Love and War

A few months back, my wife and I finished Love and War (affiliate link) – the latest book from John and Stasi Eldredge. Then we decided it was the kind of book we HAD to pass on to every one we knew, whether they were married or were thinking about it, which is why I’m currently missing it – I lent our copy to my Sister and Brother-In-Law. I’m glad to see they’re reading it as well, as noted here.

The Eldredges pull no punches – marriage is incredibly hard, and mostly because the people involved are such screwed up people. That goes for everyone.  As they put it, it’s like putting Cinderella & Huckleberry Finn together in a submarine. They go a lot further than that, claiming marriage is actually a “divine conspiracy” designed to get us to change in ways we desperately need but don’t have the ability to on our own. Again, they’re right on.

As my dad put it to me, you don’t realize how selfish you really are until you get married. Then you have kids and realize it on a much deeper level, but that’s another story.

It doesn’t end there though. Despite the impression I may have given, the “War” part isn’t between husband & wife. The war is the cosmic battle with The Enemy and his forces that we all have to live in, whether we admit it or not. The Eldredges used the term “Back to back with swords drawn” which I think sums it up pretty well. We can either choose to fight eachother or avoid getting to the deeper issues, or even walk away completely or we can engage with eachother and with God and learn to fight “back to back with swords drawn.”

Funny how this came about today. I’ve been sitting on this half-written draft for almost 6 months, but it took me logging in and feeling the smart from the fight I just had with my wife to get me to finish today. And to come pretty clean, I was an ass. I yelled, I cussed, and while I felt justified on some level, there was no real justification for it. And I get to feel the pain of it. But to paint the whole picture, let me tell you about this weekend.

Anna and I are both musicians and have been very involved in our worship teams for years. Last night we led worship together for a prayer ministry night at our church. It was great. God really showed up, it was very intimate, very close, and it was a great example of what Anna and I could do together. And this morning topped it off as Anna was announced to our church as the new head worship leader – a job she’s been doing for the past 3 years as a co-leader. I was so proud of her and as I’ve told her before, I believe she was born to do this job. She’s musically gifted and she really cares about leading the other members of the team in the process of worship. No one could ask for a more suited worship leader than her.

And yet, when we got home today, we descended into one of the worst fights we’ve had in weeks. That’s how it works – we have a moment of triumph, start dreaming together and The Enemy does his best to ruin it.

And for this, I’m glad for Love and War. If I didn’t know there were others ahead of us fighting through the same thing, I might be more tempted to give up.

Thanks, John & Stasi! Keep up the good work!

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I'm sitting in Starbucks, reflecting over the last 3 years or so. I'm remembering the summer of 2007. My wife Anna and I had been married almost 4 years. We were both very frustrated people at this point. Frustrated with each other, frustrated with life. Thinking how far we were from where we wanted to be. In debt because we were using undisciplined spending to numb the pain. Unsatisfied, in pain, but at least admitting we needed help. Read the rest of this entry »
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