Monday, February 08, 2010

Love and War: Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed Of by Stasi and John Eldredge

Love and War: Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed Of at

My Thoughts:
From what I have read of John Eldredge previously I knew two things - he is a very gifted writer, and theologically I don't fully jive with him at times, especially how he is prone to proof texting.  With his popularity and influence I would love to see him do a better job of handling scripture.  His Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul being my primary exposure to his writing.

I found this book generally enjoyable and useful, though there are a few quibbles I have with it.  First the author(s) rely upon stereotypes a bit much.  Granted, I fit the stereotype of men that they put forth, but still they could probably have done with fewer instances of relying upon that crutch.  Second, I think at times they have an unfairly critical view of marriage and in a sense they chastise you if you don't share that same view.  I'd agree that all marriages have shortcomings because there are broken sinful people involved, but I would explain it quite differently and less negatively.

My biggest gripe about the book is that there is a lot that seems to be recycled from Wild at Heart - taking away some of the freshness of this book for me.  But, and this is the big but in the review, I suspect that they are hoping this book is a first exposure to John Eldredge for many of their readers.  So while I didn't get personal benefit from some of that, I can see the reason for inclusion at least.

What I do really like about the book is that they are truthful in their view that every marriage needs work, that we are all broken and all regularly do things to screw up our relationships.  Marriage is indeed hard work, but it is worthwhile work.  I think they do a good job of arguing that we cannot expect our spouses to complete us or heal us.  While it sounded good in Jerry McGuire, you don't really complete me.

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.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah and can be purchased from them as well.

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