60+ Marriage Resources for Christians

As a response to my post here, here is a list of resources for couples who would like to shape their marriage on the biblically-based idea of mutual submission (often called “egalitarian marriage” in theological circles) between spouses.

This is a collaborative view of marriage based on Christian theology and tradition that serves as a faithful and prophetic alternative to patriarchal practices within marriage.

Some of these resources are theological in nature, others are more practical application. Some are overtly egalitarian while others simply embrace that theological position without labels. Most are overtly Christian, all are from diverse traditions, some are interfaith while others are appropriate for agnostics and atheists. You’ll have to see what works for you!

Here’s to joyful, life-giving, Jesus-centered, Kingdom-focused marriages!


Books

Together: Reclaiming Co-Leadership in Marriage by Tim & Anne Evans

The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage by Rob Bell and Kristen Bell

The Marriage Book by Nicky and Sila Lee

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Marriages: Reclaiming God’s Design for Oneness by Bryan Nystrom

As For Me and My House: Crafting Your Marriage to Last by Walter Wangerin Jr.

Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity by Katherine Willis Pershey

Keep Your Love On: Connection, Communication, and Boundaries by Danny Silk

A Model for Marriage: Covenant, Grace, Empowerment, and Intimacy by Jack O. Balswick and Judith K. Balswick

The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman, PhD. and Nan Silver (John Gottman was highly recommended and has a lot of books so this might just be a jumping off point for his other works.)

Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone by Tara M. Owens

The Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch, PhD

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary D. Chapman

Sweet Surrender: How Cultural Mandates Shape Christian Marriage by Dennis Hiebert

Marriage Made in Eden: A Pre-Modern Perspective for a Post-Christian World by Alice P. Matthews and M. Gay Hubbard

Partners in Marriage & Ministry by Ronald W. Pierce

Fit to be Tied: Making Marriage Last a Lifetime by Bill & Lynne Hybels

Marriage: Building Real Intimacy by Bill Hybels

Marriage Minutes: Thoughts for the Egalitarian (Collaborative) Marriage by Gerald Ford

Heirs Together: Applying the Biblical Principle of Mutual Submission in Your Marriage by Patricia Gundry

Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says About A Woman’s Place in Church and Family by Gilbert Bilezikian

Families Where Grace is in Place: Building a Home Free of Manipulation, Legalism, and Shame by Jeff VanVonderen

The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home by Jack O. Balswick and Judith K. Balswick

Love After Marriage: A Journey into Deeper Spiritual, Emotional, and Sexual Oneness by Barry and Lori Byrne

Preparing Couples for Love and Marriage: A Pastor’s Resource by Cameron Lee & James L. Furrow (premarital focus) (companion website)

Before the Ring: Questions Worth Asking by William L. Coleman (Premarital focus)


Curriculum/Events/Conferences/Workshops

The Marriage Course by Nicky and Sila Lee (also The Marriage Preparation Course)

The Story of Marriage by John and Lisa Bevere

MarriageStrong via Fuller Theological Seminary

Refreshing Your Marriage with Jim and Cathy Burns

Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Get a Room! Couples Retreat with Soulation

Finding Your Equal in Dating & Marriage with Soulation

The Daring Way based on Brené Brown’s research

Prepare/Enrich

Marriage Still Rocks by John and Helen Burns


Full Marriage/Family Ministries

Real Life with Tim + Anne Evans

Permanent Passionate Partnership

HomeWord with Jim Burns and Doug Fields

Doing Family Right with Dr. Dave and Donalyn Curie

Better Marriages

Loving on Purpose by Danny and Sheri Silk

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

Freedom Builders / Soulation “Year of Gender

MarriageHelper 911 with Joe Beam

Sheila Wray Gregoire


Websites, Groups, & Articles

The Junia Project

Christians for Biblical Equality (or click here for a full search of “marriage“)

Rachel Held Evans blog series on mutuality

Marg Mowczko’s blog series on Equality in Marriage

The Purpose of Marriage is Not to Make You Holy by Jonathan Trotter for A Life Overseas

Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers

Jenny Rae Armstrong’s blog series Equally Yoked

Michael and Amy Raburn’s Podcast (on marriage, ministry, and family)

Amy Buckley’s aStore of resources for Domestic Violence

Greg Boyd’s sermon series “Who’s the Boss?

#StayMarried Blog, Resources, & Podcast

The Gottman Institute


My Own Marriage

Jesus Feminist (see Chapter 5 in particular)

My ongoing blog series about my own marriage is Love Looks Like including favourites:

[Love Looks Like] 14: On Marriage, Making Magic, and Demands

Tell them about the love that doesn’t show up in movies and love songs

[Love Looks Like] 2:07 a.m.

[Love Looks Like] Room to Change


Disclaimer: I have not had the time to do a deep dive into each of these resources. So I cannot vouch for them personally. However, they have come to me highly recommended and so I am simply presenting them to you as possibilities. I’ve done my best to narrow the field to materials that support egalitarian teaching as much as I can without a deep dive into the material. As always, you may encounter ideas or teaching that is in opposition to your own beliefs or perhaps even offensive or hurtful. That is certainly not my intention but it is possibility. Fair warning then, some of these resources might be a great fit for you and your theology or marriage, others may not be. I will also add that there are vast swaths of marriage practicalities or theology that are under-represented in resources – any exclusion was not intentional but rather a reflection of my inability to find faith-based resources particular to every situation/nuance. I’m hoping to continue to add to this resource page over the coming months, particularly for the under-served of our church communities.

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  • Excellent, Sarah. Thanks for compiling such rich resources on marriage. A true gift.

  • Amanda

    Wow Sarah – you are amazing! Thank you for putting this together. Wonderful 🙂

  • Elle

    I didn’t know that Bill & Lynne Hybels had co-written a book on marriage. I’ll definitely be checking that one out! I have such great respect for them. Thanks for compiling this list, Sarah!

    Also, as a single, hoping to marry and have children someday, I’m surprised at the lack of resources available on dating, pursuing marriage, etc. for those of us who lean egalitarian. Thoughts? Suggestions?

    • It’s an oldie (1993) but it still looked helpful. I am still holding out hope for them to write another one from their place in life right now especially since Lynne’s awakening as a peacemaker and advocate for the oppressed in Israel/Palestine.

  • Kristi

    The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller might be something to look into as well.

    • Alice

      Worth the look but Ive been to conferences where he has publically stated that mutual submission/egalitarian marriage and women in leadership is heretical and derived from lazy liberalists who disrespect the bible. The book may be helpful for some but i found it hard to look past this.

    • I left that off the list as Tim and Kathy Keller practice and preach soft patriarchy within marriage.

  • Thank you so much for including my website, Sarah. That is a lovely surprise.

    • You’ve built a thoughtful and helpful resource! Thank YOU!

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  • Thanks so much for this list, Sarah, and thanks for the mention!

  • BobP3

    Great list! Thanks for the shout-out, Sarah!

  • Great resources! I can definitely vouch for The Marriage Course and book by Nicky and Sila Lee. The course is good for any marriage that wants an MOT – really helpful exercises and conversation-prompts

  • Nurse Bee

    Not sure who suggested Sheila Wray Gregoire is a friend of mutual submission, but I would not consider her so. She has several blogs demeaning working moms.

    • Hmmmmm. That’s troubling indeed. I didn’t do a deep dive into her stuff overall just the marriage focused things. I’ll try to set aside some time today to do a bit more digging. Thanks for the head’s up!

    • Anne

      I have to say I’ve enjoyed reading Sheila’s stuff–really helped me to see the difference between real tough love and enabling. That said, there is about 10% I don’t totally agree with–but I have no problem learning from someone with whom I do not agree 100% of the time. I think that’s life. Honestly–same thing with the meaning of marriage book by the Kellers. There are a few excellent chapters in that book.

      • Mimi Haddad

        We found the same thing! I’m wondering if we could write our own chapters in response to those that are less helpful?

    • Heides

      I too was surprised to see her name on the list, I don’t read her work often, but I don’t remember reading anything from her that would make me think that supports mutual submission.

  • Shauna Russell Gauthier

    Did anyone recommend any material from Dan Allender? He has a book called God Loves Sex that I’ve heard great things about. He also has a regular podcast with The Allender Center.

    • No, I hadn’t heard about that one. Will check it out!

  • Thank you so much for this!

  • Michelle G

    Wow! I am so overwhelmed – in the best possible way. Thank you so much. You have been such a spiritual midwife in my life. I’m so looking forward to diving into some of these resources as well as having them on hand for later down the road.

  • Just… thank you.

  • Mimi Haddad

    Thanks Sarah, for the shout out and link to marriage resources at CBE. We’re completing a really extensive marriage resource coming soon. With appreciation! Mimi Haddad

    • So thankful for the work and witness of CBE!

      • Mimi Haddad

        Likewise and may it ever be so!

  • shelley nienhuis

    Great catalogue! As a woman who has been in a mutually submissive marriage for almost 33 years, may I suggest that other married couples around you may be living resources and could be quite open to mentoring; don’t be afraid to ask us. 🙂

  • Great stuff here Sarah:) I personally love Gottman and his research and books. We use his book in our pre-engagement course we lead through our church body.

    • Yes, so many people recommended so many of his books, it was hard to choose one!

  • Elizabeth Beyer

    Thank you, Sarah, for mentioning Christians for Biblical Equality. I’m the bookstore coordinator at CBE and we are always looking for great resources to review and recommend. If there are marriage resources you would like to see reviewed, please contact us at bookstore@cbeinternational.org.

  • John Ayala

    Great resources! Thanks for putting this together, I have been looking for something like this for our family.

    Although, I was surprised to find Refresh Your Marriage (RYM) conference. My wife and I went a few years ago and they did not seem like they were teaching egalitarian views of marriage. Also, the way the conference was done, the wives of the speakers only had about a 30min discussion (with the husbands present) that was dominated by the husbands. Also, at one point one of the speakers (Doug Fields) told a story about him and his wife having sex at a rest stop off of a highway. I don’t even remember the exact context of the story but I found it pretty degrading and embarassing for his wife as he was holding this up as something positive that she did “for him”.

    That being said, I have never read any of Jim or Cathy Burns books, as I was discouraged from what I saw in the conference. So I don’t know if they teach egalitarianism or not in their books, but it didn’t seem like it in the conference.

    • Oh, yikes. I’m sorry to hear that! They came highly recommended to me by the Junia Project through Azuza Pacific. I hope they learned from that misstep as it doesn’t seem indicative of their theology or teaching overall from what I heard but who knows?

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  • Lori Hopkins

    We’ve started a discussion group on FB for egalitarian marriages. All are welcome. Right now the title is Christian Marriage of Mutual Submission.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1705972656339145/1705979886338422/?notif_t=like

  • Scott Statson

    Paul Tripp has a great marriage resource as well! I’d consider it one of my personal favorite.

  • Summer

    Thanks for this list! This is fantastic. However, I do want to point out that Les and Leslie Parrott are not egalitarian. A quick visit to their website and articles will show that they are definitely complementarian (hierarchical with focus on stereotypical gender roles) in their view of marriage.

  • Rose

    Great list! I’m a counselor and this list will come in handy to help my folks! Thanks!

  • tim_reallife

    Hi Sarah, thank you for including our “TOGETHER Reclaiming Co-Leadership in Marriage” book on your list. We believe co-leadership has so much untapped kingdom advancing potential. Warmly, tim+anne evans

  • tim_reallife

    Hi Sarah, thank you for including our book “TOGETHER Reclaiming Co-Leadership in Marriage” and REAL LIFE ministries on your lists. Being married 40 years, we believe co-leadership has such untapped kingdom advancing potential. Warmly, tim+anne evans

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  • I’m totally single right now but am definitely saving these for the future and passing this link along to my many friends who are getting married and enjoying those first years of marriage. I am so grateful to have these kinds of resources on this side of marriage, so I can be a bit more prepared. 😉

  • Jennifer Klauth

    Do you have any resources on preparing your marriage for parenting? Or Jesus-parenting in general?

  • Pip

    Wowee! What a great resources hub this is! Thank you so much Sarah!

    Jennifer, I thought Let’s Stick Together by Harry Benson – a short book aimed at new parents – was fantastic. While it’s not a theological book, and is totally readable by non-Christians too, it’s solidly grounded it the Bensons’ faith. And it’s very practical.

    I also found the Danny Silk books (Keep Your Love On for the marriage perspective, Loving Your Kids On Purpose for parenting) really helpful and inspiring in that season.

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