Saturday, September 5, 2009

Review - Love and Respect

"Love and Respect" is a new book by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs - one with a simple and practical message for those looking to strengthen their marriage.
"A wife has one driving need - to feel loved. What that need is met, she is happy. A husband has one driving need - to feel respected. When that need is met, he is happy. When either of these needs isn't met, things get crazy. Love and Respect reveals why spouses react negatively to each other, and how they can deal with such conflict quickly, easily and biblically." [back cover]
I just finished reading a review copy provided by Thomas Nelson, and found the book to be both challenging and helpful. Challenging in that my model for how I am to love my wife is how Jesus loves the church, helpful in that it describes the 'Crazy Cycle' of conflict that so easily arises and how to break that cycle. Too often we think or act along the lines of "I'll love my wife when..." or "I'll love her as long as... or if..." On the flip side is often found "He's not treating me right, how can I possibly respect him?" or "Well I'll respect him once he starts...". These are examples of conditional love and conditional respect.

The Bible calls Christians to something more in Ephesians 5:33, which is the central verse of the book: "However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Eggerichs explains what this looks like. Unconditional love and unconditional respect mean you don’t wait for the other person to ‘get it right’ first. You just do it. Don’t look for your reward from him, from her. God will reward your faithfulness – and that’s what it is, really – obedience to God’s Word. The only way we can love or respect unconditionally is by not basing it on the other person’s response, but doing it as an outpouring of love to God, especially when they don’t deserve it. The book may not be for everyone; readers who don't share this world view will likely view the book as a bit archaic, simplistic. Those who believe it 'in their heads' but don't know how to put it into practice will however find the book encouraging.

Love & Respect is available at Amazon and other book retailers; it's produced by Focus on the Family. If you find yourself 'stuck in the Crazy Cycle and want to understand some practical biblical principles to get out of this cycle, check it out.

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