There’s been a question raised about how the prodigal compares the stander to the other person.
My Answer: I’ve been thinking about this, and I remember this fear very well. While in the Far Country, my husband said the OW was the most beautiful woman ever. He said she was everything he ever wanted. My bruised heart cried out to God, “How am I ever to compete with that!” But the Father comforted me and continually reminded me that He would fight this battle for me! I remember one time, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “He wants you; he wants to come home.” Looking back at journals, I now know that was right before my husband came back home to stay! God knows what’s really happening on the other side of that mountain. Don’t believe the lies Satan speaks to you. It’s all just smoke and mirrors.
I admitted my fears and feelings of inadequacy to my husband after he came back home. Do you know what? He was completely shocked! I saw it in his face. I remember him explaining how he truly felt. He told me that when he looks at me he sees something more beautiful than anything physical: a forgiving spirit and a loving heart. He told me that I had stood by him when he was at his absolute worst and that made me more beautiful than I had ever been and more than anybody else! He also confessed that those things he had felt in the Far Country were false and not to be believed. Again, he asked for forgiveness. That conversation relieved my fears and healed my wounded heart.
Proverbs 31:30 (NIV) Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
My husband’s Answer: Pro 31:10-12 “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” There is no comparing a godly wife to a woman (adulteress) who is living in sin. Though she may be appealing in whatever way, she is constantly putting demands on the prodigal husband. Such as “if you keep talking to her (your wife) that’s going to be it for us”or “if you don’t hurry up and get a divorce, I’m going to leave you” and so on. Whether this OW is a believer or not, she is playing the role of the adulteress we are warned about in Proverbs. She is jealous and afraid of losing her new found man back to his wife, so there is constant turmoil, stress and contention no matter how much “at peace” your prodigal claims to be. However the godly wife/stander, being found in prayer, love, forgiveness, faithfulness and with the willingness to stand through thick and thin far surpasses that of the OW. There is no comparison in any way. Sometimes it takes time for the prodigal to see this in the beginning, but as I mentioned before, being consistent in your walk with Christ and following His example is what wins the battle. There is no substitute or comparison for a godly covenant wife. She is far more precious than jewels.
Deuteronomy 1:29-31 “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.”