Thursday, October 12, 2017

4 Outstanding Relationship Books You Must Read


My eyes and fingers join forces as they wander the wall of shelves in The Nest, my quiet counseling office / serene treetop haven.

And if you joined me there, tapped me on the shoulder, and told me I could choose only four of the absolute best books on relationships, these are the ones I'd reach for.

In a heartbeat.

The great thing about these selections is that they are all-purpose.  They're not one-facet books that simply focus on friendship or marriage, parenting or the workplace or the ministry arena.  Their messages are applicable for wherever you find yourself and whatever challenges you're facing.

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Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life
~ Henry Cloud & John Townsend
I can't think of one person that couldn't use a bit of help when it comes to the whole issue of boundaries.  Originally penned in 1992, this is the book I've recommended most to clients over the past 15 years.  A readable, practical classic for sure, having sold millions of copies ... and the good news is it's just been updated a few weeks ago for this social media age we now live in.

Love, love, love this book, these Christian psychologists, and their selection of Boundaries books that were authored following this game-changer.


The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It
~ Leslie Vernick
When you begin to read Leslie's wise words, you'll praise God that someone's finally put a name to the sometimes subtle yet always devastating travesty of abuse.  Leslie hits the nail on the head, naming sinful relational patterns in all their various forms, and guides the reader toward hope, healing, and freedom.

Biblical, enlightening, and spot on.  Her 2013 follow up book on marriage is an absolute keeper as well.


The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction
~ Adam McHugh
Last June, I knew this would end up being my 2016 favorite-book-of-the-year ... and many of you read it, posted on it, and loved it as much as I did.  Not too far into Adam's pages, attentive readers get a wake-up call as we begin to realize how seldom we truly listen to the hearts of others.

He writes, 'The question that drives this book is, how would our relationships change, and how would we change, if we approached every situation with the intention of listening first?  What if we approached our relationship with God as listeners?  What if we viewed our relationship with nature as one of listening?  What if we approached our relationships using our ears rather than our mouths?  What if we sought to listen to our emotions before we preached to them?'

This, a simply splendid soul-searching adventure, ended up as one of Christianity Today's 2016 Books of the Year.  And it would be a perfect Christmas gift for someone {or two} on your list.


The Bible
Since way back in 1989, I've been using the same NIV Study Bible.  Held together by layers of clear packing tape, the leather is cracked and worn ... and it remains one of my most prized possessions.  Some of the pages are stained from spills and tears, and many margins are filled with notes from godly pastors, teachers, and professors God has brought into my life in the past 28 years.

When it comes to relationships, learning how to love God and others well, understanding the vast mercies of forgiveness and grace and kindness ... no other book will ever come close to the Holy Scriptures.

The sacred, precious truth of God's Word stands forever.

'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path' {Psalm 119:105}.


I'd love to hear your recommendations ... 
and if you've written a post on a beloved relationship book, 
please feel free to link up that post as you join the conversation.



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sharing good reads with

24 comments:

  1. Always enjoy your book recs. Henry Cloud--GREAT WRITER!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Absolutely! And I love the leadership coaching he's been doing most recently - https://drcloud.com/

      Fabulous. Don't you love how we get to morph and change as the seasons pass?

      Blessings to you, Lulu ...

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  2. And yet I still haven't read The Listening Life! I've had it on my list for awhile now but just haven't gotten around to it. But I most definitely will. Thanks again for reminding me of it, Linda!

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    1. I look forward to your book review, Lisa!

      You know I'm a fan ...

      ;-}

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  3. You beat me to it. I was going to mention Dr. Cloud's site too. I heard an interview with him recently on the Catalyst podcast. Reading or listening his words are wise.

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    1. Here's hoping that we all produce richer, wiser content as we continue to write, no matter what our media of choice ...

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  4. love a good book list. I need the Listening Life. That sounds really good!

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    1. Yep, we all need to read The Listening Life! I continue to be amazed at how far I have to go ...

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  5. Great list once again, Linda. Thank you and God bless!

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    1. Happy reading, friend! May this weekend offer you some quiet pockets to lose yourself in a great book ...

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  6. Only one I have not read is, Listening Life...but it sounds great so I will add it to my list...

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    1. Please let me know what you think, Betty! Whenever this book comes up in conversation, it creates much interest.

      I wonder why?!

      ;-}

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  7. Oh, yes! I would put these as some of my tops also. I might also add Attachments by Tim Clinton and Gary Sibcy. Have a great weekend, sweet friendđź’•

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    1. I'd love to see your whole selection of relationship books, Pam!

      ;-}

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  8. So my Thompson chain reference is also circa 1989 and years ago I had it rebound. What a blessing!

    http://www.acebookbindery.com/Study_Bibles_html.html.

    It's an option.....

    {via email}

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    1. Thanks for reaching out with this info, L ... I'm going to check them out.

      But can I be brave enough to send my Bible through snail mail?!

      Appreciate you contacting me ...

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  9. The book on listening sounds intriguing. Somehow I'd never heard of it! Off to Amazon to check it out. Thanks for sharing your reading shelf with us. :)

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    1. All I've heard is rave reviews, Betsy. Hope you find that you're a fan, too!

      ;-}

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  10. Who can live in this world without knowing boundaries? This book was so instrumental in saving me from my own wrong inclinations to be everything for everybody, Townsend and Cloud facilitate the principles of boundaries supremely.

    Who can live without God’s Word? It heals, convicts and replenishes faith and there is no other way to know God. We have so many resources at our fingertips.

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    1. Ah ... 'everything for everybody.'

      Could there be a role that's more exhausting, intrusive, frustrating, and futile.

      Adios. I'm with you, Carol.

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  11. There is no other book like the Word of the LORD, but it is wonderful to have other resources to supplement and bring out biblical truths. Hope you have a blessed Sunday!!

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    1. I'm grateful for insight that's Biblically driven, yes! Thanking God for authors that are passionate about their faith and their specific callings and expertise to address issues that are just waiting to be put on the table.

      Thanks for being here, Marilyn ...

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  12. Hi Linda! Thank you for mentioning the listening book. I must be the only one who hasn't heard of it! I'm writing it down as a possible gift for my SIL who is a social worker. I know he'd really enjoy it.
    Hope you're having a peaceful Sunday my friend,
    Ceil

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    1. Yes, yes ... superb for any kind of people helpers ... any kind of people!

      I'd love to hear what he thinks, Ceil. Keep me posted on this!

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda