Popular author and relationship expert Gary Chapman adds yet
another valuable marriage volume to his portfolio with COVENANT
MARRIAGE. Well known for his bestselling series of titles based on
"The Five Love Languages," he strives in his latest work to move
couples from a contract mentality toward covenant matrimony.
Decrying the growing divorce rate among Christians, Chapman calls
readers to a closer commitment to the cause of Christ. In his
estimation there isn't the social stigma attached to divorce that
there once was, and this is largely a result of divorce becoming
culturally acceptable in the church.
Chapman suggests that communication and intimacy are essential to
maintaining the sacredness of the marriage relationship, and he
outlines the means to achieving them with skill and sensitivity.
Identifying the types of unhealthy communication patterns and the
five levels of communication, he offers readers useful material in
a meaningful manner.
As Chapman cleverly points out, "The word communication is found in
the dictionary between the words commotion and community." Building
on that thought, he suggests to couples that community is the
result of good communication while commotion is created by poor
He also addresses the need for a definition of love that is
scriptural rather than secular, maintaining that too many couples
today focus more on being happy than being holy. Chapman explains
that the secular meaning of love is a feeling, while the scriptural
meaning is a commitment.
According to Chapman, the mistake that many people make is that
they place an emphasis on the fleeting emotion of happiness, which
is dependent on what is happening temporarily instead of on the
eternal value of holiness, which is reflective of a life wholly
submitted to the Lord. After all, he states, the purpose of life is
to do the will of God, not our own.
Paradoxically, Chapman reminds readers that life is more than
having a good marriage. "The Christian's ultimate call is not the
call to develop a good marriage; the Christian's call is to be a
disciple of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we must remember that
marriage is not an end in itself," he writes.
One particularly helpful resource is a chart with the heading,
"Personality Opposites," which treats readers to an instructive
listing of a dozen stereotypical personality types and their polar
opposites, offering an insightful lesson on how opposites
Toward the close of the book, Chapman devotes several chapters to
specific types of intimacy, including emotional intimacy,
intellectual intimacy, sexual intimacy and spiritual intimacy,
complete with helpful suggestions for achieving each type.
A welcome addition to the growing collection of marriage enrichment
guides, COVENANT MARRIAGE is a must-read for anyone who desires a
marriage modeled on covenant commitment rather than contract
Reviewed by Sean Fowlds on November 13, 2011