|Lave & Respect
The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs
Author: Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Hard Cover, 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Thanks first to Thomas Nelson, who provided me this review copy of Love & Respect.
In this book, Dr. Eggerichs attempts to provide a framework by which married couples can get off a cycle of destructive relational behavior and replace it with a powerful and rewarding alternative. The main thrust of the book is that men and women approach relationships with different core needs. This then provides the framework to illustrate three “cycles” that reflect relationship health. These are (1) the Crazy Cycle where failure to recognize core differences builds friction, (2) the Energizing Cycle, where respect and love are used as tools to build healthy and growing relationships that can weather mistakes made by well-meaning but not always consistent partners, and (3) the Rewarding Cycle, where the marriage relationship is seen in the context of a relationship with Christ, where love and respect given to the spouse is really love and respect offered to Christ.
I found myself torn reading this book. I agree with and enjoyed reading much of what the good doctor has written, but I was frustrated with the way he presented some of it (I had this reaction mostly in the first half of the book). A pattern of over-generalizations and unbalanced assertions threaten to derail all the good he has to share. In a number of instances where he addressed scripture rather than anecdotal testimony, I found that his argument even undercut his main thrust about the need for women to show men respect, and men to show women love, on account of a primary need in relationship. He so highlighted the need for respect in relationship, that often this bled into men showing women respect, which muddied the distinction he was attempting to make.
But in spite of these glitches in the presentation, his suggestions and insight have already been very fruitful in reducing conflict in my own relationship with my spouse as I am more aware of what may upset my Spirit, and how I can approach and calm hers. In fact, I might say it is because of the highlighting of mutual respect, quite apart from any fanciful notions of love, that makes all the difference – male or female.
Footnotes were held to the end of the book, to the book’s detriment. In fact, Note 1 on chapter 1 would have calmed much of my distaste with his generalizations had it been inline, rather than found at the end. Each chapter ended with a recap of concepts to remember, which was very useful for cementing the intent of the chapter. The book is littered with quotes from letters, both before and after spouses attempted to try the author’s ideas, and many were very heart-warming or challenging.
I would give this book ★★★★☆.This is giving the benefit of the doubt, rounding up so to speak. The book does have excellent application but was almost submarined by over-generalizations and use of scripture that undercut his tight male-female dichotomy.