Book Review: Love & Respect

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (September 1, 2004).

Book Image

As always, there’s an interest in marriage, and especially Biblical-defined marriage on this blog. To that end, this book is of interest given its popularity. As requested by Jeff, here is a review.

Eggerichs makes the whole basis of his book one verse in Ephesians: However, you also, everyone, let each one love his wife as himself, and the wife, that she give deference to the husband. (Ephesians 5:33) In doing that he attempts to describe it using two acronyms in order to avoid the conflict in marriage that the author calls “The Crazy Cycle”: COUPLE and CHAIRS. In using the COUPLE acronym in relationship to men loving women, Eggerichs points to Closeness, Openness, Understanding, Peacemaking, Loyalty, and Esteem. In using the CHAIRS acronym in relationship to women respecting men, the author refers to Conquest, Hierarchy, Authority, Insight, Relationship, and Sexuality.

At 324 pages, this book offers an incredibly repetitive view of one Scripture and could have been shortened considerably. To that end, Eggerichs pulls in other Scriptures, but often pulls them wildly out of context to support his views. The author ignores other Scriptures in order to attempt to make his message more palatable to the world and to the sensibilities of women. In addition, the book offers a feelings-oriented, psychologically-based view instead of a factual-based covenant view of marriage as described in the Bible with the goal to honor God. Eggerichs comes close to this idea in the final chapters (“The Rewarded Cycle”), but falls short in relating this. This is a New York Times bestseller, and if the world loves you, watch out!

While the book contains some kernels thrown towards the men in the name of “respect”, the book fits the definition of traditional feminist marriage to a tee. The book offers no solid discrete Biblical definition of either “love” or “respect”, nor addresses Biblical submission of the wife to the husband sufficiently. Submission is defined as the husband’s responsibility to “protect and provide”, whereby the woman submits by simply accepting what he is expected to do by her will.

The bulk of the good in this book is found in the final chapters in that Eggerichs rejects the idea of the wife being the husband’s Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, the message to men is that “loving their wives as Christ loved the Church” is that they are to be doormats (or worshipers) to women in the guise of chivalry in order to allow her to “change” him. This book encourages the average immaturity of women, and places them as the sole beneficiary of the marriage. Ultimately, respect becomes as described by Dr. Laura in terms of praise and appreciation for all the good “tricks” her husband does to service her every whim.

Finally, Eggerichs shows a poor understanding of marriage and of the natures of men and women in general. He misses the import of what happened to Eve, Adam’s resulting sin and God’s resulting judgment (Genesis 3:17: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife” [rather than God]). He rather misses the rebellious nature of women in buying into the “women as responders” doctrine – “if he would just love her sufficiently, she would fall in line and respect him”.

The reviews of the book on Amazon illustrate a number of other topics that Eggerichs refused to deal with, such as the erroneous view that women need to be respected rather than honored (her desire that her husband submit to her, not existing in Scripture). The average state of rebellion that women exist in before God is a major issue of marriage, but sadly is not dealt with in this book in the name of “respect”.

Overall, this book is another excellent manual of what Blue Pill marriage (Marriage 2.0) looks like. While excellent as a chronicle of such things, it is ultimately useless for advice in dealing with the real and numerous obstacles the society, the churches, women, blue-pill men, and other entities have placed on men who have desired a God-honoring meaningful marriage that bears fruit to His Name.

Rating: 3 out of 10.

Book Cover Image Source: Amazon

11 thoughts on “Book Review: Love & Respect”

  1. I certainly hope you’re not BUYING copies of these churchian books you review, given how consistently (and unsurprisingly) awful they are. It’s painful to think that the clowns who write this drivel are making money off of it.

    This is a New York Times bestseller, and if the world loves you, watch out!

    Truer words have never been spoken. Then again, love of the World and its approval and riches is the only reason why these charlatans even write at all.

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  2. @feeriker
    >I certainly hope you’re not BUYING copies of these churchian books you review

    I only shop in aftermarket places (often 25 or 50 cents), so these jokers really aren’t getting my money. Besides, a few years ago, I realized that I wasn’t going to get too close to describing a lot of the Churchian views without seeing what they were writing in their books. I feel doing that has brought a lot of good fruit out to the forefront. I hope more will come as I get the chance to read these things, as I have numerous manosphere mentioned books here waiting to be looked at.

    Edit: Fun addenda. I just got rid of this book at a 25% profit. So basically for my trouble I got good blog material and got paid.

    One thing I haven’t really talked much about is how uniform a lot of these books are – almost like it’s the same content written different ways. Using the struggle of wives against the “unloving” actions of their husbands, Eggerichs uses the analogy of a spouse stepping on her air hose while she struggling to breathe. Dobson uses the example of his father stepping on a cat’s tail and it struggling about. Dalrock chronicles Joel and Kathy Davisson in the same way. It’s amazing how so many of these sources stumble into the exact same arguments.

    While I could have quoted a lot of Love & Respect for blog posts to discuss a lot of the wrong concepts, so many of them have been covered by me, Dalrock, and numerous others so much that it’s hard to argue that they’d be valuable to look at simply because it’s all so repetitive.

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  3. One thing I haven’t really talked much about is how uniform a lot of these books are – almost like it’s the same content written different ways. Using the struggle of wives against the “unloving” actions of their husbands, Eggerichs uses the analogy of a spouse stepping on her air hose while she struggling to breathe. Dobson uses the example of his father stepping on a cat’s tail and it struggling about. Dalrock chronicles Joel and Kathy Davisson in the same way. It’s amazing how so many of these sources stumble into the exact same arguments.

    Feminized churchianity appears to have some core dogmas that are universal, and everyone who has “drunk the Koolaid” appears to parrot them, probably by now mostly subconsciously. There’s no question that it’s the result of decades of brainwashing, part of the slow convergence of nearly all Christian denominations. Witness the fact that NONE of the dogmatic talking points hold water without torturing Scripture (that is, to the extent that Scripture is even referenced; most often it’s just ignored entirely), and you can see how widespread and deep the rot is.

    As horrible as this book’s advice is, we can safely say that too many (nominal) Christians will look to it for advice ahead of their Bibles.

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  4. @feeriker
    A lot of it is the typical Churchian dogma that people get fed: “Oh, the Bible is too hard for you to understand. You need a pastor to stand up and explain it to you.” Mainly the notion that the Bible is too hard to understand is something that gets fostered so those pastors get their jobs – after all, who needs them to give sermons if people read the Bible for themselves? Like for me, I know what Genesis 3:16 says, so I can debunk Eggerichs in saying that women are good-willed towards their husbands.

    Then there’s a certain amount of laziness for people that are supposed to be preparing and vetting material (they’ve never read Scripture all that much so they don’t know whether stuff is good or not), so they just look for whoever presents themselves as an “authority”. In marriage matters, this is Focus On The Female and Female Life Today. Inevitably, I always seem to find some connection to one of those groups when I look at marriage materials.

    I’ve often wondered whether there’s a generally “good” marriage reference out there, but I’m not holding my breath. I may take a crack at one (more than the Marriage 1.0 series here) if/when I get done with the current book I’m trying to get done (slow for several reasons, mainly that I’d rather be right with the Lord than anything else).

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  5. A hireling at a local megachurch gave me that book. Instead of buying and passing out God’s word. I was quite Blue Pilled at the time. I read the whole book. It just made me mad. I realized I was doing everything the book said I should be doing, and my marriage was only getting worse every day. My wife was doing absolutely zero of her part, in fact she was intentionally withholding all respect, honor, sex, and anything else that might lead to any intimacy between us. The book gave me no good way to fix that other than to try to double down on being her beta orbiter. She read the book too, but it didn’t make a dent in her Intimacy Anorexia. I don’t recall there being any methods given in the book to discipline a wayward wife. My wife has a deep fear and loathing of intimacy instilled in her from earliest childhood. She reacts to attempts to build a bridge, with calculated sabotage, she blows the bridge up and then punishes you for even trying to get close to her. I don’t think that book works on people who won’t ever allow their marriage to get close. My wife was the opposite way when we were dating. She did exactly what was needed to develop our relationship until I married her. Then she instantly began sabotaging the marriage from the wedding day. A book like that has nothing to offer me, however the Bible does have hope to offer. It is too bad that churches won’t counsel from the Bible.

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  6. It is too bad that churches won’t counsel from the Bible.

    They do – selectively, whenever what the Bible says can be tortured to comport with the World’s/feminism’s agenda.

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  7. I’ve often wondered whether there’s a generally “good” marriage reference out there, but I’m not holding my breath.

    It’s going to require a Christian couple who has been “red pilled” (i.e., the wife is committed to being a submissive helpmeet to her husband and the husband is UNQUESTIONABLY the head of his family) to produce such a reference. Whoever does so is certainly NOT going to get rich and famous from it; in fact, they will very likely be targeted for hate, ostracism, and outright persecution by the very “Christians” who should be standing in their corner.

    I honestly can’t think of any ideal candidates to do this. Ken and Lori Alexander are the closest of any renown that I can think of.

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  8. > I don’t recall there being any methods given in the book to discipline a wayward wife.

    There wasn’t. In fact, Eggerichs recommended the exact opposite.

    >It is too bad that churches won’t counsel from the Bible.

    They will, but will only use it if it confirms the world’s view. They warp it in several ways you can see numerous examples of on this blog (which I can gather up into a post if it would be beneficial). Functionally with churches, the Bible is only something that is used to provide a veneer of spirituality to what they’re doing. As a rule, you want to look at the entire passage something is quoted in yourself, using a reliable translation, and see what meaning comes about. Ultimately, a lot of this stuff gets through by simple laziness, and then an unwillingness to call people that do these things on it.

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  9. ballista74,

    Thanks for reviewing this book.

    I am part way through reading this. Eggrich does blame wives and husbands equally for marriage problems. This is an improvement over many marriage books. On his YouTube videos he gets lots of complaints from churchian feminists that he is using “respect” as a sneaky way to encourage wifely submission.

    Serious question; is there a better Christian marriage book? One you could recommend more highly?

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  10. > using “respect” as a sneaky way to encourage wifely submission.

    Indeed. That’s part of the problem with all forms of feminism. Women are supposed to only benefit from marriage and have no responsibilities, while men are supposed to only carry the burdens and not get anything out of it. Especially, the woman can’t submit to the man, ever. It especially fits the traditional feminist model – the wife isn’t the goddess to be bowed down to and served if she actually has to answer to the man in any way. But it doesn’t fit the Biblical one at all.

    > Serious question; is there a better Christian marriage book? One you could recommend more highly?

    I can’t say I can think of one that hits all the right Biblical bases. Best one I’ve run across is The Christian Couple by Christensen, but it still has its problems too. (As a clue, you’d have to find an old book probably.) To a large extent, reading the Marriage 1.0 series here probably would do most better than a lot of the books out there, at least in Biblical theory. Of course, about every husband/wife in ministry has thought to do a marriage book, so there’s lots of them out there and a lot of them in my pile waiting to be looked at – mainly ones that have been noted on other blog sites somewhere.

    That said, for those that are curious, I’ve been busy with several more needful things, along with reading through Gilder’s “Men and Marriage” for the blog. There’s enough there I’ll probably end up blogging every chapter from the way it’s looking from all the notes I’m taking. A lot of it is very manosphere, at least in topics, and I notice most other sites don’t get past the first chapter. Since Dobson and Stanton are his acolytes, I think it’ll be worth it.

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  11. ballista74,

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I will look for a used copy.

    I read “Men and Marriage” many, many years ago. At the time I was a hard core bachelor and the book helped me to see some benefits of marriage. But, the book has big negatives, Gilder is a goddess worshiper and he thinks that women civilize men individually, and across society.

    The best antidote for Gilder is, “The Garbage Generation” by Dr. Daniel Amneuss. Chapter 7 is a debunking of Gilder:

    https://www.fisheaters.com/gb7.html

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