Book Review: The Lies That Bind

The Lies That Bind And The Truth That Sets You Free, by Dr. Deborah Waterbury

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Adams PR Group.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

In reading this book I had a great deal of conflicted emotions.  For one, given my own personal history as a survivor of early childhood sexual abuse [1], there was a great deal about this book I could relate to on a deep and painful level.  On a different level, in looking at the author’s enforced business and lack of communication over much of her marriage with her husband, who for some reason stayed loyal to her after her affairs, I could see at least some glimpses of people I know personally in terms of the focus of their lives on duty and responsibility even if much of life can be a chore.  There were also moments where I felt a bit unsure about whether the author had the credibility to speak about redemption, although it takes a considerable amount of bravery to be open about one’s sins and shortcomings the way the author was, and as someone who is pretty candid about my own flaws, I found much to respect in the author’s approach and in the way she sought to avoid being guilty of minimizing her own fault and responsibility in painfully awkward situations.

This is a short book, and one where the author clearly spent some time working on details and the structure of the material.  As a memoir, this work is clearly aimed at those with empathy for the author who have struggled with and are looking to overcome similar issues.  After a lengthy introduction that sets the context for the work, beginning in media res with the exposure of the author’s last affair with a married elder in her church, the author then takes five chapters to deal with various lies from our enemy that strike at our identity:  you are worthless, image is everything, be strong, you deserve this, and it’s too late to repent and overcome.  After these chapters, the author includes a sixth chapter on being set free by the truth.  Each chapter contains a discussion on getting free, a prayer for the specific subject matter of the chapter, as well as scriptures for meditation.  There is also a consistency of various artistic motifs like a broken jar of honey and an escaped bee flying free.

I am not sure that it is fair to judge a book like this in terms of whether one likes it or not.  The book is well-written, the tone of the book is appropriately confessional, and the author clearly knows what she is writing about.  She isn’t writing from theory, but rather from experience.  It is pretty painful to read the author talk about affair after affair, and a bit melancholy to reflect on the divide commonly faced by those who are survivors of rape and sexual abuse between being somewhat frigid or timid sexually and those who struggle with promiscuity.  Whether or not you find this book to be inspirational will likely depend on the extent to which you can relate to it and the extent to which you buy the author’s credibility in terms of coming clean.  Although I have some definite opinions on the approach of the author and how she wrestles with accusations and a twisting of the affair that went public and the delicate matter of congregational discipline, in this particular case I would rather keep such opinions to myself.  Ultimately, God knows her heart and is her judge, and not me.  One does not want to be like the person who reputedly sent the author a lengthy post condemning her for her adultery, the sort of “witnessing” that appears all too often among those who profess to be Christians.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/05/23/book-review-naming-our-abuse/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/05/03/naming-our-abuse-rehabilitation/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014/09/21/children-of-the-night/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013/05/13/book-review-when-a-man-you-love-was-abused/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/06/21/this-isnt-everything-you-are/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/06/12/a-steep-price-to-pay-for-twenty-minutes-of-action/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Christianity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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