by Jessalyn Hutto of Desiring VirtueNothing says “I love you” like “I want to actively work toward loving you more sincerely, serving you more sacrificially, and honestly growing with you in the likeness of Christ this year.” Isn’t that what we all want for our marriages? Don’t we desire to year after year grow closer, stronger, and more unified as a couple? Don’t we desperately desire for our marriages to draw us closer to the Savior and to reflect him more clearly to a watching world?
Something my husband and I love to do is read books on the subject of marriage. Sometimes we read them together, sometimes we listen to them together (as in the old school audio books), and sometimes when that is not possible, we just read them individually.
The best part about reading a book together (even if you can’t read it at the exact same time) is that you can work together to understand and implement what you have just read. It gives you the opportunity to be intimately involved in the growth of your marriage. It promotes unity by allowing you to see as your spouse sees and allows you to understand what your spouse expects, feels, and desires from your marriage. There is an intimacy that grows as you are together challenged toward greater Christ-likeness and you are forced to speak of things that sometimes you would rather just went unsaid. Reading together is good, because it inevitably leads to talking together and growing together.
Today I would like to share a few of the best books available today that focus on the topic of marriage. These books are all great resources for couples who desire to grow both in their relationship together and in their relationship with the Lord. I would encourage you to make it a point to read at least one of them together this year as you seek to honor the Lord in your marriage. I would encourage you to buy one as a Valentine’s Day Gift for your husband to say: “I want to actively work toward loving you more sincerely, serving you more sacrificially, and honestly growing with you in the likeness of Christ this year.”
Three Marriage Books We Highly Recommend:
By Paul David Tripp
“Marriage, according to Scripture, will always involve two flawed people living with each other in a fallen world. Yet, in pastor Paul Tripp’s professional experience, the majority of couples entermarriage with unrealistic expectations, leaving them unprepared forthe day-to-day realities of married life.
This unique book introduces a biblical and practical approach to those realities that is rooted in God’s faithfulness and Scripture’s teaching on sin and grace. “Spouses need to bereconciled to each other and to God on a daily basis,” Tripp declares. “Since we’re always sinners married to sinners, reconciliation isn’t just the right response in moments of failure. It must be the lifestyle of any healthy marriage.”
What Did You Expect? presents six practical commitments that give shape and momentum to such a lifestyle. These commitments, which include honestly facing sin, weakness, and failure; willingness to change; and embodying Christ’s love, will equip couples to develop a thriving, grace-based marriage in all circumstances and seasons of their relationship.”
Why We Love This Book:
This book is real. It deals with the disillusionment that inevitably comes when we realize that our spouse is not the “perfect” person we thought they were. Rather than coming from a “Here’s how it should be…” approach, Tripp assumes you have come to the point where you see “how it truly is” and then shows you how Christ can heal, grow, and unify your marriage. It helps you to see God’s purpose in putting you together with your spouse and encourages you to practically love one another with the love that has been shown to us through Christ.
“What Did You Expect” is the number one book I recommend these days. I wish that every married person could read it, because it is truly eye opening. Click here to read more of what I think about this book
By Dave Harvey
Marriage is the union of two people who arrive at the altar toting some surprisingly large luggage. Often it gets opened right there on the honeymoon, sometimes it waits for the week after. The Bible calls it sin and understanding its influence can make all the difference for a man and woman who are building a life together. When Sinners Say “I Do” is about encountering the life-transforming power of the gospel in the unpredictable journey of marriage.
Dave’s writing style embraces the reader as he speaks honestly, and sometimes humorously, about sin and the power of the gospel to overcome it. He opens the delightful truth of God s word and encourages the reader to see more clearly the glorious picture of what God does when sinners say “I do.”
Why We Love This Book:
This book focuses on how the gospel effects the way you interact with one another in your marriage. One of the most helpful and encouraging chapters was on dealing with your spouse’s sin where Dave gives some very practical and challenging instructions. Click here to read more of what I think about this book.
By Timothy Keller
There has never been a marriage book like THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE. Based on the acclaimed sermon series by New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller, this book shows everyone-Christians, skeptics, singles, long-time married couples, and those about to be engaged-the vision of what marriage should be according to the Bible.
Modern culture would make you believe that everyone has a soul-mate; that romance is the most important part of a successful marriage; that your spouse is there to help you realize your potential; that marriage does not mean forever, but merely for now; that starting over after a divorce is the best solution to seemingly intractable marriage issues. All those modern-day assumptions are, in a word, wrong.
Using the Bible as his guide, coupled with insightful commentary from his wife of thirty-six years, Kathy, Timothy Keller shows that God created marriage to bring us closer to him and to bring us more joy in our lives. It is a glorious relationship that is also the most misunderstood and mysterious. With a clear-eyed understanding of the Bible, and meaningful instruction on how to have a successful marriage, The Meaning of Marriage is essential reading for anyone who wants to know God and love more deeply in this life.
Why We Love This Book:
This book brings the important “God and your marriage” topic to light. It isn’t just about marriage, it is about God and your marriage. Why did God create marriage in the first place? Why does it matter? What are the implications of God’s design for marriage? Why did God create sex and what are the implications of that on our intimacy with one another? These are really important questions and Keller dives right into them in a beautiful, biblical, and thoughtful way. I will publish a full review of this book in the near future.
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GIVEAWAY ENDS FRIDAY (FEB. 17) AT MIDNIGHT!!! GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED
According to Random.org, the winner is GINA! Congrats Gina – I sent you an email! Thank you to everyone who participated and especially Desiring Virtue! And be sure to subscribe to Hive Resources to stay up-to-date with our sweet giveaways!
Jessalyn Hutto is the author and editor of Desiring Virtue, a Christ-centered, doctrinally rich resource for Christian women who desire to bring honor to the Lord through their homemaking. She and her husband, Richard, have two children, Elliot and Hudson.