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I’ve always loved books. Growing up, if I wasn’t outside playing soccer, you could find me curled up on the couch with a book in my hand. My parents would frequently joke that they were going to go broke trying to get me new books!
Although I don’t play soccer anymore and my time on the couch is limited by my very active daughter, I still love books!
So it’s no surprise that after I got engaged, I wanted to read every book I could possibly get my hands on about Christian marriage and how to be a good wife for the man God has given me.
God has used each of the books on this list to minister to my heart, provide comfort in tough times, change me in more ways than I can count, and, most importantly of all, to bring me closer to God and closer to my husband.
Many of these books I have read over and over again as marriage is constantly bringing new challenges and new times of growth.
I share this list with you from my hearts of hearts, sincerely praying that you will find an amazing book that God will use to minister to you in your current season of marriage.
Whether you have a great marriage and just want to continue to grow in the Lord as a wife or if you’re in a difficult place in your marriage and need support, comfort, and leading from the Lord, I pray that God will use the books from this list to draw you nearer to Him and nearer to your husband.
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With all of that in mind, here is my list of the 10 best, life-and-marriage-changing books for Christian wives:
I’m not going to lie to you, this book is not for the faint of heart. The incredible author, Shaunti Feldhahn, surveyed hundreds of men to find out what they’re really thinking when it comes to their wives and marriages. It is absolutely eye-opening and, at times, difficult to read. There was one chapter in particular that rocked my world, but I don’t want to spoil it for you so I’ll let you check it out for yourself. If you really want to know what your husband is thinking and how this can change everything for you as a wife, check out For Women Only. As a bonus, Shaunti and her husband, Jeff, teamed up to write For Men Only so that husbands can get an inside look at the minds of their wives. My husband read it and definitely benefited from the insights provided by Shaunti and Jeff.
Gary Thomas, the author of A Lifelong Love, is probably my favorite Christian author. His books reliably draw my husband and I nearer to God and to one another. In A Lifelong Love, Gary focuses on building a marriage, with God as the foundation, that not only withstands the test of time but inspires others to grow closer to God. God used this book to get my husband and I excited about how our love can glorify God, and how God can use our marriage as a ministry to others. If you’re looking for a way to build a deeper, more Christ-centered marriage with your husband, the type of marriage that can serve as a ministry to those around you, A Lifelong Love is for you!
Wild at Heart is not specifically a book about marriage but, rather, a book about understanding the heart of a man. God used this book to show me some of the deepest needs in the heart of my husband and gave me a much greater understanding of how to love him well. Wild at Heart is also an important book for moms of boys. If you want to better understand exactly what makes the men in your life tick, check out Wild at Heart. As a bonus, you can also pick up Captivating. In Captivating, John Eldredge and his wife, Stasi, reveal the deepest needs in a woman’s heart. This book helped my husband to understand me better and, I believe, will help us both to have a deeper understanding of our daughter’s needs as she gets older.
My husband and I read The 5 Love Languages as part of a study group through our church. Each week we’d get together with 5 other couples and talk about a chapter of The 5 Love Languages. It was amazing to see how God used the principles described by Gary Chapman to breathe life into marriages. You can speak love to your husband in many different ways but, if you’re not speaking his language, he’s not fully receiving that love. I’m definitely a “Quality Time” girl and my husband is a “Words of Affirmation” guy, so I have to understand that time together doesn’t fill him up the same way that compliments, approval, and words of love do. The 5 Love Languages is a great book for understanding specific ways to better love your husband.
Sheet Music was recommended to me by another Christian wife while I was still engaged to my husband-to-be. After we got married, I was so glad I’d read it! My husband and I actually went back and re-read some chapters together. In Sheet Music, Dr. Kevin Leman discusses physical intimacy in marriage in some very frank ways but this frankness is exactly what makes Sheet Music so helpful. It’s not explicit or inappropriate, but it also doesn’t glaze over this very important aspect of marriage like many Christian marriage books do. Dr. Leman includes two chapters that are “For Men Only” and “For Women Only” which present very valuable, balanced, and helpful information for both husbands and wives. If you’re at a place in your marriage where you need to grow in physical intimacy, Sheet Music would be a great choice for you!
Cherish is another amazing Gary Thomas book. It was just released in January and is already a favorite of mine! In Cherish, Gary writes about the importance of cherishing your spouse and outlines specific ways to do this using Song of Songs as a beautiful reference. For my husband and I, as we’ve been adjusting to having our first child, God has used this book to reawaken some of that newlywed excitement in our marriage. Since reading Cherish, there has definitely been more romance and butterflies in this house! If you’re in a season of routine in your marriage, Cherish just may be the perfect book to bring back some romance for you!
I’ve mentioned The Power of a Praying Wife in several other blog posts because it’s just that good. It really is. When I first got married, I was more than a little overwhelmed with mingling my spiritual life with someone else’s and figuring out how to pray for this man whom God had given me. One of my best friends recommended The Power of a Praying Wife to me, and it revolutionized my prayer life. Stormie outlines 31 areas of a man’s life and gives exact scriptures and prayers for each area. It is so detailed and helpful that I have read it over and over again. It’s perfect for praying over one area of your husband’s life each day of the month or you can pray through multiple prayers throughout the day. If you’re struggling with prayer for your husband, The Power of a Praying Wife is for you! Also, for you husband, Stormie has written The Power of a Praying Husband. With these two books, you and your husband will be an incredible prayer team!
Sacred Influence is, not surprisingly, another Gary Thomas gem! I actually just read Sacred Influence a few months ago, and I am so glad I did! In Sacred Influence, Gary discusses how a wife can influence her marriage for positive, godly change. Gary is so encouraging and inspiring as he outlines how important wives are in the lives of their husbands and how much power we have to speak life into our men. God used this book to change how I support my husband, and I am definitely more secure in my position as a Christian wife after reading it. If you feel like you’re just treading water in your marriage, and you’re not sure how you can bring about godly changes, check out Sacred Influence!
A Wife After God’s Own Heart is another book I’ve mentioned frequently on this site because it has been so life-changing for me. The author, Elizabeth George, has been an amazing Titus 2 mentor to me through this book. In A Wife After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth provides an incredibly practical guide for serving God as a wife, even when doing seemingly mundane chores like laundry. If you’re looking for meaning in the everyday tasks of being a wife and a mom, let God use Elizabeth to minister to you through A Wife After God’s Own Heart. Elizabeth has also written A Woman After God’s Own Heart and A Mom After God’s Own Heart. I’ve read both, and they are incredible too!
My absolute number one book for Christian wives (and for Christian husbands, too) is Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. If you only buy one marriage book on this list, it should be Sacred Marriage. My husband and I studied this book over the course of 12 weeks in our premarital counseling, and we can confidently say that God used this book to save our marriage before it even started. In Sacred Marriage, Gary changes the entire focus of marriage from happiness to holiness. This focus really is a game changer. It gives meaning to hard times. It brings added joy in good times. Where A Lifelong Love speaks to the ministry of marriage and Cherish speaks to the romance of marriage, Sacred Marriage speaks to the maturity of marriage. There are many seasons of sowing in marriage, and Sacred Marriage gives meaning and perspective to these seasons. If you are a Christian who is engaged or already married, Sacred Marriage is absolutely for you!
So I know that I said there would only be 10 books on the list, but I have one more to add that’s not a marriage book but still incredibly important to read on a regular basis for the well-being of you and your marriage: The Holy Bible. If you don’t already have a Bible that you love, I highly recommend the Lifestyle Application Study Bible. My mom gave me mine when I first became a Christian at 17 years old, and I still love it many years later!
And that’s my list of amazing Christian books to nurture your marriage in 2017! I truly hope you’ve found a book (or 11!) from this list that will bring you closer to God and closer to your husband!
I’m sure I missed some great books so now it’s your turn! If you have a recommendation, I’d love it if you’d share in the comments below!