10 Must Read Marriage Books

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Over the weekend, I had 3 fabulous ideas for today’s posts. However, I failed to write any of them down, and they left me. Tonight, as the hubby and I were walking around the neighborhood, I asked him for a post idea. He suggested 1,000 reasons I love my husband. With #1 being that he is hot. And #2 being…well…we just aren’t going to get into what number 2 was.

In lieu of boring you with 998 MORE reasons that I love my husband, I decided to share with you our

10 Must Read Marriage Books

10. Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts by Les and Leslie Parrott along the his and her workbooks. Michael and I did this study before we were married, and it really made us think through some important issues (chores, finances, children, discipline, expectations, etc.) before tying the knot.

9. When Sinners Say “I Do” by Dave Harvey provides a realistic picture of what you are getting into with marriage. As the title suggests, both parties in marriage are sinners. We need to acknowledge that. I highly recommend this as a read for premarital counseling or early in marriage.

8. Sex Begins in the Kitchen by Kevin Leman acknowledges that emotional intimacy is required in order to have a fulfilling sex life, therefore sex actually starts way before anyone gets physical. Kevin is really funny. Most men would enjoy his books.

7. Sheet Music by Kevin Leman focuses more directly on the sexual relationship. Michael and I read this one together early in our marriage. We would read a chapter a night and then “practice” {blush}. This was his top suggestion for the list.

6. Men and Women, Equal Yet Different by Alexander Strauch carefully examines the biblical passages on manhood and womanhood and roles in marriage from a complementarian perspective (just as the title says, men and women are equal yet created to fulfill different roles most notably the man as the leader of the home). I believe it’s important for each partner in the marriage relationship to have a Biblical understanding of their role.

5. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman presents 5 different ways that individuals receive and show love. There are inventories to help you determine what your style is. I suggest this with a warning: this is a guide only. No person fits perfectly into any mold. Study your spouse rather than the book. Figure out what their tendencies are but be flexible. Above all, listen to and love your spouse.

4. God, Marriage, and Family (Second Edition) by Andreas Kostenberger and David Jones covers a wealth of topics on marriage and family from Biblical roles, children, birth control, infertility, homosexuality, divorce and the list goes on. This is an excellent resource to get you started on a theological background for all topics marriage and family.

3. Quiet Times for Couples by H. Norman Wright provides a short devotional with Scripture passages and conversation starting questions each day for couples to read together. Michael and I have this, but haven’t used it consistently. The topics apply to marriage but are not strictly marriage issues. Various theological and spiritual topics are covered. The idea is to grow together spiritually–not necessarily work on your marriage (which of course is a natural by-product) if that makes any sense at all.

2. Love & Respect by Emmerson Eggrichs takes a close look at the mandate in Ephesians 5 for husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. It’s been awhile sinece I’ve read this one, but I remember really liking it and finding lots of practical application.

1. The Bible. DUH! You didn’t think I was gonna get through a whole post without mentioning it, did you? Seriously, though. The best way to improve your relationship with your spouse is by improving your relationship with God–which is done primarily by studying His Word. Our sermon Sunday talked about how we must looks to God to fulfill our deepest needs for love rather than our spouse. When our “love bucket” is full from our relationship with God, then we are equipped to meet our spouses needs–to “top them off” if you will–because hopefully they too are filling their bucket in their relationship with the Lord. Check out the sermon here. Read another article on this topic here.

I hope you found something useful here! What would you add to the list? Share in the comments!

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  1. natesgirl says:

    Good ones I’ve read are Intended for Pleasure by the Wheats, Intimate Issues, Created to be a Helpmeet by Debi Pearl, and His Needs Her Needs by Harley… that’s the book that really opened our eyes to how selfish our marriage had become. God’s Word has so much to say about our roles as husbands and wives. Thankful for His guidance and His plan for our marriages to be heavenly!

  2. I’m late to the party… some good ones (probably already mentioned) are Sacred Marriage; Intended for Pleasure; Love and Respect

  3. Oh yay! There are 3 I haven’t read! I’m adding them to my library list. thank you!
    and I tried multiple times yesterday to go through my boxed up books and find the title to the book (along with the workbooks) that helped my hubby and I 13 years ago…they were so good. They sound sooo similar to the Parrot’s but I don’t think that was it…I’ll let you know when I find them!

  4. jennadeckert says:

    Dan Allender’s Intimate Mystery series, also his Intimate Allies, Love & War by Eldredge, The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason, The Marriage Builder by Larry Crabb, How We Love by Yerkovich, Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

  5. Huge fans of Sheet Music and Love and Respect. We have been known to give the video series of Love Respect as a wedding gift. It has made our marriage such a blessing.

  6. This is a great list! (Especially the Bible!) The only one I don’t have is ‘Quiet Time for Couples’. A book I’ve used in counseling couples is ‘A Celebration of Sex’ by Dr. Douglas Rosenau. It comes complete with a bible study and (not for the faint at heart) illustrations. He does an excellent job of explaining God’s gift of married intimacy. Thanks so much for today’s post. It’s always great to find new reads!

  7. Love and Respect is the book that has changed our marriage the most in the past 5 years. Many others have been useful and interesting, but that one has been my recent fave.
    Thanks for passing along your list!

  8. Kathleen Jaeger says:

    I have read 5 love languages & Love& Respect and the Bible too. I’ve heard of the Sheet Music, another friend had recommended that one, too. I also recommend marriage weekend getaways, especially near the beginning of marriage to lay a good foundation. Also, my brother-in-law’s church was hosting a good video series that I really enjoyed, too. Investing in the marriage is so very important! I agree! Thanks for the great resources & reminder to do that.

  9. Steph Shackelford says:

    This looks like a great list, and I haven’t read very many of these before! I’m looking forward to getting some of these to read with my hubby now!

  10. Jen Ferguson says:

    I love the 5 Love Languages and I have read parts of Love & Marriage. Such good stuff in all of these (especially the Bible!) :)

  11. Thanks for stopping by! I haven’t heard of that, but definitely agree that understanding each others’ personalities helps so much! We’ve both taken the Myers Briggs which was enlightening!

  12. Great list! I especially like that last one… ;-) I have read quite a few of them. Our pastor gave us The Act of Marriage during pre-marital counseling. It was helpful. lol

  13. miranda.tanner84 says:

    I have almost ALL of these books!! Sometimes we need that extra encouragement from someone whose walked through it before!! Many Blessings!!

  14. I loved Dave Harvey’s book, it was very helpful and right on Biblical! Elizabeth George’s “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” was very helpful for me as a wife, it taught me to be intentional in showing love, and to learn to love housework (because it is a means of glorifying/obeying God and blessing my husband!). Good list :). We also liked “Intended for Pleasure” by the Wheat’s.

    • I’ve heard great things about Intended for Pleasure but never read it. I haven’t heard of A Woman After God’s Own Heart. I’ll have to check it out!

  15. Glenda Childers says:

    My kids just finished reading Tim Keller’s book on marriage and loved it.

  16. Hi Mary-Beth – I found your blog over at Jen’s from Finding Heaven. I am so glad I did. Such a great post. I have never heard of any of those books and I’ve been married for 24 years and many times turned to some kind of literal aid. And of course the ‘word’ always trumps anything else. I’m your newest follower on facebook. Looking forward to your next post.
    God bless


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