Wednesday, 21 February 2024

"Powerful" life-saving tool - L.O.V.E. Approach book is launched at Heartbeat's annual conference

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” 1 Corinthians 13

A written work grounded in the concept of love and upon which the work of the world’s most extensive pregnancy help network is based is now available for those desiring to a resource for changing and saving lives.

The L.O.V.E. Approach, by Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, is a relationship-building and fostering tool with widespread application for individuals, couples, families, small groups, ministries and churches.  

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With its premise having already been put into practice for some 25 years, and based on the long-time experience of veteran pregnancy help advocate and past president of Heartbeat International Hartshorn, the book has been published and is available for purchase. 

The L.O.V.E. Approach carries many endorsements from leaders in the pro-life, academic, political and business communities, with reviews calling it a “gem,” and “indispensable resource,” “powerful,” and a “life-saver.”

The book is “One of the coolest things that Heartbeat has been able to see come to light,” Heartbeat International’s President Jor-El Godey told attendees of Heartbeat’s Annual Conference this week.

The launch of the book, which Godsey called a “labor of love,” took place on the second day of the three-day conference. Heartbeat’s 49th annual conference, a mainstay event in the pregnancy help movement, was held virtually in place of a physical conference owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The LOVE Approach has been very familiar to Heartbeat and the organization’s affiliates for many years, Godsey told the virtual crowd, and would not be unfamiliar to many at the conference. 

The content of the book was first written in 1994 by Hartshorn, Heartbeat’s president at the time, he said. She would serve as president for many years until recently, Godsey said, and is now the board chair for Heartbeat’s board of directors. Godsey took over as president in 2016

Godsey and Hartshorn

“She wrote that original manual and grounded us in the concept,” Godsey said. “It’s been something that has flowed through all of what Heartbeat does - That very concept of love.”

“And of course, that was written based upon 1st Cor. 13, the love chapter,” he added. “The LOVE Approach has been the core signature training of Heartbeat International.” 

“I dedicated the book to all the wonderful people in the pregnancy help movement, around the world, who have used the LOVE Approach with those the Lord sent them (clients!) since we first published The L.O.V.E. Approach Manual in 1994,” Hartshorn told Pregnancy Help News.”

“Their commitment to The LOVE Approach convinced me that it needed a much broader audience, all Christians who want to tackle issues and problem solving in a way that respects the dignity of each person and is consistent with their deepest Christian values,” she said.

Hartshorn, also a retired college professor, discerned the four steps she calls The L.O.V.E. Approach through her own personal struggles to be a better Christian wife, mother, teacher, friend, peer counselor and leader. 

“In 1994, I developed The LOVE Approach to explain how Christ-centered pregnancy help center volunteers can build relationships with women facing difficult pregnancies, and help them resolve issues and problems in a life-affirming way,” Hartshorn writes of the basis for her book. “It has been in continuous use around the world, taught by Heartbeat International since then, person-to-person and now on-line.”

“It was originally inspired by the lessons I learned from painful experience,” Hartshorn said, “the hard way, as a young wife, mother, and passionate Christian volunteer, almost 50 years ago.”

“Now I offer the four steps to you and the larger Christian community in the expectation that you will also find them powerful in your own relationships and ministries.”  


The four steps comprising the L.O.V.E. acronym in the book’s title are L (Listen and Learn), O (Open Options), V (Vision and Value) and E (Extend and Empower).

While The L.O.V.E. Approach is based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, (“Love is patient, love is kind …”), according to the book’s accompanying publishing info, “it is not pompous, it does not seek its own interests, this book is not didactic, nor is it denominational or theological.” 

The intended audience is people of goodwill who endeavor to follow “The Golden Rule” and apply those intentions into relationship-building and problem solving. 

The story through which the use and effects of “The L.O.V.E. Approach” is illustrated concerns four strangers who come together in a training class offered by a group of churches and faith-based groups, each of the four facing a critical problem or relationship issue.

The story follows these four different people as they open up to each other, try “The L.O.V.E. Approach” with the people they care about, and come together later to share how their individual situations and relationships have been transformed by the approach.

The book’s narrative is based on real people and situations known to Hartshorn, with the names and details changed to protect confidentiality. 

The L.O.V.E. Approach has proven its effectiveness as a relationship-building and problem-solving tool in pregnancy help organizations worldwide through Heartbeat International’s work since Hartshorn’s tenure as president, Godsey said.

“So, it’s a great manual, great training some of you have been going through that training, even as the conference has unfolded,” he told conference attendees. 

The book is accessible and very much inviting to everyone and anyone that is in any situation, he said. 

        Godsey announces the launch of The L.O.V.E. Approach

“We can’t wait to see it in people’s hands,” Godsey said.

Support for Hartshorn’s book has been enthusiastic.

“This gem of a book, written in parable form, makes good on its promise,” said Johnnette Benkovic Williams, EWTN Television and Radio host, and founder/director of Women of Grace.

“Thank you, Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, for introducing us to this simple but powerful tool,” said former Ohio Congressman Bob McEwen. 

“Dr. Peggy’s The L.O.V.E. Approach is a lifesaver,” said pro-life evangelist and author Alveda King, “love never fails.”

Tweet This: Dr. Peggy’s The L.O.V.E. Approach is a lifesaver”

Martha Shuping, psychiatrist and president of the Ashford Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, said, “This book should be an indispensable resource for students and professionals in human services and health care fields who serve others with a range of life challenges. Readers will learn crucial communication skills to help people to solve their own problems!”

Endorsements came as well from Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director for Priests for Life, John Wootton, Ohio Ministry Network superintendent for the Assemblies of God, Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values, Ryan Bomberger, founder and president of The Radiance Foundation, John Murphy, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Active Allies, Rev. John Ensor, Author and president of PassionLife Ministries, Martha Avila, president of Heartbeat of Miami, David Bereit, founder/former CEO, of40 Days for Life, Brad Mattes, president of Life Issues Institute, Carrie Abbott, president of The Legacy Institute, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, ND Zeke Swift, principal with the Sage Partnership and founder of the Southern Africa HIV-AIDS Collaboration.  

Hartshorn is happy for the launch of her book, Godsey said, along with the entire Heartbeat International family.

“Those who might not be really familiar with the pregnancy help movement will become familiar with a very powerful tool that has been proven and tested and is great for anyone to learn,” he said. “So, we’re excited for Peggy and we’re excited for her book.”

Editor's note: Pregnancy Help News is a project of Heartbeat International. The L.O.V.E. Approach book can be ordered at

Lisa Bourne

Lisa Bourne is Managing Editor of Pregnancy Help News and Content Writer for Heartbeat International. She has worked for more than 20 years in journalism and communication for the pro-life community, the Catholic Church, other Christian denominations, and secular media. 

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