Gary Chapman is most well known for his first best seller, the Five Love Languages. I haven’t read the earlier book, but it apparently deals with different methods of expressing love – words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. The thesis of that book was that it’s important to express love in the way that the person receiving our love best understands.
In this book, Chapman steps back and addresses a more fundamental issue. WHY bother with being a loving person in the first place? Throughout the course of the book, Chapman paints a wonderful and appealing picture of what a loving life is like. He illustrates such qualities of love as kindness, patience, forgiveness, generosity, courtesy, humility and honesty.
I originally didn’t expect much from the book. How much can one say about something like kindness or patience, for example, without sounding trite? But Chapman manages to fill each chapter with wonderful and engaging stories that open up new vistas about what it really means to live a life full of love. The loving actions he describes aren’t generally large or heroic. Simple acts of kindness and courtesy light up the pages.
Yet the whole book just radiates a profound and peaceful atmosphere. Although Chapman is a minister, the book avoids being overtly Christian or scriptural, and in taking this road the book becomes accessible to anyone with the spiritual sensitivity to recognize love as an important aspect of their lives.
If you are feeling apathetic or disenchanted with the place of love and relationships in your life, this book can renew your enthusiasm. Based on this book, I intend to look into more of Chapman’s writing.