Monday, July 09, 2007

A Great Book on Marriage For Use In Counseling

As a pastor of a fairly large congregration, I am always looking for books that I can recommend to couples who come to me for marriage counseling. When I meet with a couple for the first time I usually try to give them an assignment of reading a good book on marriage, and tell them to complete the task before they try to schedule a second appointment. This helps me see very quickly who is, and who isn't, serious about getting help for their marriage.

Needless to say I am always looking for good books on the subject of marriage, particularly helpful books that give practical, Biblical advice on how to restore a broken marriage. I have recently discovered an outstanding book on the subject of marriage entitled The Pursuit of Pleasure in the Pleasure of Another: A Christian Hedonist Guide to a Happy Marriage by F. Darby Livingston. I believe this book will be extraordinarily helpful to those couples who find they have no more 'feelings' for the person they married. Darby provides a virtual 'how to' manual for those couples whose relationship has grown cold - and the reason I like the book so much is because it doesn't contain a list of 'dos' and 'donts' for the husband or the wife. Rather, the book shows couples with brilliant clarity how God has designed marriage to magnify the truth and worth and beauty and greatness of God. Darby shows that a passion for the supremacy of Jesus Christ displayed in the gospel is the fountain that sustains a God-glorifying, enjoyable and durable marriage. No marriage that rivals God's glory is going to be a happy one.

In short, this book will show every husband and wife that marriage will not be deeply pleasurable - in every good sense of the word - until both the husband and wife quit looking at each other to find his or her pleasure.

Stephen Davis, Executive Director of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana commends this book saying:

"Is your marriage blessed, joyful, delightful, intoxicating? That’s how God wants it to be. God has provided everything husbands and wives need to experience this kind of intimacy and bring Him glory at the same time. This book shows how a passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ is the fountain that sustains a Godglorifying, enjoyable and durable marriage. “Looking for fresh insights on the joy and glory of marriage as God intended? Then this book is for you. Pastor Darby brings excellent biblical scholarship and thoughtful, practical, wholesome ideas for improving your marriage relationship. None of that syrupy stuff with no real substance, but wise counsel from God’s Word challenging couples to experience God’s best as He designed it to be.”

Darby Livingston is the founding pastor and a counselor at Come as You are Fellowship in Union City, Ohio. Darby is also co-founder of Joyful Hope Ministries, a cell-church planting ministry, and a Christian author. He is happily married to Amanda and they have five young children.

Order "The Pursuit of Pleasure in the Pleasure of Another: A Christian Hedonist Guide to a Happy Marriage" here.

You'll be glad you did.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


irreverend fox said...


Wade Burleson is a full blown hedonist and promotes hedonism on blog...

Bob Cleveland said...


I heard an outrageous analogy about heaven that might apply here. Someone said that heaven and hell were like a huge banquet table loaded with food, but with all the guests' arms tied to boards so they could not bend their elbows. Hence they could not get their hands to their mouths.

The difference between heaven and hell?

Hell: everyone fought over the food, swatting their neighbors to keep them from getting it.

Heaven: everyone fed their neighbors.

That seems to apply, to an extent, here.

John Daly said...

Seems like a good recommendation…I’ll make sure my wife reads it :)

Anonymous said...

One book that my wife and I found helpful in our premarital counseling, and still now a few years after we have been married, was the Marriage Builder by Larry Crabbs. We recommend it to all engaged couples we know.