Tuesday, May 4, 2021

16 Books to Strengthen Your Marriage

What's an impromptu mini-series on marriage without a whole bunch of books to browse through?  

Here's a small sampling of top-shelf, Christ-centered resources gathered from my office library, years of online excursions, continuing education seminars, and friends like you.  I'm guessing you might find an ideal read that will speak encouragement to your specific marriage challenge.

And yes, if you're like 99% of married couples, you most likely have an area that needs improvement!

I've marked my 3 top picks ... but simply put, they're all five star.  As an Amazon Affiliate, I will receive a small financial perk if you make a purchase using the links.  Thank you very much.

Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair-Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage
- Anderson
'From a woman who strayed to the other side of the marital fence - and returned to find forgiveness and restoration - comes this practical book about predicting and preventing an extramarital affair.'

Broken and Battered: A Way Out for the Abused Woman 
- Canfield
'The life of an abused woman is one of fear, pain, and isolation.  Not only is she victimized by the man she loves, she is often disbelieved and abandoned by friends and family.  Broken emotionally and battered physically, she is left feeling as if there is no way out.  But there is a way out, and this powerfully courageous book leads the way.'

Torn Assunder: Recovering From an Extramarital Affair 
- Carder
'A resource on marital infidelity for all involved, even onlookers ... it sorts through the factors that contribute to infidelity and then maps out a recovery process for both process.  With compassion and wisdom rooted in the Bible, Carder offers insight for the victims, the perpetrators, and those who seek to help.'

   The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts 
- Chapman
'Over 12 million copies sold.  A New York Times bestseller for 10 years running. 49,893 5-star ratings.'  Need I say more?

   Boundaries in Marriage 
- Cloud & Townsend
'Learn when to say yes and when to say no -- to your spouse and to others -- to make the most of your marriage.  Only when a husband and wife know and respect each other's needs, choices, and freedom can they give themselves freely and lovingly to one another.'

   Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs
- Eggerichs
'Psychological studies affirm it, and the Bible has been saying it for ages. Cracking the communication code between husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her.  It's the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, and yet few couples ever find.'

The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind, Body, Heart, Spirit
 - Ethridge
'Every woman deserves to enjoy great sex with her husband, without inhibition or shame.  But many wives live with the burden of self-doubt of feel mystified about what men really want in bed.  Others wrestle with memories of sexual abuse or neglect, guilt over past intimate relationships, or negative feelings about their own bodies.  Maybe you've been thinking you were alone in your struggle to discover sexual fulfillment.  Think again.'

Hedges: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It 
- Jenkins
'With the divorce rate steadily climbing and infidelity creeping into even the happiest marriages, in a society that trivializes adultery and its devastating effects, with temptation and opportunity coming at you from all directions - how can you keep your marriage from becoming a statistic?'

The Love Dare 
- Kendrick
'The New York Times No. 1 best seller was a major plot device in the popular movie Fireproof ... is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love.  Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare is a journey you need to take.'

Shattered Vows: Hope and Healing for Women Who Have Been Sexually Betrayed 
- Laaser
'Infidelity doesn't have to ruin your life - or your marriage if you have been devastated by your husband's sexual betrayal - whether an isolated incident or a long-term pattern of addiction - you need to know you don't have to live as a victim.  If you choose to stay in your marriage, you have options other than punishing, tolerating, or ignoring your spouse.'

Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage 
- Leman
'With his characteristic warmth and humor, Dr. Kevin Leman offers a practical guide to sex according to God's plan.  This frank and practical book is a perfect resource for married and engaged couples.  Dr. Leman addresses a wide spectrum of people, from those with no sexual experiences to those with past sexual problems or even abuse.'

The Walk-Out Woman: When Your Heart is Empty and Your Dreams Are Lost 
- Stephens & Gray
'Every woman longs to be appreciated, respected, and adored, but when her needs aren't met within her marriage, she could be tempted to walk away.  As little hurts and disappointments accumulate and her heart hardens, a woman's loneliness and vulnerability take over, and she might find emotional fulfillment elsewhere, perhaps in even a casual encounter with another man.  When the marriage enters this realm of real danger, the woman believes it will be less painful to walk away than try to work on it.'

Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage 
- Strobel
'Someone came between Lee and Leslie Strobel, threatening to shipwreck their marriage.  No, it wasn't an old flame.  It was Jesus Christ.  Leslie's decision to become a follower of Jesus brought heated opposition from her skeptical husband.'

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
- Thomas
'Happy is good. Holy is better.  Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person.  It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust Him more fully, and love Him more deeply.'

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope 
- Vernick
'You can't put it into words, but something is happening to you.  Your stomach churns, your heart aches, and the tension in your marriage is making you feel weary and a little crazy.  The constant criticism, disrespect, cruelty, deceit, and gross indifference are eroding your confidence and breaking your spirit.  For any woman caught in an emotionally destructive marriage, Leslie Vernick offers a personalized path forward.'

- Berry
'The whole time you're hoping God will change your spouse, you begin to realize he's been wanting to change you, too!  This book will give you more compassion for your spouse and encouragement to make it across the finish line.'

A well-chosen book {or 2 or 3} is a meaningful wedding shower or marriage gift, wrapped up all pretty in a beautiful basket with some other goodies tucked alongside ... fun his and her reading lights in blue and pink.  Mr. and Mrs. coffee mugs.  Beautiful heirloom bookmarks.  And a little box of Godiva chocolates, of course!

And if you'd be so kind as to share your favorite marriage resources in the comments, well, we'll all be richer for it.
❤  Linda




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  1. I have heard of several of these, but I don't think I have read any of them. One former pastor taught through the five love languages, and I have heard and read much about them, so I feel I have a pretty good grasp of them. We were blessed that our first church after we were married taught a lot about marriage and gave us a good foundation.

    One of my favorite books was The Ministry of Marriage by Jim Binney. I liked the emphasis that we're to make ministering to each other a focus. The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye was recommended to us just prior to marriage and helped. I read Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight by Sheila Wray Gregoire just a couple of years ago and thought it was very good. I remember thinking Shaunti Feldhahn's For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men was very good--I need to reread it some time and see if I still feel the same way.

    1. Barbara, you are ALWAYS a wellspring of new titles! I'm always so glad when you arrive with your gleanings ...

  2. I bought For Women Only but I still need to read it lol.
    We must think alike because I have Love and Respect and 5 Love Languages. I recommend Vertical Marriage by Dave and Ann Wilson. I got this book a couple of years ago when I was part of a book review program that went away for some reason.

  3. I loved reading through your list, Linda. I have heard about several of the books, but I believe the one calling to me is the Love Languages book. Even after 43 years of marriage, there is still something we can learn.

    1. Yep, The Love Languages is calling to me, too, Laurie. It's time to revisit that book again ... a refresher course. We're always students, aren't we ... and with every evolving season there's more to learn.

  4. I'll suggest a volume I'm sure that
    will prevent your marriage coming loose;
    of course, it's "The Cat In The Hat"
    by the fabled Dr. Seuss.
    It's full of feline wisdom,
    and much Thing 1-2 grace;
    marriage should not be a prison
    but rather a bright place
    where mayhem rules from floor to roof,
    and in the cellar, too,
    and is to neighbours final proof
    of just exactly who
    the realtor softly spoke about:
    "If you buy here, please watch out!"

    1. Marriage as a bright place. That image I love.

  5. Love Languages is the one that is speaking out to me, too, Linda. I heard about this from another friend a while back, and when a title gets a repeat, I know that's the direction in which God is nudging me. Thanks for all the wonderful titles!

    1. Yep, I'm agreeing 100%, Martha, to what you're saying about Love Languages ...

  6. I have loved sharing the work of a fellow New Englander—at your end. Dorothy Greco has written Making Marriage Beautiful and also Marriage in the Middle. Her forte is really bringing a healthy self into the partnership and she shares her own personal experience as a very helpful beginning. If the world ever resumes learning together in rooms again, she and her husband do seminars and workshops.

    1. Oh you got my attention with this right here, Michele --> 'bringing a healthy self into the partnership.'

      Fascinating observation! That's who we want to be.

  7. Thanks for this list, Linda. I agree the Five Love Languages is an excellent read. Happy Thursday, dear one!

    1. It's interesting how many readers here are fans. I know we shouldn't be focused on stats, but I was in awe of the number of positive reviews this little guidebook has received over the years ...

  8. What a great collection of books, Linda! Your top three faves were among the first that came to mind when you mentioned favorites. :) Early in our marriage, we read the Five Love Languages on a cross-country road trip/move. It was so enlightening to discover not only my love language, but also. my husband's. Over the years I've worked to love him in his language, and it always means so much to him when I do. And vice versa. :)

    1. Would that more couples take the time and energy to care enough to figure out how their spouse best experiences, 'I love you.'

      Your words will be encouragement to go for it, Jeanne ...

  9. Your list sounds like a treasure trove of wisdom, empathy and encouragement, Linda. I appreciated the Five Love Languages too but had no idea it had that many five-star ratings! That's got to be some kind of record, and certainly speaks to the wisdom Gary Chapman provides in it.

    1. And all the follow-up books, too ... what an impact on so many men, women, children, teenagers, singles, couples!


  10. Hi Linda!
    The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller and You and Me Forever by Frances and Lisa Chan were incredible books. I also loved The 5 Love Languages (which you mentioned above).

    Here are my recent reads, if interested: https://elle-alice.blogspot.com/2021/04/april-book-reviews.html

    1. The Chan's book sounds really good ... I love it when a couple writes together!

  11. Such good recommendations here. I confess that I've heard a lot about The Five Love Languages, but I don't think I've ever really read it. Sounds like I need to do so!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I'm featuring you this week!