Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has been on my reading radar for years. Many of my friends and acquaintances said I should read it. Admittedly, when I first started reading, I was agitated. The front cover alone made the hairs on my neck bristle. “The Love She Most Desires”, “The Respect He Desperately Needs”. This, to me, downplayed the “love” part of the equation and emphasized the “respect” side. Regardless, I opened the book. Immediately, I found more wording that assaulted my eyes. To me, it wasn’t an issue between men and women. It was a human problem. To have to explain to couples to BE NICE – it was infuriating. Furthermore, to stress which side of the equation had to be nice! Ugh. I stuck with it though. I determined in my mind that there had to be a reason everyone loved the book.
As I proceeded, I did so slowly and with caution. About half way through, I started to calm down. His wording changed. It was more about our relationship with our God and trusting Him than about the other person. It’s a question of obedience to Him, trusting His word, and doing what’s right despite those around us. Finally, I could agree with what he was saying.
Side note: Character development is pretty much a hobby of mine. I love reading about it, challenging myself, observing others, etc. Everything about it is amazing to me. God created us to grow, to learn, to connect. Books like this can be very helpful.
While Love & Respect proved to be worth reading, I don’t like a few things about it. Namely that the author does what many authors who write about these things do. They generalize. After they state that, they’re apt to talk as though what they have to say is fact. I would prefer they start to talk about people – not always designating their statements into “men” and “women” categories. Most people deal with a lot of these things. I would venture a guess that ALL people desire to be respected AND loved. It’s just that it’s probably MORE important to men to be respected and MORE important to women to be loved. Instead of leaning on what separates us, I like to dwell on our similarities and unifying statements. I understand why he doesn’t, but it can be frustrating for me to read given my preferences.
I’m rambling now. I’ll leave it at this: Love & Respect is worth reading. If you struggle with connecting with people, this could prove revolutionary to your relationships.