Books for Your Bride

tsskare.jpgby Karalee

Here at the TSS home base, we love fall. It’s the time of year when the Red Sox win the World Series, hunting season opens, and the kids dress up for Reformation Day.

It’s also the time of year when Tony does his Christmas shopping.

It usually goes something like this:

Tony comes into the kitchen with a big smile on his face and says, “Kare, I just made your life easier.”

“Oh, really? You finally fixed the shower door? Thank you!” I respond, with a big smile and a hug.

“Well, no. But I bought my Christmas present, so you don’t have to worry about shopping for me. Isn’t that great?”

“Oh, I was planning to help you grow in humility this year, by not getting you anything,” I say with feigned concern.

He then shares the details of what bookstore had an unbeatable deal on a complete set of Puritan works, or how he just found the hard-to-find works of a Puritan that Charles Spurgeon said should grace the shelves of every proper Christian library. And how he kindly purchased said bargain for himself for Christmas.

What a guy.

Truthfully, Christmas at the Reinke house usually does involve books, because our tradition is give books to one another as Christmas gifts. (Big surprise, I know.)

But we’ve found an interesting truth in our Christmas shopping tradition: sometimes the hardest thing to buy for someone else is a book.

Will they like it? Will they read it? You really have to know someone to be able to choose a book for them. Which is exactly why we like to buy books for one another at Christmas. It’s a gentle prodding to make sure we are involved in each others’ lives enough to be able to thoughtfully choose a book.

So in case you want to join our tradition this Christmas, (that’s the buying books for one another tradition, not the buy yourself a Christmas present tradition), we’ll be sharing some ideas for buying books for your wife. From the fiction fan to the memory maker, we’ve got ideas that will be sure to make her forget the hundreds you’ve spent on Tony’s book recommendations so far this year.

But first, a quick word about the book lists we’ll be sharing this week. Noticeably absent are the many excellent books on how to be a better wife, how to be more organized, how to homeschool your children, or how to be a better parent. It is our joy to recommend those titles throughout the year, but the recommendations in these posts are intended as Christmas gifts and for that reason we have avoided recommending books centered on personal improvement.

Ultimately, the best gift you can give your wife is not necessarily one that can be wrapped in shiny red paper and tied with a bow. Centering your home around the Gospel, loving her as Christ loved the Church, and faithfully serving her in humility and grace is a gift that will prepare her heart not only for the year ahead, but for a lifetime with her Savior. May God be glorified in your homes this Christmas!

Stay tuned this week as we serve up gift-giving ideas for:

8 thoughts on “Books for Your Bride

  1. You have just described a scene from my own kitchen! Our familes may have been cloned! I am looking forward to your recomendations so much! I also appreciate your exclusions as I feel I get those recomendations frequently. Last year for Christmas my husband gave me the bio of Martyn Lloyd Jones. I never thought I, a young mom, would be able to get through it. I loved it and cried when it was over. It was one of my husbands best gifts to me.

  2. That’s a wonderful story! Thanks for the recommendation, Kate. Maybe I’ll have to drop Tony a hint about the the MLJ bio. :) Thanks again! –Karalee

  3. Would that be the 2 volume Jones bio by Ian Murray? That is quite a tome to give a young wife. I read Murray’s bio on Edwards and found it to be quite dry. Would you say that would not be true for the Lloyd-Jones bio? I really like the idea, but am a bit intimidated for my wife.

    Thanks for posting these, Karalee. They are really thoughtful and helpful. And being a young husband, learning to understand my wife is so necessary! I love your advice on not buying her self-improvement books. You serve us well. Thanks so much!

  4. Hi, Charlie. How kind of you to serve your new bride by looking for good books. Tony and I thank God for the evidence of His grace in these early months of your marriage!

    Tony’s been suggesting the Marsden bio on Edwards to me for a while. (And I noticed it’s on his Top 20 list.) In fact, he almost bought me my own copy on a recent date night stop at Borders. I’ll have to move it up on the stack and let you know. He says it’s excellent.

    I did read the collection of Edwards’ letters called A Sweet Flame, which I enjoyed and found encouraging. Edna Gerstner did a great bio on the Edwards family called Jonathan and Sarah:An Uncommon Union — stay tuned for more on that one later this week.

    And more biographies, too! :)

    –Karalee

  5. Karalee,
    I decided to come over from Between two worlds, where Justin Taylor posted your list. What a blessing! My Husband and I have been “investing” in our library over the past 5 years or so. Not only has it been an investment in our family, but also in our church family as well.
    What a privilege to have the “great cloud of witnesses” speaking such wonderful truths and bringing understanding and knowledge to our lives. The Lord is so good to us!
    I look forward to reading your recommendations!
    Grace and Peace,
    Karen

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