NOW YOU'RE SPEAKING MY WAY, REVIEWING the MESSAGE OF Gary Chapman to the Married World
By Kevin Anthony Stoda, Germany
I have just returned from the Philippines, where I spent over a month with my wife. Along the way, I read and reviewed parts of two books by two American authors that have helped me and my marriage. The first book was given to me by my church in Kuwait, just after my wife and I were married in a formal ceremony a year ago. The second book was Gary Chapman's NOW YOU'RE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE. I bought this second book while underway in my journeys in Palawan during the weeks my wife and I were establishing a new residence on that island.
The classic book, given to my Kuwait church family, is named HIS NEEDS, HER NEEDS. It was written by Dr. Willard F. Harley in order to help all marriages stay on track, i.e. especially after the honey moon phase or whenever periods of anemone have arisen in the marriage relationship. The subtitle of this book is "Building an Affair Proof Marriage", but that is only of marginal interest for me in the total work, which seeks to increase mutual companionship, love, and compatibility between married individuals, their behaviors, and their desires over weeks, months, and years of practice involving good planning for their lives and ever-increasing communication skills.
A summary of Dr. Harley's main concepts can be found here:
However, Willard and his wife's main passion is to build a more intensive marriage ministry for all. Willard and his wife have learned how to help save marriages after years of failure. They first found the paths toward conceptualizing solutions to marriage conflicts and began to build their counseling just over three decades ago.
CHAPMAN'S LOVE LANGUAGES...amp; NOW YOU'RE TALKING
I actually read Gary Chapman's LOVE LANGUAGES OF GOD twice long before I got married, and I found those concepts very useful in talking more subjectively and objectively about similarities and differences of peoples living out of different faiths when I lived and worked in Kuwait.
Recently, I have proposed doing research at several universities and in several cities in Germany on the applicability of Gary Chapman's LOVE LANGUAGES OF GOD model across faiths and peoples as part of my great interests in promoting better cross-cultural integration in Germany and Europe for the rest of this century.
Chapman's book, which I am reviewing in this essay, is entitled NOW YOU'RE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE( Nashville: B...amp; H Publishing, 2004), and takes a broader approach towards marriage counseling than does some of Chapman's other earlier books. In a way, each chapter is like a new chapter in a textbook. However, the pieces eventually interlock or dovetail, but not as fluidly as in Chapman's LOVE LANGUAGE series. Nonetheless, each chapter if read and discussed together by each partner in marriage, will certainly meet the subtitle's intention: The subtitle of the work is "Honest Communication and Deeper Intimacy for a Stronger Marriage."
Chapman's thesis is that good communication is the rode to intimacy, and without intimacy there is, naturally, something important missing in maintaining any long term relationship. Chapmen writes: "Good communication requires that we identify and eliminate the unhealthy [elements or communication patterns] and then find new ways of communicating that foster understanding and intimacy. [p.13]"