Co-Author, A Marriage Carol (2011)
Sold 5 million copies of New York Times bestselling The Five Love Languages which has been translated into over thirty six languages and earned him the Platinum Book Award from the Evangelical Publishers Association
Hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute
Sr. Associate Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC, since 1971
B.A., Anthropology & Bible, Wheaton
M.A., Anthropology, Wake Forest University
Ph.D. Adult Education & M.R.E., Education Administration
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Gary Chapman: A Marriage Carol
The 700 Club
A MARRIAGE CAROL
A Marriage Carol is a spin on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Co-Author, Chris Fabry approached Dr. Chapman about the idea for the book. He and his wife, Andrea, had worked with Dr. Chapman on the radio show Building Relationships for several years. Based on a couple of scenarios they talked about on the program, Chris wrote an imaginative story that would capture Christmas and a marriage on the rocks. Dr. Chapman contributed biblical principles on relationships to the book.
The story talks about how one choice changes a life. On Christmas Eve, Marlee and Jacob Ebenezer take a drive to their lawyer’s office to finalize their divorce papers. After 20 years of marriage they are tired of fighting, tired of the pain, and have chosen to end their marriage on their anniversary. When Jacob takes a shortcut on an icy road they slam into a snow bank. With no trace of Jacob, Marlee goes for help. She trudges through the snow to an old farmhouse. An old man meets her at the door and invites her inside. He tells Marlee he has received many couples at his house through the years seeking restoration or answers for their marriage. During her visit, he takes Marlee on a journey she will never forget through images of her past, present, and future. In the process, she begins to reexamine her life and her choices.
In the book, A Marriage Carol, Dr. Chapman takes you on a journey through Marlee’s eyes. She expresses how the conflicts, frustrations, and misunderstandings with her husband, Jacob have led to layers of hurt and unforgiveness on her part and his. She sees her husband as the problem in their marriage until her eyes are opened to the truth.
Dr. Chapman says your marriage can improve and improvement can begin today, regardless of your partner’s attitude. The place to begin is with one’s own failures (the plank or beam in one’s own eye). “Even if you are only 5 percent of the problem, the key to improvement lies with you,” shares Dr. Chapman. For an ideal marriage, fully satisfying in every area it takes the work of two individuals under God, but you can see substantial growth in your marriage even if only you are willing to change. Dr. Chapman offers the following strategic steps for a partner to take toward a healthy, growing marriage:
- Make a list of your own sins and confess them to God.
- Ask for the Holy Spirit to have control over your life.
- Disclose your failures to your mate and ask his/her forgiveness. Confession of wrong and asking for forgiveness is the road to freedom.
“The fastest way to have a loving, supportive, understanding spouse is to become a loving, supportive, understanding spouse,” shares Dr. Chapman. He says you can become an instrument of positive influence on your spouse by allowing God to work in your heart.
HOPE FOR TROUBLED MARRIAGES
Dr. Chapman has worked with many couples through the years who are on the brink of divorce. Often times he is told by one or both spouses in the relationship that they have no hope for their marriage. Dr. Chapman says when couples have given up on their marriage he tells them, “I have hope for you.” He does not ask if couples want to work on their marriage, instead he asks will you work on your marriage. Too often couples examine the way they feel towards their spouse. Dr. Chapman says love is an attitude not a feeling. He offers the following advice to help your marriage improve over time:
- Let your marriage relationship be the most important thing in your life.
- Give each other the number one place in your thoughts.
- Keep God at the center of your relationship.
- Do something each day to express your love for each other.
- Minimize the weakness of your mate and maximize the positive traits of your mate( his or her strengths).
- Brag about his accomplishments, and he will excel.
- Love, and you will be loved.
- Apply to your marriage the golden rule of all human relationships:” In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you…” (Matthew 7:12).
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