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The Marriage Builder

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  203 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Psychologist Larry Crabb cuts to the heart of the biblical view of marriage: the "one-flesh" relationship. He argues convincingly that the deepest needs of human personality -- security and significance -- ultimately cannot be satisfied by a marriage partner. We need to turn to the Lord, rather than our spouse, to satisfy our needs. This frees both partners for "soul onene ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 31st 1992 by Zondervan (first published October 26th 1982)
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"This is one of the most challenging book I have read related to marriage and is likely the reason I enjoy my marriage today. Crabb's core thesis is that the reason most marriages struggle is that the partners are looking for the other person to meet or needs, to fill up a void in our lives that only God can fill. This book calls us to trust God to meet our core needs, and out of that dependence to choose to love, serve, and sacrifice for our spouse. I know that when I keep this in mind, that I ...more
Kathryn Jones
I loved this book. Add me to Larry Crabb's fan club because I've never read a book of his that I didn't love. This is without a doubt the best marriage book I have ever read. But more than that, the themes in this book are key for living the Christian life, not just for the Christian marriage.

Even if you are not struggling in your marriage, you should read this book. I was truly encouraged and got a bit of a wake up call. Sometimes I really do live with myself at the center of my life. But when
In the Marriage Builder, Larry Crabbe describes marriage as a ministry. No matter what happens, whether or not our spouse meets our desires, we should focus on meeting our spouses desires. He says that all of our needs are met in Jesus Christ. In Him we find love, joy, satisfaction, and everything we need. What we don't have met are our desires. Crabbe would probably say that His Needs, Her Needs should be re-titled, “His DESIRES, Her DESIRES.” He says that our goal in marriage should be to focu ...more
Sep 15, 2012 JJ added it
Thus far, David Powlison's assessment, though challenging and cross-grain to the culture, seems to be accurate:

"I've known marriages changed for the good by readingMB. The key? Chapters 3-8. The question "Manipulation or ministry?" convicted each party of a self-serving approach. By finding life in relationship to Christ, giving and honesty replace taking and fearing. Practical discussions of communication, sexuality, grace, commitment and acceptance further helped to rewrite the marital script.
Grace Oliver
I read this book in my pre-marital counseling. It would be a great read for anyone married 5 years or more especially, some of the issues addressed are hard to understand as an engaged or newly wedded person. This is the best christian marriage counseling book I have read, and I've read quite a few. There is a strong focus on our own individual relationships with God, and how the health of said relationship affects the Christian marriage. Also very prominently and well addressed is our God-given ...more
Danica Henry
My favorite marriage book of all time. Most of them are worthless, in my opinion.
This is a great book on marriage. It emphasizes that we cannot look to our spouses to "make us happy". Our contentment, joy, and fulfillment must come from The Lord. I read this book during an extremely difficult time in our marriage and it was such a blessing! It came at the right time and really helped our marriage. I would strongly recommend this book weather your struggling or not. I wish I would have read it before... We may not have had the hardships we did. Regardless, I'm still great ful ...more
What I loved about this book was how it focused on the unique opportunity we have in our relationship with our spouse. Through marriage God has given us the ability to minister to each other like no one else can. Through biblical teaching, Larry Crabb demonstrates how we are to minister to one another. I highly recommend this book to all those who are looking to grow in their marriage.
Noel Burke
The concepts in the book were very helpful. If you have read Love and Respect, then you will easily relate to the adequacy versus security discussion in this book. I also really liked the ministry versus manipulation peice on motivation for spousal serving. A good and quick listen on the iPod.
Nancy Jones
Best book ever. All couples should be required to read this book before getting married. We have given this to many people as a gift, I am ready to re-read it again. I recommend this book more than any other book for people to read, even if you are not married.
I loved one of the chapters in particular (ch. 4?) Excellent. Doug and I should read that chapter together every year. We read this book outloud together and did the discussion questions. That part was great.
Mary Anne
I read this book during my pre-marital counseling. Some of the concepts are quite good, but the illustrations and examples are confusing and too in-depth for someone preparing to be married.
Definitely makes you realise the importance of your commitment to marriage and how you need to work on it. A must read, although you need to review regularly while reading.
One of my favorite marriage books. It's real, honest and insightful. Put it in your to-read book if you're currently married or engaged. It's worth it.
Mar 21, 2012 Samuel marked it as to-read
This book helped me define my psychological theory based on the Bible.
It has shaped how I will view people. I have still yet to read the complete book.
Just re-read some section from this book again. Reminded me what a life changer it was in how I viewed marriage. #1 book I receommend on marriage.
It contains some hard truths. definitely an insightful, Godly, and challenging read, both pre and post marriage.
Now this is my favorite book on marriage. It is very challenging and hard but worth it. Definitely read it together.
Ed Gavras
I've read a little of this and think it's excellent so far. I must put it aside for now - have too many books going!
Jessica Lowery
One of the best books on marriage I've read - the concept which stands out the most is that of goals vs. desires.
Excellent book for a Christian to read before getting married. Larry Crabb goes deep, so not a fast read.
Great intro to Marriage Counseling, a classic.
Along, difficult read. But, I learned something!
Twinomugisha Gerald
its agood book
Teresa Henry
Teresa Henry marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
Melanie Marino
Melanie Marino marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
Mike Westley
Mike Westley marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
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Dr. Larry Crabb is a well-known psychologist, conference and seminar speaker, Bible teacher, popular author, and founder/director of NewWay Ministries. In addition to various other speaking and teaching opportunities, Dr. Crabb offers a weekend conference throughout the country entitled Life on the Narrow Road and a week-long School of Spiritual Direction held in Colorado Springs, CO. He currently ...more
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