November 8, 2013
Q: How can I win back my girlfriend after a short break?
Gary Chapman: We seldom fall out of love on the same day, and consequently the one who falls out of love often breaks the relationship. The other person is deeply hurt because you are bonded to that person with an emotional warmth and excitement. “Win” is a good word because it does mean you can make efforts, you can try to influence them. Ultimately, however, you cannot make them come back. You have to be open to the possibility that they’re not going to return to the relationship and that it’s not the end of world. God knows what’s going on, God has a plan for your life. Whether they come back or not, he will guide you in the future to accomplish his purposes for your life. After all, that is the most important thing.
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 8, 2013
In the early days of my career, I was an avid student of anthropology. One of the conclusive findings of that study is that marriage between a man and a woman is the central, social building block in every human society. It is also true that monogamous, lifelong marriage is the universal cultural norm. Of course, some people will deviate from this practice, as in polygamy (which is found in a few non-literate cultures) and serial monogamy (which has become common in Western culture), but these exceptions do not erase the desire for a lifelong marriage from the human psyche. We cannot improve on God’s plan of one man and one woman married for a lifetime. Give yourself to enriching your marriage and you are co-operating with God.
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 27, 2013
Do you ever wonder what we did before computers? I think we played games with each other. I think we had meals together and talked about what was going on in our lives. I think husbands and wives made love, and children felt secure. I think fathers and sons threw the ball in the back yard. I think mothers and daughters made doll clothes. I think we had families.
What if, just for a week, we said, “NO” to the computer and the television and said, “YES” to the family? What would that look like in your house? You might be surprised. You might even like it. You might even decide to make an early New Years resolution to make family a priority. If so, I think you will have discovered what God had in mind when he instituted the family.
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.
August 16, 2013
Q: “My husband is from a very traditional church background and I enjoy the more modern, contemporary style. Are there ways we could come together on this?”
Gary Chapman: If you have a room full of people, it’s likely that there will be a great diversity in their preferences for food. Some will prefer Mexican, while others might prefer a good burger. It doesn’t mean that any type of food is actually better than the other, but rather our preferences simply differ. This is common in many areas of life—including the way we prefer to worship. Therefore, it is helpful to give each other the freedom to have their own preferences. What you don’t want to do is let your preferences be divisive in the relationship. Most larger churches will host both a contemporary worship service as well as a more conservative one. One solution might be to agree to go back and forth between the two services every other week. Other solutions are waiting to be discovered, you simply need an open heart and honest communication to find an agreeable solution when preferences collide.
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 26, 2013
Q: My fiancé and I have very different ways of defining how to live as a ‘Christian’. How can we come together on this?
Gary Chapman: When you say “different ways of defining how to live as a Christian,” it may be that one of you grew up in a home that had certain things that were considered to be Christian—if you do this and don’t do that then you were in right standing. The other may have had a different experience—raised in a different type of family or attended a fellowship that did not emphasize the dos and don’ts as much as a personally relationship with God. Therefore, I think it’s important to start by sharing your journey with each other. Marriage has to do with oneness and coming together. Talk about it. Take turns sharing your perceptions. Then, try to understand each others perspective so that you can find a meeting place.