This is the most honest book on marriage that I've ever read, and the one that has the most promise to be truly helpful.
I've read marriage books that basically say follow these principles, or just learn these handy techniques, and all your troubles will melt away. And I've read other well-meaning books that are some variation of a Bible lesson: here's what God intends for you to be as a godly husband and wife, so just obey all these verses to guarantee you a picture-perfect relationship.
John & Stasi Eldredge take a different approach: that marriage is hard, and that it is hard because of our own sin & brokenness, and that no principle, technique, or even Bible verse will magically fix the mess that is our souls. Eldredge writes, "So long as we choose to turn a blind eye to how we are fallen as men or women, and to the unique style of relating we have forged out of our sin and brokenness, we will continue to do damage to our marriages."
What is the solution? It is first to realize the nature of the battle and the nature of what marriage can be, then to let God use the crucible of marriage to change you, transform you into the holy man or woman that He has intended you to be, while battling against the Enemy. Eldredge summarizes it thusly:
1. Find life in God.
2. Deal with your brokenness.
3. Learn to shut down the spiritual attacks that come against your marriage.
Love & War contains a lot of Biblical wisdom, a lot of honest, hard, and humorous stories, and a lot of very blunt tell-it-like-it-is in-your-face challenges. It's unlike any other book on marriage I've come across, that lays out the true nature of the soul ugliness behind marital dysfunction, and shows a path to growth and healing. You need this book: for you, for your spouse, for your friends. Get it, read it, and have the courage to move forward with your marriage and your life.