Five Books to Strengthen your Marriage

In honor of the very popular and highly convicting sermon series that Mars Hill Church has presented in the past two weeks on the topic of marriage (one for women, and one for men), I thought I’d list my top five marriage related books on this week’s book list.  Dan and I have been married for almost eight years, and these resources have been invaluable for us.


1. The Power of a Praying Wife / The Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie Omartian

These little books are excellent guides for helping you know how to pray for your spouse. I use the chapter titles to guide me through praying for Dan, since it helps me consider areas of his life about which I’d typically forget to pray.


2. Moments Together for Couples by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

Our pastor gave this devotional to Dan and I as a wedding present, and it’s been our favorite couples devotional.  The Raineys have followed it with others, most notably Moments with You, their most recent one.  We love the short daily readings and the discussion questions at the end that get us talking about relationship issues that we normally wouldn’t address, left to our own devices. They also include a topic for prayer, to help lead into prayer time together.


3. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

In my opinion, this should be required reading for every pre-marital class. Chapman teaches his readers how people give and receive love in different ways.  It helps you understand why she wants to cuddle so much or why he doesn’t seem to appreciate those long heart felt discussions as much as you do.


4. Rescue your Love Life: Changing those Dumb Attitudes and Behaviors that will Sink Your Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.

Those of you who have read and appreciated Cloud and Townsend’s famous Boundaries books will want to read this similar approach to the marriage relationship.  The practical counselors take their advice to the individual, to take responsibility for his or her own attitudes and actions, instead of placing blame on the partner.


5. God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation by Andrewas J. Kostenberger

I just read this book last Sunday after our pastor recommended it in his sermon.  I liked the solid biblical foundation and the complimentarian approach to marriage roles.  It’s the best book so far I’ve seen from this perspective.  Admittedly, it’s a bit of a dry read, but it’s an excellent resource for specific questions about what the Bible says about marriage (footnotes and scripture references galore).  I particularly liked how it used Old and New Testament marriage examples to demonstrate the principles.

If I recommend any books that you’d like to purchase, consider buying them through Amazon using the links on my site, so I get a percent of the purchase price back to buy more books to review!


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I agree with your choices, but my #1 pick, MUST READ is the book LOVE AND RESPECT. If I had to recommend only one marriage book (after all the marriage books I have read during 32 years of marriage), it would be that one, and how I wish it had been written sooner.

    AL: I’m glad you mentioned that one. Okay, here’s the deal. I love the verse they use. Excellent for all marriages. Ephesians 5:33: “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” My problem is I just didn’t think the book was written very well. Very practical concept, not very well explained. I know he does conferences, so maybe he explains the material better there. I’m big on the topic of love and respect, but I think other materials explain it a little more clearly. It didn’t crack my top five for that reason.

  2. “Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace” by Gary & Betsy Ricucci was a real help to me when I first got married and is one I’d like to re-read with my wife at some point. Very solid and biblically-based advice throughout.

    AL: That looks like a great book! I’ve never seen it, but I just checked it out, and will be checking it out from the library soon. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Great list. Marriage Builder by Larry Crabb was a book that really helped me in a difficult phase in our marriage. It’s about trusting God more than your spouse to meet your needs.

    AL: wow, there’s a message I need to be reminded of constantly. Haven’t read that one, but it sounds like it speaks to an important issue as well.

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