Thursday, October 11, 2012

My top 8 favorite marriage books!

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 Marriage by 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.
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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


  1. I love some of these books too! Thanks for posting them! So interested in adding some of these to my collection :) Its always great to hear fellow women finding useful resources to help make us the be wives God wanted us to be! Thanks for sharing!

  2. oooh I have read a lot of these! they are great! and a few I've been meaning to read as well! :) this momentary marriage was the very first marriage book I read after we got married :)

    My absolute favorite marriage book is "what did you expect" by paul david tripp. I have never read a book like it. It's incredible! my hubby read it before I did and our marriage was 10X better after he read it and started implementing some of the things from it. I am just finishing it and can say hands down it is the best one I've ever read!

    1. I am going to have to check that one out! Thank you for sharing! Isn't Momentary Marriage so good?

  3. Thank you so much for sharing!! The hubby and i love Mark Driscoll and cant wait to see him at his conference! We are also huge fans of love and respect..awesome books! I would love to start reading the wife of his dreams, oh and also the momentary marriage caught my eye!

    1. Yes, Momentary Marriage is one of the best marriage books we have read. I highly recommend it!

  4. I did book reviews that included talking about the Love and Respect book because I read the companion book to it for review. :) I also love the Five Love Language book. I have added the rest of these suggestions to my to-read list. :) Thanks for sharing.
    I also feel my relationship with my husband is my second most important relationship I'll ever have in my life. :)

  5. So, I haven't read too many marriage books and I definitely should! These look great. All I've read is the Five Love Languages, so I'll have to check the rest of them out.

    Before I got married, my mom gave me the book Bonds That Make Us Free by C. Terry Warner. It's about learning to take responsibility of your own emotions, instead of blaming them on other people. It has helped SO much in my marriage, as I learn more about communication and work through the inevitable disagreements that come up.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    1. That is a great thing to learn and something I still have to work through often! It's easy to think that our spouse is responsible for the way we feel and really they are not! Thanks for the encouragement :)

  6. Real Marriage is my absolute favorite :)

  7. I read Love and Respect it is very powerful. I have not read some of these and I will for certain be checking them out ASAP. I think it is great you and your husband focus on your marriage. I pray that you two will always have that time and that devotion because it is very important.

    1. Thanks Patricia! Yes, whenever we stop focusing on our marriage relationship, it starts to fall apart. Maintenance is key!

  8. I read Love and Respect it is a very good book. I have not read some of the books you have listed here but I will be checking them out ASAP. I pray that you and your husband will always put your marriage first as you are now it is very important.

  9. I have and read the first three books pictured/last three mentioned. They are all really really good! Gonna have to check out Staying in Love, as I just love Andy Stanley. Love & Respect changed everything I thought about how men and women communicate. Great post!!


  10. I also love 5, 6, and 7 on your list - GREAT books! You should check out Gary Chapman's latest book on marriage - Happily Ever After, I think it's called. Lots of good advice (which I want to read again). Another book I loved was John and Stasi Eldredge's book Love & War. So good. I agree with you that books like these can really help a marriage. They give you a new perspective on your relationship and ways to grow with your spouse. :) Thanks for sharing your list!

  11. My husband and I are in the middle of Love and Respect. I also like For Women Only and A Woman After God's Own Heart

  12. We have read several of those books, but thanks for the new ones to add to our list! Right now we are in the middle of The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller. We read it together and then meet once every 2 weeks with a couple from our church for a mentoring program to discuss the book and the ways we can apply the ideas discussed in the book to our marriage. We love it :) Have you ever heard of Mark Gungor and his book Laugh Your Way To a Better Marriage. He is one of our favorites!

  13. I've heard of most of these, but the only one I've read was The Five Love Languages. My Husband and I are right now reading Sacred Marriage by, I believe, Gary Thomas. It is so good, and so hardcore as far as it's Biblical base--a great read that has really opened our eyes about how to have a Godly marriage.

  14. This is fantastic list of marriage books. Blessings
    Grace For That
    Linking up behind you at WJIM :)

  15. Thanks so much for this informative review of many marriage books. I'm familiar with many, but there are some I'm going to investigate more because of your post, Faith. And by the way, I really like your name ... it's my sweet, big sister's name too. :)

  16. New follower from Moms Monday Mingle. Great list of books- I have read a few, but will check out a few more on the list.


  17. Thanks for sharing these great books with us, I know I will find them very helpful.
    Visiting from Matrimonial Monday, have a super blessed day!

  18. I have read several of these and love them! Great list dear, and thanks for sharing at Matrimonial Mondays!

  19. Thanks for these recommendations...I'm always looking for good resources to read and recommend. I've only read two on your list of favorites, but I liked them both. Bless you, Gail

  20. Thank you so much for sharing your list of your favorite books ;) Reading someone's review always is nice since there is SO much to dig into out there right now! We're neighbors at Far Above Rubies today ;) Blessings!

    1. Thanks for linking this post up this week! Blessings!

  21. Thank you for sharing this! We are looking for some ways to build up our marriage and soem reading seems like a great place to start! I'll definitely be checking some of these out. New follower of your blog :)

  22. This looks great Faith! Thanks for the list and the great write ups to go with each. I will definitely check some of these out!

  23. These are wonderful, Faith! I've read and recommended many of these to other people! Have you ever read For Women Only? Excellent book and I highly recommend it :)

  24. I totally agree with the Elisabeth Elliot book--her books are blessings. I share your "read but be aware" approach with Mr.s Pearl's book. However, I must say her joy about marriage is infectious. Found your post at the Time warp Wife link party and will certainly be back to read more! Blessings, Gin

  25. I have read several of these books as well. Excellent list and I found a few I want to add to my to-read list. I'm featuring you on Monday so please come back & grab your 'featured' button. I can't wait to read more!!

  26. I'm currently reading the top two in your pile and I am learning so much from them. I found your blog from "miss jo & co" and I am your newest follower! Love your sweet blog!

  27. ooh, i'm such a sucker for great marriage book recommendations. i've heard of all of these, & read a couple of them, so thx for the recommendations on the others. one i'd add to my personal favorites list os bold love by dan allender. it's not specifically about marriage, but the powerful principles are for relationships, in general, so all of them hit the nail on the head when it comes to marriage. phenomenal book.

    hopped over here from jolene's link up, & so glad i did.
    thanks again,

  28. I've read several of these. Great choices! Have you read Red Hot Monogamy?

  29. This looks great Faith! Thanks for the list and the great write ups to go with each. I will definitely check some of these out!

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