Books have been helping to connect people for centuries. Whether the books themselves are based on faith, fictional endeavors, or featured history, they all have one thing in common...they help us to connect. They help us to understand each other, and grow, and learn more about this world of ours. Books are incredible tools and resources that we utilize in our schools, in our professions, and in our travels. So why wouldn't we use them as a tool or resource in our marriage? In fact, we are doing a giveaway for our Forever Brides to help give you the tools you need to succeed!
Our marriage is the single-most important relationship that we will have on this earth. Yes, even above our own relationship with our parents, or grandparents, or our children. It's important to connect with our spouses on a daily basis. Yet, sometimes between the work schedules, running the kids to soccer practice, and enjoying a social life with friends, it's a bit of a stretch to even have a second to truly be with one another.
Finding a tool to help you connect as a married couple on a daily basis will help you both to feel grounded and to find yourselves once again on the same page. Books can be that exact tool. Reading a book requires quiet time and attentive minds. Which means a little bit of alone time for the two of you, away from any distractions, away from your work emails, away from the kids. It's just the two of you and a book that will inspire you to be better spouses, to learn more about each other, and to connect on an even deeper level.
Below, we have created a list of some of our favorite marriage/relationship books for you to check out! We have found these books to be inspiring and life-changing. With personal experience, we can confidently say that these books brought us wisdom, insight, and so much growth to our marriages. We hope they do the same for you!
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
This book covers over five languages in accordance to what makes our partners and ourselves feel the most loved. For some of us, we feel loved when our spouse takes time out of their day to spend solely with us. While others feel most appreciated when they receive a well thought out gift. Each of us feel loved differently, and there's no shame in that. There are no correct answers. It's about finding out how you feel loved, recognizing that, and appreciating how your partner feels loved, and recognizing that as well. Once you know how a person feels loved, you can implement their love languages into how you show appreciation and affection towards them. This book by Gary Chapman is a sharply insightful read that any couple, from any background can benefit from.
You and Me Forever by Francis Chan & Lisa Chan
Francis & Lisa Chan are a power couple, who wrote this truth-filled book in the most eloquent way. This book challenges you to think of marriage in a Christian light, as something greater than just you and your spouse. It chats about how your marriage goes beyond so much further than just the two of you, and as the book states, "Your marriage is great, but it's not forever". It comes down to focus, and to where our sights are set. Personally, this book challenged me, it challenged my spouse, and it reminded us of who we are and what this marriage - at it's depths - truly means.
The Argument-Free Marriage by Fawn Weaver
What we love off the bat is the straight forward title. Who wishes for a marriage free of arguments and those awful silent treatments? Our hands are raised high! Even if you find yourselves in a marriage where your arguments are at a minimum, learning how to effectively deal with conflict is an incredible tool to have and will still grow you in ways that you wouldn't imagine. This book brings you to your goal of having truly productive - instead of counteractive - discussions by spreading the task out over 28 days. Essentially, only one month till you're on your way to living a healthier, enhanced marriage even when you find yourselves in the messiest of times.
Loveology by John Mark Comer
This book can be appreciated by those who are single, or by engaged couples, and married couples. It takes us back to the infamous story of Adam and Eve, and how ever since we've been struggling to get marriage just right. The tone is gracious, and rooted in scripture. The goal of the book is a read to enjoy, and to ultimately gain a vast amount of insight on sexuality and relationships. We enjoyed the entire thing, but we found the Q & A's to be incredibly interesting and thought-provoking. It's a wonderful read that will allow you to learn about the christian scripture-rooted perspectives from the author, and to be able to chat together about those perspectives.
Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
Knowing boundaries and setting boundaries are two separate tasks. This book emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries within your marriage, within your friendships, and within the relationships with your families. There are times when having to set these healthy boundaries will be a task for you both to tackle together. This book will give you the tools of how to tackle them, set them, and thrive long after they have been established.
TIPS ON HOW TO START READING & HOW TO STICK WITH IT
1. Read a book you're both excited to read!
Make a date out of it. Head to the local bookstore, or cuddle up with a blanket on the couch and surf Amazon. If any of the books above excite the two of you, great! If not, keep searching until one does excite the two of you. It's important that you both are engaged in the topic at hand in order to maximize the results!
2. Pick one or two books a year!
Unless of course you're both bookworms, then keep on readin'! We say only one or two books per year so that you & your spouse don't feel overwhelmed or feel like you have homework to do. It should be an enjoyable time with one another as you grow, not a rushed race to finish as many books as you can. If you have time, the honeymoon is the perfect time for a little reading & relaxing!
3. Set a time of day to read together!
Again, it's important that you're engaged in the readings, and that you're not peeking up at the clock because you need to rush out the door for work or your son's baseball game. Setting a time where there will be no distractions, no rushes, and hopefully minimal kiddos around will be important in order to truly keep attentive and soak in all of the goodness that you're reading.
4. Be open to new ideas & soak in the ones that hit home!
It's inevitable that you'll probably find a few ideas that you don't necessarily agree with that are mentioned within the books you choose. That doesn't mean that there's not something good to be found within the pages, keep going, learn from the new mindsets, and soak in the ideas that really hit home for how you want to enhance your marriage.
5. Enjoy the process!
Reading books that are "self-help" or life changers are downright wonderful. We are thankful for them every single day. However, things won't change swiftly overnight. Remember to keep perspective in mind, and to remind yourselves how far you've come each time you hit a milestone.