I turn to good books to navigate change.
This summer, I entered a new life stage when I became a newlywed on June 11th! In the months leading up to and since my new marriage, my to-read basket has held quite a healthy pile of Christian relationship books.
Below I list the five that have proven the most pivotal to my growth as a young wife, the titles I heartily recommend to those engaged or just married.
Although this list could certainly be read after ten or twenty (or more!) years of marriage and still encourage both husbands and wives, I’ve found them to be especially helpful as my husband and I lay the foundation now for years to come.
So if you’re like me and you find some of your wisest mentors on the pages of books, scroll down to see what titles I’d recommend to newlyweds. (Or perhaps you know a newlywed to whom you could gift one of the books below!)
I listened to The Mingling of Souls the audiobook via the Christian Audio app. As the first audiobook I’ve ever listened to, this book set the bar quite high. Chandler dives into the Song of Solomon, detailing Solomon’s relationship with his bride.
I appreciated his unflinching attention to the biblical book, although I found it interesting that he never addressed the presence of Solomon’s, well, other wives. Even so, Chandler does not lay out the Song as a prescriptive manual on marriage. Instead, he pulls out principles that can be applied to any modern marriage.
His specific focus on foundational relationship truths makes this a great read (or listen!) for newlyweds. Available—->HERE
What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp
Full of deep concepts, What Did You Expect? ponders truths about forgiveness, sacrifice, true love, and how our relationship with God ultimately impacts our relationship with our spouse. Perhaps my favorite takeaway was that it is important to graciously and kindly air our grievances with our spouse so that resentment has no room to grow.
My sinful tendency is to be a let-it-go kind of girl who would rather avoid conflict than bring attention to hurts. Tripp advises that this sort of behavior is unhealthy and can sometimes come from a self-centered frame of mind. By avoiding conflict we may be choosing our own comfort over progress in our relationship.
This book is a great one for newlyweds to read together. Premarital counseling and well-intentioned friends have probably warned you, newlywed, about having unrealistic expectations. Well, Tripp provides practical steps on how to peel away these expectations and build a godly marriage. Available—->HERE
Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs
This title engages the reader with the story set-up of What Did You Expect? but hones in on a single principle: women desire love while men need respect. That sentence sums up the whole book, so be prepared for it to feel a little repetitive toward the end.
Love and Respect is one of those books that gives insight into how men and women function differently, and it is one of the books my fiancé and I read together while we were still dating, so it has a special place in my heart.
Newlyweds especially would benefit from being aware from the outset about this foundational difference between men and women. Available—->HERE
The First 90 Days of Marriage: Building the Foundation for a Lifetime by Eric and Leslie Ludy
This is a book that was on my Amazon wish list for a long while. Allow me to highly recommend it to you! I began this book a month before I got married and finished it a month into marriage. The Ludys are two of my favorite authors, and they bring their signature conversational and inspirational tone to this book.
So many marriage books sound serious and solemn, as if warning you of how hard marriage will be. After all, it’s important to be aware that marriage isn’t all glitter and gardenias. But, The First 90 Days of Marriage paints a picture of how beautiful, fun, and rewarding marriage can be when approached from a selfless perspective.
This title has become one of my favorite relationship books. It has an honored place on my bookshelf, and I’ll be regularly lending it out to engaged and newlywed friends. Available—->HERE
100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson
★★★★★ “Absolutely amazing at how helpful this book has been!” By Kayla
I’m absolutely amazed at how helpful this book has been! I’ve been wanting to learn how to better our marriage and show my husband how much I love him and I often have a hard time showing how I feel. This book really helped me and showed me MANY ways to love my husband and how to be a better wife for him.
What does it take to truly value each other and have a fantastic marriage? It’s not all that complicated – just a whole lot of decisions that say, “I love you,” rather than those that say, “I love me.”
It’s how God wants us to live, and exactly what the 100 Ways to Love books teach men and women how to do. From the first page, each book provides practical wisdom and suggestions you can use right away that help demonstrate to your spouse that He/She is a cherished priority in your life. Available on Amazon—->HERE.
Encouragement during the newlywed season is so important. Let’s seek godly encouragement through the pages of books and lay the foundation for a lifetime.
*Leave a comment below with your own perspectives on these titles and/or the newlywed season. I’d love to hear what you think!
All my best,
Rachelle Rea Cobb
*A small reminder, or if you’re new here: If you purchase the items through the links here, Club31Women might get a small affiliate compensation – with no additional cost to you – from some of them and so I thank you for that. But while I appreciate your purchase, you should also know that we share this as our genuine opinion and personal enthusiasm for these items. See my full disclosure here.
Here at Club31Women, we recognize that not everyone has the same taste or point of view on books or movies, but we offer these short reviews for your consideration. Our hope is that you will find something new and wonderful on this list of recommended reading!
~ Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women
Rachelle Rea Cobb is the author of the Steadfast Love series, three historical inspirational novels that she signed a publishing contract for five months after college graduation. Before Book One had even released, she met a man with the same name as her series’ hero–this summer, she married him. Both homeschool grads, they live in their newlywed nest in a corner of the South where the air is slightly salty. Rachelle enjoys freelance editing, Oreos, and pretending she’ll one day see the bottom of her to-read pile. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her blog.