The Love & Respect Experience: A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love (2011) is a Christian devotional for married couples by Emerson Eggerichs based on his very worthwhile Love & Respect book (2004) and curriculum.
The Love & Respect Experience consists of 52 devotionals of three or four pages each, covering such topics as the differences between men and women, love, respect, forgiveness, prayer, sex, being positive, focusing on God, anger, and humility.
There’s a great deal of exhortation here, but not a lot of discussion material that doesn’t potentially involve picking at one another’s flaws. Instead, there are plenty of things to do and not do. The effect of this is that The Love & Respect Experience often feels like a Christian self-help book dressed up as a devotional.
The discussion questions for each devotional are in the back of the book rather than with the corresponding chapter. That may sound trivial, but it’s a major blow to user-friendliness. Once you track your questions down, there tend to be a lot of “yes/no” questions and reading comprehension questions, and not always a lot for fruitful discussion.
The book is heavily billed as being “geared toward men,” yet, beyond one devotional about John Wooden and another about Tom Coughlin, I was hard pressed to find evidence of this, whether in theme or town. I never felt like it was geared to me. My wife and I pray together on a daily basis, although we don’t usually do a devotional. I picked this up because I thought this was worth a shot, but neither of us ever got into it.
The Love & Respect Experience also includes a brief explanation of Eggerichs’ three cycles of marriage, as outlined in Love & Respect, but familiarity with the material in Love & Respect helps quite a bit in working through these devotionals, and some of the material may be confusing or not useful otherwise.
While the content in The Love & Respect Experience is good, it just doesn’t work well as a devotional, at least to me – no doubt some will find it quite helpful, and that’s great. The rest of us, however, might be better off sticking with the original Love & Respect and trying to meet our devotional needs elsewhere.
TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT
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