Book Review: Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe

praying for husband

I began writing this review yesterday on another post so I’ll continue where I left off in just a minute. I’d like to state a few things up front. One, I did not finish this book at the time of the review. I may in the future pick it up again, but at this time I don’t plan to continue it. I don’t come to that decision lightly as I very, very rarely never finish a book. Second, this isn’t a “negative” review in the sense that the book was horrible (it wasn’t), it simply does not line up with some personal preferences and ways of thinking. Finally, keep in mind if you’re just clicking on to the post and didn’t glance at the “catch phrase” on the blog or read the “about” page, I’m a practicing Roman Catholic.

{The first paragraph is what I started yesterday}

I picked this book, Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe by Shaon Jaynes, because the title intrigued me. I knew when I got it that it was written from an Protestant point of view, but I thought I’d give it a go anyways, as the last two “Protestant” books I got were really good. The book is broken into a couple of parts, in the first part is a section titled the “Power and Purpose of Prayer”, overall I felt this part was excellent. The author gives several examples of the power of wives praying for their husbands, and the amount it changed them (both the wife and husband). There is a section where she talks about the woman being created by God to be man’s helper (Gen 2:18), but she goes on to explain and follow through the roots of the word “helper”, finding that “helper” in this sense is a role of great honor and strength (not something/someone sitting in the background). I’m not sure what my exact thoughts on “helper” were before I read this book (honestly, I don’t know that I ever thought about it), but after it struck me that this “helper” held a powerful position, but that most of that power was to be found on the knees in a Spiritual battle.

The next part is where the actual praying begins. The author has the prayers broken down literally by body part (heads, arms, hands, back, etc…) each with a corresponding scripture verse and prayer. This is where I ran into the most conflict. It wasn’t the actual praying (the simple act of praying for my husband was very powerful, even the short time that I used this book, so it’s something that I’ll be continuing). The conflict was the focus of the prayers. Some of the prayers were fine; almost what you’d expect:

His Ears

The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out. Proverbs 18:15

Open my husband’s ears to godly advise. Help him to tune in to wise words and pay attention to godly wisdom…. {a portion of the prayer for that verse}

(Nothing wrong with praying those words for my husband.) But some of the verses and prayers don’t seem to correlate very well and they tend to have a bit of a negative focus:

His Sexuality

Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master. Genesis 4:7

There were several problems I had with this particular verse selection.
One, taken only in context of this page in the book it’s basically equating sexuality to sin. Unless I somehow am completely missing the author’s meaning. I do understand that sexual sin is very real and can very much so be a problem in marriage, but I feel the focus of sexuality in marriage should be on the positive. Because, sex is, as a matter of fact, a positive when used in marriage. Yes, things happen, and no, it’s not a bad idea to pray for strength to resist temptation. However, even from my brief time of being Catholic I know there are some wonderful teachings  and Bible verses out there showing the positives of sexuality and marriage.

Now, I may have been able to finish up the book if this had been the only instance of a verse like this (and for a couple of days, it was), but then it repeated. And it was repeated again, and again, and again even using different body parts (the Eyes for example). I guess I felt like “enough already”*. I know that this entire world we live in is geared to tempt men, and again, I don’t have a problem praying for help in that area, but I felt the focus was so much on the negative that in the end you missed out on the positives that could be there.

At the end of the book there are a few sections dedicated to specific prayers (such as for Fatherhood and During Illness), while I didn’t read over those in great deal, what I did read were actually more like the “positive” verses and prayers mentioned above. About what you would expect, but nice to have written out “all in one place”.

One final thought, in the time that I was following the prayers in this book, I did find that my attitude would change towards my husband. Especially if I was in a grumpy mood to begin with, praying would kind of rearrange my thoughts. I attribute that to Prayer, which is while I’ll keep doing it.

* Final request, before anyone takes too much offense at this comment, and starts with thoughts of “yes, but at least your husband doesn’t do ______” I’d like to gently remind you that my husband and I have walked a long and sometimes rather difficult road together as a consequence for our own sexual sin. I have “been there” in more ways that I care to have been there, and I do know what it’s like to feel that pain. It’s taken a few years to get to a good place, which hasn’t come without God doing a lot of serious work in both of us.

~~~~~~

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe

  1. I haven’t seen this book and haven’t read another that I’ve seen in the bookstores by Stormie Omartian, which I sometimes considered buying, but never did. I have no idea who Sharon Jaynes is, nor who published this book. i appreciated your frank comments. I can see why you wouldn’t want to finish reading it, but hopefully it helped motivate you to pray more for Jared. I would like to do more of that myself, I mean, praying for my husband. I find it easy to pray for “us” and for the children and their families, but not so easy to pray for him individually.

    In regard to the author’s observations about “helper,” I have read some good things over the years. The most significant is that the word means a “complement.” the one who completes what is lacking in the other’s life, what’s needed to make a complete whole, a well- functioning unit. No matter the circumstances under which your marriage began, you definitely do complete Jared. He needed you, as of course, you also need him.

    Linguistically, the word “helpmeet” (a “help meet [suitable] for”) in the King James Version was a word made up by William Tyndale whose translation of the whole Bible preceded the KJV by around a century, being the first published in the English language. Tyndale paid for it with his life. (John Wycliffe’s translation was even earlier, but since it preceded the invention of the printing press, it was not published, only hand-copied. Wycliffe didn’t pay with his life, but his bones were later exhumed and burned because he had dared to put the Scripture in the language of the common people of England.) One of our treasures is a copy of Tyndale’s New Testament published by Yale University Press with modernized spelling. Tyndale was an excellent translator, for the era in which he lived. The KJV translators used much of his work as a base, but one unfortunate thing that they did was to revert to the use of the word “charity” (as in I Cor. !3) rather than “love” as Tyndale had translated it. Tyndale created other words besides “helpmeet” in order to express concepts for which he found no appropriate term in English. One of those words is “atonement” which he fashioned from “at” and “one” and the Latin suffix “-ment” so that the resultant meaning is “made [to be] at one.”

    I have done a good bit of reading over the years about the history of the translation of the Scriptures, not only in English but in other languages as well. I find it to be a fascinating subject.

    I also find it fascinating to see how God brings couples together, where each has something important that meets a need in the other’s life. I remember when the present-day martyr, Jim Elliot, whom I knew in college, married Elisabeth Howard. They were as different as day and night. How could they be suited for each other? Elisabeth was prim and proper, very reserved, the daughter of a long line of writers and editors. Jim was outgoing to the max, although very serious in his pursuit of God. After his death it became apparent why God had put them together. Jim’s story needed to be written, to be written well, and to be widely disseminated. Elisabeth’s books have influenced countless lives.

    Love, Grandma

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