Monday, October 28, 2013

My Beloved and My Friend- Book Review

Do you have a spouse?  How about a best friend?  Are they one in the same?  I would challenge you that they should be.  Yes, I know, we all need friendships outside of our marriages, but I really do believe that our best friend should be our spouse.  As my husband and I would testify, it has been the basis and success of our marriage for over 21 years.  Feelings of romantic love may come and go over seasons of your lives, but a best friend is someone who is committed through those seasons regardless of emotions.  There are many books out there on marriage, but a new one that trumps them all in my opinion is My Beloved and my Friend: How to be Married to Your Best Friend without Changing Spouses.  Written by Hal and Melanie Young, this 250 page book is filled with encouraging Biblical advice about how to marry and stay married to your best friend.  Written during a health crisis and intended to be used as a way to pass on information to their own children they felt was vital  pertaining to marriages, this book needs to be added to your library!

"There is potential for excitement and romance, and there can and should be a broad foundation of friendship underneath." page 3

Yes, I love anything put out by Hal and Melanie and this is no exception! The Youngs are the founders of Raising Real Men.  I have mentioned them in the past because I simply adore them!  The experience they have in raising 6 boys and 2 sweet girls makes them dynamic speakers and teachers in parenting.  Their almost 30 year Godly marriage makes them a pretty good resource for giving marriage advice.  Add to the fact that everything they speak of comes from their hearts and uses the Bible as the authoritative source, you cannot go wrong.

Twelve chapters are divided into 5 sections-
It Is Not Good For The Man To Be Alone
A Helper Suitable For Him
Fill The Earth and Subdue It
Have Dominion
In The Image Of God He Created Them

Each one taken from a specific verse in scripture gives inspiring stories, concrete ideas to try, and invaluable words of wisdom from a couple who has been there, done that!

I would be hard pressed to tell you which one was my favorite but let me tell you about a few things that have stayed with me since reading the book.

"If a lady believes her husband is on his way to becoming a great man, he will be.  If she has confidence in him, he'll have confidence in himself.  If she respects him, he will have self-respect.  If she believes in him, he will do everything in his power to live up to her expectations.." page 93  Oh, how I believe that and want to live that daily.  How often do we see couples tearing each other down when they should be each others' biggest fans and supporters?

"We would suggest that the question of labor division in the marriage is less about who does what than it is about advancing the family mission, enjoying one another, and serving one another." page 193   Amen!  I love that instead of telling men and woman what they SHOULD be doing, the Youngs allow for room what works best in each marriage.  While each of our situations may look different, the key is to work together and serve one another.  That's the kind of marriage I want!

"...wouldn't it make for peace if our first response to criticism was to consider our failings with humility rather than defend them with pride?" page 241  The word that got me there was PRIDE.  I wonder how many times we allow our pride to get in the way of a beautiful relationship?

Oh friends, those are only a small sample of the life changing words in this book.  I clung to every word.  I want to share it with my children and I want to share it with all of my friends, single and married.  Though I consider my marriage to be a strong one in which my husband truly is my best friend, this book opened my eyes to many areas I would like to improve, to many people I would like to bless with this book, and to a renewed faith that the Lord did masterfully create the union of husband and wife and that it is "not good that man should be alone:" Genesis 2:18

May you be blessed in reading it and convinced that you can "be married to your best friend without changing spouses!"

Pre-order a copy of My Beloved and My Friend: How to Be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses for Christmas Delivery – two months before its official release date of Valentine’s Day 2014!
 $12 for Pre-Orders Only – with Free Shipping!
Be among the first to read it!  Make your marriage even better!

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