Let's Do Family Together

Book Review

by Melissa Alfaro/ September 16, 2015

In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven, “there-is-never-enough-time” society, it seems like doing family together is an archaic concept. Despite the access to more modes of communication, families seem to be more divided than ever in the area of time, authentic communication, honor, acceptance, and forgiveness. While there are a wide array of resources written for marriages and family, the content at times seems to be a bit filtered. The books are usually one-sided, gleaning from the parent’s point of view, and although the authors share tips for a successful family, they neglect the raw processes behind their success. 

Dr. Gary Smalley, however, has broken the mold with his new book Let’s Do Family Together. Smalley brings a fresh outlook on the family and approaches the family from a generational perspective, both in content and in target audience, as he presents seven keys for a generation of love and honor. 

The title of Smalley’s introduction, “A Love Letter-From Our Family to Yours,” is the epitome of what his book sets out to do and effectively accomplishes.  Smalley authentically shares his own mistakes as a husband, father, and grandfather and demonstrates the process and crucial conversations that were an integral part in creating a culture of love and honor in his home. Each chapter brings attention to one of the seven keys to raising loving and healthy families:

  • Honor
  • Anger
  • Forgiveness
  • Treasure hunting
  • Abiding in the words of Christ
  • Conversations that bring alignment and provide guidance
  • Face-to-face time 

Smalley not only writes about doing family together but gives his family a voice in the meaningful conversation of what it means to do family together. Intertwined among the knowledge of a renowned counselor are vignettes written by his spouse, children, and grandchildren that reflect their own thought processes at different stages of their life, moments of healthy confrontation that helped them grow together, practical steps they took to maintain a culture of honor and love, and the impact it has had on their personal life and family. 

Each chapter ends with exercises, conversation starters, and questions for self-reflection that aid the reader in applying the concepts being presented. Smalley’s book invites the reader into his home and extends an invitation to families, marriages, blended families, and singles to “come on in” and begin the process of doing family together.