Love and Respect in the Family, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (Thomas Nelson, 2013)
This book’s subtitle is The respect parents desire … the love children need. Dr. Eggerichs is the best-selling author of Love and Respect, a non-fiction book that has helped many marriages, and now that his own children are grown, he offers his insights on “parenting God’s way.”
Dr. Eggerichs is quick to say he and his wife haven’t been perfect parents, nor their children perfect offspring. He shares some of their stories, both good and bad (with the consent of his family) and this openness is one of the strong points of the book. Nothing demoralizes a struggling parent faster than reading advice from a self-proclaimed “perfect example”.
Love and Respect in the Family illustrates that many times we operate in “the family crazy cycle,” and shows how to decode and defuse the triggers that bring that on. Instead, parents can learn to apply a strategy the author calls GUIDES: Give, Understand, Instruct, Discipline, Encourage, and Supplicate (pray).
The final section of the book reminds parents that our motivation comes from God’s unconditional love of us. Dr. Eggerichs says, “This book is not about child-centered parenting but about Christ-centered parenting.” (p. 188) He offers encouragement to parents whose children reject even their best interests: continuing to show love to wayward sons and daughters pleases God, and will be rewarded.
I found the book a bit of a heavy read at times, and I’m not sure why. At the same time, it’s packed with valuable insights and helpful advice. As children get older, parents may have less influence, but some of this material can be applied even in relationships with adult children.
Each chapter includes a list of additional resources for further reading and growth that can be found at the Love and Respect website.
[A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.]