Love & War - Book Review

If you are married and ever felt any truth to the idea that “marriage is a submarine with Cinderella and Huck Finn shut inside,” then the book Love and War: Finding Your Way to Something Beautiful in Your Marriage is for you.  This is not your typical marriage book.  With frankness and inclusion of many difficulties they have faced, John and Stasi Eldredge speak from their 25 years of marriage to each other of the things that they are just beginning to understand.  The battle that strives to tear apart a marriage is real, and we can draw up our swords in a united front to turn our marriage into something beautiful.
Marriage is hard work, and when two broken people join together, as soon as they say “I do”, the pieces gradually start coming to the surface.  We are not to ignore them, but deal with them, and the Eldredges show us how without using clichés.  They also explain how marriage goes through ebbs and flows, and if you think a marriage always has to be happy, then you will turn a simply low season into something worse.  We are to allow for the ebbs and flows by checking in with God, and they provide practical advice on how to get through these times with God at the center.  Without glossing over the issue of sex, they also explain that sex is the barometer of a marriage, and they attack the issues that lead to difficulties in a straight-forward manner.  At the end of book, they provide a series of prayers as a resource that can be prayed together as a couple to bring health and restoration to marriage and maintain it.
Even though I was convicted, the Eldredges didn't make me feel guilty for not being good enough or more discontent with how my marriage is, like some marriage books do. In fact, while I found myself thinking, “wow, I’m glad my marriage isn’t THAT bad,” I also gave further evaluation to some areas I had not considered previously.  I feel motivated to not always fall into the easiest way of doing things and driven to make my marriage even better. 
This book is great for any married couple, especially those you have at least a few years under their belt and as well as those with many.  Even if you feel like your marriage is good, this book will help you appreciate it even more by sharpening your perspective on the purpose and beauty of marriage. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review. The opinions I have expressed herein are my own.

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