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Dear Gary | February

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
February 25, 2023 1:00 am

Dear Gary | February

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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February 25, 2023 1:00 am

The questions are in, your messages have been received, and it’s time for answers on 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. It’s our February edition of Dear Gary. The struggles you’ll hear addressed may encourage you in your situation. Don’t miss this Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Featured resource: Seen. Known. Loved.: 5 Truths About God and Your Love Language

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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I think you've made more wishes come true than Santa Claus. Do you know if guys ever change their mind? You know, what do we do if our partner isn't ready to come back to the marriage? We definitely have some issues. 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 trusted pastor, counselor, and author Dr. Gary Chapman. And we have some great questions today on our February edition of Dear Gary. And it's always our hope when Gary deals with the topic that it might also help you or someone you care about who may be going through something similar in their life. If you'd like to call and leave a question for an upcoming program, feel free to do that at any point. 1-866-424-GARY. It's 1-866-424-GARY. Leave your message. We'll try to get to it on a future broadcast.

We can't call you back. This is not a counseling line, but we'd love to hear from you today. Our featured resource at the website is York Moore's book that he wrote with Dr. Chapman, Seen, Known, Loved, Five Truths About God and Your Love Language.

You can find out more at buildingrelationships.us. Gary, that's a really important idea to be seen, known, and loved. It's really what we're all searching for, isn't it?

Well, I think it is, Chris, and that's really why we chose the title. And this book really is written pretty directly to non-Christians and trying to tap into the sense of loneliness, the sense of depression on the part of so many on college campuses around the country, as well as adults. And we really believe, you know, as Christians that the lasting answer to loneliness is an encounter with God, you know, and a close relationship with God. And so we're trying to say to that non-Christian person, listen, God knows you, God sees you, God loves you, and often he speaks to you and your love language. So I'm really excited about this book.

I think if a Christian will read it, they will think of certain people that they would like to give it to, you know, just as kind of a conversation starter to say, and you get a chance, read this and tell me what you think about it. You can find out more again at buildingrelationships.us. The title is Seen, Known, Loved, Five Truths About God and Your Love Language.

Again, go to buildingrelationships.us. Now let's get to your calls. First up, a love language question that comes straight from the heart.

Hi Gary. It appears my love language is quality time. But as I'm reading the book, I'm now reading Acts of Service, it dawned on me that now that I have a medical challenge, I find that when somebody does something for me, like takes off something off my hands that I don't have to do, I find that it really rejuvenates me. I mean, it's like added life, you know, life got added. Is it possible that maybe my love language is really Acts of Service?

Thank you. Chris, that's a great question. You know, people have often asked me, does the love language change, you know, over time? I think the love language tends to stay with us for a lifetime, but this caller is illustrating what is certainly true, that in certain either seasons of life or circumstances, another love language may jump to the top, and she's illustrating that. You know, when she didn't have the medical problems, then quality time was her language. You know, she just loved being with people and chatting with people and spending time with people. But when she got to the place where she couldn't do a lot of things that she normally had done for herself, now Acts of Service jumps to the top.

It's very similar, I've sometimes used this as an illustration as well. A mother who has two preschool children, Acts of Service may not have been her love language, but during those years, it's probably gonna jump to the top because she's overwhelmed with so much to do. So I really appreciate this caller calling in and sharing her own experience, because she does illustrate the reality that in certain circumstances or seasons of life, another love language may jump to the top. Your primary love language may change. So do you think that was, Acts of Service was a secondary love language for her before her diagnosis? It may have been.

On the other hand, not necessarily. It's just that the circumstance itself, you know, put her in a situation where she couldn't do these things she's always been able to do. And now if somebody does them, oh that's such a help to her.

She really feels loved by that. Well this is our February Dear Gary broadcast. If you want to ask a question, 866-424-GARY.

Now a caller who didn't want her voice on the radio, and this is an option if you want to leave an anonymous voicemail, I'll read her question. My spouse died and I remarried. I still have one daughter at home. His children are grown. My husband gives me a hard time because he says I put my children first over him. As a Christian, I believe the Lord's first, my husband is second, and then come my children. But I still feel a responsibility for her care.

It's very hard. He's ready to get on with life, getting ready for retirement, and it causes a lot of trouble because he uses the Bible to try to change my thinking. I feel my daughter is important and I'm not able to do everything he would like.

What do you say, Dr. Chapman? Well I'm empathetic with this caller because what I hear her saying is, you know, her husband died, she remarried, but she has children at home still. And maybe it's just one daughter.

I don't know if there's other children or not, but she mentioned specifically the one daughter. And this is something to be considered when a couple is remarrying. If children are involved, obviously it's good to talk about that before you get married.

What's this going to mean? Because you can't just abandon your child because you got married now to someone else. A parent does have a responsibility to care for and teach their child. And because she's kind of put in the middle where he's making her feel guilty because she's spending so much time with the child and he can't do the things with her that he'd like to be doing. So it's a frustrating situation for her.

I fully can understand that. I wish that someone could listen to her husband and hear his side, you know, what's going on inside of him. Is he in fact a person who is very self-centered and simply wants what he wants and he's about to retire and he wants to do all these things with her but he can't do it with a child? If so, then self-centeredness. I mean, we all are self-centered, but when it leads to selfishness in which we view everything in life in terms of, you know, what am I getting out of it, and then we make a person feel guilty who's not doing what we think they ought to do for our benefit to make us happy, that's a pretty sad situation. I don't know if he would be open to go to counseling with her, but if he would, that would be extremely helpful because I think a counselor would hear both of their sides and would try to help him understand, you know, her situation and the value of being dedicated to your child. And it's not that she's more important, but she is important. And so I think she intellectually has the right pattern. God is first, my husband is second, and then my children.

That doesn't mean we can neglect our children. So if he's not willing to go for counseling and he continues to, like, berate you and put you down, I think I would say to him, I don't know how you're feeling, but I'm really struggling because I feel like you're basically, I'm feeling condemnation from you and I'm going to go for counseling because I'm having a hard time with this. And if you want to go with me, I would be wonderful, but if you don't, I'm going by myself because I've got to have some help. And the fact that she takes that initiative to reach out, he may reject joining her for counseling immediately, but when the time comes for the appointment, he may say, well, I think I'll go with you, you know, because he wants to be heard.

That would be my approach. Our program is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman and this is our Dear Gary broadcast for February. 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.

Sometimes we get great questions, but we can't use them because of the background noise. So call us today 1-866-424-GARY. Our featured resource today is our York Moore's book written with Dr. Gary Chapman, Seen, Known, Loved, Five Truths About God in Your Love Language. You can find out more about it at buildingrelationships.us Again, buildingrelationships.us. Okay, Gary, I love this next call for a lot of reasons, but mostly because this man is concerned about another man he knows.

Listen to this. Yeah, Dr. Chapman, in your September Ask Gary broadcast, some lady came up with a sixth Love Language money. I don't know if I agree with that either.

I don't know if I agree with that, but that spurred me on the thinking of the fact that some of the children spell love, P-I-M-E. And I was wondering if you would address that on on your show. I know of a man, he's a higher-up in a local church, and he's working three jobs there, and I spent any time at all with his kids. I warned him that his kids would go up to him, and he told me that his wife said the same thing, but I have an idea for him, but I haven't seen him since.

Anyway, my idea is that maybe he should sell the house, cut up a mortgage, and buy a small house. I don't know. But anyway, I'm getting off on all that, but I think you get my point, and I'd like to address it. Thank you. Oh, by the way, I'm single. I've never been married, but I've been around. I've been around. I know things about marriage because I'm 63 years old.

Anyway, well, thank you for your time. Well, Chris, I see why you appreciate this caller, okay? I like his sense of humor, first of all.

I also like his desire to help other people. He is exactly right when he says, children need quality time with their parents, even if it's not a child's primary love language. Every child needs quality time with their parents, and yes, there are men who work, work, work, work, and are never with their children, and the children grow up really not really knowing their father. As a matter of fact, Chris, you may have heard me share this, but I was at a funeral and out at the cemetery, and the father had died, and the son was 25 years old, I found out. I didn't know the son, but after the service, I started a conversation with him, and I said, tell me about your father, and he said, I never knew my father. I said, what do you mean by that?

He said, well, he worked all the time. He was out of town most of the week working, and said when he came home on Friday nights, Saturday, he played golf with his friends all day, and he said on Sunday, you know, we would go to church, and then he said the afternoon he watched TV and the ball games, and he said, I just never got to know my father, and I felt so sad, but he was sharing exactly what this caller is addressing, that if a father does not spend quality time with their children, the children will grow up with a sense I never really knew my father. Of course, it's true for mothers too.

I never really knew my mother, so I think we have to assess what's most important. It's a matter of priority, and the caller's suggestion was, if you have to work that much so you have no time with your children in order to pay off your mortgage, maybe you ought to sell that big house and get you a smaller house. That may be a practical thing, depending obviously on how much you can sell the house for and what it costs you to get a smaller house, but I do think the caller having an interest in a friend of his, when he sees this phenomenon going on, that speaking to him is important, and I'd like to commend him for taking initiative and saying to his friend, you know, da-da-da-da-da, so because sometimes we see this, but we don't want to say anything because we think, well, it's not none of my business what they do, you know, but as Christians it is our business to love people, and so sometimes loving people is drawing something to their attention that they may not be focusing on. So yeah, I really appreciate this caller. I did too, and maybe, you know, I said at the beginning of the program that there may be a call here that will speak into your heart and your life and your situation, and maybe there's a dad that's feeling really convicted now about, you know, I haven't been very intentional.

I've been a good provider, you know, and that's a good thing to do to provide for your family, but I'm not really spending the time that I want to spend with my kids. So if you hear that and there's something that's knocking at the door of your heart, listen to it, and thank you for your call. 866-424-GARY. That's the number that this person called a single listener who has a question about dating.

Hi Gary, I listen to your show all the time. I want to find out I'm dating a guy and he right now says he doesn't want to get married, but we have a great friendship. I do care about him a lot.

He would be the person that person that I would marry. Do you know if guys ever change their mind and I don't want to, you know, force anything, but I want him to naturally possibly change his mind. I'm thinking that I guess he's just scared of commitment.

Thank you. What I hear the caller saying is she didn't use these words, but she's in love with him. She has these strong emotional romantic feelings for him. She would like to marry him, but he has said to her, I don't want to marry. Now, I don't know if they're living together or not.

She didn't say that. If they are, that's not a healthy situation, because if a person wants to have, you know, the amenities that come with being married before you are married, that's not a healthy sign. You want the pleasures of marriage without the responsibility of marriage. And I know it's very, very popular today for couples to live together before they get married, but it's not a wise thing to do. Now, perhaps they're not living together.

One of the issues I would like to ask is how old is he? You know, if he's 23 and he's in college and has another year or whatever college or 22, or he's got a grad school program he wants to go to, and then he may feel she's pressuring him to get married now. He doesn't want to get married now. He enjoys their friendship. He enjoys dating her and being with her, but in his mind, it's not the right time for him to get married.

So that would be the question to me. Is it a time thing or is it he just has the philosophy he doesn't want to get married? He wants to have friendship with you. He wants to, you know, do whatever with you, but he doesn't want to have the responsibility for that. Now, she's asking, can a man change his mind? The answer is yes, a man can change his mind.

Whether he will or not would remain to be seen. A lot has to do with whether this is a philosophy of life with him. I don't plan to get married. I just plan to enjoy our friendship here. If something happens and I want to go with somebody else, I want to have the freedom to go do that.

So that is a selfish lifestyle, and a selfish lifestyle never leads people to ultimate satisfaction in life. You have to make the decision somewhere along the line. I don't know how long the caller has been friends with this person. I don't know the nature of the relationship, but at some juncture, you have to decide. If it's never going to lead to marriage and you want to get married, then there's a time to say, you know, I think we're going to have to break up the relationship, because you're choosing a lifestyle that does not include marriage, and I want to be married, so I think we need to break up. So there is a time for you to make that decision, because he probably won't. As long as he is getting what he wants out of the friendship, he's not likely to break up the relationship.

That would have to be your initiative. If you come to the place where you believe that that is his fixed intention, that he doesn't plan to get married. You didn't say manipulate him.

You didn't say, you know, throw down the gauntlet. It sounds to me like the situation may be something like, to me, you know, I'm probably reading into it, but to me, it sounds like he doesn't feel the same way that she feels about him. She is, you said, she is really attached to him. She's really in love, and she could see this going on, and he is, for whatever reason, not there yet, or maybe saying, I don't think I can ever feel that same way about you. So if that's true, if he is saying, I can't, I just don't have the romantic feelings that you have, but we can still be friends, you know, what should she do with that? I think she has to recognize it for what it is, and if she wants to continue to have a friendship with him, fine. That friendship will end when he meets someone else for whom he does have romantic attraction, and if that's the problem, and it may well be true, Chris, what you're saying sounds reasonable, then I think she has to realize, okay, this is not going to lead to marriage, because he's not, quote, in love with me. He doesn't have feelings that will push him to marry me, and so I'm going to have to release him, or I can continue to be friends, just realizing that when he finds somebody else, he's going to walk out of the relationship. And they have made a lot of movies about that situation right there, you know, and sometimes the other person comes around and says, man, this was, I didn't realize what I felt about my friend.

So wherever you are in your relationship status and dating and all of that, I hope that was an encouraging answer to you. Here's another question, though, that I don't think we've ever gotten this on the program. She believes in the love languages, but she has a legal question. Here we go. Hi, I wanted to let you know that I am a huge fan of your book, and I wanted to teach and share this with other people in small settings, not charging for it. I just love sharing with people, but I wanted to know, is that legal? Can I do that legally without, like, I don't know, any repercussions in any way? So thank you.

Well, I appreciate the sensitivity of the caller. You know, in terms of teaching "The 5 Love Languages" to a small group, many, many, many people all over the country, all over the world are doing that all the time, and I'm happy with that, okay? So let me just give you permission to do that, okay? But in today's world, obviously, there are legal factors, you know, and if someone starts, you know, writing a book on love languages and takes a lot of material out of the original book, yes, there are legal issues there. But simply teaching the concept to a small group, that is certainly permissible.

In fact, I would encourage it. And if you encourage that small group to read the book, I would affirm it even more. Yeah, you know, I asked, Janice helps us out with this program, and I asked her, hey, what do you say about this?

And she said, as long as she's not charging them, you know, she's got to pay $15 for each session or whatever. As long as it's more like a book group, it's a study that you're doing together, and she is leading it, kind of facilitating it, to take people deeper and then have conversations. That's fantastic, isn't it? Absolutely, Chris. And many, many leaders in churches are doing this in churches, you know, did they have a small group?

And so the small group decides to study "The 5 Love Languages" , and that one of them is leading it, and the others are hopefully reading the book and discussing it together. Well, there you have the answer, the legal question from Dr. Gary Chapman, and there's no fine print here, at least I don't see it. We haven't enough time for this question that came in just recently, and I want you to hear the heart of this person who called us. Here we go. Hi, Gary. I think you've made more wishes come true than Santa Claus. And I'm 80 years old. I still haven't read your book, "The 5 Love Languages" , but I sure wish I had the money to buy one or give them away as gifts.

Every single book you come up with is blessed because you are blessed and because God made you. So I hope you and your family have a wonder. Take good care of yourselves.

Bye-bye. Well, Chris, I've never had anyone tell me that I'm doing a better job than Santa Claus. But I like to accept that, okay, as a good intention of a lady who has an opinion. And, you know, I am of course, Chris, greatly, greatly encouraged by the way God has used the five love language and many of my other books to give people direction in how to have the kind of marriage and relationships, other relationships that they really want to have, you know, where in marriage or parenting children or in close friendships, people are enriching each other's lives because they've learned how to express love to that person.

And so it's very, very encouraging. And the fact that she is 80 years old and has observed this in other people, even though she hasn't read the book, I just want to affirm her. And if I happen to have her address, I'd send her a copy.

That's what I was thinking. She didn't leave her phone number or we would have. And here's the other thing that she would give this to other people. You know, there's a heart of giving. And you heard those stories of people who have, you know, the fellow who was in New York, who not a Christian, whose mother-in-law, I think, gave him the book and he read it sometime after and it really changed their relationship.

Yeah, absolutely, Chris. You know, I think I've talked to young couples who just got married and I've had people say, you know, we got four copies of your book for our wedding. I said, people love you guys.

People love you. I said, read one of them and give the other three away. But yeah, I think people, once they get the concept, they want their brother and his wife, their sister and her husband, their mother and their daddy. They want them to read it.

And so, you know, a lot of the books that have been purchased have been purchased to give away to others. 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, buildingrelationships.us. 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. Go to buildingrelationships.us 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 buildingrelationships.us. All right, Gary, here's a marriage in trouble. Do you feel like there's any hope for this couple?

Hi, Gary. My question is, you know, what do we do if our partner isn't ready to come back to the marriage and doesn't trust if you would change? I've been reading heavily the five apology languages and I'm in the predicament. My wife moved out three months ago after constant arguments. She would basically say that I haven't been listening and I've had a lot of lies and my own financial troubles. We have a son and he's currently living with her and we tried doing marriage counseling. After a few weeks, she said that she couldn't really help with relationships and my ex does not really want to go into the relationship again and that divorce might be the best route, but I don't believe that that is the best route. I understand that I need to make some changes and, you know, I've been really turning to God for some clarity on how to make those changes. I've been committed to therapy, working on my self-regulation skills, working on being able to be a better listener, but it's really different, especially when my wife's not on board. Really, when I got to the part in your book, it's about giving her time and really the grasp of it was actions do speak louder than words, but we do see each other still since we still have our son, you know, once in a while she'll agree to have lunch with me, but she's still kind of angered by the whole situation, especially since she says that, you know, a lot of the past traumas still are marinating around her head and she just can't get them out. I'm not really sure what to do at that point. I've given her a letter of apology and really try to validate her feelings and be sincere that I'm making my changes.

So what would you do? Thank you. Well, Chris, I appreciate this caller and I understand, you know, his sense of pain. I also sense the pain in his wife.

Obviously, she would not make this kind of move if she had not been through a lot of hurt in the past. I think he's moving in the right direction. I heard him say that he's still getting counseling for himself and trying to learn how to understand himself better and make changes in his mind and thinking and behavior that he knows need to be made. All of that is very, very positive because whatever happens, he needs to deal with those things and he needs to learn from the experience that he's going through. So I would encourage him to continue his counseling as well as continuing to read books on marriage or self-understanding or whatever thing he feels like he needs to be learning in. The fact that they tried counseling and the wife finally said, I don't think we should do this anymore because I don't think I can ever trust that you're going to really change.

She is where she is, okay? He can't make her change her mind and come back and work on the marriage. What he can do is treat her with dignity and respect and understanding when they do have contact and I'm glad to hear that they're having contact.

You know, with the child, obviously they have to spend, the child has to spend time with each of them, I'm assuming. I certainly hope that's true and the fact that she would be willing to have lunch with him periodically is a positive thing. I would just say try to make those as positive as you can, those times that you have together. Don't preach to her. Don't try to make her feel guilty, you know, and try to force her to come back into the marriage because that simply drives her further away. Just simply communicate along the way that you're beginning to understand more fully and more deeply how much you have hurt her. I think it's good that you've already written her a letter of apology, that's certainly good. What she probably is looking for is evidence that you are changing some things and this is kind of hard to communicate when, you know, you only have a periodic encounter with each other. But I would say share with her what you're learning in your counseling. Share with her insights that you might gain about yourself and things that you are doing to try to improve that and saying to her, I want to be a better person through this experience.

You know, whether or not you ever find it in your heart to forgive me and come back into the relationship, I want to grow through this and there's a sense in which I want to thank you for forcing this issue because it's helping me deal now realistically with some things in my life. That kind of approach where you're not condemning her but you're accepting what she is doing and you're trying to learn from it will be far more likely to influence her in a positive way. We can't change the other person's mind nor make them choose a decision that we would like, but we influence them every encounter we have with them.

We either influence them in a positive way or a negative way and so what I'm talking about is trying to have a positive influence on the other person. I've written two books that deal with this these kind of situations. One is called One More Try, What to Do When Your Marriage is Falling Apart. The other is called Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away and I think for you to read those it would be good. I think if she were open to reading those it would be good for her to read those. I don't know that she would want to receive those books from you if someone else could give them to her it would be better because she may think you're trying to manipulate her when you share those books.

So if you have a mutual friend that would be willing to give her one of those books, that's probably the better approach. I go back to the earlier caller that we had a good time listening to his story about kids and dads. I wonder if the gift of time would be good for this caller to give no strings attached, no when you coming back, when you coming back, no take all the time that you need to work through this and I am here if he communicates that it really does mean it. That could be such a gift don't you think?

I think so. The worst thing you can do is try to pressure her to come back and what you're talking about is the opposite of that. It's giving her time to work through her thoughts, her feelings and letting her know that he is not going to abandon the marriage. He is going to learn through this experience. The worst thing you could do is to see somebody else and get involved with somebody else, I mean himself, that's the worst thing you could do.

But to give her freedom and time to work through her emotions and let her know that he is working on himself, those are positive things. If you go to the website buildingrelationships.us and click store you'll see those resources that we were just talking about and a whole lot more. Just go to buildingrelationships.us. There's an argument about the love languages and Gary you get to settle it. Here's our next caller.

Hi Gary. There are some people who say that "The 5 Love Languages" it tells us not just how we like to receive love but also how we like to express love. For example, someone who likes to buy gifts for people and that is their love language. That doesn't sound exactly right to me and these people I'm speaking with say that we need to learn that that is their love language and accept that as part of our relationship building. And it just seems to me I thought it was all the work to be done to find out how to fill up the other person's cup of love with how they love to receive and feel love. Not a job to endure how that person prefers to express love especially if it is not your love language. It is not something that makes you feel loved. Now of course when someone is doing something to express love to someone else we want to be appreciative of that effort even if they're not striking the center of the target on our love languages. But what that seems to call for is an understanding of what their love language is which might be words of affirmation that they know that we really like and appreciate the gifts they give, for example. And that's where the concepts come in. Anyway, I appreciate any feedback you can give on this.

Thanks so much. Bye-bye. Yeah, well I understand I think somewhat what the caller is saying.

Let me say this first of all. Many people do just by nature express love to others in the way they would like to be loved. Like if receiving gifts makes them feel loved, they are the person that would tend to give gifts to other people. But that's just a clue. It's not true for everyone.

And I'll illustrate that. My father told me, son when you get married now be sure and give the lady gifts. Ladies like gifts.

You know he didn't know anything about love languages, neither did I. But he said give her gifts. So I gave gifts to my wife in the early years of our marriage. Not because I wanted to receive gifts, but because I had been taught to give gifts. And so it's not always true that what a person wants is what they express.

Say that first. But secondly, you're right in that the whole purpose of my writing the book, "The 5 Love Languages" , was to help people understand how to effectively communicate love to the other person in a manner that they would feel loved. I'm addressing that deep emotional need that all humans have to feel loved by the significant people in our lives. And so if I understand that words of affirmation is the language that makes my spouse feel loved, then I want to learn how to speak words of affirmation. Maybe I didn't receive words of affirmation growing up. Maybe I didn't receive words of affirmation growing up. It may not be natural for me. It may seem a little odd for me, but I can learn to do it because I know it's going to meet their need for love.

And I love them and I want them to know that I love them. So the heart of it is not selfishness. Selfishness is demanding that the other person speak your love language. You know, you know my love language and you don't speak my love language.

No, no, no, no, no. We don't make people love us. I remember a man who told me, he said, my wife's language is acts of service. He said, but I'm going to tell you and her, I'm not going to wash dishes.

I'm not going back in floors. Okay. I said, you're choosing not to love her in a way that's meaningful to her. And if you want to live with the wife, it doesn't feel love.

That's your choice. You know, so, uh, I think that I think the caller really has the basic idea. And that is we want to learn how to effectively love the other person and the love languages and understanding it helps you do that. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . You can find out more about that at our website, buildingrelationships.us. And you can learn more about our featured resource, Seen, Known, Loved Five Truths About God and Your Love Language. It's written by York Moore and Dr. Chapman.

Again, go to buildingrelationships.us. Gary, here's another deep marriage struggle. Here's our next call.

Hi, Dr. Gary. I have been with my husband now for 23 years. We were married 12 years ago.

We definitely have some issues, the major issues. My husband is ready to leave. I am now pregnant with our second. And I have recently been called to God about maybe less than a year ago, but I've learned so much and really want to fight for our marriage. And I'm praying that God just softened his heart because he's absolutely done. I've recently learned from your book that his love language is words of affirmation. And I completely obliterated and destroyed his heart by just years of probably emasculating words and behaviors that I didn't even realize I was doing. And my love language is quality time, my top love language.

So neither of those needs are being met. We each feel very hurt and betrayed. And we've had a lot of ups and downs in the relationship. But at this point, you know, with another child on the way, don't feel like this is the right time for him to just say I'm done. After a big betrayal, he begged me to stay and work it out.

And I did. And I think that if he would have someone, a counselor therapist, but he refuses to do therapy, someone just explained to him, you know, that the words of affirmation can help both of us if we can start repairing things that, you know, there's definitely a chance and a hope and a future. Nothing's impossible with God.

And I think that with the right tools, we can be on our way. We've done therapy in the past. It hadn't worked. And he's just unwilling to do it now.

I'm in a very desperate situation now where I really want to save my marriage and my family and keep everything together. So thank you so much. And I really enjoyed reading your book.

It was very, very insightful and dropped some bombs in my lap. Thanks so much. God bless. Well, I'm certainly glad that this caller indicated that she has turned to Christ. I think what she said a year ago and really accepted his love and his forgiveness. And has turned her life over to Christ. That's a huge step in anyone's life, married or single.

So I'm really grateful for that. What I hear her saying is that even though they've been together all these years, she never knew that his love language was words of affirmation. Consequently, what she's done through the years is giving him condemning words.

And she said negative things about him. So she really has been illustrating the ancient Hebrew proverb, which says life and death is in the power of the tongue. So she has, by her behavior, been killing him rather than loving him.

And she realizes that now, having read the book. Her love language is quality time. And apparently he's not speaking that to her either. So consequently, she doesn't feel loved. But she really, really wants this marriage to work. And she's thinking about the child that she's now pregnant with, as well as the child they already have.

So I'm very, very empathetic with what she's saying. I don't know if he has read "The 5 Love Languages" or not. But if he has not, I would not ask him to read the whole book. What I would say to him is, Honey, I read a book recently, and I found out that 20 million people have bought this book.

And it's been translated in over 50 languages around the world. Would you be willing to read chapter one and just tell me what you think about it? Most husbands, even in this situation, will read the first chapter. And if they read the first chapter, many of them will read the second chapter and the third chapter. You're not trying to manipulate him, but you're just saying to him, you know, I've read this, it's opened my eyes to the way I've treated you through the years. And I just wonder if you would be willing to read it.

It's helped so many other couples. Would you be willing to read the first chapter and then tell me what you think about it? It's a baby step, but it's a step in the right direction. But you preface all of that by what I just said. You're saying to him, I read this book that opened my eyes to how I have hurt you through the years. I had no idea that my behavior was so detrimental to you. But now I know why. I understand it now. You know, having tried counseling already and it didn't work, you're right, he probably is not going to go back to counseling because he's going to say, well, we already tried that.

It didn't work, you know. But I think keeping the lines of communication open or important, you're sharing your own insight for, you know, how you have hurt him through the years and letting him know that and apologizing for that. That's a big step in the beginning. But if he's willing to talk with you and continue conversations with you, I would just talk about the insights that you're gaining for yourself that are helping you understand yourself better and understand him better. And, you know, communication, we're honestly trying to share with each other, you know, our thoughts and our perceptions. And if there's going to be healing, there has to be communication. So I would try to say, keep the road open for communication. My guess is there are couples listening right now or married people who are seeing themselves in this call and a lot of pain, a lot of struggle.

You know that, Gary, through the years. Would you just, before we close here today, would you pray for those couples who are going through some of these deep waters? Yeah, sure. Father, you know the caller who called and you know many, many other people. You know many, many other people who are in similar struggles. You know them by name.

You know where they are. And I want to bring them before you today and just ask that your spirit would touch their spirits, that you would open their eyes to understand themselves better and their part in the struggle. Open their hearts and minds to understand the other person better and grant our Father a sense of hope, which many of them don't have. A sense of hope that perhaps things could be better if we can understand ourselves better and make some changes. Father, I know that you are the Redeemer.

I know that you do change marriages. When people open up to you and reach out for help, you do help. You do give wisdom. And that's what I pray for. That's what I pray for, both for their good and for your glory. In the name of Christ. Amen.

Amen. Well, as you've listened today, we really do hope that you've been encouraged in whatever relational struggle you may be going through. If you'd like to call Gary and have an answer to a question in a future broadcast, just use that number, 1-866-424-GARY. And if you go to buildingrelationships.us, you'll see our featured resource today. The book by Dr. Chapman and York Moore, Seen, Known, Loved.

Just go to buildingrelationships.us. And next week, the power of small groups and how they can help you grow and mature in your faith. Don't miss a conversation with Matt and Allison Willis in one week. A big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Bakking. 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 / 2023-02-25 03:03:56 / 2023-02-25 03:21:35 / 18

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