2 Stars: The Love & Respect Experience by Dr Emerson Eggerichs

"The Love & Respect Experience" is by author Dr Emerson Eggerichs, author of books "Love & Respect", "Love & Respect for a Lifetime", and "The Language of Love & Respect". This new book is a devotional designed for couples, but I still don't think most men will read it. It focuses on how to treat each other with kindness, even through the hard times. There are 52 devotionals but they are light and very easy to read. The chapters go by very quickly and if you have time and no distractions, you can finish the whole book in one sitting, like I did!

Nothing is very deep and you've heard it all before - but this book is like a little reminder of all those ideas you've heard before in family therapy, but now put down in one book and with Bible Verses attached to them. This is not like other devotionals, where they take a Bible Verse and build the story off it. This book seems to already have the ideas (from family therapy/pop psychology) in mind, then finds a Bible verse to semi-fit or support what the author wanted to say originally. The verses don't always really match up all that well. Most of his verses are from Proverbs because he can pick any old random verse and semi-apply it to what he wanted to say originally. By the end of the book, I still came away feeling I read a psychology marriage therapy book and not a biblical devotional.

Example of psychology over bible: Chapter 44, titled "I am NOT being defensive!" The author explains how we can become defensive when we feel attacked, then quickly become offensive. The author spends the entire chapter talking about defensiveness, then launches into an example about him and his wife, Sarah. Then, as if a side though, at the end of the entire story, he adds "Today’s scripture passage describes the situation perfectly. Sarah was offended; her fortifications were up and iron bars were locking the gate." He slapped a bible verse at the top of the chapter to semi-match his psychology idea: PROVERBS 18:19: "An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars" (NLT). Well, when I read Proverbs 18, it is about contrasting the righteous with the wicked in 24 different ways and it gives a LONG list of random topics. So the author picked just one out of the 24 and applied it to his story about "defensiveness". NASB version of the verse reads: "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel." To me, the verse is really about offending and contending with others. Not at all about "being defensive". The author does this throughout the entire book - writing his story from a psychology point, then finding a verse to match it.

While reading through the book, I was dismayed to find that the author has chosen MANY MANY different obscure Bible translations to use in his book, instead of just sticking to a commonly accepted version. I began wondered if he was picking from many translations in order to use the one that changes the meaning of the Bible Verse to best match what he wanted to say. Or was he just trying to get a sample from all easier-to-read Bibles and in this way, appeal to the masses? I compared some of his easy-to-read English translations against the NASB or NIV or Geneva Bible (similar to KJV) and I would say that the translations didn't change the verse so much as the author pulled the verses out of context and often took only snippets of the verses instead of the entire thing. He uses Bible In Basic English (BBE), The Good News Bible (GNB), God's Word (GW), New Century Version (NCV), Contemporary English Version (CEV), New International Version (NIV), The Message (MSG), New King James (NKJV), and New Living Translation (NLT).

All in all, by the end of the book, I can't say it was very biblical, but if you enjoy psychology family therapy books on marriage, you will probably enjoy this book. Again, it really does appeal to women. It won't offend men as much as normal devotionals with their pinks and purples and flowery prints, but I still don't see many men reading this book. So, if you enjoy devotionals and psychology self-help or family marriage therapy, this book is for you. If you do not enjoy self-help and psychology, skip this book.

My disclaimer - I received this book from the publisher free of charge but I always give honest reviews. I want you to be able to choose the best book based on stars because I know you have limited time and energy to read.

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