Pre-Marriage and Marriage Resources

Marriage is a powerful gift from God to help us become more like Jesus in who we are and how we love! So we want to help you grow and care for your relationship no matter what stage or state you are in.

A healthy marriage typically starts in the dating stage, followed by engagement, then marriage itself. Whatever stage you are in, there is always room for growth. We want to meet you where you are and help you take the next steps in your relationship.

Each section (Dating, Preparing for Marriage, and Marriage) has links to resources that can help you from what questions to ask when you’re dating, how to best prepare for marriage, managing conflict, connecting and engaging, healing from hurts, to thriving emotionally, sexually, and spiritually.

Quick Tips:

  • Fight for time together; otherwise, you’ll be fighting during your time together.
  • When you (actions), I feel (emotions), I tell myself (thoughts), I need/desire you to (actions).
  • Ingredients for a healthy relationship: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). Go to the source to be filled to overflowing.
  • Unless you and your spouse are nocturnal, don’t start or continue a difficult conversation late at night.
  • Feelings before fixing: our brain needs empathy before even considering possible solutions.
  • Ask, “how am I doing as your spouse?” “What is one thing I can do to be a better spouse?”
  • Tone matters: if you can easily end your sentence with “you idiot” then chances are your tone is off.
  • Show up and shut up: your presence and listening are more powerful than you think.
  • Gentleness: how you approach a person significantly impacts the direction the interaction will go.
  • Unless your spouse is a psychopath, they probably didn’t intend to hurt you. Assume good intentions and let them know the impact.

Dating for Marriage

What an exciting stage to be in!  There is often a mix of anticipation, joy, butterflies, nervousness, questions, and more. You may have expectations around if/when/who you date and others may have put their expectations on you too. It is important to know what you are doing when dating so you can wisely move down the road towards marriage. It can be a great joy to share in life with a partner who helps you be all God calls you to be, and it can be a significant burden to walk the road of life with someone who is not a fitting partner. We want you to be as informed as possible in knowing what to look for in the person you date and what to look out for along the way.

Questions to Ask When You’re Dating


  • “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller
  • “Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Preparing for Marriage Resources

If you’re engaged, thinking about engagement, or weeks away from the wedding, then we’d love to help equip you for entering into marriage. Getting married is a big decision as marriage is a precious gift that needs good preparation to make it all it can be. Lean into these resources to support you through this stage of your relationship.

Preparing for marriage is a four-session course for couples who are considering engagement, are engaged, or even weeks away from the wedding. The course covers topics such as: Why Get Married? What is a Covenant and Commitment? The Stages Relationships Go Through, Having Realistic Expectations, Communication, the Impact of our Past and Personalities, Unity as a Couple, Roles, Finances, Sex, Spiritual Intimacy, and Protecting your Marriage. You’ll have access to a workbook that has key points for making notes, as well as discussion questions to help you talk through these topics. We recommend finding a mentor couple to walk alongside you in this, yet it can be done independently too.

Village Church Counselling Podcast

The Village Church Counselling Podcast will build your understanding of relatable topics, as well as give practical help in these areas for your everyday life.


  • Episode 1: Conflict
  • Episode 5: Relationship Patterns
  • Episode 11: How to Limit Unhealthy Conflict


  • “Preparing for Marriage: Discover God’s Plans for a Lifetime of Love” by David Boehi, Brent Nelson, Jeff Schulte, & Lloyd Shadrach
  • “Before You Say I Do: A Marriage Preparation Guide for Couples” by H. Norman Wright and Wes Roberts
  • “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller
  • “Preparing for Marriage” Help for Christian Couples” by John Piper

Marriage Resources

This section is for couples who have been married a week, a decade, or for most of your life. A healthy couple under God is a force to be reckoned with and we want to help set you up to be the man, the woman, the couple God wants you to be! No two marriages are alike, so we have general resources as well as topical resources to help meet you where you are and guide you in what you need.

The Marriage Course is a 5-session course for couples who are looking for practical support to strengthen and enrich their relationship. The course covers topics such as: Understanding Each Other’s Needs, Communicating More Effectively, Preventing and Resolving Conflict, Steps to Recover From Hurts, the Impact of Upbringing and Personality, Developing Greater Sexual Intimacy, Leveraging Love Languages, and Developing a Vision and Plan for Your Marriage. Each session includes teaching and time to apply the teaching by doing guided exercises with your spouse. Note: If you are in a really difficult spot in your marriage, then this may not be the course for you as we recommend good focused couples counselling.

Village Church Counselling Podcast

Join us as we engage with life from a Biblical and psychological perspective.


  • Episode 1: Conflict
  • Episode 5: Relationship Patterns
  • Episode 9: Rebuilding Trust
  • Episode 11: How to Limit Unhealthy Conflict
  • Episode 15: Getting Unstuck in Marriage Conflict
  • Episode 19: Understanding Pursuers and Withdrawers



  • “Awaken Love” by Kyle and Desirae Idleman
  • “Devotions for a Sacred Marriage: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Couples” by Gary Thomas
  • “The Best Year of Your Marriage: 52 Devotions to Bring you closer” by Jim Daly
  • “The Love dare day by day: A year of devotions for couples” by Stephen Kendrick
  • “The One Year Love Talk Devotional for Couples” by Les and Leslie Parrott
  • “The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional” by Gary Chapman
  • “The Love & Respect Experience Devotional: A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  • “Love & War Devotional for Couples: The 8-week adventure that will help you find the marriage you always dreamed of” by John Eldredge

Marriage Under God

  • “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller
  • “This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence” by John Piper

Spiritual Intimacy

  • “You and Me Forever” by Francis Chan and Lisa Chan
  • “The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage” by Stormie Omartian
  • “Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?” by Gary Thomas


  • “Created for Connection” by Sue Johnson
  • “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs


  • “Fight Your Way to A Better Marriage” by Greg Smalley
  • “The Good Fight: How Conflict Can Bring You Closer” by Les and Leslie Parrott


  • “The Gift of Sex: A Guide to Sexual Fulfillment” by Clifford and Joyce Penner
  • “Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy” by Keven Leman
  • “The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex” by Sheila Wray Gregoire


  • “5 Money Personalities” by Scott and Bethany Palmer
  • “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey

Knowing How to Love Your Partner

  • “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman
  • “Love Talk: Speak Each Other’s Language Like You Never Have Before” by Les and Leslie Parrott


  • “Forgiving and Reconciling: Bridges to Wholeness and Hope” by Everett Worthington
  • “Forgiving What You Can’t Forget” by Lysa Terkeurst


  • “Getting Past the Affair” by Douglas K Snyder, Donald H Baucom, et al. (non-Christian)
  • “After the Affair” by Janis A Spring (non-Christian)

Thinking About Leaving

  • “Before You Split: Find What You Really Want for the Future of Your Marriage” by Toni Nieuwhof
  • “One More Try” by Gary Chapman
  • “Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away: Real Help For Desperate Hearts in Difficult Marriages” by Gary Chapman

Blended Families

  • “The Smart Stepfamily Marriage” by Ron Deal


Day by Day Prayers for Your Marriage 

Counselling Resources

Many couples wait until there are big problems to start counselling, yet a lot could have been done before getting to that point.  That being said, there is no time like the present to get help no matter how far along you are.

We are happy to help you connect with professional counsellors in your community.  If you are interested in referrals then please email  We have referrals for counsellors near each of our locations.

If you live in the Lower Mainland and want to work on your marriage in counselling, then you can inquire about meeting with one of our counsellors.  We provide short term counselling to people who call Village Church home.  For more information see our Counselling page.