Q: What are your thoughts on people’s (even pastors and Christian friends) advice about how our spouses need to feel like they are losing us in order for them to come to their senses? That they don’t come back because they can have us whenever they want. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about and it kinda makes sense. My (ex) husband knows I’m standing and praying for our marriage so he knows he can come home whenever he wants. He knows I’ll always be there regardless of what he says or does. It’s confusing to me.
Ex-Prodigal A: As a former prodigal, I wanted to respond to the question about making your prodigal feel the loss of you while living in the far country. When I was in the far country, I was far in the enemy’s camp and very deceived. I thought that the OW was a blessing, everything I had ever wanted, but I also wanted to do the right thing. Even my family thought I was doing what was best. However, what I couldn’t get past was that through all of this, suddenly my wife was the only one I could see Christ in. There was hurt, but no hate. There was nothing but love and forgiveness and open arms that wanted to receive me back and forgive me. The night that I came home and stayed home, I didn’t intend to stay. What made me stay? I saw Christ in my wife like I had never seen it in anyone else in my whole life. The Holy Spirit had given her a word to give me about when Jesus reached out and pulled Peter up as he was sinking in the water. As she told me this she reached out and locked arms with me as a demonstration of what she was talking about. At that moment, there was no doubt that it was Christ reaching out pulling me up to my feet and out of the enemy’s camp. If I can encourage you to do anything, follow the example of my wife. She cried, she fasted, she repented, she prayed day and night until God moved on the other side of the mountain.
Stander’s A: This makes me sound like a saint. I WASN’T! It really was Jesus through me. I have to admit also, that night My husband came home was a “date night” he’d agreed to come to. I never “closed up shop,” because God showed me I was to be his wife no matter what. I struggled with that knowing he was seeing another woman, but I obeyed. I questioned the same thing during my stand. I too, believed God was telling me to be 100% a wife to my husband even though I knew he was committing adultery. I believe God will protect us when we are obedient to Him. I know Rejoice Ministries advocates remaining intimate with your prodigals. I highly recommend their “Sex & the Stander” CD. However, I know Covenant Keepers does not advocate it. It’s really what you believe God is telling you. I will say this though, my husband has said before that shutting down intimacy between us would’ve been another wall between us. I guess, looking back, it’s a physical form of forgiveness. It’s still hard though…
Q: How did you spend your time while he was away?
A: I cried. Prayed all the time. I began to journal everything I felt and prayed and read in God’s word. Some days I writhed on the floor from the pain. Other days I was numb. I did housework when I was so beside myself I didn’t know what to do. I played Christian & praise music. I went to church. I filled my days with God, because He was all I had left. That sounds so super spiritual, but it wasn’t. I was just a desperate woman. I remember I would wring my hands wondering what I should do. I heard, “When you don’t know what to do, do what you can.” So I would wash dishes, clean the house, work on laundry. Right before his divorce request, I had just quit my job to come home and start a family, so I really was at a loss of what to do and quite isolated.
Q: How do I keep standing when my spouse has married the other person/had a non-covenant child with the other person? People tell me I’m free then.
A: The Holy Spirit told me during my stand that “Circumstances DO NOT change what God requires of me!” That changed my perspective forever. I knew then that no matter what My husband did or didn’t do wasn’t gonna release me from my stand. God had given me the assignment to forgive him, pray for him, and wait for him to come home. I didn’t know how long that would be, but it didn’t matter (even time can be a circumstance)! We must understand that God sees the eternal. He’s not concerned with this fleeting temporary junk. He doesn’t care about a man’s law that says your spouse is married to another. God acknowledges covenants only. That’s why Charlyne simply calls it legalizing their adultery, and it doesn’t change the fact our spouses NEED us to continue standing in the gap for them. It means we must do so even more!!! Your spouse having a non-covenant child doesn’t change what God requires of you either. Those are just limitations your hurting flesh wants to heap on God, when His word tells us there is NOTHING impossible with God! Finally, why are you listening to “people?” “People” will lead you in the opposite direction of God’s truth, even well-meaning ones who don’t wanna see you suffer. God’s word says that tribulation and testing produces all kinds of good things. If you truly want all those good things, then stop listening to people and obey God and His word. Period.