April 15, 2014
All children need to hear words of encouragement. The word ‘encourage’ means “to instill courage.” We are seeking to give children the courage to attempt more. We do a great job of this when the child is learning to walk. If the child falls, we say, “Yea, try again. Try again.” And the child tries again. Don’t forget this principle as the child gets older. The greatest enemy of encouraging our children is anger. The more anger present in the parent, the more anger the parent will dump on the children. The result will be children who are both anti-authority and anti-parent. If you have an anger problem, let me recommend my recent book, Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way. It may make the difference between encouraging or discouraging your child.
March 21, 2014
Q: Is it really important for you and your partner to have at least a common idea of God before getting married?
Gary: What you believe about God affects everything else in life. You see, if you believe that the biblical God exists, and that he is the creator of the universe and of life, that affects everything because the Old and New Testament scriptures tell us how to live life and what is most meaningful in life. However, if you discount that concept of God, or you’re not sure what you believe about God, that too will affect the way you live your life because you’re not inclined to take seriously the teachings of Jesus. Take time to dig deeply and find out whether you and your prospective spouse have a spiritual foundation on which to build a healthy marriage.
March 6, 2014
Have you ever apologized and felt like the other person simply was not accepting your apology? Perhaps you’re speaking the wrong apology language. Perhaps you are saying, “I’m sorry.” “I was wrong.” And what they want to hear is “What can I do to make things right?” Making Restitution is one of the five languages of apology and for some people, it is their primary language. In their mind, if you don’t offer to “make things right,” you have not apologized. In the New Testament, Zacchaeus, the tax collector seemed to understand this. When he encountered Jesus, he said: “Those from whom I have stolen, I’ll repay four times what I took.” That is restitution! It is seeking to make amends for the wrong we have done. It is strong evidence of our sincerity.
January 14, 2014
“My husband and I can’t seem to agree on anything!”
“You spent how much!?!”
“My wife’s parents are driving me crazy!”
”You never listen to me!”
Let’s face it—even the best of marriages hit an occasional bump in the road now and then. The secret to marital bliss lies in how you and your spouse handle those bumps. In Happily Ever After, Gary Chapman, the man “who wrote the book” on how to communicate with your spouse, shows couples how to successfully navigate the six most common problems that couples face: fighting fair, negotiating change, managing money, getting along with your in-laws, raising kids, and maintaining a healthy sex life. Drawing on more than 30 years of counseling experience, Dr. Chapman provides real-world examples and practical, battle-tested advice that will help you and your spouse better understand and communicate with each other as well as grow as a couple for many years to come.
January 2, 2014
This is a good day for reflection. We stand on a threshold of new opportunities. Are you pleased with the way you invested your time and energies last year? Are there changes you need to make in your life as you move into 2014? Do you need to add some activities and drop others? Family, church, vocation, and neighbors are all important. The greatest satisfaction in life comes from investing your life in the lives of others, but you also need to take care of yourself. Proper diet, sleep, and recreation keep the body strong. A daily quiet time with God and weekly involvement with other Christians energizes the spirit. Could a minor change in your life make a major change in your effectiveness?
December 24, 2013
For many, today is a day dedicated to last minute shopping. I’ve often wondered what God was doing the day before Christ was born; probably guiding Mary and Joseph each step on the way to Bethlehem. The most profound event in human history was about to happen. Theologians call it the incarnation, God becoming human in the form of a baby. God had communicated for hundreds of years through the prophets, but now he sends his own son. To use the words of John, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In the midst of today’s busyness, let’s take time to reflect on God’s greatest gift.
December 18, 2013
God designed us to thrive in relationships, so it should come as no surprise that the greatest success in life comes through the practice of authentic love. But what does a love-driven life look like–not just in marriage, but in friendships, at work, in the church, and in business relationships?
In Love as a Way of Life, relationship expert Gary Chapman shows how genuine love can direct your interactions with other people, leading to positive change in their lives and yours. You’ll learn how the seven traits of love–kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty–work together to transform your approach to everyday encounters with others.
Through real-life stories, self-assessments, and practical exercises, this groundbreaking book paves the way for you to live out authentic love, leading to satisfying relationships and a higher level of success in every area of life. The 5 Love Languages saved your marriage. This book will transform your life.
December 12, 2013
Selfishness is the greatest barrier to marital unity, and we are all afflicted with the disease. “My way is the right way.” That’s the way all of us feel. I can expect myself to be selfish because that is my nature. But, as a Christian, I have a new nature – the very real presence of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I have a choice. I do not have to bow to the old selfish nature, I can choose to co-operate with the Holy Spirit. The opposite of selfishness is love, and that is the ‘fruit of the Spirit.’ Love is self-giving, not self- centered. Love is the greatest gift I can offer to my spouse. It’s available when I pray, “Lord, let your love flow through me today.” Selfishness falls away as we learn to love.
November 4, 2013
Q: How can I encourage my boyfriend to speak my love language, which is words of affirmation?
Gary Chapman: You can’t make someone speak your love language, but you can influence them. The most powerful way to do so is to speak their love language. If you speak his love language on a regular basis, then you can say to him, “You know what would really make me happy?” and tell him something in step with your love language. Because he’s feeling your love, there’s a good chance he will speak your love language. There’s something deep inside of him that wants to be nice to you. Then when you make a request or share an idea that would make you happy he’s very likely to do it. We can’t control people and we can’t make them speak our language, but we can influence them and the greatest influence is loving them in the right love language.
October 3, 2013
If I had one message to give to the parents of teenagers it would be this: Please remember that you still have the greatest influence on your son or daughter. We have heard so much about peer pressure, that many parents have given up on trying to influence their teen. All of the research indicates that parents have far more influence on the behavior of teens than do their peers. Your own behavior is your greatest influence. If you are a person of honesty, loyalty, and commitment, you are greatly influencing your teen. If you give them a model of a loving marriage you are creating for them emotional security. Teens respect parents of integrity. They want you to be their hero.