A while back, we shared some inspiring books to read. Those books should definitely be on your list! But what if you’re engaged, looking to prepare for marriage as effectively as possible? These six books take the relationship conversation a little deeper.
1. The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller
This book transformed my understanding of relationships, both in dating and in friendships. Keller looks at God’s design for relationships, illustrating how marriage is designed to proclaim the gospel, not just to fulfill the two people within it. This book calls us to a higher standard of love and selflessness as we pursue God’s design and imitate Christ.
2. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
My husband and I read this book as part of our premarital counseling. The heart of Sacred Marriage is to reveal how marriage is not designed to make us happy—though that can be a positive side effect—but to make us holy. Similar to The Meaning of Marriage, Sacred Marriage delves into God’s intentions for marriage, but engages in an in-depth discussion of how that applies to life in a practical way. The author emphasizes the sanctity of marriage, illustrating how even the most mundane days can become sacred if we dedicate ourselves to doing marriage God’s way.
3. Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat and Gaye Wheat
One of the best books available on marital sexuality, Intended for Pleasure is an exhaustive book, covering the biology of sex, potential issues that may arise and how to cultivate intimacy spiritually, emotionally and physically. It’s easy to reference as needed, and we even brought it on our honeymoon. Not many books approach sex from both practical and Christian perspectives, but this one does!
4. Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith
When I picked up this book, I rolled my eyes at the title. I’m not even sure why I bought it! Yet it has since become my favorite marriage book of all time. This one is specifically for wives. Though it’s primarily written about sex, romance and cultivating a romantic relationship with your husband, much of it practically applies to every area of marriage—including attitudes and home environment. I consider this a must-read and recommend it to all new brides!
5. Prayers for New Brides by Jennifer O. White
This book is designed to equip young wives with the spiritual armor they need to defend their marriages. Each chapter contains a prayer topic, verses and prayer prompts to help guide a new bride’s prayers for herself, her marriage and her husband. This is a great devotional for your morning or evening quiet time; it doesn’t take long to read and can be integrated into Bible study. It would also make a great group discussion for newly married women.
6. Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
This marriage classic will save an engaged couple years of misunderstanding. By communicating according to the strengths of each other’s gender, men and women can avoid much of the conflict that destroys modern marriages. Love and Respect discusses the innate desires for love (primarily among women) and respect (primarily among men), and how we can fulfill those needs in the hearts of our spouses.
Are you engaged or newly married? What are some of your favorite books?