I’m a huge bookworm, to say the least. My book collection is one of my greatest accomplishments in life (okay not really, but I do love my books). It’s safe to say that books have had a huge role in shaping my life and perspectives. Growing up, the words of others guided me, shaped me, and discipled me when others didn’t always have the answers. God has used their words to bring healing into my life and speak to my heart in some really powerful ways.
I’m always asked what books I recommend, particularly when it comes to love and relationships. Here are a few must-reads:
Boundaries by Dr. Cloud & Dr. Townsend: There’s no book more revolutionary in promoting healing and wholeness in relationships than this book. It challenges the reader to take control of their life and relationships by learning to say yes & and no with how you live your life. There is truth in the saying that you teach people how to treat you- this book shows you how to do that. This book will guide you into perspectives that will allow you to realize that you have so much more control than you ever imagined.
True Love Dates by Debra K. Fileta, M.A., LPC: According to psychologists and #1 New York Time Best Sellers Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott,“Your love life needs this book”. So, please don’t take my word for it. I wouldn’t have written this book if I didn’t truly believe that it has the power to change lives and in turn relationships. My hopes for this book is that it will do for others what so many books have done for me. It is a compilation of my life and experiences as a professional counselor, and challenges the reader to get healthy in pursuit of healthy relationships by dating inward, outward, and upward. Filled with psychological concepts and spiritual principles, it’s a practical guide to doing relationships in a way that will bring true and lasting love- love for yourself, love for others, and most importantly- love for God. It’s recommended for singles, couples, and anyone who wants to pursue a healthier version of themselves.
The Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas: I actually read this book long before I was married, and I am so glad that I did. This book was so influential in shaping my perspective of marriage and bringing my expectations full circle. Gary talks about the meaning of marriage- an avenue toward becoming holy, rather than just the pursuit of happiness. Each chapter brings the focus inward- on what I can be doing in my relationship, rather than what my spouse should be doing for me, but more-so- it is a call to seek out what God is doing throughout my marriage and within my entire life. When it comes to a meaningful and purposeful marriage, this is a must-have perspective.
The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman: There is a brilliance behind this book, in that Dr. Chapman was able to really identify the different languages we speak in our life and relationships. Different people are wired different ways, and it’s vital to know your wiring as well as the wiring of those around you. Whether you prefer love displayed through time, touch, words, service, or gifts…this book will open your eyes to who you are, what you need, and how to give and receive love with the world around you. It’s an eye-opener that can be applied to any relationship.
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken: My husband and I read this book together before we got married. Though not typically seen as a book that will enhance your love life- the relationship modeled in this book really hit home for me. It is a beautifully written book about the story of Sheldon and his wife Davey. It’s a journey of discovering love, but more so- of discovering the One behind the love. It’s a spiritual and romantic journey that teaches you to strive toward a love that is deep, pure, and lasting, and gives you a beautiful glimpse of what a marriage can be. But more so- it forces you to look up- acknowledging the great role a loving God has in your life and relationships. It’s a book worth tackling and will befit your love-life greatly- but be forewarned, you should probably have a box of tissues on hand.
Reading (and writing) these books have had a huge and lasting impact on my personal life and relationships. I hope they will do the same for you. Take the time and invest the money toward moving your knowledge and perspectives one step in the right direction.
Your life- and love life- will thank you for it.
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