The following is a post from Joyce at Keeping Up With the Moys.
The back-to-school ads are out, and despite the fact that summer actually ends in mid-September, summer break ends soon for most of the kids in our lives. Whether your kids are in public or private school, or you homeschool or unschool, we all have to agree that this whole ‘learning’ thing never really ends. From elementary school to college, and from job training to workshops, if you really want to ‘master’ anything, you need to study and continue learning.
It is the same way in our marriages. We can’t expect that once we say, “I do” we automatically know how to be a great husband or a great wife. So, let’s go back to school and take a look at a “beginner’s” course on marriage.
Welcome to Marriage 101! While I will be your facilitator for this course, the syllabus is flexible. Choose your own instructors and textbooks, but make sure you complete the assignments for a good grade.
Take the Marriage Mission Statement that you have created to find resources that will guide you in building a healthy marriage.
Find an older couple whose marriage you respect. This could be a pastor and his wife, maybe a woman in your women’s ministry and her husband…perhaps even your own parents or in-laws (or maybe not… :p). Or maybe what you really need is a marriage counselor. Your “instructors” can help you along to grow in your own journey as a couple.
With so much information out there, it can be overwhelming to find the right book to read. You need to find the right one for you based on your Marriage Mission Statement. Do you need to pray more for one another? Maybe you need ideas for date nights. What has helped other marriages to grow? Read stories from couples who have been through challenges and made it through.
Here is list of some books that I have read and liked, or are reading right now/soon (from friend’s recommendations):
- Love Talk by Les and Leslie Parrott
- The Time-Starved Marriage by Les and Leslie Parrott
- Praying God’s Word for Your Husband by Kathi Lipp
- Your Marriage Masterpiece: God’s Amazing Design for Your Life Together by Al Janssen
- Fit to be Tied by Bill and Lynne Hybels
- Love & War: Devotional for Couples by John and Stasi Eldredge
- To Walk or Stay by Lara Williams
- The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
- The Marriage Project by Kathi Lipp
- Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
- The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
- The Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie Omartian
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
- Couple’s Devotional Bible
These are a few sites that I have found helpful and have practical marriage tips.
- Focus on the Family – We did the Date Night Challenge from Focus on the Family last year. They also have some great podcasts.
- FamilyLife – The Weekend to Remember events are put on by FamilyLife.
- The Time-Warped Wife: empowering wives to joyfully serve
- To Love, Honor, and Vacuum…when you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother
- Ask your potential mentor couple out to a coffee date.
- Choose a marriage book to read together.
- Have a date night.
Your turn…Do you have a mentor couple in your life? What books have you read that have been helpful to growing your marriage? Complete the assignments, and come back here to let us know how it went.