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As someone who has served as a Licensed Professional Counselor for over 15 years, I am elated to see the publication of Ellen Dean’s Marriage Trust Builders. Our discipline desperately needs a robust, wise, and biblical resource to help guide couples through the often arduous, confusing, and complex issue of marital restoration when the covenant of marriage has been violated by infidelity, and this book unquestionably meets that need. The thoughtful process she outlines in this book is truly a gift to counselors, pastors, and the couples they serve!

—Jeremy Lelek, Ph.D., LPC-S
President, Association of Biblical Counselors


As a pastor, I have seen the sacred trust of couples broken in more marriages than I can count. Many times I’ve sought to help couples through a devastating breach of trust, only to struggle to find the pathway to healing. Finally, Ellen Dean has produced a resource that will provide the guidance many of us have been seeking. Not only does she bring a deep biblical understanding of what it takes to see the redemptive work of God when trust is broken, she also provides a clear pathway toward healing and restoration. I know of no other resource like this. Thank you, Ellen, for this great gift to us all!

—Dr. Jeff Warren
Senior Pastor-Park Cities Baptist Church/Dallas


I am so grateful for this much needed guide that addresses this most painful of issues. Whether you are seeking to rebuild your marriage, doubting whether trust can be re-established or, like me, want to help couples who bring these painful stories my way, Marriage Trust Builders provides a biblical and realistic path for restoration and hope. I highly recommend it.

—Jack Graham
Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church


In today’s society, many marriages are struggling. A key component in many of the struggles is an erosion of trust. In her book, Marriage Trust Builders, Ellen Dean has captured the heart of trust issues in a marital relationship. She has provided a helpful resource to help build trust and companionship in marital relationships. Although there are many books on marriage, there is a lack of resources to lead a married couple on a journey of healing. Ellen has provided such a resource in this wonderful book. She goes directly to the heart of any marriage, which is the spiritual component. Marriage Trust Builders deals with pertinent Biblical passages which outline principles of restoration. The work is broken into three sections which helps the reader discover trust issues, begin the rebuilding process, and become aware of marital trigger points. Dean discusses vital topics in marriages, such as trust erosion, confession of sin, and self-awareness. The book is strengthened by case studies from Dean’s many years of practice in Biblical counseling and self-reflective questions for both spouses. Overall, this book is a practical, Biblically-sound resource for any marriage to build trust and thrive.

—Dr. Greg Ammons,
Senior Pastor, FBC, Garland, TX


I have known Ellen Dean for the last thirty years, and I admire and respect her ministry of counseling. This book will serve as a great resource to those who desire a Christian approach for healing and restoration of a weak or broken marriage. Ellen provides hope that with the Lord’s help, indeed healing and restoration can take place.

—Gary Cook
Chancellor, Dallas Baptist University


There is not a more practical subject to address than marriage. I like how Ellen addresses the subject of marital trust in such a tender way. You will find hope on every page, as well as practical next steps for those seeking to restore, or help others restore their marriage.

—Dr. Mark Dance
Director- LifeWay Pastors


In her book, Marriage Trust Builders, Ellen Dean does a remarkable job of addressing the issue of rebuilding trust in a marriage when trust has been broken. She writes from years of experience as a biblical counselor, anchoring her work upon God’s life transforming Word, in a spirit of gentleness and grace. The Lord is using this work to hold out hope to anyone or any marriage that is marred from broken trust. He is Faithful!

—Steve Hardin
Campus Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas Northway Campus


I have been made aware and personally observed the positive results issuing out of the counseling ministry of Ellen Dean for years. The principles in this volume are not simply theoretical; they have been beaten out on the anvil of intense personal involvement with thousands of couples. This is a book with practical truths we can all “put a handle on” and productively apply to our own lives and marriages. Woven through the pages, sometimes subtly, sometimes more obviously, is One and only One who is known as our “Wonderful Counselor.” Read it…and reap! After all, it is never too late for a new beginning!

—O.S. Hawkins
President of Guidestone


Ellen Dean has provided an excellent resource for married couples to lead them through the journey of marital healing. Pathways that address heart issues, practical responsibilities and Biblical truth to discovering, rebuilding and restoring the foundation of trust that God desires in our marriages and our personal relationship with Him.

—Neal Jeffrey
Associate Pastor, Minister of Pastoral Ministries, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas.


I highly recommend to you Marriage Trust Builders by my friend, Ellen Dean. In her years of counseling married couples, dealing with a variety of issues and challenges, she has gleaned a great deal of wisdom and insight into these delicate and damaging situations that happen in a marriage relationship. Anyone who has a good marriage knows that it comes about with a great deal of work and commitment. This book can be an excellent tool in helping married couples navigate these potentially crippling situations.

—Chris Liebrum
Director, Office of Texas Baptists Cooperative Program Ministry, Baptist General Convention of Texas


In a day when Christian marriages between a man and woman seem to fail, Ellen Dean points to critical strategies for couples to consider to build strong families. A healthy, strong, and enduring marriage is one of the best gifts parents can give to their children and grandchildren. Ellen’s book will help you give that gift.

—Albert L. Reyes, DMin, PhD
President and CEO, Buckner International


Ellen Dean’s prayer has been answered! She asked God for this book to give “comfort and direction” to those experiencing marriage challenges and both have been granted in Marriage Trust Builders. Her insights on trust as a critical component for healthy marriages are wise, engaging, practical, doable and grounded. Because this work gets to the heart of the matter in marriage while giving honest assessments laced with hope, her book will be a welcomed resource to share with people in my own pastoral ministry for years to come.

—Dr. David Rogers
Lead Pastor, Arapaho Road Baptist Church, Garland, Texas


I’ve been blessed by Ellen Dean’s biblical counseling ministry, both for our family and as my primary source for referrals for our church family, for years. Her writing on restoring trust in marriage will serve as a resource for me as a pastor and a tool for use in ministry with couples. It captures what I appreciate about Ellen’s ministry. It’s practical, grace-filled, and uncompromisingly biblical.

—Chad Selph
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Allen, Texas


As a pastor, a great part of my counseling sessions are spent addressing family issues and concerns. Spouses who committed themselves in martial vows sometimes find out that the fairy tale of living “happily ever after” is often more challenging then they could have ever imagined. Misconceptions, broken trust, false expectations and all contribute to couples that were once happy end up hating and despising one another with a passion. By the time many of these couples enter my office, a great deal of damage in the marriage has already been done. And I am now in a position as the last ditch effort to help them put the shattered pieces of the once fairy tale turned horror story into something salvageable.

As I sit and hear from both sides through their arguments, harsh words, disappointments and anger, and try to make sense of the madness before me, I know that my task is to walk with these couples to make the best of a devastating situation. The book, Marriage Trust Builders, is a tool that can be used in various counseling sessions to assist couples in working through the hurt and pain to restore broken relationships. What this book presents is a biblical approach to helping couples see how God desires for them to work through their marriage crises and begin the rebuilding phase.

The book also is not only filled with biblical passages that help the counselor and the couple think about what God desires in marriage, but the practical stories and examples to help families understand that they are not the only ones facing challenges in marriage. The hope that the book brings out is that marriages can be rebuilt and love can be reestablished through hard work and commitment.

After reading parts of this work, I would suggest that every pastor read this book to help develop a framework in their marriage counseling sessions and also consider using the book in marriage seminars and retreats to help strengthen marriages within the church.

—Chris Simmons
Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, Dallas, TX


I highly recommend this book. I have known Ellen and her husband, Bob, for almost a decade. It has been my privilege to serve as their Pastor. I have seen them display everything that Ellen writes in her book. They love and serve each other with integrity and grace. Ellen writes not just from her head but from her heart. She communicates not just on a theoretical level, but on a very practical and experiential level.  Ellen references countless situations that couples face. As you read her book, you will begin to think that she has been closely observing your marriage, and you will also be convinced that the counsel she shares won’t just help your marriage, it will transform it.

—Dr. Gary Singleton
Senior Pastor, The Heights Baptist Church, Richardson, Texas


Today, there are many books about marriage, but Marriage Trust Builders is unique. God has been using Ellen Dean for over 20 years to help hundreds of couples restore trust in their marriage. She uses a Biblical model of counseling which offers true hope and the power to change the lives of couples. Ellen and Bob Dean have been married over 40 years and have served in ministry together through these years.

Ellen has applied the insights that she has learned about the common obstacles and difficulties faced by couples with broken trust in writing this practical and Biblical guide. It is full of scripture and practical examples. It will be a help to any couple needing to strengthen the trust in their marriage. This book will be useful to pastors, counselors, and friends seeking to help struggling couples.

—Dr. David W. Smith
Executive Director, Austin Baptist Association


In Marriage Trust Builders, Ellen Dean gives practical and essential guidance for the long and tough journey to reestablish the foundation of trust that every great marriage is built upon.

—Steve Stroope
Lead Pastor, Lake Pointe Church, Rockwall, Texas


The process of healing from broken trust within a relationship is often messy, but with God as the author of your story, He can transform the situation into a beautiful mess. In this book, Ellen shares sage guidance on the process of restoring trust in a marriage while consistently and beautifully pointing the couple to Christ and His Word for ultimate healing of the relationship. Trust is a foundational element for any healthy marriage and this book will encourage and support couples toward building or rebuilding the bedrock of their marriage.

—Katie Swafford M.A., L.P.C.-S., Ph.D. in Leadership, Director, Texas Baptists Counseling Services Connections Team


As have many others, I have been sending folks to Ellen Dean for marital counseling for years. The reason is simple. I have complete confidence in her ability to help folks. Her new book Marriage Trust Builders offers more of the Biblical, straight shooting, practical help that we have come to expect from her. Read it, and share it with your folks! You won’t be sorry! Thanks, Ellen!

—Steve Swofford, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Rockwall, Texas


God’s word does not return void, and Marriage Trust Builders does not disappoint. Saturated in the Scriptures and seasoned with wisdom, Ellen not only identifies pressing issues facing couples in every season, but graciously points to solutions to better every marriage. Her years of counseling and love of God has produced a work that is both excellent and sure to benefit the body of Christ to the glory of God and the joy of your soul.

—Dr. Adam Wright,
President of Dallas Baptist University



Communication Connection

“As a communicator and teacher of preaching, I have read many books on the subject of communication. Communication Connection without doubt is one of the best. This book covers all the key aspects of communication from a solidly biblical perspective. Ellen Dean is an experienced counselor and her book is practical and relevant. Her insights will enhance marriages, strengthen relationships, and resolve conflicts. This book is a true gem. Highly recommended!”

—Dr. David L. Allen
Distinguished Professor of Preaching
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Fort Worth, Texas


This book, Communication Connection, is desperately needed in today’s culture.  For years, the importance of communication in relationships has been noted by counselors, yet Ellen has gone one much-needed step farther.  She has addressed relational communication from a solidly Biblical perspective in dealing with heart issues to arrive at practical principles which connect with readers.  There is not a more comprehensive work on relational communication, which covers as many meaningful issues from a Biblical perspective, viewed through the lens of a long-time, effective Biblical counselor.  Ellen knows relationship struggles and she knows the Scripture.  I have recommended clients to her for more than 15 years.


In Chapter 5, Communication Connection does an excellent job of describing words which build up rather than tear down relationships.  The author weaves Biblical concepts, such as affirmation, praise, appreciation, gentleness, and compassion, into case studies which allow readers to grasp them immediately.  In Chapter 6, Ellen shows brilliantly how persons can connect during conflict.  She suggests some of the best conflict guidelines I have read.  Then, the book closes by poignantly showing how God demonstrated the most amazing communication ever in sending His Son, Jesus, to earth.


I would recommend Communication Connection to you unequivocally.   Ellen Dean has masterfully constructed a guide to enrich communication in relationships, especially in marriage and families.  Every individual and family can benefit from this book.

—Dr. Greg Ammons, Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church, Garland, TX


Most understand that spouses are expected to “leave and cleave” but not many know how this is supposed look in real life. “Cleave” means “to pursue hard” which is fleshed out in this exerpt from the book:


Spouses need to continually build their repertoire of common interests in life. Branch out to explore new activities, hobbies, areas of service and skills. Limited desire to pursue the relationship is a problem than can debilitate a marriage.


Communication Connection is full of practical encouragement like this which can be immediately applied. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is serious about growing their marriage.

 —Mark Dance, D.Min.


I have known and valued Ellen Dean, personally and professionally, for years. Her commitment to the application of God’s word to real-life issues is unwavering and in this new book on communication, God’s word shines through. I commend Ellen’s practical, biblical counsel on one of the great treasures God has given us – the blessing of communication.

 —Mark Farish
Sr. Pastor
Lake Highlands Baptist Church
Dallas, Texas


 God designed marriage for the husband and wife to connect deeply and intimately, but failures in their communication will destroy that connection. My friend Ellen Dean wrote Communication Connection, so that marriages can be saved, restored, and strengthened by learning biblical principles on how to communicate well and in a Christ-like manner.

—Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor,
Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas


Ellen Dean, with clarity, compassion, and competence, has written another book which provides an exceptional resource for strengthening the bonds of relationships. In this recent work, Ellen sets her sights on one of the most common challenges in any relationship-COMMUNICATION.


Communication Connection is well-organized and substantive. The reader will certainly appreciate the numerous scriptural references, helpful anecdotes, practical wisdom, and the graciously addressed issues in the quest to communicate effectively and properly in relationships. Especially helpful are the chapters offering insightful assistance in the manner of “tools and techniques” and “frequently asked questions.” I have known Ellen Dean for more than two decades and she has consistently modeled the principles articulated in her book, both personally and professionally. I highly commend this resource to anyone seeking to improve their own Communication Connection!

—Dr. John Hall, Senior Pastor, Field Street Baptist Church,
Cleburne, TX


I am honored to recommend Ellen Dean’s new book, Communication Connection to you.  The author begins with her conviction that “the happiest marriages have great communication that improves and deepens through the years.”  She then weaves her career as a counselor and her personal faith walk into a guide to help couples get to that point.  If you need communication help or are trying to help others that do, you will find this book a practical and powerful tool.

—Ernie McCoulskey
Director of Missions,
Kauf-Van Baptist Association


Ellen Dean, author of Marriage Trust Builders, has done it once again!  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that marriage is all about communication, but how to do that is more difficult.  Ellen’s new book, Communication Connection, leads us through the process in a Biblical, practical way.  For that very reason I have sent folks to Ellen for counseling for years and will continue to do so. Thanks, Ellen, for another wonderful contribution in this all important area.

Steve Swofford, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Rockwall


Ellen Dean has penned another most helpful and enlightening book on marriage.  The reader will certainly receive great insights from the author’s study of the Bible and from many years of her personal experiences as both a professional counselor and a pastor’s wife.  I heartily recommend this book to you.

—Dr. Gary Cook, Chancellor, Dallas Baptist Church
Dallas, Texas


I am thrilled to be able to recommend Ellen Dean’s second book called Communication Connection.  It is written to enrich  communication in relationships, especially in marriages and families, but provides wisdom in all relational contexts.


I do not know of any other book on communication that covers all the meaningful aspects that are in this book. Neither do I know of another one that is as Biblical, written from a counselor’s perspective and experience and is as practical and relevant as this book.


One of the unique and exciting characteristics of this book is a chapter called “Remember the Basics.” Here Ellen reminds her readers of the lost art of “listening”. “Everyone wants to be, and deserves to be listened to, heard and understood,” she writes in Chapter 4.


May the wisdom and insight found in Ellen’s latest book enable all of us to know more deeply the heart of the Father and His desire for us to authentically connect!

—Steve Hardin
Lead Campus Pastor
WhiteRock Campus of LakePointe Church


“Ellen Dean has such a way with words.  Communication Connection is a wealth of wisdom and insight that will add value to relationships just starting out, those that are seasoned, or somewhere in between.  What she has to say about the importance of communication within relationships brings clarity and order into muddled and chaotic seasons of life.  Buy it! Read it! Live it! Words matter and Ellen Dean’s will make a difference in how you choose and communicate yours.”

—Dr. David Rogers, Lead Pastor, Arapaho Road Baptist Church


I am grateful for Ellen Dean’s biblical counseling ministry. The Communication Connection is a practical resource organized around commonly encountered communication struggles. The case studies, wise counsel, and biblical truths in each chapter encouraged me personally in strengthening my marriage and will serve as a helpful resource for my pastoral family ministry.

—Chad Selph
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Allen, Texas


Communication Connection is an excellent tool for any couple looking to strengthen the “ties that bind” them together as a couple.  I personally found the chapter on “Words that Build Up” convicting and encouraging.  My wife and I get away annually to spend time together and to work on our marriage.  We always read a book together about marriage to help get the conversation started.  Communication Connection is the book we plan to read together this year – it is that good.  It is my privilege to serve as Ellen Dean’s Pastor.  I have seen Ellen and her husband, Bob, live out the principles taught in this book.  She truly practices what she preaches, which adds authenticity to her words.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a better marriage – the kind of marriage that builds each other up and makes each other better.

Dr. Gary Singleton, Senior Pastor
The Heights Baptist Church, Richardson, Texas


Ellen Dean’s book Communication Connection, is a powerful and excellent resource to enrich communication in marriages and families.  Ellen’s counseling experience, passion to help relationships and her knowledge of what is necessary for positive and healthy communication all come together in this book. Her practical examples engage readers in interesting and compelling ways.


Ellen discusses Biblical and practical characteristics of communication, communicating with inspiration, building others up, and understanding and avoiding destructive communication patterns. She explains dynamics of conflicts and how to connect in meaningful ways for solutions and growth in marriage.


Ellen also shares how God has communicated in amazing ways declaring His love for us. I highly recommend Communication Connection for every marriage and family.

—Pastor Steve Stroop,
Lake Pointe Church, Rockwall, Texas


Communication does not come easy for most of us – especially within marriage relationships.  In this book, Ellen shares timeless, practical biblical concepts and tools for improving communication within any relationship.  Ministers, couples, or anyone seeking to improve their communication effectiveness can benefit from this wonderful resource.

—Katie Swafford, M.A., L.P.C.-S.
Ph.D. in Leadership
Director of Counseling Services with Texas Baptists