There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. | 1 John 4:18
Whether you are new in a relationship that is still blossoming with potential, in a seasoned marriage that has been through its fair share of trials, or waiting for a new partnership to arrive, there is always room for growth. We can always be better towards ourselves and towards the ones we love. Here are a few of our favorite books that provide tools and insight for a stronger union:
1. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller
Using the Bible as his guide, coupled with insightful commentary from his wife of thirty-six years, Kathy, Timothy Keller shows that God created marriage to bring us closer to him and to bring us more joy in our lives. It is a glorious relationship that is also the most misunderstood and mysterious. With a clear-eyed understanding of the Bible, and meaningful instruction on how to have a successful marriage, The Meaning of Marriage is essential reading for anyone who wants to know God and love more deeply in this life. (GoodReads)
2. Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa Teurkeurst
With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:
Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt.
Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence.
Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.
Stop feeling left out and start believing that “set apart” does not mean “set aside.”
End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full-blown issue. (GoodReads)
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today. (GoodReads)
What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp
This unique book introduces a biblical and practical approach to those realities that is rooted in God’s faithfulness and Scripture’s teaching on sin and grace. Spouses need to be reconciled to each other and to God on a daily basis, Tripp declares. Since we’re always sinners married to sinners, reconciliation isn’t just the right response in moments of failure. It must be the lifestyle of any healthy marriage. What Did You Expect? presents six practical commitments that give shape and momentum to such a lifestyle. These commitments, which include honestly facing sin, weakness, and failure; willingness to change; and embodying Christ’s love, will equip couples to develop a thriving, grace-based marriage in all circumstances and seasons of their relationship. (GoodReads)
We were created for deep connections. When people have deep connections, says John Ortberg, they win in life. When they don’t have deep connections, they cannot win in life. I’d Like You More if You Were More like Me offers help in overcoming one of the biggest obstacles to making deep connections: the fact that we’re so different. Different from God and different from each other. (GoodReads)