There are five books that have changed the course of my life at different pivotal moments. They transformed my thinking and doing... three of then profoundly so, at least in my mind. Ask yourself what books have changed you, transformed your thinking...and moved you to action. These are my books, I was surprised by the list...but this is my list.
My first book came to me by way of my husband, during a very difficult period...what I thought was the end of our love affair. While we were both really nice people who happened to be Christians...we were in fact two Christians who were not nice to one another and we were unhappy, desperately so unhappy. We were separated with the emphasis on separate. We no longer lived together and I was heartbroken.
Out of the blue, I mean not expected at all... my very much "separate from me" husband appeared at my work with two bag lunches in hand. My co-workers were concerned that I was leaving to go with him...not because they thought he would harm me but because they did not want to see me hurt further. I am not sure why I agreed to go with him...there was a kindness in his eyes I hadn't seen in a long time.
We sat in silence for awhile, awkward silence... awkward, awkward silence! Finally, he spoke. He told me he had listened to an interview of Gary Chapman on the radio. He is an author who had written The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to your Mate. I was stunned into silence. My two biggest complaints in our marriage were that he did not value our marriage and that he acted like he didn't love me. Not only had he made me lunch, he bought the book and suggested we have lunch together everyday and read this book together. And that is what we did.
He would show up each day, having made two bag lunches and wait while I finished up what I was doing...we would go to a park which was close to where I work and eat and discuss and read the book. There were a lot of hurt feelings on both our parts and discussing this wasn't easy...but we did it.
The premise of the book is that we all express love differently. This way of expressing love, our love language is learned from how our parents expressed love to us as a child. Obviously, couples are raised in different homes and many times we are "speaking" different love languages. We had different unspoken expectations of each other and we had failed to express love to each other in a way the other could recognize it.
The five love languages are: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, and Acts of Service. In reading this book together we discovered why when I would buy him something and he would criticize me for spending money...I would be wounded; why when he fixed something for a neighbor while my "broken whatever" remained broken...I became furious! We knew instantly that when I had made a joke in public at his expense why he became distant...AND when we stopped touching each other...why we had separated!
My love languages are Gifts and Acts of Service...that is how I give and receive love. And Bob tries daily to learn this new language. Bob's are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch...and I am getting really good at these! This book...Gary Chapman's written words changed the direction of my marriage and the course of my life!
What Five Books changed your life? My next Book...Serendipity Bible for Small Groups!
|Five "Ronda Changing" Books|