Marriage is a marathon!
But despite it being so, I don’t think we are left to luck when it comes to having a great, successful, and enduring marriage. Because every couple comes with their own problems.
You may think your marriage is struggling more than others, but the truth is that all marriages require A LOT of work. And regardless of how many years you’ve been married, stuff comes up throughout it all.
This is why it’s so important to have a good foundation in Christ. He has led me to these amazing marriage resources that I only recommend to you because they have worked for me and my husband throughout 10 years of significant life changes… so I pray they help you as much as they have helped us!
One of the leading causes of divorce today is money. Money is a big deal in a relationship, especially when there is no agreement or communication on how it’s to be used.
My husband and I had difficulty with money for quite a few years, until we read Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money. Here’s the gist of it:
Is his plan really simple and easy to follow? Yes! My husband was able to pay off his college debt within the year (over $10,000) and we were able to place money into a savings account for emergencies.
Doe he discuss marriage and kids? Absolutely! He even dives into different financial personalities within relationships, which helps to promote compromise and cooperation from all parties.
Does it come with financial templates? Yes, it comes with 18 different worksheets at the back of the book. Worksheets cover everything from cash flow, irregular income, college and retirement planning, debt elimination, and much more.
Does he really include giving or tithing in his plan? He actually does! He dedicates an entire chapter to giving and it’s one of the baby steps. In fact, he encourages building wealth so that we can give it away!
Would I recommend this book without an Affiliate commission? 100% yes! I think his book is filled with so much insight and proven personal experiences with his own life that I would surely be saddened with keeping it all to myself!
For more on this book, feel free to check it out by clicking the image below:
Learning Love Languages
Ever heard of love languages? Before my husband and I had, we had many many problems.
I didn’t understand why he couldn’t do tasks around the house without me asking. And he had no idea why I never wanted to be hugged or to give him any compliments throughout the day.
Come to discover, we have two very different love languages! Here’s the scoop on The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman:
What are love languages? Each individual expresses and desires love in different ways, which is developed from personal experiences and personality type. According to Chapman, he has discovered 5 love languages: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Gifts.
What is so important about love languages? By knowing what one another’s languages are, we are able to give love effectively. Example: I can do dishes for my husband all day long, but the only thing that would make him feel loved is if I hugged him or gave him a genuine compliment.
Will this get my spouse to do what I want? The goal of love languages is not to get what you want, but to give. Giving love is not just necessary in a successful marriage, but it is also the greatest commandment in the Kingdom of God.
Do love languages change over time? Yes, because people change over time. The longer the marriage, the more it’s necessary to revisit love languages and retake the questionnaire provided.
Would I recommend this book to a struggling friend? Yes! Not only do we learn more about our marriage, but we also learn how to love like Christ through love languages.
For more on this book, feel free to check it out by clicking the image below:
I recently had the opportunity to take a personality assessment. Initially I thought, I already know what my personality is, what else is this going to tell me?
And I was surprised at how much I learned not only from taking the Wired That Way Personality Profile, but also how much I learned from my husband’s personality. Here’s the background:
How many personality types are there? According to the authors, there are 4 noticeable personalities: Popular Sanguine, Powerful Choleric, Peaceful Plegmatic, and Perfect Melancholy.
Does the assessment dive deeper into these personalities? Yes! After the assessment, you can see strengths and weaknesses for each personality.
Can I fail the assessment? Some individuals have received scores across all personality types; this is usually an indication of a masking personality. A masking personality is discussed more in-depth by the authors, as well as how to work around it in order to find out your true personality.
Can I have more than one personality type? Some people find that they have a high score in one personality and a medium score in another personality; this is usually normal, but can be an indication of a masking personality, which is discussed further.
Is this also a book or just an assessment? This is only the personality assessment, not the book. I have never read the book, but I have found that the assessment will provide you with enough information to get started. If you desire to read the book, then there is the option to learn more!
Can I retake this assessment as many times as I want? Yes, but I recommend making copies so that your spouse can also take it. And for better accuracy, you and your spouse can take the assessment for one another, which is a lot of fun!
For more on this assessment, feel free to check it out by clicking the image below:
What is Christianity without fellowship? What is Christianity without studying God’s Word and placing Him first in our lives and marriages?
A friend of mine introduced the Bible Study Fellowship International program to me last year. I attended for a year and have found the community of likeminded women encouraging in my faith and overall, has improved all my relationships.
What is Bible Study Fellowship International? It’s an worldwide bible study program designed to help guide individuals through studying Scripture. The program provides gender-specific small groups, so you will only be with all women or all men throughout your meet-ups.
Do they provide childcare? If you are taking a class in the morning, they usually provide childcare. From my own experience, the childcare program is amazing! It follows closely with what the adults are learning in Scripture, along with take-home notes to facilitate Bible discussion between child and parent at home.
Does this take a lot of time during the week? Some wait until the day before the meet-up to complete the Scripture reading and discussion questions, but it is recommended to break it up throughout your week so that you can truly absorb and meditate on God’s Word.
What happens during a meet-up? After an introductory meeting, you will be placed into a small group for the rest of the class year (about 10 to 15 members). The intent is to make the experience personal and to facilitate discussion and spiritual growth. After every small group meet-up, you will assemble with all members of the program to hear a lecture and receive printed notes/discussion questions for the next small group meet-up.
Do I have to pay to participate? No! All materials and childcare are provided at no cost to you, but donations and volunteers are always appreciated.
What happens if I miss a class? If you miss a class, you won’t be able to receive the lecture notes or discussion questions for the next week. This program encourages active participation, which means that you will need to show up in order to receive any of their free materials… but you can get copies from others in your small group.
What do I need to bring with me? Just bring a notebook and something to write with! And don’t forget your kid, if they are enrolled in the childcare program;).
How will this program help my marriage? You will commune with other Christian women, creating a support system for prayer and encouragement throughout all your struggles!
To find a class near you, click this link: Bible Study Fellowship International
Strengthening With His Word
If you can’t find the time to participate in Bible study outside of the home, it’s no big deal. We all go through busy seasons in our lives, and the great thing about God is that He can meet you where you are at!
I started with just my study Bible, which has lots of provided translations and notes for personal study time. Oftentimes, I find myself flipping through Scriptures to read what God has placed upon my heart, and it’s great to have the notes in order to help understand context, history, etc.
I love The MacArthur Study Bible, New American Standard Edition by John F. MacArthur. I flipped through so many different study bibles and fell in love with this one right away! Here’s what you need to know:
Can I this fit in a purse? No way! It’s gigantic, and it’s not meant for reading while lying in bed. It’s has a lot of information in it, which I love, but it does require a bigger bag or even a cover with a handle on it.
Does it provide anything besides study notes? Yes! There’s a bible study plan for the year, an index to key bible doctrines (e.g. angels, sin, salvation, the Trinity), a concordance, the basics of bible study, an overview of theology, and much more.
Does this provide maps? There are a few key maps placed throughout Scripture, but it’s not littered with large, colorful maps for reference. I actually prefer this because I can look up maps on my YouVersion app.
What do I love about this Bible? It’s honest about interpretive challenges, provides historical backgrounds and outlines before each book, is easy to read, and has detailed notes for Scriptures. It has helped me understand what is being said without having to struggle through the interpretation, and without interfering with my learning from God during study time.
How long have I been using this Bible? I have used it for about eight years and I haven’t grown tired of it! I do have a smaller Bible for outings, but I always prefer this one for more depth in my study time.
How does this help my marriage? God should always be first in a marriage. His knowledge, wisdom, and love is so life-giving to all relationships. And He has taught me how to love when loving is very difficult, and how to get on the other side of the trials we face in relationships.
For more on this Bible, click the image below:
Praying Over Your Marriage
Prayer is how we access God’s power. It’s so important to pray over your marriage so that His power can transform your circumstances and your hearts.
Truthfully, I didn’t start praying over my marriage until the last few years. And I’ve come to discover that prayer is extremely peace-activating and power-generating!
Here are a few posts I enjoy on praying over your marriage and over your husband:
5 Ways I Pray for My Husband by Lori at Frog’s Lilypad.
5 Hope-Filled Prayers for Your Marriage by Jennifer O. White at Prayerfully Speaking.
But Wait… There’s More!
In the past, my husband and I have underwent marriage counseling and retreats, which has helped us learn how to communicate positively with one another. And it’s a great way to find out about more tools and marriage resources to help your relationship (this is how I found out about love languages!).
Along with these wonderful marriage resources, God has helped me to realize 3 Special Ingredients of a Great Marriage. These include 3 simple areas to drastically improve your relationship, which I can testify to in my own marriage!
As a final note, I pray that these resources will help you in whatever season your marriage is in. Just remember, God is there through every difficulty to support, encourage, and to help you succeed in your marriage!
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Disclaimer: This marriage resource list is based on my personal opinion and experience; it is provided to encourage and inspire marital improvement. It is not a guarantee of helping marriages or protecting personal safety. If you are experiencing any violence, abuse, or threat of abuse within your marriage, please seek professional help from The National Domestic Violence Hotline.