Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs, Emerson Eggerichs (2004)
Having been asked to write a book review, I naturally thought of Love & Respect. It was the latest book I had finished and I was so eager to recommend it to someone! Nevertheless, I kept going back and forth in my thoughts. “Should I suggest a book about marriage? I myself am not married and neither are many of the people who will read what I will have written!” However more and more each day, I understand that Satan is working hard to destroy families; potential little islands of Heaven on earth. This does not only begin on Day 1 after the wedding ceremony, but long before a family is formed.
Satan aims to impact the way we treat and think about each other. He knows very well – if only he gets a hold of a family, he can acquire a bigger influence on society.
Seasoned with humorous examples from his own life of marriage, Emerson Eggerichs shares countless real-life stories from the journeys of other couples, whose marriage relationships have been saved, restored and even improved to a previously unexperienced quality by these simple truths put in action.
The book is based on simple Biblical concepts like “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). It consists of three parts that the author calls the Crazy Cycle, the Energizing Cycle and the Rewarded Cycle.
The first part focuses on the need the authors asserts that God has planted within us since Creation: woman’s need for love (that’s nothing new, right?) and man’s need for respect (and how equally important it is for men to feel respected!). Whether we are familiar with this idea or not, when feeling as if our need is not fulfilled, we often fail to meet the need of the other, even amongst the most well meaning of spouses.
The result? The Crazy Cycle starts spinning.
The following chapters show what can happen when one decides to make a step towards meeting the need of the other unconditionally; whether it is deserved or not, and regardless of whether his/her own tank is full or not. It puts the brakes on the Crazy Cycle, thus empowering the Energizing Cycle. This is where his love for her motivates her respect towards him, and her respect for him motivates his love towards her.
The final, and most important part of the book is the Rewarded Cycle. This gently points out:
While it is very likely that your reward will come as you live out these principles in your marriage, don’t set your earthly reward as your main motivation. Be loving to your spouse because that is what Christ asks from you. Be respectful in every situation, because it is Christ himself whom you show respect when giving it to your spouse. Do it for Him.
By going deeper into the topic of unconditional love and respect within a human marriage relationship, this last part crowns the message by unfolding a bigger, beautiful picture. This reminds us of the nature of God and our relationship with Him.
As a child Dārta Debnere used to be a bookworm who swallowed books one after the other. Now she is learning to read the ones that need some proper chewing. Human dynamics are something she loves to dig deeper into.