There’s not much Gary Thomas writes that I don’t love. His book Cherish is one of my favorite books on marriage I’ve ever read (see my review here). His book Every Body Matters challenged me and my views on eating, exercise, and wellness (see my review here). He even wrote the forward for my book, Ready or Knot?. In fact, I’ve told people, half jokingly, the Foreword is worth the price of the entire book!
His new book, When to Walk Away: Finding Freedom From Toxic People, is a departure from his primary area of focus on marriage and relationships. But, I’m so glad he wrote and am grateful I read it, as it focuses on a topic I’ve not spent much time on in the past.
The premise of the book challenged me from the start. After all, as a people-pleaser and someone who wants to be highly esteemed by others, why would I ever willingly choose to walk away from someone? In fact it really seems un-Christlike (or so I thought). I mean… aren’t we supposed to love and serve others? Aren’t we supposed to put their needs and desires before our own?
Why would we ever walk away?
Thomas helps us understand why in his book.
A few things I really appreciated about When to Walk Away.
It’s filled with scripture. In fact, Thomas has said this book contains more scripture than any other book he’s written. And if you’ve read anything else by Gary, you know that’s a high bar.
Every chapter ends with a list of Key Takeaways. I wish more books did this. The list won’t serve as a substitute for the chapter, but it provides a great reminder of the key points. These lists will make coming back to the book in the future much easier.
The book is easy to read. While the topic is not easy, the book flew by. The length of the book was just right. Too many books seem to be way too long, but When to Walk Away seemed just right.
He provides some great examples and stories throughout the book. The examples are from the workplace, parent-child, and husband-wife. Thomas gives us a great variety of illustrations that help bring his points to life.
I don’t want to give away all the great content, but Thomas helps the reader see that toxic people are really good at what they do. Namely, they know how to make others feel bad and make themselves look right. They know how to wear us down and make it seem like they’re on the high road.
What About Marriage?
My favorite chapters in the book were the ones about marriage. With great anticipation I wanted to see what Gary said about when and if it’s okay to walk away from your spouse. I won’t tell you what he said, but his chapters on marriage were very helpful and and thought-provoking.
In particular, I loved the way he differentiates between a difficult marriage and a toxic marriage. Just because marriage is difficult does not mean it’s toxic. Anyone who’s married knows we will have challenges in life if married (see 1 Corinthians 7:28).
We’ve all encountered difficult and toxic people in life. Sometimes we’re that very person. Learn from Jesus and how He loved people in the helpful book When to Walk Away, by Gary Thomas.
Date Night Guides
Sign up today to get your the latest Date Night Guides (124 Killer Date Night Ideas) and to be notified of new updates! When you sign up, you'll get access to both the Dallas-Fort Worth and National Date Night Guides!