Certainly every family has relationship problems. That is the nature of humanity. Rienow has written a book full of practical strategies with a view to healing the relationships.
There were a few surprises in this book. One was a chapter on spiritual warfare. It is a neglected issue but one that is so necessary. “We need to stop fighting against our family and start fighting against the spiritual forces of evil.” (79) Another surprise was a chapter on boundaries. And yet another was a chapter on mediation. (He gives steps to implementing mediation.)
Yes, this book offers good strategic steps, such as for prayer and repentance. He gives steps for forgiveness, such as making a decision (act of the will), then asking God to work on the heart, then reconciliation. This takes time and Rienow says he himself was in this process for six years before seeing a breakthrough. He also includes the actions to take to have a conversation offering repentance.
I like Rienow reminding us that we cannot control the other person but we can change our own mind and behavior. Some of this is hard, like having patience and mercy.
Rienow uses stories from his own life and the lives of others, as well as stories from the Bible to illustrate his teaching. There are questions at the end of each chapter for personal reflection or group discussion.
This is a book full of practical instruction and anyone who would like to see relationships in a family healed would find reading it beneficial. Rienow includes a chapter on the most important relationship reconciliation, with God.
You can read an excerpt here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Rob Rienow (DMin, Gordon-Conwell) and his wife launched Visionary Family Ministries in 2011. Its mission is to build the church through a global reformation of family discipleship. He has served as a pastor and church planter and speaks a conferences around the world as well as on national radio. He and his wife have written several books. The Rienow family lives in the western suburbs of Chicago. You can find out more at www.visionaryfam.com.
Bethany House Publishers, 192 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)