Is your marriage in the season of summer, spring, winter, or fall? Find out in THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE, from bestselling author Gary Chapman who penned THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES.
Chapman's tone is that of a friendly, empathetic counselor. First, he invites you to discover which season of marriage you and your spouse are in. These seasons don't progress in order; rather, your marriage is probably fluctuating back and forth between all four, he writes. After you identify your season, Chapman offers seven strategies to help you make the most of that season, and ideas for putting the strategies into practice. As he unpacks the characteristics of each season, Chapman includes profiles of married couples who have come to him for advice and counseling. His hope is to help couples move their marriages from fall or winter into spring or summer.
Marriage, Chapman writes, is both intimate and purposeful. When intimacy --- sharing life in a deep way --- is not attained, we feel troubled. Marriage is also purposeful. It helps us raise our children, and in nurturing and developing our gifts and abilities. "Life is easier when two hearts and minds are committed to working together to face the challenges of the day," he writes.
Spring is where most marriages begin. There is joy, excitement and an anticipation of the future. It's a time of new beginnings and positive changes. Summer means happiness, peace, satisfaction, fun and comfort. There is a sense of accomplishment and a desire to keep growing as a couple. You overlook your spouse's shortcomings, and there is a growing sense of togetherness.
Fall, of course, is a precursor to winter, characterized by sadness, apprehension and rejection. A spouse might feel insecure. The couple drifts apart, disengages. An affair may happen, catapulting the marriage into winter.