17 June, 2011

The Blessing, by John Trent and Gary Smalley

We are each made for and thrive within a healthy relationship. After all, we are made foremost for a relationship with the Lord and to bring Him glory! But there are times when tragically earthly relationships tear down rather than build up; they breed destruction rather than life. They cause one to wilt and to feel downtrodden.

We each long to be unconditionally loved and approved – and we long for that approval and love to come from our parents from the time we are conceived! But how is that practically given? Does it come natural or do we, as parents, need to mold that into our parenting and life? What if we didn’t experience unconditional love as a child ourselves, or as we grew had our self-worth and value stripped away through painful experiences or situations? The authors, John Trent and Gary Smalley, share how we can give and receive the gift of unconditional love and approval coming from healthy relationship – the blessing - in our own lives, in the lives of our children, and in the lives of others God allows to intercept with our own through what they call five essential elements.

Honestly, I cringe when I read anything having to do with a particular amount of “steps” or “elements,” as they have in this particular book. But the reader (as I have) can easily grasp the heart of the message and wholeheartedly agree with the essential need for it in one’s life. It is crucial. And this book offers much practical help for its implementation. I was able to hear John Trent when he spoke to the staff at Focus on the Family and was happy to see this book The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance (which was first published twenty-five years ago!), become available for review so that I could obtain a copy for our family.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

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