“If love is something you can do, it is something you can choose to do.”
-- Hal & Melanie Young, My Beloved and My Friend
There are so many things to love about My Beloved and My Friend. The very first thing I fell in love with was the tag line “How to be Married to your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses”! In our throw away society this resonated deep in my soul. It’s getting harder and harder to find marriages that stick to look to for inspiration. It’s heartbreaking to watch marriages crumble. Not to mention, there have been times in ours that were a rough go.
I immediately was drawn in by the laid back personal tone of the writing style. I don’t know about you, but I have a deep longing for spiritual nurture. A desire for older, wiser believers to wrap their arms around our family. Who are willing to talk about the highs, lows and everything in between in this crazy life. Who remind us to look to Scripture as we filter decisions. Who after spending time with them, leave our hearts craving more Jesus. That was this book for me.
I never expected to be so addicted but when I curled up on the couch I found that I just couldn’t put the book down. Well, except to go grab a highlighter anyway. There was just SO much great advice ranging from Leaving and Cleaving to How to Fight so you Both Win and more. And it’s written in such a homey style that I felt like Hal & Melanie were right there in the room. This isn’t just a bunch of fluff n’ stuff. It’s clear that Hal & Melanie have opened their hearts and given us a peek into their real life. I got the sense that they’re kinda “old school”. I grew up in a very fundamental environment and the minute I was free I ran for the hills. Figuratively speaking. Both my husband and I have spent years figuring out where we fit spiritually. I confess, the older I get the more “old time religion” appeals to me. So even though their ideas may be considered a little old fashioned to some…I appreciate the wholesome sweetness of their presence. They are charming and honest. And my heart knit with theirs a little more with every passing page.
If I had to choose a favorite chapter it would have to be chapter 3, In Sickness and In Health. While the sickness that invaded their marriage is different than ours (our littlest has catastrophic epilepsy and the lifetime developmental struggles his disability brings) – the truths they learned and shared can be applied no matter the health crisis. In fact, I probably should have just highlighted the whole chapter! There were SO many rich wisdom nuggets in there for me…for us. I know there are several people who connect with my blog because of our special needs common link. I’m sure this chapter will make you cry too!
Chapter 3 was particularly practical for our family but I bet there’s a chapter for yours!
A sample of the topics you’ll find to explore include:
How to be Married to Your Best Friend
Fidelity and Loyalty are Not Mutual Funds
Money – Yours, Mine or Ours?
Being of One Mind
How to Fight So You Both Win
Coincidentally, my hubby moonlight’s as a pastor and I’m tempted to have him use this book when we do pre(and post)marital counseling! Maybe it’ll be our go-to wedding gift from now on? Hal & Melanie’s book left me hungering more for Jesus and wanting to have a deeper relationship with my spouse. We were friends first but sometimes in the guts of life it’s easy to lose sight of that. To get caught up in the surviving. I love that Hal & Melanie are reminding couples like us that love is an action. I’m adding My Beloved and My Friend to my personal list of book recommendations for couples!
As always, don’t just take my word for it – read other reviews here.