John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage. I’m biased. I like Piper’s writing. I found this book to be very helpful in showing marriage’s good, tough, and covenant love purposes in the light of the gospel. This book’s emphasis is to remember the gospel as staying married is not about being ‘in love’ but about keeping the covenant modeled after Christ and the church. Another plus, it can be downloaded for free at desiringgod.org
Douglas Wilson’s Reforming Marriage. This is an excellent resource as it’s plain spoken and direct to the point. It gives a great gospel-centered view of headship and submission, roles in marriage, conflict resolution, courtesy, sex, and children. What I didn’t like was the chapter about divorce.
Paul Tripp’s What Did You Expect? This was a great book for me. It is very real. It was very hard for me to read because so many of the stories he tells sound like mine, and then they take a dark turn. Sometimes there is redemption. Sometimes not. It asks for six commitments – including confession, forgiveness, protection of the marriage, and working on love. He makes sure one doesn’t miss the point that marriage is not trivial and definitely not the fairy tale most of us think it is.
Dave Harvey’s When Sinners Say ‘I Do’ was soaked in the gospel. A very good book to remind us of the power of the gospel to help sinners overcome our tendencies coming from the fall. The downside of the book is that it’s written in a very conversational way — to me. There are lots of word play, some repetition of the same things. I love that it points us constantly to the gospel. I don’t like the way it’s written. Angela, however, profited greatly from the stories he tells to help give illustrations of his points.
Douglas Wilson’s For a Glory and a Covering was a new Reforming Marriage. It actually doesn’t repeat itself very much and had some good points to bring up from a fresh presentation of the topic of marriage. An excellent discussion of the roles of the man and the wife. I benefited from some “new” topics such as studying the spouse, love and respect, wise words in marriage, growing old together, widowhood, and a discussion of how we were designed to be sexual.
Andreas Kostenberger’s God, Marriage, and Family. A very long book. The first four/five chapters (can’t remember the right number) deal with marriage – showing us its different aspects but finally defines it as a covenant. This is a very comprehensive book dealing with all sorts of different issues in marriage and the family from a theological perspective. A very “technical” book – not for someone who is not academically inclined.
I read also Wilson’s Fidelity – an excellent resource on issues relating to men and being a one woman man. Written for men.
I also read Wilson’s Her Hand in Marriage – a great book dealing with the importance of courtship in our modern world
I also read Piper’s A Sweet and Bittter Providence - a short book dealing with Ruth and Boaz and how they should be our model of sexual purity
Mark Driscoll has a couple of chapters in Religion Saves – one on birth control and one on dating. Quick reads. I don’t necessarily vouch 100% for his thoughts but for the more mature, discerning Christian, they are probably worth taking a quick look at.