Having read books by both John and Stasi Eldredge I was very eager to read their combined work on the topic of marriage. In their new book Love & War each author speaks independently to the reader about what they've learned during the course of their marriage.
Together they present a balance between the male and female perspective, something which is often missing from books on the topic, yet they do not disturb the flow of the content. I can't say that I agreed with everything that they shared but I did find their "take" on marriage to both enlightening and interesting.
They begin by pointing out what is obvious but so often overlooked when couples say "I do." Despite the fairy-tale qualities that come with romance, falling in love, and weddings--marriage is hard. Just as in a fairy-tale the marital journey is full of adventure, mishaps, and villains along the road to "happily ever after."
When we more clearly see marriage in light of the way God sees it our view of the vows we've made and our roles in the relationship drastically change. The authors have done a masterful job in conveying a Scripturally-balanced approach to the love and war that ensues as a part of marriage. Their ability to transparently share personal examples make reading the book quite gripping.
Although I did not always relate to their summations of the male & female "stereotypes" there were several strong point that they made regarding marriage which I found very believable:
oYou and your spouse live in a love story that is set in the midst of a very real war.
oGod gave us marriage, both as a picture of his love to the world, and because we are going to need each other. We are not playing house--we are living in an epic love story.
oYour marriage is a perfect storm because your brokenness and sin collide in devastating precision with your spouse's. Yet God is in that, because He is using your marriage to transform you.
oIf you have to choose between Companionship or Eros, go with Companionship. It is the bedrock of a marriage.
oYou have an enemy, and it is not your spouse. The sooner you come to terms with the fact, the better.
oGod has rigged the world for adventure. You have a mission, your spouse has a mission, and your marriage has a mission.
I thoroughly enjoyed Love & War from cover to cover. It is one of those books that you find yourself wishing had been written years ago. There is a great deal of wisdom http://www.counsellinghertfordshire.com to be gleaned from it's pages regarding the realities of marriage and how things change when we allow God to become central to the relationship.
My husband and I recently celebrated 25 years of marriage. In a blog that I wrote related to the event I shared that not every moment has been blissful but each one has been blessed. You can read more about my reflections by clicking here.
This book brought new insight and understanding along with a renewed gratitude for the transforming work that God has already done in each of our lives. It also left me with a desire for Him to do more.
Whether contemplating marriage, currently in pre-marital counseling, considering marriage counseling, or if seeking a marital aid for personal use or a small group study Love & War is a valuable tool for all who desire the marriage they've always dreamed of.
To read an excerpt from Love & War click here.
To purchase a copy of Love & War click here.
John Eldredge is the founder and director of Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a fellowship devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. John is the author of numerous books, including Epic, Waking the Dead, Wild at Heart, and Desire, and coauthor of Captivating and The Sacred Romance.
Stasi Eldredge, who is passionate about mentoring women in finding their true identity as the beloved of Christ, has been leading women's Bible studies for years. With a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and formerly on staff with Youth for Christ, Stasi now leads the women's ministry of Ransomed Heart. She has been married to John for nineteen years and together, they have three sons.
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Religion (December 15, 2009)
For a list of bookstores in the Nashville area click here.