Gary Chapman is an educated man who holds various degrees in Anthropology along with degrees in Religion from Southwestern Theological Seminary and Duke. His calling is to the ministry of pastor. He also is a notable author and speaker. Chapman focuses on couples, and finds it important to assist in healthy marriages. Gary appears on several presentations concerning the radio and television; he also created his own radio presentation "A Love Language Minute." He is an internationally known speaker for relationships. "The Chaplain's Office of NATO issued a special invitation for Dr. Chapman to speak to the NATO forces in Germany." Chapman created five video series, and "has served as senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, NC for over thirty-six years. He has been happily married to Karolyn for over forty-five years and has two children and two grandchildren."
The Five Love Languages of Teenagers assists in effectively meeting "the most important aspect of meeting your teen's need for emotional love," and the ability to reinforce your child in all matters of being. "Research indicates the most significant influence on a teen comes from the parents." Chapman centers on "What is a Teenager?" "There are many similarities between the teens of the 1940s and those of the twenty-first century." Youth today confront five primary distinctive issues from those of the 1900s; diverse technologies, awareness and experience of violence, the disintegrated family, awareness and experience of sexuality, and the cultural impartiality of ethical and religious importance of modern society. They vigorously seek for their distinctiveness while attempting to institute their sovereignty from their parents, while confronting different transformations both physical and mental, making it a trying time for them. Yet after conferring these modifications, Chapman arrives at the resolution that parents can direct their adolescence through this confrontational time. He also demonstrates how parental adoration is the essential, most significant requirement of a teen. As youth are confident in the affection of their parents they confront harmful pressures in their society that assists in their demise, and causes immature unproductive adults. "When the teenager's love tank is empty, he feels that "no one really cares about me."" As the most important need is love; "children develop best when they are provided the opportunity to have warm, intimate, continuous and enduring relationships, with both their fathers and their mothers."
What Chapman does, is to cite accounts of teenagers with real life issues such as an empty love tank; and in this regard, a developed rejection in place of love, so that they end up facing difficulties with regard to differences with others; in-so-far, being able to discuss those differences without resorting to pettiness and arguments to express how they feel at that particular moment. Part of the problem is the young person who relishes affirmative rhetoric. These suffer from harsh and negative comments elicited by their parents; and, rebel against what they feel is nothing more than condemnation, when the words and tone would more accurately describe constructive criticism. Another problem stems from the fact that the teenagers of today, experience difficulty in reconciling self-identity; being secure in themselves; facing low self-esteem; and, unhealthy tendencies to blame themselves for things. It is upon these vicissitudes Chapman gives practical strategies to parents of teenagers; so that they will be able to help them build healthy, positive relationships. Some teenagers thrive on physical touch because they thrived on it as a child. Chapman provides advice concerning ways and times for physical contact; and, what constitutes inappropriate touching as well. What is most important for every teenager is quality time. Chapman dedicates the balance of chapter five to the discussion of it. One key to chapter five is guidelines which Chapman provides; and ideas for improving existing relationships with teenagers which he has gleaned over his years in ministry. One notable example is Chapman's explanation of conversational speech which builds up; implementing activities for the entire family in an environment conducive for sound quality time. Throughout there is ample treatment provided by Chapman for many of the reasons and circumstances of why most teenagers refuse to communicate.
The most powerful of the love languages is Acts of Service. What is found in the dynamic of parenting is this involves many acts of service. For most, often the acts of service are completed without any love involved. It is critical that any act of service be rendered in a loving way. One irony most tend to ignore is that kids are not stupid. This is especially true when speaking of teenagers; for the teenager will pick-up on whether Mom and Dad are doing something to get them off of their back. Some go the route of coercion and manipulation. Coercion is nothing more than being in bondage to something; and manipulation is not love on the face of it; for love and service must be given without cost. Gifts are the fifth and final installment. Chapman delves into what constitutes a gift and what does not. Materialism; private; and, treasured gifts are treated as well in the discussion. Considering that Gifts is the teenagers love language, it would be important that any gift be given with a degree of ceremony; void of conditions; and, coupled with words of affirmation and physical contact.
In chapter eight, Chapman deals with the discovery of a teenager's primary love language; understanding, that the language has not changed in translation from adolescence to youth. Note that the language has not changed, but dialect might certainly have. A teenager is going through a period of rapid change, such as, a change in attitude; emotions; mood; likes and dislikes; and, these fluctuate in one or more, from one day to another. It is beneficial for parents to speak all five love languages, while continuing to emphasize the primary love language. Chapters nine and ten present love and anger as the topics discussed; with respect to the parents and then with respect to the teens. Parents need to learn to manage their anger, and then learn practical ways of helping their teens. They must listen to their angry teen and this is a difficult task. Chapters eleven and twelve deal with love and independence, and love and responsibility. Teens must be allowed to develop independence and responsibility. In chapter thirteen, Chapman gives strategies of dealing in love with your teen during times when he fails. Finally Chapman deals with the love languages in the single parent family, and in the blended family, giving important guidelines to these challenges in modern living.
I did not know why I needed to read about the love languages for a youth class, much less what these languages were. After consuming it, I found it a book which would assist a youth leader in appropriate ways to show love to a teenager. This book has changed my insight of how to conduct a relationship with teenagers, both as a youth minister and a parent. Youth uniquely change in every age, and are very challenging. My role as a parent to my daughter Ariel will differ dramatically throughout the years. I valued the sensible thoughts and precise ideas to speak forms of adoration that will be willing received. The downside of not ensuring that our teens are given sound Biblical advice and counsel is that they might seek it out on their own; and, with no guarantee that they will be given it by any credible source. It will be these other sources of counsel which will capture and influence their hearts for the road ahead.
Chapman's book is anything but a "how-to" book or "do-it-yourself" manual. This is a work written for those parents willing to "live out" not only their faith; but what is presented in the work, so that the lives of their teenagers will be impacted and changed. Our Lord Jesus Christ modeled mercy toward others who were less in the eyes of the status quo of His day. This powerful concept, modeling mercy to our teens, is one which Christ gave to His disciples; and one which we should exhibit in our own lives today. This is a great read for all parents of adolescence aiding you in recognizing how to facilitate your love for your teenager. The concepts in this book can be an aid to all healthy relationships. It improved my comprehension of the changes involved in my infant daughter when she becomes a high school student. God Bless all you parents of teens!
Chapman, Gary. Five Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively.
Chicago, IL: Northfield Publishing, 2010.
-. Marriage and Family Life Consultants. http://www.garychapman.org/bio.htm (accessed August 8, 2011).
Edwards, Paul. Holy Bible: King James Version. New York: New York: Penguin Books, 1974.
Nancy Lovell, Julie Fairchild. "Gary Chapman: Husband, Father, Psychologist, Pastor, Author." Things I Wish Book. http://thingsiwishbook.com/cms/wp-content/themes/TIWIK/media/tiwik_chapman_bio.pdf (accessed August 13, 2011).show more
by rev. w. leon lorton