To build this couples devotional, Eggerichs has taken the top concerns that surfaced in a survey of thousands of couples and has developed 52 devotionals around the three cycles that are at the heart of Love and Respect:
I received this book as a free review copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing as part of their Booksneeze programme in exchange for an honest review.
The book is sold as A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love. The implication here, and throughout the book, is that men are selfish creatures with short attention spans who need to be given short sentences to make them interested in reading. Sorry, but that was how I read it.
What did I like about the book?
- It is visibly pleasing. It is a soft-cover edition with a genuine imitation leather cover that makes it pleasing to look at, and a stylish addition to my bookshelf. It looks great lying next to my bed.
- A lot of the philosophy resonated with me and my understanding of male/female dynamics. The essential point that men seek respect and women seek love is a true one I think, and is bourn out in Ephesians 5, and real life.
- It encourages couples to find their own method of doing bible study and devotion, rather than feeling guilty that they don’t do it a certain way. There are 52 chapters, and we are told to do them in any order. We are also told that it is okay to read them separately and discuss them together later.
Where did I have a problem?
- It is theologically light. Most of the content is presented as vague pop-psychology and theories with bible verses stretched to “support” the idea.
- It portrays men and women as being very different, almost irredeemably different, and that we will never fully understand each other.
- It refers far too much to the authors earlier works, and conferences, and teaching series, and publishes theories. I found it hard to read in the absence of having read his previous works, and he talks about theories and ideas as if we have all read them before and attended a course.
My general conclusion?
This book may work for some people, but I found it a little light on substance and patronising. If you are struggling with traditional devotionals, and want to try something new, maybe it will work for you. For myself, I plan to keep looking for something a little better.