I’m always looking for a good marriage or parenting book to read. I like books that give me new ideas for improving those relationships, or books that present ideas I already know in a different way. I don’t want to get sloppy or neglectful in the way I treat my family, but hope to be constantly growing in my love for and service to them.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t keep a lot of books anymore. (But don’t worry – the rest of the family still keeps our bookshelves plenty full! 😉 Only my favorites – those that I’m confident I’d want to re-read or share with someone else – take up shelf space these days. That’s a good thing, because it made narrowing down my list fairly easy. For now, these five titles are the best marriage books I’ve read.
1. The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn. While I’m reluctant to actually pick a favorite title, this one would definitely be near the top of the list. It’s a more recent read for me, and while it’s certainly applicable in any stage of marriage, I found it particularly helpful in my “20+ years of marriage” state. It caused me to reevaluate certain areas of my marriage where I’d grown comfortable and showed me some things that I needed to work on. Shaunti combines her research on the topic with practical ways to live out her findings in your marriage. You can read my full review of this book here.
2. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie OMartian. I’ve read this book a number of times throughout our marriage, and always come away with a renewed commitment to cover every area of my husband’s life in prayer. I like how Stormie breaks the book down into thirty brief chapters, each applying to an area of our man’s life, such as his work, his mind, his health, his choices, etc. It would be easy to use this book as a guide to pray for one of these areas each day of the month. She also includes helpful sample prayers at the end of each chapter. I’ve underlined portions of those prayers so that I can use that wording myself when I pray.
3. For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. Yes, it’s another book by Shaunti, but it’s in a little different vein than number one. Here she shares interesting insights – again, based on in-depth research – into the thought lives of men, and how their thoughts affect they way they act. This would be a very helpful read for a newlywed, though I found plenty to ponder in it as well. I think the first book on this list has more in the way of practical tips, whereas this book opens up our understanding of what might be going on in our husband’s head in different life situations.
4. Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. This marriage book comes highly recommended, and I like how the author does a deep dive into the most basic needs of a husband and wife. Eggerichs includes thorough advice for staying out of the “crazy cycle” that we sometimes fall into when we fail to communicate properly with each other. Read a previous review I did of this book here.
5. His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr. I believe I got this book in college – it’s a classic! While Eggerichs’ book above focuses on the major need of a husband and wife, this one gives a broader view of many of the issues we face in our marriages. This is another book that I think would particularly benefit those in the early stages of marriage, though, again, it has something to teach us all.
Have you read any of these yourself? What’s your favorite marriage book?
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