I’m always looking for good books to recommend to couples during premarital counseling or when their marriage might be going through a rough patch. The title of this book alone, Love & War, was enough to intrigue me enough to pick it up. The book is built around the concept that marriage is incredibly difficult and that this is because there is an active war being waged by an Enemy who would like nothing more than to see the potential of a marriage destroyed.
The book is written in a very informal manner. With John and Stasi often alternating in the writing duties multiple times in a chapter. This allows them to tell the same stories from different perspectives and also to offer both a male and female perspective on the hardships that marriages face. I must confess that there were times I found their informality a bit distracting. I understand that they wanted to create an easy to read, conversational feel to the book. However, sometimes it just felt a bit awkward to read and in some cases a bit more formality might actually have helped them drive home their points.
The book is grounded in the stories and experiences of the authors and people they know. Each chapters is full of examples and anecdotes from real life that illustrate how marriage is a battle and how that battle with worth fighting. These stories are a good reminder to the reader that they are not reading about people who have “figured it all out” but who are still learning and growing along the way. Unfortunately, I sometimes felt that the book relied too heavily on stories at the expense of leaving out Scripture. Don’t get me wrong, the authors do regularly cite Scripture, but just because of the overwhelming volume of stories it seems like the focus is more on learning from their experiences than on learning what the Bible says.
Overall, this was a helpful book. It was a refreshing read for me personally and one I can easily recommend if you are needing a reminder about not only how hard marriage is but also how great marriage is. This would be an especially good read for those who are nearly married and newly married and for those who have hit a stagnant point in their marriage or who want to avoid stagnation.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.