A Loving Life [eBook]
In a World of Broken Relationships
How do you love with no love in return?
How do you love when no one notices or cares?
Best-selling author Paul Miller tackles these tough questions at the heart of our struggle to love head-on. Drawing from the book of Ruth, A Loving Life offers the help we need to embrace relationship, endure rejection, cultivate community, and reach out to even the most unlovable around us as we discover the power to live a loving life.
Paul E. Miller is the best-selling author of A Praying Life and executive director of seeJesus, a ministry that creates and conducts interactive discipleship seminars throughout the world. He and his wife, Jill, live in the Philadelphia area and have six children as well as a growing number of grandchildren.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the most honest, timely, and helpful book I’ve ever read about the costly and exhausting demands of loving well. And at the same time, A Loving Life is the most faithful, alluring, and encouraging presentation of God’s love for us in Jesus I’ve fed on in years. These two themes go hand in hand. Through the biblical story of Ruth, Paul Miller gives us hope, not hype—the freedom to suffer well, stay present, and live expectantly in all of our relationships. Thank you, Paul, for making the gospel more beautiful and believable to me.”
—Scotty Smith, Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee
“Every once in a great while one reads a book that is so profound, so fresh, and so life changing that you can’t get it out of your mind or your heart. A Loving Life is that kind of book. Walk with Paul Miller, Ruth, and Naomi to the place of real love, and you’ll never again settle for a substitute. Read this book, rejoice in it, and give it to everyone you know. They will bless you for giving it to them as I bless Paul Miller for writing it.”
—Steve Brown, Host, Key Life Radio Program; author, Three Free Sins: God Isn’t Mad At You
“Reading this book nourished me deeply. With caring attentiveness especially to often-overlooked ‘modern’ widows and widowers, Paul Miller gently pastors us through the story of two courageous, hesed-embracing single women, Naomi and Ruth. He invites us to embrace the death at the center of covenant love and to learn it as the downstroke of reality—the upstroke of which is ever the grace of surprising resurrection. In Christ, Christians all, and the world, reap the far-reaching blessing of these unlikely benefactresses. And we do again in this little book.”
—Esther L. Meek, Professor of Philosophy, Geneva College; author, Loving to Know: Introducing Covenant Epistemology; A Little Manual for Knowing
“The book of Ruth is about hesed, a loyal love, that Ruth shows to Naomi, Boaz shows to Ruth, and, behind the scenes, God demonstrates to his people. Paul Miller not only brilliantly explains the story of Ruth, but also shows how hesed love can transform us and our relationships. I highly recommend this book.”
—Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College
“Being married to Joni, a longtime quadriplegic, I know my marriage vows are always in need of polishing. And Paul Miller’s new book fits the bill; I’ve yellow-highlighted nearly every page. A Loving Life reinforces that the best—the only—kind of love is one-way and without an exit strategy. If you are looking to shore up the for-better-or-for-worse, in-sickness-and-in-health promises in your marriage, you couldn’t lay your hands on a better read.”
—Ken Tada, Director of Ministry Development, the Joni and Friends International Disability Center
“‘Death is the center of love.’ Miller’s insight comes as he beautifully retells the story of Ruth in terms of the gospel, revealing a path of love more dear and deep than our cultural icons and distractions can create, and more precious than any pursuit of self can dream. Here is love vast, unmeasured, boundless, free, and freeing.”
—Bryan Chapell, President Emeritus, Covenant Theological Seminary; Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois
“The word love is often either a vague sentiment or just another four-letter word. But in Paul Miller’s hands, the quiet, compelling reality emerges. You will witness how love is thoughtful, principled, courageous, enduring, and wise—all the things you know deep down it should be. And even more than those fine things, you will be surprised and delighted at how true love is grounded in God.”
—David Powlison, Executive Director, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation
“Paul Miller reminds us with boldness and insight that a relationship with Jesus Christ means journeying with him to the cross, where we most know of the love of God for us. As such, it is the only path to learning to incarnate that love ourselves—and so to dance to the Spirit’s constant rhythm of being loved and loving others.”
—Joseph “Skip” Ryan, Minister, Park Cities Presbyterian Church; Moderator, General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America
“I was sure that Paul Miller’s A Praying Life had to be his greatest, but A Loving Life is better. How can we care for others much more than for ourselves? How can we escape from the slippery pit of our ‘feel good’ culture? Keep going through the book of Ruth and discover good and godly ordinary life, and how you can live it in an extraordinary way—the way of love, God’s way.”
—D. Clair Davis, Emeritus Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary
“A Loving Life is a worthy successor to Paul Miller’s much-appreciated book on prayer. It is a careful, thorough analysis of the book of Ruth, understanding it as a love story and making good applications to our own experiences and needs for love. Paul here shows not only a deep understanding of God’s Word, but also a rich knowledge of human nature, both in the ancient world and today. He offers biblical responses to many of the misunderstandings and problems we have with love of all kinds. May the Lord give this book a broad readership!”
—John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando
“If there is a message the world needs more to hear and to start obeying than the one Paul Miller brings here, I don’t know what it is. Beautifully written and attested by plenty of personal experience, A Loving Life unearths dimensions of the book of Ruth I had never noticed, and will now never forget.”
—Andree Seu Peterson, Senior Writer, World magazine