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Drew's Reviews #16 - “Love and Respect”

I just finished reading “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs.

Quick Take: The fundamental concept is that men and women are different and therefore need to be loved differently. There is definitely truth to this, but I didn’t get a lot else out of this book.

Longer Take:

Marty and I read Love and Respecttogether. It was recommended by a friend and we hoped for a new perspective on strengthening our marriage.

The foundational premise of the book is that men primarily value respect and women value love (Based on Ephesians 5:33). To have a relationship that works, each partner needs to give what the other person needs. Much like “The 5 Love Languages” it’s about understanding what the other person needs and values. Eggerichs uses plenty of examples and connects all his ideas back to the Bible.

While I appreciated the reminder that men and women are different, and I need to show my wife love in ways that she needs, I didn’t get a lot else out of this book. Most of the ideas seemed recycled from other marriage books and I felt his differentiation of love and respect a bit forced. Even worse, in attempts to create that differentiation between what men and women need, some of the explanations seemed marginally sexist.

But despite not loving this book, there were 2 reminders I needed to hear:

(1) We can’t wait to show love until we get it. God expects us to love/respect our partners whether they deserve it or not. Waiting until I get the love I need before I show love is only going to lead to pain all around. You can’t get what you need by depriving your partner of what they need.

(2) I need to continually ask myself, “Do I want my future son-in-law to treat my daughter like I treat my wife?” or “Am I treating my wife in a way I will want my son to treat his future wife?” That’s a heavy responsibility, but I know I need to be a much better example to my children of what a good husband should be.

I wouldn’t read Love and Respect” again, but here are some valuable ideas that could help any relationship.

“The journey to a godly, satisfying marriage is never over…”

“This is not about the husband deserving respect [or a wife deserving love]; it is about the wife being willing to treat her husband respectfully without conditions.”

“…the best way to love a husband is to show him respect in ways that are meaningful to him. Such respect lets him feel his wife’s love for him and ignites in him feelings of love for his wife.”

“As mature men, we need to take leadership... We must acknowledge our feelings—we need to feel respected. However, as we do this we must acknowledge our wife’s feelings—she needs to feel loved!”

“I’ve learned that love is not a feeling, it’s a choice, a commitment.”

“For your wife, face-to-face time is heart-to-heart time.”

“All married couples must realize that the sparks are going to be there. The question is, how will you control them? … Conflict is not a sign you have a bad marriage.”

“For anyone who wants fewer ongoing arguments, the path to peace is plain. He must learn to simply say, ‘Honey, I’m sorry. Will you forgive me? I did not mean to do that.’ Do this, even if in your mind most of the guilt or blame is theirs. The percentage of guilt is not the issue. As always, the real issue is love and respect.”

“No matter how desperate or hopeless a marriage may seem, if husband and wife both have basic goodwill in their hearts, they can stop the Crazy Cycle. But like the husband who never gave up, they have to be willing to do whatever it takes.”


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