"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Friday, 23 November 2012

On Reading: Marriage, Family, and Other Lifestyle Books

This category would include books about marriage and raising a family, but also others geared to your real life right now: books about dating or engagement, books about living the single life, books about womanhood or manhood, books about aging gracefully. It's kind of a catch-all category, but I'm thinking of books that you read to help you in the stage you're in right now, or to prepare you for what's ahead. They may be Christian in nature, but tend to the more practical side, whereas yesterday we talked about literature that is applicable to all Christians.

My aim in this series was to talk about books, reading, and my own reading habits, but also to have some application to the reading habits of others. When I read other blogs of women around my age who discuss books from time to time, it seems the top three book categories mentioned are fiction, Christian lit, and “lifestyle” (although probably more family-oriented since I'm old most people my age seem to have kids.) Hence, I included today's category, even though I don't read these books very often, or at least I don't finish them often. (Hmmm, there seems to be a theme here...)

Nevertheless, I see the value in reading these kinds of books. Marriage is hard sometimes, and unless you have really solid, honest friendships and mentors you interact with regularly, it's difficult to get input and advice that will strengthen your marriage (rather than just give you an outlet to complain). On the other hand, reading only this kind of literature can give you a kind of “information overload”, where you may feel stressed about which advice to follow or so full of new information that you can't take it in. Of course, as with yesterday's category, Christians should carefully examine marriage (or other lifestyle books) in light of the Bible.

I have a few marriage-related books that I've always intended to read, but honestly the only one that I actually finished was obligatory reading for our pre-marital counseling sessions. I started Love and Respect, but only got a third of the way through, and have high hopes of reading Sacred Marriage and The Five Love Languages one of these days. I think my downfall is that I want to really engage with these books by journalling while reading, but that makes the process fairly slow so it doesn't get done at all.

Whenever we start our family, reading parenting books will probably come a bit more naturally, since there are so many decisions and habits to put in place with little ones and neither Gil, nor I have much experience. Until then, I'd love your input: Do you read books on marriage, dating, family-raising, etc.? Which marriage books are the most helpful or insightful? What should we plan on reading when we have children?


  1. When I was single, I read tons of books on singleness, relationships and marriage! Loads and loads and loads of them. I found them amazingly helpful. Yes, no 2 people are the same as the next 2 people, but there were themes that I picked up on and those really have affected my marriage positively.

    My favorites are: Love & Respect, Creative Counterpart, Set Apart Femininity, Serious About Getting Married: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness, Every Woman's Marriage.

    Now that I'm a parent (although a really new one), I really like Grace Based Parenting, anything by Dr. Dobson, anything by John Rosemond, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, Never Mind the Joneses.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I will definitely check out Every Woman's Marriage and some of the others.

    It's funny, I think I read more of these kinds of books when I was single. I remember enjoying Passion and Purity as well as some others on dating. Maybe that's because my roommate at the time had a lot of great resources!

  3. I think now, after several years of being married, I would recommend totally different books than when I first was wed. I realize these posts are a bit older, so I'm hoping later posts give your thoughts once you read some of these books :)

    1. Definitely! I would love some newer recommendations. I finally did read Sacred Marriage this year and enjoyed it.