We live in such a toxic society, that it can't help but bleed into our relationships with friends and family. Praise God for Christian counselors who advise according to God's wisdom and not man's wisdom...like Leslie Vernick...
I specifically selected this book because I have a tendency toward toxic relationships. I tend to gravitate towards controllers and am a people-pleaser to the max. So I was eager for some godly wisdom in how to break that stronghold in my life...and I found it!
Leslie Vernick has written a book in three parts: Seeing it, Stopping it, and Surviving it. While the early chapters of the book are mildly depressing, they are necessary. As Leslie says, we cannot fix what we do not see.
In this first section, Dr. Vernick takes us on a tour of an emotionally destructive relationship so that we can differentiate between difficult and destructive. She continues with an analysis of the outcome of staying in these kinds of relationships, whether at home, work, church or school.
Dr. Vernick also examines carefully what the causes of emotionally destructive relationship are, and they are varied. One of the most enlightening sections of the book for me were her examinations of the destructive themes of the heart, covered in chapters four and five.
Those chapters alone would be worth the reading.
But wait, there's more! Dr. Vernick doesn't just analyze us and leave us there. Oh, no! She continues on in section two to show us how to stop the destruction, using real life examples (names changed) and lots and lots of Scripture.
Another something I love about this book...it is PACKED with Scripture. Sometimes, she quotes it, and sometimes she gives you the references to get you to open your Bible and do some homework in your own healing. I LOVE that about her!
Finally, in section three, Dr. Vernick answers the question of how to be a loving Christian and yet not be abused. This is the freeing part, and you will want to highlight and take notes! I'm tired of being told, "Well, you're a Christian, so you just have to smile and pray."
Nope, there's MUCH more than that available to us in these unhealthy and destructive relationships, and Dr. Vernick bases it all in Scripture. Some of the Biblical truths she shares involve much loved characters that I've always identified with, but now on a much deeper and personal level.
All in all, I believe this is a timely book for today's church and today's Christian family. With all of the sinful behavior in the world today, and the anger and frustration we encounter daily, we can't help but be touched by things that have the potential to destroy us.
Praise God we are not destroyed...we have HOPE! And this is a shining beacon of hope for those of us struggling, or who know someone who is struggling. I'm giving "The Emotionally Destructive Relationship" five out of five bookmarks with a jar of clear, clean water as a charm (read the book!), and recommend it to everyone.
You just might recognize yourself or a loved one in these pages, and find answers that will set you free.