Love & War: Find Your Way to Something Beautiful in Your Marriage  -     By: John Eldredge, Stasi Eldredge
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Love & War: Find Your Way to Something Beautiful in Your Marriage

WaterBrook Press / 2011 / Paperback

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With astonishing vulnerability that engages readers from the first page, John and Stasi openly discuss their own marriage and the breakthroughs they have won from the challenges they've faced. Each talks to the reader about what he and she have learned, providing a balance between male and female perspectives. Paperback Edition.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 0307730212
ISBN-13: 9780307730213
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

With astonishing vulnerability that engages readers from the first page, John and Stasi Eldredge openly discuss their own marriage and the breakthroughs they have won from the challenges they’ve faced. Each talks to the reader about what he and she have learned, providing a balance between male and female perspectives that has been absent from previous books on this topic.
John and Stasi begin Love & War with an obvious confession: Marriage is fabulously hard. But beneath and behind the inevitable tensions a man and woman "locked in the same submarine" are going to have, the real battle is against the work of the Enemy, who plots and schemes to tear love apart. The Eldredges show how couples can win "by fighting for each other, instead of against each other." As they say, "We live in a great love story, set in the midst of war."

"This is a book of wisdom and hope…a beautiful labor that will move your marriage to far deeper joy." Dan. B. Allender, author of The Wounded Heart

Author Bio

John Eldredge is the director of Ransomed Heart in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a fellowship devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. John is the author of numerous books, including Wild at Heart, Waking the Dead and Desire, and the coauthor of Captivating. Stasi Eldredge is the coauthor (with John) of Captivating; she leads the women’s events of Ransomed Heart. John and Stasi have been married for twenty-seven years, and they have three fabulous sons.

The popular authors of Wild at Heart and Captivating are back with another offering, this one a look at the institution of marriage titled Love and War. The Eldridges seek to provide illumination along the pathway to marital bliss. They readily admit that marriage is difficult, and that having a successful marriage takes a combination of time and hard work. They freely acknowledge that difficulties arise in any relationship – especially a marriage relationship. They also admit that there is a way to achieve God-honored success in marriage. But it is this reviewer’s opinion that the pathway they present is flawed and dangerous.

The introduction relates a wedding that John officiates. In it he claims "If you would see things clearly, you must see with the eyes of the heart. That is the secret of every fairy tale, because it is the secret to the Gospel, because it is the secret to life" (pp. 2–3, emphasis mine). Now, that is a fairly substantial claim – that the secret to the Gospel is seeing with the heart. To Eldridge, the Gospel and fairy tales are interchangeable, merely stories of larger truths. This is an attack on God’s Holy Word! In an earlier time, this would be called blasphemy! But perhaps Eldridge was merely making a hyperbolic point? Chapter 1 deals with loneliness in marriage and offers for consideration the advice: "Let Desire Return: You have to begin with desire. Start with what is written on your heart” (p. 19). “Your first Great Battle is not to lose heart." What Eldridge fails to address, however, is the problem created when the heart desires something God does not. For Eldridge, the answer is to look to your heart; but biblically, the answer is to look to God’s character.

In Chapter 2, Eldridge does address God’s character: "Love is the single most defining quality of his character and his life" (p. 26). The Hebrew word for that, my friend, is BALONEY! Love is not the most defining quality of God’s character, holiness is. The Bible goes to great lengths to demonstrate that God’s holiness is His defining attribute; indeed, without His holiness, His love would be exemplary, but meaningless!

Elsewhere in Chapter 2, Eldridge returns to a familiar theme, one that readers of his other works will recognize. "The heart of a man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue … The heart of a woman longs for someone to fight for her, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to offer beauty” (p. 30). What a self-centered view of life! Yes, the heart longs for those things, because it is desperately wicked and always seeking for something, anything, to take the rightful place that God deserves. Eldridge is looking for the solution in the wrong location – it is found in God, not the heart! In fact, he states on page 37 "name one thing in the entire created world more precious than a human heart. It can’t be done.” Yes, it can! Try for size – the human SOUL!

Finally, after 69 pages, Eldridge finally admits that maybe reforming the heart is the wrong starting point. He states "the greatest gift you can give your marriage is for you to develop a real relationship with Jesus Christ," and "The secret to happiness is this: God is the love you are longing for” (p. 70). Anyone still working on the ideas given in the first 68 pages will grow frustrated and give up before reaching what is truly the heart of the matter.

The Eldridges do write openly and honestly about their own marriage relationship, offering insights to others and sharing learned lessons along the way. However, as with their previous offerings, the weight of the advice relies heavily on experience and lightly on any theological basis. This is not a book I could recommend to others. – Charles Eldred,

Editorial Reviews

Love & War: Finding the Marriage You’ve Dreamed Of

The Eldredges’ newest book has bestseller written all over it. The pair addressed men and women separately in Wild at Heart (John) and Captivating (Stasi) and now put that knowledge together in a book on marriage. Christianity, they say, is a love story set amid war, with marriage "a living, breathing portrait laid out before the eyes of the world so that they might see the story of the ages."

For them, marriage is the perfect storm that brings together basic differences in men and women, individual styles of relating, sin, and brokenness. The Eldredges offer sound advice on topics such as the delights of companionship, understanding the enemy is Satan and not your spouse, finding your marriage’s mission, taboo topics, and, yes, sex. They are honest and forthright, never skirting a difficult issue; instead, they offer hope, insight, and their own lives as examples of what God can accomplish. Their summation of marriage: "It can be done. And it is worth it." So is this book. 
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"John and Stasi nailed it. This book opens to an untouched snapshot of a real, live redeemed marriage and closes with hope and hunger for our own. These two have proved again and again that they’re willing to put themselves out there for somebody else’s sake. Is it any wonder God uses them like He does? The moment we decide to throw more energy into fighting for our mate than with him, the crack of a fist on the enemy’s jaw splits the ears of angels."
—Beth Moore
Author of Get Out of That Pit and Breaking Free

"John and Stasi Eldredge lead us into the heart of marriage...not as we always dreamed it would be, but as it really is... a relationship between two flawed individuals who are discovering together that marriage is difficult.  Their willingness to speak honestly about their relationship proves their point... that "loving costs everything but loving is always worth it."  If you are willing to fight for the love and happiness God intended your marriage to provide, every chapter of Love & War will cheer you on!"
—Dr. David Jeremiah
Senior Pastor, Shadow Mountain Community Church
Founder & CEO, Turning Point
"I need help to grow as a husband.  I have written a few books on marriage, but I am never done reading, reflecting or wrestling with the issues that keep my marriage from being sweeter and deeper.  John and Stasi offer a courageous, honest, and compelling picture of what is involved in growing beyond one’s initial commitment and desire for intimacy.  This is a book of wisdom and hope for those who want more than mere complacency or convenience.  It is a beautiful labor that will move your marriage to far deeper joy." 
—Dan B. Allender
Professor of Counseling Psychology, Mars Hill Graduate School
Author, Intimate Allies and To Be Told

From the Hardcover edition.

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