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Dear Gary - January

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
January 30, 2021 1:00 am

Dear Gary - January

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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January 30, 2021 1:00 am

What would you say to someone whose spouse has declared, “I’ve fallen out of love?” What would you say to someone whose spouse has admitted cheating and wants forgiveness? These are the types of questions Dr. Gary Chapman answers on his monthly edition of “Dear Gary.” Hear new questions for the New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages on this edition Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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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! Get ready for some challenging questions about marriage, family struggles, and the love languages. All coming up today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

I've been harassed and bullied for my job. I had a breakup with a beautiful woman. She has been considering selling her eggs.

Her husband has just removed his ring and it's been two months we've been separated. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Today your questions for this trusted author, pastor, and counselor.

It's our January edition of Dear Gary. We always look forward to your questions and your feedback to the program. It's great to hear your response to other callers who get on and ask questions and sometimes you might disagree with something that Dr. Chapman says. It may give him a chance to clarify something and respond to your response so call us. If you have a question, if you have a response, a relational conundrum, 1-866-424-GARY is our number.

You're not going to be on the program today but in a future broadcast you might be. 1-866-424-GARY. Our featured resource today is a book you might have heard of. It's titled "The 5 Love Languages" , The Secret to Love That Lasts.

You can find it at FiveLoveLanguages.com. And Gary, that book continues to be a bestseller every year. It's incredible. It amazes me, Chris. The book, you know, came out in 1992 but it's far more popular now than it was when it first came out.

And almost every year it sells more than the year before. So I think it's because it addresses that deep human need to feel loved. And of course, especially in a marriage. If you're married, you want to feel loved by your spouse. And if you feel like, you know, they love me, they're committed to me, life is good. But if you get the sense that they don't love me, they wish they weren't married to me, life begins to look dark. So it amazes me how many people have said to me, Chris, you know, this book saved our marriage. I mean, we were struggling, we read the book, it was like the lights came on.

And we look back and realize how we had missed each other. In fact, I had a man tell me just this week, he said, Dr. Chapman, I've been married 34 and a half years. And he said, about three months ago, I read your book on "The 5 Love Languages" and realized that for 34 and a half years, I have not been speaking my wife's primary love language. He said, it is changing everything.

He said, I don't know why I didn't find this earlier. So whether you have a good marriage or a struggling marriage, this concept will help the marriage. And I think part of the secret of it, you know, the secret of love that lasts is the simplicity of it. And the way that you write and communicate is, and this is not meant to be pejorative in any way, it's meant to be a compliment. You write simply and you communicate clearly. And I think that's one of the reasons why people have responded.

Well, I think you're right, Chris. If I have a gift, I think it's taking things that seem to be complex and trying to make them simple. And so I write in language of the common person.

You know, I'm not using psychological jargon or deeply theological jargon. I'm just trying to speak in a language that people can understand and consequently, hopefully, apply to their marriage. Yeah. And it makes a great Valentine's gift for anybody. It's called "The 5 Love Languages" , the secret to love that lasts. You'll find out more at fivelovelanguages.com.

All right. Every month we have a dear or just about every month we have a Dear Gary program where we answer your calls. The number is 866-424-GARY.

You can call and leave a message for a future broadcast right now. But I want to begin the conversation, Gary, with a question we have never received. A concerned mom asks this.

Hi, Gary. My 26 year old daughter is struggling financially, terribly, and she has moved home. She has considering selling her eggs for a procedure. I'm wondering, how does the church feel about a young woman, college graduate, very smart, but to sell her eggs to have another woman be impregnated by them? I'm very confused and upset and I'd love to know what you think. Okay.

Thank you. You know, when you ask what does the church think about this practice, it would depend on the church. This is a topic you don't usually hear discussed by churches.

And churches don't typically take a stand on this one way or the other. And a part of that is because there's so many different ways of looking at it. You know, the positive is that it's allowing someone to have a child who would not be able to have a child themselves, but deeply long to be a mother. And that's a positive thing. On the negative side, you have the feeling that somewhere out there, there's a child that I had a part in giving birth to, and I will never know who they are. So that's something to live with, you know. And then we have had situations in which people did trace back and find the person, and it can be, you know, it can be good, it can be a struggle. So I don't think we can say totally, you know, yes, this is the Christian position on this, or no, this is not a Christian position on this.

It's something we're facing in our time that was never, that we did not face in other times, because such things were not possible in those days. And I can certainly understand the concern of this mother, because it's something new to her mind. You know, the very thought of this is new to her and just doesn't seem right to her. At least that's what I'm picking up, Chris, on the way she asked the question. So I don't know.

You want to add to that, Chris? Boy, I would not dare step a foot into what does the church say about this. And I totally understand the mom. I think part of her struggle is that there's a financial component to this, you know, because there are people who become surrogates for somebody else because they really care. And so then the mom and the dad get together and somebody else carries the child, you know, and there's a whole problem with that as well that many people have.

This is not that. This is a financial gain for something that is part of my body, that goes to someone that I probably am not going to ever know, and I don't know that the daughter wants to know it. So there is that component as well, that it feels like you're making money from your own body, and that feels kind of off to her, right?

Yeah, and I did not address that aspect of it, Chris, but I think it is important. I'm glad you brought it up because it seems to me that if a person's going to do this, there should be more than simply a financial motivation. You know, there ought to be a real desire and a picture of what this will mean to some mother out there who cannot have a child, you know, without something like this. I would tend to be concerned also if it's just, you know, she's having financial problems and this is the way she can make money.

I think there ought to be a deeper motivation than that. And I think communication, you talk about this all the time in just about every program that we do, communication is key if the daughter feels judged by mom, if she feels, that's going to push her away. The mom doesn't want to communicate that. She's going to love the daughter whatever she does, if she really does love her unconditionally. She's going to love, whatever you decide in this, you know, I still love you and I'm here for you. But the struggle is, what do we do right here, right now, to allow the mom to communicate to the daughter these real deep concerns?

Yeah, I think you're exactly right, Chris. We need to talk about it, not simply in silence condemn her. You know, she can feel condemned without your saying words of condemnation. I think another suggestion I would give is if you're involved in a church, would be to talk, both of you talk with the pastor about it together. You know, just say we want to share this with you, get your concept, get your ideas on this as well. Help us think about this. Because sometimes listening to someone else and someone else hearing the concept, it can help both of you think about whether this is a wise thing to do or not. And it is a, you know, you bring the theological into this. We were uniquely, wonderfully created and crafted by God himself. And so there are theologians and people in academia and medical ethicists who are believers who have thought about these questions. So there's probably someone out there who's considered this who has a well-formed opinion about it that you could seek out. And I think that communication is key.

Yes. Our program is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and this is our Dear Gary broadcast for January 2021. We would love to hear your questions for Dr. Chapman. Call us today and leave your message. The number is 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.

Call us now, 1-866-424-GARY. Our featured resource is the book that started it all, "The 5 Love Languages" , The Secret to Love That Lasts, perfect for Valentine's Day. You can find out more about it at the website, fivelovelanguages.com.

Again, fivelovelanguages.com. Abuse in marriage, what do you do? Listen to this next call, Gary.

Hi, Gary. I'm calling in because I wanted to reply to a lady that called in about being abused. I was a man for 20 years, and I was verbally and mentally and physically abused, and there are ways of getting out of it. I was hoping someday I could help a lot of women that have a fear of leaving their spouse, but God is so much greater and was there with open arms.

Thank you. Well, Chris, this caller is addressing a key issue in way too many marriages, and that is verbal and physical abuse. And to simply accept that sort of thing over a long period of time is really not a loving response. A loving response is, I love you too much to do nothing and watch you destroy me and harm our children if you have children, and also harm yourself. And so what I'm going to do is I'm going to move in with my mom or I'm going to do whatever, and I'm not abandoning you.

I love you. And whenever you're willing to deal with this issue and you get some counseling, I'm perfectly happy to go with you for counseling at the right time when the counselor is ready to see me, and perhaps we can work things out, but I love you too much to sit here and do nothing. So that kind of separation is a loving act and not simply an act of abandoning the other person. Now, if they obviously are not willing to go for that counseling, not willing to deal with those issues, then the relationship may not be resolved. I think sometimes that Christians are reluctant to take this kind of loving action because they know how strongly God feels about divorce, and they don't want to be the one to cause a divorce. But I'm not talking about divorce. I'm talking about meaningful separation, which is designed to stimulate the person to get the help they need.

I hear this a lot, especially men who will call, that my wife moved out and I don't know what to do here. And you hear the desperation in their voices, and sometimes that's done lovingly and sometimes not, to be honest with you. And you've been very clear about that, that you're not just supposed to stay in an abusive marriage and take it, but sometimes the church gets accused of saying that.

You've heard that, right? Well, I think that's true, Chris. At least that's the impression that sometimes people get from the sermons that we sometimes preach, because we are so strong on the value of marriage, and when you commit yourself, you stay in that marriage. And certainly there is a commitment that we're to stay in that marriage, but we're also committed to trying to do what is the loving thing for the person. And if they're abusing us, it's not a loving thing to simply let that happen and do nothing about it. The loving thing is to try to hold them accountable. If I could take a different illustration, an alcoholic or a drug abuser is likely not going to get help until a person applies what we sometimes call tough love and says to them, to a spouse, I love you too much to sit here and simply watch you destroy yourself. So I cannot be a part of this, and I'm going to move out temporarily or whatever, and I'm not abandoning you. I love you, and I want you to get help. And if you will get help and deal with this issue, we can have a wonderful marriage, and that's what I'm praying for, and that's what I'm going to work toward.

That is a loving approach, whatever the nature of the offense. If it's something that is so gripped the other person that they will never change until they have a crisis, it's a crisis like that that often leads alcoholics and drug abusers to get the help they need. Well, if you have a response to that question and answer or something else that's going on in your relationships, here's the number, 1-866-424-GARY.

Leave your message. We can't call you back. This is not a counseling line, but if you'll leave a brief description of your struggle or the question that you have for Dr. Chapman, we'd love to address it, 1-866-424-GARY. Workplace issues can be really difficult. Have you ever struggled with that? Here's our next caller.

Hi, Gary. I've been harassed and bullied on my job with crazy things that are against me since they can't get anything against me and doing my work, me doing my performance and doing my work. Now things are being lied on. I was called in the office for a file that they claimed that I did not do. I was told that I was a problem on the job. I was not confrontational at all. I've been on my job for 34 years.

These are the little smallest things I'm getting recommended for. I'm getting suspended for things that it's not right. I'm so mentally and physically upset. I applied for another position because I was just tired. I work in a hospital.

I've been in several different positions within the 34 years. I've always had problems with the women, not all just selective women. Women are very vicious, very jealous. If they see that you have the light in you, I say it's Christ, because that's who I believe in, and they just don't care about you.

They're just very jealous, or they're jealous of something that's insecure of their own self. I know I'm a target, so I keep my mouth shut. I keep my mouth shut. However, today is the day they will tell me whether or not if I'm fired. I have not got a paycheck.

It is wrong. I spoke to a lawyer. I have a lawyer now who finally took the case.

I don't know what to do. Well, we received this call some time ago, so I really don't know how this has worked out for the caller. But I do know that there are many people who are in job-related situations where they feel like they've been treated unfairly. And whenever that happens, I think two or three things are important. One is to ask ourselves, is there any truth to what is being said?

Because sometimes we have one perception, but others around us have a different perception. And so I think it's always good to start with yourself. Lord, is there something here that I need to learn from this?

Am I coming across the wrong way to people? So we want to make it a learning experience. Secondly, I think we need to take steps that will try to address the problem. And that would be to go to the person. First of all, your immediate supervisor. Perhaps the immediate supervisor is the one who has called you in accusing you of these things. And so that's not going to be very helpful. But I think going to the supervisor and saying, I'd like to just share my perspective on this, and I know you've given me your perspective.

I'll give you my perspective. Because sometimes in conversation, you can share things that they're not aware of that can help them see things from a different light. And maybe there's some background between you and this person who has accused you that the supervisor doesn't know about. But what I'm saying is communication with the people under whose umbrella you are working can always be a positive step. It may not resolve the problem, but it's a positive step. In terms of the lawyer, people have different opinions on this as to whether it's an advantage to file a lawsuit. A lot depends on the issues that are there and what evidence is there and that sort of thing. On the other hand, sometimes you can get into a long, drawn-out litigation that leads nowhere.

So I guess, again, it would depend on the nature of the offense and what the implications are for you. But I do think exploring the possibility of moving to another job would certainly be in place when you've done everything you know to do to try to make things different there. I don't think it's healthy to stay in a work situation where you just feel oppressed and you just hate to go to work because it's so oppressive. There comes a time to look for another job.

I think often that is the ultimate answer is to get out of that pressured situation and find a job where you will not only enjoy what you're doing, but will feel appreciated by the people for whom and with whom you're working. And probably somebody listening right now who's going through a similar type of thing where they just don't feel fulfilled where they are and then there come these storms. I think God sometimes allows that to happen to put us on the track. We talked about waiting well, waiting on God and seeing what He has in store for us. That can be a difficult process when you're in the middle of it, but as you look back on it, when He opens another door for you and you walk through it, it can be really fulfilling. I think that's true, Chris.

I think sometimes God uses pressure on us and allows things to happen to us in a situation because He wants to move us to another place. So we should always be open to that possibility. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Featured resource today is the book that started it all, "The 5 Love Languages" . We have it.

You can find out more at fivelovelanguages.com. And this is our Dear Gary broadcast where we take your questions. Our number is 1-866-424-GARY. Leave a message. We may get to it on a future broadcast. Here's a question from a concerned dad on Building Relationships.

Hey, Gary. I have adult children that are struggling in some ways, and I was just curious if the book Love Languages for Children would be appropriate because there's a difference, of course, when they're at home and in your house and under your supervision and they're much, much different, of course, when they're in their 20s and building their own lives and stuff, but in some ways they still need some kind of affirmation. So anyway, if I can get some kind of reply, I would appreciate it. I think the book that I wrote on "The 5 Love Languages" of Children is designed for parents who have elementary-aged children. That's the focus of that book.

I do, however, have another book that I wrote with Dr. Ross Campbell, who was a Christian psychiatrist. He's in heaven now, and that book is called How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and I think you would find that book to be very helpful because it's written specifically to parents of adult children, and it deals with the various dynamics that are in that kind of relationship. Certainly adult children need to be affirmed, and knowing their love language and speaking their love language would certainly be an important part of loving your adult children, but there's a lot of other information in that book that I think you'll find extremely helpful. What would you say to the parent listening right now who has had that, especially in the last year with COVID, a lot of adult children have moved back home for obvious reasons, and more is going on inside the home, you know, work inside the home too, and you see them struggling. Is there anything that you would suggest for them to do once that has happened? I think one thing, Chris, is to first of all be empathetic with that adult child because they likely are not happy with themselves to be back at home. They would much prefer to have a full-time job and be working and making on their own, and they certainly don't need condemnation. At the same time, I think if they're going to be there for a while, you need to have conversations about what does this look like, and while you are here, how can you help in the family because every family member, we're on a team here, and every family member should be having an input, so we are happy to help you during this time, and what is the best way we can help you? And maybe one of the ways to help is by exploring the possibility to need additional training as a young adult in order to get a job that's going to be meaningful to them. So if they have an interest that they've never really been able to explore, maybe offering to pay for them to go to the local community college and take some courses that would prepare them for a particular vocation because sometimes this is the problem with adult children moving home.

They don't have the skills to find a job where they can support themselves. So I think what you want to do is make it a learning experience and also acknowledge that it's temporary. You know, we want you to be here, we want to help you through the crisis time, but we also want to help prepare you so that you can live your own life because we know that's what you want, and that's what we want for you as well. If you enjoy our program, please visit our website, fivelovelanguages.com. There you'll find out more about Dr. Gary Chapman, his New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" , happens to be our featured resource today.

You can also hear podcasts of the program and find out about your love language. And if you enjoy our Dear Gary broadcast every month, jump in with your question or comment by calling us at 1-866-424-GARY. That's 1-866-424-GARY. We'd love to hear from you today. We had a caller some time ago who left a message, and I titled this Love of My Life. And here's the situation, Gary. I'll just speak it because the phone line was a little noisy. Basically, he's fallen in love with someone, with a woman, and she lives in the Philippines, and he just loves her dearly. And the main thing that I pulled out of the question was I just want a little happiness in my life, and I want it for both of us.

Would you pray for us? The complication comes in that he doesn't have a passport to get to her. He's also had some trouble with the law. There was a conviction.

So there are some complicating factors here. He did say, I've given my life over to God. And what I hear him saying is, I've given my life to God. Why doesn't he give me this one thing that's going to make me happy in my life, which is marrying this person in another country?

So that's the gist of his question. What would you say to him? Well, my observation would be, first of all, that he's in the middle of what we typically call falling in love. That is, he's got these euphoric feelings for someone he's met online, I'm guessing.

And they've had a lot of conversations, and he's got all these strong feelings for her, and he has the idea that she is the one that will make me happy. If I can be with this woman and marry this woman, I'm going to be happy forever. That's a very common thought and feeling when you're in love with somebody. However, being in love is not the foundation for a successful marriage. Many, many people fall in love and marry someone, and then they're very unhappy when they come down off of that short-term in love experience.

It has the average lifespan of two years, and you come down off that high. The fact that he has a felony in his background, the fact that he has been denied a passport, probably based on the felony, the fact that he's had a felony, makes it pretty unlikely that he's going to be able to go to the Philippines. That's my judgment. He's asking us to pray that he'll be able to do that. I would ask for God, your will.

You know Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane? He said, Father, if it's your will, let this cup pass from me. I don't really want to go to the cross, but what I want is your will. This, I think, needs to be the attitude of this person and people who are in similar situations. Lord, you know, in my mind, this is what I want.

This would really make me happy. I'm asking you to do this for me. But really, God, what I want is your will. Because, you see, God knows everything about him and everything about her. And God knows whether this is His plan, His will for this gentleman. And so, fine, express your desires for God, but keep an open hand and realize, if God says no and He doesn't work this out for you, it's because He loves you. And He knows this is not His plan for you. You know, I remember years ago when I was younger, I prayed that God would touch the heart of this woman that I was in love with and convince her that she should marry me. Looking back on it, I'm glad God didn't answer that prayer. So, I'm glad that this person has given their life to Christ.

That's the starting point. And then I think you walk with Him, grow, get in a church, get involved with people in the church and seek to grow as a Christian. And if God doesn't work this out for you, He'll bring somebody along.

If it is His plan for you to get married, He'll bring somebody along at the right time who will be the person that God will use to enrich your life and you can enrich their life. You know, and I want to make a point here, too, of anybody who's had something in the past, some conviction in the past, quote-unquote, where somebody has stamped on you, you know, guilty of this or that or the other thing. That does not disqualify you from life.

It doesn't disqualify you from love. It certainly doesn't disqualify you from the kingdom of God because that's why He came, because we're all guilty before Him. But I just want you to speak into the life of people who have made mistakes in the past and are living under the weight of some of those mistakes.

They don't have to live under that weight, right? I'm glad you brought that up, Chris, because you're exactly right. You know, God forgives us and God receives us as His children, and from that juncture on, if we'll follow Him, He has good plans for us. There are, of course, consequences to the things that we did wrong. You know, if you, for example, were involved in illicit sexual relationships over a period of time and get a disease from that, you still have the disease even when you become a Christian.

So, you know, there are consequences that we have to live with, but it doesn't mean that we're going to always be unhappy in life. Listen, giving your life to Christ opens up a whole new chapter in your life. And you say, Lord, you know my past. I know you don't hold it against me. Now, give me wisdom on how to live the future. And we walk into the future and God has plans for us.

I don't care what we've done in the past. All you have to do is read the Bible and the characters in the Bible to know that that's true. Yeah. And even in the lineage of Jesus, we've talked about that before, you know, there's some rascals back there because we're all rascals. So, God bless you. If you're living under the weight of that, I hope that's a good word for you. Now, here's an interesting question about religion and relationships.

Listen to this call. Hi, Gary. I'm 47 years old.

Never really been so close to religion until recently. I had a breakup with a beautiful woman that was so good to me, but I had anger issues. We were together for three and a half years. She was a great woman. I took her for granted. She slipped away. I miss her so much. We were living together in a relationship for three and a half years. It took a lot out of me.

Thought about suicide attempts a couple of times. Now I am praying to God more than ever to bring me back to her. I'm trying my best. I think this is God's way of saying, hey, you know what? You need to come closer to me.

If it wouldn't have been because of her, I wouldn't be close to God the way I am now. Please pray for me. Thank you.

Bye. Well, this call is turning in the right direction, and that is to God. Whenever you go through an experience of a broken relationship, it is emotionally very, very painful. In the midst of that, if that causes us to turn to God more fully, it's worth the pain, because our ultimate satisfaction in life is found in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I think the call is moving in the right direction. Whether or not it is God's plan for the two of them to get back together, I do not know, and He cannot know this to be God's plan. What He can know is this. He continues to walk with God and walk closely with God. If this is God's plan for His life, God can work in her heart and, yes, bring them back together. But if it is not God's plan, the closer He walks to God, the happier He'll be that He is not doing something that is outside God's plan for Him. So, seeking God is the way to go, and I would encourage you to do this with other Christians.

If you're not already in a Christian Bible fellowship group, I would encourage you to get in such a group and let others walk with you on this journey. But seeking God and walking with God, whether or not He brings this lady back into your life, you're going to find the greatest sense of fulfillment in life by following Jesus. I want you to speak to one thing that He mentioned in there where He considered suicide. And in our society and our culture, suicide is growing exponentially.

One is enough, but then you see all of the different numbers and the families that have been devastated by that kind of a choice. Could you talk about the seriousness of just having that contemplation or thinking along those lines and what you ought to do with that? Well, I understand emotionally how we can get to the place where we feel so broken, so hurt, so hopeless, so helpless that we think, well, the best thing for me is just to check out.

I can understand how people get there emotionally. That is never God's plan for us to take our own life. That is never, ever what God did, and it will never make things better. Obviously, if you're a Christian, you don't want to face God with the reality that you, in your very last act, was something breaking His heart by taking your own life. And if you don't know God, you certainly don't want to die without a relationship with God. So while I'm empathetic with those emotions and feelings, I would say let that lead us to pursuing help. Reach out to a pastor, reach out to a trusted friend, reach out to a counselor, and let them help us work through those thoughts and those feelings, rather than simply yielding to that. Many, many people are hurt when people turn to suicide, and it certainly does not enhance the life of the person who decided to end their own life.

So reach out for help, rather than trying to process your emotions by yourself. I particularly love it when you hear someone on the radio call, and it makes you want to respond, and I want you to listen to this response. He's calling because on a previous program, we had someone, a younger woman call, who said basically, I can't find any good guys out there. Everybody just wants a physical relationship. They're in it for sex, and I don't want to live that way.

And Gary answered that question. Now listen to the call. And I would like to encourage that person, that there are many people, single men, that really are looking for girls like her, that they keep the common, they keep the relationship in God-wise, how he meant it to be. So there are men, real men, good men, people, Christian people, looking for women like her. So I would like to encourage her that there are.

Thank you. Well, I appreciate this gentleman calling, because among other things I hear him saying is, listen, don't give up and think that there are no good Christian men out there that want to have a loving, supportive, caring marriage relationship. On the other hand, I understand the frustration of a young girl who has had several encounters with various men, it sounds like, and who are not interested in marriage. They're simply interested in satisfying their own desires.

And that can become very discouraging. But if I were talking to the young lady, I would say, listen to this man. There are good men out there. Where do you find good men who are interested in marriage? You find them typically in settings where they're seeking God and God's plans for their lives. Where did Abraham's servant go to find a wife for Isaac?

He went back to his homeland where Abraham instructed him to go, and he went to the well where women showed up every day. So you go to where they are. If you want to find a Christian man, you go to where Christian men are. And typically, that's in a church, that's in a Bible study, that's in some kind of Christian group that sometimes may be in a church or may be sponsored by a group of Christians who are not in a particular church. But go to where Christian men are. And that's where you find those who are single and who want to have a marriage and who want to follow God's plan for marriage and God's plan for relating to each other. So that would be my suggestion, though I'm still deeply empathetic with this lady who said, I don't know where they are.

I can't find men like this. You see, the good thing that happens when you respond to a caller on the program, we get even further and deeper into the conversation on Building Relationships. So call us, 866-424-GARY. Our final call is about a marriage where only one spouse wears a ring.

Here we go. Just want to know how I could save my marriage. My marriage is going on the tube pretty quickly. My husband has just removed his ring and it's been two months we've been separated.

So give me some idea. How can I save my marriage? I'm just reading your book, "The 5 Love Languages" . The secret is love that's lost.

Thanks, Gary. Well, I'm encouraged that the listener is reading "The 5 Love Languages" because often in reading that book, people come to understand why the marriage got to the place of separation. That is, looking back, you realize they didn't speak your love language or you didn't speak their love language and neither one of you felt loved.

And conflicts arose and you argued with each other and said hurtful things to each other. And eventually you get to the place where you just think, you know, this is not good. That book can be very helpful.

However, I have another book that would also be perhaps even more helpful. It's called One More Try. What to do when your marriage is falling apart. And it's written to people who are either already separated or are contemplating separation. And it's basically saying, I can understand how you can get to the place where you just feel like it would be better apart just to give up on this relationship. But don't assume that you tried everything.

And some of the things that I discuss in there are things that you can do. Now, it's true, you cannot make your spouse return or you cannot make your spouse change. But you can influence your spouse. And that book deals with the power of having a positive influence on your spouse. And it certainly does not come by condemnation or criticism or blaming them or saying negative things to them.

That simply drives them further away. It comes from unconditional love, the kind of love that God has for us. Remember, God loved us while we were still sinners and sent Christ to die for us. So, yes, learning the love language of your spouse even though you're separated and with whatever contact you may have, expressing love to them in a meaningful way to them can be used of God to touch their hearts and touch their minds. Another part of that process is to look for your own failures in the past.

Where did I fail in this marriage relationship? God will answer that prayer if you ask Him. And then you confess those things to God and then you confess them to your spouse. And say, you know, look, I realize I have failed you in many ways. I know that I blamed you for leaving me, but I know that I let you down in many ways. And you just share it and ask forgiveness.

So, these are the kind of things that you will find in that book. Ways and things that you can do that have the potential of touching their heart. And remember, God is always with you. He is always working in the heart of the other person as you pray for them. But you're His instrument for loving them and dealing with your own failures and acknowledging them and then seeking reconciliation.

You can't make it happen, but you can have a positive influence. Can you talk to the person who took the ring off? Because I think that is a passive-aggressive, is it just giving up hope, you know, to take the ring off, there's something symbolic about the ring and the commitment that you make that just feels so sad to me. But the person who's listening right now says, I'm ready to take that ring off.

I don't want to wear it anymore. What would you say? Well, I think typically, Chris, when a person gets to that place, they are contemplating separation. And they may already be involved with someone else, at least emotionally. And so they want to take off this symbol that I'm committed to someone else so that when they're with someone, maybe to whom they have an attraction, that they don't want them to think that I'm married to somebody else.

They want to appear to be free to engage in that relationship. I would just say, you know, when you get to that place, it's time to really seek God. And I understand emotionally how people get to that place. And Satan wants to pull marriages apart, wants to get us involved with other people. But if we turn our hearts toward God and seek Him, He can heal broken relationships.

Chris, my whole life has been invested in helping people who come to that place and feeling like there's no hope and seeing God revolutionize their lives when they are willing to take steps in the right direction. There's always hope, even though we take a ring off as symbolic that I'm no longer attached to this person. You know, there can be reconciliation, and that is always what God intends and what God desires. As we close here today, would you pray for that person and that marriage that's struggling right now?

Sure. Father, you know not only the people that have called in and left these messages, but you know those who are listening today, and those who are struggling in their marriage and hearing what we're saying today. I pray, Father, that your Spirit will touch their spirit. First of all, bring to them the reality that you love them.

No matter what has happened in the past, you love them, and you have good plans for them. And I pray that your Spirit will draw them to yourself, that they'll be open to confess and repent of their own failures in the past, turn their lives fully over to you, and ask you to guide them from this moment forward. Father, I know that you never guide us in the wrong direction, and so I pray for your work in the hearts and minds of those who may be listening who desperately need your help. In the name of Christ. Amen.

Amen. Well, before we conclude, I want to give you that number. The question that you call in and ask may help somebody else down the road, and here's how you do that.

1-866-424-GARY. And leave your comment, your response, or a question that you have. We'd love to hear from you today. And don't forget to check out the featured resource, Five Love Languages, The Secret to Love That Lasts.

It's at fivelovelanguages.com. And coming up next week, it's one of the hardest things to do, but the spiritual benefits are off the charts. We'll talk about waiting in one week. I can't wait, Gary. Yes, you can, Andrea. Well, a big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Ton, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is 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 05:28:38 / 2023-08-21 05:46:26 / 18

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