1. Love + Respect Michael and I read this book together and then read it again together 5 years later and my, how much things have changed! It’s funny how you think you know everything before you even get married. It was fun to do it 5 years later because certain things aren’t even an issue anymore that might have been 5 years ago and then there are other areas we find we need to work on now. And reading a book 5 years later is like reading it for the first time again! I suggest buying the workbook that goes along with it so you can write down you thoughts to all the questions that come up in the book and then discuss everything with your fiance/spouse. Michael and I read a chapter a week, used the workbook and then chose one day a week to get together and go over the material together. It helps to know where you differ and talk about each topic before it becomes a problem.
2. The Most Important Year This is a great book and is fun because half the book is reading for the groom and the other side (literally flip it over) is reading for the bride. I’ve begun gifting this to my clients after their wedding because I think it’s a good overall book to read if they’re only going to read one. It’s easy reading and I think it’s a good first book to read and find it includes important elements that other books don’t cover. It’s fairly important to read it right after you get married or maybe before, since it’s helpful to know the reality of marriage that they cover. May help lessen the shock. Gosh I’m making marriage sound bad (it’s not!) but I think it’s good to be prepared.
3. The 5 Love Languages Great for anyone to read even if you’re not in a relationship! I think it’s so important to know what your love language is. And once you become aware of what other’s love languages might be. I think it will make you a better friend, son, daughter, sibling, whatever! And when you know what your spouse’s love language is, quality time for example, then you know that you can make them happy by eating dinner together and having conversation without the TV on, or go for a walk at the end of the day, or spend the day at the beach, etc. This is very different if their love language is words of affirmation. Communication is usually a struggle for most people in marriage and this book helps you reach your spouse in one important way. There’s also a fun quiz at the end and who doesn’t love a quiz to see which category you fit into!
4. Sacred Marriage This book is tough. My instinct is to just stop reading and walk away because it’s so convicting! I read this book after we’d been married for a few years and there were some chapters that were just so hard to get through because I was being called out! And I knew it. I knew they were right. Marriage is hard and it’s a great book to walk you through what a Godly marriage should look like. But beware, it may rub you the wrong way but I encourage you to plow through it!
5. For Women Only/For Men Only This book is a good read for anyone dating or getting married. There’s one for guys to read and one for women. There are 9 main topics in this little book for women to know about men and about the same in the book for men to know about women. And the cool thing is that all the topics are backed up by a survey of 400 men across the country (and similarly for women). It’s an easy book to read and a great size to traveling with. It was cool because there were some great insights into the way men think and how they rank the importance of certain topics. Very helpful!