Book Reviews


Book Reviews

Are you a married couple enjoying your love life to its fullest, or have you been lulled into a mediocre marriage that will never reach its potential? If you answer yes to the second part of this question, then this is the book for you!

In the introduction Les and Leslie cite research which has shown that "people who make a tangible list and keep it handy are far more likely to achieve their goals than others who have the very same desires but don’t make a list." (page 13) Subtitled "Eight Little Things That Make a Big Difference in Your Marriage" Les and Leslie present a strategic plan of eight simple-but-powerful, instantly usable principles that will lift your marriage out of the doldrums into everything you’ve wanted it to be-full of joyous love and truly fulfilling.

The Love List-or eight healthy habits as the authors call them-is detailed in eight, easy to read, application oriented chapters:


Take Time to Touch (If Only for a Moment)

Find Something That Makes You Both Laugh

Do Something Active That Lifts Your Spirits
Boost Your Partner’s Self-Esteem

Rid Yourselves of Harmful Residue
Fire Up Passion in the Bedroom

Review your Top-Ten Highlights
Chart Your Course for the Coming Year

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are co-directors of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University, a groundbreaking program dedicated to teaching the basics of a good relationship. In addition to being award-winning coauthors of numerous books and relationship curricula, they currently serve as marriage ambassadors for the Oklahoma governor’s Marriage Initiative. To learn more about Les and Leslie, visit their website at

The Love List, by Drs. Les and Leslie Parott

                Zondervan TM ISBN 0-310-24850-7

The subtitle of the book is "How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate," and as Dr. Chapman states in chapter 1 being able to do this helps married couples keep love alive after the wedding and throughout their marriage. The reason why this is such a great challenge is that people speak different love languages and what communicates love to one person may not mean a thing to someone else. Based on 20 plus years of marriage counseling Dr. Chapman has concluded that there are five different ways people speak and understand emotional love, five different love languages - quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.

The first three chapters are introductory as Dr. Chapman develops the need and lays the foundation for the rest of the book. Chapters four through eight are devoted to the five love languages. In each chapter Dr. Chapman explains the purpose of one of the five languages and shows us how to identify the one that is most meaningful to our spouse. One important point he makes is that our spouse’s love language is often different than ours (opposites do attract). In chapter nine Dr. Chapman states that discovering the primary love language of our spouse is essential, but we first need to make sure we know our own love language. Chapters 10 through 12 - "Love is a Choice," "Love Makes the Difference," "Loving the Unlovely" - discuss how to apply the love languages to specific situations. The last chapter discusses how the love languages apply to children.

In addition to Dr. Chapman’s easy to understand and apply style of writing, the application of the principles is greatly enhanced by the numerous counseling experiences he includes throughout the book. Of particular note is the concept of the emotional love tank he discusses in chapter two. The following reviews illustrate why The Five Love Languages is a must read for every engaged and married couple.

Marriage Partnership - This isn’t the first book to point out that what communicates love to you might not mean a thing to your mate. But Gary Chapman says it the most clearly, and most convincingly. His well-defined languages explain why so many well-meaning spouses find expressions of love so frustrating.

Wireless Age - Every once and a while a book comes along that distills a concept so well it is revolutionary. Gary Chapman draws on his years of counseling and seminar experience to accomplish such a task. This discussion guide becomes a mini marriage retreat for just under twelve dollars. Chapman has the audacious courage to tell us that even though we may have marriages that span decades we may not be hearing what our spouses are saying. This is two fold because we may also be speaking words that do not clearly communicate our needs. In redefining the language we use into five simple paradigms he guides couples down a road of clear expressions of love. His examples serve both to highlight the five love languages and disarm the reader into admitting to a flaw in their own ability to be the spouse they initially intended.

For more information about Dr. Chapman, including a list of the books he has written and information about his marriage enrichment seminars, go to the following Web site:

The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman

                Northfield Publishing ISBN 1-881273-15-6