Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Auntie's 2016 Bookworm Challenge: 13

Book:  Relationships:  A Mess Worth Making.

Author:  Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp

Info: Copyright 2008:  Greensboro, NC:  New Growth Press

Where acquired: Amazon purchase (actually at the time of download, the authors offered the book for free).

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # #

What it's about:  Relationships off all kinds can get extremely messy.  Whether as a spouse, best friend, or co-worker, we all need help to improve and understand the true focus of godly relationships.  Lane and Tripp use scripture and personal examples to show the reader how all of our relationships can be a glowing example of Christ.

Favorite Quotes:

"Is it okay to keep to ourselves so that we don’t get hurt and don’t hurt anyone else? What’s wrong with playing it safe? Yet something keeps dragging us back to other people. We know we are less than human when we are all alone." - p. 17

"The biblical teaching of the Trinity is very practical for relationships since God himself is a model of loving, cooperative, unified community where diversity is an asset, not a liability. If God is making us into his likeness, we can be encouraged that he will give us the grace to live like this in community with one another." - p. 22

"No human being was ever meant to be the source of personal joy and contentment for someone else. And surely, no sinner is ever going to be able to pull that off day after day in the all-encompassing relationship of marriage! Your spouse, your friends, and your children cannot be the sources of your identity. When you seek to define who you are through those relationships, you are actually asking another sinner to be your personal messiah, to give you the inward rest of soul that only God can give." - p. 59

"God’s redemptive work of change is ongoing in all our lives. When I forget this, I become self-righteous, impatient, critical, and judgmental. I give in to the temptation to play God and try to change you in ways only God can." - p. 64

"Imagination gives us a deeper sense of two unseen realities: (1) our identity, the unseen realities of who God says we are; and (2) God’s resources, the unseen realities of his presence with us and provision for us."  pp. 157-158.

"It [worship] is not vacuous emotionalism, but rather praise that lives in the middle of fear, pain, hurt, and disappointment. The praise never ignores these experiences. Instead, it grows more thankful as it recognizes the redeeming God who meets us in life’s pains and joys." - p. 169

What I Liked:
  • This book wasn't solely about marriage relationships and wasn't worded in "couple-ese."  Though the content would be great for a married couple, it is more than appropriate for any interpersonal relationship.
  • The authors pointed out the relationship of the Holy Trinity as an example of how we can walk in unity and true Christ-centered friendships.  I'd never thought of it that way before.
  • The admission that when people are struggling, they don't simply need and explanation of why what's wrong is wrong, but they need true solutions and help to see that those solutions are viable was so refreshing.  In other words, the advice was simple, but not simplistic and patronizing.
  • The Kindle version has real page numbers.
What I didn’t like: 
  • Though the authors use true life stories as examples, many of them are left unfinished.  Hey, we want to know what happened.
  • There was no way to know which author was speaking when giving an example from his own life.
  • The last chapter was odd in that it kept referencing the lyrics to a Green Day song that was never named and the lyrics never quoted.  I'm not sure what that was about.
Takeaway:  I wish I could remember who recommended this book to me last year because I would like to thank them.  Quite honestly, when I first delved into this tome, I though the authors' counsel was going to put the Christian in the position of the doormat who must always acquiesce, however, this was not the case.  This book answered many of the questions about why I was doing relationships wrong and how I can be a better friend, church member, and employee.  I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with relationship and any couple considering marriage (no, the book isn't aimed at couples, but it would help tremendously).  The advice is not gospel fluff, but hardcore Scripture-backed practical solutions.

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