“One of the worst things we believe about love is that it’s supposed to come naturally,” Pastor Chris said during Week 1 of “The Love Project.”
We spend years training for careers … but marriage? When it comes to building a life with someone, we assume we’ll figure it out along the way. We rarely ask for help — and when we do, it’s often too late.
So if you’re looking to strengthen the relationships in your life — whether it’s with your spouse, the person you’re dating, or even a friend or neighbor — here are some books to help you do just that.
The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman
You might have heard the phrase “love languages” on a recent Sunday morning or in dinner group. If you’re not already familiar with Gary Chapman’s book, the five “love languages” (words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts and quality time) are the various ways we can express and receive love. Determining which one each person in a relationship values and desires most can be a game-changer.
Scary Close Don Miller
As we’ve already established, relationships take work. But sometimes the hardest part is putting down the masks we’ve clung to for most of our lives. In “Scary Close,” Don Miller uses his own experiences to delve into why authenticity is one of the most important building blocks in any meaningful relationship.
The Road Back to You Ian Morgan Cron, Suzanne Stabile
Like “love languages,” the Enneagram can be a useful tool when it comes to revealing how — and why — people are wired the way they are. “The Road Back to You” serves as an introduction to each of the nine Enneagram types, a system that encourages compassion and understanding for both yourself and those around you.
The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating Andy Stanley
So you’re looking for the “right person.” But what if you’re not who the person you’re looking for is looking for? That’s the question Andy Stanley poses in this sermon-turned-book (which is also available online in its original format). While exploring the many trials and tribulations of 21st century dating, the North Point pastor points to what God says makes for a successful partner and suggests that the person you should be looking at most closely might just be yourself.
Single, Dating, Engaged, Married Ben Stuart
They’re four crucial seasons of life, and yet, many of us walk through them feeling completely unprepared. So how do you thrive during each stage? If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re approaching relationships the right way, this book is for you.
You and Me Forever Francis Chan, Lisa Chan
Instead of focusing on advice for a rich marriage, Francis and Lisa Chan do nearly the opposite — zeroing in on the life that God calls married couples to. It’s a book about seeking first the Kingdom of God, and what happens when you put your marriage second.
Everybody Always Bob Goff
“I’ve spent my whole life avoiding the people Jesus spent His whole life engaging,” Bob Goff writes in his new book. “God’s idea isn’t that we would just give and receive love but that we could actually become love. … What Jesus told His friends can be summed up in this way: He wants us to love everybody, always — and start with the people who creep us out. The truth is, we probably creep them out as much as they do us.” Using the same brand of storytelling as his bestseller “Love Does,” Bob Goff demonstrates what it means to love without limits — and what happens when we do.