Growing up in a dysfunctional family is common. Learning how to live an emotionally healthy life now may not be so common. Oates desires that readers would be able to grieve the past, be equipped to deal with the present, and be encouraged to build a healthy future.
The section I appreciated most in this book was that dealing with the past. She helps us understand how our memories shape our identity and our view of God. She helped me identify triggers from the past and baggage I am lugging along. She has teaching and questions for reflection to help us uproot the patterns of dysfunction. She writes about good coping skills, boundaries, conflict management, forgiveness, and much more.
One of Oates's passions is marriage. Much of the content of the teaching on the present and the future deal with marriage and family relationships. As an unmarried woman, I found that focus rather narrow and would have liked broader teachings in those areas. I did like how she handled submission in marriage. She suggests one's husband enter into the discussion if he is willing. I also liked her section on communication, learning ways to communicate other than one's family used.
I do recommend this book to wives who desire to understand the influence of their birth family and build a healthy marriage relationship and family. You'll be asked to answer lots of questions with plenty of space in the book to record answers.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Elizabeth Oates is cofounder and vice president of Project Restoration Ministry. She and her husband are raising their children in Waco, Texas, where she blogs and mentors women who've experienced brokenness in their family tree. You can find out more at http://www.elizabethoates.com/.
Kregel Publications, 240 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.