>Books providing advice about marriage seem to be abundant, each promising to hold the secret to that perfect marriage. Some of these are more useful than others. The one that offers the best advice for your marriage might not be much help for mine. So, when analyzing a new contribution to this great supply of self-help, it is important to discuss what sets it apart from those books already on a local bookstore’s shelf.
What seems to set Love and War apart is that it is written by a couple. Other marriage help books have been written by couples, frequently by couples who are specifically involved in marriage ministry. So, this is not necessarily a new technique. But, it is enough to distinguish Love and War from the great supply of marriage help books available. And, the fact that John and Stasi Eldredge are not marriage counselors – rather simply a married couple coming together to write a book – does place Love and War into an even more narrow category of marriage books.
In reading Love and War, I think the joint writing effort is what impacted me the most. The Eldredges had to sort through issues, ideas, preconceived notions, and assumptions to successfully complete this written project. And, they are honest about the process as they write the book. John and Stasi do not by any stretch of the imagination claim to have “arrived” after twenty years of marriage. In fact, they discuss and deal with some of the thoughts, feelings, and issues they battle while in the very process of writing a book about finding that great marriage.
Because of this perspective, Love and War is real. It will not provide the automatic solution to marital problems. But it will provide an honest look into the day to day normalcy of marriage. The good, the bad, and the mundane. It can lead a couple to process through things they might never have envisioned impacting their marriage.
The advice, suggestions, and input shared in Love and War is nothing truly new. Instead, it is a reminder. Joining John and Stasi in their glimpse into marriage nudged me to be aware of some areas of my marriage I’d been neglecting. Ways I don’t recognize the needs of my husband. Things I allow in my own life that can hurt our marriage.
We all need a reminder sometimes.
I would recommend Love and War as a useful tool to give married couples that reminder. Couples in a healthy and growing marriage who need to ensure they continue moving in the right direction. Couples who are moving along, but find themselves distant and need a little nudge to come back together. Couples who find themselves living two separate lives under the same roof. Seeing the honest image of a couple that struggles and grows all at once could infuse a little more life into all our marriages.
As with everything, different people have different insight when it comes to something like reviewing a book. Doug also read Love and War and has reviewed it on his blog. I encourage you to read his thoughts as well!
Love and War was provided to me for review by WaterBrook Multnomah. To learn more about this book or acquire your own copy, click here. If you are interested in reviewing books for WaterBrook Multnomah, fill out a simple registration form and watch for invitation emails.