One thing Josh and I did in our first year of marriage was read aloud to one another in the evening. This started during our premarital counseling, when our pastor had us read Sacred Marriage and Love and Respect prior to our ceremony. We loved one of those (not so much the other! I’ll let you guess which one) and it inspired us to find more books to help us along in our young marriage. I’m often asked for book recs for newlyweds, so here are ten books either Josh, myself, or both of us enjoyed.
With our five year anniversary coming up February 1st, 2019, we’re officially out of the newlywed stage. Even so, these books are a great read no matter where you’re at in your marriage journey.
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You and Me Forever by Francis Chan
I’ve talked about this book a lot because it was our personal favorite book on marriage. Josh and I love Francis Chan, have taught his Crazy Love study to our college students, and benefited greatly from this book. The picture of marriage through an eternal lens was so valuable to us in our early years. Get your copy here
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
This book challenged us, brought about deep questions and deeper conversations, and prepared us to say “I do”. It is a pleasant read, but it will definitely challenge your perspective of marriage and what it’s all about. I would give this to any engaged couple as required reading.
100 Ways to Love Your Husband/Wife by Matt and Lisa Jacobson
My dear friend and mentor Lisa Jacobson wrote this amazing book set with her husband Matt. They have the kind of marriage any young couple should want to imitate, which is a great sign when you’re reading their book! The books are simple: Each page has a practical tip for loving your husband and wife. These things range from “Be honest” to “Be strong for him” to “Don’t let fear hold you back” with a short explanation and a few intermittent devotional stories. This would be a great wedding gift!
The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller
I read this book before I was married. I was actually not even dating someone at the time! I remember, though, how Keller’s work transformed my view – giving me a better perspective of God’s intention for ALL relationships, marriage included. It challenged me in my friendships and I took those principles to marriage. I’m actually due for a re-read!
Click here to grab a copyhttps://amzn.to/2LMt8se
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Gregoire
I included some books about sex because not enough people mention this when discussing marriage books. I believe every couple should read a few books about sexuality in engagement and into early marriage. This one is written specifically to wives, and it doesn’t shy away from the tough topics. Highly recommend.
Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat
My favorite book on sexuality for married couples is actually this one, because our premarital counselor recommended it and we brought it on our honeymoon. It was helpful for troubleshooting a few “bedroom issues” we had on the trip, since it was our first time having sex together (and my first time in general). We read the book before our wedding and I re-read a few chapters on the honeymoon and first few months. It helped us immensely, and it’s from a Christian perspective.
The Love Dare
This is the book associated with the popular Christian movie Fireproof. I don’t suggest this as a replacement for your daily time in the Word by any means (it’s very light reading) but it made a nice read-through for us at bedtime, and shares daily “dares” to love one another well.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Though our love languages have changed from dating to marriage, this book has been SO helpful for understanding one another’s love languages: How we show and receive love. There are five “languages” the author suggests: Quality Time, Service, Gifts, Words of Affirmation, and Physical Touch. Josh and I are almost opposites, but over time we’ve acquired some similar traits – he is physical touch and I am gifts (I got a 0 for physical touch!), but we share a love for quality time. If you feel like your spouse doesn’t appreciate your efforts to show love to them, this is a must-read.
Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith
This is another book specific to wives. I honestly wasn’t going to buy it when I saw it at a work conference I was attending. I thought the title was silly. But I’ve read it twice and found it SO helpful to my personality. If you struggle with giving affection, this is a great but challenging read. What I love most are the practical steps she shares.
Okay, okay, I’m not going all “church lady” on you, but being in the Word itself is the best way to truly bring your marriage into unity and peace. If you need help getting into the Word on your own or together, here is a post about Bible study or join my free Bible study course on this page.
Here’s a link to a notetaker’s Bible similar to mine.