Friday, February 11, 2011

Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ in Love and Respect shares what he believes to be the Biblical formula to a successfully marriage. He found this foundational principle in Ephesians 5:33, which calls for men to love their wives and men to respect their husbands. He shows this command is for men to provide their wives unconditional love while women are to provide their husbands unconditional respect. Eggerichs details how this principle helps men to draw closer to their wives and women draw closer to their husband. By following Eggerichs’ argument he hopes that couples can avoid the harmful effects of the “crazy cycle.” He then details practical steps for men and women to enter the “energizing cycle” with their spouses so they can eventually enter the “rewarding cycle” where both spouses are able to properly relate to their spouse and to God.

I have wanted to read this book for years. So I had very high expectations for this read. Just hearing the description years ago made me say, “that makes sense.” I would say that overall the Ephesians 5:33 principle is clearly explained by Eggerichs and he stays on point, never straying from his message. Additionally, the practical chapters on the “energizing cycle” seemed highly practical and I have attempted to think these chapters in my own interaction with my wife. However, I have also found not all practices work in all marriages, so though one may play with his practical advice, one also needs to be prepared to abandon techniques that do not work in your unique marriage. My only real criticism is that I feel like he spends too much time justifying the Love and Respect model and referencing Love and Respect conferences. But then, I was someone who believed Eggerichs was onto something and have a Biblical worldview that is familiar with Ephesians 5:33 and willing to accept the verse as Biblical truth that should be lived out in one’s life. In the end, I still believe that Eggerichs has exposed for his readers part of male and female design and how we can energize and reward our spouses by an awareness of a woman’s need for love and a man’s need for love. With this reading behind me, I plan on reading the text again. But this time I’ll read it with my wife.

Review Copy Provided by Thomas Nelson

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