Over my years in the ministry, I’ve taught many marriage preparation classes. From time to time, I’ve also counseled couples with marriage problems. In my preaching, I’ve had many opportunities to speak about marriage. Besides all that, I’ve been married myself for what’s going on to 23 years. All these things give me a vested interest in good books about marriage. I’ve read a few. Almost all of them have something worthwhile, but there are some that really stand out. Here are my top three, in order of importance, first to third:
When Sinners Say “I Do”
Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage
by Dave Harvey
190 pages / 2007
This one tops the list because of the author’s relentless focus on the gospel. Written in a warm, personal style, Dave Harvey helps couples come to terms with the biggest problem that all marriages face and the solution to this problem. Along with some of the other topics one would expect in a marriage book, he also discusses one you don’t often encounter: death. If you’re going to read just one book about marriage, make it this one.
Strengthening Your Marriage
by Wayne Mack
208 pages / 1999
Are you ready to get to work on your marriage? Then this is the book you’re looking for. It’s not just a review of biblical teaching about marriage, but a very practical workbook. It contains a variety of exercises for husbands and wives to complete. The idea is that they would be done with a pastor or counsellor, but certainly couples could benefit from doing them on their own too. I use Wayne Mack’s book Preparing for Marriage God’s Way for my marriage preparation classes and I appreciate his biblical approach.
Each for the Other
Marriage As It’s Meant To Be
by Bryan Chapell with Kathy Chapell
224 pages / 2006
I really like this one for three reasons. One is that it includes the perspective of a woman. Another is that it has great stories and illustrations to drive home the points of the authors. Finally, I value the clear explanations and applications of biblical submission and headship. This book also includes discussion questions to go with each chapter.
Dr. Wes Bredenhof is the pastor of the Free Reformed Church at Launceston, Tasmania and blogs at Bredenhof.ca.