Seeking out the best premarital books is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your upcoming marriage. According to Brides.com the average American couple spends one year planning and preparing for their wedding. While the wedding celebration is an exciting, special, and memorable time that one day event typically gets far more attention and preparation than the main event, the marriage.
I have put together a list of some of the best premarital counseling books currently in circulation. However, these books would also be a great benefit to married couples as well. These premarital books will assist you in building a strong foundation for a great marriage.
Married Life For Christian Couples
Every engaged couple is seeking to have happy marriage and the best way to achieve that goal is through committing to do the work necessary.
This Premarital Counseling Toolkit will lead you and your partner through a few simple exercises to help you learn to communicate, establish expectations, proactively prepare for tough situations, and build a strong foundation for your marriage.
Discloser Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert By John Gottman Ph.D
I highly recommend this book to every couple that is engaged to be married. Gottman has published a great book that is filled with quality, research backed, information to help you build a healthy marriage. This book, as well as the next one I will list, are two that I gift to anyone I know who is preparing for their first year of marriage.
John Gottman has forty years of experience researching thousands of couples on the topic of marriage. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work covers several important topics and in my opinion is a must read for anyone looking to build a strong relationship.
From The Publisher:
“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work has revolutionized the way we understand, repair, and strengthen marriages. John Gottman’s unprecedented study of couples over a period of years has allowed him to observe the habits that can make—and break—a marriage. Here is the culmination of that work: the seven principles that guide couples on a path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship.
Straightforward yet profound, these principles teach partners new approaches for resolving conflicts, creating new common ground, and achieving greater levels of intimacy. Gottman offers strategies and resources to help couples collaborate more effectively to resolve any problem, whether dealing with issues related to sex, money, religion, work, family, or anything else.
Packed with new exercises and the latest research out of the esteemed Gottman Institute, this revised edition of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.”
Everything from conflict resolution, to your sex life, to taking out the trash. Gary Chapman shares practical advice and important questions for your upcoming Christian marriage.
Family counselor Gary Chapman addresses several of the common issues that you will face with your future spouse. I believe this is one of the best marriage books as well as a great tool to help you build a good foundation for a lasting marriage.
From The Publisher:
“Bestselling author and marriage counselor, Gary Chapman, hopes to change that with his newest book. Gary, with more than 35 years of counseling couples, believes that divorce is the lack of preparation for marriage and the failure to learn the skills of working together as intimate teammates.
So he put together this practical little book, packed with wisdom and tips that will help many develop the loving, supportive and mutually beneficial marriage men and women long for. It’s the type of information Gary himself wished he had before he got married.
This is not a book simply to be read. It is a book to be experienced. The material lends itself to heart-felt discussions by dating or engaged couples. To jump-start the exchanges, each short chapter includes insightful “Talking it Over” questions and suggestions. And, the book includes information on interactive websites as well as books that will enhance the couples experience.
Dr. Chapman even includes a thought-provoking appendix. By understanding and balancing the five key aspects of life, dating couples can experience a healthy dating relationship. A revealing learning exercise for dating couples is included at the end.”
Christian Marriage Books
Understanding the true meaning of marriage as a believer in Christ is the first step towards creating a committed relationship that will stand the test of time.
With the current divorce rates it is to be expected a family therapist or religious leader in your life may encourage you and the love of your life to attend a few premarital counseling sessions. Pre-marital counseling may feel intimidating. If you have any concerns about the premarital counseling process I encourage you to download my free Premarital Counseling Toolkit.
This free resource is a great start towards pre-marital counseling. It will give you an idea of what to expect without having to pay a family therapist or marriage counselor.
In regards to a good marriage I feel that I would be remiss to not mention the greatest marriage counseling book of all time.
The Holy Bible
Any copy of The Bible will be a wonderful edition to your home.
I enjoy this MacArthur Study Bible but again you will benefit greatly from any Bible that you choose.
Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? By Gary Thomas
A friend from college originally recommended this book to me after I had been married. Gary Thomas illustrates how God uses marriage as well as some of the ways that your marriage can help to grow your relationship with Christ.
Sacred Marriage is a wonderful book for both newlyweds and the seasoned married couple alike.
From The Publisher:
“In Sacred Marriage, bestselling author Gary Thomas uncovers the ways that your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God and with each other. Join over one million others who have already uncovered Thomas’s tips for fostering a sacred marriage.
Within the pages of Sacred Marriage, Thomas invites you to see how God can use your relationship with your spouse as a discipline and a motivation to love God more and reflect more of the character of his Son.
In addition to life-changing insights from Scripture, church history, and time-tested wisdom from Christian classics, you’ll find practical advice and techniques to make your marriage happier by becoming holier husbands and wives.
Thomas reveals that sacred marriages teach us to love God and others well by fostering a healthy sex life, a strong prayer life, and a rich spiritual life. God uses our marriages to help us grow in character, in prayer, in worship, and in service–we just have to recognize that the purpose of marriage is holiness, not happiness.
Each copy also includes thought-provoking discussion questions designed to spark conversation between couples and small groups, allowing you to dive deeper into the lessons that Thomas shares in Sacred Marriage.
Join the one million others who have already started on their journey to transforming their relationship with their spouses and with their Creator.”
The Great Sex Rescue: The Lies You’ve Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended By Sheila Wray Gregoire
If you, like me, grew up during the huge purity movement that took place in the church during the 90’s then I would say that this book is an absolute must read. Many couples hold onto a lot of shame, embarrassment, misunderstanding, and trauma when it comes to sex and sexual intimacy.
God wants us to have a healthy and fun sexual relationship with our spouse but that can be difficult to reach if your past is filled with hurt, regret, or pain around sex. This book is great to read together as a couple or individually.
From The Publisher:
“What if it’s not your fault that sex is bad in your marriage?
Based on a groundbreaking in-depth survey of 22,000 Christian women, The Great Sex Rescue unlocks the secrets to what makes some marriages red hot while others fizzle out. Generations of women have grown up with messages about sex that make them feel dirty, used, or invisible, while men have been sold such a cheapened version of sex, they don’t know what they’re missing. The Great Sex Rescue hopes to turn all of that around, developing a truly biblical view of sex where mutuality, intimacy, and passion reign.
The Great Sex Rescue pulls back the curtain on what is happening in Christian bedrooms and exposes the problematic teachings that wreck sex for so many couples–and the good teachings that leave others breathless. In the #metoo and #churchtoo era, not only is this book a long overdue corrective to church culture, it is poised to free thousands of couples from repressive and dissatisfying sex lives so that they can experience the kind of intimacy and wholeness God intended.”
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex: Creating a Marriage That’s Both Holy and Hot By Sheila Wray Gregoire
The Good Girl’s Guide To Great Sex is similar to the previous book, and written by the same author, but it is directed specifically to women. Many women in the church grow up with a lot of pressure and expectation for what it means to be “good” and in many cases sex is seen as very taboo.
If you have spent the majority of your life being told that having sex is bad it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to make a mental leap to believing that sex is good now that you are married. Shelia Gregoire shares so beautifully on this topic and helps you to understand how great, fun, and fulfilling sex can be.
From The Publisher:
“Are you wondering if there’s more to your sex life than the status quo? Or maybe you have questions about your upcoming marriage that aren’t exactly appropriate for the rehearsal dinner? This edition of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex from tell-it-like-it-is blogger and speaker Sheila Wray Gregoire has been completely updated and expanded to include new research from surveys of more than twenty-five thousand people. With humor, stories, and highly practical ideas.”
Many people both inside and outside of the church have heard about the 5 love languages in some capacity. Gary Chapman does an amazing job in this book of explaining the different ways that each person gives and receives love.
Communication is vitally important to your marriage and understanding how to best communication your love, affection, and appreciate to your spouse is a big part of that. This book will help you to do just that.
From The Publisher:
“Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge. How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?
In the #1 New York Times international bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.
The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.
Includes the Couple’s Personal Profile assessment so you can discover your love language and that of your loved one“
As you can see TABLETOPICS is not a book but I just could not put together this list of amazing resources without sharing about it. These conversation starters come in several different categories for couples, families, children, teens, and more. You will not regret having this little box!
I know that I sound like a broken record when I say how important it is that you are your spouse learn healthy communication. But I cannot help myself because it truly is of the upmost importance. These fun little tools will aid you in your communication.
It can be all to common to get into a routine of doing the same things over and over. Before you know it you will only be talking about work, the weather, and the children. Pulling out a card at dinner time to prompt you will help you avoid any communication ruts. Plus it is a lot of fun to discuss topics you may not have thought of yourself and to learn new things about this person you love so much.
Money disagreements are the second leading cause of divorce.
Therefore, getting on the same page about your finances is paramount for creating a long lasting marriage. Dave Ramsey’s resources have been a favorite of thousands. Learning skills for how to best manage your money, get/stay out of debt, and set yourself up for the future will also contribute to the overall happiness in your marriage.