7 Super Helpful Christian Marriage Resources

Marriage. It’s just so wonderful! I can’t imagine life without my loving, godly, brilliant, generous husband. God knew Jesse was and is everything I could ever want or need.

As my husband and I have tried to reach out to other couples in times of need (physically, spiritually, maritally), I’ve realized how blessed I truly am. We’ve seen marriages in shambles, torn apart by alcohol, drugs, or just plan selfishness. Thinking about my husband and how good he is to me (and I recommend you think of your spouse and why you’re thankful regularly!) makes me wish everyone had this amazing gift of marriage. What a gift it truly is!

Now I know marriage is not for everyone. The Bible even says so. However, for the ones who have chosen marriage but haven’t seen the goodness of it as I’m referring to, my heart hurts for them because God has designed it to be awesome.

I’m certainly nowhere close to perfect, and I can’t boast of having a perfect marriage. I’m learning and growing, and so is my husband. He is so patient with me, and God is so merciful. I’m sharing these resources because I believe they can revolutionize a marriage if just one spouse will read or listen and apply the principles (and especially if both spouses will read it and attempt to apply what they read to their lives).

Yes, I typically stick to the topic of saving money. But if you think about it, preventative maintenance for your marriage does save you money. It’s usually cheaper than counseling, than alimony, than trying to live separate lives…. Think of these resources as the investments they truly are.

Love and Respect – Men are created to need respect, just as women are designed to crave love. Have you ever gotten into the crazy cycle? It’s like this: without respect, he responds in an unloving way. And so without love, she responds disrespectfully, causing him to respond unlovingly. And the craziness continues! Simple concept, yet applying it is not always easy.

His Needs, Her Needs (which is actually similar, in my opinion, to Becoming Your Spouse’s Better Half, JFYI; I just prefer the writing style of Harley) – Although we would not admit it, we subconsciously enter marriage thinking our spouses will magically know and meet all our needs. And then we forget that our spouses have needs we don’t naturally know and meet. Why are we so quick to blame and feel so wronged when our needs aren’t being met, yet so slow to consider whether or not we are meeting our spouse’s needs?

The Five Love Languages – As individuals we all receive love in different ways. You may feel unloved because your husband never buys you anything – if your love language is receiving gifts. But maybe his language is spending time together; he may think he’s showing you immense love because he’s always spending time with you, but if your language is receiving gifts, his time doesn’t mean as much to you as it does to him. Quite a fascinating concept. Do you know your spouse’s language of love?

For Men OnlyFor Women Only – The facts and statistics speak for themselves. These authors truly put great time and effort into this survey-filled book, giving you a window into the typical mind of the opposite gender. Did you know men are created visual? Yep, it’s a fact. About 75%-80% of men are visual. I’m thankful my husband read For Men Only and that he can confidently say when I’m crying and don’t know why, “It’s okay. You’re a woman. Sometimes you need a good cry…for no reason at all.”

Intended for Pleasure – I won’t go into this much except to say that if you’re married, you should read this, no matter what stage of marriage you’re in (and probably especially if you’re a woman).

gabrielruhl.com is an fantastic website with marriage lessons you can listen to. He daily helps marriages of people who don’t even know some basic marriage principles, and he does so passionately. Many arguments have never come to fruition because of these inspiring lessons.

Dr. James Dobson’s…anything on marriage! I love his insights. He’s a Christian, a physiologist, a husband, a father, a writer, and the list I’m sure could go on. He has an app for you to easily listen to while you clean or exercise or travel. I could listen to his thought-provoking material all day!

What about you? Have you read or listened to any of these? What are some books that have definitely enhanced your marriage or relationships?

Photo credit: Naomi Green

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Our Story

Meet Jesse. He’s my husband, and he’s AMAZING!!! God never ceases to amaze me in His goodness or His omniscience (among many other things).

Jesse and I met in college and were privileged to work on the same staff together after college. We had mutual friends and got to hang out and get to know each other quite a bit before we ever started dating.

In God’s goodness, He healed me from a broken heart from a previous relationship, and in God’s omniscience, He knew I would not only take some time for healing but that I would also need someone who would simply be my friend and be there for me whether I asked for it or not. Jesse unquestionably was that friend.

After some chasing and some flirting and some more chasing, Jesse and I started dating in the summer of 2013. Our first date was Fourth of July, and it was a BLAST! I hadn’t laughed that hard in…who knows how long!

My guard was up, to say the least. I loved spending time with Jesse, and I knew he had zero intentions of hurting me. Ever. But my guard was up nonetheless. I wasn’t going down that road again. One day after we left hanging out with friends, Jesse decided it was time for me to know something: he wasn’t going away. I was behind a locked gate (according to the picture he drew for me), and he was standing outside the door, patiently waiting. There was no rush to open the door. No rush to do anything I didn’t want to do. But he was there, waiting. And he would be there when I was ready to open the door. He wasn’t going away. (Was that a dare? I’m sick, I know…)

When I was about to go home for Christmas, Jesse gave me something I’d always wanted: a free-standing mirror… and then he told me he loved me! I did some serious praying in Texas while Jesse and I were apart. I knew I couldn’t be wrong again. My heart couldn’t handle it. But God – as He always does – gave me direction and peace. He gave me a verse that basically said “trust and obey.” And so when I returned to California, I happily  said, “I love you back.”

We continued to get to know each other more seriously, going on fun dates like riding the Metro to visit Chinatown, adoring the beautiful El Matador Beach, and fine dining at Denny’s.

One particular Memorial Day, we both had the day off, and Jesse said that we could go hiking (that’s my JAM!) and that I could invite a friend or two if I wanted. I picked the place and packed some snacks, and we were off. Oh, and I brought some clothes to change in to for dinner because I know Jesse likes to eat at nice places (that’s his jam!). So after getting to the famous bridge (of The Bridge to Nowhere) and enjoying some waterfalls and some rest, we were starting the 5 mile hike back when Jesse stopped me on the bridge to tell me how much he loved me. And to be honest, it took a little while for me to realize he was actually proposing, considering the whole day was “my” idea (which is what he wanted me to think!). Needless to say, he totally caught me off guard, and that’s all I wanted.

We were married about a year after we started dating, thanks to an amazing mom and sister-in-law who took care of all the details in under 3 months!

The rest is history in the making, and we thank God for the journey He’s put us on together.

Photography that is not my own (first and last picture) is by Autum Vaught Photography.