Marriage Resources – Ministries, Blogs, Books, & More

Jon and I have worked hard to have a good marriage.  Many years ago we were challenged by a question asked, “Do others get a glimpse of Christ when they see your marriage?” We purposed to invested in our marriage over the years and thankfully the benefits have been tremendous. We will continue to invest as being proactive verses reactive is more effective.

Marriages are constantly under attack as there is the potential for so much good to come from marriage. It’s the foundation of our society and the first institution established by God. What happens in our marriages usually filters down to the rest of our lives and it greatly influences and impacts our children so invest in something that can positively impact future generations.

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Consider: preventative maintenance is less costly than legal fees. Don’t let pride or your ego get in the way of asking for help. Godly counsel with accountability is invaluable.


Local Resources in Austin 


Great Commandment David & Teresa Ferguson

  • Intimate Encounters (book)
  • Never Alone (Devotional)
  • The Pursuit of Intimacy

Together in Texas provides free relationship workshops for singles, couples, parents, and teen. By attending you can receive the needed certificate to wave the fee of $60 for your marriage license.

Center for Relational Care (Counseling, Consulting, and Training) Jon and I have personal experience here. Back in 2008 we sough help and had great results.

Intensives Jon and I did an intensive in June 2009 and it was life changing for us.

The Austin Stone Counseling Center  provides gospel counseling.

Hyde Park Counseling Center offers biblically based solutions.

Chris Thurman Ph.D. Chris is a Psychologist, gifted biblical counselor and author.  I have gleaned much wisdom from his teachings and books.

  • The Lies We Believe
  • The Truths We Must Believe
  • If Christ Were Your Counselor
  • Self-Help or Self Destruction
  • The Pursuit of Intimacy

Gloo is a downloadable app for your phone to help strengthen your relationships through shared content. Try code 8c91

This Marriage advice from a divorced man is truly insightful


Various Ministries I’ve turn to for wisdom and biblical insight


Family Life Today

  • Listen to past broadcast (FREE)
  • Be sure to sign up for their FREE daily couples devotion on-line and romance tips for husbands
  • Weekend to Remember Conferences are two-and-a-half day weekend getaways held at hotels and resorts around the US. Jon and I have attended 4-5 of them here in Austin, Houston and in San Diego.
  • I Still Do Conference are practical, one-day marriage events where couples can invest and strengthen their marriage.  We’ve attended 2-3 of these in the past and I am so grateful that FLT is again providing them.
  • Love Like You Mean It Cruise is a five-day cruise loaded with top notch Christian authors and speaker as well as musicians.  This year The Austin Stone’s Jimmy McNeal is one of the performers.  Jon and I did the cruise back in 2012 and highly recommend it.

BOOKS

  • Staying Close: Stopping the Natural Drift Toward Isolation in Marriage
  • Moments with You, Daily Devotion
  • Moments Together For Couples is a wonderful devotion we give our married couples.

Focus on the Family

  • What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women
  • Listen to their past or recent broadcast.

Love and Respect Dr. Emerson Eggerich

10 Great Dates by David and Claudia Arp

  • No Time For Sex – The Arps share five secrets to help time-deprived lovers recapture a five-star love life, including tips for boosting energy and finding time away from the kids. Intimate, frank, and down-to-earth practical, this book is a must for today’s harried married couples.
  • The Connected Family

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott  Subscribe to their weekly devotion and get The Ultimate Guide to Crazy Good Sex for FREE!

America’s Family Coaches Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg

  • The 5 Love Needs of Men and Women
  • Serving Love workbook
  • 40 Unforgettable Dates With Your Mate

Bienvenu Counseling Services

  • Married Happily Ever After?
  • Conflict Resolution tapes
  • Golf and Marriage

Smalley Institute with Dr. Gary Smalley

Shaunti Feldhahn

Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Today OnePlace.com is the leading provider of Christian audio content on the Internet. Here’s what that means for you:

  • Listen to your favorite Christian broadcasters, such as James Dobson, John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, Dr. David Jeremiah, Tony Evans, Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, and many more any time, at your convenience!
  • Browse the list of ministry programs offered.
  • Listen live to your choice of several Christian radio stations.
  • Choose to listen by specific topics or hear many compelling answers to frequently asked questions.

Blogs on Marriage



Our Favorite Videos and Audios:



A Few Other Books to Read



Assessment Tools


  • For over thirty years, PREPARE/ENRICH has led the way in helping couples explore and strengthen their relationships.
  • Relational Needs Assessment this assessment can also be done using the Gloo App. which does the scoring and keeps your top three relational needs recorded.
  • Emotional Needs Questionnaire designed to help you determine your most important emotional needs and evaluate your spouse’s effectiveness in meeting those needs.
  • Discover your Love Language 
  • Personality Test Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ typological approach to personality.  
  • Personality Plus Test Although people are unique, Florence Littauer suggests they fall under one of four personality types. These are choleric, sanguine, melancholy and phlegmatic.

Bottom line, there are so, so many resources available if you are interested and seek to invest in your marriage.  I have listed most of what Jon and I have personally benefited from.  Please share any resources that have been particularly beneficial to you and let me know why. I plan to update this list quarterly and will add to your suggestions.

Blessings!

Thankfulness, My First 7 Days

Day 7 – Thankful God is in control of everything. My hope is not in a politician or “political party.” There is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (Rom 13:1). Politicians might have their agendas but again God has final authority. The One who sits on his throne in heaven laughs. The Lord makes fun of those rulers and their plans. (Psalm 2:4)

Day 6- Thankful for not only the right but the privilege of voting! Also thankful I voted early 😉

Day 5 – I am thankful for the beauty of God’s creation. He is so creative? “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1.

Day 4 – Thankful for new friends and an incredibly fun, fun, weekend with Jon. Amazed that he had time to plan our get away.

Sunday Brunch

Day 3 – Thankful for a weekend get away with my best friend, ❤Jon Werner. We are in Miami to celebrate Patrick Meyer’ s birthday and have FUN!  Felt very honored to be part of Patrick’s guest list.

Day 2 – Thankful to hang out with the awesome crazy Caryn Werner. She flew in from Detroit to watch Cayley for weekend. Such a cute photo of Caryn as she dolled herself up then grabbed her camera while having us look into the sun for special effects (haha).

Day 1 – Thankful I was able to spend last weekend with Courtney as there is nothing like one on one time with your children, especially as they grow up.

A RICH Marriage

Four things I’ve learned over the years to cultivate a R. I. C. H. marriage.
(My notes from talk given at the Colorado Wholeheart Mom Conference 1/13/12)

Respect – In Ephesians 5:33, Paul writes, “a wife must respect her husband.” I begin here because I wish I had known the value of respecting my sweet husband earlier in our marriage. I had been taught that respect was something you must earn. I wanted Jon to be the “spiritual leader” as that is what Christian husbands were suppose to be ☺ Ladies, do you know what it takes to be a leader? A Follower. And I honestly struggled with following. Many times I found myself running ahead of Jon.

I thought disrespect was yelling, belittling, hitting, or treating someone in a horrible way. However, some of the ways I showed Jon disrespect was challenging his decisions, correcting him in front of our girls, and always having an opinion. In my best efforts to inspire him I would often lecture on how to be healthier, how to be a better father, how to run his company better, the need to be involved with the girls schooling, the need to not work such long hours, etc… Many times I didn’t have to say a word to show my disrespect simply by giving him the look, crossing my arms, pouting, and slamming a door. Basically, whatever Jon was doing was not good enough. Unknowingly I was withholding respect thus he began withholding love so ever so slowly we began drifting apart and isolating. We finally went to counseling in 2005 because our older daughters approached Jon to say they felt our marriage was loveless. They noted that we rarely laughed, held hands or were affectionate towards one another. Marriage should be a reflection of Christ’s love & relationship with the church. We are called to be His image bearer. Obviously we were not bringing glory to God through our marriage. We got along very well but operated more as business partners than marriage partners. During a counseling session we had to confess ways we felt we had offended the other and I was convicted I needed to share the topic of disrespect. Jon was surprised, as he never really thought about his need for respect. I now believe that deep within all men is the need to be respected. After all, why would Paul say to wives “respect your husbands?” I listed all the ways I felt I had disrespected Jon over the years and he was emotionally overwhelmed. This was a huge turning point in our marriage.

Respecting Jon means affirming, noticing, encouraging, honoring, preferring, and esteeming him. Do I bless, praise, love and admire him? Respect means to value his opinion, to admire his strength, intellect, wisdom, and character and to appreciate his commitment to and involvement with our family and me. Wives should ask their husbands what respect looks like for them.

Investment/intentionality – We should be intentional. The more you are willing to invest the more you will get back. Make your marriage a priority. Our pastor once said, “you shouldn’t date to get married, you should get married to date!” When Jon is in town we try to have a date night/day weekly and an occasional weekend get away without the children.
o We purposed early in our marriage to invest every other year into our marriage. Some ways we have done so have been:
o Attending a marriage conference/seminar. It’s better to be proactive than reactive.
o Reading a book on marriage together.
o Praying together.
o Finding ways to serve one another.
o Participating in a group study related to marriage.
o These days we lead other couples through pre-martial counseling. We are responsible to share what God has taught us.
o Being mentored by an older/wiser couple.
o KEY: preventative maintenance is less costly than legal fees. Don’t let pride or your ego get in the way of asking for help. Godly counsel with accountability is invaluable if needed.
o Divorce was never an option. Adopt the attitude that until death do us part. Never use the D word. This understanding has helped us during the hard times. We are helpmates. As we have weathered the various storms of our marriage we realize that it was during the storms we grew closer to God and to each other.

Contentment – Paul said “I have learned to be content in Philippians 4:11” Contentment is a process that one must desire to learn. Would you like to live a life that isn’t dictated by your circumstances? Would you like to be able to say as Paul did, “”I too have learned to be content?
My remedy for contentment is cultivating gratitude. Several years ago I realize that Jon has the job he has, as it is a gift from God. His work is part of his mission field. Cultivating a heart of gratitude has greatly helped me to be content when he has to travel and/or work long hours.

Have FUN – Find new activities to do together. Some of our favorites have been biking, walking, and doing ministry TOGETHER. We are passionate about sharing with couples what we have learned. We enjoy doing ministry together and enjoy serving WholeHearted Ministry by attending their conferences and serving on the Board.

I’ll leave you with a quote by Lila Trotman, widow of Dawson Trotman, the founder of Navigators, which truly resonates with me. “Your husband will never truly be yours until you have first given him back to God. He is yours only when you are willing to let him go wherever God calls him and do what God wants him to do.”