It’s our Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge in 2015–March edition!

Most of us want to grow, but life often gets in the way. And sometimes we just need new ideas and a fresh perspective to help us figure out how to do marriage better!

So this year I’m challenging you to read 12 books with me. Last month we looked at Spicing Things Up, and I suggested you read either The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, which I talked about here, or The Passion Principles.

I know some of you haven’t read a book in a long time, but remember: it’s just one book a month! And I’m already having people emailing me saying, “what are the books for March”? So it’s time to dive in!


Choose from these 4 books on Setting Good Boundaries

Why four books? If I just pick one you may have already read it. But this month we’re going to be dealing with more specific issues in marriage, and not every book will apply to everyone. So I want to give you all a chance to see which book fits best with you, and then pick that one up.

This is probably going to be the “heaviest” month, but that’s okay–it’s good to get it over with earlier in the year. Later on we’ll talk about personality differences, gender differences, money, developing good habits, and more of the “fun” and practical parts of marriage. This month, though, is about what to do if you’re walking through a difficult relationship (and if you’re not–I have a book for that, too!)

Most of the questions I get on this blog are from women who are struggling with a negative relationship dynamic. I find myself recommending the same books, over and over, and so I thought I’d put them all into one month.

Here’s how they’re organized: The first three books are for women struggling with feeling taken for granted or struggling to find their voice. They start with a book with mild marriage problems and end with a book with major marriage problems. But what if you actually have a really GOOD marriage, and don’t feel taken for granted? Then the FOURTH book is for you (in fact, it’s for everyone, even your husbands. It’s amazing. And I love it!) Here we go:

The Emotionally Healthy Woman: Eight Things You Have to Quit to Enhance Your Life

If you think the key to being a good wife and mom is to “be nice”, then you’re probably miserable. Because spreading God’s kingdom isn’t just about being nice; it’s about being GOOD, and those two things are not always the same thing. A good woman learns not to enable laziness or selfishness. She learns to confront sin. She learns to take care of herself. And so much more!

Who should choose this book: Any woman who feels overwhelmed, tired, and ineffective in her marriage, family, and ministry. Her marriage isn’t bad, but she’s just constantly frustrated with how life is going.

Boundaries in Marriage: Understanding the Choices that Make or Break Loving Relationships

The foundational book on how to create a safe relationship where you each respect and honor each other. Cloud and Townsend show how it’s possible to be so “nice” in a marriage that you create a relationship that’s toxic, where people take advantage and end up even being cruel. Yet by following a biblical idea of boundaries we can create a beautiful marriage that helps us thrive.

Who should choose this book: Anyone who is struggling in marriage, feeling like she’s being walked all over but she doesn’t know how to change it–or if there are unresolved issues and she doesn’t seem to know how to break free.

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope

For women (and men) who have been beaten down in marriage, here’s a book which helps you identify when a relationship becomes verbally or emotionally abusive, how to understand the spouse who treats you this way, and how to act in return without lashing out or becoming abusive yourself. A must read for those in toxic marriages.

Who should choose this book: If your friends or family have said to you, “your husband is being abusive”, please read this. If you feel as if you walk on eggshells at home so that you don’t send your spouse into a rage, please read this.

Ask It: The Question That Will Revolutionize How You Make Decisions

This isn’t a marriage book. But it is one of THE best books that I have ever read on Christian living, and it will transform your marriage–and every other part of your life! And there is so much great stuff in here about how to prevent marriage problems, too.

I can’t recommend this book enough. I’m making my teens read it, too! Even if you choose one of the other books for your marriage, read this one as well. It’s a quick read, it’s a fun read, and you will find yourself asking Andy’s question several times a day for the rest of your life.

Who should choose this book: Everybody! But seriously, if you don’t have issues in your marriage with confrontation or people taking advantage of you, then THIS is the book to definitely read in March.

 What I’ll Be Reviewing in March

This month I’ll look specifically at Ask It and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage–the two extremes! One book for those who aren’t having major marriage problems, and one book for those having huge marriage issues. I’ve actually talked about Boundaries in Marriage and The Emotionally Healthy Woman before.

What’s Coming Up with the Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge

This month I have an interview with Gary Thomas, author of Lifelong Love that we read in January. If you have any questions specifically for Leslie Vernick, author of The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, please write them in the comments and I’ll see if I can get her to answer them!

At the end of the month we’ll have a big giveaway party, hopefully with an interview with an author, like we did in January.

Remember: one book a month. That’s all it is. Leave it in your purse or your bathroom–you’ll get through it! And you’ll find that if you read one book, on a different topic, every month, you will transform your marriage!

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