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What the Eldredge bestsellersWild at Heartdid for men, andCaptivatingdid 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 theyrs"ve gained from the challenges they faced. Each talks independently to the reader about what theyrs"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. From the Hardcover edition.
JOHN ELDREDGE is the founder and director of Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a fellowship devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. John is the author of numerous books, including Epic, Waking the Dead, Wild at Heart, and Desire, and coauthor of Captivating and The Sacred Romance.
STASI ELDREDGE, who is passionate about mentoring women in finding their true identity as the beloved of Christ, has been leading women's Bible studies for years. With a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and formerly on staff with Youth for Christ, Stasi now leads the women's ministry of Ransomed Heart. She has been married to John for nineteen years and together, they have three sons.
Table of Contents
Introduction: It Can Be Done
Remembering What We Wanted
Love and War
A Perfect Storm
The Greatest Gift You Can Give
More Than Just Roommates
How to Have a Really Good Fight
A Shared Adventure
Back-to-Back with Swords Drawn
The Little Foxes
When Storms Descend
The Chapter on Sex
Learning to Love
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.
Introduction It Can Be Done
“Dearly Beloved, we have gathered here today in the presence of God to witness the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. . . .”
And so the ceremony begins.
It is a ritual ancient as time and young as the hearts of the man and woman standing before us. (These brides and grooms look younger every year.) John is officiating. The bride and groom are dear friends. They are in love. We, their family and friends, are here to support them, celebrate them, all dressed up in our Sunday best. The church is glowing with candlelight; the flowers are so lovely. The Groom looks terrified but happy; the Bride is nervous and radiant. Suddenly I wonder, Did I sit on the proper side? Was it Bride’s side on the left, Groom’s side on the right? Or the other way around? The bridesmaids are stunning. Oh dear. They won’t be wearing those dresses ever again!
John continues, “The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy. . . .”
He looks so handsome in a suit and tie. I remember how he looked on our wedding day in that fabulous black tux with tails. I hope he asks me to dance at the reception.
“Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.”
The liturgy begins to settle us in. The church quiets, the coughing subsides, people are paying attention.
“Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
No matter how many weddings I attend, there is something inexplicably stirring about all this— the ceremony, the making of vows, the great cloud of witnesses, something about this remarkable act feels. How does one describe it? Mythic.
“Daniel and Megan, you are about to abandon yourselves to each other, throw caution to the wind, forsake independence, isolation and all others. You will vow to each other your undying love. Before you do, we must call this what it is— this is perfect madness.”
That got the crowd’s attention.
“As an aspiration, how lovely. As a reality, how rare. Everyone wants love; everyone is looking for love. Few seem to find what they are looking for; fewer still seem able to sustain it. Why in heaven’s name would you come to church to publicly dedicate yourselves to something so risky, so fraught with danger, so scandalous? ‘The heart has its reasons,’ Pascal confessed, ‘that reason knows not of.’ Deep in the wellspring of our hearts there is a desire— for intimacy, beauty, and adventure. And no matter what anyone might say, we look for it all the days of our lives.”
“Friends, I know what you are thinking. As you watch this today, there is something in your heart that says, ‘Well, maybe. Maybe this time. Maybe this couple.’ But what if, what if Daniel and Megan, in all their frail humanity, are living out before us right now a picture, a metaphor of something far more real and substantial. I’d like to suggest that this no common passion play. Things are never what they seem. 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.”
“Scripture tells us that we might at any time entertain an angel simply by welcoming a stranger. The serpent in the garden is really the Prince of Darkness. The carpenter from Naz
Excerpted from Love and War: Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed Of by John Eldredge, Stasi Eldredge All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.