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Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: "The Love and Respect Experience"

TITLE: The Love & Respect Experience: A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love
AUTHOR: Emerson Eggerichs
PUBLISHER: Nashville, TN: Thomas-Nelson, 2011, (295 pages).

This is one of the best couples' devotional available in the market right now. In a market where couples' devotionals tend to appeal more to women, this devotional seeks to correct the tilt by presenting the material that meets BOTH sexes. It is based on the best selling "Love & Respect" book about a simple idea: husbands to learn to love their wives, and wives to respect their husbands. It practices the three cycles, and hones in on the Pink and Blue lenses of couples. The Crazy Cycle says:
"Without love, she reacts without respect. Without respect, he reacts without love."
The Energizing Cycle asserts:
"His love motivates her respect. Her respect motivates his love."
The Rewarded Cycle promises the ultimate goal:
"His love blesses regardless of her respect. Her respect blesses regardless of his love."
One way to consistently put these cycles into practice is by adopting the COUPLE (for women) and the CHAIRS (for men) acronyms. With 52 devotionals, one per week, the author encourages couples to work at it freely without couples coercing the other to do it. There is no need to do the same devotional at the same time. In other words, couples can work on a different devotional each week with a simple promise to discuss it at some point in the journey. The key thing is to let the devotional help the husband to see from the 'pink' perspective by using the COUPLE method, and the wife to see from the 'blue' perspective by adopting the CHAIRS method. As a devotional, the chapter is intentionally brief so that the reader can consider the insight and the questions in a more reflective manner.

COUPLE = Closeness; Openness; Understanding; Peacemaking; Loyalty; Esteem.

CHAIRS = Conquest; Hierarchy; Authority; Insight; Relationship; Sexuality.

My Thoughts

It is very tempting to be dismissive of such books saying: "I've heard that before." or "There is nothing new in it." I beg to differ. While there is not much novelty or great revelations to the individual, it is not so when worked upon together by husbands and wives. Those with 'pink' lenses may say 'I see,' when she understands the male perspective. Those with 'blue' lenses may think, 'Oops!' when he discovers the female point of view.

The result is a surprisingly effective marriage relationship manual cum devotional. It reminds me again that the most effectual stuff are those that are simple and easy to apply. This book meets the grade. The look and feel of the book cover tells us that the book is meant to be used frequently, perhaps to be shared by many. That is why the quality of the cover pages are of a higher quality. Kudos to the publisher for their thoughtfulness. Complete with a suggested prayer and a probing question, the chapters are written to be understood easily and practically. After all, a devotional should be free of theological jargon or excessive details, so that couples can browse casually through the book at bedtime. More importantly, they should be spending more time talking to each other instead of focusing on the book. The appendices at the back of the book are extremely helpful as they summarize the main ideas of L&R, and provide additional discussion questions and resources. I highly recommend this book for all couples, both married and unmarried. The price of this book is far cheaper than marital counselling. Perhaps, it can even save a marriage!

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson.

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