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Dear Gary - March

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
March 27, 2021 4:00 am

Dear Gary - March

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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March 27, 2021 4:00 am

The questions are in, your messages have been received, and it’s time for answers on today's edition of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Each month the New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages takes questions and comments from his listener line. He’ll talk with singles about dating and address the sex-less marriage.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Not licensed in Alaska, Hawaii, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. People are catching on to "The 5 Love Languages" . We've been talking with Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of the mega successful book, "The 5 Love Languages" .

The need to feel loved by the significant people in your life is the deepest emotional need we have. My boyfriend and I read it together, and we quickly realized like we are the exact opposite on the love language scale because we took the quizzes. I'm on with the Gary Chapman.

I mean, love languages, and I'm right here in the middle of it. I don't believe this. Words of affirmation. Today, we open the listener line for your questions on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Hello, Gary. We are in a blended family. My wife and I disagree on many, many things. I'm 38 years old.

I've never been in a relationship. I just revealed to my wife that I had been in sin with pornography. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . It's one of the most anticipated conversations of the month when we open the listener line and hear from you as you pose questions for our trusted pastor, counselor, and author, Dr. Gary Chapman. And we have some great questions today on our March edition of Dear Gary. And it's always our hope when Gary deals with a topic that it might also help you or someone you care about who may be going through some kind of similar situation. So if you'd like to call, leave a question for an upcoming program, feel free to do that. Our number is 1-866-424-GARY. Again, 1-866-424-GARY.

Leave your message, and we'll try to get it on a future broadcast. Featured resource today is by York Moore and Dr. Chapman. It's titled Seen, Known, Loved, Five Truths About God and Your Love Language.

York has such an interesting story, Gary. Why do you think this book is important? Chris, I am excited about this book because it's designed for a generation that is experiencing loneliness and a sense of discouragement and a sense that nobody really knows me, nobody really cares about me. And as you know, the suicide rate has gone up within the past year or so. And it's not all the pandemic.

It's just this sense that nobody really cares. And so this book is really written to non-Christians. And we're saying, you know, you are known and you are loved by God.

And we're using "The 5 Love Languages" to demonstrate that. It's the kind of book that you can give, as a Christian can give, to a non-Christian. In fact, I had a guy say to me a few months ago, he said, Gary, I bought a whole case of those books after I read it, and I've given them to everybody I know that are non-Christians. And he said, what I'm telling them is, hey, read this book and tell me what you think about it. And it's a small book, you know, it's a readable book. I think the non-Christians will, if they begin reading it, they'll read it. So yeah, I think God's going to use this book to bring some people into the family, which is why we wrote it. Seen, known, loved.

Doesn't that sound good? Five truths about God in your love language. You can find out more about it at fivelovelanguages.com. All right, now since this is our March Dear Gary program, let's get to your calls. First up, a new marriage with a blended family struggle.

Hi, Gary. I've been married since July of 2019. I've been listening to your podcast a lot lately, and I've read "The 5 Love Languages" and a blended family book that you wrote, I think, with Ron Deal. I'm dealing with a lot right now in my marriage. My wife and I disagree on many, many things. We are in a blended family. She has a son, so I'm a stepdad, and we disagree on, you know, raising him and communication and, golly, just a lot of things. I've been to counseling a couple times. She's gone with me once.

It didn't go over very well. She's had a traumatic past, and I have not. So there's just been a lot of difficulties in our marriage, and I just want to reach out to you and just ask for any help and if there's any hope, because I feel a little hopeless at the moment. So I appreciate everything.

Thank you so much. Well, first of all, Chris, when we're in a blended family, the dynamics are very different than when neither of us had been married before, and that's why Ron Deal and I wrote the book that he alluded to, you know, Building Love Together in Blended Families. I mean, let's face it, every married couple is going to have differences for one simple reason. We're human, and humans don't think the same way. We don't have the same ideas.

We don't have the same emotional response to the things that happen. So that's just a part of being married, conflicts over various and sundry issues, but I understand how you can get to the place where you feel like there's no hope. It just seems like we disagree on everything, and all we do is argue about it, and we don't solve things by arguing. We solve things by listening and trying to hear what the other person is saying, putting ourselves in their shoes, looking at the world through their eyes, and asking questions to clarify so that you really can understand. You may not agree with it, but you can say, you know, honey, now that I've heard you, I can understand why you would think that, and I can see how that would make sense, you know, and let me share my side. If you learn to listen to each other, and affirm each other, and give them the freedom to disagree with you, then you can focus on how can we solve the problem.

What are the possibilities here? Let's talk about how we can solve this, because marriage is a team. We come to marriage with different ideas, and we come with different abilities, but if we will listen to each other, that's the key. Listening and affirming each other, and then saying, how can we solve this? And there's three basic ways to solve a conflict. One is that one of you agrees to go with the other's position, and say, okay, I think in this case, I'm willing to go with you. I'll do what you're thinking. The other is, I'll meet you in the middle. That is, let's find something between the two ideas. We're going to both compromise. We're going to both give a little, but something we can agree on, and the other is, we agree to disagree, and some of those things, you know, we'll come back and discuss them again in a month, but sometimes agreeing to disagree is okay. We can live for a lifetime like that. If I give you a simple example, you know, one of the arguments that couples often have is simply, do we squeeze the toothpaste in the middle or on the bottom? Well, let's just get two tubes. You do it your way, I do it my way.

That'll last for a lifetime. So, I can understand the hopelessness that the caller is feeling, and I'm very empathetic with that, but I would say, yes, there is hope, and you're looking in the right direction. When you're reading a book on blended family, like the one that we mentioned, and if she would read it with you, that would certainly be ideal. Each of you read a chapter a week and then say, what can we learn from this chapter? That would be ideal, but if not, at least you can read it and begin to apply some of those things, and then the other thing you're doing, I think that's very commendable, is you're reaching out for counseling, and even if she doesn't go with you, still, you can process your own feelings, and the counselor can help you think of different ways to approach her so that she might have a more open spirit to you. So, don't give up. Listen, God can change hearts and minds, and make sure, first of all, that you're walking close to God, and you're asking God to give you what Jesus demonstrated when he said, I did not come to be served, I came to serve and give my life a ransom for others.

You don't have to give your life a ransom. Jesus did that already, okay, but we're here to follow his example and serve our wife, speak her love language, meet her needs, and when we're doing that, she's far more likely to be open to your ideas and listen to you. You listen to her, you meet her needs for love, and see if God doesn't use that to change her heart. And he mentioned trauma in her past, which is not part of his, a lot of grace and a lot of understanding. That might be the best thing that comes from the counseling that he goes to, is how do I love her when she has a lot of things that are coming up from the past that I don't understand? Yeah, absolutely, Chris. And we're all impacted by our past experience. We're not controlled by it, but often we need help to process the emotions, the thoughts, the memories of all of that. And, you know, if she got counseling just for herself to process some of that, that would be a positive step in the right direction. The book that was mentioned by our caller is Building Love Together in Blended Families, "The 5 Love Languages" , and Becoming Step Family Smart by Ron Deal and Dr. Gary Chapman.

You can find out more at fivelovelanguages.com. Before we take a break, I want you to hear this single caller, Gary, who wants your advice about his dating situation. Hello, Gary. Love listening to your show.

Pretty much every week, the respite for my weary soul. But anyway, I have a friend of mine that keeps telling me, you got to be, you know, dating and why aren't you? And, you know, it's going to be good for you. And the reality is, I really don't want to. I'm not really, I'm not really interested. I've had, you know, lots of stuff going on in the past. And I just, you know, I mean, my eyes are open, but I'm just not interested.

And everything married single my whole life. And I don't know how quite respond to my friend, he just doesn't want to let up. And maybe I have to have a talk with my friend. But I don't know, I don't think I'm abnormal, but just not into it.

And I tried the websites, and it doesn't really work for me. So I just want to know what your take on that is. Thank you. Well, to date or not to date? That sounds like the question. I think your friend is speaking from his own experience, and how meaningful it's been to have a relationship with a gal. And maybe he's already married, I don't know. And he knows that you don't typically get married until you date.

And so he's trying to encourage you along those lines. God has a plan for each one of us. And though the plan for most people is marriage, it doesn't mean it's the plan for everyone. I mean, there are biblical examples of folks that didn't get married. So I think the key is your walk with God, walk closely with God, and then be involved in a church family where there are other single adults so that you can interface with them and help them process life and let them help you process life. You know, it's in the context of following God and living out your life for Him, that if it's God's plan for you to get married eventually, the lady will surface somewhere along the line in that journey.

If you're following God and walking closely with Him, involved in a local church, and God has a person for you, He knows how to bring that person to you. So, you know, I wouldn't put yourself down for not having real interest in that right now. One of the questions I would ask, if you were in my office, is, what are you interested in? What are you doing with your life? You know, how are you investing your life?

Because that's the key issue. God wants each of us, He's equipped us, and He wants us to use what He's given us to serve His purposes. And that means involving people, reaching out and investing your life in people, helping them come to know Christ, helping them to grow in Christ, and walking alongside, letting them encourage you, and you encourage them. If you're living that kind of walk with God, and it's God's intention for you to marry, at the right time, you'll be interested.

Okay? So, yeah, talk with your friend though, share your heart with your friend, but mainly keep open to what God has for you. Heather- Our program is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and this is our Dear Gary broadcast for March. If you have a relationship question, call our number, 1-866-424-GARY. This is not a counseling line, we can't call you back, but if you'll keep your question as brief as possible, we'll try to address it here on the program. Also, be sure to turn down any music or the radio in the background.

We get some great questions, but sometimes we can't use them because of all the background noise. So call us today, 1-866-424-GARY. Gary- A featured resource today is R. York Moore's book, written along with Dr. Chapman, Seen, Known, Loved, Five Truths About God and Your Love Language.

You can find out more about it at fivelovelanguages.com. Okay, Gary, next up is a husband who was honest with his wife, but that caused some problems. And a note to parents, this call does deal with the topic of pornography, so we want to give you fair warning about that. Here's our next call.

Gary- Hi, Gary. I'm calling because I'm married eight years, and I just revealed to my wife that I had been in sin with masturbation and pornography for the past two months. I confessed out of conviction, and we are going to go see couples therapy. In this process, we haven't been able to really talk much. There's no real communication, which I understand. I just want to know where do I go from here as far as next steps in the healing process for my wife.

Thanks. Gary- Well, I think there are many of our listeners, Chris, who can identify with this. Many of them, of course, have not confessed to their wife, and they're still walking that journey. And I would say to this caller, you know, it's great that you have been honest enough to turn away from that. You responded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and you've confessed that to your wife.

Secondly, I think you're moving in the right direction when you say we are going to counseling, or at least you're getting ready to go to counseling. I think you have to acknowledge that what she, her response is a very normal response. I mean, it is deeply painful for a wife when she discovers, whether she discovers it herself, or whether he reveals it to her. It's deeply painful to her that he's been involved in pornography. Because in her heart, she's asking, why does he have to turn to some unreal world rather than in the real world and relate to me?

So very, very painful. And it will take time for her to process her emotions. But if she sees your heart is to follow God, you've shared this with her because you want to do what is right. And she will come, I think, she will, especially if she's a believer, she will come to forgive you eventually.

But don't press the issue, and don't preach to her. You know, don't say, well, you know, you've got to forgive me. The Bible says you've got to forgive. No, no, no, no, no, you let God work in her heart and bring her to forgiveness in the time when she's ready to do that. But a counselor can and likely will be very, very helpful to both of you as you process this together. It will take time for healing, but there is healing. There's healing on the other side of what you've gone through. So keep your heart beating with God's heart and know that God has forgiven you already.

When we confess our sins, God is forgiving us because Christ has paid for all of our sins. And so as a forgiven person, ask him now to show you how to express love and understanding to your wife as she processes these emotions in her own heart. And to let that run its course with, let her process it in her in her own time.

I think what you're saying is a lot of men, and this goes the other way too, there are women who have been hooked on pornography as well, but in this situation, here's a husband. I think the thing that I hear from callers on this program time and time again is, I've rushed my wife. I've not let her feel everything and it feels so bad when I don't feel, you know, the acceptance and the love from her.

Talk about that. How long should it take, quote unquote? Chris, I don't think there's a specific time. It is different with different people, but I do think talking about it, and this is why a counselor can be helpful to her, letting her share in his presence and the presence of a counselor her feelings, her hurt, her pain. Right now she's not talking. At least it sounds like she's not talking. She's just withdrawn.

She's so hurt. But in the counseling office where it's safe, she can begin to share and talk her way through that. And that's the process.

You have to share the hurt, the pain, and she can do that more readily, typically, in a counselor's office with him than with him alone. So there's no specific time framework, Chris. It's a process. But if you're in the process, you're moving in the right direction.

Yeah. Well, let's take a call from a listener who responded to a previous program. This is our March Dear Gary broadcast, and I want you to hear the emotion, the passion for the topic that caused her to call. You'll hear why right now.

Dr. Chapman, thank you for taking this call. I am driving, and I had to pull over because I just heard the conversation about women who are in abusive marriages. I have definite sensitivities to this, not because I was in it, but because we, my husband and I, and our church walked through with my sister a horrific abusive situation. Caregivers like you guys need to know that this isn't just, hey, I love you, but I'm going to go live with my mom for a while until you get straightened out, basically, because these men, many of them will damage the woman physically, will take away her children.

And I don't just mean legally. This man did the parental alienation of all five children. He forced her into utter poverty.

He stalked her. It is not safe to just assume that a woman can say, hey, I love you, but we need to separate while you get help because an abusive, narcissistic abuser will not get help because it destroys his ability to have benefits for himself. And the saying that women don't go in for divorce a lot of times because they don't want to be the one that breaks the marriage, I'm sorry, an abusive man breaks the vows. You cannot have an abusive relationship where he has not broken at least one of the vows he made to this woman. A woman escaping abuse is not breaking the marriage. The marriage was already broken. Like I said, this is a really hot topic for me.

And we went through tragedy because of the abusiveness. So thank you for taking my call. God bless you.

Bye. Well, Chris, I am really grateful that this lady took the time to stop driving to share what she just shared. Because what she says is true. And apparently she interpreted what I said is that there's no place for a wife to divorce a husband. My comment was that you get to the place where you say to that abusive husband, I can't stay here. You know, I'm not going to help you continue to do what you're doing to me and the children.

So I'm going to move out and I'm challenging you to get help. If you do, then I'm willing to join you in marriage counseling. But what she's pointing out is that there are husbands who are not going to change, who do not change, who do not get counseling. And therefore there comes a place where divorce is inevitable.

And I fully agree with what she's saying. A woman should not stay in a marriage where she is being physically, verbally abused and the children are being hurt and damaged by the whole thing. It is a loving act to move out of that situation. So, you know, divorce is never God's intention. But divorce is sometimes inevitable because one person cannot keep a marriage together. And it's kind of the lesser of the two situations is to get out of the situation. Yeah, I'm sure that there are many others who identify with what this caller has shared today. And I'm certainly empathetic with what she's saying as well. Yeah. Before we get to our midpoint break here, Gary, just a quick question about where you live.

We had a caller call and ask a question. I'm living in the north in a state. My wife wants to live in the south.

It's a relatively new marriage. How do you deal with a geography struggle like that? She wants to live one place.

I want to live another. You should always move to the south, Chris. I live in North Carolina, okay. Well, that is sometimes a question that arises in a marriage, especially in the early years of a marriage when, you know, maybe you've lost a job and it's up now, okay, we could go anywhere, you know, just wherever we might find the job. Or maybe there's family in one place and not in another place. So, yeah, I think this is a common disagreement. And I think it's processed like any disagreement. You listen to the other person, you know, what are their reasons for wanting to move to another place?

What are your reasons for wanting to stay where you are or move somewhere else? And be empathetic with each other rather than domineering, you know, and trying to demand, we're going to do it my way. And I think sometimes a husband, because of the leadership thing, you know, the husband's the head of the wife, he kind of pulled that card out and said, well, you know, we're going to do what I say. You're going to have to submit to me. Well, you know, submission is not a female word.

It's a Christian word. We submit to each other. What we want is, what is God's plan for us? So I think it would involve praying about it and asking God for direction and also talking to other people who may have made a move in the direction, in either direction, or maybe a couple in the church who's gone through this themselves and struggled with it.

Don't just limit it to the two of you. Find out everything you can about the other place. And what are the possibilities of jobs? You know, sometimes people move based on a job, because they can't get a job where they are, but they can get a job somewhere else. So there's a lot of factors there, and there's no easy answer to it. But ultimately, obviously, you have to make a decision. So, you know, it's trying to be loving to each other, understanding of each other, and hearing each other's reasons. And if it's a family thing, like, you know, the mother and the mother of the bride or the mother of the husband and the father are elderly, and they're not going to be around much longer, it appears, you know, they want to be closer to them so they can help them and minister to them. That needs to have some weight, because the Bible says we are to honor our parents. And it doesn't always mean we have to live close to them to be sure. But if there's nobody else there that can take care of them, that's a pretty heavy weight on that. Maybe we ought to do that, at least for these next few years, while they're in this situation. But hopefully, if we genuinely love each other, and we're praying and asking God to bring us to a place of peace about this, we'll get there.

Yeah. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, New York Times best-selling author of "The 5 Love Languages" . If you enjoy our program, visit our website, fivelovelanguages.com. There you'll find our featured resource, the book by York Moore and Dr. Gary Chapman, Seen, Known, Loved, Five Truths About God and Your Love Language. Just go to fivelovelanguages.com to find out more. You can also hear a podcast of today's program, download the Love Nudge app and a whole lot more.

Just go to fivelovelanguages.com. All right, Gary, here's a question about sex in marriage and the disappointment of a wife. Hi, Gary. I want you to address the issue of a sexless marriage, which I'm in. My husband decided four years ago that he did no longer want to have sex. And I find this very saddening and disturbing and just sad. It's very, very sad.

I am in counseling, my husband is in counseling, and it doesn't seem to get any better. So come July, if we make it that long, we'll be five years without sex. So I want you to address that issue on your program, the sexless marriage from a woman's point of view, because yes, we are sexual beings too. And while I think you addressed the issue of a man needing sex quite well in your book, you did not address the needs of a woman in your book very well at all. Thank you.

Goodbye. Well, I appreciate this call and the openness with which she shares this. You know, the reality is, of course, God made us, male and female. God instituted marriage. And relating to each other in the physical world, in the sexual world, is a part of God's plan. I mean, it's just that simple. Now, yes, there are situations where there are diseases, you know, that would hinder a person from having what we would call normal sexual relationships.

But apparently here, that's not a problem. It's something that's going on inside of him. Now, the question, if I were his counselor, the question I would be looking for is why?

Because this is not natural. There's something going on physically, emotionally, something going on here inside of him that brings him to this decision. Whether or not he's involved in with other people or involved with porn or, you know, some finding sexual release somewhere else. And that's always a possibility. But getting to the root of that would be the first step in the counseling process as to why he has made this decision and why he has withdrawn from this part of the marriage.

And, you know, not knowing what that is, of course, I can't, I couldn't deal with that. But that's the key. And I'm glad to hear that both of you are in counseling. Sounds like you are in counseling individually.

And that's probably what's needed right now. Because you need help and someone to walk alongside you while you're dealing with this reality. And he needs a counselor that will help him discover what's going on, what brought him to this place, because it's certainly not natural, let alone spiritual, this decision that he's made. I would hope in the process of counseling, he will ultimately reveal and the counselor can help him discover what's going on that brought him to this decision. Because we can change decisions we've made. And we can choose to make a godly decision in a marriage just as we may choose to make a decision that's not pleasing with God. So I'm empathetic.

I don't know that there's a quick answer to this. But I do think you're moving in the right direction by both of you getting counseling. You know what I like about you, Gary, is you did not respond to her last comment and make this about you. So let me just talk about this for a minute. If she had said the same thing to me, Faber, you wrote something and you didn't say anything about this. I just said, well, on page 34, I said this and get kind of defensive about it. But she said, from her perspective, you really haven't addressed women and sex and the desire for it.

And I get and I get what she's saying. I don't know if she's saying that necessarily about only about you, but the church, the church really hasn't talked a whole lot about that either. Well, I think you're probably right, Chris. I mean, we haven't talked a whole lot about the whole sexual area anyway, in the church, except, you know, we do preach fidelity in the marriage. And we should because that's the biblical pattern. But we don't always talk about the practical issues in this. And, you know, men and women are different. I mean, sexuality is different between men and women. But women have the desire for sex, assuming that they feel loved, you know, and if they don't feel loved by, if he's abusing her and all that sort of thing, she doesn't want to be intimate with him. Because it's not just a physical thing with the wife. It has far more to do with her emotions. If she feels loved by that husband, she wants to be intimate with him physically. If she doesn't feel loved by him and rather feels abused by him, then she doesn't have that desire with him. She still wants to have that kind of intimate relationship, but not if he's going to treat me that way. So understanding male and female differences, it's a struggle that many couples have before they find what I call mutual satisfaction in the marriage.

And that's what God wants, is that it be a mutually loving, supportive, caring relationship that's expressed physically as well as emotionally. We appreciate all your calls and your questions. The things that these honest, open, authentic questions open up with the conversation is just really, really good to hear of the struggles, that there are answers out there, and that God really cares about what you're going through. If you want to call us, 866-424-GARY, we'd love to entertain your question. You agree with Dr. Chapman, disagree, or there's just something that's bubbling up in your heart today that you want to express. 1-866-424-GARY. Let's go back to another single caller and hear about her situation with dating.

Hi, Dr. Gary. I'm dating someone who is bipolar, and he's got a good heart. He's a good man, but it's really hard for me to stand by the sidelines because I see that he's self-imploding. Instead of naming him and giving him a laundry list of things he needs to do, I really feel like he needs to be hospitalized or join a bipolar support group, but his lack of taking care of himself is starting to affect me, and I'm at a crossroads. I'm not sure if I should stay together or break up or press the pause button and let him know, like, when you start taking care of yourself, you know, give me a shout. I don't know what to do, so if you could please advise me, that would be great.

Thank you. Well, as I see it, dating in our culture is for the purpose of getting to know each other so that we can make a wise decision as to whether we would be a team together in marriage, and ultimately, is this God's plan for us that we should be married? Nothing wrong with breaking up a dating relationship for any number of reasons. As a matter of fact, most people do go through more than one dating relationship before they get married, and it can be little things, big things. One, of course, is spirituality. Are we marching to the beat of the same drummer?

And if we're not, and one's following Jesus and one's following something else, that alone may lead us to break up the relationship, because the Scripture is pretty clear about that. But this is a different issue here. This is a mental issue. Bipolarism is pretty well treated with certain medications.

If he were, I don't know if he's under a doctor's care or not, but medication can really, really help with a bipolar person. If he's not willing to, as you say, reach out and find that kind of help, that may certainly be a red flag saying, you know, this is not for me. I don't want to be with a person who's not willing to deal with the reality that's in his life.

So I think, obviously, the caller is expressing a concern. Should I stay in this relationship? Should I back off until he takes some steps to deal with this and then maybe re-engage? I don't know, but I think you can't ignore his, apparently, his inactivity in terms of taking care of himself and dealing specifically with the bipolar situation. So, you know, obviously no one can tell you what you should do to break up or not break up.

But it is a decision, I think, that you will come to as you ask God for direction about this. Obviously, you care about him or you would not even be dating him. You have some interest, and as you said, he's a good man.

He has a good heart. Yeah, but I do think you may be in a position, he may be willing to listen to you when you say to him, you know, for example, if he's not on medication and hasn't seen a doctor with regard to this, to really emphasize and push on that issue. If he's unwilling to do that, if he's unwilling to respond to your good intentions of helping him, that again is a red flag saying, well, if he's not going to listen to you even when you're trying to help him, then certainly you wouldn't want to be linked up with him for a lifetime. So I think your concern is legitimate, and I think my suggestion would be to press the issue with him.

And if he's not willing to do that, then it's probably time for you to back off. And the thing that I love about her call is that she didn't spike this. You know, she didn't say, well, I'm sure it'll get better down the road. I'm sure it's all going to work out okay. No, as you said, the red flag.

When that comes up, listen to it, address it, deal with it, because it doesn't just go away down the road. I think she's picking up something real here. Yeah, I agree. Gary, let's hear from one more single caller. And singles, thank you for asking some great questions here today. If you'd like to join us, you're single and you have a question, 1-866-424-GARY is our number. You can leave that for a future broadcast, 1-866-424-GARY. Now, what will Gary say to this question?

Hi, Gary. I want to first say thank you for taking my call. I am a 38 year old woman. I am still a virgin. I decided when I was 23 years old that I would remain a virgin until marriage as my way of honoring God. The thing is, is that I'm 38 years old and I'm still a virgin.

I've never been in a relationship and I just did not think that I would be here at almost 40 years old. I have always, ever since I was a teenager, desired marriage, but I have been recently rejected by a man that I want to be in a relationship with and rejection is hard. And at this place in my life, I still want to desperately believe that what God has for me is the best. And I also want to desire His will in my life. What I don't want is to become hardened in my heart or sad, fatter than I am now, actually. But I also want to make sure I am not disregarding my own feelings as invalid. So my question for you is, how can I live my life where I am actually believing that God is more than enough and that He's just better than all these temporal things down here on the earth?

I know that heaven is my home. I know that when I meet Jesus one day, He is not going to ask me how many boyfriends I had or how many men desire to be with me. I, however, cannot deny that this rejection hurts and that I feel sad, like love and marriage may never come for me. I don't know what to do or how to feel. Your thoughts, your perspective, and your advice is greatly appreciated because I know that it will always be biblically found.

Thank you. Well, you can identify, Chris, with this caller. All of us can, because by nature, most of us desire to be married. And God made us that way.

And there's nothing wrong with that. And when it doesn't happen over the first 38 years, and then you're in a dating relationship, and you feel like, oh, this may lead to marriage, this may be the person, and then they reject you, it's extremely painful. Because at that age, you're thinking, this may be it, you know. And to be rejected by the hope that was there, the light that you saw in the future, for the future, and then to have that light turned off, it's a pretty dark time for her. But I am really grateful to hear the positive things she said, that she's honoring, she wants to honor God, and she wants God's will. She's acknowledging her pain, and she's still hoping that God has someone for her out there in her life. But she also recognizes that that's not the most important thing in life.

And she's committed to the most important thing, and that is following God and serving God. And I think what I would say is, there's nothing wrong with feeling hurt, feeling pain, whatever emotions that come with the rejection you've experienced. We don't choose our emotions. Our emotions come based on the circumstances around us, the things that we encounter. And we don't necessarily change our emotions. They're just there. But we don't want to let those emotions control us and lead us, for example, to withdraw and not participate with other people because we're feeling so hurt.

You see, we control our behavior. So even though you're down, you're feeling sad about what's happened, don't withdraw from your involvement with other people in the church or at your job, wherever you encounter people. Continue to stay involved with them because it's in the normal flow of life that we normally meet the person that we're going to marry, if indeed God's plan is for us to marry.

I would say this also. When we're down, and when we're alone, and when we feel lonesome or feel rejected, one of the best things we can do is to find a place of service to other people. Life's greatest meaning is found in serving others. So if you're not already involved in some local ministry that includes serving other people in whatever way, I would encourage you to seek out that place of service because you're going to find great satisfaction in serving other people in the name of Jesus. And in that process of following him and investing your life in something that's worthwhile, whether you get married or whether you don't get married, you will come to the end of the journey and say, man, I'm glad I invested my life that way. And if God's plan is for you to get married somewhere in that journey alone there, God will bring that person into your life.

I really believe that. I'm struck by the second caller to the program was the, remember the man who said, I'm really not interested in dating and I've had things in the past and I'm just moving on with my life. Am I okay?

And here is a person who said, I've gone 38 years. I've made this commitment to God to live in purity. And I'm feeling, I'm really struggling with this. And the differences in those two different calls, but her call, I really think what she's asking is how do I have faith that God really is for me, that he really does see me, know me, love me. Can I believe while I have the hurt and the struggle inside? And that's, I think is really the definition of faith. Are you going to believe that God really is for you and has your best interests at heart?

Yeah. And Chris, you know, it's not God's plan for every single person to get married. It is the plan for most people to get married. But I think singleness is a ministry that looks, and there are many missionaries who have served their whole life on the mission field in another country who never got married, but who had a tremendous impact for God by touching the lives of people they served. And that's far more important than to be married or not to be married. And even in marriage, we find our greatest, we find our greatest satisfaction, not simply in being married, but in helping each other serve God, you know, do what God has for us in our lives. And we're there to encourage each other and help each other in that process. So whether we're single or married, life's deepest satisfaction is found in walking with God and serving other people as God leads us. Well, a good word for all of our listeners single or married today.

And again, thank you for your calls. I wonder, Gary, as we are hurtling quickly toward Easter, if you have a word for those who are listening today, especially with all the pandemic and the changes and the struggles that we've gone through, what are you looking forward to next weekend? You know, Chris, it's very interesting that in the midst of the pandemic, Easter celebrations are probably going to be quite different from what they have been in the past. By which I mean, normally, it is the largest attendance at a church on Easter Sunday. People who go to church only once a year, many will go on Easter Sunday and Christmas, Christmas Sunday. And I think in many places, that's not going to be true this year, because churches are not totally open to just fill, you know, the place.

Most of them can accommodate only a minimal crowd and still, you know, keep social distance and so forth. But, you know, whether we are able to gather in a meeting place with other Christians to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, or whether it's in our own personal journey up the week of Easter, we're going to use this week to reflect on the life of Jesus, and how he poured out his life in serving others, and then the greatest sacrifice he gave on the cross when he died for our sins, so that God could forgive us and still be a holy God, because his own Son, who was perfect, paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. And then the glorious resurrection, that he is not simply a dead religious leader.

He is the living God who lived among us, who died a physical death, who was raised with a resurrection body, similar to the body we're going to have when we are resurrected with him. And so we celebrate that, because there's nothing more satisfying than to know God in a personal way, and to know that when this life is over, whatever we have done, we're going to spend eternity with God. So whether we're able to gather with others, or simply perhaps watch on the television or online as far as the celebration part of worship, let our hearts be drawn to the reality that this life is not all, and that beyond death there is life, and not simply life, but life that we have not even imagined how great it will be. And if that stirs something in you, and you have a comment or a question about the program, one more time, 1-866-424-GARY is the number if you'd like to call us today. We'd love to hear from you. And don't forget our featured resource, the book by Dr. Chapman and York Moore, Seen, Known, Loved, Five Truths About God in Your Love Language. You'll find it at 5lovelanguages.com. And next week, author Dan Darling will take us on a guided tour of the people who populate the story of Easter. Don't miss it one day before Easter Sunday. Well, a big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Todd, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman as a production of Moody Radio in Chicago, in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-21 07:58:44 / 2023-08-21 08:17:14 / 19

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