This book is essentially a Christian version of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." It's central hypothesis is that men and women see the world differently and have different needs and that because of this misunderstanding often causes problems in marriage. (In this way it is also a bit like the five love languages stuff) The solution according to Eggerichs is that men need to love their wives, and women need to respect their husbands... whether or not they feel they deserve it at that moment in time. Eggerichs helpfully diagnoses the "crazy cycle" which is a vicious circle where withholding love or respect from your spouse causes your spouse to withhold the love or respect that you desire which causes you to withhold even more, etc, etc. This book is very practically focused and I have to say the advice is pretty good. A lot of people would benefit from reading this and I will definitely use some of this material in my own ministry. but I do have some significant issues with this book.
- it is too long and rambling, it needs to be half the length and have a much tighter structure
- Eggerichs never actually defines what exactly he means by love and respect he just takes it as a given, although we do get some clarity from his examples of what constitutes love and respect, these words have a wide potential range of meaning and it needed clarifying
- Eggerichs spends far too much time promoting his ministry and conferences, which is annoying
- Eggerichs overdoes how unique and original his teaching is, which is annoying
- this book is hopelessly stuck in middle America and it would have benefited from being based broader culturally, this limits its usefulness in other contexts
- the use of scripture in this book is appalling, proof texting, paraphrasing and downright inaccuracy abound, although none of his conclusions are 'unbiblical' as such, he behaves as if the scripture were written directly to address middle class 21st C American marital problems, this made it hard for me to recommend
[This book review was done under the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program, go to http://brb.thomasnelson.com/ for details.]