26 January 2010

"Love & War"

Ransomed Heart is the ministry of John & Stasi Eldredge. I cannot say enough about them.

This is John. He's the guy who rocked the Christian literary world with Wild at Heart breaking the mold for books about manhood.

And, this is Stasi. She and John bared their souls in Captivating reminding us of the treasure that is the heart of a woman.

OK. They have explained: A book about men, a book about women... The next obvious choice was to write a book about marriage. But, seriously, I know I've asked it before, but how many of the gazillions of books about marriage out there do you find to be almost useless and disappointing? Most? Me too.

It's like most of the books about "the challenging child"... Usually, I end up thinking, "Wow, their 'challenging child' sounds like my easiest! Gimme that kid any day of the week!

Marriage is HARD. Why didn't anyone tell us this?! Marriage is hard in the best of circumstances. You take two people who are so crazy about each other that they'd like to be superglued lip to lip for all eternity, and you put one in a gorgeous gown and one in a tux, and you have them say "I do's" and -- VOILA! Bippity boppity boo! They can barely make it through one meal without starting World War III.

It's hard. Really, really, really hard. We don't get each other. We don't know the right things to say, nor the right things to do. We cannot read each other's mind. We hurt each other without even meaning to... and, let's be honest, sometimes with absolute intention. Add to that stressful issues like money, parents, sex, jobs, church, friends, and kids, and it's a wonder any marriage survives 10 years!

What used to be sweet now falls flat. What used to be give-and-take now feels more like give-and-give-and-give 'til Kingdom come. What used to be endearing is now just annoying. Hope seems absurd and resignation inevitable. That's not to say that there aren't wonderful, beautiful, delicious seasons when relating to one another is easy and sweet, when puppy love blossoms all over again, when you can't get enough of one another, and the sex is seriously off the hook! Oh, how I wish we could bottle those seasons! And the amazing sex, too!

But, stoking the flames of love takes a great deal of work. Come on, if you've been married more than five minutes, you know what I'm talking about.

John and Stasi wrote Love & War and have recently embarked on a book tour.

Last weekend, Michael and I got to hear John & Stasi Eldredge speak on their Love & War Tour. Food for the soul. Oh my, we were both so inspired, as were the other couples with us, Curtis & Karen (He is Eldredge's agent, which is just beyond cool if you ask me!), and Chris & Christi.

I raced to the back to be first in line to give Stasi a hug and slobber all over her about how much I loved Captivating, how it spoke to my heart like my own blood and guts were spilled out on the page, you know, soul-sister type praise, and how I just wished that there was an action figure-sized Stasi I could keep in my pocket. She's just wonderful.

I think I scared her pretty good. She probably got a restraining order.

Anyway, now Michael and I are reading Love & War together and enjoying every minute. It is a deep and rich read, which I recommend with all my heart. Pray for us because marriage books have been known to be used as heavy objects to hurl at one another. And, please, let us know if you are reading it as well so that we may pray for you!


be_a_Mary said...

What a GREAT review!! I love it!! It is so right on!! So glad to be reading this book at the same time as you and Michael so we can continue our lively, thoughtful discussions. XOXO

The Zimmers said...

Praying for you AND going out today to get the book! Praying that we, too, respect the book (and each other) enough NOT to use it as a weapon! ;-)

ErinOrtlund said...

Interesting! I will definitely check it out. Thanks for your honesty in this post--I think that the hard side of marriage is easier when you realize almost everyone can relate!

Gavin Ortlund said...

Looks interesting! I remember reading Wild at Heart in college and loving it, but I have not heard of John Eldredge in a while. PS - you have a very cool blog!

Gavin O.

Tracy said...

Well you've definitely piqued my interest!

I am generally skeptical about marriage books and marriage conferences as well, because inevitably comes the talk about "submission", which I know is a biblical principle, but I have a completely different take on it than the average Christian lady. The last Christian marriage conference we went on (the only one, actually) made my cry and cringe. Not thinking I want to go on another one of those any time soon!

I did read Wild at Heart a long time ago and remember thinking it had a lot of great things to say! Please write a followup post and let us know how the book reading went! :) I'll pray for you!

Brant Skogrand said...

Great post! I recently finished Love & War, and would highly recommend it.

I saw John Eldredge when he came to Minneapolis last year, and he was fascinating.

Brant Skogrand

darci said...

oh my word, you crack me up! just picturing the whole hug-slobber-action figure moment..
i wish i would have read this post earlier, i just put in my amazon order...starting another list. :)
the best 'marriage book' i have read so far is sacred marriage by gary thomas...you're so right, most of the rest have been good for not much. praying for you !:)

Lori said...

I missed this, I seem to be very busy these days (ask MP).

But I love it and want to buy it too (just for the s.e.x.)...

My biggest hugs to you all. I Love You! Lor