Reformers Recommends: Christian Books on Marriage

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Marriage is a topic that many of us will need to deal with and for those of us that are married, it is often a topic that we desperately want help with. Marriage is wonderful but in this sinful world it isn't easy.

We've selected our top books on marriage to help you grow in your marriage.

Gospel Centered Marriage

This short book is a great introduction to marriage. Tim Chester covers the major themes of the purpose of marriage, roles in marriage, communication and intimacy. It is designed to be an interactive experience with lots of study questions and examples to think through.

One of the other benefits is that the chapters are generally based on specific biblical texts which the reader is encouraged to read and think carefully about. This has the effect of rooting some of the fundamental principles of marriage in scripture which is why I would recommend this as a good book for a couple to work though at some point early in their marriage.

Love that Lasts

“Love that Lasts” is written by Gary and Betsy Ricucci so it is a book on marriage from both the husband and the wife’s perspective.

This book covers three main areas of marriage: the roles of husband and wife, communication and conflict and, romance and intimacy. The first area (biblical roles) is particularly important as it is something which is lacking in many marriage books.

I particularly appreciated the chapters on communication and their emphasis on relational intimacy and thinking about the content of our communication.

The Ricucci’s are very practical in their writing giving many ideas, tips and examples of how to implement the principles they discuss in your marriage.

When Sinners Say “I Do”

Dave Harvey provides deeply practical advice from the firm basis of the gospel in all of it's glory. This is not a book to read if you want to gloss over sin. Dave approaches marriage very realistically - as the title suggests, this is a book about two sinners saying "I Do".

You will find in this book some practical tips on what to do when your spouse sins however, like all great books, these practical tips flow from a fundamental theology that Dave explains in the early part of the book.

One of the most beautiful aspects of this books is the hope that it presents. One of the chapters is called "Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement" and this is really the point Dave is making. When you view your marriage - when you view yourself - from the perspective of two sinners living together, mercy can triumph. Forgiveness can triumph. The Gospel can triumph.

Reforming Marriage

Reforming Marriage is one of my favourite books on marriage. Douglas Wilson has the ability to present a practical theology of marriage which combines a robust understanding of the gospel with a deep knowledge of the practical challenges faced in marriage.

Wilson’s emphasis on the responsibility that a husband should take in marriage, the importance of confession of sin and the effect that a husbands love for his wife should have are key ideas. The chapter on Miscellaneous Temptations contains many nuggets of wisdom that are not dealt with in other marriage books.

Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs to Make

Paul David Tripp is well known and respected for his ability to apply the gospel to everyday life. In this updated edition of “What Did You Expect?”, Tripp applies the gospel to marriage.

Tripp starts with worship and shows that fixing our worship is a key requirement to have a God-glorifying marriage. This fundamental principle then changes how we approach our marriage by enabling us to confess sin, forgive freely, love sacrificially and seek to grow bonds of trust and love.

One of the benefits of this book is that it is intensely practical. Tripp writes with application in mind, giving everyday examples and urging his readers to put into practice the 6 gospel commitments that the book is about.