Do you like to read? Do you want to grow your marriage? These are the books for you!
By Contributing Writer, Hannah Jinks
No matter if you’ve been married 5 months or 50 years, most of us can acknowledge that our marriages have room to grow.
Somehow two imperfect and sinful people don’t equal one blissful and perfect marriage. Weird! 😉
I’ve only been married for a year and a half, and I’ve already had to come to terms with the fact that I am nowhere near the loving and helpful wife I thought I’d be.
I know that I want to help our marriage grow, to be a good and godly marriage that lasts a lifetime.
Thankfully, we’re not left to guess at what makes a good marriage. Some of us have family or friends from church that show how great a marriage can be. We are blessed to have such examples and should totally go to those couples for wisdom.
But even if there aren’t such couples in your life right now, or you want some extra wisdom, there are tons of excellent books on marriage that you can read with your spouse!
Even if your spouse isn’t interested in reading a book on marriage, you can still reap great benefits from reading one yourself! Remember, you are half of the marriage equation, so any positive changes you make will automatically improve your marriage.
You could also read one of these books as part of a Bible study or Care Group. Talking through a book as a group can be super helpful since you get to share the experiences and wisdom of others.
Here are my favorite books on marriage:
This is probably one of the best books on marriage that I’ve yet to read. The basis of the book is men need respect and women need love. It sounds a bit simplistic, but the book contains myriads of examples to show how that actually plays out in real life.
My husband and I read this after we got engaged, and I think it really helped start us on the right track of thinking about how the other person might see a situation (because men and women do NOT interpret things the same way!) and what their needs in a situation are.
I HIGHLY recommend this book, especially if you and your spouse struggle with communication.
I read this book in college and was struck at how different the focus was from how many of us view relationships. Instead of focusing on trying to be happy or making sure that one’s own needs are fulfilled, Chapell declares that a happy marriage will only exist when each spouse is willing to live sacrificially for the other.
Chapell ties in a lot of Scripture in this book which is pretty cool. It also has a great section at the end on parenting and how we can live sacrificially as parents.
Let’s face it, men and women have different needs.
This book has an awesome list of the various needs men and women have in marriage, and discusses how spouses can best meet those needs. Some of them may seem intuitive, such as women’s need for open honesty or men’s need for admiration, but the author really digs into how we actually do this in our marriages and how it can build a stronger marriage when we take the time to meet each other’s needs.
This book’s subtitle is “extraordinary change through ordinary moments.” I read this one with my women’s Bible study and I love the focus on the ordinary everyday stuff of marriage.
The chapters are highly practical; I especially enjoyed the ones on conflict. Conflict is hard in every relationship, not just marriage, but this book talked about the various kinds of conflict and what ways we have of dealing with it in a positive manner.
This is the only one of the list that I haven’t read, but it comes with high recommendations, so I’m throwing it on here anyway.
In this book Tim Keller shows how God created marriage to bring us closer to Him as well as our spouses. Instead of giving into the culture’s cry that marriage is all about romance and being happy, Keller explains how much better and more fulfilling God’s plan for marriage is.
I hope that you enjoy these books, whether you read them now or ten years into your marriage. Our marriages are a precious and wonderful thing, so let’s keep growing in them!
Have you read any of these books on marriage? Do you have a favorite book on marriage?