I was going to tell stories all week about the hilarious conversations Hubs and I have. But I promise this is what happened – I would be washing my hands and I would say “YES! That’s a good story!” Then I would finished washing my hands and grab a glass of water, and sit down at my computer and do you know what happened? Pregnancy brain. If you have never experienced this phenomenon, let me explain it to you. Basically your brain works normally and then all of the sudden BAM! it disappears and not just like “Oh, I will remember that later” kind of way, but in a I-just-woke-up-with-amnesia kind of way. It’s almost painful. At least it is for me. It’s too much. My brain hurts and it almost feels like it’s disintegrating.
I feel like I do the best when I have something concrete to work with. Concrete in my mind is good marriage resources. I think I might repeat them in my sleep. These are my favorites. I recommend them to people at nauseum. And I’m not even sorry about it.
1. Love and Respect – Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
He wrote an entire marriage book on Ephesians 5:33. Hubs told me that what he liked about was that he always felt like it was drilled at men to love their women better and to work harder at it and it was nice for him to see a resource where women were equally encouraged. And for me it was like “oh my goodness, I have a huge responsibility in this and I have a lot to do on my end.”
He breaks the book into 3 parts and I think the topics ranges from someone not in a relationship and how to approach marriage, to newlyweds, to young parents, to marriages in trouble, to people more experienced at marriage and absolutely everything in between. And what I might like the best about it is that it speaks to both husbands and wives, which honestly makes the most sense to me because husbands and wives should be on the same page in their approach to marriage, which I think this book is great for explaining.
2. Visionary Marriage – Dr. Rob Rienow
I am a HUGE fan of what Dr. Rienow puts out for families. (As a matter of fact, he just did a sale price on his books and I bought ALL of them and they are on Hubs’ Kindle, even though I’ve read most of them already…) First, I love that his approach is “I didn’t start out doing this perfectly but God placed it on my heart to be working on it and so I’m working on it [still] and want to share what I’ve learned”. It’s such a great perspective on how to approach married life – always a work in progress. I also love his 3 principles of what marriage was designed to look like from the Bible.
Other huge props go to Dr. Rienow for approaching family planning and suggesting other reads on Christian family planning (which I think needs to be addressed more in our churches and Bible studies, but that’s a different post for a different day…) Also, this is another great read for couples together.
BONUS – Dr. Rienow has a lot of writing about the Christian family (hence why I bought all of his books). Visionary Parenting is a GREAT read as well – applicable to marriage and parenting alike.
3. The Respect Dare – Nina Roesner
But I’m sure now that you are thinking “It’s great to have an approach but sometimes I need directions as to HOW” and this is a great resource for wives. [I can’t speak to resources for Husbands – I’m not a husband. And I don’t do research on the topic because I don’t think that I should go to my husband with a book and say “Here, you need to read this to be a better husband.” I truly believe that if I am being faithful to God’s call on me to be a good wife, that as much as He is working in my heart, He is also working on my husband’s heart to make changes that are part of His plans, not mine. That’s probably a different post for a different day too….]
What I love about this is that it’s a 40 day study that you can do by yourself or as a group. There is a great online support system and it really shows a HOW to respect your husband. I can honestly say that I was able to take a hard look at myself after reading #1 and knowing that we needed MORE respect in our marriage and implement her ideas to see real changes in myself and as a result, God has also worked on Hubs’ heart as well.
This is a movie, and it has a devotional and several books for couples. I have not read any of the books so I can’t speak to those. What I can speak to is the unique view point of marriage that is very different than what we see on our current modern media. It’s refreshing to see a husband pursue his wife in a biblical way even as she continues to reject him.
Dr. Eggerichs talks about being faithful to what God has placed before you to do as your role in the marriage – regardless of your spouse’s reaction and this film shows a man doing just that until he is able, with God’s help, to win over the heart of his wife.
LYW is a a marriage seminar. And before you role your eyes, it’s HILARIOUS. Like pee your pants, tears rolling down your face, FUNNY. And he covers everything about marriage – saving great sex for last to keep you coming back. Unless you see Rev. Gungor in person, you will see him in a video presentation, which you will watch Friday night and Saturday morning. And there will be well-trained facilitators to walk you through what you need to know.
What I love about this is that he approaches everything with humor – I literally know of a couple on the verge of a painful geographical separation which may lead to a divorce who said this made them really look at their marriage. I’m not saying it’s magical – I’m saying everyone can get into humor and appreciate what he is saying. (He also has great resources for teens about sex and relationships so high five there.)
Other marriage reads that I recommend but didn’t make the Top 5:
Courageous (movie) [probably more about fatherhood, but good husbands and good fathers usually share a number of qualities and should]
The Meaning of Marriage (I’m working on reading this one, but it’s very good so far)
**Disclaimer** All links on the numbered list are linked to the ministry website for you to look at. The links below are all to the book on amazon. I am not an affiliate. I do not get paid for these recommendations. All of these recommendations come from personal reading. All books have been purchased myself or received as gifts.