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Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage | Book Review

Updated: Jun 6



Paying tribute to love on this Valentine’s Day, some celebrate with boxed chocolates and flowers; others hope to celebrate with a date night.


While the world often defines love in measures of physical attraction and intensity of emotion, the Christian’s foundation of love is resolute in covenant, upon the person and work of Christ—the unfailing love of God. 


Thankfully grace and mercy are new every morning, for God’s faithfulness is great. We know, no matter how many years we’ve got behind our belt, the bonds of marriage become both strengthened and strained. This gift of daily grace helps us in our weakness and is sufficient for us to grow in both friendship and intimacy.


In Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage, Joel Beeke leads us to better understand our emotional and physical relationship.



Friends and Lovers | Book Review

Content

Purpose of the Book

Table of Contents

Summary

My Take

My Recommendation

Quick Stats

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Scriptures About Love

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quote from friends and lovers by joel beeke

Content

Purpose of the Book

This short book focuses on two important ingredients in marriage: friendship and sexual intimacy. He writes this, “to help you rekindle the flames of love in your marriage by the grace of God.”


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION


PART 1: Friends: Companionship in Marriage

CHAPTER 1 Remember: The Foundation of Friendship in Marriage

CHAPTER 2 Nourish: The Cultivation of Friendship in Marriage

CHAPTER 3 Resist: The Temptations of Friendship in Marriage


PART 2: Lovers: Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

CHAPTER 4 Cherish: Sex is the Act of Cherishing Each Other as God’s Image Bearers

CHAPTER 5 Multiply: Godly Lovers Delight in Multiplication

CHAPTER 6 Obey: Sex in Marriage is Obedience to God’s Commands

CHAPTER 7 Liberate: Sexual Freedom Comes Through Forgiveness of Sins

CHAPTER 8 Rely: Faith in Christ Empowers Sexual Love

CHAPTER 9 Give: Sex is More Loving with Self-Denial

CHAPTER 10 Restore: Our Father in Heaven Can Heal Fear and Shame

CHAPTER 11 Repent: Sexual Idolatry Requires Repentance

CHAPTER 12: Appreciate: Gratitude and Contentment Sweeten Sex


CONCLUSION


Summary

The book has two sections, the first delves into the gift of friendship within marriage. and the second explores how our physical intimacy glorifies God and blesses each other. Drawing on insights from church history, the author gives biblical insights into these two aspects of marriage.


quote from friends and lovers by joel beeke

My Take

Dispatchers

I have great respect for our EMS dispatchers. They collect information, provide first aid instructions, while sending appropriate services to the location, all while staying calm and reassuring those who call in.


Sometimes our marriage relationship is akin to the dispatch team; delegating tasks, providing chauffer services to and from activities, and mitigating crises when something is lost or there’s disagreements. 


I really appreciate our partnership; we’re on the same team, working to raise healthy humans who love the Lord.


One morning I was in town after a meeting and I got a text; he was asking if I had time to meet him for lunch at our favourite Mexican place. Giddy with excitement I quickly texted back, assuring him of my availability.


As we sat down and looked over the menu, I realized how long it had been since we’d been out together. You know, just the two of us—able to look each other in the eyes and talk without interruption.  Yes, half our conversation was probably about the logistical things of life, but it was still really valuable, and necessary, for our friendship.


It's apparent that we need to put in more effort to do this regularly.


Reality reminds me, it’s not always possible.


But, we both noticed we’d been missing this. See, when our kids were younger, we were pretty diligent with early bedtimes, which naturally allowed us to connect while they slept. As they’re growing older, going to bed later, hanging out more with friends and in activities, our points of connection aren’t always as intentional as they could be.


I’m grateful for this realization, surrounded by sombreros and enchiladas. 


There’s also a resource that’s been useful for us in helping create meaningful interaction. Phylicia Masonheimer put together a Weekly Marriage Checklist to help you discuss a variety of topics and promote your marital wellbeing.  


quote from friends and lovers by joel beeke

My Recommendation

This is a great book with short chapters to help you reflect meaningfully on your marriage, particularly on the aspects of friendship and intimacy.


Quick Stats

# of Pages:  100

Level of Difficulty: Easy

My Rating: 4 stars


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Scriptures About Love

Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Cor 16:14)
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Pet. 4:8)
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor. 13:13)
With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love (Eph. 4:2)
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, an

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