Love and Respect:
The Love She Most Desires;
The Respect He Desperately Needs
by Emerson Eggerichs
The young woman holds out a hand to reveal her shiny, new wedding ring. “We just got married. Life is perfect. He is perfect. When we hang up the phone, we have to have a play argument about who loves the other more. I am the luckiest girl in the world,” she gushes. We smile at her, walk away, gag ourselves, and throw up in the bushes. Anyone who has been married for some time knows the deepest, darkest secrets of marriage. “Bless her heart,” we say.
Marriage is something that used to be valued. The ring on your finger meant that you would be with that individual for the rest of your life (no matter what). Now statistics show that around 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. What has happened?
Emerson Eggerichs is an internationally known public speaker on the topic of marriage, parenting, communication, and more. He spends 30 hours a week studying the Bible, and one day he noticed something about a familiar passage of scripture. Ephesians 5:32-33 (NIV) says, “This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” The lightbulb went off in his head. Could it really be that simple? Wives need love and husbands need respect? Do most arguments start because the husband says something that sounds unloving and the wife responds with something that sounds disrespectful so the husband responds in an unloving way? The tensions rise and off goes what Eggerichs calls “the crazy cycle.”
It may have taken Eggerichs a long time to figure it out, but the Bible has said it all along.
My thoughts: This book should be required reading for all Christians, married or single. As soon as I read the first few pages of this book, I said, “That’s why she responded that way. That’s why I responded that way. It all makes sense now.” You will recognize your relationship in this book. Some will make you laugh. Some will make you hang your head in shame. But if you actually implement this book (and what the Bible has said all along) into your marriage, you will be amazed at what happens. The “crazy cycle” throws all of us for a loop, but there is a way to stop it. “Life is great. She is my wife. We sometimes have play-arguments about who loves the other more. I am a blessed man.” If you need to gag yourself and throw up in the bushes, go right ahead. I love my marriage, and I love my wife.
Ricky Statham is director at Oneonta Public Library. Visit the library Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to check out this or another great book.