Day 12 - CMBA Blog Challenge
I've mentioned some of these books in reviews and throughout my posts, but as I finish out (almost there!!) this blog half-marathon, I thought I would share with you the marriage resources that have made the most impact on Dave and I thus far in our marriage.
The Bible - Obvious, right? Not so much. I've heard it said that the majority of couples who come in for counseling are not having a regular devotional time or prayer time with God. Look, if you aren't in the word of God, the rest of these resources will just be band-aids. Go there first.
Intimate Issues - Linda Dillow & Lorraine Pintus. The authors talk about a godly view towards sex and then dive into answering what they call "Simmering Questions", "Smoldering Questions", and "Sizzling Hot Questions". Examples are, "How do I make love with children wrapped around my knees?", "How can I get over the guilt of past sexual sin?" and "Are quickies okay with God? (and other what-is-normal questions)"
Love and Respect - Dr Emerson Eggerich. Dave and I have been through this DVD series twice and it was helpful both times. It focuses on a man's great need for respect, a woman's great need for love, and how to work towards meeting those needs. There are a bunch of overgeneralizations and stereotypes in here, and the book isn't designed to cover every issue in marriage, but it could be life changing for you and your husband, provided you read/watch it only with the intention of changing you.
What Did You Expect? - Paul David Tripp. I love anything by Paul Tripp and his marriage book is no exception. It's just...awesome.
War of Words - Paul David Tripp. Have I mentioned that I love Paul Tripp? This isn't a marriage book, it's a communication book. But it isn't your typical "5 steps to better communication" type of book; it's a book that gets to the heart issues of communication, and communication is a HUGE problem in many marriages. I've referred back to this book many times and I have so much underlined that it probably would have been easier to just underline the sentences I didn't love.
Sacred Marriage - Gary Thomas. Subtitle: "What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?" This is not a "how-to" marriage book filled with tips and tricks to save your marriage. This is the kind of marriage book that just helps you get your head on straight and align your mindset with God's idea for marriage rather than the world's idea for marriage.
Sacred Influence - Gary Thomas. Subtitle: "How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands." I love this book. Gary Thomas gives advice to the wives from a man's point of view and he's pretty darn direct. I think much of it needed to be said. Some of the best chapters are about living with an angry husband and influencing a passive, uninvolved husband.
The Peacemaker - Ken Sande. Again, not a marriage book. But since conflict resolution is kind of a huge issue in every marriage, I think we all should read it. The most biblical perspective on conflict resolution and forgiveness that I've ever seen. It's so good that a few years ago our church required all small groups to go through the small group D
DVD study. (I will say though that, in my opinion, the book is better than the DVDs.) I will also mention that they have versions of this book for families and for working with teenagers.
The Excellent Wife - Martha Peace. If you want to know exactly what the Bible says about a wife's role and a wife's attitude and spirit, get this one. It's a little dry and some of the examples are kind of silly (I'm sorry, but if I went up to my husband and asked him, "Honey, what could I do to be a blessing to you today", I think he would laugh in my face.) but go with the overall principles and it's great.
How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong - Leslie Vernick. I think this one goes well in conjunction with Sacred Marriage. Not only does she talk about seeing your marriage through God's eyes much like Gary Thomas does (and she quotes him often), but she helps you see practical ways to respond to your husband even when you are being wronged.
Let Me Be a Woman - Elisabeth Elliot. I just had to throw in one book by Elisabeth Elliot because I just love her so, so much. Keep a Quiet Heart is also a good one if you are in a difficult marriage in which you are struggling to persevere.
"When Marriage and Mercy Collide" - I'll throw in a little plug for the church where my brother in law is director of music - Grace Fellowship Church in Florence, KY. Brad Bigney, the senior pastor, has done a few great marriage series and this is the latest one. (P.S. His new book Gospel Treason on the subject of idolatry is available on Amazon. And no, no one asked me to promote it; he's just an awesome preacher. My husband thinks his sermons are THE BEST to listen to while running.)
"Christ-Centered Relationships" - Francis and Lisa Chan. Here's part one (of three).
What about you? What are your favorite resources that are helpful for marriage? Leave them in the comments (here or on the Facebook page) so we can all get more ideas.