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