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.
Marty and I read “Love and Respect” together. 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.