Working Together for the Healing and Health of Marriages

Your comments on recent posts related to marriage have been quite informative. I deeply appreciate the candor and transparency of many who shared their thoughts. These clearly indicate that this is something many of us are concerned about. I’m alarmed about what seems to be an increasing number of families that are struggling to hold things together.

Given this situation, I’m on a quest for resources. This has led me down a number of different and fruitful paths. I’m sure there are many more that could be taken. So, I’m putting this topic out there one more time.

—Do you have any marriage and family resources they highly recommend?

—Also, do you know of a marriage ministry that has a high rate of success in bringing healing to damaged relationships?

A couple of resources that keep coming up are listed below. I’d really like to know what you think about these:

— What has been your experience with Willard Harley’s Love Bank / Love Busters angle on marriage dynamics?

— What do you think of Gary Chapman’s Five Emotional Love Languages?

May God help us to work together for the healing and health of marriages!


About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Christian Living, divorce, Family, marriage and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Working Together for the Healing and Health of Marriages

  1. Nicole says:

    I reiterate the best marriage book I’ve ever read is Love and Respect by Dr. Eggrich. Practical, real, biblical.

    However, I would suggest this one to women which might seem off topic, but I think it’s a must read for both men and women before and after marriage if they’ve never read it: Everyman’s Battle. Women, as a rule, seem to have so little insight as to what makes men tick and almost a reluctance to understand them. If you’re about to be married or are married, I would think you’d want to know everything you could to help you understand the male gender.

    The only thing I can recommend from personal experience when a marriage is in trouble is gut-level prayer and fasting and the willingness to obey the Lord regardless of what He tells you to do. You cannot control your spouse, but you can decide to enlist the help of the Almighty. He is faithful and powerful.

  2. Steve says:


    Our marriage class just now is using the Love and Respect book by Emerson Eggerichs. There are many good resources in this area though. I like the older book entitled Love is Never Enough: How Couples Can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve by Aaron T. Beck.


  3. Scotti says:

    Our church provides a marriage class which utilizes the “Intimate Encounters” workbook by Dr. David and Teresa Ferguson. It’s a great class. Another good book is ’10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage” by David and Claudia Arp and “Two Hearts Praying As One” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. I also really enjoyed reading “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omaritan. I have not read the two books you reference above. On my list to read is “Love and Respect” (praying my husband will read it with me!) 🙂
    God Bless,

  4. Kathy says:

    One of the most successful, hands-on methods is to have engaged and newly married volunteer in the single parent family ministry of their church or one nearby.
    I know of one mega church that has put this into practice. They had a zero divorce rate that year and nearly as encouraging other years.
    There’s nothing like seeing the effects of single-parenting on a family than being involved in these ministries. I highly recommend this to all engaged couples and newly-weds, as well as those that are struggling in their marriage.

  5. Royce says:

    Thanks Bill for taking on such a difficult but needful subject.

    One of the best ministries to help families and marriages is one created by one of our elder’s wives, Dr. Joneal Kirby. It is called “Heart to Home”. It involves older, spiritually mature “heart moms” pouring into the lives of younger women their wisdom, biblical insight, and even things like cooking skills, child rearing, and other topics. Thus, doing what they can to flesh out the instruction of Paul for “the older women to teach the younger women”.

    Also, one of our ministers, Alan Robertson, along with a person from our counseling center, had a 13 week class for young couples especially, and for any struggling couples, called “The 3rd Option”. Many folks were very pleased and greatly helped by it. (I will give you (Bill) the resource material source by email when I get it).

    Now, having mentioned these two ministries, I believe that spiritual immaturity is the key to the trouble of most all marriages that are in conflict. If two people are surrendered to Jesus ( opposed to committed to Jesus, or to the church) and are daily walking in step with the Spirit, EVERY problem can be resolved without great difficulty. Immorality, selfishness, quick to anger, ugly talk, lack of compassion, lack of passion, and more…are works of the flesh. Those who walk in the Spirit do the opposite of these things.

    The greatest need in the church is discipleship. I don’t mean by that learning to quote scripture, being right on the points of doctrine the elders embrace, being “faithful” in attendence, giving, etc, but rather leading men and women to a radical, lifestyle altering “surrender” to the Lordship of Jesus Christ so that every day their lives are controlled by God the Holy Spirit. That, and only that will stop marriage break ups and divorce in its tracks.

    His peace,

  6. Well, since everyone else is plugging their local resources, I’ll jump in with mine, too. Members of our church have started a web site called “Tighter Knot”. It’s “.. an online marriage program that’s private, Biblical, and based on four decades of marriage counseling. It makes “working” on your marriage fun.” It’s billed as “Marriage enrichment husbands don’t hate”. During their set up period, they offered it to our church members and my husband and I did the lessons. With 24 years of marriage history, I wouldn’t say that they told me anything I didn’t know already, but it was good to be reminded, and would be beneficial for younger marrieds, I think.

    For anyone who is interested, the address is:

  7. donna-in-ny says:

    I read the Bible and I seek the wisdom and encouragement of a select Spirit filled, Godly men and women. They direct me to His teachings and I love and respect them dearly. I found out the hard way , all I needed was the truth found in His word and less of the fluff that fills the pages of self-help books.


  8. Lacy says:

    Our church has tried several things lately – I’m not sure of the success rate but I can tell you that my marriage was blessed by these:

    1) Marriage-building weekend retreat. This was a great getaway that featured a fun setting (“mountain” resort with hiking, golfing and dining). The best part for me was getting to visit with the mix of couples – some who had been married 30 or 40 years and some like me who’d only been married a few years.

    2) Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage – this was a Wednesday night Bible class based on a video series. It was, again, a mix of couples of all ages and lengths of relationships. I enjoyed hearing that others had the same struggles I did and that people whose marriages I thought were perfect actually had to work at them, just like I did.

    Our church is also starting a new “generations” group that will meet monthly so that families can interact with people of all ages. I think this is the kind of thinking like “if you need help, look ahead, someone is reaching back”; and “if you’re ahead of someone, reach back”.

    Also, just wanted to note that I haven’t read the love languages book but I’ve heard some of the principles and I do think there’s something of note in them. For instance, my husband has a love language of “doing little things for me” (i.e. making dinner, bringing him a glass of water, giving him a back rub). If I don’t do those things, he misses them. My major love language is affection – if I don’t get my hugs and kisses, I feel “unloved” or distant from hubby. So I think there’s something to knowing how your spouse receives love and trying to meet that need.


  9. logisticmosquito says:

    I’ve never been married because child abuse left me with scars and side effects I was never able to overcome. So my focus has been on the children that come out of bad marriages. My only advice on marriage would be, make sure you’re good friends before you tie the knot.
    Below I have written out an outline of a character for a story I am writing on abuse. After all, before we marry there is a childhood past that has come and gone. This factors into many unsuccessful marriages, and the more that marriages fail, the more we contribute to global warming living seperatly.

    My story is fiction and I called it ‘Rare Earth’. If you have a comment I would like to hear it.

    1960. Year of the rat.

    The unwed couple had not known each other long, and in September of that year they shared how they felt about each other. Out of that a child was conceived (Virgo), so as Christmas came around, their lives were entertained by the coming of their first child.

    The greatest entertainment value was actually biblical, because the child was not only going to be born in ’61, the name of the town the couple lived in was called Isa. (Ironically an Arabic name for Jesus )

    1961. Year of the Ox.

    By the time the baby was born (Gemini), the couple were wed, and hopes were held that the child would be male. As far as entertainment value goes, it would have been the coolest thing if the child had of been born male, in Isa, ’61.

    Hopes were dashed somewhat on the entertainment value when the child was born female. Just for the hell of it though, they did get their little blue eyed girl christened by a presbyter, but they didn’t bother to give her a name from the bible. (Isabel had more to do with the name of the man who found and named the city Isa; now buried in the middle of the street, under what was once the town clock.)

    Soon after that her parents divorced, and then her life became very mobile, moving from one home to another. Raised on ‘heaven won’t have you and hells afraid you’ll take over’, made her a lonesome child in a very male dominated community. Then although she was Australian, the year she turned 13 she was traded for the roof covering the rest of her family’s head.

    For a year she belonged to a man called David, just like a couple would get engaged 2,000 years ago. She was allowed to go to school and nowhere else without him. He gave her two warnings not to talk at school, by shooting two of the pets she had for company. There was nothing in her room but cloths and books, but from him she got her first cigarette, glass of scotch and driving lessons.

    He was free to come and go to her room when ever he liked, and he had three reasons to enter. The first was to flog her and bring attention to her doing something he didn’t like. The second was to share the love he had for her, and sometimes he just came in to catch her undressing. This Isa girl despised this man called David and everything he was about.

    So the year she was coincided an adult (13) in the eyes of god, she became the offspring of David. But by the time she turned eighteen and was considered an adult by the state, she continued to pass though the hands of many other child care representatives, jail being one of those places. She fell pregnant twice, but her caretakers took care of cleaning this up as if it was their mess to clean up, by the time she was 21.

    The story is set around her life when she is older, and tells the tales of difficulty she has trusting anybody, and the anger created not being able to overcome it.


  10. cwinwc says:

    We have sent some couples to Joe Beam’s “Marriages in Crisis Seminars” with a high degree of success. The “His Needs / Her Needs” seminar has been good for our church as well.

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