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Q&A: Stimulating Growth In Marriage

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.

Steadfast Love

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.’

Loving, Supportive, Understanding Spouse

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.

Brianne

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!

Q&A: My teen daughter is becoming more reclusive. How can I make her feel loved?

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.

Love Language Profile for Teenagers (ages 12–17)

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.

DIRECTIONS:

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.

Church

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.

Q&A: Does God still reveal to us whom we should marry?

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.

How Does God Use People?

Isn’t it amazing that God chooses to use people to reach people?

Jesus said to His early followers, “I will make you fishers of men.”  He used that analogy because they were fisherman. They became the people who laid the foundation of the early church.  We follow their example.  We reach out loving people in the name of Jesus.

I’m sure the apostles did not sit around talking about the five love languages, but I can assure you that they spoke all five languages. Read the New Testament, and you will hear them speaking words of affirmation, giving gifts, performing acts of service, spending quality time, and extending physical touch.

Verbal abuse is WARFARE

It employs the use of words as bombs and grenades designed to punish the other person, to place blame, or to justify one’s own actions or decisions. Abusive language is filled with poisonous put-downs which seek to make the other person feel badly, appear wrong, or look inadequate.

Most people who practice verbal abuse are suffering from low self-esteem. Anything which threatens their worth will stimulate a flow of angry words. The slightest criticism can ignite the flame. Understanding this, may change your attitude toward your verbally abusing spouse. Seeing them as a needy person, rather than an abusive person, may help you take a more constructive approach.