Love And Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is a phenomenal marriage tool that should be in the hands of every husband and wife. This book has drastically changed my approach to marriage, especially helping my husband and I understand each other and our responses a bit better. This book highlights some of the greatest communication mysteries that have perplexed husbands and wives for centuries! Eggerichs and his wife discovered a truth regarding marriages found in Ephesians 5:33,
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Eggerichs and his wife began to focus on love and respect in their own marriage and saw instant change begin to take place. They began speaking on this obvious truth laid out for husbands and wives in Ephesians, eventually creating the Love and Respect Marriage Conference. Thousands and thousands of marriages were being encouraged and many saved from the threat of divorce by attending the conference, which inspired Eggerichs to expand on the love and respect principle in this book.
In Love And Respect,
Eggerichs immediately challenges that love alone is not enough for marriage. He refers back to Ephesians 5:33 and explains why respecting your husband is so vital in a marriage relationship and how respecting your husband fulfills a huge need he, and every man was designed by God to have. Eggerichs also acknowledges the “husband audience” explaining the need all wives have to feel unconditionally loved and how constantly affirming that love will motivate wives to respect them. Eggerichs does a fantastic job of addressing both husbands and wives, their needs, as well as what each is responsible for in their marriage relationship.
Eggerichs presents three different cycles that help to evaluate marriage relationships. Being aware of these cycles in your marriage will definitely challenge the way you love and respect your spouse. The first cycle he mentions is The Crazy Cycle. This is where wives respond to their husband with contempt or disrespect because they feel unloved and husbands get discouraged and stonewall, isolating themselves to avoid feeling disrespected, which in turn makes wives feel unloved. These emotions drive husbands and wives to act out in many different ways, but putting it simply her negative responses are motivated by not feeling loved and his negative responses are motivated by not feeling respected. God commands us to love and respect in Ephesians because he created us with those needs. When those needs are not met, we respond selfishly.
The second cycle mentioned is referred to as The Energizing Cycle, in which case a husband or wife initiates a positive response, energizing the other to reciprocate a positive response. This is a great cycle in marriage, until someone drops the ball and no one desires to initiate again. If a husband or wife fails to initiate the marriage will quickly land back into The Crazy Cycle.
The third and final cycle is known as The Rewarded Cycle. This is where a husband or wife responds out of love and respect regardless of how the other spouse is behaving. This cycle requires a selfless attitude and humility, and it is a perfect example of what Christ would want husbands and wives to follow.
This book is filled with great examples, personal testimonies, and spot-on truths to many different trials husbands and wives face in a marriage relationship. This book gives a clear depiction of what God calls us to live out in marriage and it has fantastic solutions to how we can begin improving our relationships. I recommend that you get this book as soon as possible and read it with your spouse! Knowledge is power and this book brings a lot to the table! It will transform your marriage!