As of late, I’ve been trying to become a more avid reader. I have a difficult time commiting myself to books. TV shows and movies have never been an issue, but books are a different story. So when my boyfriend told me about “Love & Respect,” a book by Emerson Eggerichs, and asked me if I’d read it, I knew it was my chance to become a devoted reader. He’d heard about the book while listening to a Dave Ramsey podcast. Dave’s glowing recommendation prompted a quick Amazon purchase.
He told me the book targeted married couples, but that anyone in a relationship would benefit. “It will help us learn how to handle conflict better,” he said. Generally, we get along fine but like every couple, we hit the occassional roadblock from time to time. This book was proven to highlight how to fulfill a woman’s desire for love and a man’s desire for respect. By knowing how to fulfill these desires, conflict would be easier to resolve or avoid altogether.
After less than two months, I can officially label myself as a “Love & Respect” finisher. I learned a great deal from this book. I laughed, I cried and I trusted that God was speaking to me within the pages. The primary message was Ephesians 5:33: “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” This Bible verse directly states that women need love, while men need respect. By understanding your partner’s essential need, you will start to see how your actions or words can come across as unloving or disrespectful in certain situations.
This book is organized into three parts: The Crazy Cycle, The Energizing Cycle and The Rewarded Cycle. Every couple has taken a spin on The Crazy Cycle (“Without love, she reacts without respect and without respect, he reacts without love”). This cycle is where conflict runs rampant and one or both parties are left feeling unloved/disrespected. Eggerichs says the reason for this is because men and women see and hear things differently (blue vs. pink sunglasses and hearing aids). Being aware of this is a start, but in Part II Eggerichs takes it a step further by outlining two helpful acronyms.
C-O-U-P-L-E and C-H-A-I-R-S are both discussed in Part II: The Energizing Cycle (“His love motivates her respect and her respect motivates his love”). These acronyms spell out how to show respect to men and love to women. When a man exercises Closeness, Openness, Understanding, Peacemaking, Loyalty and Esteem to his woman, he provides her with the love she deserves and yearns for deeply. Likewise, when a woman exercises Conquest, Hierarchy, Authority, Insight, Relationship and Sexuality to her man, she is openly giving him the respect he deserves and yearns for deeply.
By following these acronyms on a daily basis, your relationship will transition into Part III: The Rewarded Cycle (“His love blesses regardless of her respect and her respect blesses regardless of his love”). This section teaches that loving and respecting your partner, particularly in marriage, is not about your partner. It’s about your obligation to God. In Ephesians 5:33, God instructs every husband to love his wife and every wife to respect her husband. So regardless of how your partner is treating you, you need to uphold your promise to God by continuing to treat them with the love and respect they deserve. When you understand these cycles, you will understand how to strengthen and maintain your relationship/marriage and stay off The Crazy Cycle.
Thank you Emerson Eggerichs. You taught us both so much.