|photo by Shawnicy Barnhart|
I reviewed the new book My Beloved and My Friend:
How to Be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses
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.
Thankfully, the book also highlights verses about what the husband should be doing. 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.”
Well, this is sounding better! No, I don’t want my husband to die! But, I do agree that husbands should be caring for their family, truly caring, not just being the martyr. That makes much more sense! 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 more 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!
elizabeth kiefer-greer says
Leah, very well written. I think when we truly understand how God describes a biblical marriage, we can understand how beautiful His plan for a marriage is. I'm so glad I read this today.
So glad you enjoyed it! Yes, it was an eye opener for me to really explore those verses. Thanks for commenting!
What a sweet article! You are an inspiration.
Melanie Young says
Leah, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to read how you wrestled with this passage. Thank you so much for letting us peek into your heart like that – what a blessing! ~Melanie Young