Before my husband and I married, I thought if we just loved each other enough and stayed stubbornly committed to each other, that was all we’d need to live happily ever after. It wasn’t long until I learned a very important lesson, however, and that is that good intentions aren’t enough.
You see, I’ve always had great intentions in my marriage. I adore my husband, and I want to make him happy as much as I can. And yet, we fought a lot in the first few years of our marriage and we weren’t always happy. No matter how hard each of us tried to do the right thing, we always ended up doing the wrong thing without meaning to.
Thank goodness I love to read, because it was after I started reading Christian marriage books that I realized just how many things I was doing wrong. I was trying my best, but I just didn’t have the strategies and tips I needed. And it was by reading books like the ones in this list that I started to learn them.
Now, I’ve hardly arrived. I still mess up way too often and my husband and I are constantly learning how to communicate and love each other better. BUT I can honestly say that we are happier than we’ve ever been and closer than we’ve ever been because of three things: 1. hard work, 2. stubborn commitment and 3. the knowledge we’ve gained from books like these.
Whether your marriage is pretty good or barely hanging on, there’s always room for improvement. Don’t settle for a lackluster marriage where you’re just going through the motions. Read one or several of these books and completely transform your life and your marriage. You won’t regret it.
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1. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
If you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages book yet, where have you been? This #1 New York Times Best Seller is a quick and easy, yet highly practical and useful read. In it, Chapman explains that each person best loves and receives love in one of five ways. If you and your spouse are trying hard but just not connecting, this book is for you! (Find it on Amazon)
(Already read the book and just need a few more practical ideas? Check out my other post: 25 Ways to Speak Your Spouse’s Love Language.)
2. Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
Of all of the Christian marriage books I’ve read, Love & Respect is one of my very favorite. All too often we think that love is all we need, when in actuality, what our husbands really need is respect. This highly practical book will not only help you see exactly what you and your husband need, but it even provides plenty of practical suggestions as well. A must-read!! (Find it on Amazon)
(Not sure if you need this book or not? Check out my post How Do I Show Respect When My Husband Is A Jerk? then come back and get this book!)
3. His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Jr. Harley
It’s no secret that men and women need different things from a relationship. In His Needs, Her Needs, Harley will help you understand how your spouse’s needs differ from your own. It may be a little old fashioned in terms of gender roles, but if you are in a fairly traditional marriage, this book will be spot on. I especially love his “love bank” theory. (Find it on Amazon)
*Related: 24 Ways to Build Your Husband Up
4. The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex: (And You Thought Bad Girls Have All the Fun) by Sheila Wray Gregoire
There’s no denying that sex is a crucial part of any good marriage, and if you’re a woman struggling to fully embrace and enjoy it, you’re not alone. Whether your hesitation is due to physical pain and discomfort, past trauma or a lifetime of being taught “good girls don’t think about sex” — this book will help you see that sex CAN be great–even for you. (Find it on Amazon)
5. Love and War: Finding the Marriage You’ve Dreamed Of by John and Stasi Eldredge
Do you ever get discouraged reading Christian marriage books? Like “These people have it all together; I could never measure up?” This book isn’t like that. In Love and War, the Eldredges share what marriage is REALLY like–hard and messy–but completely worth the fight. (Find it on Amazon)
6. For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn
Do the inner workings of your husband’s mind seem like a complete mystery to you? In For Women Only, Feldhahn lets you in on all the secrets you need to know but your husband doesn’t know how to verbalize. This is info you need to know! (Find it on Amazon)
(Don’t miss the companion book–For Men Only–as well.)
7. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
Is your husband not living up to your expectations? This book will guide you through several different areas of your husband’s life and help you to pray for him to become a Godly man in all of them. Watch out though, you may just end up being the one who is dramatically changed by this book. It’s a marriage saver. (Find it on Amazon)
8. The Love Dare by Alex and Stephen Kendrick
If you’ve seen the movie Fireproof, you’ve already seen what a dramatic impact The Love Dare can have on a relationship. Now, you can have that dramatic change for yourself with this 40-day challenge that will help you and your spouse love each other unconditionally, no matter what. Even if you’re sure you’re marriage is over, this book can bring it back. (Find it on Amazon)
(Haven’t seen the movie Fireproof yet? It’s a good one! You can find it here.)
*Related: How to Fix a Broken Marriage God’s Way
9. Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages by Darlene Schacht
Marriage always looks so easy in the movies; why is it so difficult for you? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Marriage is hard and messy! But thankfully, God has a plan of redemption for even the messiest marriages of all. No matter what you’ve been through or what you’re going through now, this honest and encouraging book will show you that there is hope–even for your marriage. (Find it on Amazon)
10. You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan
Warning: this book has the potential to dramatically change how you see yourself, your marriage and God. In You and Me Forever, the Francis and Lisa Chan argue that it isn’t traditional marriage advice you need, but a deeper relationship with and a better understanding of God and His plan for marriage. This book won’t just offer a few tips; it’ll change your life. (Find it on Amazon)
Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Which book are you looking forward to reading next (even if it’s not on the list)?