Love & Respect (book review)

Love & Respect

My Grandma used to say this poem, “Good, better, best, never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best.” I thought of this again while reading Emerson Eggerichs’ book Love & Respect. If your marriage is bad, this book can help it get good; if your marriage is already good, this book can help it getter even better; if your marriage is already better, you can use this book to “best it.”

Many of the principles in this book generated an initial push-back from me. I found myself thinking, “I’m not so sure that would work.” But as I read on, I found almost all of those initial hesitancies dissolving.

The book is divided into three overarching sections that cover the three cycles in which your marriage could be: the Crazy Cycle (a bad marriage), the Energizing Cycle (a good marriage), and the Rewarded Cycle (the best marriage). Throughout all of the sections, there is sound, biblically-based counsel for husbands and wives. The title of the book—and most of the underlying principles—come from Ephesians 5:33 where the Apostle Paul tells women to respect their husbands, while husbands are to love their wives.

Be forewarned: the first part of this book felt a little like a commercial for Dr. Eggerichs’ Love & Respect seminar. And oftentimes I felt he was “plugging” his seminar throughout the book. But if you don’t mind the occasional sales-pitch feel, you will uncover some great truths to help your marriage go from bad to better to best.

I am a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Familiar Conversations

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I read a long time ago the statement, “Leaders are readers.” I’m a wholehearted supporter of this. Thanks to a marvelously talented carpenter in our church, I have a new home for all of my books. I was so excited to get my library out of boxes and onto the shelves.

Actually, they’re more than just books, they are familiar conversations. Rene Descartes said, “The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.” I agree.

People often ask me what I’m reading or what they should be reading. As to the second question—what should they read—I answer, “What conversation would you like to have? Is there an area of your life you would love to talk with someone who’s been-there-done-that?” That’s what reading is, having a conversation with some of the great thinkers or most articulate people in past or modern history.

As to the first question—what am I reading—I try to keep readers of the blog up-to-date. Down the right column you will see the list of books I have in progress, and the ones I’ve read this year. Let me highlight just a couple of books.

Wounded Healer. To go deeper in my relationships with others, I have to be able to relate to them at deeper levels. Henri Nouwen has captured the essence of this in Wounded Healer. We cannot minister to others out of our wounds, but out of our scars. In other words, once we’ve healed, but the scar is still there to remind us of the wound, we’re ready to help others heal from the same injury.

Love & Respect. Even though Betsy and I have known each other for nearly 25 years, I know I can still learn more about being a better husband. Emerson Eggerichs is helping me do a better job.

21 Laws of Leadership. This is a classic leadership book from John Maxwell. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read through this book. But I’m going through it again with my church Board, and watching John teach the video series on this book too. Every time I have this conversation with John Maxwell I learn something new.

To be a better leader in any area of your life, don’t shy away from having better conversations with great authors. If you’ve got a book to suggest, send it my way. I’d also be happy to help you find a book as a conversation-starter for you, just ask me.

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