healthy marriage

How to Make a Marriage Work ~ 5 Must Read Books

I don’t know about you, but I know some days I feel like my husband and I are two ships passing in the night. And then, we get to get up and do it all over again the next morning! Each season of life presents it’s own challenges for maintain a strong, healthy marriage. Our current season includes two teenagers and and two aging moms. Having a healthy marriage is one defense to having a strong family!  So, we are always looking for ways on how to make a marriage work with whatever our new circumstances are!

Of course, having a healthy marriage is important whether you have kids or not. But, when you have a family, and maybe especially tweens & teens, it is important for them to see what a healthy marriage looks like and how to make a marriage work in all your different seasons. With our kids at the ages of puberty and thinking about getting into relationships of their own, we need to show them things like how to communicate.  How to say I’m sorry.  How to say no and set boundaries. And, how to show love and respect!

These are five of my favorite marriage and relationship books!


Favorite Healthy Marriage & Relationship Books

1. Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

While the Beatles may have thought all you need is love, Dr. Eggerichs know better.  A strong, healthy marriage needs both love and respect. This book started as a course that proved to be very effective in building strong bonds between husbands and wives. While most wives may need love to keep them connected to their husband, husbands need respect to connect with their wives.  Dr. Eggerichs works through the differences of this conundrum to help us keep our marriages strong and healthy!

2. The Five Languages of Apology by Gary Chapman

One aspect of being a good role model as a parent, is showing our kids that we all make mistakes.  And, when we makes mistakes we need to apologize!  We ask our kids to apologize all the time, but how often do we. They need to see us apologize in our marriage and to them!

Gary Chapman, the author of the Five Love Languages, has now come out with The Five Languages of Apology.  You’ll learn the five languages of apology:

  • Expressing regret
  • Accepting responsibility
  • Making restitution
  • Genuinely repenting
  • Requesting forgiveness”

3.  Boundaries by Henry Cloud

One of the really important lessons we need to teach our kids before they head out on their own is boundaries!  They need to know what their boundaries are and how to maintain them without coming across as unloving or mean.

“If you’ve ever wondered: Can I set limits and still be a loving person? How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? Why do I feel guilty when I consider setting boundaries? Unpacking the 10 laws of boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend give you biblically based answers to these and other tough questions, and show you how to set healthy boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, coworkers, and even with yourself.”


4.  10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage by David and Claudia Arp

A strong marriage makes for a strong family! 10 Great Dates not only gives you 10 great excuses to go on a date with your spouse, but give you great tools for your marriage to keep it healthy and alive!

“Do you remember early on, loving your spouse so much that your heart ached? Did you wonder what in the world could ever dampen your excitement? If you feel those emotions weakening, don’t resign to the notion it’s inevitable. That deep, soul-satisfying connection can (and will!) be yours again with this updated and expanded edition of 10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage, a proven plan to revive the awe and attraction that once kept you inseparable.

Think simple, fun, zero-pressure. This book walks you through tips and conversation prompts that will help you connect clearly and deeply, share openly and in safety, get back to that place of fun sex, process disappointments as a unified team, enjoy each other’s quirks once again, and create balance in today’s crazy-busy culture.”


5. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

This is a book I’ve had our whole 20 years of marriage.  I pull it out every time I feel like we’re out of sync or just not on the same page.  It helps me keep the right perspective and to focus on praying for my spouse for a whole month.  Intentional prayer for my spouse for a whole month! There are also Power of a Praying Mom, Husband and Woman.

How to Make a Marriage Work

Now I am no marriage expert and my advice is only from my worldview and perspective!  But, having been down this road for almost 20 years, I do know a couple of things.  So, here’s my few tips on how to make a marriage work and stay strong!

  1.  Communication!!  I’m sure you know this, but talking with your spouse is really important!  And, don’t just talk about the “big” stuff.  Talk about it all. Hope, dreams, retirement, vacation – all of it!
  2. Pray!  Pray for your spouse on a very regular basis.  And, make sure they pray for you.
  3. Date!  It’s so easy, especially when kids come along, to forget about going on dates with your spouse.  But, having that time alone is really important.  Dates don’t need to be anything major, and they don’t even need to be away from home.  But, you do need to have regular time away from everyone else so you can enjoy each other.
  4. Laugh! Laughter is such an important piece of our marriage.  We’re not laughing at each other, but with each other (important difference!!).  As life goes on, you will go through a lot of hard times. By keeping humor in your relationship, it helps relieve stress during the tough times!

Your Tips

So, I’d love to hear your tips on how to make a marriage work? How long have you been married and what are some of your tips??  Share in the comments!


how to make a marriage work


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