Posted in Reviews

Book Review: Related by Chance, Family by Choice

It’s been a little while since I’ve published a review, but I have a good one for this week. It’s entitled Related by Chance, Family by Choice and was sent to me by Kregel in exchange for my honest review.

Related by Chance, Family by Choice deals specifically with the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship. I must confess that I had low expectations at first. Author Deb DeArmond has a fantastic relationship with her three daughters-in-law. How could she possibly know what it’s like for those who do not live with that blessing?

It did not take me long to retract my negative expectations. Who better to offer advice than one who has seen what success looks like? Deb DeArmond and her daughters-in-law have worked hard for the relationship they have. They have also communicated heavily with other women to determine the difference between healthy, strong, moderate, or poor relationships. Related by Chance, Family by Choice is not a “look how good I am – you should be just like me” kind of book. It is, instead, a display of hunger from a godly woman and her daughters-in-love. They truly desire to help other women enjoy the relationship they share.

Much research has gone into Related by Chance, Family by Choice. The book is replete with stories and quotes from other women, and Deb DeArmond walks through each one with sound and scriptural advice. In my opinion, this is the greatest strength of the book. The author does not give fail-proof steps to a great relationship. Instead, she shows women how to work on their own hearts, regardless of the attitude or behavior of their woman-in-law. The concept of the book falls back on the old saying that revival must start with me.

My only reservation about Related by Chance, Family by Choice comes in chapter six, the chapter on trust. The author covers many aspects of broken trust, but it is still a very limited and narrow approach. The chapter and assessment questions at the end all seem to indicate that if we do not immediately trust people, then we are untrusting, and that is a problem. I disagree. If I were to hand this book to a younger believer, I would definitely want to discuss with her the concept of trust, expanding the scope of this chapter.

Bottom line: I definitely would recommend Related by Chance, Family by Choice. According to the book assessments, I have a strong relationship with my mother-in-law. But there are many things I can do to strengthen the health of our relationship. And one day, I will possibly be a mother-in-law to a young woman and two young men, if God has mates chosen for my three precious children. I pray that I can learn much between now and then about being the mother-in-law God desires me to be.


I am a homeschooling preacher's wife and managing editor for the Well Planned Gal. But, I also love to write just for the fun of it. I also process best through writing, and my thoughts tend to flow from things I learn through the Bible, interacting with my family, and moving through life in general. Thanks for joining me in my not quite ordinary journey.

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