Rick Shrader‘s Review:
I’ve read Gary Chapman a few times before this book, although this is his most popular book by far. Chapman is a graduate of Moody, Wheaton, Wake Forest, and a PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also an associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC. I’ve generally enjoyed his perspective on marriage and family. I read this book simply because it is his best known book and I have heard about it a number of times. However, though the book is interesting because of the “success” stories he tells throughout the book, it was a little too heavy on psychology and light on theology for me. But like many such books, you can learn helpful things from it that you might be able to pass on to others.
Chapman makes a good point that lovers go through an emotional high time during courtship but then have to come back to the reality of themselves during marriage. This is when they need to learn the “love language” that they and their spouse speak. These are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch. He has found that every individual gravitates to one of these “languages” and needs for his/her spouse to know and “speak” it to him/her. Also, each person should know which one he/she “speaks.” By speaking this language to your spouse, you fulfill his/her need and therefore fulfill their capacity to love. Of course, the book is filled with positive stories and responses to this type of counseling help.
As I said, I could wish that there were more biblical passages and concepts applied to this approach. It’s kind of like reading about the birth order of children, or the temperaments, or some approaches to spiritual gifts. It can be interesting and even helpful.