But right now if they're being honest they don't know if they'll stay together
Let's fast forward to the future after struggling on their own
They finally figured out they needed Jesus in the middle
Now I'm watching God rebuild their home
I know you're feeling like it’s falling apart and it can't go on anymore
But God is a God who knows how to heal so just give it up to the Lord
And He will restore
The words above are song lyrics from Christian artist, Chris August's song, Restore. The kids can be heard singing every word whenever the song comes on the radio. It has a catchy tune and is beautifully written, so I understand why they sing along. However, as a parent, it is my prayer that in their future marriages that they are never in a position where they are singing lyrics from the first verse:
Nobody's growing old together, we've made it easy just to quit
Love has become a negative percentage, why do we bother to commit
While ultimately who they grow up and marry is their choice, I'm setting the stage now. I'm training them and even better modeling for them. Therefore, it is ever important for me to take stock in, gage, and invest in my marriage. Within the roles of minister and wife, Jon and I have attended conferences and seminars, have a library of DVD's and books, and are always on the lookout for resources that we can share with couples in our church. Still it is important to remember, that these materials are equally imperative to us as those we teach.
Therefore, I was so excited to get my hands on Hal & Melanie Young's latest book, My Beloved and My Friend: How to be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses. I first became acquainted with the authors at a homeschool convention a few years back. They presented a seminar with "ballistic" and "boy" in the description, and I was hooked. Following the conference, I read their book, Raising Real Men, and truly became convicted and altered some of my opinions and actions in raising my sons. I was certain that Hal and Melanie wouldn't disappoint when addressing such an important topic as marriage.
From the authors:
When Hal was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, it was a huge comfort to us to realize that whatever happened, we’d just written down what their Daddy thought it meant to be a man (Raising Real Men) and our boys would have that. As we talked about that, we asked, “Well, what else would we want to leave behind for our children?” and we realized we’d want our children to know how to have a terrific, Christ-centered, best friend kind of marriage just like we had – so we began to write My Beloved and My Friend.
As we’ve traveled the country speaking in the last few years, we’ve seen how so many of us are being stressed by the economy, and worn out by the business of life so that we forget to focus on our marriages. For other, their marriages are already struggling or broken, even Christian, homeschool families. They needed to know how to…
Have a more peaceful marriage, by learning to fight so you both win
Get along with your families, because leaving and cleaving is important
Be not just one flesh, but one wallet
Survive and thrive in trials, even when they’re over
Be married to your best friend without changing spouses
And lots more!
As I read the book, I heard Hal and Melanie's voices, their sincerity, even the quirky way they complete each other's sentences... listen to one of their presentations and you'll know what I mean :) They are REAL, authentic, and genuine. They don't mince words, but they don't come from a position of judgment. Instead, they offer encouragement, hope, even healing. They speak Biblical truth.
Just a taste of the wisdom within from some quotes I liked...
God created us as eternal souls, personalities which go on forever. In the early days of the world, a couple might live together as husband and wife for centuries. They didn't die of boredom. (p. 28)
Be a safe haven where they can talk through their concerns without fear of judgment. Let them know you are on their side - always. That's extremely powerful and your mate will never forget it when you are there for them, a safe harbor, when they feel attacked or let down by the world. (p. 46)
Faithfulness gives peace and security, loyalty gives joy. (p. 89)
If you live in the garden where God planted you, you find there is a lot more inside that hedge than you ever expected looking in at the gate. It's all good. (p.139)
If a lady believes her husband is on his way to becoming a great man, he will be. If she has confidence in him, he'll have confidence in himself. If she respects him, he'll have self-respect. If she believes in him, he will do everything in his power to live up to her expectations. (p. 93)
I'm truly blessed to be married to my best friend. The past year has reiterated just how close our bond is, how deeply we share even the most mundane in life, how we delight in one another, and enjoy times both good and bad. It saddens me when I see others who aren't enjoying the same relationship with their spouse. Aside from praying for them and serving as an example, providing Biblical resources and wise council is priority. I'm thankful that there are such materials available.We are generally busy, easily distracted, often tired, and frankly lazy. Yet without making the effort, we risk hearts which grow cold and distant toward the One who died in our place and now claims our love and obedience. That in turn will make our love toward our mate and family more fragile as well. (p. 204)
The book will retail for $15 and releases in time for Valentine's Day. However, you can Pre-Order for only $12 and have it in time to drop in a loved one's Christmas stocking or read for yourself over the holiday. In the meantime, I encourage you to connect with this wonderful couple. Read their blog. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.