Ever since attending the Gathering in California back in 2012, I’ve been a huge fan of Michelle Anthony and her ideas of spiritual formation within the family. It’s a delight to hear from her each year and I really enjoyed her book, Dreaming of More. So, of course I signed up for the chance to read and review her new book, Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family.
During the first few chapters, I was concerned that this book wouldn’t be as powerful and impactful as her previous few titles. There seemed to be quite a bit of dry explanation and not as much as the personal and poignant accounts I had come to expect and appreciate in Michelle’s writing. However, once I hit chapter 3, the pen came out and the underlining began with fervency.
Once again, Michelle cuts through the socially acceptable and trite Christian answers and challenges her readers to really examine their hearts and their motivation for their behaviors. Instead of trying to put a band-aid on dysfunctions and troubles within the family, she dives deep to the root causes of these symptomatic behaviors. She challenges our desire for more things, for our unhealthy need for acceptance and affirmation, and the lies we tell ourselves as we pursue our own goals and dreams to the detriment of the family. She constantly returns to the question of where we find our value and challenges parents to direct their hearts toward the only one who can really fulfill our desires, God.
This book was a bit more technical than her other books and didn’t contain quite as many “real life” stories. Certainly, it’s a bit of a different style and angle, which I understand, but I do feel that these personal testimonies bring in vivid illustrations and help drive the point home more effectively than statistics.
I couldn’t say anything ugly about this book. It’s well written, full of very helpful information, and contains some excellent reflection questions designed to help the reader truly examine his/her own life and heart. My book is completely marked up, underlined, dog-eared and starred and I hope to read back through my notes soon to do some thorough examining of my own.
More Reviews to Check Out:
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are, of course, my own.