It's only natural that, after writing about the topics of God's design for men (Wild at Heart), women (Captivating), spiritual warfare (Waking the Dead), and the parallels between human romance and our relationship with God (The Sacred Romance), it's only logical that John and Stasi Eldredge expound on, and combine, all of those ideas in a book about marriage. Those already familiar with the ministry and writings of both Eldredges will see many similarities in their latest book, Love and War. But it's not merely the same old regurgitated stuff. Love and War is full of fresh ideas, filtered through the familiar Ransomed Heart framework.
Marriage is perhaps the most covered topic in all of American Christianity. And judging by the way marriage among professing Christians has been getting bludgeoned, it's understandable why. But Love and War differs from the bulk of marriage-themed books in most Christian bookstores in at least two major ways.
First, there's the transparency of the authors themselves. John and Stasi share their victories, their defeats, their success, their failures, their ups, their downs, their fights, and their sins. They are open about the topic of sex as it has played out in their marriage. They are open about expectations, and falling short of them. They are open about their pre-marriage pasts, each of them. The authors are open even as they urge the reader to adopt the same kind of transparency.
Secondly, the authors are not afraid to point out that marriage is hard. Some marriage books will tell you that marriage is hard work. But this is the first I have seen which says, in frank terms, that marriage will, at times, test you, break your heart, confound your expectations, and ultimately drive you to God as the only One who can answer your questions and heal the damage done in the process. Like other Eldredge books, a certain amount of emphasis is given to the topic of past hurts, and the need for healing.
Although I was provided a free copy from Ransomed Heart for review purposes, I am free to say what I want about Love and War. That said, I highly recommend the book for all people who are married, or someday wish to be.