Having a great marriage requires effort and investment. My husband and I have been married for twelve years. Within those twelve years, we’ve experienced all the highs and lows that go with a tenured relationship.
We have been teaching and ministering other couples regarding marriage for several years. We’ve been on and led Marriage Encounters, taught bible studies on marriage, and had to be creative with cheap and no cost date nights. We’ve also read lots of books to help us learn how to communicate with and love one another effectively.
The first book we read and has been the foundation of much of our marriage success is The Five Love Languages, which I previously wrote about here. From the many books we have read we believe these five books, in addition to The Five Love Languages, are essential to help couples learn about the five essential relationship needs: Spiritual Dependence, Effective Communication, Gratifying Sexual Intimacy, Clarity of Finances, and Purposeful Prayer.
Spiritual Dependence on God: Sacred Marriage
Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas, invites you to view marriage as a spiritual discipline. He proposes that marriage is less about making you happy and more to make you holy. He puts heavy importance on the need for spiritual dependence on God. Marriage was designed as a way to help us come to know God more fully and intimately. Sacred Marriage will most certainly change you and how you view your marriage.
Effective Communication: Love and Respect
Love and Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, exposes a wife’s one driving need: to feel loved and husband’s one driving need: to feel respected. When neither of these needs is met by the other, things get crazy. Love and Respect reveals why bad communication causes spouses to react negatively to one other and how to deal with such conflict quickly, easily, and biblically.
Gratifying Sexual Intimacy: Red Hot Monogamy
Red Hot Monogamy highlights the trademark insight and humor, authors Bill and Pam Farrel are known for. It uncovers truths about the sexual relationship in marriage revealing what husbands and wives need to know to keep (or begin) a sexual relationship that is gratifying and exciting. The Farrels present difficult-to-discuss topics and biblical truths about the truest pleasures of the sexual relationship within marriage with sensitivity, fun, and understanding.
Clarity of Finances: 8 Important Money Decisions for Every Couple
Russ Crosson helps you discover how to achieve economic harmony in your marriage – no matter your financial situation. He offers insights into money and its impact on your relationship. Russ makes a case for the purpose of clarity of finances and the specific areas fiscal management where conflict usually occurs. Some of the topics include: working too much, why wives look for employment, the problem of debt, making sound investments, wise giving, and understanding insurance.
Purposeful Prayer: Couples Who Pray — The Most Intimate Act Between Man and Woman
Couples Who Pray focuses on the most intimate act between a man and a woman; purposeful prayer. Praying daily with the one person you love more than any other takes you to a level of joy and satisfaction that you simply will not believe until you try it. Authors Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt were amazed by the happiness, harmony, and purpose this simple act brought to their relationship. This book includes a 40 Day Prayer Challenge to help launch you and your spouse into the intimate relationship you always wanted.
Let me know if you have read any of these or other books that have helped your marriage reach it’s potential.