Table of Contents
- The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy and Kathy Keller.
It is perhaps the best book on marriage I have ever read. The author clearly paints a picture of the current American view on marriage and then counters it with God’s Word on marriage. “The new conception of marriage as self-realization has put us in a position of wanting too much out of marriage and yet not nearly enough – at the same time.” “A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low or no maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you.” Keller digs into what love really looks like, and how true love will make both spouses more holy, not simply more happy. Another intriguing part of the book was a discussion on how much each individual changes within a marriage. That person you married actually becomes at times a stranger whom you need to learn how to love. It is a book I am buying for my boys, and would recommend to anyone wanting a fresh and biblical view of marriage. Warren Janzen
I highly recommend this book, even to those who aren't married and to those whose marriages are healthy and not in need of any immediate positive input. The reason why this book is so good is that it covers a number of issues that aren't always covered in standard marriage books. Keller provides a thorough analysis of the current secular perspective on male/female relationships and why, it seems, that marriage is despised by so many in Western culture today. He debunks many of the myths propagated by anti-marriage proponents using clear Biblical teaching combined with current research. Keller also handles the “controversial” marriage passages with scholarly responsibility and Scriptural fidelity. And, writing with his wife, Keller provides more than a single-gender understanding to most questions. The book is also written in such a way that it would benefit MKs who are thinking about male/female relationships. Keller's pastoral experience can serve as a guide in helping teens think rightly about those relationships in light of marriage. If you are looking for a relevant and powerful book on marriage, please pick up this one and enjoy. Eric Oldenburg
- Communication: Key to Your Marriage: A Practical Guide to Creating a Happy, Fulfilling Relationship by H. Norman Wright. Recommended by Richard Sanders. “A very practical description of how different personality traits (mainly based on DISC and extrovert/introvert) impact a marriage relationship and really all relationships. Lots of stories and real life illustrations. Excellent read!”
- Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy by Gary Thomas. Recommended by Scott Powell, in his MOP session on “Marriage in a Cross-cultural setting”.
- Love & Respect:The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs. Love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man. Research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts unlovingly when feeling disrespected, and a wife reacts disrespectfully when feeling unloved. We asked 7,000 people the question, “When you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected?” 83% of the men said “disrespected” and 72% of the women said “unloved.” Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict, and this difference is as different as pink is from blue!
Other resources on marriage
- The Anatomy of an Affair. by Dr. Wayne Mack. The chain of events that happen before adultery actually takes place.
- Missionary Marriage: Computer Sex or Me. recommended by the IO for all SEND missionaries
- At the Love and Respect website, you can find videos, podcasts, other books and a blog by Emerson & Sarah Eggerichs about love and respect in marriage and family.
Two articles recommended by Lisa G.
- Preparing Missionary Couples for Cultural Stress by Sue Eenigenburg
Gilmer and Julie Paden strongly recommend MarriageTeam, an organization that uses coaching, rather than counselling to help strengthen marriages and deal with marital conflicts. The Padens write:
It is marriage coaching, not counseling. Traditionally it would look like this- a couple would sign up to go through coaching, they are matched up with marriage coaches in their area and would meet once a week for a few hours for 9 to 12 weeks. They have amazing material that would take a couple through all kinds of different aspects of the relationship and marriage. Although we are now considered coaches, we ourselves would love to go back and take the full nine-week program once we get to the field and have the time to invest in it.
They have adapted this for Skype or some kind of online video chatting so it can be available for people in different areas, including overseas. They also work with Josiah Venture in their conferences, offering a few sessions to each missionary couple, plus training people in their organization to be coaches and then using their materials when needed. They have overwhelming feedback saying the coaching was so much more valuable than counseling sessions.