Love and Respect: Full Review
This book is hard to accept. It provides the best advice I have ever come across for altering the unresolved and unsolvable issues in marriage. It is a solid lesson in practical theology. It is the kind of thinking about God that when applied makes a real difference.
The material in this book can help you understand why your arguments do not produce intimacy. It will explain why your current problem solving strategies are creating contempt and ill will. This book can stir up many personal things. Here is the hardest part, you must have the right values, commitment and maturity to implement what’s in the book. The material will stir up fear. The fear of being wrong. The fear of change. The fear that God has told us to love and respect and we are too prideful to obey him. So the question becomes are you able to face your fears and obey God or not. It is much safer to talk about communication skills or how he or she does annoying things.
Most couples who come to counseling do not have “we thinking” each person has “me thinking”. For this reason they can sometimes agree and still not be united. Unity requires the belief that this partner of mine has my best interest at heart. “Me thinking” is not capable of producing such personal sacrifice. Marriage is the opportunity to make personal sacrifices everyday for the best interest of the one you love.
Emerson Eggerich says, “The real issue is always love and respect. Everything else is just filling in the details.” Every married couples knows you can see love and respect played out in almost every exchange.
Cycles Within Marriage
The Crazy Cycle
The crazy cycle explains most marital arguments. It goes like this: Without love from him, she reacts without respect; without respect from her, he reacts without love. Round and round it goes. Each one feeling more unloved/disrespected with each passing argument. Until someone takes the big risk and demonstrates unconditional love or unconditional respect.
The Energizing Cycle
The energizing cycle happens when you give unconditional respect and unconditional love. It goes like this: His love motivates her respect, her respect motivates his love. Round and round it goes. Until someone perceives disrespect or unloving behavior, and then the crazy cycle starts.
The Rewarded Cycle
The rewarded cycle happens as one extends grace to the other. It goes like this: His love blesses regardless of her respect; her respect blesses regardless of his love. That sacrifice has the power to change hearts.
The cycles and the various list of things to do are supported by biblical instruction. This is part of what makes this so difficult. If you are a Christ follower and you are not doing it this way, you may need to rethink who you are following. Eggerichs says, “We don’t have a “marriage crisis” in the Christian community; we have a crisis of faith.” Here are the key scripture references for Love and Respect.
I Peter 3:1-2, 7
I Cor 7:3-4, 28
Eggerichs supports gender equality and gender uniqueness in that we are male/female. The challenge for us is to hold two opposing ideas to be true at the same time. He uses the terms “first in importance” and “first among equals” to suggest how we might live in such tension. No organization has two people in charge. It will lead to infighting, division, mistrust, and failure. Someone needs to be first. “When he honors her as first in importance and she respects him as first among equals, their marriage works.”
The concepts of love and respect are neat. Who wouldn’t like them? The application of unconditional love and unconditional respect are game changers. The acid test of your belief may come down to this: How do you pray? Do you pray, “bless me and change him” or “Change me and bless him.” Do you pray, “bless me and change her” or “Change me and bless her.”
If new ideas are helpful but they aren’t producing the traction you need to move things forward then maybe we can help. Visit our Services Page to learn more about our coaching and counseling services.