Have you ever wished you had a better relationship with your spouse or children? Are there unresolved issues with your parents or siblings? Do you feel as if your friendships aren’t the deep meaningful relationships you really want? Do you sometimes feel as if there is no one who really knows you and accepts you and unconditionally loves you for who you are?
I don’t know if I have ever said this about any book (other than the Bible of course!). If you have meaningful relationships in your life that are not what you wish they were, you absolutely must read One Month to Love by Kerry and Chris Shook. This couple has done the best job I have ever seen of breaking down the various aspects of not only how to be the person you need to be in your relationships, but helping you understand what you need from the important people in your life.
A normal review couldn’t really do this book justice. I think they describe it the best when they say every person has been “created to be fully known”. We all have a need to be really understood, appreciated and loved for who we are, with our strengths and our weaknesses. The problem is, most of us don’t really understand what this looks like and how to make the ones we love feel as if we truly treasure them in those ways. With a Biblical mindset, the authors examine what specific behaviors people need from others and what they can do for others to promote this feeling in their meaningful relationships.
The thirty day format is a convenient way to organize the information into several broad categories and the skills within each group. All healthy godly relationships need both of the people to be “all there” for the other person, they need to be intentional about the relationship, they need to risk awkwardness and let go of things like control and hurt. Within those broad categories, there are thirty chapters packed full of practical information. Not only do the authors examine the basis of relational needs but give concrete examples of how to fill those needs for the people you love.
Frankly, I was so engrossed by the material, I raced through the entire book in a few hours. The thirty day format (for me), is a great way to review and focus on practicing and perfecting a skill a day. Understanding what your relationships need to be stronger and actually putting it into daily practice, probably takes a lifetime of intentional effort on the parts of both of the people involved.
If you want to be closer to your spouse, children, parents, siblings or friends, read this book and start practicing what they suggest to do. In fact, make sure the other person in the relationships you are concerned about also has a copy. Perhaps reading it together will be the first intentional step towards having the closeness you want with that person!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I am painfully honest though, and would tell you if I didn’t like it. I am keeping it on my reference shelf of parenting books in my library!