I started my 2010 “30 Book” Challenge by reading The Language of Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. Anyone who knows me well knows that I don't like to harm the books I read in any way. I don't open them fully, I remove jackets so they don't get bent, I don't write in them, etc. The exception to that rule is if I am reading a book that I know I will need to keep on my shelf to revisit over and over. This was one of those books. I got about 20 pages into it and realized I was going to have to grab a pen and start over, making notes along the way.
As the subtitle of the book ("Cracking the Communication Code with Your Mate") suggests, the whole book is about communication. Eggerichs points out that men and women are, by their very nature, as different as pink and blue. Women see through pink glasses and hear through pink hearing aids while men see and hear in blue. Therein lies the problem. He goes on, however, to show how couples can work around those differences, since trying to change them will only leave couples frustrated and in what he calls "The Crazy Cycle."
Behind all of the advice on how to deal with day to day conversations, how to make your spouse feel loved/respected, and how to better understand how your spouse feels, Eggerichs' main point is that the solution lies in your relationship with God.
For a marriage to thrive, a wife should respect her husband as herself, and a husband should love his wife as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:33) The key is that this love and respect must be unconditional. As Eggerichs writes, "Yes, the two of you are very different, and I am telling you to love and respect unconditionally anyway." He later points out that this unconditional love and respect can only be offered to a spouse "by being faithful--to God, to His Word, and to your spouse."
I highly recommend this book or any other books/DVD's by Eggerichs. He has a great insight into men and women and into marriage itself. You can check out the products he has available here. Has anyone else read any of his books or been to one of his seminars?