First, for a bit of background from the publishers:
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 growinginto a story of meaning much greater than anything they could do or be on their own.
Now for my thoughts:
I really enjoyed reading this book. While most "self-help" books are of no interest to me and offer little to no practical advice, Love and War doesn't hold back. It shows a marriage full of faults, lived by two faulted people, who face realistic challenges and overcome obstacles we can all relate with.
What I enjoyed the most, however, was that they didn't pull punches. No smoke and mirrors. No fairytale "I'm more in love every single day" romance. Because that's everything that marriage isn't. However, with Hollywood in your face- telling you that marriage isn't worth it if you aren't happy 24/7 and that when you fall in love you should never lose that head-over-heels ideals that you started with- it's hard to remember that we are imperfect people yet we somehow believe that we should be engaged in perfect, faultless marriages. Marriage isn't a fairytale- it's real life and it needs to be worked on everyday and requires the commitment of two people willing to tough it out in order to work the way it was supposed to be.
I think it's important for us all to remember that God created marriage for a "partnership" not so we could have a "prince charming".
All that being said, there were certainly parts I didn't fully agree with (as I have found with all of their books). I feel like they excuse actions a bit too flippantly (because that's how men are...etc...) and perhaps over spiritualize other ideals a bit too much. All in all, though, I highly recommend this book as a fantastic, must read for those wanting to get married, newly weds, or those who have been doing it for years. Love and War's take on a God-centred marriage was a truly refreshing read.
For more information or to purchase this book check out this LINK
This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.