Encouraging Your Spouse

Doug Britton, M.Ed., MFT


Book 3 of “Marriage by the Book
This practical, biblical book is for every kind of marriage—old to young, great to not-so-great. Based on Doug Britton’s experience counseling approximately 1,000 married couples, it will help you:

  • Figure out what really matters to your spouse.
  • Serve your mate without being a doormat.
  • Encourage your husband or wife.
  • Show respect even if you don’t feel like it.
  • Choose to love your mate.
  • Praise your spouse.

Doug Britton, M.Ed., MFT. LifeTree Books. Paperback: 5½ x 8½. Wire “spiral” binding. 168 pages.


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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

  • Overcome common marriage problems
  • Learn marriage-building exercises
  • Apologize without groveling
  • Forgive without holding a grudge

Book 2:
Making Christ the Cornerstone

  • Find ways to make room for Jesus in your daily lives
  • Pray as a couple
  • Learn how your spiritual gifts can work together
  • Strengthen your personal walk with Christ

Book 3:
Encouraging Your Spouse

  • Figure out what matters to your spouse
  • Serve your mate without being a doormat
  • Show respect even if you don’t feel like it
  • Choose to love your mate

Book 4:
Extending Grace to Your Mate

  • Appreciate your spouse’s weird habits
  • Resolve conflicts as friends
  • Handle disappointments wisely
  • Overcome bitterness and anger

Book 5:
Talking with Respect and Love

  • Talk about problems without fighting
  • Replace silence with words that matter
  • Listen to your spouse’s heart
  • Avoid misinterpreting your spouse

Book 6:
Improving Your Teamwork

  • Understand what “submission” means (and doesn’t mean)
  • Make decisions as a team
  • Practice mutual submission
  • Overcome problems in your teamwork

Book 7:
Putting Money in its Place

  • Make financial decisions as a team
  • Get out of debt (and stay out of debt)
  • Make a budget or spending plan
  • Give generously

Book 8:
Celebrating Intimacy and Romance

  • Learn the difference between “making love” and “having sex”
  • Find freedom from anything that stops you from enjoying sex
  • Overcome your sexual sins (past or present)
  • Find healing from rape and sexual abuse

 Get the Bundle

Save time — Order all eight books in the “Marriage by the Book” series as a bundle!


“We have had Doug Britton to Bayside many times to teach this material. He is biblical, practical, and his books are easy to use for couples wanting to build a healthy, thriving marriage. I definitely recommend his ‘Marriage by the Book’ series.”

Ray W. Johnston
Senior Pastor, Bayside Church (Granite Bay, CA)

“The ‘Marriage by the Book’ publications provide a Biblically-grounded study for couples. The practical application sections encourage dialog and help couples set goals for communication, becoming a team, extending grace to one another, sexual intimacy, and finances. When counseling with couples, I prescribe a specific book in the series that addresses an area the couple is working on. This approach has benefited couples spiritually as they used the material devotionally. I highly recommend these publications.”

Bruce Hankee
Pastor, Greenmonte Mennonite (Stuarts Creek, VA)

“My pastor asked me to find the best marriage material for our small group marriage ministry. I liked ‘Marriage by the Book’ the most of every resource I reviewed. It is biblically based and practical, reminding you of the simple things you don’t think of every day (such as praying together daily as a couple). Our group has seen really positive results from applying these biblical truths.”

Jeremy and Danielle Milligan
Small Group Leaders, Baptist Temple Church (Reidsville, NC)

’Marriage by the Book’ has been great to teach. It is easy for readers, yet challenging when they do the personal applications. We are seeing healthier marriages as a result! Thank you.”

Marty Couch
Pastor’s Wife, Abundant Life (Cupertino, CA)

What is “Marriage by the Book?”

Encouraging Your Spouse is book 3 of the eight-book “Marriage by the Book” series.

This eight-book series covers every aspect of marriage. Each book covers a different topic. Although the books are part of a series and build on one another, each book can be studied on its own.

Each book is written by author, speaker, and Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist Doug Britton.

This book works as three-in-one:

  • Book — with practical, Bible-based real-life information.
  • Workbook — with quizzes and “Make it personal” questions scattered throughout each chapter.
  • Small group leader’s guide — with guidelines for small group leaders and chapter-by-chapter discussion questions at the back of each book.

How will reading “Encouraging Your Spouse” 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 “Encouraging Your Spouse” 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. Encouraging Your Spouse 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 “Encouraging Your Spouse”?
In these pages you will discover many Bible-based insights and practical tools. A few examples:

  • How to figure out what really matters to your spouse
  • How to serve your mate without being a doormat
  • How to show respect when you don’t feel respect for him or her
  • What to do when you don’t feel in love
  • The best—and worst—ways to praise your spouse
  • How to encourage your husband or wife

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 relationship 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 “Encouraging Your Spouse”?

  • 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
Are you an encourager? Do you have a habit of encouraging your spouse — praising him or her, commenting on things you appreciate, and saying “thank you” often?

Or do you focus on the negative, often talking about problems? Do you talk about what is undone rather than what is done? Do you bring a “doom and gloom” atmosphere into your marriage? Would Jesus be pleased with how you speak?

Or are you someone who wants to encourage, but isn’t sure how? You aren’t sure what’s important to your husband or wife. When you try to reach out, it doesn’t seem to work.

Or are you a person who neither builds up or tears down, but simply “co-exists” without saying much?

God’s standard is clear. He wants us to be encouragers:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)

Regardless of your situation, there is hope — the sure hope that comes from God and the truth of the Bible.

Whether you are going through hard times or good times, Encouraging Your Spouse will strengthen and refresh your marriage. If you are experiencing problems, its practical biblical truths will make a tremendous difference. If you are doing great, it will encourage you and give you tools to keep growing as a couple.

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