Farmer Gary and I celebrated our 20th anniversary this past June. As shocking as it might be, there have been some bumps in the road and some moments that were filled with something a bit different than marital bliss and those dreamy eyed wonderment of young love. Life takes its toll on any marriage. We rejoice that our marriage has endured for 20 years, something that most marriages today do not experience. A belated anniversary gift has been our privilege to review My Beloved and My Friend: How to Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses published by Great Waters Press.
My Beloved and My Friend is one of those exquisitely written books that is easy to read while also being jam-packed with wisdom. As you begin reading, you feel like you can consume the entire book in one sitting, but are also overwhelmed by just how many suggestions and pearls of wisdom could consume months of time in applying to any marriage. Yes, I truly believe this is one of those marriage books that could be incredibly useful to an engaged couple preparing for their married life together and equally helpful to a marriage of many years that simply has gone stale with the day in and day out demands of life.
In reviewing the topics covered, there really isn’t an aspect of marriage that is not considered. There is discussion on
- Roles of the husband and wife in marriage
- The importance on remaining friends after marriage
- Sustaining your marriage during bouts of illness
- Fidelity and Loyalty in all things
- The Challenges of Juggling Extended Family
- The physical aspect of your relationship
- Expanding your family
- The division of labor inside and outside the home
- The spiritual leadership in your marriage and home
- Fighting fair so that everyone wins in the end
Our Thoughts and Experience
This book literally hits on just about every aspect we have encountered in our marriage. Life is not easy and many times we can be the most neglectful, hurtful, and callous to our spouse during these trying times. Evidence is seen in the local church where divorce is as rampant as the black plague. Couples that celebrate there 50th wedding anniversary are those that have held on to biblical principles of marriage and are intentional in their devotion and service to one another.
My Beloved and My Friend is based on scripture from God’s Word and is testified to in the many examples from the authors’ marriage as they have travelled life’s road. In addition to the wealth of wisdom in this book, it is always best to walk this road together. If you already find yourself in a marriage that has become distant, stale, or even filled with animosity, My Beloved and My Friend can still help. Begin the journey alone and focus on ministering to your spouse. A great tool is to share small bits of wisdom from the book in passing and allow the Holy Spirit to work on your spouse’s heart.
Before I close, I would like to share just one concept from My Beloved and My Friend. It is a morsel of wisdom that could take a whole year to truly chew on and digest if we were honest with ourselves and our spouse. Consider with me these words about faithfulness in marriage.
“We think ‘I’d never be unfaithful,’ and that certainly should be out intent, but faithfulness goes way beyond avoiding the farthest extreme of adultery. Faithfulness says, ‘I’ll do you no harm.’ It’s a heart attitude, an attitude of commitment to the relationship and to the person. It’s the essence of ’till death do us part.’ Fidelity is obedience to your oaths.”