December 26, 2013
In our culture, Christmas is a time when families come together. That’s really what Christmas was all about: God bringing us together. We had fellowship with God, but we left home; we walked away from God, and yet he came to find us as a babe. He lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death, and paid our penalty so that we could return home without a penalty. Have you responded to the love of God and the death of Christ, accepted the gift of forgiveness? I hope that you have God as a Father, and know that he is not ashamed to call you his son or daughter. If not, his arms are always open.
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.
October 22, 2013
“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together” Psalm 34:3. One young man used this verse to propose marriage to his girlfriend. I like that. From a biblical perspective, the purpose of life is not to accomplish our own objectives. The purpose of life is to know God and to bring glory and honor to His name. For most people, marriage enhances the possibility of achieving this objective. Yet, in the pressure of daily life we often get more concerned about paying the bills, mowing the grass, and getting clothes for the children than we do about bringing glory to God. However, these very things, if done “as unto the Lord” do honor God. As you serve your family, you are serving God.
October 17, 2013
The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes said, “Two are better than one…If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Everyone needs a friend. The marriage relationship is seen in the Bible as a friendship. Husbands and wives are designed to complement each other. When the man is weak, his wife is strong; when she stumbles, he is there to pick her up. Life is easier when two hearts and minds are committed to working together to face the challenges of the day. One of the great joys of marriage is helping your spouse accomplish a project that is meaningful to them. We use our skills to help each other. We also give emotional support when one is hurting. Yes, two are better than one.
September 16, 2013
Q: My husband disrespects me. How do I deal with this?
Gary Chapman: All of us need to feel loved and appreciated. When we don’t feel appreciated or respected, being put down again and again by our spouse makes us feel that they think we’re inferior. It’s difficult to live like that. There’s two approaches. One is to argue—to tell them you can’t take this anymore and lash out at them. The other is the biblical way, and that is to love the unlovely spouse. Find out their love language, speak it loudly and clearly and regularly over a period of three months and see what happens. Typically, when they begin to feel your love they begin to treat you differently. It doesn’t always work out that way, but loving an unlovely spouse is the most powerful thing you can do.
July 12, 2013
Q: “Neither my fiance or I are very spiritual, though my girlfriend seems to think we need to agree on at least a common idea of ‘God’ before we marry. Is this really that important?”
Gary Chapman: If two people get married with different views about who God is—or even if God is—it will touch nearly every aspect of their lives. Why? Because what you believe about God affects everything else in life—the way you think, approach situations, your attitudes, and more. If two people don’t have a common foundation to build from, the differences will erode the necessary intimacy—intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical—needed to create the kind of closeness we as humans desire. I think it is an important issue that needs to be discussed prior to marriage. Take time to dig down and see if you have a foundation you need to build a healthy marriage.
July 9, 2013
In recent years, many research studies have come to the same conclusion: Babies who are held, hugged, and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact. Physical touch is one of love’s strongest voices. The importance of touching children is not a modern idea. Remember in Mark chapter 10 when the parents brought their children to Jesus and the disciples objected? The scripture says that Jesus “took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them” Why should we do less? I know that there are sexual predators who touch children wrongfully, but we should not allow their distortion to keep us from touching children in a loving and healthy way. All children need affirming touch.
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 26, 2013
Love is the most important word in the English language. Most people agree that our deepest emotional need is the need to feel loved. I like to picture inside all of us is an emotional love tank. If the tank is full—that is, if we feel loved by the significant people in our lives, then life is beautiful. But if the love tank is empty, life becomes dark.
So, I’m asking you, “On a scale of 1-10, how full is your love tank?” Better yet, why don’t you ask that question of your spouse? If their answer is less than 10, you ask: “What could I do to help fill it?” Then, to the best of your ability, do it. If you do this exercise once a week, your spouse will likely begin to ask you the same question, and you will learn how to keep each others’ love tank full.
March 19, 2013
We are all busy, often too busy to listen. And yet, listening is the only way you will ever come to understand your spouse’s thoughts and feelings. Listening takes time and requires focus. It’s true you can listen while we read e-mails or watch television, but that is not the kind of listening that communicates, “I care about you and what you are saying.” In Romans 12, Paul tells us to “take delight in honoring each other.” One way to honor someone is to give them your undivided attention. When you drop everything, look at and listen to your spouse, you communicate , “You are the most important person in my life.” Listening is a powerful expression of Love.