Know someone who is experiencing conflict in their marriage?

Looking for a boost in your own relationship?

Going to a wedding this summer?

Here is my personal list of books I recommend on marriage.

 

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My husband and I have been married for over a decade, and since he is a pastor, we’ve had numerous opportunities to meet with couples for marriage counseling. Whenever someone asks me for a good book on marriage, these books are included in my answer:

 

Love and Respect

Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs

“Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs is my #1 marriage recommendation book. It talks about a woman’s need to be loved and a man’s need to be respected, and the vicious cycle that happens when one or both of those are lacking in a relationship.  Every person I know who has read this book has raved about how much its message resonated with them and their own situation.

 

 

 

Strengthening Your Marriage

Strengthening Your Marriage, by Wayne Mack

This book has great doctrine and theology on marriage, but what I most appreciate are the discussion questions.  The questions are so thorough and deep that they addressed issues my husband and I had never talked about even after a year-long engagement and eight weeks of pre-marital counseling. We use this book often when conducting pre-marital counseling with other couples, but is very useful for those who have been married for a long time as well.

 

 

 Sacred Marriage

Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas

This book asks the question, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”  Of all the books, I would say this one provided the biggest challenge for me personally.  It caused me to think of marriage as growing in holiness and selflessness, as opposed to thinking about “what I can get out of this.”

 

 

 

Team Us - Cover

Team Us: Marriage Together, by Ashleigh Slater

This book is very light and conversational. It gives good tips on how to work together as a team in marriage, when the temptation is often to veer towards a “Me” vs. “Him” mentality.  It also has great discussion questions at the end of each chapter which will promote unity and oneness in the marriage relationship.

Read my review here.

 

Disclaimer: Affiliate links used in this post. 

 


 

 

What about you?  What books have been most beneficial in your marriage?

 

 

 

Why should I take the garbage out again?  I did it last time! It’s his turn!

I’ve cooked supper four nights in a row.  He could at least give me a break once a week.

She always leaves her wet towel on the bed.  It drives me crazy.  No matter how many times I tell her, she never hangs it up.

I woke up with the baby last night.  He should get up this time.  If he doesn’t, he should wake up two nights in a row next week.

I shoveled the snow from the driveway every morning this week.  I deserve a back rub.

Though fictional examples, I’m guessing you could fill in the blank with at least one instance when you’ve used a mental tally system in your marriage.  Times when you’ve chalked up points for yourself in your mind based on your own good deeds.  Times when you’ve waited for your spouse to get to work around the house, pull his own weight, and even up the score.

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The trouble with this type of thinking is that it can easily divide the husband and wife into a “him vs. her” mentality.  At its root, it’s plain selfishness, and throws the concept of servanthood out the window.  It creates two different teams in one household, with an ongoing competition between a unit that God has declared “one.”

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In her book, Team Us: Marriage Together, author Ashleigh Slater reminds couples that we’re actually playing on the same team.  As easy as it is to nag, complain, and even compete in marriage, a better, more God-honoring mindset is to remember each day that it’s not “Team Me” vs. “Team Him.”

It’s “Team Us.”

 

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Team Us: Marriage Together is challenging encouragement wrapped in light-hearted language.

 

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Ashleigh Slater through her role as founder and editor of Ungrind Webzine.  When it comes to communication, she is a natural.  Her writing voice is so conversational that reading Team Us is like having a lively and engaging chat with a friend over a chai latte at Panera.  For that reason, I think a wide variety of people will enjoy and benefit from this book — young marrieds, and those with a lengthier track record; those who love to read, and those who rarely open a book.  After all, who wouldn’t love a book with plentiful references to The Hunger Games, The Princess Bride, and even the Olympic sport of curling?

I particularly appreciated Ashleigh’s honesty and vulnerability as she recounts what she has deemed, “The Weeping Years.”  She shares with raw testimony about a devastating miscarriage, and how she and her husband processed their grief differently.  She also describes how they have endured several job losses, resulting in multiple cross-country moves and stretching tests of patience.  Even as she struggled to wait while her husband sought the right job that would suit his gifts, Ashleigh was quick to point out, “The keys to our longevity are found in those moments we decide to assume the best of each other instead of the worst.  In those times we offer grace, not irritation.  On those days we offer grace, not irritation.”

Poignant advice for all.

The next time you are tempted to tally up points for yourself against your spouse, think first and consider what’s best for the team.

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A free excerpt of Team Us: Marriage Together can be found here: http://marriagetogether.com/

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.