Friends And Lovers – Joel R. Beeke
I received this book free in the mail from the fine folks at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and I am very thankful I did. I had never heard of Dr. Beeke until the 2011 Desiring God Pastors Conference, but his messages were the most impactful to me and I have learned much from his writing since then. This book was no different.
In this short work Beeke lays out the need for spouses to grow as both friends and lovers. He builds the foundation of being great lovers with the hard work of friendship. One thing he said in the beginning section on friendship has really stuck with me. He says we invest so much energy in being friends with the person we are dating and many times we lose that in the business of marriage. It does not come automatically and we have to fight for it. I can attest to that truth in the first couple of years of my marriage. When my wife and I were dating we spent a lot of quality time together. Since getting married we have left the business of life, ministry, and now our son get in the way of that. I want to be a good friend to my wife, but I have to fight for that and work for it. It will never come easily or automatically.
When the friendship is built solidly, then the ability to be great lovers within the marriage should be automatic. When you learn to become great friends, you learn how to draw each other out and how to have intimate conversations. You learn to trust each other and to feel safe. With this comes the ability to deeply worship God through the act of love with your spouse.
I encourage all couples to read this book. It is available from Cruciform press and is extremely inexpensive. The cost is cheap and the payoff is immense, so read it today and start applying it tonight!