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Love & Respect

Love & Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs


The big idea of this book is that men need unconditional respect. This means that wives should unconditionally respect their husbands, regardless of whether or not they feel like he deserves it. Typically, marriage conferences and books focus on love. However, Dr. Eggerichs argues that love alone is not enough. Men need respect. Dr. Eggerichs bases his argument on Ephesians 5:33, in which Paul says, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

My Thoughts

When I started reading this book, I was immediately captivated. The idea that men need respect more than they need love was a new concept to me, and it resonated well. I agree. From a male’s perspective, it was easy to identify and agree with Dr. Eggerich’s assertion, and he presented some data to support his claim. However, by heavily focusing on the fact that men need unconditional respect, the book can come across as chauvinistic at times. I don’t think this was his intention. In fact, I think that the book does a good job conditionalizing the claim that men need unconditional respect. Dr. Eggerich very clearly states that women need unconditional love. Also, he clearly states that both men and women need both love and respect. There are many books and teachings that focus on unconditional love, but no other resources that recognize men’s need for unconditional respect. In this book, there are many examples of letters from couples that exemplify men’s need for respect. There are countless letters from wives who began to show respect from their husbands, and in turn, this either saved the marriage or encouraged the husband to respond with love. This book is unique, because it highlights that men need unconditional respect from their wives. To drive home this point, the author spends a lot time emphasizing it, and by the end of the book, it felt repetitive.

Dr. Eggerich explains that men and women communicate differently, view the world differently, and have different needs in marriage. These differences can cause marriages to spiral downward in a “crazy cycle” and eventually disintegrate. Women need to receive love to make love, whereas men need to make love to give love. This is a perfect example of the different needs that can cause the “crazy cycle” to spin out of control. My favorite example that demonstrates the difference between men and women is that men view the world through blue glasses and hear the world through blue earpieces. On the other hand, women see the world through pink sunglasses and hear through pink earpieces. To avoid spiraling in the “crazy cycle,” Dr. Eggerich offers some advice to husbands and wives.

Husbands love your wives by practicing COUPLE

C : Closeness – be close to your wife by hugging her, holding her hand, and talk to her face-to-face

O : Openness – speak openly with her about your feelings and pray with her

U : Understanding – listen to her. You don’t need to solve all her problems

P : Peacemaking – admit when you are wrong and say “I’m sorry”

L : Loyalty – let he know that you are committed to her by speaking highly of her and not looking at other women

E : Esteem – let her know that you honor and cherish her

Wives respect your husbands by practicing CHAIRS

C : Conquest – he desires to work and achieve

H : Hierarchy – he desires to protect and excel

A : Authority – his job is to serve and be the leader

I : Insight – he wants to solve problems. Let him give counsel and advice

R : Relationship – he appreciates shoulder-to-shoulder friendship. Do activities with him

S : Sexuality – he desires sexual intimacy

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