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4 Stars Out Of 5
A Christian Approach
May 16, 2011
"Emotional abuse" is a phrase that triggers a variety of knee jerk reactions depending upon the background of the reader. To some, emotional abuse sounds like a concern that just isn't valid - a victim-based mentality. To others, they know they've been battered by words but are shy of the term because of its connections to secular psychology. Three women who have survived and overcome emotional abuse have teamed together to write Wounded by Words - a Christian approach to healing the emotional and spiritual damage that this abuse can create.
I was pleased to find that the authors integrated biblical accounts of people who struggled with verbal abuse from those around them. Though we don't normally think in terms of biblical personages suffering from emotional abuse, it's fairly easy to see that the examples given were mistreated unfairly by many of those around them who should have loved and cared for them. Scripture verses are also included along with space for personal reflection at the end of each topical chapter.
I did have a difficult time distinguishing from the various author's contributions, but that is often the case when there are several contributors to a work. Each of the women does share her personal stories, experiences, and triumphs - there are even some personal poems included. I just wish I had been able to more concretely cement them with each woman in my mind. There are also personal accounts shared from others in addition to the authors, which makes it doubly difficult to keep track of everyone. (I did like the wealth of stories, examples, and experiences though!)
Thankfully, this book is full of hope. It encourages readers to press onwards and upwards in forgiveness and seeking to love like Christ while maintaining healthy boundaries. I love the authors' emphases on turning to God's Word and His love for the foundation of one's identity in Christ. Rather than letting the lies and accusations of the enemy and those who unwittingly spew those falsehoods to determine one's self-perspective, readers are encouraged to turn to God and His ways to determine the truth about themselves.
Ever wondered if you were being too sensitive when someone said something that hurt your feelings? The authors of this book will show you how to make hurtful comments work for you and not against you. You will learn that you are not alone in being hurt by words. Using plenty of examples to help you understand how to handle comments that have discouraged you emotionally is the main focus of the book. Page after page is filled with different people who have dealt with being hurt and have overcome the wounds. Not every example may seem to apply to your situations but you can still learn how the person handled the hurt and how they were able to get on with their lives. The book is a good resource for people who have been hurt by the words of others and want to see that they are not alone. Filled with excellent examples of God's healing powers you will be encouraged to grow through your own experiences into a better person.
I was given this book by christianreviewofbooks.com to review
Wounded by Words should be read by every minister and counselor who then should require their clients to read it. The book is neither preachy nor condemning, rather it is embracing and freeing to all who have suffered abuse in its many forms. The Reflections at the end of each chapter lend themselves to personal inquiry as well as a catalyst for group discussion. An excellent contribution toward the goal of freeing women from the prison of abuse.
Through stories about real people, Wounded by Words alerts readers to abusive situations. Perhaps a woman never questioned the responsibility heaped upon her shoulders as a child. A man may have thought a teacher had the right to call him disparaging nicknames. Adults may take for granted the unkind words of a spouse or an employer. Readers may recognize themselves in the stories, which make up a large part of the book, and will also learn of the damage such experiences cause. Far too often, the authors say, the abused become abusers.Authors Susan Titus Osborn, Karen L. Kosman and Jeenie Gordon are well qualified to write this book. All three experienced emotional abuse in their youth and married men who also battered their self esteem. Jeenie is a licensed marriage and family therapist while Susan and Karen are inspirational speakers and writers who find their stories resonate with women everywhere. Poems express the heart cries of those who suffer.But these authors write far more than stories. They offer insightful comments and practical suggestions for setting boundaries and confronting those who wound us with words. Parents will learn effective survival skills to teach children being bullied. And each chapter closes with scriptural stories of abuse that offer hope. With Gods help, lives can change. Readers are encouraged to be honest about themselves and their situations through thought-provoking, end-of-chapter Reflections.Read this book if youre wondering whether interpersonal problems today may be caused by events of the past. Depression, behavioral problems, and physical illnesses are often direct outcomes of emotional abuseoften resulting in invisible scars, state the authors. Read this book if youre seeking guidance to handle verbal abuse or if you feel angry or find yourself saying things you regret. And even if you dont experience abuse in your own life, this self-help book will better prepare you to minister to those who do.