It's always encouraging to come across an inspirational book that discusses human relationships in relation to biblical perspectives. God Will Make a Way is one of the rare books that combine biblical wisdom, psychology, and practical suggestions on how to develop and improve relationships.
Chosen as the March/April reading selection for the Inspirational Book Group at the Westport Branch, God Will Make a Way: What to do When You Don't Know What to Do recommends eight principles for dealing with persistent life problems that might at first appear hopeless. The eight principles are included in Part I of the book. Part II reveals the principles at work in areas of life such as dating, marriage, parenting, addictions, and depression.
Authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend have worked as clinical psychologists, motivational speakers, and radio hosts of the nationally broadcast program, New Life Live! Their book is packed with real-life stories drawn from their extensive experience in the field of psychology and counseling. The book also includes interesting anecdotes from the authors' own personal lives.
As we face life difficulties, the authors suggest, having faith in ourselves is not enough. We try to solve problems as best we can (usually employing the same method), but we kept failing. We lack strength, knowledge, and resources. Most of the time, we don't have all the answers. We need something greater than ourselves to help us. Since God is limitless, Cloud and Townsend explain, God can show us the ways to live life.
The eight principles suggested in this book are unique and remarkable. “Place High Value On Wisdom,” “Own Your Faults and Weaknesses,” and “Embrace Problems as Gifts” are especially well-conceived. “[Problems] are part of life. But how we solve our problems divides us into two groups: those who end at the problem and those who go beyond the problem. [...] Problems give us an opportunity to look beyond our small world.”
In “Take Life As It Comes,” we are reminded to be patient, to slow down, and take time and pray before taking an action: “If a goal is meaningful, it will require time [...] [T]hose things that have immediate payoffs and results tend not to be as important in the larger view of life.”
I personally found the chapter on “Marriage and Relationships” useful for my life. The authors emphasized relying on God in building up a good, strong marriage and developing empathy for your spouse. “Empathy requires the ability to put your own perspective and viewpoint aside for a time in order to take on your spouse's,” Cloud and Townsend write. And “Without empathy, none of us will grow, for no one can grow without feeling understood.”
Even though this book is self-help-oriented and academic, Cloud and Townsend write with compassion and humor. Not all parts of the book are serious. In one such instance, Dr. Cloud had a conversation with a lady who asked whether she should get back together with an old boyfriend since she ran into him in a supermarket and assumed that it was a “sign” from God. He gave her an answer that varied depending on the aisle of the supermarket where the couple met!
God Will Make A Way is an inspiring, refreshing, and hopeful book recommended for anyone who confronts challenging life problems and desires to have a satisfying relationship.
About the Author
Sukalaya Kenworthy is a senior library assistant at the Westport Branch. To join the Inspirational Book Group, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816.701.3488 for more information. The group meets the third Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. Its selection for January and February is How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals about Personal Growth by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.