First, this book includes some gender specific communication advice derived in part from the work of Deborah Tannen and John Gottman. I respect the notion that men and women are different and communicate in different ways. I resist the extremes of this position and the many ways it is manipulated. For example, I agree with Gottman's statement, cited by Eggerichs on page 60,
- "The more wives complain and criticize, the more husbands withdraw and stonewall."
- I've asked any number of businessmen, "Do you want your associates to love you or respect you?" They all laugh and say, "I could care less if they love me, but respect me? Absolutely!" Right or wrong, men interpret their world through the respect grid, and a wife's softened tone and facial expressions can do more for her marriage than she can imagine. (page 65)
My last post discusses in more detail how Eggerichs misinterprets Gottman's work to support his notion that men need respect and women need love.
Now I want to respond to two questions. The first one is whether the Bible actually says that men need respect and women need love, or whether it says that wives should "fear their husbands. Gem writes,
- Ephesians 5:33 is not telling wives to respect/reverence their husbands. It is telling wives to phobeo/FEAR their husbands.
- Google the terms "MGTOW" and "eggerich" in one search and see for yourself. Click around and you'll be disgusted at what you find.
In order to respond adequately to Gem's question, it will require a fair bit of analysis of the Greek terms which are translated into English as "respect." I want to be clear that I personally do not consider the use of these terms to be the foundation for marriage counselling in the way that Eggerichs does. My purpose is to demonstrate that the paradigm Eggerichs writes about in Love and Respect cannot be supported by scripture. If scripture is his foundation, he needs to start over. I think this will prove to be an interesting discussion.