Love & Respect–Giving Balls & Ovaries Back Everywhere

randomlychad  —  January 3, 2013 — 8 Comments

'humanity. love. respect.' photo (c) 2010, B.S. Wise - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Today, on , there’s quite a lively discussion on what she views as the sexism inherent in Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’s book, Love and Respect. The post is called “Giving Our Men Their Balls Back? How Old-School Misogyny is Thriving Among Christians.”

I read the post. It seems to me that, with all due respect, Ms. Esther is viewing Dr. Eggerichs’s work through a feminist filter, and thus comes to a faulty conclusion. It seems to be that she is basing her critique more on a genre of Christian literature (“I have the answers”), than on this specific work. For if she read the book, or attended the conference, she would know that sexism, and thus misogyny, is the farthest thing from Dr. Eggerichs’s mind.

Yes, the title is Love and Respect, which is derived from Ephesians 6:33, and which states “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Certainly, there is the potential for abuse here, for the Scriptures to be twisted, taken out of context, made to mean something they don’t. But the potential for abuse doesn’t make them any less true.

Likewise, the good message that Emerson Eggerichs, and his wife Sarah, are proclaiming, has similar potential to be taken to places it was never intended to go. This is what I see Ms. Esther doing: equating the potential for abuse with actual abuse. If she had read the book, or attended one of the conferences, she would know that the message being proclaimed is for good-willed people.

Don’t get me wrong: she has every right to point out the potential for abuse. But potentiality is not actuality.

The core of the message of Love and Respect is getting both men, and women, to think, and act, biblically. Yes, both genders need love–and respect. Eggerichs says so. To state otherwise would be ridiculous. His point is that the command of Ephesians 6:33 is phrased the way it is because they God who made us knows our natures, and knows we need the reminder.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is living by faith, trusting our spouses to God, and faithfully obeying him. Because we all know how well things work out when we try to change each other (hint: it doesn’t).

In the end, Ms. Esther is entitled to her opinion, but having read both the book, and attended the seminar, I have seen the fruit in my marriage. And no one can take that away.

And is not that the biblical Litmus test of any message? “You shall know them by their fruit.”

Love and Respect: giving balls, and ovaries, back everywhere.

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • Agreed. I can see how an at-first-glance approach to Love & Respect might be off-putting to people, but the simple fact that it works and has helped so many marriages has got to serve as some kind of proof that it is actually true about how we’re created. I know, how misogynous of me…

    • Thanks, Stephen! As you indicate, the proof is in the pudding.

    • Amen.

  • good piece, chad. i think you’re missing a link to the discussion in question, though, in the first sentence.

    so true: potentiality is not reality. the thing that kept ringing through my head as i read this was my disdain for battle of the sexes mentality. and, really, that’s what ms. esther is flaring up here. news flash, people: men and women are different! we have different needs, desires, wants, and body parts! men are predisposed to certain things, women are predisposed to others. that does not make one or the other superior or inferior; it makes us complementary.

    …i could go on, but i think you get my point.

    haven’t read love & respect, but have wanted to. not that my marriage is in trouble, but anything that helps keep it strong and make it stronger is a thumb’s up to me!

    • Different, but equal. Different, but not wrong--just different.

      It seems that anything that even hints (or seems to hint) at misogyny gets scrutinized, but misandry is quite acceptable. Why is that? Why is it acceptable for men to be portrayed as buffoons in sitcoms?

      I could go on.

      But, yeah--we’re not in a battle here. At least not between the sexes. The battle is, quite frankly, with a different enemy altogether. One who glories in such divisiveness, who loves to see men and women at odds, marriages destroyed…

      Good catch on the link, man! Thanks!

  • you’ve seen the “fruit” in your marriage? was this due to you showing more “love” (which by the way, if you can turn it off or on is hollow) or by demanding more respect? Even fear can look like respect.