The following and web site links and descriptions of various resources that will help newlyweds. We pray you will find that they minister to your marriage.
• About.com has an on-line page called “Understand the Stages of Marriage” As they say, “The stages of marriage include newlyweds, midlife, sandwich generation, grand parenting, long lasting marriages and being widowed. The more you understand how the stages can impact your relationship, the better you two will be able to deal with the changes and issues.” You can read more about the stages by clicking HERE.
• Crosswalk.com – Engagement and Newlywed This is a part of the the Crosswalk web site that gives links to a variety of articles that can help you as a newlywed.
• Familylife.com This the web site for the ministry of Family Life Today. This is a great ministry and they have a great web site that you could find very helpful. In particular, if you go into their web site and then select “Marriage” and then “More Topics,” then you will find an option you can select called “Newlyweds.” There you will find a long list of articles you can choose from which you can read.
• Focusonthefamily.org This is the web site for the ministry of Focus on the Family. One of the many features of this web site can be found when you place your cursor over the top bar that says “Relationship and Marriage.” A drop-down box will show up and you can select “The Early Years” to read a number of articles.
• Intentionaltoday.com This web site is put together by Ngina Otiende, a native Kenyan, who now lives in the United States. The mission of this web site is to “encourage, equip and inspire early-wed wives to build intentional happily-ever-afters!” As Ngina states, “If you are in your early years of marriage and are wondering how to navigate and transition from ‘temporary honeymoon’ to lasting bliss, this blog is for you. If you are older in marriage and need refresher tips, insights and thoughts, this blog is for you. If you are wondering how to connect the dots when it comes to your personal success, this blog is for you.” “Based on personal experience and stories” Ngina “will encourage and challenge you to overcome mindsets and attitudes that stop you from becoming all that God created you to become.”
• Ourpeacefulfamily.com This is a ministry, founded by Marcus and Ashley Kusi, is dedicated to: “helping overwhelmed newlyweds adjust to married life. And building a strong foundation for the marriage they dreamed about before saying ‘I Do.’ A great place for newlyweds to start is this first year of marriage page. They also have a podcast, the ‘First Year Marriage Podcast,’ featuring the First Year stories of awesome married couples.
• Startmarriageright.com Whether you are single, dating, engaged, or newlyweds, this web site is created for you with articles, interviews, and resources to help you prepare for marriage, because as they say, “We believe that your wedding day is just the beginning!” (And we agree.)
• Trueagape.net This is a web site dedicated to helping those who are newly married. As they say, “To us divorce is not the answer, it is not even an option! That is why we designed this site. True Agape is here to help couples through the early stages of marriage by giving resources that help them embrace their spouses’ quirks, accept their spouses for who they are and love EVERY day of it! We have created this site as a resource, a place to allow us to learn and a catalyst for growth. It’s our sincere hope that this resource will not only help our relationship, but that it will inspire other young Christian newlywed couples to take responsibility, stay committed and create a marriage that will stand the test of time.”
• Falling for You Again, written by Catherine Palmer and Dr Gary Chapman, published by Tyndale House. “This is the third book in a fiction series from authors Gary Chapman and Catherine Palmer, based on the marriage principles found in Gary Chapman’s nonfiction book The Four Seasons of Marriage. Each book includes a study guide that talks about the four seasons of marriage and the healing strategies depicted in that particular storyline.” “This is a very real-life book that could have happened in any small town across the USA. The people are very true to form, and the events are happening everywhere. The faith that the characters have is very inspiring, and motivational. The book deals with every day living and life events, like love and death, plus family life with combined families. Be prepared for a variety of emotions and temperaments.”
• From One Widow to Another, written by Miriam Neff, published by Moody Publishers. One testimony, concerning this book reads: “As a recent widow, I thought the book was the closest to the reality that I experienced during the grieving period. It was the most realistic of the books I had read regarding this topic. I highly recommend it for widows and those who want to interact more appropriately to be supportive of them.”
• Happily Ever After: A Real-Life Look at Your First Year of Marriage . . . and Beyond, written by Toben and Joanne Heim, published by Kregel Publications. This book is divided into 8 chapters – each one dealing with an area of marriage that can be a source of unmet expectations during the first year (particularly for those living in the U.S.A.). In each chapter of Happily Ever After, you’ll find a number of common elements: The “First Steps” of newlyweds, The “Voice of Wisdom” from couples who are older and wiser, and Questions for Couples to work through both individually and together. As the authors, Toben and Joanne Heim say about this book, “Our hope is that by reading this book and answering some of the questions in it, you’ll learn about both yourself and your spouse and see the ways that God has created you to be partners in marriage. The best place to start learning these things is at the beginning –where you come from.”
• It Happens Every Spring, written by Dr Gary Chapman and Catherine Palmer, published by Tyndale House. This is the first of a 4-part series of marriage books that mix fiction and marriage truths together. In this book, “Relational expert Chapman rewrites his core message in fiction, teaming with Christian novelist Palmer, highlighting the concepts taught in Chapman’s The Four Seasons of a Marriage. The plot and characters evince Chapman’s thesis that marriage is a journey back and forth through different ‘seasons,’ while the neighborhood of Deep Water Cove and little town of Tranquility, Mo., provide the settings… The novel’s scenes often conspire to illustrate a counseling point, and the included study guide reinforces the idea that this is self-help disguised as fiction.”
• Marriage Takes More Than Love, written by Jack and Carole Mayhall published by NavPress. In this book, the authors share a multitude of things they’ve found that are vital to a good marriage—a solid foundation in God, open and honest communication, a clear definition of roles and responsibilities, exciting sex, and more. In a his-and-hers style, the Mayhalls show readers how to make the kind of choices in marriage that look out for the best interests of all three parties involved—you your spouse, and God. (This book comes highly recommended as a favorite.)
• Starting Your Marriage Right: What You Need to Know in the Early Years to Make It Last a Lifetime -by Dennis and Barbara Rainey, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. This book contains 52 brief but instructive lessons on how to stay married in today’s often-turbulent relational climate. In it, Dennis and Barbara draw from their own marriage and from their 29+ years in family ministry to present a view of the early years of marriage that is upbeat and optimistic without glossing over the very real potential problems.
Couples will learn how to: communicate more effectively, forgive each other, discover each other’s needs and learn how to meet them, keep God at the center of their relationship, handle in-laws, sex, money, and time pressures. In talking about this book, Dennis and Barbara Rainey say that “the most effective way to really ‘own’ the material is to recruit and spend time with a mentor couple who have been married 5 or more years.” You can then meet with them at various times throughout the year and discuss different chapters. As they say, “The key objective, though, is to learn from a couple who have already been where you are and where you’re headed. This could be your most important investment of time and energy to insure that your marriage will go the distance.”
• Summer Breeze, written by Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman, published by Tyndale House. “This story is based on Gary Chapman’s belief that marriage changes like seasons and those in which the couple communicates their fears and desires will only get stronger. SUMMER BREEZE is an entertaining stand alone tale of two generations sharing a household that leads to conflict ironically because everyone ‘knows’ what is best for Luke while Lydia feels left out. Using hyperbole to make the point that relationships run into storms followed by SUMMER BREEZE, this is a family drama filled with emotional people frightened that everything sacred to each of them is falling apart.”
• The First Five Years of Marriage: Launching a Lifelong, Successful Relationship, is a Focus on the Family resource, written by Focus on the Family Counselors, and is published by Tyndale House Publishers. We highly recommend this great marriage guide—one of the best available! You’ll find that it’s practical, and yet easy to read, and is quite comprehensive in the variety of topics it covers—which could help your marriage greatly. These topics include number of articles on the subjects of: Getting to Know Each other, Expectations, Roles, Money, Communication, Sex, Resolving Conflict, Spiritual Issues, In-Laws, Children, and Sticking with It.
• The Four Seasons of Marriage, written by Gary Chapman and published by Tyndale House. In this book, Dr Chapman “uses his years of marriage counseling and leading marriage seminars as the basis for his thesis that marriages repeatedly go through periods that can be characterized by the seasons of the year. He begins by describing winter, times when marriages are marked by ‘coldness, harshness, and bitterness.’ Spring is “where most marriages begin,’ while summer is filled with fun. He compares an autumn marriage to ‘the falling of the leaves.’ Chapman offers detailed explanations of the emotions, attitudes and actions of the marriage seasons as well as the pros and cons of each. The book’s second section provides seven strategies to enhance or change the marriage seasons, from dealing with past failures and speaking your spouse’s love language to ‘maximizing differences’ and becoming a positive influence. Chapman also specifically addresses how to improve a marriage where a spouse has no desire to change.”
What’s also great about The First Five Years of Marriage is that it’s written by a team of experienced counselors who have dealt extensively with the issues covered. And all of them contribute a different slant on the expertise they’re able to share with the readers—so it’s like having a team of counselors helping you to adjust to your new life together! Plus this would make a great wedding or shower gift for anyone who is getting married! Everything within it is aimed to help its readers lay a solid foundation based on Biblical principles in a practical way.
• The Most Important Year in a Woman’s Life, /The Most Important Year in a Man’s Life, written by Robert Wolgemuth, Bobbie Wolgemuth, Mark DeVries, and Susan DeVries, published by Zondervan. It’s the winner of the Silver Medallion Book Award. The Wolgemuths (he’s an author and owner of a literary agency; she’s an author) and the DeVries (he’s a pastor and author; she assists him in premarital counseling and marriage retreats) offer here a two-in-one, flip-over-format volume aimed at newlywed Christian couples. One half is written for him and one half is written for her. Recognizing the success of their own marriages, the authors decided to share their experiences and advice with couples in that make-or-break first year of marriage, which they call the “wet cement” year. Both “books” have the same layout and cover topics such as money, sex and in-laws, but they cater, thematically and tonally, to the gender of their audience. Each book is neatly wrapped up with a “Meet in the Middle” section, which offers questions and exercises the husband and wife can work through together to continue to build upon the lessons they’ve just learned.
• When the Honeymoon’s Over, written by Kathy Collard Miller and D. Larry Miller, published by Shaw. This book presents practical solutions to the often misunderstood (and highly romanticized) world of marriage. Does your spouse or significant person drive you crazy sometimes? This book will open your eyes with understanding and insight into why your spouse reacts the way they do. Don’t be in the dark! It gives you practical ideas for making a decision to love, even when your spouse is unlovely!
• Winter Turns to Spring, written by Catherine Palmer and Dr Gary Chapman, published by Tyndale House. This “is the fourth installment of the ‘Four Seasons of Marriage’ series that started with ‘It Happens Every Spring.’ The ‘Four Seasons of Marriage’ principle was developed by the co-author Gary Chapman who believes that marriage is a continuous journey back and forth through different seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. ‘Winter means difficulty. Marriage is harder in this season of cold silence and bitter winds.’ This installment revolves around newlyweds Brad and Ashley Hanes who find themselves living separate lives. …Marriage is not easy. It takes effort, understanding, forgiveness and love. Like the seasons, it is forever evolving and changing.” This book reads “like a stand-alone novel. The characters are well-developed so you feel like you personally know each and every one.”