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Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You

Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You

4.9 11
by Dorothy Littell Greco, Christopher Greco, Gary Chapman

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What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy? All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.

Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict,


What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy? All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.

Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict, and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have.

Making Marriage Beautiful reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering clichés and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor, and real life stories to bring encouragement and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married four weeks or forty years.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Grecos, who have been married for more than 25 years, help couples of faith better understand how their own pasts, presents, and views of the future affect the strength and stability of their marital bond. The Grecos are very frank about their marriage struggles. Dorothy, whose voice primarily directs the text, eloquently describes how she and her spouse have chosen to work through life’s difficulties together. She and her husband are both strong-willed and determined, but rather than allowing themselves to chart separate courses for their own individual well-being, the Grecos opt daily for a joint position of selflessness and sacrificial love. The authors also highlight other couples whose personalities, divergent backgrounds, and childhood experiences cause ongoing strain and stress in their marriages, and discuss the strategies that have worked for getting through the tough periods. In this wise, winsome book, readers will find practical tools for understanding themselves and their partners, and learning how a robust faith in God can equip couples to face whatever life throws their way. (Jan.)
Karen Swallow Prior

"Making Marriage Beautiful is full of goodness and truth, and is one of the wisest and most comprehensive books on marriage I've ever read."
Jeffrey P. Bjorck

"With wise and winsome words reflecting decades of ministry experience, Dorothy Greco offers deep yet extremely practical ways to build a Christ-honoring, thriving relationship. This book will speak life-changing truth straight into the heart of your marriage."
Patricia Raybon

"A remarkably honest and profoundly wise road map for real marriage-the kind that survives relational ups and downs, twists and turns, disappointments and doubts long enough for even a 'mismatched' couple to become a beautiful reflection of the life-changing, love-giving Christ. Greco paints this real-marriage landscape with uncanny skill, deft insight, and fearless power. Five stars!"
Marlena Graves

"With careful precision, Dorothy Greco examines the complexities, pain, and beauty inherent in our marriages and guides us chapter by hope-filled chapter into the wisdom needed to cultivate marriages that overflow with love and beauty."
Leslie Leyland Fields

"I tend to avoid marriage books. Often, their idealism sends me into the sloughs of 'guilt' and 'despond.' Not Greco's book. She offers an honest, literate, and biblical marriage playbook that is as inspiring as it is doable. Because of this lovely book, I'll be looking for outbursts of beauty in marriages everywhere. Even in mine."

Product Details

David C Cook
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Meet the Author

Dorothy Greco and her husband, Christopher, have spent their entire twenty-five-year marriage helping men and women create and sustain healthy marriages. They have served numerous churches in the Greater Boston area for thirty years. Dorothy's writing has been featured in Relevant MagazineChristianity TodaySojourners, and Her.meneutics. She is a regular contributor for Gifted for LeadershipToday's Christian Woman, and Start Marriage Right. The Grecos have three sons and live near Boston.

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Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
MardiF 7 days ago
Making Marriage Beautiful is a frank, behind the scenes look at a thriving marriage that has gone through significant struggles. It was an incredibly helpful diagnostic for the relationship I was when I read it, as she discusses the patterns, behaviors and mindsets that make and break longterm relationships. It's full of stories which makes it an addictive read. Also, it's culturally inclusive, which is not the case for the average marriage or self-improvement book.
annswin 9 days ago
My husband and I have done marriage counseling for multiple couples throughout our years in ministry, and I wish we had had this book to offer ten years ago! Dorothy Greco does a wonderful job of writing about both the glories and the challenges of marriage through a Biblically-based lens that is both candid and refreshing. The real-life stories that she offers between herself and her husband, along with the stories of other married couples who faced--and overcame--challenges in their own marriages were engaging, helpful, and encouraging. As someone who has read many marriage books, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is married or who is contemplating marriage. It's a great read.
Callie Glorioso-Mays 9 days ago
Looking for a Christian marriage book that moves beyond the cliches?? This is it. It is a game-changer in the world of Christian marriage material because it is written by a qualified woman (with contributions from her husband, Christopher) and it is written for those of us who are committed to egalitarian marriages. Instead of falling back on sexist cliches, Dorothy has let us into their marriage and shows how she and Christopher have worked with their strengths and weaknesses to make their marriage beautiful. It's clear from the writing that their honesty isn't for the sake of being sensational, but is there because they truly want to help other marriages succeed. The five-anger based responses listed in Chapter Four stuck out to me because it showed how different anger looks in different personalities and how my actions, while not as visible as others, are equally dangerous in my marriage. I also liked that Dorothy included interviews with people of various ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities which makes this book applicable to even more people. (I was given a copy of the book in exchange for a review, but my words are my honest opinion.)
Patricia Raybon 10 days ago
So truly beautiful. An absolutely wonderful book. I especially loved the concept and execution of every chapter. It takes loads of sowing, seeding, weeding and watering to make a marriage beautiful. Congratulations, Dorothy Greco, on taking on this topic and owning it. May your honesty, passion and insight bless many marriages to become beautiful, especially in the sight of God. Thank you!
BethBruno 11 days ago
I've been married for 21 years, the last 6 of which to a marriage counselor. We have read plenty of books about healthy relationships for ourselves, clients, and teammates over the years. Dorothy's stands out for several reasons: 1) It was such a joy to read a substantial book about marriage written by a woman for both men and women, 2) She does a great job of covering big and small sins, traumas, and issues in a relationship (for those of us who aren't overcoming biggies, how is sin still a barrier to deeper intimacy?), and 3) She includes the voices of a diverse group of couples to augment the points in each chapter. This is one I'm recommending my husband suggest to couples he sees.
kimharms 11 days ago
In Making Marriage Beautiful, Dorothy Greco dives into some deep, tough stuff while simultaneously making you feel like you are sitting across the table at a coffee shop having a chat. I guess that would be a totally one-sided chat, since she gets to do all the talking :) But seriously, this book reminded me of the importance of staying connected to my husband. It made me thankful for the relationship we have, and it encouraged me to not be content with the status-quo, but to do the hard work of loving each other like Jesus loves us. She speaks to so many different aspects of the marriage relationship and is open and transparent about challenges she and her husband have faced. Well worth reading, underlining and keeping handy as an encouragement and guide.
MRedmond 11 days ago
Beautifully written with honesty and vulnerability. It's an engaging book, filled with personal stories on a Biblical foundation. There are not many books out there like this, and there certainly should be. So grateful for the advice and perspective offered to move couples towards a Godly, loving, authentic marriage.
SharonH 11 days ago
Whether you are newly engaged or celebrating your 50th anniversary, I recommend Dorothy Greco's "Making Marriage Beautiful." This book gave me the words for emotions and feelings I never knew how to express. Every chapter explores topics to which I found myself nodding and reading out loud to my husband. Greco's willingness to be vulnerable created a resource that will benefit many couples. She wove true stories with the hard truths of marriage to present practical help and encouragement. I also loved Greco's humor and creative writing style. She makes reading difficult topics entertaining! The book also includes "Going Deeper" questions to prompt further engagement with each chapter's focus. "Making Marriage Beautiful" covers a wide range of issues, some typical of marriage books but others new to be addressed. Chapters on recognizing disappointment, embracing confession, and the importance of community especially impacted me. This Christ-centered book presents marriage from a theological perspective as well as wisdom from years of professional counseling. I am grateful to Dorothy and Christopher Greco for this resource. It will quickly become an annual read for every couple.
caramac54 11 days ago
I don't read a whole lot of marriage books - like one every couple of years - but when I do, it's like a restart. Although completely generalizing, her writing is objective enough for men and vulnerable enough for women. And that's perhaps what I appreciate the most: this is one of the first Christian books on marriage written by a woman FOR both men and women.
Anonymous 11 days ago
This book is a tool for transformation. Where other marriage books help polish, this one goes mining for soul-deep healing and unity in Christ within every facet of our relationship as husband and wife. It is fearless in taking on the complexities that come with this most intimate, lifelong companionship. Life is hard! Suffering is a fact. "Making Marriage Beautiful" equips and inspires us to lean in and KNOW each other not just in spite of trying circumstances, but through them. It digs into the ugly, messy, maybe scary places and offers healing as we love each other as Jesus loves us. But as I said, where other marriage books "polish" these areas, Greco mines them out. You will not just read about healing, you will find a path to heal, and see the Kingdom come in your marriage. Greco's honesty and courage in facing each challenge that comes with marital unity head-on is both humbling and empowering. Her own story (complemented by her husband Christopher's perspective) shows firsthand how God ushers in His Kingdom through our surrendered marriages. And as she shares, she also teaches us how we can uniquely do the same as we live and love one another sacrificially. Just reading the table of contents gives you an idea of the journey you are about to embark on! Greco thoroughly expounds on how marriage takes two broken sinners from different origins, with different personalities and giftings and weakness, and joins them together forever. We (often unknowingly) bring with us wounds, addictions, fears, and besetting sins, and we say "I do" with all innocent sincerity. It doesn't take long before those things rear their heads and as Greco begins in Chapter One, we soon learn marriage will change us. "What do you want that change to look like?" I so appreciate her sensitivity to special circumstances (interracial marriages, abuse and addiction backgrounds, the effects of our age and season of life, etc) and her sense of humor. I laughed out loud several times as she humbly laughs at herself throughout (and I saw myself in many of her challenges, so I laughed at myself, as well). Whether newlywed and just beginning the lifelong changing, or ten years in, or many more, if you long to see Christ in yourself and your partner, and His glory revealed in your relationship, this book will be your guide. At the end of each chapter are questions for "Going Deeper." Greco gently challenges us out of our comfort zones and into discussion that brings healing and transformation. I can't wait to re-read with my husband in the coming year, and let the Lord bring beauty from the ashes of our broken places.
Anonymous 11 days ago
I have read this book from cover to cover, and I highly recommend it! The author speaks from years of experience co-ministering to Christian couples with her husband, Christopher. There is a scarcity of marriage books authored by women, and Dorothy Greco is a welcome change to this trend. In addition, her husband adds a first-person “man’s perspective” with comments interspersed throughout the book. Whereas many marriage books promote “happiness,” this book avoids such shallow promises, instead focusing on the hard work, commitment, and true beauty and fulfillment of a marriage centered on Christ. In addition, Greco is not one to merely spout truisms wrapped in Bible verses. Instead, she offers a genuinely vulnerable look into her own marriage, letting the reader connect with someone who is completely relatable and real.