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3.0 out of 5 stars What type of Love is this book about? There are different types of Love, 12 April 2011
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This review is from: The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts (Paperback)
The main reason marriages are failing is because we have moved away from God's ideals/standards for marriage. The reason Christian marriages are failing is same. Yes even Christian have moved away from God's standard or worse we don't even know what it is. Hence we go into marriage for the wrong reasons: have a big wedding to impress friends/family, to be happy, to be completed, financial security etc.

Why did God create marriage? What are his standards for marriage and 'biblical' love? Without knowing the purpose of a product and the manufacturers instructions for operating the product, we would most likely damage or misuse it.

Biblical (agape) love, is radically different from the 'cupid' type of love we hear about in songs, movies and the love that most of us know and show to others. Marriage and relationship requires biblical love. This type of love is an act of the will on behalf of who you profess to love. It isn't based on (or led) by feelings and emotions. Hence it can keep loving even when your mate is unlovable and plain selfish. It is a type of love that you show which is completely independent of what your mate does or doesn't do. It is selfless, patient, not easily provoked, doesn't seek it's own benefit and is unconditional.

This type of love, I very much doubt is what's in many of our minds when we pick up Gary's book. Most of us have never heard of or practiced this type of love.

For Gary who says he is a Christian, not much is mentioned from God's word (the Bible) and most of it (10 times or so) are as an afterthought. Imagine me writing a book about the Iphone or Ipad, but hardly mentioning much from Apple's user manual and guidelines for these products: It would or should be practically impossible, unless the book wasn't really about these products in the first place.

This book is secular enough to appeal to unbelievers (until they get to the end when Gary talks about being a christian and then get angry) and it is 'christian' enough to appeal to the church goer.

If you already know and have studied what agape love is, then this book may give you ideas on how to express it practically. If not, I'd advice to stay well clear of it until you do, otherwise your motive for showing love to your mate would most likely be for selfish reasons. I have many self centered and selfish women friends who buy this book for their husbands and boyfriends so that these men would learn their love language. However, for many of them, they already know their men's love language (i.e. respect, a tidy and clean house etc) but have absolutely no interest in fulfilling it. It's their mate that needs to improve not them

The biggest love language of all - Truth, is sadly missing from Gary's book. How may friends do we have that really tell it as it is? Very few, especially when it comes to sensitive issues. Simon Cowell (of American Idol) fame is respected (and sometimes hated for telling it as it is. Agape love tells people the truth (in love of course, not brutally like Simon) even if it means that the person may get upset with you, cry or even hate you. Jesus states the truth clearly in John 8 verses 31-32: "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; THEN you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free. The truth of God's word (the Bible) if you continue in it, will set you and your relationship free. For biblically based truth about true (agape) love, relationships and the Gods purpose and standard for love and marriage, I would recommend the excellent Love and Marriage (4 CD Set) by Voddie Baucham. It will challenge a lot of what you thought was right but most of all, the truth will set you free and enable you to build a proper foundation for your relationship and marriage.

True Love costs. The love Jesus had for us as sinners cost him his life. Learning and applying the biblical truth about relationship and marriage costs. It will take time and effort but believe me, it is worth the investment!!
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Apr 2011 11:49:52 BDT
BEEKAY says:
Thanks so much for this review! God bless you.

Posted on 18 Nov 2011 13:14:31 GMT
Liberty says:
what a very judgemental post. Perhaps the "selfish" and "self centred" friends just want to make their marriages as good as they can be, for both parties.

Posted on 4 Dec 2014 13:40:34 GMT
Dare, I think you are missing the point. I am a Christian too and I totally agree with your first paragraph, and I totally agree that the 'agapao' love is essential. It refers to the settled disposition towards a person you describe in your 3rd paragraph.

But there are two words used for love in the Bible, not one. The other one, 'phileo' is "the love of friendship, more intimate and intense". (notes, John 21:15-17, JN Darby translation from the original languages). Both of these kinds of love are referred to many times in the Bible, (if you read JND's version it shows you which original word is being used) and both kinds are necessary in a marriage. "First the natural, then the spiritual".

I think you are applying your Bible knowledge very harshly to this situation - part of love is giving up your own idea of what love 'should' be all about, and learning how to make it good for your partner - this is unselfish, which is the essence of Biblical, and long-lasting, love. 1 Corinthians 13 gives a full definition of love, which isn't much like the 'Cupid' version you mention, but it does clearly state "Love is kind"!

God made us to be able to enjoy love from a natural perspective as well as a spiritual one, and each enhances the other. Feeling loved makes one love more, genuinely, not from a sacrificial, martyr-ish point of view - that will never last, as it will build resentment however hard you try to conceal it. Love requires work, undoubtedly, but it can be a lot, lot happier than your post suggests!! Truth is essential but it is not all there is to love! Unselfishness is the key. I don't support lying in any circumstances, but you don't need to be so Spartan about it. Kindness is just as important. Sometimes if you can't tell the truth without being offensive, you don't need to say anything! Learning about practical expressions of love is a useful tool to improve our marriages.

God did not intend us to be married so that we could get grim satisfaction out of how sacrificial we can be. Or so that we could be self-righteous about how 'exemplary' our miserable marriage is and how much better we are than our 'selfish' spouse. God meant us to enjoy our marriages rightly, by being unselfish, kind, honest and faithful, in a balanced way - in fact by emulating Him as much as we can. If we do this, we will grow in our appreciation of the good things God has provided for us, and we will become better people and have happier, more fulfilling marriages. This isn't selfish, it is the reward God gives us for doing marriage the right way.

Besides all that, even if some people do use this book for PURELY selfish reasons, which I doubt; if it helps their marriage, it is still good. Marriage is the best and the only right foundation for family life.

Lastly, I don't think Simon Cowell is a good example to quote when talking about love!! I doubt he knows anything about the kind of love we are talking about - his brutality makes him popular viewing from an entirely unspiritual perspective!

Posted on 19 May 2015 17:51:11 BDT
JKLA says:
We are all individuals with our own needs and ways of expressing and receiving love - there is not just one way. For your information, people who are not religious, myself included, are fully capable of having very happy, fulfilling, unselfish, giving marriages without needing to practice the harsh sacrificial love you seem to think necessary. There is nothing wrong with being happy in your marriage, it's actually quite essential for you and your partner and your kids, if you have them. Denying that fact is blind and leads to misery and resentment. I have purchased and read this book more than once, the biblical references do not bother me, as i am respectful of those who are religious and i think a lot can be learned from every belief system and walk of life. Maybe you need to open your mind a little to the prospect that there are other ways of doing things. I purchased this book for my marriage and i've given it as a gift and made recommendations. People who want to improve their marriages by expressing their love to their partner in a practical way - a way their partners personally receive and understand - is a very loving, unselfish thing to do. If you understood that everyone has untapped triggers, which come from a lifetime of experiences, with each speaking to us negatively or positively, you would understand the helpful practicalities of this book.
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