Tuesday marked 14 years since my first date with my husband. And I’m so glad that I’m not the same person I was 14 years ago.
One of the biggest resources that God has used to change us has been our local church. Through getting to know other couples, especially those who are older than us, we have been able to see multiple examples of godly marriages. We see how they do family life and walk with the Lord, and we are encouraged and challenged by them.
God has also used various books and marriage classes over the years to grow us. We have read a lot of marriage books over the years, and some books were pretty good and some were fabulous. Here are a handful of my personal favorites. Some, like Sheet Music, are not without their share of controversy, so as always, take what you like and leave the rest behind. As long as we’re standing on God’s truth, we’re free to do that.
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This is one of my favorite marriage books ever. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out. The very subtitle of it alone can rattle our little “me-centric” world.
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs, by Gary Eggerichs
I love this book so much that I’ve given away my copy of it–it’s that good of a book. We’ve read it and also gone through the video series and it is perfect for going through with a small group of couples. You’ll laugh but you’ll also be challenged by the ideas. In it, Emerson Eggerichs talks about our primary needs as men and women and how to stop that “crazy cycle” that happens in all of our homes sometimes. Well, not at my house because we’re perfect, right? Kidding. His advice has helped me learn how to stop that cycle. For years, it was my husband who was the one who could always stop it by being the bigger person. I’ve finally learned how stop an argument and how to prevent it from happening (sometimes).
This Momentary Marriage, by John Piper
First, let me tell you that you can download the pdf format of this book for free right here. Is that awesome or what? Piper discusses God’s purpose for marriage, that it is an earthly picture of Christ and the church. But what exactly does that mean and how does that impact our marriages right now? It should profoundly affect us. I don’t find this to be nearly as heavy of a read as it sounds. His tone is conversational while his ideas are paradigm-shifting. Download it. Read it. Yesterday. It’s that good.
Want to improve intimacy in your marriage? This book is a great resource for Christian couples. Yes, it might make you blush, but it also might bring both you and your husband closer together as you prioritize sex in your marriage. I would skip this book if you’re engaged, however. It’s far too racy to read when you’re not married, and it’s hard enough to wait until your wedding night as it is!
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman
It’s a classic and a must-read. I learned so much about myself, my (then) fiance, and those around me.
God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation, by Andreas Kostenberger
My husband and I read this one several years ago and were challenged in several areas. If you’ve ever wanted to know what God’s Word says about various aspects of marriage and family life, then read God, Marriage, and Family. But leave your preconceived notions by the door step. This book led us to do some research and some praying, which then led to a shift in our views on some issues. Those views are unpopular, counter-cultural, but very Biblical.
If you know me, you knew I was going to go there, right? The one thing I can do to help my marriage is to stay in the Word and in prayer daily. Why? Because when a couple is meeting with God on a daily basis, there is no room for grudges, hostility, bitterness, and anger.
What is your favorite marriage book?