Over the course of my life, God has enabled me to connect with and learn from some of the wisest leaders in our nation when it comes to marriage, family, and relationships. If could deposit all I have come to know and learn, directly in to your heart and mind, I would do it in a heartbeat. I deeply desire for you to know and experience relationships with your spouse and children as I have with mine. Following is my “must ;have” list of resources that give the greatest insights in to what it takes to have a great marriage.
As strongly as I can, I urge you to take heed and read/study each one. Make it a goal to get each of the resources and build a library from which you can glean that which you need again and again.
Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. The most helpful book I know that expounds on Marriage from Ephesians 5:33 where the Apostle Paul emphasizes that men must love their wives and wives respect their husbands.
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. A very profound and thought provoking book. His sub-title says it all: What If God Designed Marriage To Make Us Holy More Than To Make Us Happy?
Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas. Another wonderful book by Gary Thomas shedding light on the power women have to influence their husbands to become all they can be.
The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick. This is a 40-day challenge in a devotional format for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. It is a powerful resource that is easy to read and contains wonderful practical steps to demonstrate love.
The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner. Similar to The Love Dare, Nina writes her book to teach and lead women how to relate to their husbands in a respectful manner.
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. A timeless work on the concept that husbands and wives speak and demonstrate love to each other in different ways. The challenge for each is to discover the preferred manner in which their partner longs to be loved.
Love Must Be Tough by James Dobson. A thought-provoking directive for the most devastating conflicts occurring between husbands and wives–infidelity, alcoholism, wife beating, emotional indifference, etc. Dobson offers practical advice for the partner who wants desperately to hold the marriage together.
Why I Stayed by Gayle Haggard. An amazing journey and testimony of how a wife stayed true to her vows and her husband–the Pastor of a large Evangelical Church–when she discovered his infidelity with another man.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman, Ph.D. Written by one of the nation’s foremost relationship experts, you will read of “seven principles that guide couples towards a harmonious and long-lasting relationship.”
Broken Heart on Hold by Linda W. Rooks. This book is written primarily to women, though I believe men could very much benefit from reading it as well. It is like a devotional reading on the author’s personal journey of her near disastrous marriage including a three year separation. In it you will read of her emotional roller coaster and how by God’s grace she personally grew and continued on until her and her husband reconciled. A wonderful book.
Plus two fun activities:
Fireproof, a Christian movie produced in 2009. The story of a couple who grew apart, leading them to near divorce. The wife began an extra-marital relationship; the husband was given a single recourse to win back the heart of his wife through expressions of love over the course of 40 days.
Simply Romantic Nights by Dennis Rainey, www.familylife.com A small box containing 24 sealed envelopes – 12 for each spouse – each with a detailed plan for a romantic evening. Each spouse is to take their turn at planning a date to bless their spouse and enhance their marriage.
Question: What resources do you most recommend? You can leave a comment by clicking here.