This is, by far, the best book I've ever read on Christian marriage. John and Stasi Eldredge both have an incredible gift for writing with such vulnerability and transparency that it's like listening to life-long trusted friends sharing their hearts with you at your dinner table. The book is refreshing and practical, but more importantly, the wisdom on its pages doesn't flow from the latest statistics, recent surveys, or psychological journals. Instead, it flows from the personal journals and stories from the raw experience of learning how to love on the front lines. It's wisdom flows from the heart of God Himself, the Creator of marriage, spoken to both of them over their 25 years together.
I usually don't like to use a highlighter in books. But with this one, I could not help myself. Even now, as I peruse the pages again, I see portions of bright yellow on nearly every page and I can not help but read it again. And as I do, I'm refreshed again...and again.
My wife and I have been married for nearly twelve years. We have a good marriage. But as I read this book, I realized that we can have a great marriage. And that's the other great thing about this book: it nurtures and inspires hope. I have come away from this book with a renewed belief that a good marriage isn't God's best; a great marriage is. But with that renewed belief, I have also been given insights from the heart of God - not principles to apply - that breathe life and courage (an important virtue in marriage) into my own heart.
And I will read this book again...soon.
It's easy to settle for being "comfortably numb" in any relationship, but it can not be permitted in Christian marriage. John and Stasi, as always, faithfully remind us that we are part of a bigger story and that our marriage, the success of our marriage, is instrumental in winning the war within the story. A vibrant, healthy Christian marriage advances the Kingdom of Heaven in the earth as much as (if not more than) casting out demons and moving in spiritual gifts. As God spoke to me one time, "What good is being able to cast out a demon if you act like one at home?" We are part of a great and epic story. And without a healthy marriage, we will break ranks and become spiritual POWs or casualties of the war.
I highly recommend this book to any Christian couples, thriving or surviving. You don't need someone to tell you what you need to do, what principles to apply, or where you screwed up. You need someone to come alongside you and to encourage you with wisdom from God, hope from His heart, and the promise of healing and resurrection. You need this book, because John and Stasi do just that. It's what they do best, I think.