Meet Gary Smalley and John Trent

Gary Smalley and John Trent:

Gary Smalley is one of America’s foremost experts on marriage and family relationships. Dr. John Trent is president of Encouraging Words, an outreach program committed to strengthening relationships worldwide. Together, these counselors make a highly effective team in keeping spouses, siblings, children, and friends together—for the long term.

Between them they’ve authored more than 20 books, and many of the ones they’ve written together have been award-winning bestsellers. The Gift of the Blessing (formerly The Blessing) won the Gold Medallion award for excellence in Christian publishing. This book was—and is—a source of emotional healing for those who never felt loved and accepted by their family, who never experienced "the blessing" of heartfelt affirmation. Other popular collaborations include Love Is a Decision (which offers couples the keys to a healthy relationship), The Language of Love (which shows how to bridge communication gaps), and The Treasure Tree (a book for children which helps them realize their special character traits). Gary has visited the bestseller list alone as well with Making Love Last Forever, a favorite among couples wanting to secure a lifelong marriage.

When they’re not writing books (or making videos) together, Gary and John are busy in their respective efforts. Gary currently hosts a nationally televised infomercial—the longest-running one in broadcast history—in which he shares his 30 years of counseling knowledge and experience. He also heads the Love Is a Decision seminar, attended by thousands of people across the country who desire to sharpen their relational skills. John, on the other hand, leads his own seminars on building strong relationships. He, too, draws a national audience of thousands, including the over 250,000 men he’s addressed at Promise Keepers conferences. Both make frequent television appearances and stops on radio programs (including Focus on the Family).

Their calendars are often full, but they’re never too busy to nurture the relationships in their own lives, evidenced by their enduring marriages. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 35 years. They have three children and six grandchildren. John and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 19 years. They have two daughters, Kari and Laura.

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