1. Name one or two key factors that prompted the original idea for this book.
Love Like That is the result of a long quest. I’ve written several books on relationships over the years, but I’ve always known that truly successful and healthy relationships are the result of loving like Jesus (see John 15:12 and Ephesians 5:2). The bar for doing so, however, seems so high. Can anyone really do this? We all fail in our attempts to love like Jesus, but if we follow Christ we keep trying. So, I wanted to know how to do this on a very practical level. How can loving like Jesus become more doable?
That question became a personal quest. Love Like That is a result of what I’ve learned in my years of seeking a practical answer. I feel compelled to share it. Love Like That is my attempt to put the cookies on the bottom shelf and make it easier for Christ-followers to love family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers more and more like Jesus.
2. If you have to list three key takeaways from this book you would like for the reader to experience, what would they be?
The biggest takeaway is this: Loving like Jesus is more obtainable than you might imagine. I actually give readers five real life takeaways (one in each of my five chapters).
If you want to love like Jesus, you’ve got to:
• become more mindful—less detached
• become more approachable—less exclusive
• become more grace-full—less judgmental
• become more bold—less fearful
• become more self-giving—less self-absorbed
Is this an exhaustive list of how Jesus loved? Of course not. It is a way to get an earthly handle on this heavenly ideal. Time and again, Jesus demonstrated these five qualities and spoke about them. These are doable. I dedicate a chapter to each one and show why it matters and how to do it in your everyday life.
3. Do you have a favorite passage or chapter in this book?
That’s easy. The title of the book comes from Ephesians 5:2 (MSG) where Paul says: “Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” This is the hub of the wheel. If we don’t continually hone our ability to love like Jesus, we are missing the point—and missing out on everything our relationships were meant to be.
So that’s my favorite Bible passage that I reference in the book. The first paragraph of the book is also among my most favorite. I get a lot of kind feedback on it, and it’s probably the most vulnerable writing I’ve ever done. I’ll leave it to you to see why.
4. In what specific ways can this book equip, encourage, and/or instruct ministers?
A minister I deeply respect reviewed the manuscript early on. The first thing he said was, “This book is an ideal preaching series.” He and others encouraged me to create a church kit for this book with everything a minister needs to do a Love Like That church campaign:
• Compelling screen graphics and bumpers
• Promo video
• Social media graphics and campaign plan
• Small group curriculum with leader guide
• Bible reading plan and devotional
I’ve never done this with any of my other books, but this felt like a natural. My hope is that many ministers will use these tools to help the people in their care discover how doable it is to love more and more like Jesus. Pastors can learn more at LoveLikeThatBook.com.
5. If you were sitting beside the reader, what portion of the book do you feel you would want him or her to spend extra time on?
To be honest, I would have to say the appendix of the book. After they spend time in five chapters that take a deep dive into the five practical ways to love more like Jesus, in the conclusion—and even more in the appendix—I help the reader come to terms with the fact that we will never truly love like Jesus until we fall in step with the Spirit of Jesus to love others through us.
In other words, we don’t do the loving alone, the Holy Spirit (the Friend, as Jesus said), helps us love others. This can seem mystical and abstract to many of us, but this is the keystone habit that empowers the other five other habits I have written about. When we fall in step with the Spirit, we don’t have to make nearly as many decisions to become more mindful, approachable, grace-full, bold, and self-giving. We become more attuned to the Spirit’s voice, and loving like Jesus becomes more and more of a daily habit.