As I’m often asked for book recommendations on various subjects, I decided to put together an online list of my top ten books in various categories. Basically, if I was only allowed 10 books in my library on that subject, these are the ten I would choose. Previous posts include:

This week so far, we’ve looked at marriage and relationships from several different angles:

Today I wanted to share a bibliography on some of the best books on marriage based on (1) personal experience, (2) recommendations from various people over the years, and (3) some of the best-selling lists. I’ve put three and two stars beside some titles that are the most useful. If there are any other good books I’ve missed, please leave a comment with the title and I’ll add it to the list. Many thanks to Esther, our new Faculty Assistant, for all her help in compiling this.

*** Adams, J. E. (1972). Christian Living in the Home. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Book House. Recommended by Dr. Joel Beeke (and me).

Bancroft, L. (2003). Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. New York: Berkley Books.  This title is specifically on spousal abuse.

** Beeke, J. (2012). Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage. Cruciform Press. 

*** Burk, D. (2013). What Is the Meaning of Sex?. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.

Chapman, G. D. (1982). Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed. Chicago: Moody Press. Recommended by Dr. Joel Beeke.

** Chapman, G. D. (2010). The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. Chicago: Northfield Pub. Dr. Chapman’s 5 Love Languages are often discussed in pre-marital counseling and the book has spun off companion books such as The 5 Love Languages of Children and The 5 Love Languages: Singles Edition

Chapman, G. D. (2010). Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. Chicago: Northfield Pub.

** Chediak, A., & Chediak, M. (2006). With One Voice: Singleness, Dating & Marriage to the Glory of God. Fearn, Ross-Shire, Scotland: Christian Focus. Recommended by Dr. Beeke.

Dunn, A. (2009). Gospel Intimacy in a Godly Marriage. North Bergen, NJ: Pillar and Ground Publications. This one is Dr. Beeke’s favorite to give as a wedding present.

Eggerichs, E. (2004). Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs. Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.  Eggerichs clearly lays out the differences between the needs of men and women.

Evans, J. (1994). Marriage on the Rock. New York: McCracken Press. The book outlines four foundational laws of marriage (priority, pursuit, possession, purity) and then describes how to build a solid marriage on top of that foundation.

Gouge, W. (2006). Of Domestical Duties. Edinburgh, IN: Puritan Reprints. Because what’s a bibliography without at least one Puritan? Also see Kindle edition here or Building a Godly Home, Volume 2: A Holy Vision for a Happy Marriage for a shorter, easier-to-read version.

Harley, W. F. (1986). His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage. Old Tappan, N.J: F.H. Revell Co. A best-seller on Amazon and a modern classic.  Dr. Harley comes from a Christian background, but his books and his organization Marriage Builders do not limit themselves to only serving a Christian audience.

*** Harvey, D. T. (2007). When Sinners Say “I Do”. Wapwallopen, Pa: Shepherd Press. Also, currently only $1.99 on Amazon (as of the date of this post’s publishing).

Hiestand, G., & Thomas, J. (2012). Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway.

*** Keller, T. J., & Keller, K. (2011). The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God. New York: Dutton. Recommended all around.  An absolute must-read. I wrote an unofficial study guide to go along with the book for one couple I was counseling prior to their marriage.

Kendrick, S., Kendrick, A., & Kimbrough, L. (2008). The Love Dare. Nashville, Tenn: B & H Publishing Group. Lays out very practical ways to show love in marriage. This book was a companion to Fireproofreleased a few years back.

LaHaye, T. F., & LaHaye, B. (1976). The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House.

Mahaney, C. (2004). Feminine Appeal. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books.

Mahaney, C. J., & Mahaney, C. (2004). Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books.

Maken, D. (2006). Getting Serious About Getting Married: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.

Munroe, M. (2002). The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image. Recommended by Dr. Beeke.

Parrott, L., & Parrott, L. L. (2006). Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before—and After—You Marry. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondevan.

Peace, M. (1993). The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective. Peachtree City, GA: Bible Data Services. Recommended by Dr. Beeke. Companion volume for men: The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective by Stuart Scott.

** Piper, J., & Taylor, J. (2005). Sex and the Supremacy of Christ. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books. 

** Piper, J. (2012). This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.

Rhodes, R. (2012). The Marriage Bed. Dawsonville, GA: Books that Nourish. Includes a seven day plan for cultivating intimacy in your marriage.

Sande, K., & Raabe, T. (2002). Peacemaking for Families. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers. Recommended by Dr. Beeke.  The book is in four sections.  One of the four is specific to marriage, the others to other parts of family life.

Schaumburg, H. (2009). Undefiled: Redemption From Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers. 

*** Sproul, R. C. (2003). The Intimate Marriage: A Practical Guide to Building a Great Marriage. Phillipsburg, N.J: P & R Pub.

** Thomas D., & R. (2007). A Biblical Guide to Love, Sex, and Marriage. Darlington, UK: EP Books.

Thomas, G. (2000). Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Pub. House. This title discusses marriage as a spiritual discipline.

Tripp, P. D. (2010). What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books.  

Watters, C. (2007). Get Married: What Women Can do to Help it Happen. Wheaton, IL: Moody.

Winner, L. F. (2005). 5 Paths to the Love of Your Life: Defining Your Dating Style. Colorado Springs, CO: THINK Books.

See other Top Books posts for different subjects here.

Reader Suggestions

Marriage Matters by Winston Smith.