Navigating life in a stepfamily can be difficult. Obviously, it wasn’t in God’s perfect plan, but it may be your reality. In addition to what you would normally need to do to help your kids build strong spiritual foundations, you now have to heal any brokenness and build a strong new family.
I was interested when offered the opportunity to review the new book, Daily Encouragement for the Smart Stepfamily by Ron Deal. The book is organized like a daily devotional book. Each entry is dated and is less than one page in length. Deal covers everything from having kids living in two homes to family pictures.
Some of the advice has a spiritual slant to it while other entries are more practical without any mention of anything that could be called spiritual. The advice itself seems to be practical and helpful. It’s easy to read and understand.
My issue with the book is that it is trying to basically do two different things and therefore not necessarily accomplishing either one of them well. It’s set up like a devotional book, but there are no scriptures for each day. This was frankly shocking to me. If you are going to take the time to craft a prayer you want them to pray at the end of each entry, why not give readers some real benefit and quote a couple of scriptures each day instead. (I’m not a fan of authors telling people what to pray anyway.)
The advice is great and there is probably a case to be made for giving it out in little manageable bits. Because the book is set up like a devotional book though, there is no index of topics. If you are struggling with a particular area and want advice, you have to basically skim through the entire book to find relevant entries. It also breaks up what could have been the flow of a normal book, woven with scriptures and author experiences.
If you just want some daily advice to help your stepfamily, this books does have plenty of that. If you are looking for a devotional, I believe this book has so few scriptures in it that it isn’t what I would even consider a devotional book. If you want to find help on specific topics quickly, a book with an index or table of contents would be more helpful. Ultimately, the value of this book depends on how you want to use it.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.