God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships with the Love of Jesus

I am pleased to be a book reviewer for Bethany House.  Each month I am provided with a book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.  

The book I am reviewing this month is Everyday Grace:  Infusing Your Relationships with the Love of Jesus by Jessica Thompson.

In the first chapter, the author states that her book is different from other relationship books in that it does not give you a list of things to do in order to be a better mother/wife/friend/daughter/etc.  She indicates that following such lists never results in the happy relationships we desire.  We do these things, the other person does not respond like we are led to believe they will, & then we only become more frustrated.  Her answer to mending relationships with other people is to simply show them the love of Jesus.  I agree that we should show everyone the love of Jesus.

What really bothers me about the book is that the author states on at least two occasions that if there is physical abuse in a relationship, one should remove oneself from that relationship & seek professional counseling.  I certainly agree with her on this point.  However, she totally ignores the damage that can occur in relationships where there is emotional abuse. HelpGuide.org, a website focusing on mental health & well-being, states the following:

"You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital & leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, & they run deep.  In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse - sometimes even more so."

To totally ignore the damage that results from being in an emotionally abusive relationship is unacceptable.

I agree that we should show everyone the love of Jesus.  In Matthew 22, a man asks Jesus, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?" Jesus replies, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart & with all your soul & with all your mind.  This is the first & greatest commandment. And the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself."  All Christians know this.  We are to love everyone ... even those who are considered to be "unlovable."  But does this mean we have to be in a relationship with them?  No, it does not.  If your mother, sister, daughter, friend, or anyone else is emotionally abusive to you, you do not have to be in a relationship with them & subject yourself to the abuse.  You can still show them the love of Jesus by praying for them.

4 comments:

Vickie said...

Very interesting. I am very familiar with and agree with your second to last paragraph.

Kaisievic said...

Oh, I agree, emotional abuse can be as bad if not worse than physical abuse. You should try to remove yourself from it.

Maureen said...

I appreciate and agree with your message here and the firm but gentle way you have stated it.

Sridhar Chandrasekaran said...

You have such an insightful blog. Thanks for sharing. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. Interesting! All the best for your future blogging journey.