Category: Friendship

Essentials for Healthy Relationships

Do you have a relationship that is presently broken or fractured? What would it take to heal the relationship? I’d like to suggest two essentials: apologizing and forgiving. When we have hurt someone, it is time to apologize. Don’t let your pride keep you from admitting that you were wrong. When someone has hurt you, it is time to confront. Jesus said that if someone sins against you, then you should tell them, and seek reconciliation. Don’t let fear keep you from confronting the person who has hurt you. Healthy relationships must be authentic. You cannot suffere in silence and hope things will workout. Apologizing and forgiving are two essentials for healthy relationships.

Are You a Doormat or a Lover?

Are you a doormat or a lover? A doormat is an inanimate object. You can wipe your feet on it, step on it, kick it around, or whatever you like. It has no will of its own. It can be your slave, but not your lover. When we treat our spouses as objects, we preclude the possibility of love. No person should ever be a doormat.

We are called to be servants. Jesus said about himself, “I did not come to be served, but to serve.” That should be our attitude. “What can I do to help you?” reveals a loving attitude. “You do this or you will regret it.” is the language of slavery. There is a vast difference between being a servant and being a slave. The servant acts out of love. The slave lives in response to fear.

Q&A: Friends Tell Me That There Is Something Wrong With Us

Q: I’ve been dating for several years but my best friend tells me that something’s not quite right. What should I do?

Gary: Listen to your friends. I don’t mean that you should necessarily break up. What I do mean is that you should listen to what your friends are saying. It’s not uncommon to have blind spots. Your friends see things that you don’t see. You need to find out what their concerns are and then address the issue. If you don’t, you’re likely to wake up married and realize that your friends were right. Don’t assume just because you are in love you should get married. It’s highly possible to fall in love with someone you should not marry. If you want a practical guide as to what you should consider before deciding to marry, you might want to check out my book, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married.

Q&A: Holidays and Loneliness

Q: The holidays are always a lonely time for me as a single. Do you have any advice?

Dr. Gary Chapman: Don’t court loneliness; instead, reach out to people. If no one is reaching out to you–half the world doesn’t reach out to anyone–you be the one who reaches out. No matter what the relationship, take the initiative to be with people. Chances are, you’ll not only deal with your own loneliness, but you’ll also enrich the lives of those around you.

The Need for Intimacy

A number of years ago, I started the single adult ministry at my church. Do you know the most common complaint of singles?: “I am so lonely.” There is something about the way we are made that cries out for intimacy with another. It is not normal for a person to live in isolation. When God looked at Adam, He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” The word ‘alone’ literally means ‘cut off’ or ‘isolated.’ God’s answer to Adam’s aloneness was the creation of Eve and the institution of marriage. That does not mean that a person must be married to find happiness. It does mean that we need people. Intimacy is the word used to describe a close relationship. Intimacy is also one of our deepest emotional needs. It is the language of friendship.