Upcoming New Book Study

We will be taking several weeks off from book studies in preparation for our next book study. This will give you time to acquire a copy of the book we will be working through together. The book I have selected to lead a discussion on is Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

We will be discussing several chapters each week otherwise it will take too long to work through the book, so for those who wish to participate be ready on Monday, May 2 to begin discussing chapters 1 and 2 of this book.

Disclaimer: In general, I am not a person who does well with books that offer black and white assumptions and solutions, especially as it pertains to men and women. At the outset of reading Love and Respect I knew it would trigger a lot of frustrations for me and looking over the table of content alone I could see that the book would reflect the stereotype that “men are the ones in the relationship who want the sex.” In beginning to read the first several chapters, I could also see that it leans heavily towards, “Women are the ones who rant and get in their husbands faces and men are the ones who shut down.” These first several chapters also left me feeling that while I chose this book thinking that it spoke to both men and women, it really felt like it was more a book with a message for women. It seemed that the examples all focused on teaching women the importance of respecting their husbands and the points where the author talks about men loving their wives, felt strangely as though they too were directed towards women as an acknowledgement of this need in a woman. I do not disagree that my husband needs me to respect him or that I need him to love me, but I found it odd that the book seemed to lean so far in the one direction when I had assumed upon choosing it, that it would speak to both equally. My feeling that the book was directed towards women was confirmed as accurate when I read the following from page 66, “Our Love and Respect message is designed to help wives see that their big, powerful husbands are really in need of something that wives can give – respect.”  I do not disagree with this, I just didn’t understand based on the description of the book that it would lean so far in that direction, at least in the first section of the book. The other thing I will openly admit to disliking about the book is that the author comes across to me as trying to fit pretty much everything in the relationship into these boxes of women needing love and men needing respect. While he admits that women also need respect and men need love, in his fervour of defending the opposite as higher needs, I think he errs in assuming too much about all relationships and expresses some arguments that are not well founded. I do believe that there is a legitimate reason why the Word is specific about wives respecting their husbands and husbands loving their wives, but trying to fit all aspects of the relationship into those directives results in confusion, I believe.

So why did I choose this book?

I selected this book knowing that it would trigger my distaste for statements that include the sentiment, “Men are like this. Women are like that,” because I have been processing through the directive in scripture that wives ought to respect their husbands. Now, the man I chose as my husband also happens to be a man who is filled with integrity and worthy of respect so in my case honouring him with respect comes mostly natural, although I do not claim to have always treated him in a respectful way 100% of the time. The reason I selected this book, knowing it would be a challenge for me to read, is because the Lord has been stirring me to pursue an understanding of what He means when He says that I ought to respect my husband. My definition of respect (a thought or feeling of high regard in response to a persons honourable actions and intentions) doesn’t fit with how I currently perceive references in scripture about respect which seem to indicate that respect ought to be an unconditional, underlying current regardless of the other person’s behaviour. What if there is more to it than I currently understand? I believe the Lord is going to use this book to bring me revelations that will show me more of His truth and so I invite you to journey with me through Love and Respect, even if you are like me and the stereotypes turn you off. There will be something the Lord will teach you if you approach Him with an open, teachable heart as you read.

For those who do not feel that it would be edifying to participate in the discussion, please refrain. If you would like to respectfully point out your opinion without attacking that of others, feel free to participate.

 

5 Comments

  1. having read and worked through this book several times, i totally understand where you’re coming from as you approach Eggerichs’s approach. it is, at times, too specific to really be applicable to everyone. however, i have still used these principles and applied them to my marriage as best i could – even when my husband was refusing sex – and i have found that i am able to reach him and have my needs met by using many, if not always all, of the principles listed herein.

    i look forward to seeing your perspectives, as well as those of other women who frequent this site, especially since the first time i went through the book, i was young and unmarried, and none of the married women in my church felt it was worthwhile to deeply discuss this book with me. i wish they had. it might have saved me a lot of pain, then and since.

  2. I have already read this book once before–and I do agree that it fits relationships into a box. While I was able to apply much of what this book presented, it wasn’t as cut and dry as they made it appear.
    With that said, however, I think it’s a good read and a good reminder. For me, especially being a newlywed, there are times I need a good kick in the pants reminder that I need to respect my husband (and that he doesn’t always think like me)

    I’m looking forward to doing this book study, even with all the faults 🙂

  3. I’m in. I already have this book and want to read it with DH. I have read some of it before I don’t agree that it leans so far to the woman’s side. I do agree with the author that, while every relationship is different, feeling loved is the basic underlying need of women and respect is for men. So, I’ll be doing my best to read along. Considering that I am due to have this baby on Saturday I may get a bit behind at times but I really want to ready along with you.

  4. I attended one of their conferences and then later bought a copy of the book. Like Maureen, I didn’t feel it was all “in-your-face” or putting everything into one of 2 boxes. I believe Emerson stresses it many times in both the conferences and the book because it’s so easy to forget and/or give it a “yeah-yeah” kind of response.

    I could be wrong. I’m still looking forward to the study and the viewpoints of all who’ll be participating :).

  5. I’m a newlywed. I’m married to my best friend-an awesome, loving, sexy man. We are both strong christians and came into our marriage with eyes mostly wide open (although we were very prepared-we were also in that lovey dovey engagment phase…) After about four months, i knew we were having more conflicts than either of us wanted or expected, mostly normal, i think, but we wanted to be better. i picked up this book. Reading through it and applying the ‘techniques’ the author suggests has greatly decreased the conflicts and increased moments of understanding between my husband and me. The word ‘submission’ has been so corrupted by the world that it is difficult for me to do, but Emmerson explains respect/submission in great ways. I am learning to be more flexible and asking my husband’s opinion more. He appreciates this and, in turn, does the same. This book, along with simply learning how to live with each other, communicating better, has had a very positive impact on our new marriage. Very excited about the book study!!


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