For a looooong time, I’ve been wanting to put together a list of recommended reads. Unfortunately, I have the memory of a fruit fly, so some books I read years ago, I couldn’t have told you what was in them for anything. And I don’t feel comfortable recommending a resource I can’t even remember.
So I finally revisited some of those books, read several newer ones, and started a list of recommendations that would make good gifts for your marriage. If you’re looking to get a book for your spouse or for you both for Christmas, here are some suggestions. (And yes, these links are affiliates, but you can find these titles in many bookstores.)
For Couples on Marriage Generally
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman. “Dr. Gary Chapman guides couples in identifying, understanding, and speaking their spouse’s primary love language—quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. By learning the five love languages, you and your spouse will discover your unique love languages and learn practical steps in truly loving each other.”
Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. “Learn when to say yes and when to say no–to your spouse and to others–to make the most of your marriage Only when a husband and wife know and respect each other’s needs, choices, and freedom can they give themselves freely and lovingly to one another.”
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs. “A wife has one driving need—to feel loved. When that need is met, she is happy. A husband has one driving need—to feel respected. When that need is met, he is happy. When either of these needs isn’t met, things get crazy. Love and Respect reveals why spouses react negatively to each other, and how they can deal with such conflict quickly, easily, and biblically.”
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman, Ph.D. and Nan Silver. “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the result of Dr. John Gottman’s many years of closely observing thousands of marriages. This kind of longitudinal research has never been done before. Based on his findings, he has culled seven principles essential to the success of any marriage.”
For Couples on Sexual Intimacy
31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire. “This series takes you step by step in the process of building a fun and intimate sex life. It doesn’t only focus on the mechanics of sex–though there certainly are posts that will help you in that department. It also focuses on building friendship, experiencing real intimacy, and learning to have fun again, just the way God intended.”
Kiss Me Like You Mean It! Solomon’s Crazy In Love How-To Manual by Dr. David Clarke. “You can reclaim that mad-for-you, crazy-in-love feeling, and this time it will be deeper and more intimate than ever before. Your guide? King Solomon, the Bible’s greatest lover, who has a few secrets up his ancient sleeve about how a husband and wife can experience unending passion–and have a blast doing it.”
Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage by Jeffrey Murphy and Julie Sibert. “This book comprehensively looks at the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of your sexual intimacy, tackles some of the toughest questions that couples face and includes discussion questions that will foster deeper communication for you as a couple. This book also includes an extensive list of marriage-building resources. Get ready to take your intimacy to a whole new level!”
Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Dr. Kevin Leman. “This frank and practical book is a perfect resource for married and engaged couples. Dr. Leman addresses a wide spectrum of people, from those with no sexual experiences to those with past sexual problems or even abuse. Using frank descriptions, this book has a warm and friendly tone that will help couples overcome awkwardness in discussing an issue important to all married couples.”
For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn. “The man in your life carries important feelings so deep inside he barely knows they’re there, much less how to talk about them. Yet your man genuinely wants you to ‘get’ him—to understand his inner life, to know his fears and needs, to hear what he wishes he could tell you.”
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex: (And You Thought Bad Girls Have All the Fun) by Sheila Wray Gregoire. “The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex will give the newly engaged and new brides—and some veteran wives—a Christian place to turn to answer their most intimate, and embarrassing, questions. In a conversational style, with lots of humorous anecdotes, the book will show that sex isn’t just physical: it’s also an emotional and spiritual experience. And we’ll learn why commitment in a Christian marriage is the perfect recipe for a sex life which is out of this world!”
Is That All He Thinks About? How to Enjoy Great Sex with Your Husband by Marla Taviano. “For many married women, their sex life is a source of frustration instead of the pleasure they expected. Author Marla Taviano believes most women need an attitude adjustment before they and their husbands will experience a fulfilling sex life.”
Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage by J. Parker. “What does the Bible say about sexual intimacy? Quite a lot actually. From marriage-specific scriptures to biblical principles, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage guides Christian wives through weekly devotions that shed light on God’s gift of marital sex.”
Hot, Holy & Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design. “Do you want to be a hottie in the bedroom without sacrificing holiness? How can you make the most of God’s gift of sexual intimacy in marriage? Wrongful thinking and behaviors regarding sex permeate our culture. Christians need to reclaim sexuality and enjoy it in the way God intended. God does not shy away from the subject of sex. The Bible shows a better way in every area—including the marital bedroom. In Hot, Holy, and Humorous, author J. Parker gives candid advice for wives from a foundation of faith with a splash of humor. This book can boost your sex savvy and improve your marital intimacy. And guess what? With God’s perfect design, you and your spouse can enjoy the most amazing sex!” Updated 11/16.
Crazy Good Sex: Putting to Bed the Myths Men Have about Sex by Dr. Les Parrott. “In this practical guidebook filled with straight talk about the issues that concern men, psychologist Dr. Les Parrott reveals the truth about six areas that can undermine a man’s confidence, damage his marriage, and leave him struggling unnecessarily with temptation.”
For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women by Shaunti & Jeff Feldhahn. “Finally, you can understand her! If you’re like most men, you’ve burned up lots of energy trying to figure out what a woman wants, what makes her tick, how to make her happy. The good news: success is simpler than you ever thought.”
By the way…
From time to time, I get asked about books for Christians on sexual positions. I need to write that book! Actually, I have seen a few books in bookstores with tasteful illustrations, but you have to be very careful in this realm. I’m still looking for the right book in this arena, so if you have a recommendation, let me know. The only one I’ve given to others is a fun little gift book called The Cookie Sutra by Edward Jaye, which is not specifically Christian and includes gingerbread people illustrations (along with recipes!).
Okay, those are some of my top picks for you and your marriage!
Now which one(s) of these do you recommend? And what other marriage books would add to my list?
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What does the Bible say about sexual intimacy?
Quite a lot actually. From marriage-specific scriptures to biblical principles, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage guides Christian wives through weekly devotions that shed light on God’s gift of marital sex.
Each week includes a Bible passage, application, questions, and a prayer. These short devotions will deepen your understanding of God’s design of sexuality and encourage you toward a holier, happier, and hotter marriage.