I’ve read several books by John Eldredge, and I have always been encouraged by his honest and engaging writing style. He has a way of helping you deal with your past so you can reach your full potential of a new life in Christ. In this book, he is joined by his wife Stasi as they talk about the challenges of marriage. Love & War: Finding the Marriage You’ve Dreamed Of is a great book that will encourage you, challenge you, and help you realize that “marriage is fabulously tough.” I want to share a few of my thoughts about the book.
Over the past few years, I have been discouraged seeing so many marriages end up in divorce. I saw people that I thought had it all together walk away from their families. As a young pastor, I sometimes feel a sense of helplessness as I perform wedding ceremonies. I want young couples to know that marriage is not always easy. That you must fight for your marriage so you can keep it alive and thriving. And I think most young couples don’t have a clue of what to expect.
This book really is an honest look at the battle that you face in marriage. Unlike most marriage books, this is not a book of quick fixes. It helps you to really dig deep into why you want to love and be loved by others. They share their own struggles and successes, and they give you hope that a marriage can go the distance.
I like that they share about marriage in the greater context of God’s plan. Here’s a quote that I think really sets the tone for the book.
God created marriage as a living, breathing portrait laid out before the eyes of the world so that they might see the story of the ages. A love story, set in the midst of desperate times. It is a story of redemption, as story of healing: it is a story of love. God gives us marriage to illustrate his heart toward us. It is the deepest and most mythic reality in the world – that love is true, that God pursues us.
Overall, this is a book that I had trouble reading straight through. Not because I didn’t like it, but because it made me want to put it down to spend time with my wife. I am thankful for my marriage (we’ll hit 15 years in a few months) and I am thankful that our love is still growing stronger. I will recommend this to both new couples and couples who have been married for a long time as a reality check to help them navigate the troubled times that will surely be in their future.
I shared with my wife last week that I also want to start something new when I am counseling young couples preparing for marriage. If I am going to do the ceremony, I want them to promise me that they will come to me for help before they throw in towel and give up. I want to put this book in their hand and spend time with them. I don’t want them to feel guilty for having difficult times in their marriage. And I want them to know that marriage is worth fighting for.
Here’s some more info from the publisher:
What the Eldredge bestsellers Wild at Heart did for men, and Captivating did for women, LOVE & WAR will do for married couples everywhere. John and Stasi Eldredge have contributed the quintessential works on Christian spirituality through the experience of men and the experience of women and now they turn their focus to the incredible dynamic between those two forces.
With refreshing openness that will grab readers from the first page, the Eldredges candidly discuss their own marriage and the insights they’ve gained from the challenges they faced. Each talks independently to the reader about what they’ve learned, giving their guidance personal immediacy and a balance between the male and female perspectives that has been absent from all previous books on this topic. They begin LOVE & WAR with an obvious but necessary acknowledgement: Marriage is fabulously hard. They advise that the sooner we get the shame and confusion off our backs, the sooner we’ll find our way through.
LOVE & WAR shows couples how to fight for their love and happiness, calling men and women to step into the great adventure God has waiting for them together. Walking alongside John and Stasi Eldredge, every couple can discover how their individual journeys are growing into a story of meaning much greater than anything they could do or be on their own.
Full Disclosure: This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah. Click here for my full disclosure policy. You can purchase the book from the publisher or from my Amazon affiliate link.