My wife and I love to read together. We try to make it a daily habit to get up before the kids do, spend time reading the Scriptures, praying, and then reading together. Typically we read books on marriage. That’s because our marriage relationship is important to us, and reading about marriage is a way for us to connect, to think about the same things and to grow in how we serve one another as husband and wife.
Below you will find a list of our top three. These books have made the greatest impact on our marriage relationship, and we highly recommend them.
The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
Tim Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage was the very first marriage book we ever read together. In fact, we read this book before we were even married. We used it as a sort of pre-marital counseling resource. But this book isn’t just for soon-to-be-weds. This book is for any married couple looking to deepen their understanding of what marriage is and how God designed it to flourish.
The Meaning of Marriage is based on Ephesians 5:22-33, one of the key biblical passages on the nature and purpose of marriage. The reason I love and recommend this book is that Keller deals with so many of the assumptions and misconceptions that we have about marriage today, and then he presents the biblical picture of marriage in a way that is very compelling and beautiful. It is both theological and practical. Expect to be challenged and stretched as well as encouraged and confirmed.
We come back to this book every single year and benefit from it every time we read it.
Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll
I don’t think any other book on marriage written by a pastor has caused as much controversy as this one. That’s because Mark and Grace Driscoll deal with issues that a vast majority of couples face but find too taboo to discuss.
This book confronts the issues of the heart that make marriage difficult for so many couples. It’s written in a raw, honest, transparent sort of way that reaches you at a gut level. I have found it to be profoundly practical. Mark challenges men to lead their wives in a godly, loving manner. Grace speaks about how to respect your husband even when he isn’t acting respectable. They unpack how past sins can disrupt your present relationship, what to do about it and how to build the best marriage possible.
You won’t find a more real book on marriage in the 21st century than Real Marriage.
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
The content in this book has had the greatest impact on my marriage. Period. Why? Because Eggerich deals with a problem every couple faces: how to resolve conflict. Have you ever found yourself in an argument with your spouse and after about 10-15 minutes forgotten what you were arguing about but still mad as ever? You’ve entered into what Eggerich calls “the crazy cycle.”
The whole book is based off of one passage of Scripture.
Each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33, NLT)
Love and respect. Two ingredients that have the power to transform any marriage into something strong and enduring.
The basic premise of the book is this: When a husband doesn’t love his wife, she responds disrespectfully. And when a wife doesn’t respect her husband, he responds unlovingly. That’s the crazy cycle. And we’ve all been there. Unfortunately for most of us, we don’t know we’re on the crazy cycle and we have no idea how to get off of it and turn things around.
That’s what Love and Respect is all about.
Your marriage is the most important relationship you have in life. More important than your relationship with your kids and second only to your relationship with Jesus.
It’s impossible to find yourself in a happy, healthy marriage relationship without help.
In addition to having godly friends that we can turn to for advice, we’ve found reading great marriage books to be incredibly helpful. Here are three of our favorites, and if you’re looking for some good reading, these will give you a great start.
Question: What books on marriage have made an impact in your relationship? Join the conversation clicking here.