Do you ever feel like you and your spouse speak different languages? When it comes to love, you probably do.
More than 700 people from more than 15 churches attended ROCKHARBOR Church to learn about love languages and improving their marriages during a two-day event led by Dr. Gary Chapman called “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.”
“This was our second annual marriage conference,” explained Roger Tirabassi, Newport resident and premarital and marriage enrichment pastor at ROCKHARBOR.
“Everybody knows that having a successful marriage isn’t easy; marriage takes a lot of work. Men and women are very different and we each speak different love languages. We are excited to have Gary here; he has so concisely brought awareness to the whole issue of how we experience love differently. Gary is world-renowned and his books have been translated into many different languages. He is really amazing.”
“The divorce rate in our culture is terrible, and people have lost faith in marriage,” Roger continued. “But you can be happily married. As a church we believe in the sacredness of marriage. Our hope is that people’s marriages would be successful and be a model for future generations.”
Chapman -pastor, speaker and author, -speaks throughout the US and internationally on marriage, family and relationships. Speaking engagements have taken him to England, Germany, Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Mexico and Hong Kong. His bestselling book “The Five Love Languages” has sold more than 5 million copies and has been translated into more than 36 languages.
Chapman entertained, inspired and equipped the attentive audience as he addressed the topics of: communication differences, understanding and expressing love languages, initiating positive change, making sex a mutual joy, and how to share the things that bug you.
“All of us get irritated, all of us need help,” Chapman said. “You can make your marriage a whole lot better. Fortunately, God has not left us without help. In the Bible, He tells us how to live. In Jesus, He showed us how to live. There is hope. God who created marriage cares about your marriage.”
“I have seldom met a husband or a wife who wouldn’t like to be better, and to have a better marriage,” Chapman continued. “If you can change, why not? Let’s make life easier for each other. To the best of your ability, change everything you can to please your spouse. Also, love accepts many imperfections; learn to accept the things that cannot or will not change.”
Chapman pointed out that people commonly attend annual conferences and classes for continuing education in their profession, and challenged couples to give their marriage the same kind of attention by working through a marriage book and attending a marriage event yearly.
“What would happen if every couple went to something to enrich their marriage every year?” he asked. “Churches send mission groups all over the world and people are doing incredible things in the name of Jesus; wouldn’t the same principle work at home? Why wouldn’t we want to serve our spouse in the name of Jesus? Marriage is ministry.”
No matter how long couples had been married, everybody seemed to enjoy the biblical advice, practical tips and plenty of laughter while learning how to develop a God-honoring and happy marriage.
Newport residents Teri and Stuart Leigh have only been married six weeks, but were excited at what they were learning to help build a healthy marriage from the beginning.
“God brought us together, and we really want healthy relationships and to reflect God in our marriage,” Teri said.
Stuart also valued all the good input: “We both failed at our first marriages and we want to do this right. Learning all this is helping us focus on the things we need to do to serve God and each other in the ways He would like us to.”
Wendy and John Maurer have been married almost 20 years, but both felt they learned new things.
“I liked that Dr. Chapman sent us off with practical action steps that help any stage of marriage.” John said.
Wendy agreed and added, “It was great! I came here thinking my spouse needed to hear this, but I realized I really need to learn it.”
At the end, Chapman encouraged couples to stand, hold hands and face each other. Husbands and wives took turns asking their spouse to forgive past failures and asked for help teaching them how to love each other better.
For further information about Gary Chapman, go to www.5lovelanguages.com . Cindy can be reached at [email protected].