Families in Pain is especially for those who like to research their problem thoroughly and see how they fit into the bigger picture. The Balswicks, professors at Fuller Theological Seminary, have provided a layman's textbook on the various types of pain that can come to a family. Some come from the natural stages of a growing family, but there are those that crash in like sudden illness or death, and those that fracture a family, addictions, divorce, suicide, miscarriages, or the violence of rape and abuse. When one suffers, all suffer.
The idea of drawing a Genogram, a multigenerational family diagram, to see how your family's peculiar pains might have a pattern or be shaped by a genetic trend, is valuable. Their symbols and codes makes it possible to condense a lot of information onto one page. (Another book I've read recently, A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare, tells of discovering and cutting off generational iniquity in prayer so that, addictions for instance, stop with you and are no longer passed on).
With the Balswicks the reader is in the company of friends who really understand and have practical counsel to share. The book offers additional resources in the appendixes. The first lists 18 support groups or hotlines, and the second reviews the five stages of grief; denial, anger, making deals, depression and acceptance. Just a few days ago I recalled that I had heard or read of these, and wondered where I would find this information. Families in Pain is exactly the resource book I need as I watch my mother die, and try to encourage my siblings and friends in their own unique yet strangely universal "pain." It ought to be in every church library.