Love as a Way of Life: Seven Keys to Transforming Every Aspect of Your Life Hardcover – Jul 15 2008
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Advance Praise for LOVE AS A WAY OF LIFE
“Chapman follows up his five-million-copy bestseller The Five Love Languages with this wise, heartfelt guide to cultivating seven traits that lead to loving relationships. Whereas his work on love languages explored the primary ways people give and receive love, this book explores the nitty-gritty of an entire "attitude of love," with chapters on kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty. Each chapter includes quizzes, questions for reflection, and ideas for applying that chapter's teachings. All self-help books run the risk of cliché, but Chapman manages to make tried-and-true material feel fresh through carefully chosen examples from his pastoral counseling practice and his own life…. This book is head and shoulders above the bulk of self-help literature precisely because it is not about ‘self’ so much as helping others.”
--Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
GARY CHAPMAN is an ordained minister and marriage counselor. He is the author of the bestselling book The Five Love Languages, which has sold more than 4 million copies and was the first in a popular series of love-language books. The host of a national radio program and a popular conference speaker, he lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.See all Product Description
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Chapman defines the seven characteristics of a loving person, touching on many aspects of each. He outlines how to become less involved with ourselves and shift our focus to reaching out to others in kindness. We learn patience in all areas of our lives. Chapman explains that justice and love must work together in forgiveness. The chapter on courtesy shows what it means to be `friendly-minded' and helps us recognize the struggles of others. He demonstrates true humility and sacrificing for others. Generosity is portrayed as the giving of oneself in all aspects of life. Finally, he discusses honesty and expressing it in a loving manner.
Chapman begins these seven chapters with a checklist and ends with ways to apply it to your own life. The final section of the book shows how to apply these characteristics to specific areas and relationships in our life, including marriage, children and work.
Love as a Way of Life is similar to The Five Love Languages in that it encourages us to seek ways to enrich the lives of others, but it goes much deeper. You cannot know the Love Language of every person you meet, but you can learn to treat them with love. Chapman breaks these principals down to everyday living, from complex family dynamics to situations such as driving or shopping. Love as a Way of Life is relatable to all ages and walks of life, as the principals are universal.
Chapman makes you think about doing the small things that really do matter. The checklists are thought provoking - when you find a characteristic that is one of your weak spots, it really makes you pause. The author offers practical solutions, as he understands that we all possess weaknesses and strengths, which elevates this beyond just another "you can do it" book.
The storytelling aspect keeps readers engaged. It demonstrates that we are not alone in our struggles and gives us a sense of community. Chapman outlines potential problems and people who have encountered these challenges, and his solutions give you actual things to try.
The Apostle Paul comes to mind as someone who truly adopted love as a way of life. While we may not be able to follow his incredible example of loving sacrifice, through Love as a Way of Life, we can all strive to do a little better!
The first premise is a relief for me: love is an action, not a feeling. An action can be put into practice, or practiced. Feelings are fleeting and ever changing. I've always heard that love is a decision, you decide to love and this book explains that statement very well.
The seven secrets are: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity and honesty. Its easy to read that list and think, "well, yeah" but Chapman gives such practical advice mixed with illustrations that you find yourself learning without meaning to.
This is the book that will give you the proper motivation to love others (Christ) and the tools to pull it off better than you are currently. It will give you the tools to being a better parent, co-worker, spouse, friend. Most of all, its a simple reminder that your job here on earth is to love.
Mr. Chapman uses short insightful stories about people he has helped as a marriage and family life counselor, to suggest to readers how they can easily apply techniques to improve themselves, and affect family, friends and strangers in an upbeat way.
He discusses seven virtues: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty and I imagine all of us can improve in some of these areas.
He gives fun little questionaires including "How patient am I?".
I turned to the chapter "Making love a way of life in the workplace", since I spend so many hours at work Monday through Friday, and I aim to make those hours pleasant, and even joyful at times. He has a lot of focus on marriages and family and tells some sweet stories about long successful marriages, which are great inspirations.
In the chapter on courtesy he offers advice like "Make requests, not demands" and "Once a failure has been confessed and forgiven, never bring it up again." These are good suggestions to keep in mind and to follow.
Everyone I know admits that they are impatient, for example. Forgiveness is another area that many of us can use help in achieving. Every reader will find helpful tips here, for some aspects of their life that can use rejuvenation.
Terra Hangen, author of Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your HolidayA Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holidays
I can't say enough good things about Love as a Way of Life.