You Have to Choose It

This weekend was a pretty cool weekend. Trish and I got to be a part of Lifeway’s Festival of Marriage weekend. Over 600 couples gathered in North Carolina and Dr. Gary Chapman opened the weekend with a powerful talk on The Five Love Languages.

Trish and I have written a book on marriage, but this man is THE expert on marriage. His book, The Five Love Languages has sold more than 7 million copies. 7 million. We had the honor of meeting him and he was very kind and gracious. It was an honor.

At the end of his talk on Friday, he told the story of a guy that had been married for 31 years. Dr. Chapman taught on The Five Love Languages and this guy learned that his wife’s primary love language was acts of service. The guy approached Dr. Chapman after his talk and said, “I know my wife’s love language is acts of service. I know that I don’t do a very good job of loving her in the way she is designed to receive love. But if you think I’m going to start doing the dishes or vacuuming the floor so my wife feels loved, you are mistaken. We’ve done just fine for 31 years.”

Dr. Chapman said, “I told this guy then what I say to you tonight: I can give you the information, but I can’t make you choose to change.”

In other words, information doesn’t equal transformation. Your good intentions isn’t the same as being intentional. If you want a different marriage; if you want different friendships; if you want a different relationship with your kids; you can’t continue to do the same things you’ve always done. You have to choose differently.

You have to be intentional. 

-You don’t drift into being close with your teenage son, you choose it.

-You don’t drift into being a trusted friend, you choose it

-You don’t drift into having a Christ-like relationship with your child’s parent, that is your ex-spouse…you choose it.

-You don’t drift into a healthy, growing, fulfilling marriage, you choose it.

-You don’t drift toward forgiveness, you choose it…and then you choose it again.

-You don’t drift into honesty, vulnerability and authenticity…you choose it.

-You don’t drift into an intimate relationship with God, you make time for it and you prioritize it…you choose it.

I can’t speak for you, but maybe you are like me. I have all the information I need to be a good husband. I have all the facts I need to be a good friend. I have heard hundreds of sermons on being a follower of Christ. I know in my mind what it takes to be a good dad.

Knowing information doesn’t mean I choose it. Maybe the relationship you desire is simply a matter of you choosing it.

You don’t drift into the marriage or the friendship or the relationship you want; you choose it. 

5 Responses to You Have to Choose It

  1. Keith Moore

    “… information doesn’t equal transformation”. Spot on.

    Another author put it this way – “Information must become sensation”. In the Enlightenment-based, rational approach that much of American Christianity has been impacted by, we forget that ours must be a full-body faith – mind & heart, soul and senses. Part of our choosing is to ask God regularly to give us that mind-body-soul connection that we can not manufacture for ourselves.

  2. zmster

    I KNOW this to be true for me personally, but ,unfortunately, you have to accept this truth before the choices can change. We are never without choice or free will. In our culture we teach that you can’t help (falling in) love or not loving. That’s absolutely not true. We choose to start the first conversation and the ones that follow. We choose to take the step toward the first date, the next, to propose, to marry… Ultimately we choose not to love, too, by choosing bad thoughts, attitudes and actions, . The Great News is that, through God’s power, we can choose to right those as well, but we still must choose to do so and our spouse has this same awesome freedom and responsibility.
    Praying for you two,
    You’ll always be dear to my heart,

  3. Many people forget the power of a choice. God demonstrates His love through
    Jesus and we get the privilege to do the same. Great post!