R-E-S-P-E-C-T…for my husband?

My husband Gene has always been a great provider for our family, choosing to hold two jobs. The spring of 2008, he had the first of four back surgeries. He went from running three miles daily and a bench press of over 300 lbs. to not being able to tie his running shoes or lift anything heavier than a baby.

He is not able to sit or stand more than 30 minutes at a time and his pain is constant. He has more screws in his body than a hardware store has in stock. He has dealt with depression for the first time, and he is no longer the one friends call for his strength on moving day. He lost his jobs due to his health and was approved by a judge for social security disability.

I am now the one working two jobs, but not all changes have been negative. As his physical walk weakened, his spiritual walk strengthened. He needs help to get up from the couch, but I’ve opened our bedroom door to find him kneeling on the wooden floors praying. During his time of recovery, God gave him the idea for a ministry. Three times a week he sends a verse out to what started out to just a few friends. He now sends God’s Word out to over 100 people each week.

As he tried dealing with losing his role as our provider, I began to lose respect for my husband. I longed to be the woman in Proverbs 31 whose husband was respected at the city gates because of his better half and yet he wasn’t respected at my front door.  I resented him for my new position of working so much. I didn’t know how to make him feel like he was still the leader and provider of our family, so I opened my Bible.

Ephesians 5:22-27 is a familiar passage to married couples. It instructs wives to respect, and husbands to love, but this time God showed me something different. Six words would pop out to me and mull around in my head for weeks found in verse 26:                     washing with water through the word.

I approached Gene on a Friday morning this past February, and asked him if he would be willing to read scripture over me aloud. Then I shared the verse in Ephesians that prompted me to ask him. I asked if he could commit to washing me with water through the word. As he sat up straighter, he agreed with excitement and opened his Bible and read over me. We hugged and prayed and off to work I went.

Saturday came and nothing. I didn’t want to nag him, but I wanted him to know how important this was for us. Sunday morning I got off work at 7am and when I got home I woke him up and asked him to please take it serious. A half hour later he called me into the kitchen to show me his devotion book. The key verses for that day were Ephesians 5:26-27 and that is when he began to take his role as God appointed.

Why is it important for a man to read God’s Word aloud to his wife? I found there to be three main reasons:

  1. Because God wants him to. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word
  2. He encourages her. It is hard to disrespect a man reading God’s Word over you.
  3. Because she needs him to. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For me, it is easier to be led by my husband when he is investing in me spiritually.

God had strategically placed my husband into a leadership and provider role without him even knowing of His plan. He also taught me that provision and leadership doesn’t always come from a healthy man in a workplace. Sometimes, it’s a broken body kneeling on wooden floors behind closed doors. When a husband loses his job, even if it is out of his control he will battle with losing his position. Do not add to his feelings of unworthiness and let him lose the position of respect in your home and heart. If you are a wife of an unemployed husband or you are an unemployed husband, consider the six words that changed our marriage, for there is power in God’s Word.

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21 Responses to R-E-S-P-E-C-T…for my husband?

  1. Michelle Courtney says:

    Gene’s the Man!!!!! We love getting his scripture text and we love you guys so much! Thanks for ministering to us!

  2. Linda Hooks says:

    I know exactly what Gene is going through! I have all of the same things as he does, as you guys both well know. There is a reason for everything, but please tell him I keep him in my prayers, as I always wonder how he is doing , mentally, physically, and spiritually! TO Gene : God has a better plan for us when it is time for us to leave the worldy possessions and things behind. Yes, we have suffered severe pain , and still do, and no one can truly understand , unless they have gone through this, but , OUR GOD knows. It brings us closer to him, when we cry out in pain. You are BLESSED to have such a wonderful family, God has a plan for you!!! Stay strong, and you are in my prayers!

    • Linda~you are so sweet! Thank you so much for your encouragement! I will have Gene read this in the morning. Thank you for blessing us. We will pray for you too. I hope and pray you both feel relief soon. Thank you again for taking the time to bless us!!!

  3. Jackie says:

    My cell phone is 402-440-7540 🙂 if you can add me to his verse recipients !

  4. Susan Neverve says:

    I am MORE than touched!!! Both of you…precious Lelia…you and Gene are blessed to have eachother…to “wash” eachother with God’s TRUTH & LOVE!!! What a testimony this is to me…thank you so VERY much for sharing!! Huge Hugs to both of you!!

    • Thank you Sue! 🙂 Trust me when I say it’s not always like this. Work work work because sometimes we just don’t like one another. 😉 Thank you for your daily encouragement. Oh…and try this with Brad. 🙂

  5. Jennifer says:

    Lelia this is a powerful post! What an amazing testimony of obedience by you and strength of Gene!! You both are doing so much good for God’s kingdom! I pray one day my hubby will come to know Christ and read scripture over me, one of my deepest hearts desires!

    Love to you my friend! ( and see you SOON)

  6. Karren Reed says:

    How blessed you are, enjoy every minute you have in Gods word together. One day before Bobs home-going, he handed me his bible and I said “do you want it on the night stand”? He said “no, you take it”. I was a little confused so I told him I wasn’t understanding what he wanted me to do. He once again said “you take it”, only this time he went on, he said “take it and keep it and use it”!! As I looked up into his face and saw those eyes, they were saying I am giving you my most precious possesion. I cried as I watched him hug it to his chest, then once again hand it to me.
    Needless to say, I haven’t used my own bible since that day, and everytime I open that “precious gift” I feel like he is right there with me.

  7. LisaShaw says:

    Beautifully and powerfully written Lelia! I said a prayer for you and your hubby after I read.

    As one who knows the power of a husband reading the Word over his wife; I am appreciative of this post!

    The walk you are both in is one that will reap greatly for the Kingdom of God! Remain close to the Word and close to each other!

    In honor of our 21 years married on 9/29; I have begun this week to share posts again on Marriage. If you have time pop in. Much love to you my sister and praying for you and your hubby and family!

  8. I just cried while reading this…cried and cried…it reminds me of myself and my husband…he reads the bible every day and i guess i fight it a little…maybe a lot…..i wont do that anymore…im going to take what you said to heart…*still crying* This profoundly effected me to say the least. Thank you!!

  9. This has had a profound effect on me…to say the least. My husband reads from the bible every day and i struggle against it…but that wont be the case from now on…..Thank you for sharing this…Sally

    • awww….thank you Sally. There are days when I don’t want Gene to look at me let alone read to me. We were just talking about this last night and how we haven’t been faithful in doing it for about 3 weeks now and literally all hell broke loose between us. So, I posted that knowing he would read it and see what I need, what we need to be faithful in doing in our marriage. God bless you Sally! 🙂

  10. Stephanie says:

    Can you say OPEN my eyes????
    WOW! I can not tell you how much I idenified with your feelings of frustration.
    God has been showing me that I was the one who was keeping my husband from acting like the “head of my Christ” I was always very willing to “just do it” didn’t matter what it was,I would “just do it”! There is 18 yrs between Joe and me. I was a single mother for most of my son’s life so being Chief,Cook and Bottlewasher was my life,so when I met this AWESOME Man of God! Joseph,I didn’t quite know how to release the reins. Married now 7 yrs the word SUBMIT is always on the forefront on my mind! In doing that,Joe has stepped up to the plate and is such a great provider,and teacher of God’s word! He prays over me when I am going to bed,and I seem to have a better nights sleep because of it. I am Blessed that I have him to go into eternity with :). From one sister to another…You got yourself a MOG! Prasie GOD! <3 Blessings~~~

    • MOG…Love that Stephanie!!! 🙂 Love that Joe is doing exactly as God has called him to do in your life. That’s awesome. Let’s keep submitting to these men God has called us to be their helpers. 🙂

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