|photo by Shawnicy Barnhart|
I reviewed the new book My Beloved and My Friend:
Every girl dreams of someday jumping into the fairytale and living happily ever after! But can you have a lasting happy marriage? Is it all just a myth? What makes a great relationship? Where do I find these elusive secrets to a strong, healthy marriage and tips when marriage problems do come up? Marriage has been around as long as people. Why, if it's so futile?
Our culture clearly does not know the answer, so who can we go to who has the real answers about how to have a happy marriage, live in peace and harmony with your family, and have a loving, healthy relationship that lasts forever?
My marriage is currently pretty great, but I figure it can never hurt to try to make it better and to have tips tucked away for the inevitable hard times. I know they'll show up and put us to the test sooner or later!
The book is based on the biblical view of marriage, okay stop right there! If you're like me, you're thinking of the long over used "obey your husband" verse and you want to run for cover as soon as you hear that!
Being brought up in our modern culture, even with a church (some of the time), I have a hard time with this!
Seeing it written out in black and white that I should be obedient to my spouse does not sound fair to a strong, liberal, modern woman! I have authority issues as it is, being raised by an overbearing man who did seek to control, so just thinking about this verse gives me anxiety! The book includes scripture verses and references that are undeniable, so it really got me thinking.
Why does this bother me so much? Is this really how we're meant to live to have a full and happy marriage? Obviously our modern culture is not the best model for happily ever after...
perhaps there's more to this that I've missed and I should not avoid these verses as I normally do.
It seems that far from lording over his wife, as is the popular image of Christian marriage, if he is living biblically, he would consider what is best for his whole family, including the feelings, needs, and wants, of his wife and children, so much as to place their needs above his own and he should continue to earn their devotion. His job is not to control them.
My favorite lines in the book are:
"we define love- placing someone else's concerns ahead of your own. If that kind of self-sacrificial love rules in your marriage, than tyranny isn't a problem."
It's not the first time I've heard the obedient wife verse, but I've always skimmed over it quickly, trying not to take that little part about obedience in, thinking, "It was the times. It was their culture..". I don't remember ever hearing that great relationship advice for men! Die for your spouse! Wonder why it hasn't been very poplar?
I got to thinking about the way my marriage works.
If I'm truly honest with myself, I do let my husband make the final decision on important matters. Not because he is so knowledgeable, or always right, but because I love and respect him and I want peace throughout the family. If I feel strongly about something, we talk it over and often he will give me my way, but when we have completely disagreed, it's always been worth it for me to step down and let him take the lead.
This really only covers about ONE PAGE of this great book!
Many other important topics and issues are addressed in My Beloved and My Friend.
The answers are from scripture and explained in a way anyone can understand and apply them. And written by people who understand! Who have lived through some of the worst storms and are still holding strong to each other.
I'm hoping my husband will have a chance to read this as well. And it will make a great gift to my kids some day when they're ready to tie the knot!