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.
September 19, 2013
Did you know that 70 years ago, teenagers did not exist? That is, as a separate cultural group. Before the industrial age, teens worked on their parents’ farms until they got married. With industrialization, teens had a choice. They could be a weaver, a cobbler, or a machinist. But they still lived with their parents until they got married; usually in the late teens. In the modern world, young people have high school, college, and often graduate school before they get married. So they are with parents much longer. This is good news, because it gives greater opportunity to influence their lives for good. Remember, the quality of your marriage is your greatest means of influence. They will remember your model long after they have forgotten your words.
September 13, 2013
Q: As a military spouse I struggle with fear and worry about my husband who is on active duty. How can I find peace?
Gary Chapman: Spiritual help is probably the greatest help in this situation. I think the answer lies in the biblical concept of praying about everything, which will help you to not worry about things. Certainly, you should be concerned about your spouse but let that concern be a catalyst to pray for God’s hand upon them. Pray also for God to keep your heart and mind calm as you entrust your life and your spouse to him. This is one area I touch on in my newest release, The 5 Love Languages Military Edition. I think you’d find it helpful as you read the stories of other couples who deal with the same struggles that you’re dealing with.
August 22, 2013
A number of years ago, when I wrote the book: The 5 Love Languages, I realized rather quickly that all of these love languages flow from God’s love. He speaks all five languages fluently. The Bible is filled with ‘Words of Affirmation’ where God verbalizes His love to us. Christmas reminds us that He gave us the greatest gift of all when He sent His son. Yes, God is a ‘Gift Giver’. What about ‘Acts of Service’? That is what the cross is all about. Christ paid our penalty. Follow the life of Jesus and you see Him speaking the love language of ‘Physical Touch’. And for all who want it, God is ready to spend ‘Quality Time’. Turn your thoughts toward him and you will find his thoughts are already on you. God is love.
June 14, 2013
Q: “I feel drained in my marriage. My wife no longer seems interested in me or willing to put effort into making things work?”
Gary Chapman: The most powerful thing you can do is to love her unconditionally. Learn and speak her primary love language, regardless of how she treats you. She needs love—we all do. Therefore, when you communicate love in the way she desires most—her love language—you trigger something inside her that will draw her to you. We can’t control the behavior of a spouse, but we can greatly influence them by the way we treat them. How? Look back on the areas you feel you may have failed, make a genuine confession, and let her know that with God’s help you are going to be the husband she desires. This is one of the greatest things you can do to influence her to reciprocate.
June 7, 2013
Q: “I just discovered that my fiancé tested positive for an STD from a past relationship. I feel hurt and disgusted and don’t know how to deal with it. Can you help?”
Gary Chapman: I think the answer is that you need to discuss this openly and freely. Discuss the nature of the sexually transmitted disease—is it treatable, and how will it affect your relationship from a medical perceptive? Then, you’ll need to wrestle with whether this is something you would like to constinue with given the reality of the situation. We cannot erase our past. . . and some of us have past experiences that aren’t good. If you are not willing to live with that, accept that, and forgive that, then it could potentially be a deal breaker. I encourage couples to share their previous sexual expereince so that they enter marriage aware of what they are dealing with. If you find you can’t deal with it, solve it, or reconcile it before marriage, it will certainly be a problem after.
April 29, 2013
Q: Gary, I’ve been separated for 11 years and I’ve always wondered, is divorce Biblical?
Gary Chapman: In the Bible, divorce is not viewed as an ideal outcome to a challenging marriage and is never encouraged. The Old Testament says God hates divorce, and yet in some cases, He allows it. So what does this mean for you today? Well, you are divorced and there is no changing that fact. More importantly, God can forgive your part in the divorce and He certainly loves you beyond it. There are thousands of Christians who today walk closely with God who have been through a divorce. So, don’t put yourself down if you have been through that. Don’t live in the past. If you have confessed your part and God has forgiven you, raise your head high, thank God that you are his child, and seek His guidance for your future. God does have a future for you.
March 8, 2013
Q: My fiancé has struggled with homosexuality in the past but says God has changed him. I’m still nervous about marrying him. Can you help?
A: There are certain individuals who have same sex attraction. Does God have the power to change that? I believe He does and there are many who give testimony to the reality of that. But there are others who have not experienced that change and still have the same desire. I would encourage both of you to get counseling and to work through the dynamics as to where he has been in the past and to what the future can look like for the two of you. I wouldn’t go into marriage without first getting counseling.
February 21, 2013
In my book, Now You’re Speaking my Language, I address the differences between covenant marriage and contract marriage. Contracts are motivated by the desire to get something we want. Covenants are based on what the Bible calls “steadfast love”. Such love will be revealed in behavior. Love is the attitude which says, “What can I do to help you?” “How can I make your life easier?” Then, when the questions are answered love responds, “I’d be delighted to help you. In fact, that is my greatest joy.” That’s the way we talked when we were “in love”. Why do we change our attitude when the euphoria of the ‘in love’ experience fades? Covenant love is ‘steadfast love.’