This week at work, there were a lot of people coming in to have custom framing of wedding portraits where I work. It got me thinking about how the wedding can be exciting and is a giant celebration. It also got me thinking about how marriage is daily life – not just one day of heightened emotions. It’s a lifetime of ups and downs and exuberant days and mundane days.
Navigating life is tricky but as the Bible verse says-
Ecclesiates 4 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
This next Wednesday, my husband and I will be having our 20th anniversary. 20 YEARS! It’s hard to believe how the time has gone so quickly. We’ve had amazing times and we’ve had times we felt like throwing in the towel. By the grace of God (literally) our marriage was saved from the brink of divorce. During that time, I read lots of books about marriage, respect, and other things. Are you having a hard time in your marriage or just want to be a better spouse? Check out the following books available on Amazon. (This post includes affiliate links for your convenience. For more information please visit my disclosure page.)
One of my favorites that I learned so much from… Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. Reveals the secret to couples meeting each other’s deepest needs–without love she reacts without respect, and without respect he reacts without love, and a painful, negative cycle begins.
Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I wish we would have had this marriage book before we had gotten married. Actually, I wish we would have had all of these books before marriage. This one really helped me realized what I’m ok with and not ok with relationship-wise both within our marriage and our relationships outside our marriage.
Another of my favorites that has been popular for a while is the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I learned SO MUCH from this marriage book about myself and my husband. It talks about how people perceive and give love. It taught me about why I felt like I’ve not been loved at certain times in our marriage and why I couldn’t figure out why things I thought would be a big deal for me to do for my husband were brushed off. It also helped me realize that things I had brushed off that my husband was actually trying to show his love for me and he got hurt. This book was such an eye opener for me! I hope it helps you as well.
Another great book to try out is Marriage on the Rock by Jimmy Evans. One of my favorite parts of this marriage book is when the author talks about a couple that regarded each other as heavenly sandpaper – rough on each other and smoothing out each others’ rough spots. LOL So any time we are being tough on each other, we talk about how we are being sandpaper.
Marriage isn’t just about emotions and romance and all that jazz but daily living. Part of daily living is taking care of business – like finances. One of the best books we have ever read (and went to the class for) is Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. He even has his own daily radio talk show where people call in and ask for advice.
Do you have some emotional and mental garbage from your past you need to unload? Try this marriage book – What Becomes of the Broken Hearted by Michelle McKinney Hammond. Here’s a synopsis, “Assuring women of God’s constant presence, Michelle guides them through the stages of recapturing joy. Helping readers evaluate their situations and turn to God for healing, Michelle also provides biblical tools for handling strong emotions.” This book includes worksheets at the end of each chapter to help work through issues.
Depression effects approximately 16 million people each year according to the NIMH; and that’s just the depressive episodes have been diagnosed or reported. A book that is helpful for men is Unmasking Male Depression by Archibald Hart. This book “explores the many forms of depression and gives tools for coping with and healing depression in men.”
These are just some of the books that have helped our 20 years of marriage. It’s hard to believe we’ve made it this far but only by God’s grace. There have been times we’ve wanted to give up, but I’m so glad we didn’t. There have been hard times and great times. We have experienced loss; we have experienced joy; we have lived out the mundane day to day moments that make up a lifetime together.
I am so thankful for my husband. He is a lifelong gift that God has given me. Happy 20th Anniversary Love!!!!