This past Sunday we preached Marriage, Children, and the Kingdom of God from Mark 10:1-16. As I prepared for the sermon, I found myself reading, perusing, and reflecting on the many marriage books I have. To the writing of books on marriage, there seems to be no end. And like most pastors, I have more than my share. However, there are a few that I have found particularly insightful, helpful, convicting, and God-ward pointing. Some of these I have had for years and continue to receive much encouragement from them. Others I either received or began reading for the first time this week. Yet, I believe I have found my corpus for reading on marriage – that is, until the next best thing comes out next week.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for a good book on marriage, one of these would surely fit the bill:
Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make us Holy More than To Make Us Happy by Gary Thomas. The subtitle says it all. This may be my favorite book on marriage. I first read this book years ago, and the subtitle alone still challenges me. And while I would not want to draw a hard-line between holiness and happiness, I am reminded not to think of either of those biblical blessings as the world does. Thomas is good writer. His writing is penetrating and thoughtful.
What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul Tripp. Tripp writes with a gospel-centeredness that makes you grapple with your sin. And yet always offers sin-overcoming hope in Christ. Good book.
When Sinners Say: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage by Dave Harvey. I have used this book more often in marital counseling than any other. It is not as lengthy as the others, but it gets right to the heart of the matter. My wife married a sinner, and I must never forget that she is reminded of that everyday.
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy and Kathy Keller. This is a relatively new book. In fact, I bought it this past week on Kindle and read it as I was preparing for this past week’s sermon. I was pleasantly surprised with the ease of reading, and the pastoral insights. It has already found its way into my top five.
God, Marriage, and the Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundations by Andreas J. Kostenberger and David W. Jones. Ok, I must admit that I have had this book on my shelf for a while now. It was not until this week in preparation for the sermon that I actually began reading it. Now I can say that it is the best book on marriage I have read. This book provides the most comprehensive biblical theology of marriage I have seen. If you are looking for a theology of marriage, this is it.
Again, I am not saying that these are the best books on marriage. I have not read all books and thus would not dare make that statement. However, these are my personal favorites, and the ones I highly recommend. If you are looking for a good, biblically grounded resource on marriage, either or all of these will do you well.