a gift for the newlyweds

It’s Spring. Which means… wedding season is upon us!

If you are in need of a gift for the newlyweds in your life, these two books are my favorite go-tos for complimenting a gift off the registry for a personal touch and a purposeful aim.


Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage is an age old classic. The premise of the book is “What if God designed marriage to make us more holy more than to make us happy?” It’s a book that will set the heart of a couple in the right direction as they walk together in honoring God with the gift of marriage.

Clay and I had the sweetest season of going through this book with three other couples who got married within months of us. While we completed the book over a year ago, we still refer to our little small group as our “Sacred Marriage group.”

There’s a study guide you can get for the book, but to be honest we didn’t use it all that much. We simply read a chapter every couple of weeks and then came together as a group to discuss what stood out, to encourage each other, and to pray for one another.


For Couples Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

For Couples Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn is actually two books that come together in a set {but can also be purchased separately}.

Shaunti wrote For Women Only in which she explains the innerworkings of the male mind so that women may better understand and love their husbands. Her husband Jeff wrote For Men Only in which he gives great insight into the female brain, personality and tendencies so that husbands can better understand and love their wives!

If I had to sum up this book set in one word I would call them “practical.” They contain such straight-forward, applicable information that yet somehow has largely eluded the opposite sex! I learned things about men in general that I never quite fully realized and, in turn, that knowledge has helped me to better love Clay the way he, as a man, has been designed to receive love. And I have witnessed firsthand how the information Clay has read about women in his book has helped him to demonstrate his love for me in a way that I so appreciate!

. . .

Marriage is such a fun adventure and wonderful mystery, and yet it can be a difficult journey at times. Meshing two lives, two personalities, two sets of habits, and two backgrounds is not an easy thing to do! The first few months — even years — of marriage are quite a learning curve. {Well, maybe all of it is! We are always changing after all!}

Proverbs 3:13-18 says this:

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left and are riches and honor.
Her ways are of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
{Proverbs 3:13-18, ESV}

On our wedding day, our pastor {Drew Sams} surprised us with a verse that no doubt the Holy Spirit revealed to him. {There’s a whole story behind it, but that’s for another time.} The passage he chose contained the following:
And they will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.
{Isaiah 61:3b}
The beginning season of life together as a married couple is especially one in which tools such as these books can be such an incredible blessing in helping a couple to establish a firm foundation for a godly, loving, fun, joyful, purposeful and intentional marriage. Wisdom through knowledge is an essential tool through which God grow us both individually and as a couple. As we seek this “tree of life” we then become “oaks of righteousness” that bring glory and honor to God.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. {James 3:17}

By their fruit you will recognize them. {Matthew 7:16a}

. . .


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