Free to Love sizzles with brave energy! Jamal artfully weaves a compelling short story through a provocative call to deeply Love others as Christ has and does. His words challenge me to engage in relationship, without fear, beyond culture’s man-made boundaries. I would recommend Free to Love to those who desire to follow Christ’s command to ‘love one another’ more fully.
In the book Free to Love, Jamal Jivanjee opens a conversation with the suggestion that the marriage relationship is elevated in an idolatrous way through much of the Church. Although this is not the entire premises of the book it is an interesting point. His focus is on how marriage is a picture or “shadow” of the deep relationship that Jesus desires for us to have with one another, irregardless of our marital status.
Free to Love Review: Man-made Walls
As a married woman of 12 years I see so much value in this book not just for single people, but also for my married friends. In the last few years I have begun to personally experience the fruit of the truths that Jamal speaks of about relationships going deeper than the surface “brother/sister” relationships many in the Christian world identify with. These more shallow relationships are usually based on common interests or beliefs in doctrine, but never go past the man-made wall between one another. This happens because of the caution of any relationship between the sexes made by well-meaning, albeit deceived, authority within the confines of the traditional church.
Jamal speaks of his own experiences of the opposite kinds of relationships; the deep, engaging and fruitful relationships with both brothers and sisters, as well as the ramifications of these relationships. He explains and encourages how Christ has given each of us the gift of one another, whom are rooted in Christ as well, and so we share a oneness with one another just as Christ (and we, too) share oneness with Papa-God. Jamal explains that these horizontal relationships with one another are not to be limited by gender or marital status. He does in fact state that this relationship can and SHOULD begin with our spouse if married, but that we need not fear, when rooted by Christ, when these brotherly/sisterly affections deepen within new kingdom living.
Free to Love Review: Mary of Bethany & Discussion Group
Jamal uses the relationship between Mary of Bethany and Jesus as a creative way to weave story through his writing and bring life to the relationship that has been often misinterpreted by many. The perspective of Jesus and how HE sees Mary brings life to the scriptures in a unique and artful way. This short story of sorts also gives an example of how Jesus broke through the walls of culture in his love for Mary, without any sinful relationship occurring, but oneness still apparent between the opposite gender.
There are hard questions and challenging issues that this book has brought up that require more discussion. This is true for any book that discusses a paradigm shift in thinking. Jamal admits this himself by citing that his own marriage suffered when they became unequally yoked in their understanding of new kingdom and old kingdom realities. Because of this he has created a resource for readers; a Facebook group that will be open to those who have more questions than answers from reading the book. You can request to join the group here.
Free to Love Book Review: The Lie of Lack
One of my favorite aspects of Free to Love is how Jamal discusses the various lies that cause us to live in fear rather than in our identity in Christ. He goes especially deep in exploring the “lie of lack.” He brings us back to the beginning point of this lie in the garden of Eden. He explains the differences of the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. Jamal brings to light the lies of dissatisfaction that BOTH married and singles experience in their lives.
He does address the sacredness of marriage when it comes to the need for sexual intimacy, but doesn’t labor too long in this area since that is largely off topic from his main point of our ability for oneness we experience in a NON-SEXUAL manner. (I am hoping he will write a follow-up book about this area of relationship as this is a point that detractors have determined is missing from Jamal’s book.) The entire “lie of lack” is an area that I am excited to continue to engage in discussion with others, as it really presents a challenge in our culture well beyond relationship.
Free to Love Review: Intense Debate & Beginnings of Needed Conversation
My husband also read the book and it caused some intense debate between us. In my opinion, this is good. It has opened a challenging discussion between us about some of the lies each of us believed about our relationship and who truly keeps us centered in our marriage; Christ. I will say that I would caution those with a fragile marriage that has suffered because of infidelity (and you are working to restore your trust and relationship) to refrain from reading at this time.
Like any other idea that challenges our beliefs, we should prepare ourselves for the uncomfortable confrontation that may occur in our spirit. Rooting out lies is NEVER comfortable and can cause conflict in relationship, if not addressed in grace. I would recommend this book to anyone who is already firmly rooted in Christ and desires to embrace Christ’s command to “love one another” more fully.
Jamal’s book is one that is not afraid to address issues that are personal and controversial. He bravely and courageously shares his own experiences and what it has cost him to write this book. He writes vulnerably and transparently about the oneness that is available to us, as spiritual beings, in the new Kingdom Christ brought from heaven to earth. It’s the beginning of a conversation that is catching among Christ’s people – one I am excited to engage in and grow from.
I hope you will purchase the book (available on Amazon and other retailers), read it with an open mind, and join me in the conversation over at Jamal’s Facebook Group. I am giving away one copy of Free to Love in the rafflecopter below.