Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Book Review: Love & Respect

Since I've had a few spare moments over the past few weeks, I've returned to one of my biggest loves - reading. I came across this book when I was looking for other Christian relationship books on Amazon. Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs had a really high rating, so I decided to pick it up.

Well, I have not been disappointed in the least by my investment. This book is written from a Christian perspective to both husbands and wives, and offers an incredibly simple (but easily overlooked) theory on why couples get into unhealthy, unsatisfying ruts. It is based on a verse in the Bible (Ephesians 5:33), which calls husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and for wives to respect their husbands.
The premise is that couples enter into a "Crazy Cycle" when wives (who long to be loved) do not feel loved, and act in ways that are disrespectful to their husbands, who long to be respected. These husbands, feeling disrespected, then act in ways to are unloving towards their wives, perpetuating the cycle in a downward spiral. The author encourages couples to break out of this Crazy Cycle and enter into an Energizing Cycle, where a husband's loving actions gives his wife the assurance and affection that she needs in order to show him the unconditional respect and honor that he craves.

The book challenges husbands and wives to interact with one another differently, patiently understanding the other's perspective and interpreting one another's dysfunctional actions** as pleas for love or respect rather than as antagonistic, ill-willed decisions to hurt the other. There is a section for husbands that gives them some ideas on how to be more loving towards their wives, and a section for wives that gives them suggestions on how to be more unconditionally respectful towards their husbands.

I realize that some may think that the book is misogynistic, but it really isn't. It's also not a "feminist" book, either. Dr. Eggerichs pretty much places the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of both husbands and wives, and calls on both parties to own their own actions which have contributed to the dysfunction in their interactions with one another.

Although I haven't finished the book yet (I'm about 80% finished), I wanted to review this book right away because I felt convicted by the book's message from the first chapter, and I feel strongly that its message can strengthen not only my marriage, but those of others as well. I encourage you to pick up this book, or else borrow it from me when my Hubbs is finished reading it ;) It could completely change the way that you and your significant other interact.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

**Such as hurtful comments, criticism, stonewalling, or refusing to talk about it. The author makes it clear that abusive, harmful actions are an entirely different matter.


Monsieur said...

Nice, if you love reading, i suggest that you read the alchimist... Ask superstar for it. Such a good book. If yours was in french, i will probably ask for it. :)

Paul M. Kingery said...

I would like to invite you to write a short review of a new Christian ebook called Land of Canaan: Ancient Hope for Future Peace. See it free online at www.landofcanaan.info and let me know what you think.