Most of you who keep up with The Life Of Faith know how much I value my relationship with my husband. One of the things that I love about my husband is how hard he works to protect our marriage. And it does take work! Especially now that we have a baby on the way, we want to be even more intentional about safeguarding and building our marriage.
In addition to our weekly date nights, we also try to read the Bible together and occasionally a book on the topic of marriage. The list of books I have compiled are some I have read on my own, some we have read together, and one that our church went through together!
Before I expound on these books, I want to first and foremost express that God's word is the #1 source of truth for our marriages. It cannot and should not be replaced by anything that man has written. That being said, there are many books that have a lot of wisdom in them that we can learn from!
Here are the books that we have found helpful in our marriage.
1. Becoming the Woman of His Dreams
by Sharon Jaynes
This book has been SO helpful to me on a personal level in my marriage. I am actually reading through it for the second time. Just a chapter a day helps me to refocus my heart towards my husband and what he needs from me as a wife.
Becoming the Woman of His Dreams does a great job of keeping a biblical and godly perspective on the role of a wife but also gives practical advice for how to play that out.
The book is divided into 7 sections:
Praying for your husband
Respecting your husband
Adoring your husband
Being a good friend to your husband
Setting up safeguards for your marriage
Encouraging your husband
Sexually fulfilling your husband
I have learned so much, and continue to learn from Sharon on what it means to be a godly wife, and the woman of my husband's dreams;)
2. Every Woman's Battle
by Shannon Ethridge
I read this book before I was married, but have never forgotten the principals that it taught. I believe that it opened my eyes to what a lot of women do not see in regards to emotional purity.
"When does an affair begin? Not with the first forbidden touch...but with the first forbidden thought....the only way you as a woman can survive the intense struggle for sexual integrity is by guarding not just your body, but your mind and heart as well."
Every Woman's Battle can be a powerful tool in fighting against our culture and maintaining not just sexual purity in marriage, but also mental and emotional.
3. Staying In Love
by Andy Stanley
Now this is actually a video series that Jimmy and I watched together and worked through the study guide. I recommend this to any married couple looking for a down to earth study that will help strengthen their marriage.
Andy is very practical in each of his video sessions. He talks about how it's easy to fall in love...but it takes work to stay in love. The theme of this series is that "Love is a VERB" and requires some sort of action or it will fall apart.
4. Created To Be His Help Meet
by Debi Pearl
OK now I know this is going to be a controversial one. So before I begin, here is my disclaimer:
I do not agree with everything that Mike and Debi Pearl teach.
In fact, I disagree with several points that Debi makes in this very book.
However, that does not change the fact that I have also learned some very valuable principals from the book which is why I am sharing it with you.
Everything that we read needs to be grounded in the truth of God's work, AND discussed with our husbands! There are things that Debi suggests in this book that your husband may not need from you. In fact, he may appreciate the opposite! So talk through this one with your husband if you decide to read it.
Created To Be His Help Meet covers just about every topic there is that falls under the category of marriage including parenting, homemaking, money handling, hormones, character, unsaved husbands, and much more.
Although Debi's view on marriage may come across as "old fashioned", many of her points are grounded in scripture. So often we fight against God's plan for marriage without realizing it and start to look more and more like the world.
Debi's book is a good reality check for where you stand as a wife and if you are meeting the needs of your husband!
5. Passion & Purity
by Elisabeth Elliot
Have you ever read anything by Elisabeth Elliot? Her life is simply amazing. I respect her greatly for her commitment to the Lord. Her husband was the one killed by Auca Indians and his story is told in the movie End Of The Spear. Elisabeth did remarry only to tragically lose her second husband as well. Now married for a 3rd time, Elisabeth has written many books about what God has taught her through each of her unique experiences.
Passion and Purity is actually a book that is recommended for single people as well. This is another one of those that I read before I was married, and I'm glad I did! The book talks about how important it is to bring your love life under Christ's control, both before and after marriage!
Elisabeth shares some great stories and gives amazing personal perspective on committing our human passions and desires to the Lord so that He can purify them with His love.
6. The Five Love Languages
by Gary Chapman
I realize this one is pretty cliche as everyone always talks about their "love language". However, this book does give great advice on how to understand what makes your spouse feel loved. So often we think that whatever makes us feel loved will do the same for our husbands. This is not always the case!
I know for Jimmy and I, what makes me feel loved is very different from what makes him feel loved. When we learn to communicate this to each other it allows us to be better at loving each other which should be the goal for every marriage!
7. Love & Respect
by Dr. Emerson Eggerich
This is another pretty common book, but it is packed full of truth and great biblical perspective on marriage. Jimmy and I listened to this book on tape and both learned a lot about relating to each other and handling conflict within our marriage.
Although a woman will never fully understand a man and a man will never fully understand a woman, Love and Respect does a great job of clarifying a lot of the confusion that occurs when men and women communicate and interact within a marriage.
This is also a great book to read together.
*Warning, this one may spark some interesting and insightful discussions.
8. Real Marriage
by Mark and Grace Driscoll
I love that this is written by a husband a wife team working together to help strengthen marriages. We worked through this study as a church not too long ago and it was great. Marriages are under attack even in our churches and it's so important to be filling our minds with truth to counteract the lies that culture feeds us.
Real Marriage answers real questions about marriage in today's culture. It's pretty basic, but full of great reminders of how God intended marriage to look! I do share this book with a disclaimer that my husband and I don't agree with everything shared in this book, so please prayerfully read this with the Bible as your test of truth.
Now I didn't mean to leave This Momentary Marriage out, but I couldn't find it on my bookshelf to add to the picture. Since I did a mini review of the book last year, just click on the picture of the book below to read what I think of This Momentary Marriageby John Piper. It's definitely on my top 10 of most challenging marriage books!
I hope you find some of these helpful, encouraging, and even challenging in your marriage! Do you have any favorite marriage books not on this list? Leave me a comment and let me know! I would love to check them out.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Linking up with: Matrimonial Monday