Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken is a fresh look at what is commonly known as “The Love Chapter,” I Corinthians 13. Although the passage is most famous for being read at weddings, it was not written specifically to describe a romantic relationship.
As Ryken breaks it down, the chapter “establishes the necessity of love (vv 1-3), sketches the character of love (vv. 4-7), and celebrates the permanence of love (vv. 8-13) as the greatest of God’s gifts.” And what better way to illustrate love’s characteristics than to look at the way Jesus lived and loved others during His time on earth. To do this, Ryken takes each description of what love is or isn’t from the chapter and exposits on its meaning using examples from Jesus’ life on earth as portrayed in the Gospels.
One of my favorite parts from this book was an exercise in which you read verses 4-8 aloud but replace the word “love” with your own name. Can you do it? Can you say, “(Trish) is kind, (Trish) does not envy, (Trish) never fails.” It’s surprisingly difficult to do!
Then read it again with Jesus’ name in place of the word “love.” Much easier, huh? “Jesus does not seek his own, Jesus is not provoked, Jesus thinks no evil.” Ryken suggests that by examining the way Jesus loved in light of this chapter, we will be more able to understand the love we have been shown and how we can live it out in our own lives towards others.
I appreciated the solid writing and insightful approach to the subject matter. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to love more like Jesus.
I received a complimentary electronic galley of this book from Crossway via NetGalley for review. All comments and opinions are my own.