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Dr. Gary Chapman on Love Languages, Apology Languages, & Forgiveness

Are you familiar with the book the 5 Love Languages?

(If you are.. it’s a good one, right?! And if not- go get your hands on it!)

I had the honor of hearing the author, Dr. Gary Chapman, speak to a small group I’m a part of. It was surreal being in the front row and hearing him share.

(Side note- you know what else was super special? The room he spoke in was the very same room I taught GSCC’s first ever workshop! Both were at my local church. Loved that.)

Sharing my top takeaways from Dr. Chapman’s workshop on love languages, apology languages, and forgiveness that I’m pretty sure you may love, too.

“If you win an argument, your spouse lost.”

Hits hard, doesn’t it?! I love the idea (or truth really) that you and your partner are on the same team. It’s so important for our beliefs & behavior to match that!

To begin, Dr. Chapman asked us to share with our spouse what we appreciate most about them.

(I dare you to do the same!)

It was vulnerable, intimate, and beautiful all at once. (And for the record, my husband said he most appreciates my faith, as it encourages him. All glory to God- adored that.)

The session got me thinking about my parents’ love languages, too- what they preferred and actually where they might have been lacking. It was fascinating to consider certain things that did/did not happen in my childhood in relation to their love languages. Something you may want to consider reflecting on, too. It brought an unexpected healing & understanding for me and I hope you, too.

So Dr. Chapman’s session touched on love languages, but its primary purpose was to focus on the 5 languages of apology.

Before we get into those, here are a few powerful questions we were asked to consider:

- What do you do or say when you apologize?

- What are you looking for in an apology?

- What could your partner say or do that would make it easier for you to forgive?

- What hurts you most deeply about whatever situation you are walking through with your spouse?

5 Languages of Apology

Here’s a summary of the different elements of the 5 languages of apology (here’s the book!):

Expressing regret

  • I’m sorry that ___.

Accepting responsibility

  • I was wrong.

Making restitution

  • What can I do to make this right?

Genuinely repenting (expressing desire to change behavior)

  • I don’t want this to keep happening.

Requesting forgiveness

  • Will you forgive me?

Which one resonates with you?

Which one resonates with your spouse?

Dr. Chapman shared that if you want to communicate sincerity, you must speak the other person’s apology language.


Next, we pivoted to the topic of forgiveness, which means to pardon or take away.

We were reminded that:

  • God forgives us when we confess our sins.

  • An apology opens the door to forgiveness.

  • Forgiveness is a Godly response to an apology.

  • Forgiveness does not mean we have forgotten or are not in pain.

  • Forgiveness does not remove all the consequences of the sin.

  • Forgiveness does not restore trust.

So there you have it! A little bit on love & apology languages, as well as forgiveness.

I hope you’ve gotten at least one takeaway that you can use, apply, and carry with you into your relationships.

Loving others well isn’t always easy, but it is so worth it and with God’s strength, is possible.

Joyfully in Christ,


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