Talking with Respect and Love


Book 5 of “Marriage by the Book”

Couples frequently voice complaints about communication. Someone talks too much or not enough. There are too many arguments, or there is never enough time to talk. Listening is a lost art. In this Bible-based book, you will learn how to have conversations that are intimate and satisfying, and how to resolve conflicts as friends, not enemies.

Doug Britton, M.Ed., MFT. LifeTree Books. Paperback: 5½ x 8½. Wire “spiral” binding. 176 pages.


Part of the “Marriage by the Book” Series

Many couples and small groups read all eight books. However, each book also stands complete by itself. Click on the following links to read about each book:

Book 1: Laying a Solid Foundation
Book 2: Making Christ the Cornerstone
Book 3: Encouraging Your Spouse
Book 4: Extending Grace to Your Mate
Book 5: Talking with Respect and Love
Book 6: Improving Your Teamwork
Book 7: Putting Money in its Place
Book 8: Celebrating Intimacy and Romance


Readers’ Comments

“Doug Britton’s ‘Marriage by the Book’ series is the most thoroughly biblical, deeply practical, and user-friendly marriage resource I have seen in thirty years of study and use. These books provide clarity, relevance, and biblicity for self-study, mentoring or small group leadership, and are so well written that lay leaders can use them immediately without having to be experts. They will positively impact your marriage and the marriages of those you lead.”
— John Morrison, Family Life Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church (Winchester, VA)

“’Marriage by the Book’ has allowed us to empower and impact hundreds of marriages from a biblical perspective. Couples who were on the path to divorce are happily married today because of studying these books.”
— Samuel Gordon, Associate Pastor, Capital Christian Center (Sacramento, CA)

“’Talking with Respect and Love’ has been very, very helpful. We like the spiritual aspects of it; the biblical verses in every chapter hit home for our group. Putting it all together at the end of the chapters helped couples make concrete plans. It’s just been great for everyone—newly-married couples, people who have been married before, and couples who have been married many years.”
— Vern and Carol Hagedorn, Small Group Members, Bethesda Lutheran Church (Hot Springs, SD)

“We used Talking With Respect and Love from the ‘Marriage by the Book’ series in a small group of mostly young-married couples…. The whole group enjoyed this study.”
— Will Holder, Small Group Leader, Asbury Church (Petal, MA)



How will reading Talking with Respect and Love help us change?
This book doesn’t just tell you what to do. It shows you how to do it, with:

  • Self-assessment quizzes to identify reasons for problems
  • “Make it personal” questions throughout the book (with space to write your answers) that help you apply the lessons
  • Exercises you and your spouse can do together
  • Personal plans to help you grow in six key areas of your marriage

Is Talking with Respect and Love only for troubled marriages?
Nope. It is for every kind of marriage, great to not-so-great. Whatever your situation, you will find practical insights and tools that will help your marriage flourish and grow.

Is this book for new marriages or long-time marriages?
Its practical, Bible-based advice will strengthen and bless your marriage, whether you are newlyweds or you have been married for decades.

Is this book cross-cultural?
Yes. Since it is based on the Bible, its truths apply to every racial and ethnic group. When you place your order, you can choose a multicultural cover or an African-American cover.

Can we use this marriage book for a small group study?
Yes. Talking with Respect and Love includes a small group leader’s guide with:

  • Tips for leaders
  • Step-by-step meeting plan
  • Discussion questions for each chapter

What are some topics covered in Talking with Respect and Love?
In these pages you will discover many Bible-based insights and practical tools. A few examples:

  • How to replace silence with words that matter
  • How to talk about problems without fighting
  • How to get conversations going
  • What to do if you talk too much (or too little)
  • How to go beyond “active listening”
  • How to avoid misinterpreting your spouse
  • Ways to bring up problems without hurting your spouse

What if my spouse won’t read this book with me?
It’s ideal if you both read this book. However, if your spouse doesn’t want to join you, don’t say, “I’ll read it, but only if you will.” Instead, learn how to be the best husband or wife possible. God can perform miracles in your personal life—and in your marriage—even if you study on your own.

Is this a good book for pre-marriage mentoring?
Yes. It covers key communication guidelines couples need to know at the beginning of their journey together.

Why do so many marriages have problems?
That’s a great question. After all, most marriages start out with two people who are certain they can craft a wonderful union. Yet as the years go by, many never experience the passionate, joyful life they expected. After helping approximately 1,000 marriages, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist Doug Britton says a key reason is that most people do not know the Bible’s instructions about how to create a great Christian marriage—or they don’t know how to apply the instructions.

Why do readers say they like Talking with Respect and Love?

  • It is practical, cross-cultural, and Bible-based.
  • Text is broken into small, easily-digested portions.
  • Points are clearly identified with headings, bullets, and check boxes.
  • The writing style is direct and straight-forward.
  • Real-life stories and examples illustrate key points.
  • “Make it personal” questions help couples apply the lessons.
  • Each chapter is summarized at the end of the chapter.
  • Wire binding makes it easy to write in the book.


Digging Deeper

God’s plan for a marriage is for a husband and wife to unite in the closest of human relationships. That’s why the Bible calls a married man and woman “one flesh.” It’s impossible for a couple to experience the closeness God intends without ongoing, intimate communication.

Many married couples have bad communication patterns. Many couples rarely talk, or they only talk on a superficial level. Sometimes both live private lives, not sharing feelings, dreams, or fears. Problems remain unmentioned and unresolved. Conversations go little beyond “did anyone call?” and “what’s on TV tonight?” The couple slowly grows apart.

In some marriages, couples constantly argue. They haven’t learned how to discuss difficult topics with respect and love. They treat each other as enemies, not intimate friends.

Do any of the following statements sound familiar? (Each of the following comments could refer to either the husband or wife.)

  • My husband doesn’t talk. He just grunts.
  • It turns into an argument every time we talk.
  • My wife never stops talking. I don’t have a chance to say anything.
  • We only talk about superficial things. I yearn for a meaningful conversation.
  • Our house is like a morgue. The silence is awful.
  • My husband says “I don’t care” when I ask his opinion.
  • I never get her full attention. She’s always doing things while we talk.
  • We only talk about problems. Who needs that? Isn’t life supposed to be fun?

If these comments sound familiar, don’t be discouraged. Doug Britton goes directly to the Bible to dig out its wisdom and apply it to the issues couples face today. As you learn and practice what God says about communication, Jesus will make dramatic changes in your marriage.

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