Love is such a complex emotion. In fact, I would argue it is the world’s most complex emotion. You can have the highest highs and the lowest of lows, because of this simple four letter word. Love also connects human beings to one another. Relationships either thrive or die based on how we love each other. That’s honest and true, right?
Fittingly, I had the chance to review the book Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk a few weeks ago and I can say now after having read it cover-to-cover that this book reinforced a couple things for me.
The book is divided into 3 sections: connection, communication and boundaries. Each section has several chapters which further break down the main topics. This is the meat of the book, the parts where you really get to the nitty gritty. It’s where the conviction happens.
In this section, the author starts discussing how powerful people lead to powerful, healthy relationships. He describes powerful people as someone who can make powerful decisions because they’ve chosen to love others, since God loved them first. It’s not powerful in the way that you and I might think about, a person who is unyielding and unwilling to listen. In fact, it’s the opposite. A truly powerful person is someone who does not try to control others. They choose to love. They can be who they say they are and refuse to be victims of others or of their circumstances. The author writes about how every relationship has one of two goals: connection or disconnection. He writes that knowing each others’ love languages (from Dr. Gary Chapman’s famous book, The Five Love Languages) is a crucial starting point to finding out your relationship goal. In the final two chapters of this section, Mr. Silk writes about the battle between fear and love and how to build healthy relationships despite those two forces. The foundation of a healthy relationship is unconditional love and acceptance. The author then goes on to describe seven pillars of healthy relationships; love, honor, self-control, responsibility, truth, faith and vision.
Once you have established that the goal to your relationships is connection, then you can work on the communication aspect of things. This section starts with defining three different types of communication styles. There’s passive, aggressive and passive-aggressive communication. Every person communicates in one of these ways and they are a result/expression of what’s inside our hearts. Mr. Silk writes about ‘assertive’ communication as being what comes out of being a powerful person who loves truth. One who communicates in this style is “able to set boundaries consistently around a conversation so that it stays respectful.” He then goes on to explain how the goal of our conversations should be one of understanding, not necessarily agreement. When we connect on a heart level with others, we open ourselves up to building trust. The last two chapters in this section cover the trust cycle and communication in conflict. The trust cycle is completed when you have a need, the need is expressed, there is a response to the need, and the need is satisfied. Communication in conflict has several moving parts: the first goal is to understand each other, secondly is to not react out of fear or pain, then you have a respectful conversation, and finally you choose to serve one another.
In this final section of Keep Your Love On, boundaries are discussed. Mr. Silk starts off by defining levels of intimacy which we should have. He says that “not everyone should have the same [level] of access to you.” By this he means that in order to live a Christian life, we need to look at Jesus and how He prioritized certain relationships over others. Jesus had 12 friends (His disciples) and was especially close with only 3 of them. This example of how many relationships we have the capacity to cultivate is the best guide we can follow. We have to have set boundaries around each of these levels of intimacy in relationships in order to live life to its fullest. There are practical guidelines the author covers in another chapter about how to set limits in our relationships. He talks about learning to require respect, telling others what you’re going to do rather than what they have to do, and remembering that people believe your actions more than your words. The final chapter covers a few key points that are crucial to “keeping our love on” as the book title states. He gives several examples of how we can know if we’ve learned to love and keep it “turned on” in our relationships, no matter what happens.
Honestly, I really enjoyed spending time reading this book. Like I said earlier, it was a nice refresher for me and I even learned a few new things. Best of all, it didn’t take long for me to read (it’s only 160 pages long!) through it. If you’re looking to learn about how to love others more effectively, grab a copy of this book and read it. For more information about Keep Your Love On, where to purchase, and more about the author Danny Silk, visit their website.
Disclosure: This book was kindly provided to me by Shelton Interactive for my honest review. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.