Couples often ask us if there are any books that will help them as they consider marriage, so below are a few books that Joy and I have found to be helpful for strengthening marriages and relationships. We hope that you find them useful and would recommend reading a selection to get a broad view from the different authors.
In this book, Tim Keller gives a strong biblical basis for marriage, with plenty of challenges for us in the 21st Century. He and Kathy share their personal experiences, as well as their experiences pastoring people over the years. Possibly the greatest theme of the book is the importance of friendship, and so it’s accessible for whatever stage of life you’re in. Make sure when you read it that you pay attention to the footnotes at the end of the book. They are well worth reading and some of the best gold nuggets of wisdom are found there.
A short but very practical book that explores many of the challenges that newlyweds face when they begin life together. It’s mainly focused on the physical aspects, but has a professional, psychological approach, which helps you to engage emotionally as well as physically.
So… is it words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, gifts or acts of service that really communicate love? This book is very helpful for identifying the different ways we approach love. You will probably find yourself subtly adjusting how you behave towards your spouse once you have read this book, as you hopefully begin to recognise the languages that he/she responds to most. It’s not really a thrill-a-minute page turner, but it is helpful, as is some of the author’s other work, though this is the best starting point.
This is a really helpful, practical read by the Hybels’ on how to make your relationship work. It is written for those considering marriage as well as those already married and has lots of insightful and really helpful comments about marriage. Bill and Lynne are honest about their arguments, the challenges they faced – particularly in the early years of marriage – the pain, the cost and the joy. Highly recommended particularly for those just starting out, or in the early years of marriage.
You may also enjoy The Marriage Challenge podcast from Care for the Family. It’s a fun and informative podcast and each month features a guest couple discussing a particular subject and talking about lessons they have learnt in their marriage.
Ross and Joy run the Marriage Preparation Course at ChristChurch London. Find out more information and see when the next course is starting, here.
Image: 41/365 : K as Knowledge by Marine B, used under CC