Love & Respect By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Just as there seems to be no end to conflict in marriage, there seems to be no end of books to address this conflict. Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is hands down one of the best of its genre. While most of the others focus on loving each other in a way they understand, Eggerichs focuses on the deepest needs of a woman’s and a man’s hearts. For a woman, that need is love. It is the way she is wired by God. That is why men are commanded to love their wives. They crave it. They need it. For men, that need is respect. As Eggerichs points out, that is why Ephesians 5:33 does not tell women to love their husbands. That is natural for them. Remember, they are wired for love. They are commanded to respect their husbands. That is what their husbands need. When husbands are unloving toward their wives and wives are disrespectful toward their husbands, it creates a cycle of this behavior. Eggerichs calls this the “crazy cycle”. In part two of the book, he gives practical advice for husbands on how to show love toward their wives and for wives on how to show respect for their husbands. He uses the acronyms COUPLE for how to show love and CHAIRS for how to show respect. You will have to read the book to find out what they stand for!
Of all the books on marriage I have read, this one stands out as one of the most practical. Its helpfulness is due to its simplicity. I highly recommend this book. It is appropriate for married couples, regardless of how long they have been married. I think it is also appropriate for couples preparing for marriage. It could be used in a small group setting and a companion workbook is available.