marriage books make great gifts

I get requests of all sorts—what a privelege when someone trusts us enough to ask for suggested books on (as we answered today) sexuality; on preaching; on excellent practices of clergy; on recommendations for someone in business; on eating disorders. Thanks for asking, thanks for the trust; books can really help others and it is a privelege to be in this work. And thanks for the business. Beats selling The Christmas Shoes if you know what I mean…
One e-mail friend wanted to get his soon-to-be-married buddy a marriage devotional. I thought you might like to see my brief, e-mailed response. Of course there are oodles of other good books on marriage, and several more we would recommend for others, in other situations. For this customer, these seemed right. Maybe you can hum Santa Baby or something and think about your loved one. Call us quick.

Thanks for writing. It is always good to hear from you. Glad you are giving a book as a gift—way to go! And thanks for asking for our input. Here’s the thing about marriage devotionals. Most are fairly shallow, it seems to me. If a couple wants to read a book together about marriage, there are more useful and wiser ones than the devotionals. Or, if they want a devotional, there are better and more mature ones than the marriage ones. So I can recommend a few, but wasn’t sure that was really what you wanted. So I thought I’d just list a couple of wonderful books on marriage that would make sweet gifts. We gift wrap, too, you know. Let us know what you think.
As For Me and My House: Crafting Your Marriage to Last Walter Wangerin (Nelson Publishing) $13.99 This really is one of our all time favorites! Well written, very moving, this pastor tells of his own friendship with his wife, his need for improved communication, etc. Beautifully written, insightful, wise. Highly recommended.

The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason (Multnomah) $12.99 This is another absolute favorite that we always recommend. Again, it isn’t just a practical guide, but it is written out of longing to think about marriage spiritually. Mason was quite content being a solitary guy, rather deep and contemplative (almost like a monk!) Still, he was called to marriage, and he wrote this wondrous, reflective meditation on the deeper meaning of it all. Sweet. The great Reformed writer J.I. Packer, who I know you like, wrote the forward, highly commending it! Nothing like it!
Each for the Other: Marriage as it’s Meant to Be Bryan Chapell (Baker) $12.99 Finally out in paperback, Chapell is a great communicator, well known as the president of Covenant Theological Seminary (PCA.) His really is a marvelous treatment, combining solid Biblical teaching and practical instruction. There is a chapter just for husbands, another just for wives, but most of it is essential reading for all.
Intimate Mystery: Creating Strength and Beauty in Your Marriage Tremper Longman & Dan Allandar (IVP) $15.00 This is a great study, really nicely done, by these two guys who were influenced (every early one) by the CCO. Longman is a great Bible scholar, Allandar and solid Christian psychologist. There are study guides, a DVD, and it is excellent for couples or for small groups. The book stands alone, though, and is very insightful, with their profound worldview pretty evident, making this really nice.
Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts Les & Leslie Parrott (Zondervan) $19.99 This is perfect not only for pre-marital folks but for anybody in their first few years of marriage. Exceptionally practical, really clear psychological principles, good inventories to help you know yourself, your style of relating, etc. There is a workbook just for men, another just for wives. Nice but it isn’t terribly Biblical or theological.
Devotions for Sacred Marriage Gary Thomas (Zondervan) $14.99 This is a great devotional, designed to supplement his book, Sacred Marriage. Thomas is a great writer, rather contemplative, but happily quite practical. We like his book a lot (he has one called Sacred Parenting, too, and a devotional to go with that, as well) and we are impressed with his solid, theological underpinnings. Good stuff!
The Love List Les and Leslie Parrott (Zondervan) $14.99 This is very cool: something that they recommend you do as a couple once a year; something once a month; something once a week; something once a day. I hate easily 1-2-3-step plans, but this is just too nice not to mention. Delightful and, frankly, pretty smart.
Falling into Love: How the Average Guy Got the Girl of His Dreams Ned Erickson (Relevant Books) $11.99 A young a hip story of a romance and marriage. This isn’t as made-in-heaven glory story, but it isn’t a tragic story of break-up and heartache, either. It is just a funny, ordinary, goofy memoir of a real couple, who really found God’s help to stick together through thick, thin and all manner of weirdness. Not the most inspirational theological work, but it is solid, Christian discipleship, making do, in Christ, with our real-world selves. Thanks be for fun books like this.

2 thoughts on “marriage books make great gifts

  1. You may want to add the book “Love and Respect” by Emmerson Eggerich. Maybe the top biblical marriage book of the Decade. Biblical, Insightful, Impactful, relationally changing!

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