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The Family You've Always Wanted

by Gary Chapman

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: The Family You've Always Wanted by Gary Chapman. Paperback, 254 pages, $14.99. Published by Moody Publishers. Please support by buying this book using our Christian Book Distributors link or our Amazon affiliate link.

So many families are broken in our current society! Single parent homes are on the rise, and children grow up without knowing what a loving, two-parent home looks like. Without a role model, how can they possibly have successful marriages and families themselves? Gary Chapman, Ph.D., offers a roadmap for couples to discover what they need to do to achieve a happy marriage and healthy family relationships.

When the Chapman's children were young, a recent college graduate asked to live with the Chapmans so he could observe a positive home life. He had come from a dysfunctional family and was genuinely interested in breaking the chains from his past. Dr. Chapman reflects upon the insight this young man gained during his time at their home as an integral part of this book.

The author identifies five areas that make families strong.

  1. Family members oriented towards service -- to each other, neighbors, and the community.
  2. Parents who are intimate with each other on intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical bases.
  3. Parents who guide and discipline their children using creative and consistent training methods.
  4. Children who obey and honor their parents, and who understand the consequences of their actions.
  5. A husband who takes an active role in supporting, teaching, and guiding his children and his wife. A wife who will offer her husband positive feedback and encouragement.

Using many examples of those he has counseled over the years, Dr. Chapman shares the feelings and ideas that cause problems in families. He also provides concrete suggestions for improvement.

The final section of the book is actually a workbook. Dr. Chapman encourages families to make copies or mark up the book as they go through the assessments of their performances in the five areas. The questions encourage discussion and may open up lines of communication that have been shut down.

Dr. Chapman states that he hopes this book will be LIVED, not just read. "Multiplying of healthy families ... produces a healthy society, and it is healthy, functioning societies that create a world of harmony." Through The Family You've Always Wanted, he hopes families will take the first step towards better relationships. resources related to this review:'s All About Homeschooling Section
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