Love and Respect for a Lifetime
The Bible has held the secret to a successful and lasting marriage for centuries. As Ephesians 5:33 points out, “Each one of you (husbands) also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has taken this portion of scripture and written LOVE AND RESPECT, a book that expands on these marriage principles in a unique and comprehensible way.
Dr. Eggerichs believes that married couples spend way too much time on what he has coined “The Crazy Cycle.” When men don’t love, women have a hard time respecting. When women don’t respect, men don’t love the way they should. This results in a seemingly endless cycle that doesn’t stop until husbands and wives assume their proper roles in the marriage and exercise love and respect regardless of whether the other is complying. In fact, he claims that maintaining your assigned biblical role in marriage even when you don’t feel like it, or when your spouse is not deserving, may play a huge part in achieving the marriage you desire.
Some may wonder why the Bible doesn’t instruct men to respect and why women aren’t commanded to love. Dr. Eggerichs opens our eyes to one likely reason. Women naturally love. Men naturally respect. That’s the way God made us. Since God is not into redundancy, He would not command us to do something we already do so well. Men are told to love because loving their wives tends to be a challenge for them. Likewise, respect isn’t something that comes easily for women. So we need a little extra help in these areas.
Perhaps the most memorable illustration Dr. Eggerichs uses is the “blue and pink” illustration. He shows how men see through blue glasses, hear through blue hearing aids, and speak through a blue megaphone. Women, on the other hand, see through pink glasses, hear through pink hearing aids, and speak through a pink megaphone. So when men speak through their blue megaphones, women hear through pink hearing aids. And vice versa. Well, you can see how things get misconstrued, miscommunicated and misinterpreted. But as Dr. Eggerichs points out: Neither is wrong; just different.
LOVE AND RESPECT contains expert insight and practical advice on loving and respecting our mates. While both love and respect were certainly covered in the book, it did seem that the emphasis on respect was quite a bit higher than the importance of love. This may be due to the fact that for years, particularly since the women’s movement, women have been more than vocal about their need for love. The topic of respect, on the other hand, particularly for men, has been largely avoided and even downplayed in sitcoms and other media. Perhaps Dr. Eggerichs is only trying to bring back awareness of how crucial respect is for men. And that when men feel respected, it is much easier for them to express love to their wives. That said, it would have been nice to see an equal balance between the two, as well as more tips on exact ways to demonstrate both love and respect.
LOVE AND RESPECT FOR A LIFETIME is a gift book. Within its 152 pages, you’ll find excerpts, quotes and highlights from the bestseller LOVE AND RESPECT. The beautiful glossy photos, rich colors and compact size of this companion edition make it a nice choice for a wedding or anniversary gift. It would also be a great coffee table or bathroom book to pick up from time to time. It can’t hurt to be reminded of the centuries-old instruction to husbands and wives on love and respect and how each is crucial to achieve a successful and happy marriage.
Reviewed by Lynda Schab on October 5, 2010