Monday, January 13, 2014

Related by Chance, Family by Choice by Deb DeArmond

We've heard the jokes about mothers-in-law. Mother-in-law daughter-in-law (MIL DIL) relationships are characteristically difficult. Two women love the same man.

Deb and her three daughters-in-law say the relationship doesn't have to be difficult. It will take work and a heavy dose of God's love.

Deb has done lots of research to understand the MIL DIL relationship. Fewer than half of the women polled said their relationship was good. But 70 percent said they were willing to make the effort to improve the relationship – if they knew how.

If you are part of that 70 percent, this book is for you. Deb shares the tools and skills needed to improve the in-law relationships. She includes many stories from her own life and the lives of others.

She looks at the biblical example of women-in-law and gleans insights from Scripture. She discusses some challenging situations and provides helpful suggestions for resolving the issue. I was impressed with her chapter on communication. She has excellent ideas for dealing with those touchy discussions, such as with which family to have Christmas. I really appreciated her chapter on leaving and cleaving, addressing the potential dependence of children on their parents. She has amazing wisdom and practical tips on that subject.

Each chapter includes an assessment so we can see where we are with respect to the concepts covered in the chapter. She includes a “plan of action” worksheet with questions and ends the chapter with a perceptive prayer.

I am impressed with this book. If you want to establish a loving and respectful relationship with your MIL or DIL but have no idea how to begin, this book is for you. If have a damaged relationship with your MIL or DIL and want to know how to repair it, this book is for you. If you don't have a DIL or MIL yet but are anticipating one in the future, this book is for you.

Deb DeArmond is an experienced speaker, writer, and cofounder of – an online community for Christian women 50+. She and her husband Ron have three married sons, three loved daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. Find out more at

Kregel Publications, 208 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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