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For nearly 14 years, I’ve been married to my best friend. Over the years, I’ve read a number of marriage books. Not because we have a troubled relationship, but because I think it’s a good idea to keep reminding myself of what is important in a relationship (and what’s not). So when presented with the opportunity to review Hal & Melanie Young’s latest book, I just couldn’t pass it up!

The title of the book, My Beloved and My Friend, immediately intrigued me. I loved this quote from Chapter 2, “Choose to see each other as our best friends. This is really, seriously one of the most satisfying things you will ever do.” I found the book to be full of excellent advice for newlyweds, and those of us who have been married for a while now.

My Beloved and My Friend is divided up into 12 chapters:

  • Leaving and Cleaving
  • How To Be Married To Your Best Friend
  • In Sickness and In Health
  • On Submission
  • Fidelity and Loyalty Are Not Mutual Funds
  • The Physical Aspect
  • How To Have The Right Number of Children
  • Money – Yours, Mine, or Ours?
  • The Division of Labor
  • The Spiritual Aspect
  • Being of One Mind
  • How To Fight So You Both Win

I particularly appreciated the balanced point of view they expressed in the chapters about submission and division of labor. Those tend to be hot button topics, and a lot of the things we read tend to go to either one extreme or the other. I thought Hal and Melanie’s advice on the topics was sensible and biblical.

The chapter “In Sickness and In Health” discusses something you don’t often see in a marriage book, how to handle serious illness. In this chapter, the Youngs share their own story. Their practical advice will not only be helpful to couples facing such a situation, but it also gave me a little better picture of how I might best help families dealing with health problems and hospital stays. I’m very glad that they chose to include this topic in their book.

“How To Have The Right Number of Children” talks about birth control, and touches on natural childbirth and breastfeeding. Birth control is an incredibly controversial subject, and at the end of the chapter the authors state just that. I’ve read articles and books that advocate not using any form of birth control that came across as harsh and judgmental. That is not the case with My Beloved and My Friend. Hal and Melanie share their point of view and their reasons for it, but it’s written with kindness rather than condemnation.

There is plenty of great advice to be gleaned from My Beloved and My Friend. I certainly enjoyed reading it! And it’s available for pre-order now for Christmas delivery! It would be a nice gift for any married couple, or for your spouse.