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.’
November 29, 2012
I’ve never met a couple who married with the intention of making each other miserable. Most people want to have a loving, supportive, understanding spouse. I’m convinced that the fastest way to have such a spouse is to become a loving, supportive, understanding spouse. What are you doing to have the marriage you’ve always wanted? If you recognize the need for marital growth, I want to recommend the newly revised edition of The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. It will give you ideas on how to become the spouse you’ve always wanted. If both of you are willing to share the book, you can grow even faster. But someone must take the first step.
November 1, 2012
My husband, John, and I have been together since high school; in fact we were “sweetest couple” as seniors in high school. We went to separate colleges but got married right after college and have had, what I thought, was a wonderful marriage since. But then my biggest fear had come true; John had an affair. John realized he made the biggest mistake of his life and we had decided to stay together and were working on our marriage when something even worse happened; the other woman showed up at my house pregnant. At this point I was dealing with infertility myself and infidelity, so this hit me really hard.
During my struggles I constantly thought, “why me?” An answer came to me one day. God was using me. God knew my love for John was strong. God knew I would struggle, but as always, he would be there to carry me through the hard times. He also knew my passion to help people. My struggle is to serve God. Philippians 1:29 says you have been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for his sake.
During this time of struggle, my friend told me about your wonderful books so I immediately bought The 5 Love Languages and read it through in one night! John also read the book and we realized that we were not speaking each others love languages. I was not getting what I wanted from him and vice versa. We also went to see you speak just a few months later and were so inspired. From that point on, we worked really hard to speak each others love languages and it has changed are lives drastically. We now know what makes each other happy and speak each others love languages daily. I’ll put away dishes, which he loves and I hate. And he’ll actually think to surprise me with a gift or night out! (His love language is Acts of Service and mine is Gifts.) I have since given The 5 Love Languages book as a gift to married couples and advocate for how true it is.
John and I have an even stronger, better marriage today than I even thought was possible. We use our struggles to help each other’s going through similar situations. When people today ask about what happened, I tell them we were not speaking each other’s love language!
September 7, 2012
The short answer is to make sure you know her love language and give her heavy doses of her primary love language. But let me remind you that teenagers often withdraw from their parents socially, emotionally and intellectually. It’s a part of growing up and moving toward independence. So some of that is going to have to be accepted. However, it is important that your daughter feel loved because if she does not feel loved by mom and dad, she will go looking for love in the wrong places.
Learn her love love language, give her heavy doses, sprinkle in the other 4 love language, and make sure she’s secure in your love. You’ll be giving her the greatest gift you can give a teenager.
July 5, 2012
INVITED BY EMAIL?
If yes, one or both of your parents or guardians is wondering if they are speaking your love language. If they haven’t already explained it to you, your primary “love language” is basically one of the following: words, touch, quality time, gifts, or service. Your parent(s) also receive and express love in one of these ways and often their love language is different from yours. That’s why, even though you hear them say they love, sometimes their expressions of love fall flat.
You might be thinking, “Great, my parent(s) are trying to ‘get to know me better.’” But give them a break! They just want to make sure that you know they love you. So take this test! You’ll learn something new about yourself, and it’ll help your parent(s) love you better! When you are finished, consider taking some time to share the results with your parent(s) as well.
You’re going to see 30 pairs of things that your parent(s) might do or say to show love to you. All you have to do is pick one item in each pair that you like better. For some of them, you might like both options—but just pick one. Allow 10 to 15 minutes to complete the profile. Take it when you are relaxed, and try not to rush through it.
July 4, 2012
Families are the world’s greatest natural resource! We desire to come alongside of your ministry to help you, help them build healthy relationships with one another. That’s why Dr. Chapman has invested in the marriage and family business and counseled thousands of people for more than 40 years.
June 29, 2012
Q: I am single, but desire to get married one day. Does God still reveal to us whom we should marry?
A: I do think God guides us but I don’t think God specifically points out the person we should marry. Certainly, we should pray for God’s guidance in the process but typically God uses the mind. That’s why I think it’s so important when you’re dating and contemplating the question “Would this be the person God would have for me?” that you really take time to get to know that person. That’s the purpose of dating—when you do that, God can guide your thoughts and you can then make a wise decision. The greatest danger is operating simply on your emotions—”We’re in love and nothing else matters.” That mindset is a recipe for disaster.