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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Love as a Way of Life: Seven Keys to Transforming Every Aspect of Your Life


1. In the introduction to Love as a Way of Life, Dr. Chapman describes the two responses he received when trying to trade seats on an airplane. How easy is it for you to be a “friend in disguise”? How did this book change your beliefs about love and human nature?

2. Did you hesitate in signing the commitment at the end of chapter one? Discuss the obstacles as well as the goals that played a part in your decision to embark on Dr. Chapman’s journey to love.

3. What did you discover about your habits as you worked through the initial self-test on kindness? What are the most striking examples of kindness that you encountered once you began consciously looking for it in the world around you—at home, at work, with friends and family, and in other settings?

4. How does your approach to life compare to the results of the “marshmallow test” described in chapter three? What roles do patience and pride play in your daily interactions? Which one is more often rewarded in contemporary American culture?

5. What new insight did you gain from the stories of forgiveness in chapter four? What elements of Dr. Chapman’s discussion, including trust, anger, and self-forgiveness, have played out in these scenarios, and in your life? 

6. How did you feel about your score on the “Am I Courteous” quiz? What opportunities exist for you to let courtesy flourish in your home and workplace, and in the ordinary places you visit frequently—from the grocery store to the ballpark?

7. Did the portrait of leadership offered at the beginning of chapter six surprise you? What is the greatest challenge you face in finding genuine humility within yourself, or within your community? What is the best way to recognize and perform acts of true humility, not ones based on the hope of praise or other rewards?

8. Throughout your life, how have you set your priorities regarding time and money? Which people, activities, and purchases have typically ranked the highest for you? What gifts of talent, time, and financial support are you ready to offer now? Which individuals do you most want to serve?

9. Have email and the Information Age made it harder to be dishonest, or does dishonesty spread more rapidly than ever before? Discuss the temptation of dishonesty as it has affected all levels of your life, from being honest with yourself and your loved ones to the issue of integrity in the world.

10. Though romantic relationships and marriage are most often associated with love, Dr. Chapman writes candidly about the difficulty in maintaining truly loving behavior even in these interactions. How does the concept of “servanthood” change the way you view dating and marriage?

11. Did you grow up in a family that demonstrated authentic love? As a parent or the member of an extended family, what can you do today to spark the habit of authentic love in future generations? How would Dr. Chapman’s recommendations serve the children in your life?

12. Do your coworkers perceive the workplace as an opportunity for love? How does the concept of loving behavior change the way you think about work and livelihoods?

13. In your opinion, what are the most important philosophies of love presented by Dr. Chapman? Which of these will have the most lasting impact on your future?

14. Which of the personal stories presented in Love as a Way of Life resonated the most with your personal experiences? What does the range of examples—from the apologies of Lee Atwater in the political sphere to the strained marriage of Charlotte and John—indicate about the power of love to transform humanity?

15. Written for the twenty-first century, how does Love as a Way of Life build on the foundations established in Dr. Chapman’s previous books?

Love as a Way of Life: Seven Keys to Transforming Every Aspect of Your Life
by Gary Chapman

  • Publication Date: July 15, 2008
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Religion
  • ISBN-10: 0385518587
  • ISBN-13: 9780385518581