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Dear Gary

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
November 30, 2019 7:03 am

Dear Gary

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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November 30, 2019 7:03 am

​You’ve heard that when you get to the end of your rope you need to a tie a knot and hang on, right? Well, if that’s you, tune in to the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. On our November “Dear Gary” broadcast, you’ll hear answers to some deep marriage and family struggles, and words of hope the author of the NY Times bestseller, The Five Love Languages. Don’t miss the questions and answers on the next 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! Questions about marriage, children, and singleness are all ahead on today's Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. I've been trying to fix what I destroyed. He said he has fallen out of love with me. I can actually become explosive emotionally. It took me five hours to clean the bathroom.

I would like to have some scriptural proof or evidence in that regard. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Today our post-Thanksgiving Dear Gary broadcast and your questions, feedback, and marriage issues, as well as love language questions. Thanks for joining us on Moody Radio.

And what great questions we have today, all genuine, all from the heart. And remember, if you have something going on in your life and you'd like Dr. Chapman's input, positive or negative, call and leave a message at 1-866-424-GARY. We can't take your questions live here on the air and we can't call you back at that number, but you may get an answer on an upcoming Dear Gary conversation.

Just call us, 1-866-424-GARY. Now last week we talked with Dan Darling about a great resource, The Characters of Christmas, Gary. I'm still thinking about that conversation. Well, it was an exciting conversation, Chris, because we were looking at the characters surrounding the birth of Jesus.

And often we just kind of take all these people for granted, you know, and obviously they play a different role, each one of them. It was an exciting conversation. I think our listeners, if they get that book over the Christmas seasons, they're going to really enjoy reading that. Yeah, and talk about it with your kids, with your family members. Ruminate over this thing that God did for us. God became flesh and dwelt among us. I don't think there's anything better to talk about.

The book is The Characters of Christmas, The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus. We have it linked at Well, Chris, let's get to the calls today.

Sounds like a great idea. We start with a husband who is trying to speak his wife's love language. Hi, Gary. I do a lot of gestures. I listen to her if I love languages, and I think so for me, my wife. It's all about the act of service. I try doing everything the best I can. It took me five hours to clean the bathroom. I also cooked her breakfast. I also made food for the little one. So when she looked at the bathroom, she's like, this is not clean.

This is not clean. Again, I didn't feel that she appreciated me. Do you think I should just keep on continuing doing, and that would change? I definitely understand that she has a lot of hurt.

Thank you so much for your time. Have a great day. Well, first of all, Chris, I want to commend the caller for spending five hours cleaning the bathroom.

That's pretty powerful. I can see how you'd be discouraged if she walks in and says, oh, you didn't get this clean, you didn't get that clean. Well, apparently they have a different idea on what it means to be clean.

Yes. But what I do commend him for is he's trying to speak her love language, which is acts of service. And he mentioned other things, fixing breakfast and those things. I think I would say don't give up just because she pointed out something you didn't do the way she wanted it done. I would tend to ask her, how is it?

What did you want that I didn't quite do? So that you do learn what she considers to be clean, for example, in the bathroom. So that the next time you do it, you can deal with that little issue that she brings up. And hopefully if you do it more often, you won't have to spend five hours doing it, okay? But I think we can get discouraged sometimes when we try to speak our spouse's love language, whatever it is.

And then they come back with negative comments that we didn't quite live up to their expectations. And we have to learn not only what their basic language is, but we have to learn the dialects of that language. That is acts of service. What are the things that she really wants you to do, that she really feels love when you do them? Like for my wife Carolyn, whose language is acts of service. When I take out the trash, when I wash the dishes, when I vacuum the floor.

I mean, those are the three biggies, okay? If I do those, she's a pretty happy woman. And I can do other things as well. But you find out really, what is it that you really would like for me to do that would communicate love to you? So don't give up, I'd say this to the caller, don't give up. Keep working at learning how to speak her love language in a dialect that's meaningful to her.

Two things. One is, if his love language is words of affirmation, then her saying that about the five hours is a double wound to him, right? Absolutely, Chris. When a person's love language is words of affirmation, and you give them condemning words, it is like a dagger in their heart.

It hurts them far more than what hurts someone else. So I hope his wife has also read the book. In fact, I hope she's listening today. And rather than condemning him, thank him for the 95% job that he did. And then next time when he starts cleaning, you say, honey, could you please when you're in there, could you do this?

Could you do this? He's going to do it because you commended him for what he did last time. But when you point out the negative thing, it discourages him.

Yes. The other thing is, he mentioned because there's a lot of hurt toward the end of the call. And I wonder if there's not a sense that, you know, I cleaned the bathroom for five hours. I am working off whatever the struggle was or is in their relationship.

I'm never going to be able to do this. You can't use the love language concept as a one-time, two-time, three-time thing, and then everything's going to be better. It's over the long haul, or at least that's what I've heard you say. I think that's true. And also, Chris, you know, I don't know what the hurt was. I don't know if he did something in the past that really hurt her and that really hasn't been processed yet. That's likely a part of what's going on here.

And so she's still hurting, and so she tends to be negative even when he does things that are positive. Hi, Gary. My question is, I wonder if you have a fifth-grade edition for fifth-graders to read. I would like to see if you don't have one, if we can get you to make one. I'd like to see this be in the school-required reading in public schools. I think it would cut down on a lot of the school violence, the bullying. I think it would just make the school system work so much better for the teachers.

Thank you. Well, I could not agree more with this caller, and as a matter of fact, we do have a curriculum for public schools. It was written by a school counselor. It's called Discovering "The 5 Love Languages" in School, Grades 1 through 6. And this counselor used it in his own school for three or four years before he put the curriculum together.

And we have had a tremendous response to it. What we do know is that if children feel loved by the teacher, they learn more from that teacher. So in this curriculum, they will be teaching a love language for one hour each week for five weeks. At the end of that time, the teacher will know the love language of every child in the room, and the children will have the concept that everybody has a love language. And there's a letter we send home to the parents telling them what's going on in the school with this program.

So where it's been used, it's had a very positive response. Now, as you may know, it's difficult to get new curriculum into public schools. There's a process that you have to go through to do that. But the curriculum is available, and I'm glad to see that there's folks out there like the caller who recognizes if we could get this in the public schools and change the climate of the classroom, it could become a much more positive educational experience than is going on sometimes in the schools.

Gary, here's an email from a listener. My husband and I have been struggling with his family. We are in therapy to try and help us through it, and we are both on the same page when it comes to what we want and how we want to be treated, but it's still extremely difficult when you have family you love who continue to hurt you. His family believes that they have a right to tell us how to live. They have told us how to spend our money, how to spend our vacation days. They believe I hate their kids because we didn't include several young children at our wedding. We live nine hours away, and they find us disrespectful that we don't come home for the grandchildren's birthdays. Everything's about them. We are trying to set boundaries with them, and they're throwing a big fit. They've removed me from social media. I can't take it anymore. They're bullies and don't approve of anything we do. I'm hurting, and I don't know how to handle this.

Please help. Well, Chris, this is where we need the wisdom of Solomon, okay? I mean, in-law situations can be very, very painful, especially when you are the daughter-in-law or the son-in-law, and your in-laws are doing the kind of things that this writer describes. You know, that's why there's so many mother-in-law jokes out is because this is a common problem. And there's no easy answer to it because it takes two parties to work in harmony, and sometimes the other party's not willing to work in harmony. It's one of the saddest things I encounter in my office is working with either young couples like this or the parents who are having difficulty with the in-laws, the son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

And you just see the families fractured, and sometimes this goes on for years, and they're just fractured, you know, have little contact with each other. So, you know, what can she do? Obviously, the first thing is pray. Pray that God will give you wisdom, pray that God will give them wisdom, and work in their hearts and your heart. I'm really glad you're getting counseling, you're going for therapy. That is helpful because together with someone outside the situation, you may find ideas that you wouldn't have on your own.

That's very positive. I'd certainly continue that. If you have an opportunity to speak to them, which I hope you do at some junctures, you're nine hours away, so it would probably be a holiday when you might be together. But I would try to focus not on what has happened, but I would focus on asking them questions about their childhood, or the early days in their marriage, where they lived, and how life went for them in the early days of their marriage. That is, be a listener. Express interest in their lives. You may discover, if they'll open up and share something of their journey, both as children and in the early years of their marriage, you may learn some things as to why they are responding the way they are responding. The very fact that you're asking questions and showing interest in their lives can create a more positive atmosphere.

Now, yes, there is a place to discuss the issues, and apparently you've already discussed the issues, and they haven't reciprocated, they haven't responded in a positive way about it. I'm glad that you and your husband are together on this, on what you want and what you think would be good and healthy, because you don't want to let this tear the two of you apart. Your marriage relationship is more important than your relationship with your in-laws. So, I'm not diminishing that, but it is the most fundamental relationship. So, keep that strong and be supportive of each other in this context. The other thing I would say is that the best person to talk to them, that is your in-laws, is your husband, because it's his mother and father, and he's the best spokesman, not you as the daughter-in-law. Let him be the spokesman on whatever he said, and let him be kind, but let him be firm in terms of whatever this issue is. Other than that, I don't know, you know, that's a hard, hard situation.

I did write a book some time ago called Happily Ever After, and I have a whole section in there on in-law relationships, small chapters, about six small chapters in that section. If you could read that, and if they could read that, I don't know that they would, but if they could read that and you could read that, you might really have a meaningful conversation about the whole issue. You know, it strikes me, too, that this whole thing about social media, they blocked me on social media, that might be a blessing in disguise.

You don't have to deal with the constant things, although I get that, that it feels like you're shutting me out of your life. So, it really, the boundaries thing, too, is really important to see. If you set a boundary, the boundary is to protect you from them. You're not trying to change anything about them with the boundary, necessarily.

You're just asking them to comply with the rule or with what you've set up. And so, you just have to be strong in that, don't you? I think, yes, kind but firm.

Those are the two words, I think, for kind and firm in the boundaries. But I think you're right, Chris, there is a sense in which her not being connected with them with social media gives her breathing room. She's not being faced with little comments and things every day or every week.

So, I wouldn't necessarily think that that's all bad, though I'm sure, I mean, I understand what she's saying. It says they're cutting us out. And really, you can't keep them from cutting you out. I mean, they may cut you out totally. I've seen it happen many times. They just kind of disown their son and their daughter-in-law. And that's just tragic.

But, you know, you can't make them let you into their lives. And the title of that resource is Happily Ever After. You'll find out more about that and many more things at This is our Dear Gary broadcast. The next call-up is from a single listener in a difficult situation.

Hi, Gary. I'm a 24-year-old female, and I've been having a lot of really bad issues with my boyfriend. We have two kids together, and all of a sudden, he said he has fallen out of love with me for the past two years. We've been together for seven years, and he said he stopped loving me, and he's been having a really hard time leaving, and I want to fix us. But I can't fix us because we can't communicate with each other, and it's just really, really hard. Thank you.

Bye-bye. Well, this caller is actually going through divorce, even though they've never been married. They've lived together for seven years.

They have two kids together. I mean, they are bonded emotionally. And now, he is going through what many married couples go through, or individuals who are married go through. They get to the stage in a life in which they feel like they've lost the positive feelings for the person, and that's why they say, I'm not in love with you anymore. And maybe he is already involved with somebody else.

That is often the case, that when they get to the place where they say, I don't love you anymore, they already infatuated with someone else. Just as I would address a person who is married, I would say, again, being realistic, you can't make him stay in the marriage. You can ask him, for example, would you be willing to go for counseling with me? That would be the ideal thing, if both of you would sit down with the counselor. Because a counselor can help him come to understand that what he is going through is a very common experience. But the answer is not running from one marriage to another.

The answer is learning how to reignite love toward the person that you are with. So, counseling would be the number one thing. But, I know, you can't make him do that. I did write a book called, One More Try, What to Do When Your Marriage is Falling Apart. And even though the two of you are not legally married, that book would be very helpful to you, and him, if he's willing to read it. But, I would suggest you read it by yourself, because it will give you some ideas on how to reach out to him.

And hopefully, he might come to join you in working through the book at some juncture. But this is very painful. I mean, you're actually going through the same kind of pain that a married couple goes through when one of them says, I don't love you anymore, and I'm moving out. It is very, very painful. And it is also detrimental to the children. No question about it. Divorce has an adverse effect on the lives of the children.

I don't care what age they are. So, whatever you can do, in terms of getting him to work with you on seeking help, that would certainly be the route to go. If you have friends who know him well, you might ask them to encourage him before he gives up to go for counseling, or to read a book, or to talk with them about where he is, because he needs help. He is about to make a decision that eventually will be detrimental to him, detrimental to you, and detrimental to the children.

So, if there are others outside the family that you know who could talk with him, I would just encourage him to do so. I'm so glad that she called, you know, and I'm thinking at 24, and two children, and to have been together for seven years, the deep valley that she is going through at such, you know, I look at it at such a young age, this is a really, really hard time in her life, isn't it? Absolutely, Chris, because if he doesn't turn around, she's moving into a whole new stage of life as a single mom. And that's not an easy life, ask any single mom. I mean, I admire single mothers who have to provide for themselves, and since they're not married, he may not have to give her anything financially, and she may be totally on her own.

I mean, it's a hard situation that she's facing. Again, I'm glad that you called. I hope that answer was helpful to you. We get calls from people who listen to this program, who hear you say something, Gary, and they want to follow up, like this caller. Hi, Gary, my name's Jim, and I just heard parts of today's broadcast, and the thing that I'm more interested in is the forgiveness thing, about giving it to God versus the actual forgiving of a person actually that has not asked for that forgiveness. And I've had these types of conversations with people before, but I would like to have some scriptural proof or evidence in that regard.

Thank you so much. Well, Chris, he's referring to the concept that we should forgive everybody, whether they repent or whether they don't repent, that we should forgive everybody for our own benefit. And this is the commonly held idea among Christians.

In the program he's referring to, what I said was this. Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 32, I think I'm remembering that correctly, says that we are to forgive others in the same way that Christ forgives us. So the question is, how does Christ forgive us? Well, 1 John chapter 1 and verse 9, If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God does not forgive everybody. God forgives people who confess their sins. Jesus came preaching repentance. Repentance means to turn away from your sin and to turn toward Jesus. And so God forgives people who repent.

God forgives people who confess their sin, acknowledge that they have sinned and want to be forgiven. Matthew chapter 18, I believe I'm correct on that, Jesus said, if your brother sins against you, you go confront him. And you say to him, you know, I feel like you've wronged me. And I want to deal with this. I'm feeling hurt.

I'm feeling angry. And he says, if they repent, you forgive them. If they don't repent, he said, you take someone with you, typically someone that they trust and you trust, and you confront the person again. And if they repent, you forgive them. If they still don't repent, he says, tell it to the church. And the idea is the church will send someone, either alone or with you, to again confront the person. And then Jesus said, if they don't repent after that, you treat them as a pagan.

He didn't say forgive them. He said treat them as a pagan. What do you do for pagans? You pray for them.

You love them. You're kind to them. You return good for evil. You do everything you can to be kind and treat them as a person of dignity and respect, hoping that they are going to repent so that you can forgive them.

I'm using the word release. Chris, I wish I had all those scriptures in front of me here, but I don't. Peter said this about Jesus, that when people railed against him, he did not lash out at them, but he committed them to his Father who judges righteously. That's the idea of releasing them. You release the person to God.

You're saying, Lord, I've done what the scriptures say. Three different times I've gone, I've really tried to reconcile with them. They choose not to reconcile, so I want to turn them over to you. I want to release my hurt.

I want to release my anger. I want to turn them over to you. And knowing that you are a loving God and that if they repent, you will forgive them. And I can also forgive them.

But in the meantime, I want to turn them over to you and ask you to give me the ability to go on with my life. So that's the basic concept, and those are at least some of the scriptures that deal with that concept. It strikes me as I'm hearing you say this again, that on the cross, Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing.

They don't understand what they're doing. If the person didn't repent of what they did there, this is not forgiveness poured out for that person's actions. That only comes once they turn from that and say, Oh, I did the wrong thing.

I crucified the very Son of God. What he was doing was doing the same thing, releasing them to God. I'm not holding this against them.

Yeah, you're right, Chris. And sometimes people use the statement of Jesus and they say to me, Well, look, Jesus forgave them. He said, Father, forgive them. They know not what they do. He forgave them, and they're not repenting.

And I say, read it carefully. It's a prayer. It's not a proclamation. He wants them to be forgiven. He's praying they'll be forgiven.

That's why he's dying so they can be forgiven. And later on in the book of Acts, Peter is preaching to the same people, and he said, You killed the Son of God, and I call you to repentance. And the Bible says many believed, many of the priests believed. That is, some of those people who said crucify him, crucify him, believed that he began.

That's when the prayer was answered. That's when they were forgiven by God. God does not forgive everybody. You cannot make a case for that in the Bible.

We can't expect to do what God doesn't do. We can't forgive everybody. But we can seek reconciliation, seek to forgive if they're willing to confess their failures, and if not, we can release them to God so that we're not going to be plagued in our heart by what they've done to us and let it turn to bitterness and hatred, because bitterness and hatred are always sinful. Not a sin to feel angry, but you don't hold the anger inside. You have to release the anger and release the person to God. Now, an honest question about anger in marriage.

Hi, Gary. I have had a very struggling five years being married. We just seem to butt heads all the time, and I am constantly feeling my needs unmet, no matter what I request. This in turn has me, I'm sure, not meet my husband's needs, so I don't know how we keep in alignment with trying to continuously meet each other's needs. Once every month or so, I can actually become explosive emotionally. And then I want to leave, and it's over, and I know that it's wrong to threaten that. But when there are other dynamics occurring, a tremendous amount of forgetfulness or distrust from the past, I don't know how to stop going around the mountain per se. I just need advice in what to do, because I want this to work, and I don't know how much of this is me. Maybe it's all me. I really want to have a peaceful, godly marriage. That's it.

Thank you. Well, many couples can identify with this caller. They've been married five years, seven years, and they're going through difficulties because they disagree on so many things, and perhaps they've said or done things or failed to do and say things that hurt the other person. And they really want to have a better marriage. They just don't know how to go about it. They've done everything they know to do.

I would say two or three things. She mentioned, you know, maybe it's all my problem. And listen, in a marriage situation, both of us are humans, and that means both of us will fail from time to time.

It's never a one-sided thing. And so, yes, it is good to ask yourself, any of us, you know, Lord, where am I failing in this marriage? And just let God bring to our minds where we are failing. Confess those things to God and accept his forgiveness. And then go to the spouse and say, you know, I know that I've been on your case a lot, and I know I've done some things that hurt you, but I asked God to show me where I have been failing you, and he gave me a pretty good list.

And if you don't mind, I'd like to share these with you. And I'd like to ask you if you can forgive me because I want to be a better spouse. Often, that approach does two things. It empties your conscience toward God for the failures that you have experienced. And it says to them, wow, this is different.

All I've been hearing is condemnation and how I'm so wrong. This is different. And chances are they will forgive you. Even if they don't, then after you've done that, you really focus on speaking their love language. You love them even though they're unlovely. That's precisely what God does for us.

He loved us while we were still sinners and sent Christ to die for us. So with the help of God, you speak their love language on a regular basis. After you've made that confession to them, now they really are saying, man, I don't know what's going on, but something's happened here. So you are having a positive influence on them. You see, it is true we cannot make our spouse change. Though in our marriages, we typically think if they would just change this, this, and this, then the marriage would get better. Well, it would, but we don't just change to be changing.

Most of us have to be influenced if we're going to make a positive change. And so what I've just described for you, dealing with your own failures and then following that up with speaking their love language over a period of time, is the greatest influence you can have on that spouse. Then, down the road three or four months, you're saying to them, you know, I don't know how you're feeling about us, but I feel like I've really been giving you everything I can to communicate that I love you and care for you. It appears to me, maybe you don't care about our marriage.

I hope that's not true. And then they have a chance to respond. If they haven't already started responding positively, now you're going to apply tough love to them. But now the tough love will have a positive influence because they've been feeling your love coming, and now you're saying that maybe they don't want to be with you.

So that's the approach I would take if I were you. I wrote a book that's called Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away that deals with some of these issues that I've just talked about. As you talk, Gary, it sounds like you have hope for this call or hope for that marriage, that relationship.

I do, Chris. I always have hope, and I do believe that while one person cannot create a positive marriage, one person can have a positive influence on having a positive marriage, and that's what I try to help people see. Because sometimes we want to give up because we say, well, my spouse is not willing to go for counseling. They won't read a book. They won't go to a marriage conference. They won't do anything.

They won't even talk about us. Therefore, nothing can be done to help our marriage. Well, I understand that feeling, but I believe that one person can have a positive influence on the other person. Don't you think this time of year it happens a lot in relationships that you can go through a valley because you see all of the movies, the romantic movies, and people together, and you see what you don't have and you think everybody else has? This can be a really difficult time of year, can't it?

It can be, Chris. And particularly when you've lost the in-love feelings, and so it's kind of neutral now. You don't have those feelings.

In fact, now you have negative feelings because of things that have been done and said. And we all want to be happy. We all want to be loved. And that's why sometimes in this holiday season we end up getting attracted to other people. We have conversations at parties with people, and we think, man, if I was with them, it'd be a whole lot different. And often, affairs really get started in the holiday season.

Yeah. Well, that's another relationship question that we've just had. Let's go to a parent now, and it sounds like from her call that she and her husband have a difficult situation with her kids. Hi, Gary. We're wondering how to deal with youth or our kids with stealing and lying. So we want to know what the Bible teaches, and where do we go with that? Thank you, Gary.

Bye. Well, it would be nice to know what age children she's talking about. If it's teenagers, it's one thing.

If it's younger children, I think it's a different thing. And no question about the Bible. I mean, the Bible's very clear. We're not to be lying. We're not to be stealing. And as parents, we're to be teaching our children not to lie and not to steal.

And that means, first of all, that we don't lie and we don't steal, which we're assuming that's true in this case. But I think with younger children, remember, we are all fallen creatures. By nature, we do wrong. Little children, if they think that you're about to do something to punish them, will lie and say, I didn't do it.

I didn't do it. They're doing that to avoid the punishment. So let's not think that our children are abnormal when they lie or when they steal.

They're simply being fallen human beings. But we don't want them to grow up to be liars and stealers. And that means the earlier we can start teaching them that we don't tell stories, or whatever you call them, stories or lies. We don't lie. We tell the truth. And you tell me the truth, and then you and I are going to get along really well. But if you lie to me, I'll have to punish you for lying because lying is wrong.

And I don't mean beat the kids. I just mean there needs to be a consequence whenever they do wrong, just like there's a consequence when we do wrong. I think, first of all, you make it very, very clear that in our family, we're not going to lie and we're not going to steal. And if we do, we'll have to suffer the consequences. So if you lie to me about something, then you'll have to suffer the consequences. Hopefully, the consequences will be something related to what you lied about. And then if you steal something, you will have to return it and apologize to the person. And then also, we'll have to take out of your allowance what it would cost you if you had bought that thing that you stole. So you're going to have to pay both ways.

You're going to have to apologize and return it, and you're going to have to pay for it. And then you follow through with that, whatever the consequences you follow through with. Not in anger, not in yelling and screaming, but just saying, Johnny, you know what you did and you know it's wrong.

So here's what we're going to have to do. If they're little, you walk with them. In fact, even as teenagers, you go with them. If they stole something outside the home, that is something from someone else, you go with them to that neighbor and you listen as they apologize and return what they stole.

Or if it's a store, you go with them. And people say, well, what if they put them in jail? Well, what if they put them in jail?

That might be the most powerful thing that could happen to a 13-year-old, is to be put in jail for a week after they've stolen something. And they're less likely to steal the next time. I think when it's teenagers, what you also have to look at is are they on drugs? Because often teenagers do things on drugs they would not do if they were not on drugs. And if that's the issue, that's the bigger issue behind the behavior of lying and stealing, is they're on drugs, they're hooked on drugs and that's where they need to help. That's why I say the age of the child determines how you might respond in a positive way with this. But the basic concept is clear rules on what we do and don't do, clear consequences, and then in love, you simply administer the consequences so that the child suffers from having done wrong. And when they do, they're far more likely to do right the next time. Let's say worst case scenario, this is an adult child, late teens, early 20s, and they've stolen from mom and dad because of drugs or alcohol or whatever.

And it's a different situation there. What do you do at that point to reinforce what you mean by this? We can't have this happen. Do you kick the kids out of the house?

What do you do? You know, Chris, that's a very hard question. And I think it depends on what stage this is in. But I think the issue is if it's drugs, and it's so common today, if it's drugs, what you want to focus on is what you've done is wrong and you'll have to suffer the consequences of it. But we have got to get help. And I know you may not want help, but we've got to get help. And I think you reach out and you find what's available in your community for the treatment of kids who are on drugs and alcohol.

And if you have to do it forcibly, you do it forcibly. Because there they're going to get counseling. There they're going to get help to think through things. There they're going to get off of drugs for a while at least so they can think more clearly. So you focus on getting them help with the problem of drugs rather than focusing on the issue of the stealing or the lying. Because stealing and lying typically go along with drugs. And the root cause is the drug problem. So you're saying, is there a coming time you have to kick them out of the house?

Oh man, that's hard. But you cannot simply allow them to continue that kind of behavior. And you make it possible for it to happen because you're providing all the food and all the clothing and everything else for them. Sometimes a little time on the street can wake them up.

On the other hand, sometimes on the street they can be dead in a week. And that's why it is so hard for a parent to decide, what do I do? Do I continue to give them a place to stay while they're living this lifestyle that's destructive? Or do I put them out of the house because I cannot condone it and then throw them, as it were, to the wolves? Chris, that's not an easy question to answer. And every parent has to struggle with that.

I would say, before you make a decision, yea or nay, talk with a counselor yourself and let somebody walk with you through this and help you as you come to make those hard choices. How do you love a suspicious spouse? That's our next question for Dr. Gary Chapman.

Hi Gary. I'm in a relationship where my wife has had a lot of bad past relationships where she doesn't believe a man can see a woman that is attractive or attractive at least in her eyes and not think of her in a bad way. And I'm not sure what I can do to help because just the fact that there are other attractive women out there that I could be noticing bothers her.

There's a lot of instances where just going around in life makes things difficult for us and causes her a lot of stress and I'm just not sure how to help. Well, in today's culture, which is so sexualized, almost everything is sexualized, and if in her past she has had bad experiences of men that perhaps that she dated and she thought it was an exclusive relationship when in fact they were involved with somebody else as well. If she's gone through that kind of thing in her past, she brings all that baggage to the marriage. And so you're another man, she's married to you, she was just dating them, but that sense of concern, that sense of jealousy, that sense of you're going to betray me is a part of her baggage that she brings.

And ideally, she needs to work through that with the counselor so that she can come to realize you can't judge everybody you meet, every man you meet because of what three men did for you in the past. But I would say this from your perspective. Obviously, I'm taking for granted that you are not involved with somebody else and you are not looking lustfully on other women. First of all, if you don't know your wife's love language, I would read the book, ask her to read the book with you, and both of you take the quiz and determine what each of your primary love languages are. And then you focus on speaking her love language, because when her love tank is full, that is she genuinely feels loved by you, she's far more likely to trust you and be less condemning of you or less jealous of you. So that I think is the place to start, because our deepest emotional need on the human level is the need to feel loved by the significant people in our lives.

And in marriage, the person you would most like to love you is your spouse. So I would focus on that. That would be the starting point. And once you've discussed that, in the context of reading the book, you probably will realize why perhaps you don't feel loved and maybe perhaps why she doesn't feel loved.

Because even though you've been sincere, you haven't been speaking each other's love language. That's the starting point. Once you're doing that, I think it'll be easier to talk about this topic. I think she's going to be less inclined to accuse you of looking at other women improperly. So that's the starting point. And I think if you both do that, and get on the right track, and then you apologize for anything where you do fail her, and she does the same for you. Apology is also a big part of building a positive relationship.

But that'd be my suggestion. We have time for one more call for you, Gary, and you can hear it in his voice. You can feel the pain, the regret. Here's our last call.

Hey, Gary. 15-year relationship, 12 years married. I destroyed it. Infidelity.

It's been almost a year now, trying to fix what I destroyed and not really getting much ground on it. I have two kids involved, young. My question to you is, would you recommend marriage counseling? And how do you go about finding the right one in your area? Finding the right marriage counselor in New Jersey has kind of been a struggle.

So if you could help me out with that, I'd definitely appreciate it. Well, I appreciate this call, because I think many listeners can identify with it. Infidelity is a very difficult thing to overcome and get back on track. But the good news is, there is healing, and there is life. I mean, healthy married life after infidelity. His question is, would I recommend counseling?

And the answer is yes, without any question at all. When you've gone through that kind of deep betrayal, and that kind of deep hurt on the part of the wife, in this case, almost always, you need someone outside of the two of you that can help the two of you hear each other. First of all, express your hearts and your feeling to each other and hear each other. And then learn how to find healing over past failures.

The reality is, infidelity is probably the deepest emotional wound that anyone can experience, if their spouse has practiced infidelity. How do you find a counselor? Two or three things I would suggest. One is, would be to call the churches in your area that you trust and ask the staff, whom do you recommend as a Christian counselor in our area here? We need help with our marriage. Most of the time, the pastors know who the Christian counselors are in the area, and they can help you. Another approach would be, there's an organization called American Association of Christian Counselors.

You can find them if you go to Google. You can actually plug in your city and your zip code, and they will list for you the Christian counselors that are associated with their organization that live in your area. And then you can call them and tell them, here's our situation.

Do you think you could help us with this? And the counselor will say yay or nay, depending on what their particular focus is. But that can be helpful. Another source would be to call Focus on the Family.

You can also find them online. And they have counselors on the phone who will not only talk to you on the phone, they won't do long-term counseling, but they also have a list of counselors in different areas of the country, and they may be able to help you find one. So it's not that difficult to find a counselor, and I would strongly recommend it. Because in your situation, married 12 years, two children, it is worth the effort of going to counseling and walking through this with someone along with the power of God who can help and change and bring healing and give you the kind of relationship that both of you want to have, a loving, trusting, supportive marriage.

And that's what God wants for you as well. Well, thank you for leaving that question, and for those who called, you can also respond to our program today. You heard something you want clarification on. Just call 866-424-GARY, or leave your question for Dr. Chapman, and you might hear an answer in a future Dear Gary broadcast. We'd love to hear from you.

866-424-GARY. And check out the featured resource at It's perfect for the upcoming celebration, the characters of Christmas, the unlikely people caught up in the story of Jesus. Again, find out more at Chris, next week, a fun program that I promise will be spiritually nourishing and a kick start to your morning. Don't miss Asherita Choo Choo in one week. Well, a big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Todd. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-20 16:50:52 / 2023-08-20 17:09:33 / 19

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