Your best marriage books

(Jay Simon) #1

I’m looking for suggestions for a book to read through with a family member who has reached out for counsel on marriage problems. They seem interested in working through some book/material together.

Background so you know who we’re working with: Professing Christian couple, poorly discipled. Recently married at 30ish, now have an infant daughter. 2nd marriage for him (1st wife an adulterer, no kids). He was raised small-town PCUSA, she was basically unchurched and converted through college ministry. No current church home, their tiny PCUSA is going belly up (no pastor, mostly women in pulpit, they stopped attending and are kind of searching). Claim to want a biblical marriage, but (unsurprisingly) struggling. We live an hour apart, so face to face meetings might be infrequent.

Our church does the Exemplary Husband & Excellent Wife combo a lot, but I figured I’d go to the place where people have opinions on such things :wink::grin:

(Kara Hobbs) #2

The Excellent Wife and Exemplary Husband are great places to start. We just finished doing them as men’s/women’s studies in our small SBC church, and I was a little surprised at how challenging they were for even mature Christians with happy marriages. They do a good job building a foundation of Biblical principles for marriage even for those with little background in it. The only things I don’t love about them is that they can sometimes be redundant and wooden. There are other great books on marriage (including Douglas Wilson’s Reforming Marriage) but for books to work through together The Excellent Wife/Exemplary Husband are excellent.

(Jay Simon) #3

Thanks Kara. My wife and I benefitted much when we went through Exemplary/Excellent with other couples in our church, led by our elders. I will keep them near the top of my list. I love that you brought up Reforming Marriage. I’ve not read it yet, but it’s the one I was leaning towards and I have it in front of me right now.

(Nathan Smith) #4

I don’t have pastoral training… But I like When Sinners Say I Do. It drives in the idea that we are sinners and need forgiveness from God and each other. I think it’s a good start for when there are general problems and where do you go? How do you start putting things back together? Start with the gospel. I like Wilson’s Federal Husband also but I probably wouldn’t start there. I haven’t read Reforming Marriage in probably twelve years, but it’s probably still good.

(Jamie Dickson) #5

Married for God by Christopher Ash. My wife and I read it with an older couple before we got married - it’s simple but very good.

(Jay Simon) #6

Thanks, I don’t believe I know that book or author. I will check it out.

(Jamie Dickson) #7

It’s maybe not made it across the pond. Here’s a link to read more about it -

(Jay Simon) #8

Helpful, thanks Nathan. I might even have a copy of that book somewhere. I have doubts about the veracity of this couple’s faith, so I’m thankful to have the marriage of Christ and the Church as my foundation. This will be the best gospel conversation I’ve had with them, Lord willing.

(Jay Simon) #9

I found it on Amazon. I’m liking what I see so far, so I’ll probably pick up a copy.

(Christopher Preston) #10

Reforming Marriage is quite good… another I would highly recommend would be Domestical Duties, by William Gouge (1622)… reprinted as Building a Godly Home in three volumes… really excellent

(Joe B.) #11

That Hideous Strength AMIRITE? @sbaker @jacob.mentzel @nathanalberson @bschasteen

[tried to poast link to Bookening episodes but the icon was ridiculous big so search the bookening archives for it]

(Nathan Smith) #12

I almost posted THS as well. It was wonderfully helpful for me. I was surprised the Bookening had a similar take. It’s so atypical to put a wierd sci-fi-ish novel in a conversation about marriage books. I’ve never been able to ‘sell it’ to friends.

(Jake) #13

More like the Bookening episodes on THS are the best book on marriage. :wink:

(Jay Simon) #14

I’ve only caught a couple episodes of the Bookening, but I suppose I have time to get into it now with no SOS episodes to listen to :laughing::rofl: