The following are Web Site links and recommended resources that are aimed at growing your marriage relationship. We pray you will find them to be helpful to your marriage.
Web Site Links:
• 5lovelanguages.com This is the web site for Dr Gary Chapman. His Toward A Growing Marriage Seminar is an investment in your marriage. The sessions are filled with lots of humor and practical insight on sound biblical marriage. A Growing Marriage is designed to stimulate strong, healthy marriages —the foundations of strong, growing churches, and reaching others for Christ. Engaged couples will come away with ideas and insights to prepare them for marriage and enhance other relationships. Married couples will benefit from the insights gained at the seminar that will help them minister more effectively to their mate, family, and friends.
• Dougbrittonbooks.com This is a web site that can help you to strengthen and refresh your marriage and your life. It has articles you can read, free on-line Bible studies you can use, and books you can purchase —all written by Doug Britton, which are designed for individuals, married couples, and small groups.
• Familylife.com This is the web site for the great ministry of Family Life Today (which also has an international presence throughout the world). It has so many resources they make available to enrich your marriage including articles, broadcasts for marriage and the family broadcasts that you can choose to listen to or read the transcripts, plus helpful resources they make available. They also have conferences each year at various locations which you and your spouse can attend which could greatly enrich your marriage. To see what they have available in a location near you, just go to their web site and on the Home page click on “Conferences.”
• Foreverfamilies.com Jeff and Debby McElroy offer a variety of conferences that have been used across the nation to revive the family and unite the family of God. Combine the antics of “tool time,” the hard hitting challenges of Vince Lombardi and the poignancy of a Hallmark commercial and you’ve got the idea of what you’d experience at one of their conferences. They have a Marriage Tune Up Conference that sounds great! You might see how you can plug into one of their conferences.
• Garythomas.com Gary Thomas is a bestselling author and international speaker whose ministry brings people closer to Christ and closer to others. He unites the study of Scripture, church history, and the Christian classics to foster spiritual growth and deeper relationships within the Christian community. We highly recommend his seminars and resources.
• Liferelationships.com The mission of The Center for Relationship Enrichment (with Gary Oliver) is to help students, individual, couples, families, churches and organizations cultivate healthy relationships through Christ-centered consulting, education and enrichment at a local, regional, national and international level. Their goal is to impact relationships for a lifetime. You will find all kinds of articles and a question and answer section, etc. If you go into the section titled “Resources” and then select “articles” you can “select a category.” If you select “Marriage and Intimacy” you will find a variety of articles such as “Discovering Your Mates Built In Marriage Manual” that could greatly enrich your marriage.
• Laughyourway.com Unlike many traditional marriage seminars that tend to be overly serious, technical and emotionally taxing, the Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage seminar with Pastor Mark Gungor, is different because it helps couples deal with tough issues in a way that is fun and non-threatening. However, while this event is fun, it is anything but light and ineffective. Mark’s great content and unique approach to troubled marriages has yielded one of the highest success rates in the country. Through the two-day seminar, couples will laugh, learn and be able to make real positive changes to their marriage. We highly recommend this seminar. It really is fun and yet helpful.
• Lesandleslie.com This is the web site for Dr Les and Dr Leslie Parrott who are a husband-and-wife team who not only share the same name, but the same passion for helping others build healthy relationships. They give wonderful marriage seminars throughout the U.S. and have written a lot of great books —plus their web site has free videos that you can view on your computer which gives relationship advice onmany different subjects you will deal with in your married lives together including. We highly advise that you visit their web site to see what they can offer to help you enrich your marriage.
• Loveandrespect.com This is the web site for the ministry of Love and Respect with Emerson Eggerichs. By far, he and his wife Sarah, put on one of the best marriage conferences we’ve ever attended. The ministry of Focus on the Family endorses these conferences and with good reason. God speaks powerfully through what is presented. The Love and Respect Marriage Conference is a presentation that unfolds three basic principles: 1. The Crazy Cycle. This explains the simple reason why two good willed people negatively react to each other. 2. The Energizing Cycle: which explains how two people can positively motivate one another by doing one simple thing. 3. The Rewarded Cycle: which explains what a person can do if personal expectations are unmet by a spouse.
• Marriagealive.com This is the ministry of David and Claudia Arp who have written many books, including the “Ten Great Dates” series, and gives marriage seminars in locations both within the United States and outside. You should check out their speaking schedule on their web site to see if they’re giving a seminar near you (or perhaps you want to book a marriage event for your church.
• Marriage Expectations The link to this resource leads you to a presentation of iMarriage – 3 Parts (each of those parts are segmented into shorter clips), by North Point. “Imagine what would happen if you and your spouse focused on fulfilling one another’s dreams rather than piling on expectations. Andy Stanley reveals the secret of removing the big ‘I’ from marriage.” While this isn’t the entire seminar, you can gain a lot from watching what is presented in these Youtube videos. You can even experience a mini-seminar in which you and your spouse can watch and then discuss the issues Andy Stanley brings out.
• Marriages.net GTO Family Ministries offers Marriage Enrichment Conferences and Retreats to help couples Grow Toward Oneness. They can be designed specifically to meet the needs of your church or group. Conference Theme Packages and schedules can be seen for these “at church” events on the Conference Info page on their website. They run only one evening and one day so it is much easier to get couples/families to attend. They also hold weekend Marriage Enrichment Getaways (Friday evening through Sunday afternoon) which contain five to six sessions.
• Midlife Marriage Enrichment: The following link will take you to a FREE 6 part series written by Glenn Pease, which you can discuss together as a married couple. We believe it can help you to enrich your midlife marriage. IDEA: You can even make a copy of the articles and take them with you and create your own marriage retreat alone together. Here is a link to this 6 part series, which is contained within one document. The spacing on this document is not formatted the best, but the material is all there and it’s worth the effort in going through it: Midlife Marriage Enrichment (Parts 1-6).
• National Association of Marriage Enhancement holds an International Marriage Conference in the early fall each year in Phoenix, Arizona. This unique conference has attendees from every continent and many countries for three days “of heaven on earth for your marriage!”
• RETROUVAILLE (meaning, “rediscovery” and rhymes with pie), Retrouvaille.org. This is a program for couples with serious problems who are disillusioned, separated and/or on the brink of divorce. You’ll be helped by volunteer couples who have also “been to the brink” — who have experienced serious problems including affairs, alcoholism, gambling, violence, etc. or who have simply fallen out of love— but who have worked their way back. They’ll teach you how to fall back in love again and heal your own marriage and make it stronger than ever before.
This successful program (85% when both partners work at it) teaches simple techniques of communication and exercises to work on forgiveness, healing, and restoration of trust. The program begins with a weekend and includes 12 follow-up meetings over 3 months. These are not spiritual retreats, sensitivity groups, seminars or social gatherings —there are no counselors involved and you don’t have to say anything in front of anyone else. Couples discuss the topics and practice the skills in private. It has a blank envelope-donation system and is open to couples of all faiths and to the non-religious. For those in the USA: to find a program in your area call, 800-470-2230.
• Steveandanniechapman.com This is the web site for Steve and Annie Chapman, who are internationally known singers, and seminar speakers. They also have a GREAT marriage. For this reason, they minister to other marriages, from healthiness and experience, as God leads them to love and teach others to love. They are available to hold marriage conferences. Their Seminar titles include: Married Lovers/Married Friends – Keys to a healthy marriage from Philippians 2 (3 hours) It Takes the Carpenter to Build a Good Home – Psalm 127 (4 hours) The Journey to Marital Joy (3 hours)
• TheRomanticvineyard.com This is not a retreat center, nor do they hold seminars, but they are a great resource to help enrich your marriage. Their prayer is that their web site will provide couples with many ideas and resources for growing their marriage to glorify God in all things! You’ll notice the tabs at the top —these will lead you into different “rooms” in their vineyard; each one with it’s own purpose. They invite you to “take time to meander around.” We hope you will.
• Winshapemarriage.org This retreat center is a safe haven for couples to rekindle passion, help marriages to grow stronger, and be restored. It’s a place to put the world on hold — a place to experience God, and a place to be transformed. Each WinShape Marriage program is designed for you to experience the transforming power of Christ in your own marriage. The aim of this retreat center is to offer a place where strong hearts will be refreshed, cold hearts will be rekindled, and broken hearts will be restored. They give you the option to enjoy a retreat as a couple or plan a retreat for your group.
• World Wide Marriage Encounter — This seminar ministry can help married couples “turn a good or even ho-him or boring marriage into a great marriage.” By attending one of their weekend encounters, you, as a couple can “rediscover the spark that was there on your wedding day … rediscover the best friend you had when you were first married … and join the millions of couples worldwide who have learned how to keep their marriage vibrant and alive!”
Recommended Resources and Books:
• Devotions for a Sacred Marriage: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Couples written by Gary Thomas, published by Zondervan Publishing House. This is by far our favorite devotional book for married couples. It’s a great tool for enriching your marriage! This book also helps you to grow closer to Him as well as to your spouse. It has 52 devotions in it and even though it has all new material in it, it’s based on another of Gary Thomas’ books (which we highly recommend) Sacred Marriage. We can’t recommend it highly enough! Gary Thomas has a great way of helping you to see the holiness of marriage in a way like no other author explains it. We truly hope you’ll obtain it for yourself.
• Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage: Unlocking the Secrets to Life, Love, and Marriage -written by Mark Gungor, published by Atria. This book is based on Pastor Mark’s seminar by the same title. He is a GREAT communicator. He’s hilarious and yet he gives very practical advice in between the laughs. The advice given is biblical, applicable, enriching, and eye-opening (especially Gungor’s unique approach to the topic of sex within and outside of marriage). We agree with David Murrow (the author of “Why Men Hate Going to Church”) who said, “Marriage books? I’ve read them all. This one’s the best —absolutely rock solid advice, delivered in hilarious prose. This is the first marriage book that’s totally fair to men, and totally liberating to women.” We HIGHLY recommend that you read this book, as well as attending Mark’s seminar.
Or you can view the Mark Gungor: Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage – DVD from the “Laugh Your Way” seminars.
• Sacred Marriage DVD -with Gary Thomas. This DVD series is a GREAT one to watch, either as a couple or in a small group setting. It’s one of our favorites. In it, Gary lays Christian foundational truths for marriage and poses the question and then addresses, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy, more than to make us happy?” It is a profound concept to honestly and prayerfully consider. Also, there is a companion Sacred Marriage Participant’s Guide to help you to go into further depth on this matter. This is something else we highly recommend.
•10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage -written by David and Claudia Arp, published by Zondervan. This book will help you to reclaim the spark you had together in your dating days. It is done through helping you to plan ten intentional, creative, memory-making dates. This proven approach to relationship growth is low-key, purposeful, effective, easy, and fun. It will help you communicate better, process anger and resolve conflicts, appreciate your differences, help you balance your busy lifestyles and more. You can enjoy your dates alone as a couple or start your own 10 Great Dates group in your church or community.
• The Love List -written by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, published by Zondervan. This is a fun little book for the couple who are busy and find it difficult to find ways to keep the lines of communication open. It begins by challenging you with “two things you can do once each day. For example, it will ask you to find something that makes you both laugh. Do this every day.” And then it reveals two things to do each week in your marriage and then will point out two things to do each month. The final portion of this book points you to two important exercises you should conduct on a yearly basis. By following through with these recommendations of intentionality, you will find your marriage can grow to a whole new level.
• Wonderful Marriage -written by Lilo and Gerard Leeds, published by Benbella Books. In this book you will find many helpful marriage tips and insights which the Lilo and Gerard have shared from their 57+ years of experience together. They tell what it takes to make a marriage wonderful. It’s a marriage resource that can be enjoyed by those who are considering marriage, and beyond. We’ve found this to be a very good book and recommend it highly. And even though it isn’t a Christian book, we only found two quotes we objected to in the entire book, but the rest of it lines up fine scripturally.