Month: September 2016

Don’t Depend on Your Spouse to Make You Happy!

Whether your spouse has come back home or, wonderfully, never left, you need to make God your spouse! Don’t you want a happy marriage? Don’t you want it to be all that it can and was designed to be? Don’t you want to be satisfied and fulfilled in your marriage?

THEN DON’T LOOK TO YOUR SPOUSE FOR THESE THINGS!!! It will only cause disappointment in you and unnecessary pressure on your spouse. Please realize that your spouse is a sinful, selfish human just as you are and absolutely zero hope can be found in him/her! (You might need to read that again!) Our hope can only be found in One: that’s Jesus!!

Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

Our spouses constantly make mistakes, just like we do. But God is perfect and knows everything…especially how to fix stuff. We take our hopes and dreams and desires to Him in prayer and watch Him fulfill them. When our spouses are ugly (I’m a mom of preschoolers and this is the best way to say this!) we don’t retaliate or nag our spouses to change. Instead, we pray for God to change them. Our expectation must be removed from our spouse (they can’t fix themselves any better than we can) and fixed on God, the true source of power and change.

Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.

Prior to 2012, I whined to my husband about how he wasn’t romantic enough or that he didn’t seem to know me well enough to get “perfect” gifts. When he didn’t treat me just the way I thought he should, I’d give him the cold shoulder as punishment. I look back at those days in disgust at myself. Why are we so petty? Surprise, surprise our spouses actually CAN’T read our minds. I wanted my husband to treat me like a queen, but I was unwilling to treat him like a king! Why are we so selfish?  If you want a better marriage, let God make YOU a better person. Treat your spouse better than yourself and take it ALL to God in prayer. You’ll be amazed at what God can do!!

Good Article

How to Have a Marriage that Lasts

Do Not Fear Them

If you are standing for your marriage, you MUST read Numbers 14. This is the story of what happens after the spies come back from viewing the promised land. All the spies agree that it is a land truly “flowing with milk and honey.” Joshua and Caleb then admonish the people to rise up and take possession of the land as God promised He would give it to them. Yet, the other spies convince the congregation that there was no way for them to succeed. There were giants and fortified cities too strong for them to overcome. Then the people wailed and mourned saying they should return to Egypt! They even wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb for trying to encourage them to have the faith necessary to follow God’s plan!

This story hurts my heart, because it’s just like marriage restoration. God PROMISES us restoration in our covenant marriages. We are called to stand in the gap for our prodigal spouses. Yes, it’s full of giants and fortified cities. Standing for your marriage isn’t easy. No one said it would be, but you have the power of the Almighty God on your side. Through Him you can overcome anything! But this story shows us what happens when you don’t believe in what God will do. If you don’t have the faith to move forward with God and trust Him to overcome your circumstances, then He won’t. Those grumbling people were told they would never see God’s promised land. They would never experience the joy of receiving the “land flowing with milk and honey.” They wouldn’t know the highs of overcoming with God as their weapon. They wouldn’t taste the success of being God’s chosen people. And that’s true in your marriage. You must follow God’s leading to taste victory in your marriage. You must obey Him to see your prodigal come back home. You must have the faith that God can fulfill His promises to enjoy the sweetness of marriage restoration. And, oh how sweet it is!!! You can see a land flowing with milk and honey, but to know that land is yours is even better!

I want to encourage you today. Do NOT be one of those 10 spies who come back saying it’s too hard or impossible for us to overcome. That’s why God got so angry, because they weren’t saying THEY couldn’t overcome, they were saying HE couldn’t overcome. That’s the worst thing to believe: that God can’t fulfill His promises!!! Be Joshua and Caleb and say that no matter the circumstances God will do it!!!!

Food for Thought 

Hopefully by now, we understand well that nothing is impossible with God. 

Luke 1:37 (NKJV) 37 “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

But do we realize that there is another for whom nothing is impossible? Nothing is impossible to him who believes!

Matthew 17:20 (NKJV) 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

Can you believe it?! It took me performing a bible search for “nothing impossible” looking for the first scripture, for God to grab my attention to the second. In the whole NKJV of the bible these are the ONLY TWO scriptures which proclaim nothing is impossible!!! And WE are one of them!  I was floored. 

What is Jesus telling us here? He’s telling us that we have His authority right here on earth! We have His power! All we have to do is believe/choose to take it up!  The red words of Jesus promises that “nothing will be impossible for you!” 

I’ll stake claim in it, Father. Help my unbelief, because I want nothing to keep me from all You have for me! Amen. 

Q & A

Here’s some various questions we have answered in the past. We hope you find them useful in your stand.

QUESTION: Did your prodigal have the craziest, most up/down patterns of communication? We’ll communicate steadily and then NOTHING!!! It’s so hard to handle…frustrating, encouraging, frightening, and more…

A: I remember once my husband sent me a text saying he missed me. My heart soared. Later I asked him about it and he said, “Did I say that?” What?! That severely deflated me! Now that I’ve been pregnant, I can easily compare the prodigal’s actions to a woman’s hormones. The constant up and down, irrational behavior, hot and cold treatment of the stander. The prodigal is in a constant state of turmoil from which they are seeking peace. They seek that peace in another person, in alcohol, in ______. But they also see if they can find peace in their covenant spouse. That’s “testing the waters.” I too, started arguing with my husband when he first did this. An understatement would be it didn’t help! Oh how much worse I made it. My anger or logic or even scripture would turn him away. I finally got a clue what God was telling me: I needed to shush and be the wife God called me to be regardless of my husband’s words and actions. That’s when things turned around. You kinda just live in a state of hurt and confusion toward your spouse while God works on them. The irony is you also live in a state of peace toward God as He works on you!

Q: What was it like for you, knowing he was with another woman?

A: It was heartbreaking, but that pain drove me into the arms of God. I desperately sought His words to comfort me and they did every time. Dennis Wingfield, who has written devotions for RMM, said he’s experienced the pain of divorce and the pain of spousal death. He said divorce was worse. I truly believe that. It hurt so bad, but I also knew the pain wouldn’t just go away if I stopped standing, so I stood and I hurt. But in that pain I found the sweetness of being carried by Christ. I experienced the Holy of Holies. It’s a place I’d never been before and, honestly, never since. I’ve decided that we can never truly know our Savior until we suffer like Him.

Q: My prodigal isn’t a Christian. Doesn’t that make a difference? What’s gonna make him/her come back home?

A: This is from my husband- God is Sovereign, He works in the heart of believers and non-believers and He is not limited. The scripture actually says that we cannot even come to Christ to be born again unless He calls us to do so. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:44. It is the praying/standing spouse that must stand in the gap and pray for the prodigal to repent and come home, whether the prodigal is a believer or a non-believer because both are in the enemy’s camp and are held captive by their sin and shame. James describes it like this. “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” – James 5:19-20. The prayer and intercession for the non-believer is no different than the prayer and intercession for a believer that has wandered away. Standers must stand in the gap and pray as if their spouse’s eternity depends on it, because it does.

Q: I’ve been wondering about something….the standers are standing for marriage because God hates divorce & calls us to stand, and also for our Prodigal’s salvation, is that right? What I don’t understand is how are we responsible for our Prodigal’s salvation?

A: Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV) 30 “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”
God calls us to stand because He’s giving us an assignment: we are to stand in the gap for our prodigal. We are to pray, fast, etc on behalf of them. It’s just like Abraham praying for Lot to be saved from the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah. God honored Abraham’s request and spared his nephew’s family. Ultimately, we are not responsible for another’s salvation, but God’s word says that God heeds our persistence in Luke 18:1-8. I believe we are also able to pray more effectively because of our one flesh covenant.

Q: I have given up my stand.

A: I am so very sorry to hear that. I pray you are not resigned to that decision and that God changes your heart. My thoughts keep turning to just how many times my husband has looked me in the eyes and said, “Thank you for standing for me.” I also know that even if God had not restored my marriage, He was doing a work in me that would change me forever. It took that suffering to make me just a bit like Christ. That’s God’s goal, not to make us happy or restore our marriages or bring us kids. His goal is to mold us into the image of Jesus. Unfortunately, it takes pain and suffering to get there. May God bless you