Category: Stories

Understanding the value of apologizing.

I was giving a lecture on the five love languages of apology. At the break, a man approached me and said: “For the first time in my life, I understand the value of apologizing. My father’s philosophy was that ‘apologizing gets you nowhere. Do the best you can and never look back.’ That’s pretty much the way I lived until my wife committed adultery.” “So, what would it take for you to forgive her?” I asked. “I want her to admit that what she did was wrong and to promise me that she will never do it again. If I knew that she would never do it again, I think I could forgive her.” This husband was demonstrating the necessity of apologies. There are no healthy marriages without apologies and forgiveness.

New Direction

All of us are in the process of leaving a spiritual legacy for our children. Some parents leave a negative spiritual legacy. One young man said, “My father said he was a Christian, but I never saw any evidence of it. I never saw him read the Bible and never heard him pray. He didn’t go to church. He often cursed, and when he lost his temper he was anything but a Christian. My poor mother put up with more junk than any woman should have to endure. If my father was a Christian, then I don’t want to be one.”

Sadly, this father left a spiritual legacy, but it was negative. The spiritual legacy we leave depends upon how closely our walk matches our talk. Perhaps today is the day to confess failures and turn your life in a new direction.

One Day at a Time

Will you leave your children a strong marital legacy? Recently a man shared with me this story. “Before my dad died, he told me he wanted me to have his wedding band. After his death, when I went to the nursing home, they gave me a bag with Dad’s clothes. At the bottom was a small plastic bag containing his wedding band. Now, that ring is on my dresser and I look at it every morning to remind myself of Dad’s faithful marriage to Mom for over 50 years. I think about all he did for me when I was young and I pray that I will be the kind of husband and father he was.”

Those words, tell of a legacy far more valuable than money and possessions. Such a legacy is built one day at a time.

Really Did Love You

Sometime ago, I was speaking at a state penitentiary on the topic of the five love languages. I took the slant of helping them understand why they did or did not feel loved by their parents. When I called for questions or comments, one young man said, “I want to thank you for coming. For the first time in my life I realize that my mother loves me. My love language is physical touch, but my mother never hugged me. In fact, the first time I ever remember getting a hug from her was the day I left for prison. But, I realized that she spoke some of the other love languages. She really was loving me. I just didn’t get it.”

Understanding the love languages may also help you discover that your parents really did love you.

Real Men Speak 5 Languages

Guest Post by Zack Williamson (Chapman Team)

Recently I was watching an episode of the new NBC show Losing It with Jillian. This particular episode featured the Vivio family who were learning to overcome some obstacles in regards to their weight. Along the way, a few relationship issues came to the forefront. One of these was Mark’s (husband/father) mentality that real men don’t let their emotions show. Originally instilled from his father, Mark was taught to just “suck it up” and provide for the family. At one point Mark even made this statement about his dad, “To this day he still can’t say it [I love you].” Unbeknownst to Mark, this attitude was having a negative effect on his son, Elijah.

Sometimes the way we think we show love best is not actually the best way to show love. Let me explain. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, everyone has a primary way in which they prefer to receive love called their primary love language. When someone speaks this love language to them, it fills their “love tank” to the brim and, inadvertently, they feel loved. Chapman has revealed five distinct languages from which our primary can be drawn—Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, and Quality Time.

If we do not know, or understand, that the “love tank” of others might be filled best through a language other than our own, we often default to showing love in the way we prefer to receive love ourselves. In Mark’s case, he was speaking Gifts by providing for the material needs of his family. But when he found that, due to some physical issues, he was no longer able to provide to the same degree he once could, Mark struggled with how to show love to his family.

Through a conversation with his wife and Jillian, Mark realizes that Elijah needs more than just provision—he needs Words of Affirmation from his father. During a heartfelt chat with his son, Mark tells Elijah that he is proud of him. A smile appears on Elijah’s face and the video cuts to Elijah saying, “When my dad told me how proud he was of me, I was happy.” In that one powerful moment Mark learns to speak his son’s love language and what a difference it makes for Elijah!

When you learn to speak love languages you are not necessarily comfortable with, you are showing a form of selfless love that speaks for itself. It shows you are genuine and that your love is real. Mark learned this, and his family is better for it.

Mark, thanks for caring enough to step out of your own comfort zone to love your family well. Real men speak 5 languages.