It is significant that Dr. Chapman begins his book with the story of Susan and Regina.
Let’s examine why.
Both women have come to him for counseling help and both women have suffered terrible setbacks in life.
One woman chooses to “count it all joy” and move on with her life, seeing her setbacks [father’s suicide, brother killed in war and husband left for another woman] as nudges from God that mean something but she is not sure what. She is sure of one thing: God loves her. She knows it. She has put all her “eggs in that basket.”
The other woman has reacted differently to her problems, seeing her setbacks as devastating. In fact, she is embarking on her fourth marriage and she is not confident that it will work out. She seems to be a Christian. She mentions her mother’s admonition “my mother keeps telling me that God loves me and has a plan for my life. Right now, I don’t feel God’s love, and I think I must have missed his plan. I’m not even sure there is a God.”
One woman sees life’s ups and downs as part of God’s plan and she is onboard for what God has in store for her.
One woman sees life’s problems as problems. God could not be in those problems. The fact that I have problems is a sign that God does not love me.
Dr. Chapman is setting us up.
He states that he can provide the knowledge about love languages but he cannot make people act on that knowledge. “We know what we have to do but we don’t have the will to do it.”
What will happen to us if he gives us the knowledge and we don’t provide the will?
Actually, I want to go ahead and say this. You probably won’t have the will to make the changes necessary to use the love language that he will recommend to you.
But God will give you what you need to make the change.
What do you have to do?
Pray for Him to change you.
Afraid to do that?
Sure you are.
Because you are afraid to change.
You are afraid He will ask you to do something that is different, and He will.
Dr. Chapman tells of the husband who finds out his wife’s need for a particular change in his love language and his response: “I’ll tell you right now, if it’s going to take my washing dishes, vacuuming floors and doing laundry for her to feel loved, you can forget that.”
He has been asked to change and he refuses.
He had the knowledge but no will to change.
Dr. Chapman goes further by saying that people “who choose not to love are never happy people.”
Is it hard for Regina to love rough circumstances in her life? Sure it is. But does she have to give up on God? Does she need to doubt His existence?
She has a need for love in her life but she has forgotten the most important love that any person can have…the love of God.
Her parents are not there to love her. Her sister is not there to love her. The three men she was divorced from are not there to love her and I hope the 4th man she is about to marry will fill up that hole in her heart, but he probably won’t.
Only God can do that.
God speaks to us in our love language and we need to understand that language. We can’t get the messages if we have shut down the communication between ourselves and our savior.
What’s your choice?
It is important to know your own love language from the start of this study. Go to the url above [God speaks your love language resource] and click on the profiles link at the top. That will take you to a love language test that you can take. It took me about 20 minutes. When you are finished, you can see the results or you can have them mailed to your email box. This is very important to do as soon as you can.