I realized very early in my life that one very important ingredient for a strong and successful relationship/marriage is a good resource base of knowledge and reference. Every marriage I believe must have something to draw upon for new knowledge once a while. On that ground I began building my marriage library even before the thought of starting a love relationship with someone’s “innocent” daughter crossed my mind.
I determined early I was not going to build my relationship and marriage after that of my parents…not that they did not have a good marriage whist it lasted but somehow, I knew I was doomed to fail if that became my only reference aside the Bible or the scanty once a while marriage sermons from the pulpit. Bible knowledge alone to me is not enough. It remains the number one and most important reference for every good Christian marriage though but there’s a wealth of other resources (in variety of formats) out there, mainly born out of people’s rich experiences of the institution that one can also learn from and easily relate to. As must be expected, there are varied perspectives presented by people on marriage and some quite skewed from Bible principles but I find it’s always better to have a broad spectrum of knowledge and then filter out what is good for one’s purpose.
The Good Book says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” as in Hosea 4:6 (RSV) and I believe by extension that, most marriages are becoming very mundane and stagnant (lacking growth) because they are not refreshed every now and then with new knowledge from good marriage resources. We must often review our relationships/marriages and ask the question “what’s new in my relationship/marriage?”. Why? Because whether you like it or not, every relationship/marriage needs constant renewal, creativity and attention to detail. And we need a great dose of knowledge to do that!
And like any successful business venture, one needs good preparation and grooming for both the start-up and operation. And that requires capacity for a lot of fresh updated knowledge to survive in a constantly changing business environment. And as long as the world keeps evolving, the dynamics of marriage will also keep changing from that of old age Bible day marriages. We must therefore acquire as much knowledge in order to adjust to and accommodate the changes as they come. And every passing moment people are publishing their experiences of the institution of marriage. But, somehow, I find many people just do not prepare enough for the marriage venture. All they believe there is to it is getting of age, locating just anyone, settling down with them and going through the motions. I find it a very pathetic way of going about something very important to all human survival as marriage. It’s important we acquire as much knowledge about things before we go into them. “Had I known” must not always come last.
Enough said. At this point, I think it is worth sharing just a few resources (books) that characterize my marriage library and wish to also recommend them as good materials for every relationship/marriage:
- How to choose a life partner: 165 questions to ask (Pastor Bimbo Odukoya)
- Are you the one for me? (Barbara De Angelis)
- Men are from Mars, women are from Venus: A practical guide for improving communication and getting what you want in your relationships (John Gray)
- What every man wants in a woman: 10 essentials for growing deeper in love (John Hagee)
- What every woman wants in a man: 10 qualities for nurturing intimacy (Diana Hagee)
- The five love languages: how to express heartfelt commitment to your mate (Gary Chapman)
- I love you but I’m not in love with you: seven steps to saving your relationship (Andrew G. Marshall)
- Why you act the way you do (Tim LaHaye)
- Help your partner say ‘yes’: seven steps to achieving better cooperation and communication (Andrew G. Marshall)
- Before you plan your wedding plan your marriage (Dr. Greg Smalley & Erin Smalley)
- His needs her needs: building an affair-proof marriage (Willard F. Harley)
- Every woman: a gynaecological guide for life (Derek Llewellyn-Jones)
- Marriage works: the ultimate guide to marriage (J. John)
- Make or break: an introduction to marriage counseling (Jack Dominian)
- Build a life-long love affair: Seven steps to revitalizing your relationship (Andrew G. Marshall)
- The act of marriage: the beauty of sexual love (Tim & Beverly LaHaye)
- At the heart of your long distance relationship: love deeply, live fully and grow closer together from near or far (Catherine Day)
- For better or for worse: lessons from old testament couples (SDA Church)
There you have it: just a few good books in my store that I refer to every now and then.
So here’s how I wrap up: do make it a life goal to at LEAST every year of your relationship/marriage acquire a good book or any other resource material on marriage and inject some new fire based on the knowledge acquired into your marriage and see your marriage grow and glow. Certainly, growing a relationship/marriage is work and never comes easy. So get serious with your relationship and marriage now before you lose it!
“A word to a wise is enough” the saying goes but I like to put it this way: “a word to a wise is never enough unless it makes sense”. I trust that you do find some sense here!