The B.E.S.T. Marriage • Anthony Delaney

Why Settle for Less?

April 2021 • Paperback • 978-0-8024-2076-3

If you’re imperfect… and your spouse is imperfect… then is a healthy, vibrant marriage possible?

As any couple can attest, maintaining a marriage is always easier said than done. But no matter where you and your spouse have been—and no matter where you need to be—there are practical steps you can take to take your marriage from better to B.E.S.T.

The B.E.S.T. Marriage is a lively, humorous guide to making a marriage work. Whether you’re considering marriage (or remarriage), you’re happily married, or you’re currently struggling in a relationship, discover how your life and love can improve with Blessing, Encouraging, Sharing, and Touching. Marriage isn’t easy—but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Get hard-hitting advice and enjoy the journey toward developing the marriage you want.


Anthony Delaney served as a police officer in inner city Manchester, England for ten years before going into church leadership. He now leads Ivy Church, a multiplying movement which meets at various sites, and lectures on church planting leadership. As movement leader for New Thing in western Europe, he trains and deploys apostolic leaders and church planters across the globe. He founded LAUNCH: Church Multiplication Catalyst, a global community drawing together hundreds of church and network leaders to be inspired and commissioned to multiply disciples, leaders, churches, and movements.

Anthony’s books include Rough Diamonds, OMG!, and Work it Out. His teaching is broadcasted regularly on UCB and Premier radio and his TV show Transforming Life has been a weekly feature on TBN UK, Europe and Africa, alongside regular programs on God TV. He is married to Zoe, and they have three adult children and four grandchildren.


A man went into his vicar’s office: “You’ve got to help me.”

What’s the problem?” the minister asked.

“I have to get my marriage annulled!”

“You know I can’t do that. Marriage is supposed to be forever, and I only did the service a few months ago! Don’t you remember, you took her for better or for worse?”

“I know,” the man replied, “but she’s so much worse than I took her for!”

Standing in front of friends and family for the biggest day of their lives, nobody would want anything less than the very best – or why sign up at all? So why do some marriages flourish while others fail? Why are some worse and others better?

Most marriages don’t end because people fall out of love but because they drift apart. I’ve met many people who feel their marriage is deeply disappointing and unsatisfying. Since my late teens, when I had to pretend to be older and wiser as a cop, and then when I became a minister, I’ve sat with and counseled people with relational difficulties in order to resolve many a domestic crisis. I’ve prepared couples for marriage and led their wedding ceremonies. I’ve sat with them again when it all seemed to be coming apart. They often said they knew something was missing, but they couldn’t quantify it. From those many hard hours in tense rooms, I’ve learned people want the best, but they don’t know how to get it.

For more than a decade, I’ve taught four easy-to-recall principles, based on the acronym BEST, which help people take responsibility to invest in their relationship – giving them the best possible marriage. I have also tried to live these principles in my own marriage. Many couples have candidly told me this is one four-letter word that has saved their marriages.

This is not one of those books written by someone who says, “Have a relationship like mine and it will be great.” I don’t write from the position of never having raised my voice, slammed a door, or broken a heart. Whenever I read soaring divorce statistics, I always think, There, but for the grace of God, go I.

You see, when I married Zoe, everyone said, “They look like the perfect couple!” We thought so too. But we soon learned we were far from it. There is no such thing as the perfect couple, because there is no such thing as the perfect person! Two imperfect people can be an experiment in what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object! Our hang-ups and hurts have led to humdingers. We have needed to go into marriage counseling on more than one occasion to get us through some very serious issues. But we have had amazing times too! We love each other deeply and are committed to each other.

We have learned many lessons and have many still to learn. But the bottom line is that I’ve told Zoe, “If you ever walk out on me, I’m going with you!”

We actually had our first major row as a married couple within an hour of the vows, due to a mix up over who should be where for the photographs. That’s okay, because the reality of a wedding day is better captured by a video than any posed photos – in the same way a marriage is made up of moving images rather than snapshots – even with a filter added.

The most important day of your marriage is not your wedding day. It’s today. This is where you are. So let’s get to work on that. For the best is yet to come.


“Marriages are either getting better or worse. They are never static. Aim for the BEST and your marriage will get better. With transparency about his own marriage, and with a touch of British humor, Anthony Delaney points the way to a better marriage.”
Gary D. Chapman
Author of The 5 Love Languages

“Vital principles for a great relationship! With authenticity and humor, Anthony shares how he and Zoe have met the challenges of marriage for thirty years to create a healthy and thriving relationship. If you want the BEST marriage—or maybe even just a better one—this book is for you!”
Dave Ferguson
Lead Pastor, Community Christian Church
President, Exponential

“In our lifetime, the idea of marriage has fallen from being an honored union to being ridiculed, dismissed, and today, rarely even tried. But Anthony Delaney’s refreshing new book, The B.E.S.T. Marriage, is a powerful reminder that marriage isn’t just important, but it can be exciting, inspiring, and, most of all, for life. It’s time we stopped settling for an average anything—especially when it comes to marriage. Get this book. We hope it will kick-start a revolution and create a generation of marriages that could potentially change the world.” 
Phil and Kathleen Cooke
Writers, TV and film producers, and co-founders of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles