Gary Chapman – Liberty University Convocation
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Gary Chapman – Liberty University Convocation

December 7, 2019

>>DAVID NASSER: We’re so honored to have
the great Dr. Gary Chapman with us this morning. How many of you are familiar with his best-selling-
New York Times best-selling book, “The Five Love Languages”?
How many of you are familiar with that? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] I told Dr. Chapman that if our students themselves
have not read it, surely their moms and dads have, alright.
This book has had a profound impact in the kingdom, and every year it’s perennial bestseller.
Every year it continues to be one of the main books that Christian couples go through.
As a matter of fact, Dr. Chapman teaches a lot of weekend retreats for couples all around
the world. He’s a local pastor at Calvary Baptist Church
in Winston Salem. And he’s a host of a syndicated radio show
and a best-selling author, and we just love that he’s come this morning to talk to us
about the five languages. We think this is a great way to equip you
for every relationship that you have, not just your marriage.
Can we put out hands together everybody for Dr. Gary Chapman? [APPLAUSE]>>DR. GARY CHAPMAN: Thank you, Pastor.
Thank you. Well thank you, Pastor David.
You know, as I came on campus today I could not help but reflect upon a dinner meeting
that I had in 1967 with Dr. Falwell when he came to Winston Salem, North Carolina, where
I live, to speak in our church. And on that night, at that dinner, he shared
with us his vision of starting a college in Lynchburg, Virginia.
And when I drove on campus here 50 years later I thought, wow, what God has done through
the dream that Dr. Falwell had. So I’m glad to be with you.
The last time I was here a lot of you were not here.
I spoke on “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married”, a book that I wrote a while
back. And if you ever plan to get married you need
to read that book, okay? “Things I wish I’d known before we got
married”. But today I want to talk on the most important
word in the English language, and the most confusing word in the English language.
I say that “love” is the most important word because Jesus said in John chapter 13
verses 34 and 35, “This is the way that they will know that you are my disciple, by
the way you love each other.” He gave the non-Christian world the right
to judge whether or not we are following him by the way we love each other.
That makes the word extremely important. But I say that love is the most confusing
word in the English language because we use the word love in a thousand ways.
We say for example, “I love hot dogs.” [LAUGHTER] I hear it in North Carolina where I live.
We say, “I love barbeque.” [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Then I hear people say, “I just love the
mountains.” “Oh, I love the beach.”
“Love my dog.” “Love my new car.”
“Love my momma.” And then we say to a special someone, *whispering*
“I love you.” [LAUGHTER] Hot dogs and barbeque.
I’m not going to talk about the thousand ways in which we use the word love, I’m
going to talk only about three ways in which we use the word love.
And I’m going to focus on the third of these. I want to begin with what we typically call
falling in love. Now I doubt that you’ve ever heard a lecture
on falling in love. If you want to learn about falling in love
in our culture, you have to listen to country music.
Because they’re falling in love or out of love every other song. [LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE] And yet our culture teaches us that this is
the main thing you want to make certain of, that you’re really in love if you’re going
to get married. But nobody tries to explain that to us.
So I want to take just a few minutes and try to shed a little light on the topic of falling
in love. This kind of love begins with a feeling.
I like to picture inside every one of us there’s a little love alert system similar to a smoke
alarm. You see certain people, there’s something
about the way they look, the way they talk, the way they emote, it will give you a little
tingle inside. In fact, it’s the tingles that motivate
people to go out and have dinner together. And you know, sometimes you can lose the tingles
on the first date. [LAUGHTER] You find out something about them that you
can’t tolerate. And the next time they call you for a hamburger,
you’re not hungry. [LAUGHTER] And that relationship never gets off the ground.
But there are other individuals that every time you go out for a hamburger it gets tinglier
and tinglier and tinglier. And one night one of you will say something
like this, “You know, I think I could love you.” [LAUGHTER] We’re testing the waters to see if they
feel what we feel. And if they give you a positive response such
as, “What would be so bad about that?” Oh, you have a tender evening!
And the next time the moon is right you will say the words, *whispering* “I love you.”
And you wait for them to say, *whispering* “I love you. too.”
Woohoo! Now you know you got it because you said it
out loud. And from that moment on it literally becomes
an emotional obsession. You can’t get them off your mind.
You go to bed thinking about them, you wake up thinking about them.
All day long you think about them. They are the most wonderful person you have
ever met in your life. Now your mother can see their flaws. [LAUGHTER] But you can’t.
Your mother will say, “Honey, if you considered, they haven’t had a steady job in five years.” [LAUGHTER] And you’ll say, “Momma, give them a break.
They’re just waiting for the right opportunity.” So this kind of love becomes an emotional
obsession. They are the most wonderful person you’ve
ever met in your life. Absolutely, incredibly wonderful in every
way. Now people ask me, “Is this in the Bible?”
And the answer is yes. Here is a woman in love.
This is Song of Solomon chapter four. Don’t read this book too often, but- [LAUGHTER] Here is a woman in love.
Here’s what she says. “My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding
among 10 thousand.” Line up 10 thousand men and he’ll stand
out above all of them. “His head is pure as gold, his hair is wavy
and black as a raven. His eyes are like doves by the water streams
washed in milk.” And she goes on to describe his arms and his
legs. And then she ends up by saying this, “He
is altogether lovely. This is my lover.”
That’s what you say, that’s what you feel when you’re in love.
And then here’s a man in love. This is chapter four Song of Solomon.
And here’s what he says about her. “How beautiful you are, my darling, oh,
how beautiful. Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats.” That’s pretty contemporary. [LAUGHTER] “Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just
shorn coming up from the washing. Each one had its twin.”
Apparently she had braces earlier. [LAUGHTER] Yeah, and he goes on to describe her neck
and her breast and- ooh I can’t read all that. [LAUGHTER] And then at the bottom he says- he says, “You
are all beautiful, my darling. There is no flaw in you.”
People have been falling in love ever since Adam saw Eve.
It’s a phenomenon. It is not, however, the foundation for marriage.
Highly possible to fall in love with someone you shouldn’t marry.
And here’s the other reason why it’s not the foundation for marriage, it has a lifespan
of two years. We’ve studied it.
Dorothy Tennov, Bridgeport, Connecticut, long term study on the In-Love Experience.
The average lifespan is two years, some a little longer, some a little less.
And that’s why you come down off the high, you lose all those euphoric feelings.
And I did the same thing. Nobody told me I would come down.
I thought if you had the real thing it would last forever.
I came down off the high. We had been dating for two years before we
got married. So I came down pretty soon after the honeymoon.
And I found out everything my mother told me about her was true.
And she found out the same thing about me. And we had our conflicts, and we argued, and
we didn’t know how to solve conflicts. And within six months I was wondering, why
did we get married? We don’t even like each other.
And then I though, oh no, I married the wrong person.
And that’s why many people who don’t understand that it’s normal to come down off the high
get into arguments. And before long somebody gets the tingles
for somebody else. And they leave this person and go off with
this person. Folks, if we follow the tingles through life
you could get married 6-8 or 10-12 times just like they do in Hollywood.
We’ve got to first of all understand, nothing wrong with falling in love, but check out
a whole bunch of other stuff before you get married.
Because you will come down off the high, and the other stuff will become important at that
juncture. Second way we use the word love is one that’s
not nearly as exciting, and that is love as an attitude.
That doesn’t do much for you, does it? But it’s the attitude that says, “I’m
here to look out for your interests.” I’m not going to spend much time on this
because we preach about this a lot in our churches.
We are to love our neighbor, we’re to have an attitude with everyone we encounter:
I’m here to enrich your life. How can I enrich your life?
It is the opposite of selfishness. Selfishness views the whole world in terms
of, what am I getting out of this? But love views the world in terms of, what
can I contribute to your life? And as I said, we preach a lot about this.
This come from the Greek word “phileo”, from which we get our word Philadelphia, the
city of brotherly love. [CHEERS] And if you go there you may doubt it, but
that’s what the name means, okay. The city of brotherly love.
We’re not going to talk much about that. I want to talk about the third way we use
the word love, and that is love as an emotional need.
Almost everyone agrees that our deepest emotional need as humans is the need to feel loved by
the significant people in our lives. I like to picture that every child has an
emotional love tank. And if the love tank is full, that is they
genuinely feel loved by their parents, the child grows up emotionally healthy.
But if the love tank is empty, and they feel like, “they don’t love me”, the child
grows up with many internal struggles. And in the teenage year will likely go looking
for love in all the wrong places. Now the difficulty in a marriage relationship
is when you come down off the high, or even in a dating relationship when you come down
off the high, how do you meet that deep emotional need for love?
And the difficulty in doing this is that we have assumed that what makes one person feel
love will make another person feel love. And that’s a false assumption.
[I’ll] Never forget the first time I countered this.
Couple came into my office, I didn’t know them.
Found out they had been married to each other for 30 years.
They sat down and the wife started telling me some positive things about the marriage.
And then she started crying and she said, “But Dr. Chapman, the problem is I just
don’t feel any love coming from him. We’re just like two roommates living in
the same house. And he does his thing and I do my thing.
There’s nothing going on between us, and I’m so empty inside.
And I don’t know how long I can go on like this.”
When she finished I looked over at her husband, and he said, “I don’t understand her.
I do everything I can to show her that I love her.
She sits there and tells you she doesn’t feel loved.”
He said, “I don’t know what else to do.” I said, “Well, what do you do to show your
love to her?” He said, “Well, I get home from work before
she does so I start the evening meal. And sometimes I have it ready when she gets
home. If not, she’ll help me.
And then we eat together and after we eat I wash the dishes.
And on Thursday night I vacuum the floor, and on Saturday I wash the car, and I mow
the grass, and I help her with the laundry.” He went on.
I was beginning to wonder, what does this woman do? [LAUGHTER] It sounded to me like he did everything.
And he said, “I do all that to show her that I love her, and she says she doesn’t
feel loved.” He said, “Dr. Chapman, I don’t know what
else to do.” I look back at her, and she started crying
again. She said, “Dr. Chapman, he’s right.
He’s a hardworking man.” She said, “But we don’t ever talk.
We haven’t talked in 20 years. He’s always mowing the grass, washing the
dishes, vacuuming the floors.” [LAUGHTER] You understand what’s going on?
A sincere husband who is doing everything he knows to do to show his wife that he loves
her, and a wife who doesn’t get it. And after that I heard similar stories over
and over and over in my office. And I knew there had to be a pattern to what
I was hearing. But I had no idea what it was.
So eventually I took time to sit down and read several years of notes that I made when
I was counseling, and asked myself the question, “When someone said, ‘I feel like my spouse
doesn’t love me,’ what did they want? What were they complaining about?”
And their answers fell into five categories. And I later called them the five love languages.
So I started using this in my counseling and helped couples understand that, if you want
her to fell loved you’ve got to speak love in her language.
And the same thing true coming the other way. And I would challenge them to go home and
try to speak each other’s language. And sometimes they would come back in three
weeks and say, “Gary, this is changing everything. The whole climate’s different now.”
And then I started using it in small groups and the same thing happened.
And probably five years later I thought, you know, if I could put this concept in a book
and write it in the language of the common person, maybe I could help a lot of people
that I would never have time to see in my office.
Little did I know what God would do with that book.
It’s now sold over 12 million copies in English and been translated in 50 languages
around the world. People ask me, “How do you account for that?” [APPLAUSE] People say, “How do you account for that?”
Because every year now for 25 years it sells more than it did the year before.
And I say, “The short answer is God. And the long answer is God.”
It’s the only thing I know. But I think what’s happened is couples read
it, it changes their marriage. They want their brother and his wife, their
sister and her husband, their mother and their father- and it has just gone like that around
the world. And then single adults came to me and said,
“Gary, I know you wrote that book for couples, but I read it and it’s helped me in all
of my relationships. Why don’t you write one for us?”
So I wrote the Single’s Edition of The Five Love Languages that applies the concept to
your parents, to you and your siblings, you and your roommates or your suitemates.
You and the people you work with. You and the person you date with.
You see, in dating many couples they date for two years, they have the tingles for two
years, they come down off the high, and that’s when they break up because they think they’ve
lost it. Whereas if they knew each other’s love language
and spoke it they could keep that relationship and likely go on.
And they can make a wise decision to marry or not to marry.
But they break up simply because they lost the euphoric feeling.
So what are the five love languages? Incidentally all of them are found in the
Bible. Anything you discover in social research,
if it’s true, it will be in the Bible, okay? Words of affirmation, number one.
1 Corinthians 8:1, love edifies, love builds up.
So, one of the ways you express love is give words that build up.
“You look nice in that outfit.” “You know one of the things I like about
you?” It’s just affirming the other person.
In fact, why don’t you turn to somebody right beside you now and just say, “Hey
man, you look good.” Or, “Gal, you look good.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. [CHATTER] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Alright. It just took a word, “You look good,”
three words. “You look good.”
Second love language- second love language, gifts.
Receiving gifts. Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 25.
“Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.”
You think he’s talking about the tingles? Husband get the tingles for your wives like
Christ has the tingles for the church? No, no, no, he’s talking about an attitude.
Have the attitude toward your wife that Christ had toward the church.
He gave himself. The Bible says God is the gift-giver.
All great gifts come down form God. It’s universal to give gifts.
My academic background before I studied counseling and theology was Anthropology, the study of
cultures. We’ve never discovered a culture anywhere
in the world where gift giving is not an expression of love.
The gift doesn’t have to be expensive. Haven’t we always said, “It’s the thought
that counts”? But I remind you, it’s not the thought left
in your head that counts, it’s the gift that came out of the thought in your head,
okay? You know guys, you can get flowers free part
of the year. Go out in the backyard and pick one.
No flowers in your yard? The neighbor’s yard.
Ask them. Gifts. [APPLAUSE] Number three, acts of service.
Doing something for the other person that you know they would like for you to do.
1st John chapter 3 verse 18, “Love not only in word but in deeds.”
Do something to express your love to the other person.
In a marriage that is such things as this gentleman was doing.
It is washing dishes, vacuuming floors, and all that sort of thing.
In other relationships, you know, it’s just, what can I do to help you?
And it’s the willingness to do things to help people.
It might be helping them with a computer that they’re having trouble with, or something
else. But it’s doing something for the other person.
Remember the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words”?
It’s true if this is their love language. It’s not true for everyone, but if this
is their love language, actions do speak louder than words.
And then number four is quality time. Giving the person your undivided attention.
These are the people who love having lunch for an hour-and-a-half with a friends, and
just talking and sharing life with each other. Mark chapter 3 verse 4 says of Jesus he ordained
12. We call them the 12 disciples, listen, that
he might be with them. Jesus preached to multitudes.
He gave quality time to 12 men. Now in a marriage I’m not talking about
a husband and wife sitting on a couch and watching television.
Someone else has your attention. I’m talking about sitting on the couch with
the T.V. off, looking at each other and talking to each other.
Or taking a walk down the road, just the two of you.
Or going out to eat, assuming that you talk. Have you ever noticed in a restaurant you
can almost always tell the difference between dating couples and married couples?
Dating couples look at each other and talk. Married couples sit there and- [LAUGHTER] You’d think they went there to eat. [LAUGHTER] If I sit on the couch with my wife and give
her 20 minutes looking, listening, interfacing with her, I have given her 20 minutes of my
life. And she’s done the same for me.
Powerful communicator. Now if you’re going to spend quality time
with young people, especially teenagers, you have to go to where they are.
I remember when my son got into Buddy Holly. Most of you don’t remember Buddy Holly,
he was pre-Elvis. He got into Buddy Holly, I got into Buddy
Holly man. I said, “Derrick, I’ve got to go to Fort
Worth, Texas man. Why don’t you go with me and you and I will
drive out to Lubbock? And we’ll visit Buddy’s hometown.”
“Oh, Dad, I’d love to do that!” I had no idea how far it was from Fort Worth
to Lubbock. It’s a long ride.
Man, we had fun out there in Buddy’s hometown. You go to where the kids are.
If they’re into music you get into music. If they’re into sports, you get into sports.
You go where they are you can walk with them through the teenage years.
Your parents- some of your parents did that and some of you parents didn’t do that for
you. Quality time.
Number 5, physical touch. [CHEERS] Yeah. [LAUGHTER] Mark chapter 10, they brought the little children
to Jesus and the disciples said, “Oh no, this is an adult meeting- an adult meeting.”
But what did Jesus say? “Bring the little children to me, for of
such is the kingdom of God.” And the next verse says he put his hands on
them and blessed them. It’s universal to touch.
Now I know that in our culture we hear an awful lot about, you know, abusive touch.
Yeah, abusive touch. But listen, there are appropriate ways and
inappropriate ways of touching. And when you touch people in an appropriate
way it is an expression of love. And for some people this is their love language.
Why don’t you just hit the shoulder of the person beside of you, just kind of lightly.
Yeah, just a light touch. Yeah. [LAUGHTER] Yeah, that’s appropriate.
No further, no further. That’s appropriate, okay?
Alright, now listen to me carefully. Each of us, married or single, each of us
has a primary love language. One of these five is more important than the
other four. One of the five speaks more deeply to us emotionally
than the others. Now we can receive love in all five ways,
but each of us has a primary language, very similar to spoken language.
Every one of us grew up speaking a language with a dialect and that’s the one we understand
best. We call it out native tongue.
I grew up speaking English, Southern-style. [CHEERS] But every one of us grew up speaking a language
with a dialect. Same thing is true with love.
Now sometimes, people say to me, “Well I don’t know, Dr. Chapman, I think two of
those are just about equal for me.” And my response is, “Fine, we’ll give
you two love languages. We’ll call you bilingual.” [LAUGHTER] But most of us have a primary love language,
a secondary love language, and then the other three fall in line under that.
Now, in a marriage almost never does a husband and wife have the same love language.
It does happen, but not very often. And if they have the same love language they’ll
have a different dialect. For example a wife said to me recently, “Dr.
Chapman my husband and I have the same love language.”
I said, “Great, what is it?” She said, “Acts of service.
But,” she said, “the things that I want him to do for me to express love are different
from the things he wants me to do.” See, same language, different dialect.
Okay? And this is true whether you’re married
or whether you’re single. By nature all of us speak our own love language.
My love language- let’s say my love language is words of affirmation.
So what will I do in all of my relationships? I’ll give people words of affirmation.
And what will I do when I get married? I’ll give my wife words of affirmation.
I’ll tell her how nice she looks, how much I appreciate her.
Probably tell her a dozen times a day, “I love you, honey.
I’m so glad I married you. I love you, love you, love you.”
But let’s say words is not her language, that her language is acts of service.
Well let’s say that I don’t do anything to help her.
It’s just a matter of time. She’ll say to me one night, “You know,
you keep on saying ‘I love you, I love you, I love you.’
If you love me, why don’t you help me?” And I’m blown out of the saddle.
Why? Because in my mind, I love her.
In her mind, if I loved her I would be helping her.
You understand how couples can miss each other and still be sincere?
I believe there’re thousands of married couples who in their mind they love each other,
but they’re not connecting emotionally because they’re not speaking the right love language.
So obviously the answer is we must learn to speak the love language of the other person.
Now someone says, “Gary, wait a minute. What if their love language is something that
just doesn’t come natural for you?” And my answer?
“So? You learn it.”
My wife’s love language is acts of service. One of the things I do for her is vacuum the
floors. Now you don’t know me well, but do you think
that vacuuming floors comes natural for me? My mother made me vacuum all through middle
school, high school. I couldn’t go play ball on Saturday until
I vacuumed the house. In those days I said to myself, if I ever
get out of here- [LUAGHTER] One thing I’m not going to do, I am not
going to vacuum floors. You could not pay me enough to vacuum floors.
There’s only one reason I vacuum floors. L-O-V-E.
When it doesn’t come natural it’s a greater expression of love.
And here’s the good news. You can learn to speak any of these languages
as an adult. Maybe you didn’t receive some of them growing
up. Maybe they don’t feel natural for you.
But you can learn to speak any of these languages. Now, can you imagine with me for a moment
what would happen in your circle of friends if all of you- I’m talking now to single
adults- in your circle of friends, if all of you knew each other’s primary love language?
And so now if you want to express love to them and appreciation to them you know how
to do it most effectively. Can you imagine how that changes the climate?
In fact, a few years ago I wrote a book with a collogue called “The Five Languages of
Appreciation in the Workplace.” We took the love languages to work.
It absolutely revolutionizes the work climate when people learn which appreciation language
to use. We use the word appreciation at work because
it’s a different relationship with work associates than you have in a family or with
close friends. But the concept is the same.
So if you want to enhance your relationships then you learn how to speak the love language
of the people with whom you have interface. Now here’s another clue, something that
can help some you. Because some of you grew up in a home where
you did not feel love growing up. And you grew up with an empty love tank.
But if you will look back on your parents and your relationship with your parents you
may well find that they did speak one of the languages to you.
It’s just that it wasn’t your language. I remember when I was speaking in a prison
in Louisiana. I said I wanted to try- it was all men who
were in there for life. I said, “I’m going to try to explain to
you why you either felt love growing up or didn’t feel love growing up.”
Because many people who get involved in criminal activity grew up in homes where they did not
feel loved. And I explained the love languages in that
context. And when I got through a young man stood up
and said to me, “Gary, I want to thank you for coming, because I finally understand that
my mother loves me.” He said, “You gave those languages and I
knew that my language was physical touch. But my mother never hugged me.
They only hugged I ever remember getting from my mother was the day I left for prison.”
He said, “But you gave those other languages, and I realize my mother spoke acts of service.
She was a single mom, she had two jobs, she kept out clothes clean, she kept food on the
table.” By this time he started weeping.
He said, “Momma loves me. Momma loves me.
Momma loves me.” You see, when you look back perhaps you’ll
find that they did speak a language. They did love you.
It’s just you didn’t get it because they were not speaking your love language.
I believe that single adults who have a fractured relationship with parents can often heal that
relationship when they go back and begin to discuss this concept with their parents and
their parents come to understand it. So I want you to challenge you to think in
terms of how this applies to you in your relationships on campus, but also to you and your family
back at home. As well as, those of you that are married,
your spouse. You understand why I would say that what I’ve
just shared with you could literally save thousands of relationships?
In fact, when I do marriage seminars around the country I do Saturday seminars.
I’ll have every Saturday 6-8-10 or 12 people- couples who will come up and say, “Gary,
we were that close to divorce. And someone gave us a copy of your book, and
it literally saved our marriage.” So I want to challenge you to take this seriously.
If you have not taken the quiz it’s a free quiz at 5 love languages dot com- the number
5, You can go on there, take a free quiz.
There’s a quiz for single adults, there’s a quiz for married adults, there’s a quiz
for military couples. So take the quiz and encourage the people
in your circle of friends to take the quiz. And share with each other what you love language
is, what your primary and what your secondary is.
I think you’re going to find this will greatly enhance all of your relationships.
And if your parents have never done this, either give them the book, encourage them
to go online and take the quiz. You can have an impact on your parents.
If you’re looking back and know that your parents have a troubled relationship, you
can help them by sharing this concept with them.
Alright, well, let’s pray together. (Praying) Father, thank you that you made
us with the capacity to love, even those who are unlovely.
Because your love is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Fill us- fill us Father with your love. May an encounter with us be an encounter with
one who loves. Enhance our relationships because we came
to this place today. And by your spirit give us the desire to effectively
love every one with who we come in contact. May our lives be different because we spent
this time in Convocation today. In the name of Christ, for your glory, and
for our good, in the name of Christ we pray, Amen.
Thank you.

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