Before we were even engaged, Matthew and I started reading marriage books together (ok, just one book before we were engaged but after that we tore through them). I’ve always been one to love these kinds of books and I read through the dating genre in my teenage years.
This is not a comprehensive list of books on this topic, but these are some favorites that we’ve read together and enjoyed.
Matthew and I read this book and worked through the workbook a few months before we got engaged. Marriage was on our radar and we talked about it – timing, budgeting, etc. so it wasn’t weird for us to read this book when we did.
We loved this book and workbook combo and it was instrumental in helping spark conversation about crucial topics and learning more about what the other thought and felt about things like “gender roles”, money, love languages, communication, and how to handle conflict. The workbook offers practical exercises and questions to help dive deeper into the topics covered in the book. I think it would be fun to go through this one again and look back at our answers from two years ago.
We received this book as a Christmas gift after we were engaged and would read it whenever driving in the car together during Matthew’s last semester of college. This book is incredible. It is also very deep and you have to stay actively engaged at times to ensure you don’t get lost but it is worth it. One of the main focuses of this book is setting straight misconceptions and assumptions of marriage – both the overly-romanticized positive and dangerously negative. This book is for everyone – single, engaged, married, and anyone in-between. The concepts and truths in this book are truly eye-opening and life-changing. Owning a copy over borrowing it would be ideal because you’ll want to keep coming back to it for years.
Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
We borrowed this book from friends and enjoyed reading and discussing it. This book details “The Crazy Cycle” and talks about how when women feel unloved they disrespect, making men feel disrespected so they act unlovingly toward their wife and the crazy cycle just keeps going ’round and round. This book has had some negative feedback in the way that it addresses the woman and I myself found the tone to sometimes be off-putting. But one of the MAIN reasons to read books on marriage, aside from learning new things, is to open conversation with your spouse – so if you don’t agree or have other thoughts or ideas talk about them. Matthew and I were able to discuss what we thought and felt and how things differed for us compared to the generalized rule. The overall message of this book is helpful and needed and encouraged honest communication between us.
This was also a book we borrowed from friends that we read separately. The Act of Marriage is focused on sexual intimacy in marriage and practical information about the physical act of sex. This book is especially helpful for couples who are virgins who want a Christian-based guide to the act of marriage. Reading it going into our honeymoon helped us have a better idea of what to expect and how to approach sex.
While this can certainly be an awkward topic to breach, the book helps bring up concerns you might have and allow an environment for open communication between you and your spouse (or soon-to-be spouse). This definitely isn’t the only resource out there on this topic through a Christian filter, but it is a good place to start if you’re looking.
Note: all of the books in this selection are rooted in Christian principles but can be read and applied to any marriage. This post is not sponsored in any way. All opinions are our own.