The 5 Best Premarital Counseling Books

Editor’s Choice

346289: Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts
  • Includes workbooks filled with more than 40 fun exercises
  • It has been translated into more than 15 languages
  • It is the most widely used marriage prep tool in the world

Best Overall

708113: Getting Ready for Marriage: A Practical Road Map for Your Journey Together
  • It is interactive
  • Humorous
  • Comprehensive, easy-to-navigate road map for dating couples


481832: Things I Wish I"d Known Before We Got Married
  • A practical book packed with wisdom and tips
  • Includes heart-felt discussions by dating or engaged couples
  • Short chapters include insightful “Talking it Over” questions and suggestions

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best premarital counseling books, then I’d recommend Getting Ready for Marriage by Jim Burns and Doug Fields as the best one.

Love songs, romance films, and happy-ever-after books have shaped people’s ideas about love and marriage. We get giddy and hopeful when we watch couples exchange their “I dos.” But more than a plot that sells marriage is a design of God. As we read in Genesis, God created the woman to be a helper fit for man, and both shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:18, 25). 

Marriage is a complex and challenging union. At the same time, it is a ripe place for love and ministry to abound. No one can be a hundred percent prepared for a marital union. Nonetheless, one can take steps to equip them for marriage. In this light, a premarital counseling book may be helpful. 

Here are the best Premarital Counseling Books we will be reviewing:

What are Premarital Counseling Books?

Premarital counseling books are books that educate people about marriage. They cover various topics. These topics include roles, family life, finances, and intimacy. Other significant factors that make up a solid marital union are also key points to cover. Premarital counseling books contain textual discussions and outlines. Some also have workbooks that readers can answer for insight generation and application. 

When to Read Premarital Counseling Books?

Premarital counseling books are an excellent read before a couple’s union. That is, before the wedding ceremony. There are a variety of wedding preparations engaged couples do. It is important to remember to prepare for marriage and not just the wedding. It can also be beneficial for other individuals to read premarital counseling books. This benefit is true even before marriage talks are in line. Premarital counseling books will explain what marriage is. 

Who Reads Premarital Counseling Books?

Premarital counseling books do not only cater to engaged couples who are planning to get married. They can also be read by single men and women in preparation for their married life in the future. Pastors, ministers, and psychologists make use of premarital counseling books as a guide whenever they are counseling soon-to-be-married couples.    

Single men and women

Premarital counseling books are not only for soon-to-be-married couples. They can also aid single men and women in forming their understanding and views about marriage and family. The topics in premarital counseling books are helpful. Individuals who want to start dating can also benefit from them. They are also beneficial for persons who are looking into entering a committed relationship.

Engaged couples

When a man proposes to a woman and gives her ‘yes,’ they commit to starting a life together. A premarital counseling book supports an engaged couple’s commitment. They do so by helping the couple get ready for marriage. An engaged couple can read premarital counseling books together. Doing so will be beneficial to get them to sit down and discuss matters that will impact their union. These discussions are likely to occur alongside the many wedding arrangements. 

Pastors and ministers

Pastors and ministers shepherd their flock. One way is by explaining and demonstrating God’s biblical view of marriage. Church pastors and ministers guide individuals and couples into marriage. They explain how this marriage is for God’s glory. In this light, premarital counseling books are a good reference. These books improve pastors’ and ministers’ roles in ministry.  


Marriage and family therapists can also read premarital counseling books. These clinicians provide therapy for engaged couples and not only for married ones. In providing such service, premarital counseling books aid in laying out definitions, discussions, and methods to help couples navigate their marriage journey. 

Why Read Premarital Counseling Books?

Provide wisdom that can help build a marriage.

Many people have idealistic and unrealistic views about marriage. Many people believe that marriage is only rainbows and sunshine. On the other hand, some have a negative perspective on marriage. Such a perspective can hinder one from committing to a marital union. 

Individuals may commit to marriage without understanding what it entails. Premarital counseling books provide wisdom by correcting misconceptions, affording reflection points, and giving practical strategies for couples.

Offer advice on how to protect, strengthen, and grow your relationship.

Marriage is not the only challenging stage of a relationship. Different phases pose trials. There are various problems to overcome even when a couple is only dating. Reading premarital counseling books presents benefits to help couples protect their relationship from irreconcilable issues. It also aids couples in knowing how to solidify their bond amidst many conflicts. The advice that premarital counseling books offer is a tool that a couple can use to grow their relationship.

Manage marriage expectations 

Each individual has varied sources that shape their expectations of their spouse and marriage. These sources include family background, previous relationship experience, and other external resources. Nowadays, content about couples and families bombards us. We can find this in the platforms we use every day. Such media include YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Because of this, we may sometimes believe that other couples or families have it easy. We may think that they are living a problem-free life. This kind of content may distort our beliefs about marriage. Exposure to such content can also disillusion our expectations. Premarital counseling books discuss spouses’ realistic roles and responsibilities in keeping the marriage healthy.

Learn how to manage conflicts and problems.

Problems are inevitable. Each deals with issues differently. Tensions and conflicts arise when we put two unique persons together. Thus, learning skills to resolve concerns and disputes is essential. Conflict resolution skills help in making a marriage endure. Premarital counseling books are an excellent way to dig into areas of conflict. Couples can also learn ways to manage problems together.

Cultivate healthy and open communication.

Healthy communication breeds a strong relationship. Dishonest and unhealthy communication patterns stunt any relationship. Couples who constantly fight and operate from a place of anger or indifference cultivate more problems.  Premarital counseling books can help dating or married couples communicate well. They can do so with gentleness, openness, and honesty. They will learn ways to understand and respond to communication styles.

Know and establish values and beliefs.

Marriage is the genesis of family life. The foundation of a family relies on the health of a couple’s relationship. It is then vital for a married couple to establish shared values and beliefs. They uphold these values and beliefs and even pass them down to their children. Reading premarital counseling books is one way to dive into this topic. In this way, a couple may feel more confident and empowered to commit to starting a life and family together. 

Teach couples how to build a marriage that lasts and doesn’t just end in divorce.

Studies state that fifty percent of marriages in the United States end in separation or divorce. Reasons comprise infidelity, abuse, and irreconcilable conflicts, to name a few. Of course, a perfect marriage does not exist. Nevertheless, many of us want a spouse who will support, commit to, and love us for life. Premarital counseling books may aid in reflecting and planning for marriage. They can also help work for the kind of marriage that stands the test of circumstance and time.

How to Complete Premarital Counseling Books?

Choose what book to read.

The first step is to decide on what book to read. There is a wide variety of premarital counseling books to choose from. If you’re reading it with your romantic partner or soon-to-be spouse, make sure the book is one you both like. Pastors and clinicians pick premarital counseling books that align with their convictions and expertise

Allot time to read and answer workbooks.

Reading premarital counseling books is unlike reading a fiction book for leisure. It may entail intentionality and focus. A couple can set aside time to read and study the book together. It will also be advantageous to answer points for reflection and complete workbooks. In this way, a couple can maximize the reading experience. 

Share insights and questions.

Couples can further profit from reading premarital counseling books by engaging in them. Couples may interact with each other by sharing insights and questions. This activity may be helpful in digesting the information and wisdom they gained. 

Reflect on and apply action points.

The primary goal of reading premarital counseling books is to strengthen relationships. Aside from that, premarital counseling books equip individuals for marriage. Ergo, the final step in this process is to apply the lessons learned. Using these lessons helps in building a relationship that can withstand the trials in marriage. 

Here are the best premarital counseling books that we recommend. 

Getting Ready for Marriage by Jim Burns and Doug Fields 

708113: Getting Ready for Marriage: A Practical Road Map for Your Journey Together

Are you thinking of getting married? Do you think you are ready? Getting Ready for Marriage by Jim Burns and Doug Fields can help answer these questions. Every couple thinking of getting married can benefit from this book. Jim Burns and Doug Fields have worked with married couples to come up with this book. You and your fiancé can enjoy reading this together. Newly-wed couples could also enjoy and learn from this book. 

It is a look at the journey of marriage through personal stories and humor. Every chapter offers various perspectives for both husbands and wives. The authors write a great guide on navigating the do’s and don’t’s of marriage. Burns and Fields will take you on a ride through a wide range of subjects. These topics include communication, finances, and handling differences. It also discusses spiritual intimacy, sexual compatibility, and handling in-laws. It is quite a treat and very insightful. 

The book comes with a premarital relationship questionnaire. Couples may answer this questionnaire at the end of reading the book. Readers can also work on the Getting Ready for Marriage Workbook, which comes as a separate book. This book provides a practical and straightforward approach to complex marriage problems. It helps couples navigate through the hills and valleys of relationships. 


  • It is interactive
  • Humorous
  • Comprehensive, easy-to-navigate road map for dating couples
  • Great as a stand-alone resource
  • It contains personalized stories
  • It comes with questionnaires and workbooks


  • It could be simplistic
  • Points can be repetitive

First Year of Marriage by Marcus and Ashley Kusi

Premarital Counseling Books

Newly-weds usually feel confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated. The First Year of Marriage helps couples in their struggles. This book helps them get their marriage where they want it to be. Marcus Kusi and Ashley Kusi share their personal experiences and knowledge. They also share how they overcame their struggles and adversities. 

Couples will enjoy the Kusis’ advice on strengthening their relationship. Both men and women have things to learn since the book comes from the perspectives of a husband and a wife. The stories shared in this book cover common, occurring problems of couples. These include finances, communication, honesty, and sexuality. The author’s writing style can make you feel like you are talking with old friends. 

Reading this book also feels like hearing them share their experiences. The authors make the reader feel at ease and comfortable. Such feelings surface in discussing the difficulties experienced by newly-married couples. This book even outlines how marriage transitions when couples start having children. Engaged couples and married couples alike could read this book together and finish it in one sitting. 

Another good thing about this book is that couples could revisit this book. This book is helpful even for couples married for a long time.


  • Includes simple and proven communication strategies to help couples communicate better
  • It teaches how to be independent and interdependent without losing each other’s identity
  • Helps create a vision for your marriage
  • Practical, easy to read, and straightforward
  • Personalized stories


  • Experiences shared are too universal
  • Lacks in-depth discussion

Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman

481832: Things I Wish I"d Known Before We Got Married

The book ‘Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married’ is helpful for soon-to-be-married couples. It is a fulfilling, engaging, and fast read that couples with a fast-paced schedule could enjoy. The most important part is this offers efficient and relatable pieces of advice. These include why love alone is not enough to sustain a marriage – to why forgiveness is critical. 

Gary Chapman’s approach is clear, concise, and understandable. His background as a counselor is apparent. Reading this can feel like a session of therapy every time you read this book. It can invoke intense feelings and emotions. It is a great book to read as a couple. The chapters will help you understand and appreciate your partner more. It also allows you to look inward and assess if you are ready for marriage. 

Compromise is the central theme of this book. Compromise is essential for any relationship. It also tackles the importance of combining communication and sexual intimacy. Both of these play a huge factor in a happy marriage. It gives a bird’s eye view of what married life is like. It is a good and fun read full of information and can be beneficial for its readers.


  • A practical book packed with wisdom and tips
  • Includes heart-felt discussions by dating or engaged couples
  • Short chapters include insightful “Talking it Over” questions and suggestions
  • Includes interactive websites and books that will enhance the couple’s experience
  • Includes a thought-provoking appendix for a healthy dating relationship
  • A revealing learning exercise for dating couples is included at the end


  • May evoke intense emotions

Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts by Les and Leslie Parrott

346289: Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts

Your Marriage Before It Starts is an excellent and easygoing read! Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott have created a practical and understandable approach. This approach works for strengthening relationships and marriages. The Parrotts post an interesting question about marriage at the beginning of each chapter. They discuss its significance to marriage throughout the chapters. This book covers various subjects that couples can delve into. These include how happiness affects marriage and styles of miscommunication. 

There are also chapters on financial management, conflict resolution, and sexual compatibility. The answers of the Parrotts are also very encouraging for troubled couples. There are illustrations and personal stories to make it more interesting. It also allows the readers to be more vulnerable and open. This book also clarifies certain myths about marriage. Couples can learn more about their expectations from their relationships. 

This book can also come with a DVD and a workbook. These make the entire reading experience more meaningful and proactive. The DVD allows groups to learn the ropes of marriage together. The workbooks serve as a simple assessment of how much the books have helped the reader. These items make the text more interactive. It also makes learning more fun and light-hearted. 


  • Includes workbooks filled with more than 40 fun exercises
  • It has been translated into more than 15 languages
  • It is the most widely used marriage prep tool in the world
  • Available with a compelling video featuring real-life couples
  • The updated edition includes the game-changing SYMBIS Assessment


  • The research cited may be outdated
  • It may seem too simplistic at times

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition by Dave Ramsey

555274: The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

One of the subjects most couples avoid talking about is finances. Couples feel uncomfortable discussing how much they make and have saved. This hesitation is understandable. Conversations centered on money may create resentment and tension. These feelings are usually towards the more stable one. This point can be where arguments start – situations such as this prompt the other to be dishonest about their financial state. 

The Total Money Makeover teaches couples about financial management. Its central themes are self-discipline and responsibility. These themes help couples create financial plans for their marriage. These plans include savings, debt payment, mortgage payment, and property management. Dave Ramsey imparts a lot of sound economic principles that couples need to learn and live by. He does this by being frank about the common mistakes people commit with their finances. Ramsey provides sensible and doable advice for attaining financial freedom. 

This book also includes personal testimonials from persons who have recovered from debt. This book is helpful for couples who need to be more conscious about their finances. Ramsey provides practical methods for soon-to-be-married couples. He reminds his readers to save and avoid buying unnecessary things. Ramsey also emphasizes aggression in building finances. He reminds his readers that financial freedom entails enormous sacrifice.


  • Honest and straightforward
  • Includes the simplest, most straightforward game plan for your money habits
  • Includes new, expanded “Dave Rants” sidebars about marriage conflict, college debt, and more
  • Includes all-new forms and back-of-the-book resources
  • It is also available in Spanish


  • Includes promotions
  • Premised on a debt-free lifestyle


Getting married is one of the most significant decisions individuals make. This reason is why couples must be ready before deciding to get married. Reading premarital counseling books is one way to help couples get ready. These books are informative and beneficial. They allow couples to be more open to learning more principles and skills. These insights are the knowledge they may need to strengthen their relationships. 

Moreover, premarital counseling books enable couples to resolve conflicts and face problems head-on. Getting Ready for Marriage by Jim Burns and Doug Fields is the best premarital counseling book that I recommend. It is an excellent reference for couples. This book highlights the importance of solving conflicts together as a unit. This book is their attempt to help those in need of relationship advice. The best thing about this book is its way of making its readers cry, laugh, and love. It is a journey – one that every couple can be happy to take. 

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Alex Shute
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.

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