"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
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.