My Beloved And My Friend ~ Not Just Another Marriage Book

I just finished reading  My Beloved and My Friend: How to Be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses by Hal & Melanie Young, authors of Raising Real Men. I especially love the tagline of the book! 🙂

The Youngs wrote this book because:

When Hal was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, it was a huge comfort to us to realize that whatever happened, we’d just written down what their Daddy thought it meant to be a man (Raising Real Men) and our boys would have that. As we talked about that, we asked, “Well, what else would we want to leave behind for our children?” and we realized we’d want our children to know how to have a terrific, Christ-centered, best friend kind of marriage just like we had – so we began to write My Beloved and My Friend.

mybeloved

One thing that I’ve learned over the past 11 years of my own marriage is that it takes work on all of our parts.  It’s not always fun, it’s not always easy, but if we put the time and effort in, we CAN have fun, and as for the easy part…..well, we try to roll with what life brings us.  🙂

With the divorce rate being what it is, it seems like the  world screams the message that you try for a while, but when things get really tough you throw in the towel and take comfort in knowing that – hey, at least you tried.

Hal and Melanie’s message is the same as the one we read in the Bible ~ you choose a mate, you cleave to them, and you become one.  Period.

So what if you’re not married to the most perfect person in the world?  From the section entitled, “You get the mate you believe in”:

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’ll have self-respect.  If she believes in him, he will do everything in his power to live up to her expectations….a wife who constantly points out his failures and shortcomings will probably succeed only in depressing his efforts to overcome them.  (p. 93)

Truly, who wants to be the leaky roof of Proverbs anyway, right?!  {Proverbs 27:15}

One of the things that I love is that Hal and Melanie advise that you only share stories about your spouse (or your children, for that matter), with that person’s permission.  If it’s something that your spouse (or children) would find to be hurtful, then you don’t share it.

Given that, let’s just say that I read a LOT of great things in this book, and it blessed me in ways that I can’t necessarily share here out of respect for my own family.

One of my favorite chapters was “How to Fight So You Both Win“.   On a camping trip with a young baby, hours away from a store, they realize that SOMEBODY forgot to bring the pan that they needed to cook all of their meals.

I could tell you how this scene would play out from my own perspective, and it wouldn’t be nearly as graceful as the way that it played out for them!

” The important lesson, though, was that the argument we nearly had would not have fixed the situation one bit.  Both the victor and the vanquished would end up staring at each other across a darkening picnic table as night fell on a world still without supper….And it’s a win that’s not worth the cost.” {p. 236}

It’s amazing how our attitude can make or break a situation, isn’t it?  I hope I remember that example the next time we have an issue that we’re on opposite sides of!

What Else Is In This Book?

The Chapters in this book are:

  1. Leaving and Cleaving
  2. How to Be Married to Your Best Friend
  3. In Sickness and In Health
  4. On Submission
  5. Fidelity and Loyalty are Not Mutual Funds
  6. The Physical Aspect
  7. Children and All That
  8. Money – Yours, Mine, or Ours?
  9. The Division of Labor
  10. The Spiritual Aspect
  11. Being of One Mind
  12. How to Fight So You Both Win

 Who Is This Book For?

Anyone who is married, is about to be married or plans to get married one day!  I would love to see Pastors giving this book to couples in their pre-marital counseling, or even to those who are already married and going to counseling.

If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I LOVE books.  I’ve read a LOT of self-improvement books and marriage help books, and this is one of the better ones that I have had the opportunity to read.  I love that the Youngs are writing from a Biblical perspective, and that they talk about subjects that many writers wouldn’t.

I think it’s okay to say that I am the one that leads the Spiritual nurturing/direction in our household.  Although I love what is written about some of the topics (like trusting God with the number of children that we have, trusting Him with our finances, etc.), it’s….more difficult to apply these guidelines when only one of us is a Believer.

Thankfully, the Youngs DO encourage and have advice for those of us who are not married to a Believer!

This book is available for Pre-order for $12 (with free shipping and a Christmas delivery), and available where books are sold on Valentine’s Day 2014 for $15.

Read more My Beloved and My Friend Reviews.

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