Before I get to that, let me give you some of the facts.
My Beloved and My Friend– How to be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses can be purchased here.
It is a marriage book. Written by Hal and Melanie Young.
250 pages, divided up into 13 chapters with an introduction and index as well.
It is written not as a dry textbook but as a book you can just sit down and read.
It is not good for man to be alone
- Leaving and Cleaving
- how to be married to your best friend
- In Sickness and Health
- On Submission
- Fidelity and Loyalty are not mutual funds
- The Physical Aspect
- Children and all that
- Money - Yours, Mine, or Ours?
- The Division of Labor
- The Spiritual Aspect
- Being of One Mind
- How to Fight so you Both Win
This book is a good book, I have to admit I had some trepidation signing up for this review. I've read a variety of marriage books and find I tend not to like most of them. I struggle with this "do it this way because I think it what you aught to be doing to make your marriage great." There are so many different styles to great marriages that you can't cookie cutter it.
What I like in this book is this. Hal and Melanie continually call people to just TRUST GOD. If God has called you to be a couple, then you need to trust him to help you make it work. That means you need to pray about issues, you need to communicate well with each other, you need to treat each other in the way that God would have you treat another person, and so forth. You need to try to live your marriage in the way that you feel the bible calls you to live it.
I have to admit I had some issues with the book. God says "trust me", in this book Hal and Melanie say "Trust God". But when the Young's say "trust God" they tend to specify in what manner you are trust God. Don't use birth control, share all your finances, and so forth. It seems to me, that they fail to factor in that there is more than one way to look at things Biblical. There are many good biblical marriages that use their God given common sense and intuition and solid prayer life to do things differently than what is called for in this book.
I appreciated the five steps to avoid temptation that were included. To pray, to sing praises to God, to read the bible, to leave the situation, and to go to whomever is your authority. These steps are invaluable in helping folks keep the temptations of life outside of your marriage, or even outside of yourself. Keep yourself focused on God.
Another aspect of the book I appreciated was watching how the Young's marriage changed the longer they got married, how they adapted to each other, learned to think more about each other, and how they learned to give things up for each other. I have found as I've watched people (my parents and siblings, folks in my church etc) that marriages do change as people grow more together as a couple. I've seen shifts in marriages where for a while it would seem that one partner is dominating the relationship, to over time seeing the relationship become more balanced as the men and women learn to adapt to each others' moods, needs, wants and behaviours. Knowing this has helped me in my own marriage. Knowing that marriages aren't static is a very good thing to know. :) Observing the Young's was a helpful thing.
Would I recommend you read this book?
Why? So you can think through the issues.... even the tough issues like dealing with temptations, handling extended families, finances, children and so much.
Do be prepared to think and consider and to pray about how you can trust God with YOUR marriage.
How will you trust God with it? That's the question this book throws out at you. Perhaps by reading it, you'll have a better grasp of the answer.