Monday, March 05, 2012

The Love and Respect Experience

I recently finished reading The Love and Respect Experience: A Husband Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love, written by Emerson Eggerichs.

I was excited to read through the devotional as I have been teaching through the DVD series in my church over the past 4 months. Initially I was a bit disappointed, as I had hoped that the context of the devotional would be more specific in further fleshing out the ideas presented in the Love and Respect book and DVD series. As I have spent some time with the devotional, however, I have come to really appreciate what Dr. Eggerichs is doing in this devotional book.

The key to understanding the purpose of the book is in grasping the subtitle - A Husband Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love. Dr. Eggerichs, rather that just repackage the ideas of Love and Respect in another format, has actually written a series of 52 short devotional readings that are meant to help couples practice Love and Respect as they read together. The introduction explains why he wrote the way that he did. The failure of many "couple's devotional books" lies in the fact that they are geared to activities and readings that best fit a wife's basic need for love and miss the husband's need for respect. His theory (and I agree with his theory) is that if the husband can share these times with his wife in a way that meets his emotional need, he will more likely respond to her in ways that meet hers.

I spent a lot of time reading through the devotional chapters and I think that Dr. Eggerichs has done an excellent job. The devotions are solid Biblically, practical, and designed to get both people looking for what God is calling them to do in their own lives, rather than what God is calling their mate to do. They make it easy to do what Dr. Eggerichs calls, "...the chief (really, the only) ground rule: share what God is saying to your heart, not what you think He needs to say to your mate." (p. xvi)

If you have never encountered the key ideas of "Love and Respect", there is an excellent summary in the back of this book. I would highly encourage you to start there, moving from there to the introduction, and then on to the readings.

In a nutshell, this book wasn't what I was expecting, but I found it to be very useful. A great tool for any couple, and an excellent way to begin to work out the dynamics of "Love and Respect" in their spiritual lives.

Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson