For the Love by Jen Hatmaker

For the LoveFor the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible StandardsFor the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker by Jen Hatmaker

I feel like most of the “Christian” books I’ve read lately have missed the mark for me, and I was starting to wonder if I was just expecting too much. Was I a cranky reader?

Then I read Hatmaker’s latest and LOVED it. Her humor makes me laugh, and her perspective enlarges mine. I highlighted entire swathes of the book, and couldn’t even begin to pick out my absolute favorite parts.

(But I think her Thank You Notes are the funniest.)

I’ve found myself continuing to think about sections of it, especially how she cuts through the cultural trappings of Christianity in America by distilling it down to one question: Is this also true for a single mom in Haiti? Because if it’s not, than it’s not true for us. The chapter on youth groups is also stellar, and gives me plenty to ponder as I think about the church environment I want to find for my children.

Does this mean I agree with her 100%? No, and one chapter in particular I kept wishing I could talk with her about it and why I think it was missing a little bit of clarification/expansion. I was also initially confused on the overall theme of the book (admittedly I was reading in snippets while watching kids, so sometimes I can miss things like that), so I went to reread the description to see what it was supposed to be. Oh there it is – dealing with PEOPLE. Ok, yeah, I see it now, and yes, that makes more sense of the organization of the book.

That minor issue aside, I LOVED THIS BOOK. I want to form a Supper Club like she mentions. I want to have Sunday Night Church on my porch.

I think I’ve officially crossed the line into a total Jen Hatmaker Fan Girl. Get her book & read it – it’s so worth your reading time. Any book where I highlight THAT MUCH is one that I think is worth reading.

Publisher’s Description:
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.

Book Details

Title: For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible StandardsFor the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker
Author: Jen Hatmaker
Category: Nonfiction
My Rating: 5 Stars
Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Comments

  1. Sounds like a must read! Hooray!

  2. Wesley @ Library Educated says:

    I’m a fangirl too. And agreed, Supper Club and Porch church sound amazing!

    • Don’t they? I keep thinking about how to make something like that happen right now, with our current situation and stage in life. Haven’t figured it out, but I’m still thinking…

  3. I’m curious (if you don’t mind sharing) what chapter you wished you could have a bit more clarity on. I’m a big fangirl myself, and as I said in my post today, I really admire and respect her but I have at times disagreed with her. Just wondering more of your thoughts on the book!

    • I don’t – I originally started to include it in the post, but it was getting ridiculously long (even for me).

      It’s chapter 7, “Tell the Truth.” Let me preface this by saying that I have no experience with her situation – the audience she has that ends up bringing the criticism she gets. However, I feel like following through on her points can end up where people are in a little circle of friends and they can all pat each other on the back and ignore the “haters.” I know I’m feeling this way in part because of having just read a blogger’s post (not Hatmaker; someone else I’ve never mentioned on the blog) where she got some criticism in the comments. Polite criticism, nothing mean or vicious, and it was based on something objectively wrong, so not even disagreeing with an opinion or personal choice. I mean wrong as in illegal, but fangirls were all but attacking people who were pointing out that “hey, you probably didn’t realize but that’s illegal in our state so fyi for next time and perhaps add a disclaimer.” The defenders were all “that’s her choice” “why are you criticizing her – she’s a great mom!” “I did it as a kid, why shouldn’t her kids” “why are you such a hater??!!”

      It was kind of the last straw for me with a couple of bloggers (again, not talking about Hatmaker here). All criticism is not hate, and you really should listen to more than only people who parrot back exactly what you want to hear. It does sound like Hatmaker has a group of friends who provide that sort of advice and input in her real life, and I absolutely agree with her that you want to consider whose input you listen to. But as I move on the peripheries of blog land I do see bloggers who seem to need someone to … talk sense into them? I’m trying to be vague here, as the specifics of the bloggers don’t really matter.

      Why this also came up for me so much with this chapter is when she’s talking about “her truth” and I’ve seen that term used semi-regularly by people who seem to think it excuses them to be a complete jerk. I absolutely don’t think she meant it that way, but I’ve seen people who have co-opted it and use it as a license for obnoxiousness.

      So anyway, it might just be me and she hit some areas where I was already primed to react, and maybe no one else would get anything close to that from the chapter. But it was giving me flashbacks to some obnoxious people who use “their truth” as a bludgeon, and anyone who says anything other than glowing praise is a hater.

      (And again, I’m a total fangirl. Love her. Wish I could hear her speak someday/place. But this chapter was mostly a miss for me.)

      • Interesting. That totally makes sense. I have a very similar reaction to a blogger who did exactly what you’re describing (it could easily be the same blog you reference and my guess is that it is, but as you said it’s not important). I’ve watched this happen more and more lately and it’s really alarming when people act like a small bit of constructive criticism is a personal attack. I didn’t read the chapter that way (I read the chapter a good while back) but again, I see exactly where you are coming from.

        • It also could totally have been the timing – that other situation was so fresh in my mind, so I was seeing the drawbacks to that perspective if you will. If I hadn’t come across that situation so recently, I might never have thought twice about anything in that chapter being a potential issue. Or it could just be me seeing the possibilities of things if they keep progressing in a particular way, and most people don’t do that progression. I’ve um, been told I tend to do that a lot. 🙂

  4. Great review. I never know whether to believe the hoopla and hype, but it sounds like it’s warranted on this one. 🙂 Putting it on my list….

  5. Hi! Found you via Modern Mrs. Darcy’s September Quick Lit. The post I just linked was about Jen Hatmaker! I just discovered her this year and have been devouring her stuff. I am currently reading Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity, and it is amazing. Anyway, just wanted to say hi!

    Amber.

    • I’m so glad you did!

      I loved Interrupted – I loved seeing where 7 kind of began, and then seeing where it led.

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