For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker
Release Date ~ August 18, 2015
Thomas Nelson ~ HarperCollins
ARC received from publisher to participate in launch team
The popular writer, blogger, and television personality reveals with humor and style how Jesus' extravagant grace is the key to dealing with life's biggest challenge: people.
The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning first with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, live for, go to church with, don't like, don't understand, fear, struggle with, compare ourselves to, and judge. People are the best and worst thing about the human life.
Jen Hatmaker knows this all too well, and so she reveals how to practice kindness, grace, truthfulness, vision, and love to ourselves and those around us. By doing this, For the Love leads our generation to reimagine Jesus' grace as a way of life, and it does it in a funny yet profound manner that Christian readers will love. Along the way, Hatmaker shows readers how to reclaim their prophetic voices and become Good News again to a hurting, polarized world.
Full disclosure: I've long appreciated Jen Hatmaker's writing, and I eagerly applied to be a member of the launch team for her latest book, For the Love. Happily, I joined 499 others to come together to celebrate this book as it releases!
Because this is a special book to me, and a little bit different from the types of books I normally review, I'm going to structure my review a little differently and skip my formal list of reasons why you should read this book and tell you a little bit about my experience reading it.
The first thing you need to know about Jen Hatmaker is that she's hilarious, and it comes across so well in her writing. I giggled my way through many chapters in this book! The second thing you need to know is that Jen is a Christian and loves Jesus. So yes, this could be classified as a Christian book but it doesn't feel like many that I've read. It is so much more than that!
But it's also so much more than that. For the Love is a book about life and living well; and her primary concern is about loving others well. I've loved Jen's focus because for her, it's all about people and how we need to be kind and respectful towards others. I love seeing her passion for helping others, and she's critical about areas that need to change (see the chapter on poverty tourism as a great example of this).
And she explores this idea in For the Love by talking about everyday things we encounter in life, with her own heavily sarcastic perspective on them. Whether she's talking about fashion, marriage, children, or just sharing some of her favourite recipes - it's all something we can relate to.
Most importantly, I love that For the Love is not a book that simply talks at you. Jen wants to see people change, she wants to see the world change for the better. I mean, what good is a book like this if it doesn't impact my life?
Something truly special happened with this book and this launch team. While 500 of us bonded together over reading this book early and sharing our favourite quotes from it, we started to share more of ourselves with one another. And it has come to a point where it's like we're one big, happy family of good friends. We started living together in a community where all we wanted to do was care for each other and encourage everyone else. And this? This is exactly what I hope to see happen when others read this book. That they will have others to share it with and that it will bring them closer together so that we can live life in community with others.
Also - make sure to check out the For the Love website!