Building a Family That Lasts

In spite of all the differences between families, almost all of them struggle to some extent with the same basic issues. Probably because at the end of the day, families are people and the same issues that happened in the Bible still happen today.

I’m always interested in learning about new resources attempting to help strengthen families – especially if they point them to God in the process. So, I was interested when offered the chance to review the new book The DIY Guide to Building a Family That Lasts by Gary Chapman and Shannon Warden.

Chapman you probably know from the “Love Languages” books he has authored over the years. Warden is a counselor who co-authored this new parenting book. Trying to take advantage of the interest many have in DIY shows and projects, the authors have formatted the information to resemble a how-to manual for a physical home make-over.

Unfortunately, that was the biggest problem I had with the book. The format I’m sure seemed like a great idea at the time – each chapter is broken into several areas – home improvement goal, home improvement tool, drawing up the plans, do it yourself, all in budget, sweat equity, big reveal and talk it over. The result however was more distracting than helpful. I’m not a big fan of DIY shows (too many flashbacks to re-doing older homes I’ve purchased), so I kept wondering things like what do they mean by “all in budget” or “do it yourself”.

Honestly, I wish they had just scrapped the entire cuteness factor, because the information in the book was good. Or at least I think it was. I kept getting distracted by all the cuteness noise of the layout. A little of the information is repetitive if you have read one of the love languages books, but it contains a lot more new information than Chapman’s books generally seem to have in them.

The twelve topics covered by the chapters are foundational types of concepts in a home. From forgiveness to compromise and connection, they cover most of the primary ones that create the foundation of a strong home. Although the underlying principles are Christian in nature, there really aren’t any mentions of God by name or scriptures quoted. (Unless I missed it.) It’s unfortunate, because for a home to be truly “well built” God needs to be the foundation. Eliminating Him in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience ultimately robs those who aren’t Christians of the very information they need to build that stronger home.

In the end, this book is just fine – especially if you enjoy the DIY theme. I just wish it had spent less time trying to be catchy and more time introducing families to the help God can provide in their homes.

This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.

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Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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