Looking for something in my old emails, I found this wise counsel that was given to me during my marriage crisis. It’s long, but I wanted to share it:
Wounds require time to heal and cannot be accomplished through a person’s efforts. If you try to reason with your mate before the wounds are healed, you will only get a reaction resulting in a stronger desire to end the marriage.
Remember: Prov. 18:19 – A brother (or mate) offended is harder to be won than a strong (walled) city: and their contentions are like to bars of a castle.
There are 3 ways to conquor a walled castle:
1. The first way is to charge over the wall resulting in a battle in which both couples are hurt.
2. The second way is to attack the castle, then wait resulting in couples never trusting each other due to our actions.
3. The third way is to be the virtuous woman/man, pray the prayer of the hedge of thorns, be patient and wait for an opening to occur in the wall.
An offended or wounded mate will ask, why is he or she being so nice now?
Is it because of guilt?
Because of obligation?
Because he or she wants something?
Because they are being nice because they were told to?
Wounded people will react negatively to any of these motives.
Our goal in restoration is to bind satan, pray the prayer of the hedge of thorns, and be patient.
Hosea 2:5-7 says: For their mother has played the harlot; she who conceived them has behaved shamefully. For she said, I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink. Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths. She will chase her lovers, but not overtake them; yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now.”
Please read the results of a “hedge” in Job 1:10. In this case it was a hedge of protection.
Here is a sample of how we should pray the prayer for a hedge of thorns.
First of all, I thank You for Your mercy that You have shown unto me and and humbly repent for my rebellion against You and my husband/wife. With all my heart, it is my desire to know and walk in Your ways. I know Your ways lead to life. Father, I need Your help. My husband/wife is wounded and is rejecting my efforts to restore our relationship. My Father, as You have given me instruction through Your Word, I bind satan from destroying our marriage. I dismiss his assignmnent to steal, to kill and destroy our relationship. I pray that a hedge of thorns be built around my husband/wife as Hosea gives instruction, so that anyone with wrong motives and influence will loose interest in him/her and leave. I base this prayer on Your Word which says, What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Thank You my Father for restoring his/her relationship with You and with me. In Jesus name I humbly ask. Amen.
Three things will begin to happen when you pray a hedge of thorns around your husband/wife.
1. He/She will become confused and lose direction. (…”I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.”) Hosea 2:6
2. Any other lovers will lose interest and leave. (She (or he) shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but she shall not find them. ) Hosea 2:7a
3. Troubles will motivate him/her to return home. (Then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband, for then was it better with me than now.) Hosea 2:7b
Here are extremely important steps for spouses to show sincerity.
1. Have a forgiving spirit. In other words, make forgivness your lifestyle. Let nothing said or done cause you to react in bitterness. People who are wounded are hurt and react when reached out to. Walk in forgivess for all he/she will say and do to you. He/she is testing your sincerity.
2. Yield your rights. Do not preach to him/her. True love is seen, not heard. During this time of healing the wound, you must yield your personal rights. Close your mouth if you cannot respond positively. We do not have to always be right. Let God have time to heal.
3. Make yourself available. Do your part to make the house a home. Make it inviting. Quietly show him that you are sincere.
4. Be there for him/her during hard times. As you have been forgiven, so forgive. You will experience an opportunity to walk in a greater measure of Grace. His Grace is sufficient.
5. Don’t rush this process. Stay fervent in prayer, walking in humilty, alert to opportunities to minister grace to him/her.