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Book Review: Loving Well by William P. Smith

Loving Well by William P. SmithLoving Well (Even If You Haven’t Been) is a relationship handbook.  In it, William P. Smith shows the importance of loving well in all of our relationships—whether as spouses, siblings, parents, children, or friends.  This is not just a marriage or a parenting book, but a book about loving those whom God has placed in our lives.

Smith shares how our relationships with others should stem from our relationships with God.  He says, “If I live knowing that God moves toward me all day long and invites me to move toward him, then I will engage people positively in their lives.  But if I wait for others to give themselves to me first, then I show that I really don’t believe or regularly experience this God who is reconciling people to himself.”

That way of looking at relationships really made me think.  The Catholic Church teaches that marriage—a man and a woman in relationship with each other and with God—is a reflection of God’s Trinitarian relationship, but I never thought of applying that image to all my relationships.  Smith’s analogies gave me a deeper appreciation of my relationship with God as well as how I can live that relationship to those around me.

In the chapter on “Communicating Love,” Smith shows how conversation becomes a means of loving each other.  In fact, conversation is “a primary tool that God uses to love us.”  Again, this was a new idea for me.  Smith explains that God “spoke when humans first abandoned him.  He continued speaking when they wanted nothing to do with him.  Thankfully, instead of growing silent, he became more vocal over time, until in these last day he has spoken to us by his Son.”  Just as God uses his conversations to love us, so we can use our conversations to love others.

Loving Well is broken into three parts: Love that Responds to a Broken World, Love that Reaches Out to Build Others Up, and Love that Enjoys Heaven on Earth.  In each section, Smith uses Scriptures and personal examples to show how we can love those around us as God loves us.  Each chapter concludes with a section titled “On Your Own,” with questions to help in applying what you’ve read.

I enjoyed Smith’s transparent honesty and deep reflection on this topic, and found Loving Well easy to read yet very thought-provoking.  For more about William P. Smith, check out his website.

This book was provided for review courtesy of The B&B Media Group; all opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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  1. violet May 17, 2012
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