to others and myself. There are many insights into marriage relationships and parenting. Focusing on the heart is so much more important than fixing the behavior.