Summary: Christian, Bible-based marriage book — Encouraging Your Spouse
Summary: Christian, Bible-based marriage book — Encouraging Your Spouse

Encouraging Your Spouse

Doug Britton, M.Ed., MFT

$14.99

Discover how to deeply understand your spouse, serve him or her (without being a doormat), be an encourager, show respect (even if you don’t feel like it), and express love.

Expect to change and grow. The practical, cross-cultural truths in these easy-to-read pages will make a big difference in your marriage—whether it is young-to-old, great to not-so-great.

This book is the third in Doug’s Britton’s eight-book “Marriage by the Book” series. These books help couples apply the Bible’s truths in every aspect of marriage. Although Encouraging Your Spouse is part of a series, it stands by itself as a complete book.

Paperback: Wire “spiral” binding. 168 pages.
Published by LifeTree Books

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 Get the Bundle

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

Encouraging Your Spouse is:

Three-in-one

There’s no need to buy a separate marriage book, workbook, and leader’s guide for small groups—this book includes all three. You have the flexibility to use it however you want.

Bible-based

You won’t read secular advice with a sprinkling of verses. Instead, you will be transformed as you learn how to turn to God and apply his Word.

Cross-cultural

Since Laying a Solid Foundation is based on the Bible, its truths apply to every racial and ethnic group. When purchasing this book, you can choose a multicultural cover or an African-American cover.

“I have known Doug and his wife for many years. Many relationships in our church have been strengthened and enriched through the use of his ‘Marriage by the Book’ series.”  Ephraim Williams, Pastor, St. Paul Baptist Church (Sacramento, CA)

Practical

This book doesn’t just tell you what to do—it shows you how to do it with easy-to-follow steps. Real-life stories and examples illustrate key points.

“Practical Practical Practical! ‘Marriage by the Book’ is for couples who really want a strong marriage. Doug Britton puts the cookies on a shelf where it’s easy to reach them, using the Bible plus simple exercises to do it! I recommend every couple go through this series in a date night or in a small group with other couples.”  Tom Tunnicliff, Ed.D., Pastor of Chaplaincy, Elmbrook Church (Brookfield, WI)

Easy-to-read

Text is broken into small, easily-digested portions. Points are clearly identified with headings, bullets, and check boxes.

Interactive

“Make it personal” questions, quizzes, and exercises help you apply the lessons in your own marriage.

“‘Marriage by the Book’ is a life-changing series that will bring Christ into your marriage. The series will guide you step-by-step as you wrestle with the right questions, so you can see Christ-centered results. Whether your marriage is healthy and thriving or needing an overhaul…this series will help you. I know this because it’s helped my marriage.”  Craig Sweeney, Lead Pastor, Heights Church (Citrus Heights, CA)

About the Author

Author and Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist Doug Britton has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio co-host, and author of over twenty books. In each book of the “Marriage by the Book” series, Doug draws upon his extensive experience counseling married couples. More importantly, he goes directly to the Bible and applies its truth and wisdom to problems couples face today.

Chapter 1:
Focus on the Positive

(Sample)

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life. (Proverbs 10:11)

I used to be a super-negative person at home. At the time, I didn’t think I was being negative. I thought I was being honest and helpful. But the end result of my suggestions, feedback, critical comments, and “honesty” was that over the years my wife Skeeter became withdrawn and depressed. As you read this chapter, you will be reading lessons that took me years to learn. I pray it won’t take you as long!

How about you? Do you bring sunshine or gloom into your home? Do you focus on the positive or the negative?

The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)

You can change.
If you are a negative person, don’t say, “I’m just a worrier. I was born that way.” Or, “If you knew my spouse, you would understand why I’m negative at home. I get along fine with everyone at work.” Neither argument will work with God.

God is in the personality-changing business. He wants you to “be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Romans 8:29). You can change. Let me invite you to join me in praying this prayer from Psalm 19:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

Make it personal
Do you focus more on the positive or negative when with your spouse?  Positive  Negative

What are some ways you focus on the negative?

 

Bring Life into Your Marriage

In a few pages we’ll look at two key ways you can bring life into your home life—by praising your spouse and by saying “thank you.” Before that, though, let’s look at some underlying guidelines.

Choose to think positively about your spouse.
What do you think about as you go through life? If you’re like many people, when you think about your marriage you think more about problems than you think about good things.

It’s easy to focus on the negative in our thoughts. You might think, for example, “If my spouse loved me, he (or she) would …”

Instead of thinking this way, make it a goal to notice and think about the positive things your spouse does. Ask God to help you. Spend time in his word. Pray often.

The following verse can be life-changing. Write it out and post it where you will see it regularly, on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or the dashboard of your car.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

Remind yourself about this verse often. You will discover that you can control the way you think about your spouse, choosing to focus on some thoughts and reject others.

When you wake up in the morning, ask God to help you look for and focus on the positive. Pray for this attitude throughout the day. Choose to meditate on the positive.

Make it personal
Write two negative thought patterns about your spouse that you want to eliminate:

Now write two positive things about your spouse you will focus on instead:

Choose to speak positively.
When you talk, you make a series of choices about what subjects to discuss, what memories to bring up, and what points to make. There are always negative things you could say, but there are also positive things. Choose the positive. As Paul wrote, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14:19).

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)

Bring friendly speech into your home.
Don’t start complaining as soon as you greet your spouse after work. Ask about his or her day. Give a compliment. Share insights and victories from your day.

Monitor your positive and negative remarks.
Listen to what you say. Be sure you make many more positive comments than negative ones.

Discuss problems as a friend.
There are times in every marriage when a couple needs to discuss difficult topics. Be willing to talk about problems, but discipline yourself to speak in a courteous, friendly manner. The way you speak usually is more important than whether your opinions are right or wrong.

Make it personal
How will you make your conversations more positive?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do so many marriages have problems?
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. Author Doug Britton says a key reason is that most people do not know how to create a great marriage God’s way.

Is my marriage hopeless?
Regardless of your situation, there is hope—the sure hope that comes from God and the truth of his word, the Bible.

What if my spouse won’t read with me?
It’s ideal if you both read this book. However, if your spouse doesn’t want to join you, read it on your own. 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.

Can I use this book for pre-marriage mentoring?
Yes. It covers the most important truths couples need to know at the beginning of their journey together.

Learn More

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

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.

Marriage by the Book — 8-Book Series

Multicultural Covers

Laying a Solid Foundation Making Christ the Cornerstone Encouraging Your Spouse Extending Grace to Your Mate Talking with Respect and Love Improving Your Teamwork Putting Money in its Place Celebrating Intimacy and Romance

African-American Covers

Laying a Solid Foundation Making Christ the Cornerstone Encouraging Your Spouse Extending Grace to Your Mate Talking with Respect and Love Improving Your Teamwork Putting Money in its Place Celebrating Intimacy and Romance

Marriage by the Book — 8-Book Series

Reviews

“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.

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.
FAQ

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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