Sunday, September 1, 2013

One of the Greatest Gifts We Can Give Our Children

"The highest percentages of marriages fail in the first seven years." This alarming statistic comes from someone who knows -- Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages

"We haven't done a very good job preparing our  young people for marriage," he concludes. "Most people spend at least four years getting ready for their vocation. They go to a college, or a technical school learning and getting ready for their career, but how much time do they spend getting ready for marriage?" he asks. "They might see a pastor three or four times, and that would be exceptional."

Consequently, he says, "They're much more successful at their jobs than at their marriages."

Chapman feels the key to helping our young adults enjoy successful marriages lies in education. "If we can do a better job of helping young people before marriage come to understand that after they come down off their newlywed high, they're going to have to work at marriage, then they have a better chance of succeeding."

The time to prepare for marriage is not when a couple gets engaged, Chapman says, but long before. Parents, youth ministers, college campus pastors all need to be educating their young adults. To provide the wise information  and counsel young people need to prepare for marriage, he's written the book, Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married.

A pastor, author, and marriage and family counselor for over 30 years, Chapman has counseled thousands of struggling couples. He's identified some of the greatest sources of conflict, especially in young marriages. 

Sample chapter topics in his book are: I Wish I'd Known that:
  • Toilets aren't self-cleaning
  •  Being in love isn't an adequate foundation for building a successful marriage
  • The saying, "Like mother, like daughter" and "Like father, like son" is no a myth
  • How to solve disagreements without arguing
  • I was marrying into a family
  • Spirituality is not to be equated with "going to church"
  • Forgiveness is not a feeling
"If we can teach young people that the newlywed euphoria has an average life span of two years," Chapman says, "and they're going to come down off the high and then they're going to have to learn how to keep love alive, and that it's going to take effort, then they've got a much better chance."

I've been married for almost 28 years, and God has taught my husband and me a lot about how to live together in harmony, how to respect each others' differences, and how to glorify God through our marriage. He's brought us through some dark, hard, sad, and hopeless times. If we'd had a book like Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married, I think some of the hard times wouldn't have been so hard. 

Do you have a son or daughter high school aged or older? They need this book.

Read it first, Then share it with them.

Do you have a son or daughter who is involved in a serious dating or engaged relationship? Buy two copies. Give one to your child and one to their significant other. It will spark many great conversations, and it could be the greatest gift you give them.

Lori Hatcher is the author of the blog, Hungry for God; Starving for Time, where she provides twice-weekly doses of spiritual nutrition for busy people. Like a spiritual power bar, Lori's devotions will nourish your soul when you don't have time for a spiritual meal. To subscribe, click here.

Did you know that Lori has a devotional book for homeschooling moms called Joy in the Journey?

With a devotional for every week of the school year, JITJ has application questions, an action step, and a prayer. It's suitable for your own devotional reading or for use by a support group for meeting ideas.

  No school year is complete without it!

For more information and to read what other homeschooling moms are saying about Joy in the Journey, click here. 

To order a paperback copy, click here.

1 comment:

  1. I've read a copy of this book and I must say that I learned many things from it. A perfect marriage is not the ones we see on the movie, but the ones that we seen as we grow. Sometimes, the more we try to make our relationship picture-perfect one, the more we dwell into breaking apart. The best thing that we can teach to our children about perfect relationship is not the physical idea of marriage, but being responsible with the decisions that we're going to take.

    Russell @Kenosis Center


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