Resources for Couples

COMPILED BY PASTOR DAVID P. CRAIG, Revised July 26, 2022 (Those Marked with an “*” are Highly Recommended)

MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD (The Imago Dei):

  • *Brand, Dr. Paul and Philip Yancey. Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God’s Image.
  • Hoekema, Anthony A. Created in God’s Image.
  • Kilner, John F. Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God.
  • Lints, Richard. Identity and Idolatry: The Image of God and Its Inversion.
  • Seamands, Stephen. Ministry in the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Service.
  • *Sproul, R.C. The Hunger for Significance: Seeing the Image of God in Man.
  • *Wilkin, Jen. In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character.

THE SINGLE CHRISTIAN

  • *Alberry Sam. 7 Myths About Singleness.
  • Ballenger, Mark. The Ultimate Guide to Christian Singleness.
  • Chediak, Alex. With One Voice: Singleness, Dating & Marriage to the Glory of God.
  • Cloud, Henry and John Townsend. Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships
  • Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages Singles Edition: The Secret That Will Revolutionize Your Relationships
  • *Hiestand, Gerald, and Jay S. Thomas. Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach.
  • Maxson, J. Robin and Garry Friesen. “I Do” or Do I? Are You Ready To Change Your Relationship Status?
  • Maxson, J. Robin and Garry Friesen. Singleness, Marriage, and the Will of God.
  • *Pokluda, J.P. and Kevin McConaghy. Outdated: Find Love That Lasts When Dating Has Changed.
  • *Pokluda, J.P. and Kevin McConaghy. Welcome to Adulting: Navigating Faith, Friendship, Finances, and the Future.
  • *Pokluda, J.P. Welcome to Adulting Survival Guide: 42 Days to Navigate Life.
  • Rineheart, Stacy T., and Paula Rinehart. Choices: Finding God’s Way in Dating, Sex, Marriage, and Singleness.
  • *Phillips, Richard D., and Sharon L. Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating.
  • Priolo, Lou. Danger Signs of an Unhealthy Dating Relationship.
  • *Segal, Marshall. Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating.
  • Smith, William P. Starting Over: How Not to Screw Up Your Next Relationship.
  • Smith, William P. Who Should I Date?: Relationship Advice for the Real World.
  • *Strachan, Owen. Whole in Christ: A Biblical Approach to Singleness.
  • *Stuart, Ben. Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age.
  • *Sweet, Jenilyn. Singleness: Living Faithfully (31-Day Devotionals for Life).

BEFORE GETTING ENGAGED/MARRIED

  • *Baker, Ernie. Marry Wisely, Marry Well.
  • Burns, Jim & Fields, Doug. Getting Ready for Marriage: A Practical Road Map for Your Journey Together.
  • Chapman, Gary. Things I Wish I’d Known Before We God Married.
  • Green, Rob. Tying the Knot: A Premarital Guide to a Strong and Lasting Marriage.
  • *Harley, Jr. Willard F. I Promise You: Preparing For A Marriage That Will Last a Lifetime.
  • Mack, Wayne A. Preparing for Marriage God’s Way: A Step-By-Step Guide for Marriage Success Before and After the Wedding.
  • McKinley, Mike. Engagement: Preparing for Marriage (31-Day Devotionals for Life).
  • Parrott, Les & Leslie. Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions To Ask Before and After You Marry.
  • Piper, John. Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples.
  • Roberts, Wes & Wright, H. Norman. Before You Say “I Do.”
  • Smalley, Greg and Erin. Before You Plan Your Wedding…Plan Your Marriage.
  • Smalley, Greg and Erin. Ready to Wed: 12 Ways to Start a Marriage You’ll Love.
  • Smith, William P. Should We Get Married?: How to Evaluate Your Relationship.
  • Thomas, Gary. 9 Must Have Conversations For a Doubt-Free Wedding Day.
  • Thomas, Gary. Preparing Your Heart for Marriage: Devotions for Engaged Couples.
  • *Thomas, Gary. The Sacred Search: What if It’s Not about Who You Marry, but Why?
  • *Wright, H. Norman. 101 Questions to ask Before You Get Engaged.
  • *Wright, H. Norman. Before You Say “I Do”: A Marriage Preparation Guide for Couples.
  • *Wright, H. Norman. Before You Say “I Do” Devotional: Building a Spiritual Foundation for Your Life Together.
  • *Wright, H. Norman. Starting Out Together: A Devotional for Dating or Engaged Couples.

MARRIAGE

  • *Ash, Christopher. Married For God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be.
  • Begg, Alistair. Lasting Love. How to Avoid Marital Failure.
  • Chan, Francis and Lisa. You And Me Forever: Marriage In Light of Eternity.
  • Chapell, Bryan. Each For The Other: Marriage As It’s Meant To Be.
  • Chapman, Gary. Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage.
  • *Chapman, Gary. The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage.
  • Chester, Tim. Gospel-Centered Marriage: Becoming the Couple God Wants You to Be.
  • Crabb, Larry. The Marriage Builder. Creating Oneness To Transform Your Marriage.
  • *Farley, William P. Marriage In Paradise: How to Have a Genesis two Marriage in a Genesis three World.
  • *Curt Hamner, John Trent, et al. Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World.
  • *Ingram, Chip. Marriage That Works: God’s Way of Becoming Spiritual Soul Mates, Best Friends, and Passionate Lovers.
  • *Keller, Timothy and Kathy. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God.
  • Kostenberger, Andreas J. & Jones  David W. God, Marriage, and Family. Rebuilding The Biblical Foundation.
  • *LaPierre, Scott. Your Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Guide to a Christ-Centered Relationship.
  • Lewis, Robert & Hendricks, William. Rocking The Roles: Building a Win-Win Marriage.
  • Mead, Peter. Lost in Wonder: A Biblical Introduction to God’s Great Marriage.
  • *Ortlund, Ray. Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel.
  • Piper, John. This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence.
  • Rainey, Dennis & Barbara. Starting Your Marriage Right: What You Need To Know In The Early Years To Make It Last a Lifetime.
  • Rainey, Dennis & Barbara. Staying Close: Stopping The Natural Drift Toward Isolation in Marriage.
  • *Savage, Timothy B. No Ordinary Marriage: Together For God’s Glory.
  • Smalley, Erin. Reconnected: Moving from Roommates to Soulmates in Marriage (Focus on the Family)
  • Smalley, Gary. The DNA of Relationships: Discover How You Are designed for Satisfying Relationships.
  • Smalley, Gary & Trent, John. Love is a Decision: Proven Techniques to Keep Your Marriage Alive and Lively.
  • Smalley, Gary and Shawn Stoever. The Wholehearted Marriage: Fully Engaging Your Most Important Relationship.
  • Smith, Winston T. Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments.
  • *Sproul, R.C. The Intimate Marriage: A Practical Guide To Building A Great Marriage.
  • *Swindoll, Charles R. Marriage From Surviving to Thriving.
  • Thomas, Gary. A Lifelong Love: How to Have Lasting Intimacy, friendship, and Purpose in Your Marriage.
  • Thomas, Gary. Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything For Your Marriage.
  • Thomas, Gary. Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
  • Towns, Ruth and Elmer. How To Build a Lasting Marriage: Lessons From Biblical Couples.
  • *Tripp, Paul David. Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs to Make.
  • Wright, H. Norman. After You Say “I Do.”
  • Wright, H. Norman. 101 Ways To Build a Stronger, More Exciting Marriage.
  • Young, Ed. The 10 Commandments of Marriage: The Do’s and Don’s for a Lifelong Covenant.

LEARNING TO MEET ONE ANOTHER’S NEEDS

  • *Eggerichs, Emerson. Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs.
  • *Harley, Jr. Willard F. He Wins, She Wins: Learning The Art of Marital Negotiation; His Needs Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage; Love Busters: Protect Your Marriage by Replacing Love-Busting Patterns with Love-Building Habits.

MEN AND WOMEN: ENJOYING THE DIFFERENCES

  • Burke, H. Dale. Different by Design: God’s Master Plan For Harmony Between Men and Women in Marriage.
  • Crabb, Larry. Men and Women: Enjoying The Difference.
  • *Farrel, Bill and Pam. Men Are Like Waffles Women Are Like Spaghetti: Understanding and Delighting in Your Differences.
  • *Farrel, Bill and Pam. Why Men and Women Act The Way They Do.
  • Leman, Kevin. Have a New Husband by Friday: How to Change His Attitude, Behavior & Communication in 5 Days.
  • MacArthur, John. Divine Design: God’s Complementary Roles For Men and Women.
  • Peacock, Gavin & Strachan, Owen. The Grand Design: Male and Female He Made Them.
  • Smalley, Gary. For Better or for Best: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding, and Loving Your Husband.
  • Smalley, Gary. If Only He Knew: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding, and Loving Your Wife.
  • Strauch, Alexander. Men and Women: Equal Yet Different.
  • Strachan, Owen and Jonathan Parnell. Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice.

COMMUNICATION 

  • Bechtle, Mike. How to Communicate with Confidence.
  • Brown, Steve. How to Talk So People Will Listen.
  • *Chapman, Gary. Now You’re Speaking My Language: Honest Communication and Deeper Intimacy for a Stronger Marriage.
  • *Eggerichs, Emerson. Cracking The Communication Code With Your Mate: The Secret of Speaking Your Mate’s Language.
  • Petersen, James C. Why Don’t We Listen Better?: Communicating & Connecting in Relationships
  • *Tripp, Paul David. War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles.
  • *Wright, H. Norman. Communication: Key to Your Marriage – The Secret To True Happiness.

CONFLICT

  • Chapman, Gary. Everybody Wins: The Chapman Guide to Solving Conflicts without Arguing (Chapman Guides).
  • Chapman, Gary. Home Improvements: The Chapman Guide to Negotiating Change with Your Spouse (Chapman Guides).
  • Chapman, Gary. The 5 Apology Languages: The Secret to Healthy Relationships.
  • *Chapman, Gary & Thomas, Jennifer. When Sorry Isn’t Enough: Making Things Right With Those You Love.
  • *Harvey, Dave. When Sinners Say “I Do”: The Power of the Gospel for Marriage.
  • *Hoppe, Steve. Marriage Conflict: Talking as Teammates (31-Day Devotionals for Life).
  • *Kendall, R.T. Total Forgiveness.
  • *Lutzer, Erwin W. When You Have Been Wronged: Moving From Bitterness To Forgiveness.
  • *Priolo, Lou. Resolving Conflict: How to Make, Disturb, and Keep Peace.
  • *Sande, Ken. The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict.
  • *Scott, Stuart. Communication and Conflict Resolution: A Biblical Perspective.
  • Smalley, Greg. Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage: How Healthy Conflict Can Take You to Deeper Levels of Intimacy.
  • Smalley, Greg. Reconnected: Moving from Roommates to Soulmates in Marriage.

COURTSHIP AFTER MARRIAGE

  • Begg, Alistair. Lasting Love: How To Avoid Marital Failure.
  • Buzzard, Justin. Date Your Wife: A Husband’s Guide.
  • Harley, Jr. Willard F. Fall In Love, Stay In Love.
  • Mack, Wayne A. Sweethearts for a Lifetime: Making the Most of Your Marriage (Strength for Life).
  • *Smalley, Greg and Erin Smalley. Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage: 12 Secrets for a Lifelong Romance.
  • *Smalley, Gary. Making Love Last Forever.
  • *Smalley, Gary and Shawn Stoever. The Wholehearted Marriage: Fully Engaging Your Most Important Relationship.
  • *Ziglar, Zig. Courtship After Marriage: Romance Can Last A Lifetime.

DEVOTIONALS

  • Chapman, Gary. The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional: A 365-Day Devotional for Christian Couples.
  • Chapman, Gary. The Love as a Way of Life Devotional: A Ninety-Day Adventure That Makes Love a Daily Habit.
  • Dobson, James C. Night Light: A Devotional for Couples.
  • Harley, Willard F. and Joyce S. Joyce. Draw Close: A Devotional for Couples.
  • Keller, Timothy and Kathy Keller. The Meaning of Marriage: A Couple’s Devotional: A Year of Daily Devotions.
  • Kendrick, Stephen and Alex. The Love Dare Day by Day: A Year of Devotions for Couples.
  • Rainey, Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Moments Together for Couples: 365 Daily Devotions for Drawing Near to God & One Another.
  • Thomas, Gary. Devotions for a Sacred Marriage: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Couples.
  • *Wright, H. Norman. After You Say “I Do” Devotional: Meditations for Every Couple.

FINANCES

  • *Alcorn, Randy. Managing God’s Money: A Biblical Guide.
  • *Alcorn, Randy. Money, Possessions, and Eternity: A Comprehensive Guide to What the Bible Says about Financial Stewardship, Generosity, Materialism, Retirement, Financial Planning, Gambling, Debt, and More.
  • *Alcorn, Randy. The Law of Rewards: Giving what you can’t keep to gain what you can’t lose.
  • *Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle, Revised and Updated: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving.
  • Blue, Ron. Master Your Money: A Step-By-Step Plan For Experiencing Contentment. 
  • Blue, Ron & Burkett, Larry. Your Money After The Big 5-0. Wealth For The Second Half of Life.
  • *Dayton, Howard. Marriage and Money God’s Way.
  • *Dayton, Howard. Your Money Counts: The Biblical Guide to Earning, Spending, Saving, Investing, Giving, and Getting Out of Debt
  • Keller, Timothy. Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters.
  • *Lowe, Cherie. Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Ever After.
  • MacArthur, John. Whose Money Is It Anyway?
  • Ramsey, Dave. Financial Peace Revisited; The Complete Guide to Money; The Money Answer Book; The Total Money Makeover; The Financial Peace Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Restoring Your Family’s Financial Health.
  • Tripp, Paul David. Sex and Money: Pleasures That Leave You Empty and Grace That Satisfies. 
  • *Wood, William C. Getting a Grip on Your Money: A Plain & Simple Christian Guide to Managing Personal Finances, Eliminating Debt, Spending, Saving & Giving, Investing for the Future.
  • Yates, Cynthia. Living Well On One Income: In a Two-Income World. 

LOVE LANGUAGES

  • *Chapman, Gary. The Five Love Languages: How To Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.
  • *Eggerichs, Emerson. The Language of Love and Respect: Cracking the Communication Code with Your Mate.
  • Rosberg, Gary and Barbara Rosberg. 6 Secrets to a Lasting Love: Recapturing Your Dream Marriage.
  • Rosberg, Gary and Barbara Rosberg. The 5 Love Needs of Men & Women.
  • *Smalley, Gary & Trent, John. The Language of Love: The Secret To Being Instantly Understood. 
  • *Trent, John and Gary Smalley. The Two Sides of Love: The Secret to Valuing Differences.

MEN AND WOMEN IN MINISTRY

  • *DeYoung, Kevin. Men and Women in the Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction.
  • Gilbert, Greg. Can Women Be Pastors?
  • *Grudem, Wayne, ed. Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood.
  • *Kostenberger, Margaret E. God’s Design for Man and Woman. A Biblical-Theological Survey.
  • *Kostenberger, Andreas J. and Thomas R. Schreiner, et al. Women in the Church: An Interpretation and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15.
  • *Piper, John and Grudem, Wayne. 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood.
  • *Piper, John and Grudem, Wayne editors. Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: A Response To Evangelical Feminism.
  • Saucy, Robert, and Judith TenElshof. Women and Men in Ministry: A Complementary Perspective.

PERSONALITY DIFFERENCES

  • *Biehl, Bobb. Why You Do What You Do.
  • *LaHaye, Tim. Spirit-Controlled Temperament.
  • *LaHaye, Tim. Why You Act The Way You Do.
  • *Leman, Kevin. The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are.
  • *Littauer, Florence. Personality Plus.
  • *Littauer, Florence. Personality Plus At Work.
  • *Littauer, Florence. Personality Plus For Couples: Understanding Yourself and the One You Love
  • *Littauer, Florence. Wired That Way: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Maximizing Your Personality Type.
  • Smalley, Gary and Robert S. Paul. The DNA of Relationships for Couples.

SEXUAL INTIMACY: BECOMING ONE

  • Ash, Christopher. How Should Christians Think about Sex? (Questions for Restless Minds).
  • *Ash, Christopher. Marriage: Sex in the Service of God.
  • Cutrer, William & Glahn, Sandra. Sexual Intimacy In Marriage.
  • Dobson, James. Head Over Heels: How To Fall In Love and Land On Your Feet.
  • Harley, Jr. Willard F. Five Steps To Romantic Love: A Workbook for Readers of Love Busters and His Needs, Her Needs.
  • Howes, Ryan, Rupp, Richard, Simpson, Stephen W. What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Sex: A Guide For Christian Men.
  • LaHaye, Tim & Beverly. The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love.
  • Leman, Kevin. Sex Begins In the Kitchen; Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage.
  • McBurney, Louis & Melissa. Real Questions, Real Answers About Sex.
  • McCluskey, Christopher & Rachel. When Two Become One: Enhancing Sexual Intimacy In Marriage.
  • Rosberg, Gary and Barbara Rosberg. The 5 Sex Needs of Men & Women.
  • *Wheat, Ed & Gaye. Intended For Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage.

IF YOUR MARRIAGE IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE

  • *Chapman, Gary. Hope For The Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed.
  • *Chapman, Gary. Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away: Real Help for Desperate Hearts in Difficult Marriages.
  • *Chapman, Gary. One More Try: What to Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart.
  • *Dobson, James. Love Must Be Tough: New Hope For Marriages In Crisis.
  • Gambola, Michael Scott. After an Affair: Pursuing Restoration.
  • *Harley, Jr. Willard H. & Chalmers, Jennifer Harley. Surviving An Affair.
  • Jones, Robert D. Restoring Your Broken Marriage: Healing After Adultery.
  • *Kruger, Mellissa and Michael Kruger. 5 Things to Pray for Your Spouse: Prayers That Change and Strengthen Your Marriage.
  • Smith, Winston T. Help! My Spouse Committed Adultery: First Steps for Dealing with Betrayal.
  • *Strobel, Lee & Leslie. Surviving A Spiritual Mismatch In Marriage.
  • *Summers, Mike. Help! My Spouse Has Been Unfaithful.

Web Resources For Marriage

www.5lovelanguages.com(Gary Chapman Resources for Marriage)

www.crown.org/(Founded by Larry Burkett – Excellent Financial Resources)

www.daveramsey.com/ (Resources for Dave Ramsey on Finances)

www.familylife.com (A Cru Ministry with Resources for Marriage and Parenting)

www.focusonthefamily.com (Founded by James Dobson – Marriage and Parenting)

www.marriagebuilders.com/(Ministry Resources of Dr. Willard F. Harley)

www.PaulTripp.com (Resources for Marriage and Parenting from Paul David Tripp)

www.smalleyinstitute.com (Resources from Gary and Greg Smalley on Marriage)

Biblical Manhood

  • Briscoe, Stuart. The One Year Devotions for Men with Stuart Briscoe.
  • Challies, Tim. Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn.
  • Challies, Tim. Run to Win: The Lifelong Pursuits of a Godly Man.
  • Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages for Men: Tools for Making a Good Relationship Great.
  • Coekin, Richard. Men of God.
  • Crabb, Larry. Men of Courage: God’s Call to Move Beyond the Silence of Adam.
  • Doriani, Daniel M. The New Man: Becoming a Man After God’s Heart.
  • Evans, Tony. No More Excuses: Be the Man God Made You to Be.
  • Farrar, Steve. Tempered Steel: How God Shapes a Man’s Heart through Adversity.
  • *Foster, Michael. It’s Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity.
  • *Getz, Gene. The Measure of a Man: Twenty Attributes of a Godly Man.
  • Hanson, Brant. The Men We Need: God’s Purpose for the Manly Man, the Avid Indoorsman, or Any Man Willing to Show Up.
  • *Hughes, R. Kent. Disciplines of a Godly Man.
  • *Lambert, Heath. Finally Free (pornography).
  • MacDonald, Gordon. Ordering Your Private World.
  • Metaxas, Eric. Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness.
  • Metaxas, Eric. Seven More Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness.
  • *Morely, Patrick. How God Makes Men: Ten Epic Stories. Ten Proven Principles. One Huge Promise for Your Life.
  • *Morely, Patrick. The Man in the Mirror: Solving the 24 Problems Men Face.
  • *Ortlund, Ray. The Death of Porn: Men of Integrity Building a World of Nobility.
  • *Phillips, Richard D. The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men.
  • Rainey, Dennis. Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood.
  • Scott, Stuart. Biblical Manhood: Masculinity, Leadership and Decision.
  • *Smalley, Gary, Greg Salley, and Michael Smalley. Men’s Relational Toolbox.
  • Smith, Rhett. What it Means to be a Man: God’s Design for Us in a World Full of Extremes.
  • *Storms, Sam. Daily Strength: A Devotional for Men.
  • *Weber, Stu. Tender Warrior: Every Man’s Purpose, Every Woman’s Dream, Every Child’s Hope.
  • Wolgemuth, Robert. Lies Men Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free.

Being a Good Dad

  • *Beeke, Joel. How Should Men Lead Their Families?
  • Chandler, Matt and Adam Griffin. Family Discipleship: Leading Your Home Through Time, Moments, and Milestones.
  • *Farrar, Steve. Anchor Man: How a Father Can Anchor His Family in Christ for the Next 100 Years.
  • *Farrar, Steve. King Me: King Me: What Every Son Wants and Needs From His Father.
  • *Farrar, Steve. Point Man: How A Man Can Lead His Family.
  • *Farrar, Steve. Battle Ready: Prepare to Be Used by God.
  • *Farrar, Steve. God Built: Forged by God … in the Bad and Good of Life.
  • *Farrar, Steve. Real Valor: A Charge to Nurture and Protect Your Family.
  • *Farrar, Steve. Standing Tall: How a Man Can Protect His Family.
  • Fuller, John. First Time Dad: The Stuff You Really Need to Know.
  • Leman, Kevin. Be the Dad She Needs You to Be: The Indelible Imprint a Father Leaves on His Daughter’s Life.
  • *Lewis, Robert. Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood.
  • Michael, David. A Father’s Guide to Blessing His Children (Family Discipleship).
  • *Smalley, Gary and John Trent. The Blessing.
  • Tyson, Jon. The Intentional Father: A Practical Guide to Raise Sons of Courage and Character.

Being a Good Husband

  • *Buzzard, Justin. Date Your Wife.
  • *Dobson, James. What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women.
  • *Eggerichs, Emerson. The Love & Respect Experience: A Husband-Friendly Devotional That Wives Truly Love.
  • *Evans, Tony. For Married Men Only: Three Principles for Loving Your Wife.
  • Howes, Ryan, Rupp, Richard, Simpson, Stephen W. What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Sex: A Guide For Christian Men.
  • *Kruger, Michael and Melissa Kruger. 5 Things to Pray for Your Spouse: Prayers That Change and Strengthen Your Marriage.
  • Mahaney, C.J. & Carol. Sex, Romance, And The Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs To Know.
  • *Priolo, Lou. The Complete Husband: A Practical Guide for Improved Husbanding.
  • *Scott, Stuart. The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective.
  • *Smalley, Gary. If Only He Knew: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding, and Loving Your Wife.
  • *Smalley, Gary. Winning Your Wife Back Before It’s Too Late.
  • Weathers, Mark A. How to Pray for Your Wife: A 31-Day Guide.

Mid-Life Helps

  • Arterburn, Stephen. 6 Ways for Men to Thrive in Midlife.
  • Arterburn, Stephen. Midlife Manual for Men: Finding Significance in the Second Half.
  • *Buford, Bob. Finishing Well: The Adventure of Life Beyond Halftime.
  • *Buford, Bob. Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance.
  • Chester, Tim. You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions.
  • Dunlop, John, MD. Finishing Well to the Glory of God: Strategies from a Christian Physician.
  • MacDonald, Gordon. Mid-Course Correction: Re-Ordering Your Private World for the Second Half of Life.
  • Peppin, Bruce. The Best Is Yet to Be: Moving Mountains in Midlife.
  • *Swenson MD, Richard. Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.
  • *Tripp, Paul David. Lost in the Middle: MidLife and the Grace of God: Mid-Life Crisis and the Grace of God.
  • Wright, H. Norman. What’s Next?: Navigating Transitions to Make the Rest of Your Life Count.
  • Ziglar, Zig. Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live.

Biblical Womanhood

  • *Dodds, Abigail. (A)Typical Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ.
  • *Elliott, Elisabeth. Let Me Be A Woman.
  • *Elliott, Elisabeth. Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control.
  • Furman, Gloria and Kathleen B. Nielsen. Word-Filled Women’s Ministry: Loving and Serving the Church.
  • *Haykin, Michael A. G. Eight Women of Faith.
  • *Hughes, Barbara. Disciplines of a Godly Woman.
  • *Hunt, Susan. By Design: God’s Distinctive Calling for Women.
  • *Hunt, Susan. The True Woman: The Beauty and Strength of a Godly Woman.
  • *Hunt, Susan. The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood.
  • *Hunt, Susan. Women’s Ministry in the Local Church.
  • *Kassian, Mary A. The Feminist Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture.
  • *Kassian, Mary A. The Right Kind of Confident: The Remarkable Grit of a God-Fearing Woman.
  • *Kassian, Mary A. The Right Kind of Strong: Surprisingly Simple Habits of a Spiritually Strong Woman.
  • *Kruger, Melissa. 12 Faithful Women: Portraits of Steadfast Endurance.
  • *Kruger, Melissa. Growing Together: Taking Mentoring beyond Small Talk and Prayer Requests.
  • *Kruger, Melissa. Identity Theft: Reclaiming the Truth of our Identity in Christ.
  • Nielson, Kathleen. Women and God: Hard Questions, Beautiful Truth.
  • McLaughlin, Rebecca. Jesus though the Eyes of Women: How the First Female Disciples Help Us Know and Love the Lord.
  • Metaxas, Eric. Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness.
  • Ortlund, Anne. Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman.
  • Ortlund, Jani. Fearlessly Feminine: Boldly Living God’s Plan for Womanhood.
  • *Peace, Martha. Becoming a Titus 2 Woman.
  • *Saffles, Gretchen. The Well-Watered Woman: Rooted in Truth, Growing in Grace, Flourishing in Faith.
  • *Scazzero, Geri. The Emotionally Healthy Woman: Eight Things You Have to Quit to Change Your Life.
  • *Wolgemuth, Nancy DeMoss. Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together.
  • *Wolgemuth, Nancy DeMoss. Biblical Portrait of Womanhood: Discovering and Living Out God’s Plan for our Lives.
  • *Wolgemuth, Nancy DeMoss. Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free.

Being a Good Mom

  • *Eggerichs, Emerson. Mother and Son: The Respect Effect.
  • *Engelsma, Esther. How Can I Feel Productive as a Mom?
  • *Ferrer, Hillary Morgan. Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies.
  • *Ferrer, Hillary Morgan. Mama Bear Apologetics: Guide to Sexuality: Empowering Your Kids to Understand and Live Out God’s Design.
  • Furman, Gloria. Labor with Hope: Gospel Meditations on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood.
  • *Furman, Gloria. Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God (The Gospel Coalition).
  • Furman, Gloria. Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms.
  • Gresh, Dannah. A Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free (Lies We Believe).
  • Halberstadt, Abbie. M Is for Mama: A Rebellion Against Mediocre Motherhood.
  • *Hunt, Susan. Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women.
  • Jensen, Emily and Laura Wifler. Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Moments.
  • Leman, Kevin. What a Difference a Mom Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Mom Leaves on Her Son’s Life.
  • Wann, Liz. The End of Me: Finding Resurrection Life in the Daily Sacrifices of Motherhood.

Being a Good Wife

  • *Evans, Tony. For Married Women Only: Three Principles for Honoring Your Husband.
  • *Kruger, Michael and Melissa Kruger. 5 Things to Pray for Your Spouse: Prayers That Change and Strengthen Your Marriage.
  • Leman, Kevin. Have a New Husband by Friday: How to Change His Attitude, Behavior & Communication in 5 Days.
  • *Peace, Martha. The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective.
  • *Smalley, Erin. *10 Things a Husband Needs from His Wife: Everyday Ways to Show Him Love.
  • *Smalley, Erin, Greg, and Gary. The Wholehearted Wife: 10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship.
  • *Smalley, Gary. For Better or Best: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding, and Loving Your Husband.
  • *Smalley, Gary. Winning Your Husband Back Before It’s Too Late.
  • Thomas, Gary L. Loving Him Well: Practical Advice On Influencing Your Husband.

Vocation and Calling

  • Chapman, Gary. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People.
  • Challies, Tim. Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity.
  • Doriani, Daniel M. Work: Its Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation.
  • Doriani, Daniel M. Work That Makes a Difference.
  • *Grudem, Wayne. Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business.
  • Guinness, Os. The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose for Your Life.
  • *Hamilton, James M. Work and Our Labor in the Lord. 
  • Kaemingk, Matthew and Cory B. Willson. Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy.
  • *Keller, Timothy. Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work.
  • *Littauer, Florence. Personality Plus At Work.
  • *Nelson, Tom. Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work.
  • O’Donnell, Michaela. Make Work Matter: Your Guide to Meaningful Work in a Changing World.
  • Perman, Matt. What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done.
  • Rodin, R. Scott. Stewards in the Kingdom: A Theology of Life in All Its Fullness.
  • Smith, Gordon T. Consider Your Calling: Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation.
  • Stevens, R. Paul and Tom Force. Aging Matters: Finding Your Calling for the Rest of Your Life.
  • Stevens, R. Paul. Doing God’s Business: Meaning and Motivation for the Marketplace.
  • Stevens, R. Paul. The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective.
  • Stevens, R. Paul. Taking Your Soul to Work: Overcoming the Nine Deadly Sins of the Workplace.
  • Stevens, R. Paul. Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture.
  • Palmer, Parker J. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.
  • Pennings, Ray. How Can I Serve God at Work?
  • *Veith, Gene Edward Jr. God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life.

Relational Help

  • Brauns, Chris. Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds.
  • Chapman, Gary. Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion.
  • Clinton, Tim and Gary Sibcy. Why You Do the Things You Do: The Secret to Healthy Relationships.
  • Cloud, Henry and John Townsend. Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to say NO To Take Control of Your Life.
  • Crabb, Larry. Connecting: Healing Ourselves and Our Relationships.
  • Crabb, Larry. Understanding People: Why We Long for Relationship.
  • Crabtree, Sam. Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God.
  • Crabtree, Sam. Practicing Thankfulness: Cultivating a Grateful Heart in All Circumstances.
  • Dykas, Ellen Mary. Toxic Relationships: Taking Refuge in Christ (31-Day Devotionals for Life).
  • Gifford, Greg. Heart & Habits: How We Change for Good.
  • Ingram, Chip and Becca Johnson. Overcoming Emotions that Destroy: Practical Help for Those Angry Feelings That Ruin Relationships.
  • Jones, Robert D. Pursuing Peace: A Christian Guide to Handling Our Conflicts.
  • *Kendall, R.T. Controlling the Tongue: Mastering the What, When, and Why of the Words You Speak.
  • *Kendall, R.T. Total Forgiveness.
  • Kassian, Mary. Conversation Peace: Improving Your Relationships One Word at a Time.
  • Lane, Timothy S., and Paul David Tripp. How People Change.
  • Lane, Timothy S., and Paul David Tripp. Relationships: A Mess Worth Making.
  • Lane, Timothy S. Unstuck: A Nine-Step Journey To Change That Lasts.
  • Lutzer, Erwin. When You’ve Been Wronged: Moving From Bitterness to Forgiveness.
  • Marshall, Cheryl and Caroline Newheiser. When Words Matter Most: Speaking Truth with Grace to Those You Love.
  • Maxwell, John. Be A People Person: Effective Leadership Through Effective Relationships.
  • Miller, Paul E. A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships.
  • *Powlison, David. Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness.
  • Priolo, Lou. Bitterness: The Root That Pollutes (Resources for Biblical Living).
  • *Priolo, Lou. Pleasing People: How not to be an “approval junkie.”
  • Rainer, Thom S. and Art Rainer. Simple Life: Time, Relationships, Money, God.
  • Robinson, Jeff. Taming the Tongue: How The Gospel Transforms Our Talk.
  • Satrom, Hayley. Forgiveness: Reflecting God’s Mercy (31-Day Devotionals for Life).
  • *Sande, Ken and Kevin Johnson. Resolving Everyday Conflict
  • *Scazzero, Peter. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It’s Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally Immature.
  • Smalley, Gary. The DNA of Relationships: Discover How You Are Designed for Satisfying Relationships.
  • Smith, William P. How To Love Difficult People: Receiving and Sharing God’s Mercy.
  • Townsend, John. Boundaries in Marriage: Understanding the Choices That Make or Break Loving Relationships.
  • Tripp, Paul David. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change.
  • Viars, Stephen. Overcoming Bitterness: Moving from Life’s Greatest Hurts to a Life Filled with Joy.
  • Viars, Stephen. Putting Your Past in Its Place: Moving Forward in Freedom and Forgiveness.
  • *Welch, Edward T. Blame It On The Brain: Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances, Brain Disorders, and Disobedience.
  • *Welch, Edward T. Caring for One Another: 8 Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships.
  • *Welch, Edward T. A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace.
  • *Welch, Edward T. A Small Book about Why We Hide: How Jesus Rescues Us from Insecurity, Regret, Failure, and Shame.
  • *Welch, Edward T. Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love.
  • *Welch, Edward T. When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man (Resources for Changing Lives).
  • Whitman, Lauren. A Painful Past: Healing and Moving Forward (31-Day Devotionals for Life).
  • Wytsma, Ken. Redeeming How We Talk: Discover How Communication Fuels Our Growth, Shapes Our Relationships, and Changes Our Lives.

Families

  • Anthony, Michael and Michelle Anthony. A Theology for Family Ministry.
  • Anthony, Michelle. Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family: Avoiding the 6 Dysfunctional Parenting Styles
  • *Beeke, Joel. How Should Men Lead Their Families?
  • Chandler, Matt and Adam Griffin. Family Discipleship: Leading Your Home Through Time, Moments, and Milestones.
  • Chapman, Gary and Shannon Warden. The DIY Guide to Building a Family that Lasts: 12 Tools for Improving Your Home Life.
  • Chapman, Gary. The Family You’ve Always Wanted: Five Ways You Can Make It Happen.
  • Chester Tim. Gospel-Centered Family.
  • Earley, Justin Whitmel. Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms.
  • *Eggerichs, Emerson. Love and Respect in the Family: The Respect Parents Desire; The Love Children Need.
  • Elliot, Elisabeth. The Shaping of a Christian Family: How My Parents Nurtured My Faith.
  • Hughes, Kent and Barbara. Disciplines of a Godly Family.
  • Jones, Timothy Paul. Family Ministry Field Guide: How Your Church Can Equip Parents to Make Disciples.
  • Jones, Timothy Paul, ed. Perspectives on Family Ministry: Three Views.
  • *Kostenberger, Andreas J. God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation.
  • Kimmel, Tim. Grace-Based Parenting: Set Your Family Tree.
  • Leman, Kevin. Have a Happy Family by Friday: How to Improve Communication, Respect & Teamwork in 5 Days.
  • *Lewis, Robert. Real Family Values: Leading Your Family into the 21st Century with Clarity and Conviction.
  • *Newman, Randy. Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family Members, Close Friends, and Others Who Know You Well.
  • Powell, Kara and Steven Argue. Growing With: Every Parent’s Guide to Helping Teenagers and Young Adults Thrive in Their Faith, Family, and Future.
  • Powell, Kara. The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family: Over 100 Practical and Tested Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Kids.
  • *Sande, Ken. Peacemaking for Families: A Biblical Guide to Managing Conflict in Your Home.
  • Schaeffer, Edith. What is a Family?
  • *Smalley, Gary and John Trent. The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance.
  • Whitney, Donald S. Family Worship: In the Bible, In History, and In Your Home.

Book Review on Dr. Emerson Eggerichs – “Love and Respect”

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Your One-Stop Handbook for a Biblically Based Marriage

Book Reviewed by Dr. David P. Craig 

As someone who has been happily married for 28 years my wife and I have made a habit on reading and discussing at least one book on marriage a year. It’s a shame that so many people will spend 8-11 years getting graduate degrees and studying for thousands of hours and yet do not make the slightest effort to prepare for and make the best of their marriages. This was our third time reading through this book – which I can say without hesitation is the best single book on marriage I’ve ever read (and I’ve read around 50 books on marriage).

What makes this book worth reading? It’s based on a biblical principle from Ephesians 5:22-33. The principle is that what a husband needs most from his wife is respect; and what a wife needs most from her husband is love. Eggerichs fleshes this principle out thoroughly, clearly, and practically. He was a pastor who after writing this book ended up devoting his whole ministry to teaching the principle of “Love and Respect.” 

In Part One of the Book Eggerichs discusses what he calls the “Crazy Cycle.” The crazy cycle is what happens to a couple when the wife is not respecting her husband and the husband is not loving his wife. This results in a habitual punishing cycle where lack of love (what the wife most needs) and a lack of respect (what the husband most needs) are perpetuated in a vicious circle. In seven chapters Eggerichs discusses why, how, and when this happens. He gives an abundant amount of real life examples to show how both husbands and wives get on the crazy cycle and how this cycle spins around and around as a result.

In Part Two Eggerichs discusses how to get off the crazy cycle and onto the “Energizing Cycle.” In chapters 8-14 he uses the acronym: C-O-U-P-L-E to show the husband how he can get off the crazy cycle by specific ways to meet her greatest need to be loved. Each chapter takes each letter of C-O-U-P-L-E to help the man practically and actively love his wife. The letters stand for: (1) Closeness – She wants you to be close; (2) Openness – She wants you to open up to her; (3) Understanding – Don’t try to “fix” her, just listen to her; (4) Peacemaking – She wants you to say, “I’m sorry” (5) Loyalty – She needs to know you are committed; (6) Esteem – She wants you to honor and cherish her.

In chapters 15-22 Eggerichs specifically addresses the wife and how by using the acronym C-H-A-I-R-S she can demonstrate respect to her husband (what he most needs from her). The letters in C-H-A-I-R-S stand for (1) Conquest – Appreciate his desire to work and achieve; (2) Hierarchy – Appreciate his desire to protect and provide for you; (3) Authority – Appreciate his desire to serve and lead ; (4) Insight – Appreciate his desire to analyze and counsel; (5) Relationship – Appreciate his desire for shoulder-to-shoulder friendship ; (6). Sexuality – Appreciate his desire for sexual intimacy.

The book closes with what he calls the “Rewarded Cycle”. Ultimately, as a Christian whether you are single or married you live in submission and obedience to Jesus. He encourages those in lousy marriages to be obedient to Jesus in unconditionally loving or respecting your spouse regardless of whether or not your spouse responds to you. In most cases spouses do respond better when we unconditionally and habitually love or respect them. However, no matter how our spouse reacts or responds to the way we treat them, it’s important to know that God is pleased with our obedience to Him.

Love and Respect in my opinion is the best book on marriage available today. If you only read and apply one book on marriage, this is your one-stop handbook for taking a bad marriage to good, and a good marriage to great! I can give testimony after 28 great years of marriage that God’s principles work – a husband was designed by God to need respect and a wife was designed by her Maker to need love. Eggerichs gives a plethora of illustrations, examples, and biblically fleshes out how to do these things in a way that is pleasing to God and beneficial to the flourishing health of a biblical marriage based on God’s perfect design of “Love and Respect.”

R.C. Sproul’s “The Intimate Marriage”

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Wisdom For Building a Great Marriage

Book Review by Dr. David P. Craig

A book is always so much more powerful when the one who writes the book practices what he or she preaches. R.C. Sproul and his wife Vesta had a great marriage for forty seven years before he went to be in the Lord’s presence in December of 2017. In this very practical book of 163 pages Sproul practically covers six subjects with biblical insight, practical wisdom, and wry humor: (1) Communication between the husband and his wife; (2) The Role of the Man and the Woman in marriage; (3) Problems in Marriage; (4) What the Bible says about Divorce; (5) Communication and Sex; (6) The Institution and Sanctity of Marriage.

This book is by no means an exhaustive resource on Christian marriage, but it is very instructive, has strong biblical wisdom for its points, and Sproul’s inimitable ability to take deep theological truths and make them very practical. This book has something for everyone: Singles considering marriage, young engaged couples; couples with a good marriage who want it better; and those who are in trouble in their marriage. You will definitely find wisdom and encouragement to help you in whatever state you find yourself in your current relationship.

I think the greatest area of strength in this book to help you is in the area of communication. Since two of the six chapters primarily focus on communication it is particularly helpful for men – who typically have a greater struggle with communicating intimately than their female counterparts. Sproul gives numerous illustrations, and helpful ways to communicate the truth in love with your spouse. The author is a master communicator. If you have ever heard Dr. Sproul teach, preach, or read another of his many books you will be impressed with his unique ability to communicate effectively.

Since a huge problem in marriage for many couples is the inability to communicate – who better to learn from than a master communicator. I highly recommend this book to help you communicate more clearly and effectively in your marriage. Great communication is a wonderful goal to have whether you are single or married and this book is a deep well full of apples of gold to help you become a better communicator.

 

Book Review of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield’s “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.”

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“Insightful Thoughts From a Beautiful Follower of Jesus”

Book Review By Dr. David P. Craig

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (what a beautiful name) has written a delightful book highlighting her conversion to Christ and instruction on many topics that are thought provoking and insightful. Among the variety of topics covered in this book are evangelism; hospitality; education; homosexuality; church planting; male and female roles in complementarity; hermeneutics; dating; marriage; parenting; foster care; adoption; and worship.

The author writes in an entertaining way, and yet shares insights with tremendous depth and cogent logic. My wife and I have both enjoyed discussing the variety of topics brought forth by Butterfield and are grateful for her wisdom and biblical insight. Though we don’t agree with all of Butterfield’s conclusions we especially appreciated her honesty; critique of Christian legalism; and insights into reaching out to those who identify themselves in any way other than “Christian.”

As a pastor in a very secular community I was given many illustrations that will help me become better at reaching out to those who are “outsiders” of our church community. I am grateful that Rosaria has shared her “secret thoughts” publicly. As a result I think that my wife and I have been equipped to be “salt and light” in our community and will be more effective in our outreach to those who desperately need Christ (as do we) in our community.

Rosaria is to be commended for her service to our Lord as a Christian wife, mother, educator, evangelist, and disciple maker. Any follower of Christ would be encouraged in their pursuit of Christlikeness and better reflect His inner and outer beauty as a result of reading and practicing the wisdom articulated in this delightful book.

Book Review on Stu Weber’s “Four Pillars Of A Man’s Heart”

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“Required Reading For Every Man”

Book Review By Dr. David P. Craig

I’m one of those guys who is always about ten to twenty years behind on the latest books, television shows and movies. Stu Weber’s book came out many years ago (In the 1990’s) but as I prepared for a men’s retreat I’ll be leading in a few weeks I think this book stood out more than all the others I read as a book I would whole-heartedly recommend to any man. I missed it when it first came out, but I’m sure glad I read it. I would argue that this book is more relevant today than when Weber first penned it.

Many Christian men are clueless today about what it means to be a man. If men take their cues from our culture they are in serious trouble. However, if they look to the Scriptures for guidance they will find exactly what they need to know about biblical manhood. Stu Weber provides an essential guide to biblical manhood in this book. He identifies what he calls the “Four Pillars of Biblical Manhood.” These pillars when functioning in balance make for a man who is strong and balanced in the way that God designed him to be.

The four pillars (all found in Genesis 2:15-18) in a man’s heart are that he is to be a provider (King); protector (Warrior); teacher (Mentor); and a connector (Friend). If he is out of balance in any of these areas it will lead to chaos. However, if he is balanced in these areas of his life with his relationships; work; and ministry it will result in a tremendous impact on his marriage; family; church; and community/nation.

Weber has written a book that is biblical; full of illustrations and applications; and that is theologically sound. He defines, identifies, and explains clearly God’s design for men in a way that is logical and practical. This is a book that any man of any age will find encouragement, hope, and motivation to be all that he was designed to be for the purposes of God as a man in his brief time on earth.

Book Review Of Stu Weber’s “Tender Warrior”

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“God’s Design For Biblical Manhood”

Book Review by Dr. David P. Craig

I can hardly believe the speed with which God’s design for biblical manhood and womanhood has been decaying in American culture. I am so grateful for the legacy that my own parents have left behind for their four children, and multiple grand, and great grand children. My parents weren’t perfect by any means, but they were godly and strove to be biblical in every aspect of life which nowadays is saying a ton. In a culture where idolatry, selfishness, and any semblance of character and integrity are woefully lacking – this book offers much needed help for men who take God, marriage, parenting,, and friendship seriously.

Using personal examples, biblical examples, and principles based on God’s design for biblical manhood exemplified in Jesus, Stu Weber has written a very good biblical manual for men to help them think and act in accordance with God’s design for manhood. In a day where confusion reigns in regard to God’s purpose for men and women this book gives clarity and practical teaching on the purpose, calling, meaning, and design for manhood. I highly recommend Weber’s book as a helpful guide for men of any age.

Book Review on Dwight Bernier’s – One: A Gospel Guide to Pre-Marriage Counseling

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God-glorifying One Stop Resource For Counselors and Pastors

Book Reviewed by Dr. David P. Craig

As a pastor for the past thirty years I have done my share of pre-marital and post-marital counseling. I have found more and more that couples spend more time planning their wedding day, than they do preparing for being married to a partner for life. A man and a woman will spend four to eleven years post high school for their careers, but often will not even crack open one book to help them with their marriage. This book provides seven guided sessions for a Christian couple to be well-prepared for marriage.

Bernier wisely writes at the outset, “The great challenge in marriage is to lose ‘me’ and become ‘us’ while our hearts, in contrast, want to glorify ‘me’…the great hope in marriage is that Jesus is changing ‘us’ and our hearts…The Spirit of God begins the process of morphing our motives to be more in line with the kingdom of God rather than the kingdom that we once belonged to.” In seven sessions Bernier provides a Christo-centric approach as being absolutely essential and foundational to building a great marriage. In seven sessions there are assigned readings from three excellent resources (not included – these books need to be purchased apart from this guide): Dave Harvey’s When Sinners Say I Do; Timothy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage; and Justin Buzzard’s Date Your Wife.

In the seven sessions Bernier includes homework assignments from the readings; questions to discuss based on Scripture; personal application questions; and helps the counselor weave the gospel into the story of marriage. Each session contains a list of tasks to complete before each subsequent meeting. The various topics the book covers are: biblical love, friendship, glorifying God through marriage, roles and God’s design for marriage, how to be merciful and forgiving, implementing soul care via the gospel, and sex.

Bernier has provided a wonderful resource for pastors and counselors. It’s literally a step by step guide that is gospel centered, Christ glorifying, and covers the biblical foundations for establishing a God-glorifying marriage. I think it’s the best resource of its kind that I’ve seen and thus highly recommend it as an effective resource for those who value God’s design for marriage.

Q & A with Dr. Tim Keller on “The Meaning of Marriage”

The Meaning of Marriage Image

Interview Conducted by Karen Swallow Prior/ NOVEMBER 1, 2011

Why the pastor says gender roles are changing and how the church can be more effective in promoting marriage.

What does your book contribute to the conversation about marriage that other books have not?

It’s not simply a how-to manual. Many Christian marriage books are “here’s how to work on your problems.” On the other hand, the book is not just theological or “here’s the biblical view of marriage.” The most recent and the best-selling Christian books on marriage from the last few years were either theological, polemical, or absolutely practical. This is a combination of those.  Most books I know on the subject recently have not been written by pastors; they’ve been written by counselors or theologians or people like that. This book was originally a series of sermons. When you preach, the sermon usually goes from the theological to the more polemical and into the practical.

You suggest that the Bible’s teachings come “not only in well-stated propositions, but also through brilliant stories and moving poetry.” Has the contemporary church been less effective in presenting good stories about marriage than in stating propositions?

I don’t know that I would say the church has been great at laying out rules, and I don’t think it’s actually been very practical. The theological tends to be propositions. The polemical tends to be arguments. The practical uses lots of stories to give you the gist of what a good marriage should be like. Somewhere in Mystery and Manners, Flannery O’Connor was asked to put the basic point of her short story in a nutshell. She said, ‘If I could put it in a nutshell, I wouldn’t have had to write the story.’

I believe she says a story can’t be paraphrased.

Yes, that’s right. I think what she means is a story gives you an excess of meaning that no proposition could possibly convey, or even a set of propositions. There’s meaning that comes with a narrative that is certainly somewhat propositional—you can put some of it into propositions—but the impact is greater.

On a practical level, the church doesn’t do a great job of giving people a vision for what God wants marriage to be. I actually think that’s a way that my book is somewhat different in that it’s almost as much for a non-married person as for a married person. I actually think, in the end, what is very practical for both singles and married people is they need to get a breathtaking vision for what marriage should be. I don’t know if the strictly theological, strictly polemical, and strictly practical books do that.

One of the paradoxes you talk about is how the commitment of marriage actually produces freedom: the freedom to be truly ourselves, the freedom to be fully known, the freedom to be there in the future for those we love and who love us. Why do you believe that the commitment of marriage is viewed as largely anything but freeing today?

Our culture pits the two against each other. The culture says you have to be free from any obligation to really be free. The modern view of freedom is freedom from. It’s negative: freedom from any obligation, freedom from anybody telling me how I have to live my life. The biblical view is a richer view of freedom. It’s the freedom of—the freedom of joy, the freedom of realizing what I was designed to be.

If you don’t bind yourself to practice the piano for eight hours a day for ten years, you’ll never know the freedom of being able to sit down and express yourself through playing beautiful music. I don’t have that freedom. It’s very clear that to be able to do so is a freeing thing for people, with the diminishment of choice. And since freedom now is defined as all options, the power of choice, that’s freedom from. I don’t think ancient people saw these things as contradictions, but modern people do.

Your wife Kathy adheres to a complementarian view of gender roles but points out that a subdivision of labor can vary greatly within marriages and across cultures, generations, and societies. You state that cultural gender roles are not necessarily the same as biblical gender roles. Might this view might advance the egalitarian vs. complementarian debate beyond a current stalemate?

I don’t know. I would love that. Let’s just say, I hope so. I don’t have a lot of hopes right now about some of the stalemates we have in our evangelical world.

On the one hand, we say there is such a thing as male headship. It is irreducible in the home and in the church. But then, the details of what it looks like are almost completely un-spelled out. There are hints, but they are not laid out. We think it’s a principle for all times, all places, and all cultures, so if you had any list of specifics, it would make the principle less applicable. Complementarians admit the principle, but they always add a list of specifics that they treat as universal. Egalitarians won’t admit the principle. So, you might say we’re complementarians who endorse the principle that the husband and wife say “yes, the husband is the head,” but then we expect couples to come up with what that’s going to look like in their own marriage. Just don’t punt on the principle.

You describe marriage as a means for each spouse to “become their glorious future-selves through sacrificial service and spiritual friendship” and sex as one of the expressions of that relationship.  Such a purpose pre-supposes a belief in a biblical eschatology. What purpose does marriage serve for those who do not share such a belief?

It doesn’t have the vertical dimension. A Christian marriage shows me more of the gospel, shows me more of Christ’s love. But there’s no doubt that marriage has natural benefits, too. First, it creates a stable environment for the rearing of children, who can’t thrive as well anywhere else. It also brings the two genders together to complement one another and knock off the rough edges. Marriage provides the personal growth that comes through cross-gender relationships.

Do you think the question of gay marriage has been settled politically? Would it have been more effectively addressed by the church if the church had more effectively upheld and supported the biblical model of marriage?

Right now it seems as if gay marriage has the upper hand politically, but it’s hard to say whether 50 years from now gay marriage will still have public support. Gay marriage activists say that if you don’t believe in gay marriage, it’s the same as not believing in interracial marriage. They don’t realize that’s not at all the case, because the texts of the major religions do not treat the subjects of race and homosexuality the same.

What advice can you offer families who are devoting more hours to work and less to home and family because of the economy?

It’s a very hard time now economically. In the end, family has to take precedence over making money. As the saying goes, on one’s deathbed, no one says, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”

Source: www.christianitytoday.com (November 1, 2011)

PAUL TRIPP: 6 Essential Commitments For A Solid Marriage

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COMMITMENT #1: We will give ourselves to a regular lifestyle of confession and forgiveness.

COMMITMENT #2: We will make growth and change our daily agenda.

COMMITMENT #3: We will work together to build a sturdy bond of trust.

COMMITMENT #4: We will commit to building a relationship of love.

COMMITMENT #5: We will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace.

COMMITMENT #6: We will work to protect our marriage.

*SOURCE: Paul David Tripp. What Did You Expect?? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. Wheaton. Crossway Books, 2010. (Many times in the book – from the Table of Contents and following).

An Acronym for Showing L.O.V.E

SHOWING LOVE IS:

Couple walking on the beach

Listening when you are speaking

Offering my help when you need it

Valuing all the wonderful things you do

Encouraging you when times are tough

– Tami Stephens

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