I recently read For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards and I am still trying to figure out whether or not I would recommend the book. In short, I appreciated a majority of the humor, but could not figure out how all of the humor fit within a book about love and grace. She had many great points, but a few that were off the mark.
I enjoyed much (but not all) of her humor. You know that an author has a great line if you still find yourself chuckling about it pages later. I was definitely laughing out loud. She clearly has a gift in adding humor into her writing. I can see why she has quite the following.
I could not get over the flow of the book. She would fill a chapter with passion and depth as she wrote about subject matters close to her heart. You are deep into a chapter talking about matters of eternal significance…then the next chapter would then be solely a humorous essay about the most random topics. If confused me every time. She ends a chapter with “God, make us worthy of Your calling.”, then you turn the page to read a rant about pants as leggings. This may be a personal preference, but I did not like going back and forth between the two.
And…the random humorous chapters had little to do with love. Yes, they were entertaining, but I felt like some of her humor detracted from her message.
If you know you are saved by grace and that you are loved by Him regardless of your sins and shortcomings and if you are OK with weeding through snippets of doctrinal errors, go ahead and read For the Love. She had valid points and I think the book would make for a great book club discussion.
She speaks of finding women who excel in different areas. You can combine the best of many different individuals and decide The Result is the woman you want to be. All of everything. It’s not attainable or realistic and it sets you up for failure and disappointment. Jen speaks of this invented standard that steals joy. I liked her advice when she said:
We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise.”
I appreciated much that she said about using your gifts. She spoke of a purpose that may not venture outside a home. To a stay-at-home mom who may be deep in the busyness of little children, she speaks highly of meeting the needs of and nurturing the little souls. Her chapter “On Calling and Haitian Moms” reminded me of a quote that I like: “We do not all have to shine”.
I am not going to share every sentence I did not agree with, but this is where I think the book is off: “God measures our entire existence by only two things: how we love Him and how we love people. If you get this right, you can get a million other things wrong.”
Is love important? ABSOLUTELY! Does our Savior call us to love? YES!
Does God measure my existence based on how good I am at loving others? Thankfully no. I fall short. I do not love as I should. I can be selfish with my time. I can be impatient with those I love (just ask my husband!). I am quiet and can be tentative with showing love to those not close to me. By falling short in loving those around me, I fall short in loving my Savior.
So based on the line in For the Love (page 71), I’m out of luck. I don’t love my Savior and others like I should, so I wouldn’t want to know how God measures my existence…
This I do know: I am sinful. Thankfully, by God’s grace I am forgiven for not showing love as I should. It’s through His love that I am saved. MY love has nothing to do with it.
I enjoyed reading much of For the Love. I feel like you could grow and learn from points that she shared, but I feel like you could also be confused.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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