Are you seriously dating or recently engaged? Do you have questions regarding marriage and where God fits into the big equation? Or perhaps you think you and your significant other have it all figured out. No matter where you are in your relationship with God or your partner I truly believe there is much to be learned before you say “I do”. With that being said, I’ve compiled a list of 5 books every couple should read before marriage!
Reading is one of the things my husband, Drew, and I love to do, separately and together. We believe reading is a great way to learn crucial concepts, revisit forgotten ideas, and ultimately grow. God designed us to grow in many ways, particularly in spirit and mind, not simply to mature in age. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” 1 Corinthians 13:11, New International Version (NIV).
Below I’ve shared a few books I recommend to help strengthen and develop your bond before you walk down the aisle. Reading, along with premarital counseling, many crucial conversations, and a sound foundation in God should set you up for success. And regardless of how much preparation you have before marriage, you and your spouse will still have to work at your relationship every single day in order for it to be successful. However, centering your relationship around Christ is a foundational first step in the right direction.
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Matt Chandler helps singles, married couples, and those in between navigate sex, intimacy, and love against the backdrop of our counter-Christian culture. He beautifully walks the reader through the many stages of a relationship from the initial attraction to after the “I do’s” with the help of Solomon and his biblical example.
This book is great for women and men regardless of their relationship status. Chandler does a great job relating Songs of Solomon to the seasons everyone goes through as they cultivate serious relationships. I loved his honest, practical approach to marriage God’s way. As a couple, we’ve put some of his advice into practice in his own relationship, especially the principle of “fighting fair”.
Devon Franklin and Meagan Good candidly share personal experiences of dating prior to their courtship and during as they navigate the waters of celibacy, courtship, and putting God first in their lives. The Wait gives readers a glimpse at the relationship you can have when you give God the reigns and patiently wait for His best.
While Drew and I were dating we read this book. It put a lot of things into perspective and really made us take a hard look at the intimate parts of our relationship. Was our sexual relationship obstructing God’s plans for us? Could we commit to celibacy and would it be worth the delayed gratification? The heartfelt testimony of Devon Franklin and Meagan Good encouraged us to explore a deeper relationship focused on truly getting to know one another while striving to stay out of the bedroom.
“Most people today view marriage as a means of looking for love, happiness, and fulfillment. Make no mistake about it, those things are important. Those things are critical. They are just not the most critical.”
What is a happy marriage in God’s eyes? Tony Evans helps the reader distinguish God’s purpose for marriage and how we can use it to honor Him while advancing your relationship in positive, healthy ways.
This book really helped us understand why God created marriage. God creates everything for His glory, and that includes the creation of you, your significant other, and your holy union. Evan’s really helped us get to the heart of why we were getting married, and although we love each other, that wasn’t the main reason. Drew and I strive to use our marriage to honor God, help each other walk in our purpose, and become better children of God.
Gary Chapman lays out what the 5 love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Service. What is your love language? What is your significant other’s love language? Learn to speak your spouses love language, why it’s so crucial to your relationship and the beauty of being loved the way you receive love best.
This was the first book we read together as a couple. My love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch. Andrew’s love languages are acts of service and quality time. Knowing this information has been crucial to our relationship. We are aware of how to love one another and can show that love. While showing love to each other doesn’t come naturally to us in these ways, we choose to love one another every day. I think the deliberate act of loving someone, especially when it’s hard is a prime example of Christ-like love.
Gary Chapman gives an honest account of the rocky start to his marriage and knowledge he acquired over time. Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married is a wonderful book to equip you and your spouse for a lasting marriage and encourage the crucial conversations to be had before tying the knot.
This is one of my favorite books on the list. Gary Chapman gives wonderful advice on how to deal with everything from household chores to in-laws. We thought we had addressed the majority of topics couples need to discuss before marriage, but boy were we wrong. Apology languages, personality differences, and family dynamics were just some of the areas we needed to delve into more as we planned our nuptials.
I hope you and your significant other take the time to read some or all of these books before pledging your love to one another before God. Marriage is work; in these pages, it’s my hope that you’ll find strategies, motivation, and God’s word to help see you through.
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