Standing In Love
A Guide To Repairing Broken Marriages
By Bob Christensen
© 1996 by
To Lynne Christensen,
who has been instrumental in teaching me patience
and how to stand in love.
Part I : Motivation to Stand in Love
Part II : Practical Issues In Standing
Part III : The Way To Victory
Part IV : A Final Word
By Jerry Savelle
I recently read an article which stated that one out of every two marriages in America end in divorce. What is so amazing about this is that these are the same people who stood before God, friends and relatives vowing to love and cherish each other until death.
It is obvious that Satan has intensified his attacks aginst the most powerful covenant agreement in society today.
I personally believe that a man and a woman who have each made Jesus the Lord of their lives, have been filled with the Holy Spirit and have entered into Holy Matrimony become Satan’s worst nightmare. He knows that he cannot defeat them unless he can bring into their lives a spirit of division.
Many of God’s people today have allowed this spirit to take up residency in their homes. He comes to kill, steal and destroy. Our greatest weapon against him is knowledge-REVELATION KNOWLEDGE!
My friend, Bob Christensen, has experienced the devastation of a broken relationship and he’s also learned how to apply God’s Word in what appears to be “impossible to overcome” circumstances.
As you read this book, revelation knowledge will leap from every page right into your heart and equip you to be a winner in your relationship with your mate.
As you read each chapter, remember that God is on your side, and “no weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
The first step in winning your independence from tyranny is to make a stand. In the American Revolution, it was a ragged group of farmers who blocked a bridge at Concord and fired a shot heard ‘round the world.’ At the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, Colonel Bowie drew a line in the dirt and asked those who would stand against Santa Ana to step across it and fight with him.
The enemy has been having a great time in America, today, as well. Demons have run wild, not just among sinners, but through the aisle and in the sanctuaries of churches. Hell is attacking and defiling the holy institution of marriage; and I am tired of seeing Satan get his way. We are drawing a line in the sand that says, “Devil, no more!”
Many fine Christians cannot understand why their lives seem to lack the zest and victory that is theirs because of the finished work Jesus did at Calvary. The simple reason is they do not understand the promises of God, and how to stand against the enemy.
It’s time to take back our stolen blessings. And in this book we are going to show you not only how to win in your marriage, but in every area of your life.
Part I” Motivation to Stand In Love
Understanding the Promises
Let’s take a look at the life of one of the David’s mighty men, as related in 2 Samuel 23:11-12: “…Shammah, the son of Agee from Harar. Once during a Philistine attack, when all his men deserted him and fled, he stood alone at the center of a field of lentils and beat back the Philistines; and God gave him a great victory.” (TLB)
Catch the picture of what is happening here. The Philistines have had it easy until now. Intimidated and confused, the Israelites could scarcely remember the former greatness of their nation. They had no united army, and whenever the Philistines came into Israel, everyone ran and hid. Their fields and their women were never safe. Shammah, the son of Agee who had troubled spirit about this situation, knew that without a doubt this was wrong. Then one day he picked a common bean field to make his stand. He drew a line. And on that day the Israelites rediscovered God and their dignity. They put the nation of the Philistines on notice that the land of Israel was no longer a safe place for them.
But how did it happen that the Israelites as a people lost their greatness? Hosea 4:6 tells us: “My people are destroyed (perish) for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy law of thy God. I will also forget thy children.”
Good people became confused. Worse, a literal generational curse in families was released. And today, though many do not realize it, we live in a world where the spiritual is more powerful than the natural. Life is not controlled by just what we see, hear and touch. The spiritual laws of sowing and reaping affect me and my children, just as they did in Bible days. The failures of the past can come sweeping down into the present and affect our lives. It takes more than good intentions or attending church in order to survive.
I was raised in a church but knew nothing about the promises of God. Those church people were good people, people who sacrificed, but sacrifice can never take the place of faith and obedience to God.
The Word is the remedy to the confusion and sin that reigns in our land. Love defeated Satan at Calvary. Though Satan may run wild with the lives of those who are lost in these last days, it’s time for God’s people to mark out their land and give notice for the powers of hell to stay out! As I stand as a Christian and repent of those past actions, I break the curse that has caused many of my failures.
The Church is a type of spiritual Israel. And today, we have greater promises than whet the Old Testament Israelites had. When Shammah stood up in that bean field, his nation started to come back to life again. Can’t you just see those bodies starting to pile up? And can’t you see his Israelite brothers looking out from their hiding places? Can you feel the thrill they must have come up from their hearts when first a few, then more and more began to come out to join Shammah? That day was just the first day of Shammah’s taking back what belonged to God’s covenant people.
We, as Christians, have some set promises in the Bible that rare ours. God has told us that we can stand on His Word and take our promised land. Giants don’t need to scare us. We are the people with the promise of milk and honey, not pickles and lemons.
“For this purpose the Son of God (Jesus) was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 KJV) Jesus came to earth to win. I’ve known some competitive men, men who refused to accept defeat. When Christ decided to get into this fight, it was over before it began. He not only doesn’t accept defeat, He can’t be defeated. In His weakness, with His hands tied behind His back at Calvary, He still whipped everything hell could throw at Him. The news that God has called us to shout from the rooftops is that Christ’s victory will run us over and overtake us. 1 John 5:4 says: “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (NIV)
The victory is not easy. It has to be fought for. I have experienced some real defeats at the hand of the enemy. But by walking in faith, I have learned to make the enemy’s small victories come at the price so high that it makes him think twice about tackling me; not because I’m anything, but because I’ve discovered that I have a Friend in Jesus Who is beg and ready to stand up for me. It’s wonderful to walk in victory, and it’s my stand up for me. It’s wonderful to walk in victory, and it’s my purpose to help you discover the truth released in you, too.
You may be facing an attack right now. Maybe your spouse has said, “I’m through” and has walked out. It may seem like everything is over, but it doesn’t need to be so. We are seeing multitudes of marriages and families restored by the principles shared in this book. Read these words with an open heart and see whether or not God puts hope inside you.
I was married in 1972. We had a fairly normal marriage. We began great and slowly drifted into problems. Unsaved, we came into the marriage from earlier divorces. We thought of ourselves as good people, but our values and beliefs came from the world. I was a successful oral and maxilla-facial surgeon and Lynne helped in the office. Our home was in Medocino County, northern California. Success and money were never a problem; it was in our spiritual lives that we faced a poverty.
Things fell apart in 1983, when Lynne decided she wanted out of the marriage. She took our two boys, Andrew and Matthew, and disappeared into the wilds of southern California. There was nothing good about the timing. My mother had passed away and I had ended up in a hospital bed from pain caused by earlier herniated lumbar discs. Satan never plays fair.
In the next few months I saw my life quickly unwind. I was dragged into the trap of lawyers, conflict and huge bills. I left my successful practice and moved to southern California to try to find and save my family. I lost everything in either bankruptcy or divorce. I loved flying and owned a plane. Because of the money crunch I was in, I flew very little. It was at that point in my life, I did what seemed on the surface stupid; I went to a school to learn how to fly jets (because “a voice” kept telling me I was to fly a jet). A former patient had paid an old debt she owed me, and I used the proceeds for flying lessons. It was the turning point of my life.
I spent thirty years in the Catholic Church without ever being born again. What the church failed to do, Dale Black accomplished in one evening. He was a TWA captain who taught me to fly Citation jet aircraft. More important than his knowledge of jets was the fact he knew the Lord, and he led me to Him. That week my life turned around. Until then, I had not given much thought to my spiritual state. I know there are many Catholics who have received Christ, but the churches I attended majored on ritual. I needed a personal experience.
Sadly, many people have never been converted. Good works and church attendance, while good, are not the way to salvation, John 3:3 & 6 state, “…Except a man be born again, he cannot see that kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Romans 10-9 tells us how we meet Christ, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Infant baptism does not fulfill these requirements because a child can neither speak nor believe. God makes provisions for children, but adults must humble themselves and come to Him in faith.
If you have never asked Christ into your heart, this is a great time to do it. Pray a simple prayer of repentance for your sin, and then by faith receive Christ as your Savior. If you would like someone to pray with you, call us at Covenant Marriages (303) 277-9885. We will gladly pray with you. Until you’re born again, you can’t resist the devil and be the overcomer that God wants you to be.
Dale Black had recently seen God work a miracle in his broken marriage, and he gave me a Bible with my wife’s name on the front. On the inside was written, “Presented to Robert Christensen and Lynne Christensen by Dale and Paula black October 25, 1983, in faith, believing for your family’s unity.” This Bible was a great source of strength to me over the next few months as I began to grow in the Word.
I think back over and over on how my life could have been completely different if Captain Dale Black had not had the sensitivity to see my need for Christ. I would have missed all the wonderful things that have happened in Lynne’s life and mind had I not prayed that day. Never take for granted that you had your life can have on others. People are hungry to find answers for their lives, but they cannot receive them until someone tells them.
This was the beginning of the discovery of a God who was big enough to work in my life. That night I saw a license plate that said UZMEGOD (use me God) and immediately I made my prayer.
Driving to the restaurant the next day, I saw the license plate GOD FRST. I was on my way to see Lynne. We had to settle some issues in the divorce, but I was just excited to see her. I shared with her the recent changes in, and that day things began to change between us.
As I began to read my Bible more, I realized how important marriage is to God. My heart breaks tied into what the Bible said, "That you are no more two but one flesh." God has ordained marriage and he does not want that covenant broken. Malachi 2:14 – 16 in the Amplified Bible says, "God was a witness to the covenant made at your marriage," God goes on to say, "I hate divorce and marital separation." Knowing what God said gave me the faith to know he was going to help see my marriage put back together.
Soon I had another job, and then a house opened up only three blocks from Lynne and the kids. Most importantly, God began to renew the love in my heart for my wife. Separated for two years, it would have been easy for bitterness to set in. God placed hope and love back into the relationship.
Filled with the Spirit
My second great spiritual experience was when I was filled with the Holy Spirit. This was controversial among some Christians, but I see it as vital if you are going to wage the type of warfare you must, to bring back a spouse who has strayed. Every Christian has the promise of spiritual power. In Luke 24: 49, "and, behold, I send the promise of my father upon you: bikes tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. End quote that "power from on high" is the Holy Spirit who wants to give you power. You can be saved without receiving the inner feeling of the spirit, but it makes it a much harder fight without the strength.
I remember how God showed me the power of the spirit. I had my sons Andrew and Matthew over for dinner when evening. Neither of the boys had ever heard of being baptized in the Holy Ghost or speaking in tongues. I still have not received my prayer language, but had mentioned to the boys that I wanted to speak in tongues. Matthew, my seven-year-old said, "Like this, Dad? And quote I was stunned as he began to speak in a heavenly language. He had never heard anyone speak in tongues or heard about it before that date. God was using a child to confirm the reality of this gift.
It was during my separation that I first began to learn about a supernatural God. At 2:30 AM, on the Tuesday before Easter of 1984, (only five months after being saved and parentheses a beautiful white clouds filled the room covered by what looked like small waves. The white clouds was 6 feet across. In the center was a small red circle. I try to sit up in bed, I found myself pinned down. I tried three times to get up, but couldn't. Finally, when the light went out, I was able to raise from my bed. I had no idea what this meant, but I knew that it was from God.
A few days later, I was at the local Bible bookstore looking for a wall plaque with Joshua's words to his army, "as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. And quote there among the plaques was one that said, "Arise, shined; for they light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." God was speaking to me.
The Shekinah glory of God had entered my room. No wonder I could not set up. This was the same type of light that shines on Paul on the road to Damascus when he was knocked to the ground. In the Old Testament, it filled the temple and made it impossible to stand. I had met the majesty and power of God, the power that will drop every person in the world to their knees in the twinkling of an eye on the day of Christ's return.
God has since confirmed that touch several times. In my early years, Pastor Jack Hayford played a key role. I read in his book, Church On The Way that on two occasions Jack had experienced something similar. He told of his search to understand what this meant and read in Isaiah 60:1, "Arise, shine; for the light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." When I read those words, I cried out in praise to God. It was another confirmation of his touch on my life.
I needed the encouragement these signs gave me. Lynne was not walking with the Lord then. I remembered a dream I had of Lynne dying. I was looking for water to save her. Through Christian friends, I began to realize the water that would save her was the "living water" of salvation that Jesus spoke about to the Samaritan woman at the well.
God revealed to me that our marriage was not just a civil service, but a covenant that God had entered into. I dared to stand for God's best and began to believe that restoration would occur. I did not know anyone at the time who believed this was possible, and there were few signs to encourage me. Lynne wanted nothing to do with me and had become involved in another relationship. The circumstances seemed hopeless, but I was not looking at circumstances.
I begin to feed on the word of God. Each evening, I would spend hours reading my Bible and praying for Lynne's salvation and the restoration of her. The Boys Stayed with Me Every Other Week, and I Was Teaching Them the Word. As they left to go to their mothers, I said that with Bibles I. I paid Andrew $.50 a night to read Matthew a song at his mom's, and Matthew $.25 to listen.
There were many trying times in the two years of our divorce. As I grew closer to the Lord, though, it began to affect Lynne. Slowly, I learned to trust God-- not just for fun marriage, but for everything.
I did everything I could to with other believers and get them to join me in prayer. We picked former marriage. God gave me one special prayer warrior, Daisy Mae Lopez, who fought as hard as I did for the marriage. As I released this burden to God just pray for Lynne's salvation, God begin to change everything when you read I tried to get out of the way and let God take over. I accompanied my voice to the altar at Church on the Way and watched them be baptized.
For 30 years, I had experienced to do that. In the 60’s and early 70’s I had five lumbar discs with and went through three surgeries and the real fear of one day being unable to walk. Just a few months before Lynne came back, I was miraculously healed in service at Church of the Way.
There was no lack of battles go along with the mayor's. I faced a proxy and rebellion he expressed in bytes of the boys, but God came through in every area. The name and blood of Jesus are greater than the weapon formed against us. The world, Satan, and the following nature all can rise up but they cannot overcome.
On March 24, 1985, the Lord spoke quietly but convincingly to Lynne's spirit, "it's time to go home. And quote cheap after the long, the children, the cats, the dog, and drove three blocks the doorstep. When I opened the door she said, "I've come home." Within three days and was saved and baptized.
On April 6, 1985, at Church on the Way, we were remarried. Gavin MacLeod, the captain of TVs "Love boat" was my best man. I cannot describe the joy of that date. Lynne, Matthew, Andrew and I became a whole family can. The ceremony so moved Gavin MacLeod that he decided he wanted a wedding just like ours. Three months later I was blessed to be able to walk Patti McLeod down the aisle at her remarriage ceremony in Omaha, Nebraska. One thousand people were there. Pat and Shirley Boone were the best man and matron of honor.
It was only the beginning of a glorious odyssey. We knew we had a call to ministry. In June of 1988, we begin to close down the surgery practice. In October, God spoke to our pastor, Warren Marr of Ukiah Victory World Outreach, that both of us should be ordained, and the following weekend we were.
Our Move to Colorado
In January 1989, we moved to Colorado, with little more than faith and a promise. There, we formed the company in the basement of our house. It later moved to beautiful facilities in Golden, Colorado, at the foot of the Rockies. Finances flowed, but even better was the moving of the Spirit. Doors open for ministry to marriages and now we have a daily television show going out to Denver several other cities.
Helping multitudes of marriages be restored has encouraged us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 is our model, "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God."
The secret to this story was the choice to stand in love. None of this could have happened without simple profound act. Love does not seem big enough to the world, but with God it can tear down strongholds and change the direction of lives. We know that God's ways always works, and we pray that you will receive the blessing these lessons can release.
Part II: Practical Issues in Standing
The Early Days After Separation
When a marriage comes apart, there is always a victim. It shatters a person to hear the words, "I don't want to be married to you." It's often hard to imagine your life ever be filled with joy for purpose again. Your emotions are caught on a roller coaster. Makes it memories of good years of your marriage are the shame and anger at being rejected. To many, it seemed possible to face life without a partner.
Those early days of separation are often the darkest a person will ever face. The escalating problems change your life, but the lives of your children, your friends, and your family. It's a rare person who will not find their work get impaired for their friendships endangered.
Marriage is God's plan for a man and a woman, there is no simple way to rip apart to people who God has made one. There is nothing there about what often happens. One person they desperately want to see the result, only to find the person who they love is in adversarial relationship.
The person who is leaving has often had months to prepare his emotions and has become part two white his conscience tells him is wrong. As you fight for your marriage, it's not uncommon to find that your words have no effect on her spouse. A spouse who walks out seldom cares about the needs of the family and can be insensitive to your hurt and pain.
Families do not fall apart overnight. What seems like a rash act has often been long thought out. When the truth but he comes out, wait for the pain and rejection follow. The toughest person can find their emotions a confusing blend of anger and despair. Others will not understand how you feel. You have literally lost one half of your “one flesh” relationship. Only those who have gone through a divorce can understand how horrible it is.
The one who has chosen to leave usually fares better in his emotions-- at least at first. Obeying God will often make it tougher in the beginning, but as you discover who you are in Christ, your healing and faith will grow.
In those first stages of separation it's hard not to react in the flesh. The enemy takes advantage of us to get us to lash out in revenge or even act as irresponsibly as our mate. The Bible tells us, "Strife brings in confusion and every evil work.” The miracle is that God is available in crisis. This situation is not because of him, but a result of our fallen nature and the real devil. Release your faith instead of your flesh through trust in him. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (NIV)
This is the wrong time to make major life if stations or changes. Do not make the mistake of isolating yourself, but lean on some good Christian counseling. Lean strong lead on the Word and draw close to God.
Stand for Your Marriage
Deciding to stand for your marriage is not an easy choice. The problem of our day is that we too lightly enter into something with no real intention of following through. It is never easy to follow Christ. In the New Testament, Jesus called many to follow. Yet, in a crisis, they often left. Jesus said in Luke 14 now whether you build a tower or go to war, stop and think before you act. He made it clear that will pay him involved in cross. We need time, prayer and godly counsel at this place of decision.
The good news is that God is there to help you. He tells us if we lack wisdom, we can ask him. (James 1:5) There is a rhema work for you, which is simply: allow God to cause His promises of the Bible to become personal-- just for you. We can read the Scripture and see great promises that apply generally, but true direction comes as we get serious and God makes a general become specific. God spoke to me about my marriage, my ministry and my job. Allow him to speak to you, too.
Search the Scriptures for his message to you. Just as vital is to search her heart and her past. If there is an earlier divorce for sin for what you have not repented that is blocking God's blessing, repent of it! Begin to discover God's plan for you, not the world’s. Go to your pastor. As a shepherd, he can give vital counsel and strength. The foundation of guidance is simply allowing God and his word to leave you.
No one else can tell you what to do. Even your decision is not enough, unless Christ is your Lord and Savior. Standing is not willpower, or manipulation; it is simply trusting in Christ and His promises. God is the strength of a Christian life. Whatever you and He decided best for you, you will accomplish.
The foundation of our standing is a right understanding of covenant. Search out this great promise. God does not change His mind, and as a witness to your marriage covenant, He will move heaven and earth to bring you victory and his love.
I speak with tremendous confidence in a God who cares for us. He is the Reconciler Who wants every married shield. When you discover that truth, you can then step out as multitudes of Christians are, and claim the power of heaven to work in your marriage.
John 8:32 tells us, "and he shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (KJV) it's not just the truth that frees us, it is the truth that we know. The crisis in your life can become the landmark for your discovery of God Erie many good Christians have cruised along in life, saved, but not urgent about the word or even trusting fully in the Lord. They have made it on their own power. Divorce crushes them against a wall they cannot climb, and the wonderful result is they discover God cares.
The pain is real. This will probably be the most difficult time you'll ever face, but it can also be a time when you will grow spiritually in giant steps. Difficult times can be faced with joy and confidence when we realize the battle is won by the Lord.
Walk in Love
A critical point in standing, is to walk in his love, not in tough love. The world will tell you to give ultimatum to your spouse. God will tell you to love him or her unconditionally. Doesn't God love us on initially? Let your standing for your mate be accomplished in his love. Be that the ways this in the middle of the desert. Be that beautiful green pasture with fresh, clear, running spring water for your loved one to come home to. He or she needs to see that I'm complaining, ever nagging or preaching, lovable spouse, who cares more about him or her than anyone in the world ever could. You with God, acting like God, will win.
Remember, you are entering a battle. You have two great weapons. These give you greater power than all of hell. They are love and faith.
When You Tell the Children
In every step, let the Holy Spirit lead you. This is especially true in telling your children about a separation or divorce. This is going to affect them in ways that are hard to even imagine, and they have a right to know the truth before one of their parent leads.
We know we need God's help. His health is just as vital for your children. You may not understand doctrine, but they do hurt and feel alone. Christ will be there for them also Erie it pray with them to make Christ their Lord and Savior. Explain how you are standing for the marriage, and give them the opportunity to join their faith with yours.
Children can be a powerful anchor for you in this time of crisis. The fact that their children need them has saved many parents from self-pity or lashing out in anger. There are dangerous emotional snares waiting to trap you, but the love you have for your children is often God's tool to guide you through them all. Your love for them can help you to live consistently and make the sacrifices that may be necessary for your family.
It is vital that you maintain your testimony, as your spouse’s faith is shaken. The New Testament church faced the same battles we face. As people converted, it often shook families apart. Paul called them to stand because their faith affected the children. He told the Corinthians, "for the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:14) were basically crisis covers the others rebellion. Paul did not say this house could make the other spouse holy, but he did say my faith can affect my children, even in a crisis.
When Friends Find Out
There is a natural tendency to want to cover up our failures and problems. When the word divorce begins to come out, we can try to deny it. No one wants his friends and neighbors to know about the tragedy that has hit. Yet, with God, and honest confession is the place to begin.
In a divorce, we can try to protect our families from the truth and pretend that it is not reality, but denial is not the answer. The spouse who has left will usually try to deny the horrible impact of his decisions, hoping that if it's not mentioned, everything will work out. Denial is not the answer.
Standing requires that you see who you're really fighting. Not your spouse, but Satan. His strategy is to isolate, confuse and deceive you. Recognize that your spouse is not the true enemy. When God uses me to work a miracle healing in someone's life, no one makes the mistake of thinking I am the healer. They know God didn't Erie yet, when we are hurt by someone, we tend to blame the person rather than Satan. Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, "for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Satan has been deceiving mankind since the beginning of time and his tactics are always the same. He mixes a little deception, a few lies, and some mistrust; down comes the marriage. It is important to know who the enemy is so you can defeat him. If Satan can keep you denying the problem and cause you to be angry at your mate, then he can easily defeat you.
A second danger in dealing with divorce comes from concerned friends. Friends are sympathetic but can often do harm by not knowing and speaking with the word of life says. There is a delicate balance between being willing to be truthful about your problem and the need to bring every thought into the obedience of Christ. Words are powerful tools in the faith battle. Always speak well of your spouse because he or she is your one flesh.
Discover that God is an ever present help in times of trouble. As you speak his word into every situation, victory will be the result. "Yes, I am separated. My spouse may want to divorce me, but I am trusting Jesus to heal the marriage. End quote "yes, circumstances appear bleak, but that is the place where God's word has always worked best. God is no respect or a person" (Acts 10:34) "he will work miracles for me as he did for Moses to fighting the Red Sea were for David in defeating Goliath."
Stand on your covenant and refuse to be moved.
Facing a Financial Disaster
Separation and divorce are tied to a drifting away from God's will and covering. Finances are always affected as well as emotions and spirit. This does not mean that you are out of God's will. It does mean that a door to the enemy has been opened. He takes advantage of this to ravage the exposed areas of your life.
This would not be much different than what happened when Benedict Arnold turned over Fort Ticonderoga in the American Revolution. The other American generals were doing their best, but this traitor opened up a weak spot in American defense. General Washington finally countered it, but the effect was real and dramatic.
Your emotions are one battlefield, finances or another. Separation and divorce can affect you in several ways. You and your spouse may lose a job or see it disrupted. The value of your property might collapse, or places and vehicles now once worked well may begin to require costly repairs Erie it the emotional drain often leads to costly bills for counseling or health services. There will definitely be some changes. The income that once supported a single household now has to be stretched to meet the needs of two. Often, one of the partners has been better at financial responsibility than the other, and with the breakup, irresponsible money decisions soon begin to put added pressure on everyone.
If none of these things happens, much money and time can vanish in legal fees and the cost of attorneys. This area will need constant prayer and vigilance. Sadly, many attorneys make more money out of conflict than they do out of bringing two people back together. It will take great patience and prayer to find the right person to trust with this vital area of your future. Be careful about the advice that will lead to building more walls between you and your mate Erie it seek godly wisdom and constant prayer to counter the attack of them enemy. Do not be pressured into quick decisions. Good sources of counsel are a pastor, a Christian friend, Christian mediator, or Christian attorney. The key is to never accept any counsel that justifies divorce.
When my marriage collapsed, I was not a Christian and did not have access to these resources. Advice was easy to find but not always helpful. When I left my practice in surgery, I lost a steady income. Legal fees soon ate up our savings. By the time I got out of the hospital and down to Southern California, I didn't even own a car.
Daily Leading by God's Spirit
Christ began to lead me in daily adventure of faith. I have gone from being well off financially to be destitute. One of my first needs was some kind of transportation, and I began to seek God's help in everything. I prayed specifically for a VW Rabbit on the basis of John 15:7, "if ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and shall be done unto you.” I was sitting in the restaurant and overheard a man talking about planes. I struck up a conversation with him. Later, this man gave me a VW Rabbit in excellent shape.
I was trying to help the boys memorize Scripture, and the first verse they tried to learn was Proverbs 3:6, "in all my ways and knowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” I began to think seriously about a knowledge of God for giving me the scar, and I put a big sign on the back of the card that said, "Jesus lives-- he gave me this car." Lynne was upset that some people balk, but I knew this was a with Ms. to what God had done for me.
The greatest witness to those who knew me was my standing in love with the marriage. The man who gave me the car was Lebanese and unresponsive to the gospel. After marriage was healed, he and his wife came to visit us in Ukiah, California. That Sunday morning in church, they went to the front and gave their lives to Christ. It was God's love and faithfulness reflected through my life that made him hungry to have the same experience in his life.
Our lives as believers may, under financial attack, but God will protect us from destruction. Isaiah 54:17 says, "no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.” Money is the reason that Satan uses to distract you from the real issue, reestablishing your covenant vows of marriage. The strongest action you can take is to obey Matthew 6:33, "but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Jesus said this after telling his disciples not to worry about their food or clothing. He was showing us that our father knows our needs and wants to meet them if we will just ask and believe.
I tell you again, God is real, and we do not have to fear. Your Heavenly Father is eager and able to meet your every. Let Him be Lord of your entire life.
When I Am Told to Get on with My Life
What believers say, open quote you were never meant for each other, "they are often just trying to encourage someone to care about. These are people with no anchors except they're feeling. When they say it's time to "get on with your life, forget the bum, and find someone better," they mean well. What is hard for me to understand is how more and more Christians give this kind So. God does have someone better for you area it is your spouse, transformed and renewed by faith and love.
We need to listen less to friends’ well-meaning advice and more to the Word of God. If advice does not line out with the Word of God, do not take it. Jesus said in Matthew 19:6, "wherefore they are no more to, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." This is not to be taken lightly. Next line many of us never really been taught to take the Word seriously. Sadly, there are many Christian counselors and pastors that blend the word with the world. I love all those who desire to help believers, but because someone has a title does not mean that you should take all they say to heart. Well-meaning advice can be destructive. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) the issue is not whether someone is sincere, but whether they are right. What gives a person's advice validity is how closely aligned itself with Scripture. This is what we can stake your life on. It is the truth that reaches into eternity.
Whether it's a lawyer, counselor or a friend that tells you to get on with your life, say with a smile, "yes, I am," and leave quickly. Don't just take my advice. Search the Word, and stand on it. James 1:5 says, "if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and unbraideth not sent: and it shall be given to him.” We need God's wisdom. Divorce is not the answer, Jesus is.
Choose Whom You Serve
Paul does not care about our excuses for acting like the world. He cares about her reactions to life, because of the world we will have trouble, but if we reacted the Spirit, we break the flesh at the curse that it releases. He received this message from Jesus, who taught in Matthew 6:24, "no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.” Without fail, we see the strife, rebellion and anger, and to the children if the parents attempt to live their lives out of God's will. You can't go to church and still live in the flesh. The Bible calls it a carnal or rebellious. It means that when God isn't on the throne of our lives, we are.
Our actions bear fruit. Strife leads to fusion and every evil work. How do we stop this law question when one person chooses divorce and strife, the other must come against that is the Spirit. Remember, 2 Corinthians 10:4, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
My children were affected by the divorce. As they try to cope with it, they drifted, take it vantage of chaos to get their own way. They are good children, but they still picked up a spirit of rebellion. No parent wants his children to be rebellious, but when there are two authorities, each handling the problem is overweight, there is conflict and chaos. Add to this, grandparents and others who soon get drawn in trying to help, and you have an explosive strength.
We finally won the victory when we got back together. Remarried, we could approach the issue in unity and strength. This was a spiritual battle that would be won by the Word and love. Rebuking Satan and creating a healthy atmosphere, we saw the children read this rice as their Savior and become filled with the Holy Spirit. They both are serving God today and start a real blessing.
Each family is different, but the strategy is the same; opiate God's leading. Do what comes naturally to a parent: teach and love your children. Shake off condemnation or pity parties and focus on the fact that God loves your children as much as you do. Faith is the answer, and even this is a gift from a good God.
Don't be discouraged if your faith takes a while to have it you have to others. Speak faith to yourself and repeat over and over, "I and my household are saved by the blood of Jesus." Someone said, "From little acorns do great oak trees grow." You are planting seeds that will bear fruit in the future. God is faithful to eat the good work He has begun in you and those you love.
The greatest impact a person can have on others is the testimony of his own life. The fruit of rebellion always choose. For a while said can't seem to pay, but not for long time. Over time, children will see the positive difference that God makes to you. They will be drawn towards that light. Also close to the Lord that circumstances do not shake you. In a world of darkness lies, we need to be the light and felt that God has called us to be.
Anyone can join life when everything is going his way. The power of Christianity is happy to work in good or the bad. Paul wrote Philippine's 4:11 – 13 from a prison cell, “not that I was ever made, for I have learned how to get along with you whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing on with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be. In order for, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of rice to give spaces strength and power.”
Murphy is that it works. In tough places, price becomes real, not less. Like the children see the difference that faith makes sense to us Him. There will be sorrow and loss, you can overcome is the spectacle is priced.
The bear will come to you. In the Book of Mark, a father was facing a crisis since. He came to Christ for help. His son was on to construe something to the fire and water during a fit. Jesus cared about this boy and his father, "if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believe." (Mark 9:3) This is a statement of fact: the battle is our faith. "And straightaway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; Thou mine unbelief.” (Since Mark 920) Jesus accepted this is a reached out and listen God wants to do this is through you. Release your faith. It is enough.
When Divorce Papers Served
In a battle, there is always a crucial time when on side breaks and runs. Gideon panicked the Midianites with trumpets and torches. The test in a separation is when the divorce papers arrive. This is “where the rubber meets the road.” It is this moment when Satan tries to see what you are made of.
You must not give these pieces of paper more meaning than they have. For many people they seem to hold some mystical power. All those papers are is paper and a smokescreen for the enemy to maneuver behind.
A marriage is a covenant between you, your spouse and God. Malachi 2:14 says, “Because the LORD has been witness between thy and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet she thy companion, and thy wife of a covenant.” Is more than a contract. It is a covenant, witnesses. It is easy to say. Is for life, but the real test is not what I see, rather what I do, based on what I believe.
The battlefield is in the fine, and Satan's hope is that our prideful nature will make us think we are smart to manage our own minds. Hells real purpose is to sit dictate you to forget God's Word. If Satan can steal the Word, he can't steal your marriage. The question is, are you going to look to God? Make this your motto, “Let God be true and all men be liars.” (Romans 3:4) This is the type of thinking that will release God’s Word and activate faith. The victory will follow.
Neither legal decrees nor sin can destroy God’s covenants. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God did not say, “Your marriage is over!” As you set yourself apart to seek God, He will confirm to your heart, that He is not a covenant-breaking God. He is with us, loves us, and works miracles for us.
I sent you please: he says, "And Samuel grew, and the Phone Lord was with, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.” God thinks of the words of His people. That's because He wants us to be like Him. He doesn't say one thing and do another. We don't need to defend God, because He’s big enough to defend Himself. We need to release God.
There is only one thing that can stop Him; us. In Matthew 15:58, Jesus has come. Everywhere He has gone, their schools have followed, but here things are different. The Word says, "And He did not maybe mighty works there because of their unbelief." What God needs is our equipment with His Word. Jesus said, "and I will give it to the they tease of the death of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:50) These words have truth and power. God is be in now to help us. It must be a disappointment to the Father to see his people put such confidence a piece of paper, when the Lord of Lords is King of King's is waiting to help them. It's time to quit giving credit to enemy, and start laughing in the face of the devil. Every time the devil tries to put you down, just shout, "No you don't, devil! I belong to Jesus. My children belong to Jesus, and I stand by covenant!
When You Go to Court
Divorce is a spiritual minefield. The world of attorney and legal documents is full of potential to accelerate strife and read. Even the secular authorities are beginning to realize this, because now they offer education some states as an alternative to a fight. Our ministry encourages attorneys to see their role as reconcilers, not destroyers, of marriage.
Saul lost his key shift of Israel because of his repelling. He never brought the art teacher Russo. His pride separated him from his God. The authority he had as a woman worked against. He became bitter and angry, fan driven by heart set on his heart. This happens not only to Bible characters but to everyone who represents secular authority and ignores God's law. We reap what we sow. Attorneys, physicians, judges and lawmakers are representative of God. 1 Timothy 2 pray for those in authority. These people can bring peace with trouble. We live in a dangerous time when it is secular power feel no responsibility to use it with intensity for responsibility. They are releasing destruction on themselves, our cities, states and nation when they care more about the justice.
Deuteronomy 30:19 is a scripture for our day and stands. "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both now and thy seed may live.” It's sad that the state to move from the church the right to deal with divorce. The state didn't create branch, and consequently it is not theirs to dissolve. Marriage is God created and sanctioned. It is best preserved by anointed Christian minister for counselor.
When Your Children Go to Visit
Opinions about visitation differ with each couple. Some parents are able to keep the children out of their problems, but then he. It is hard to send children into an environment where there is open rebellion and sin. The laws of our land get little choice, but God is going to help you. Once again, our focus should not be on the circumstances, but on God.
Before every battle, David would seek God's guidance. Sometimes God gave the Israelites clear directions on how to proceed; office He that He was with. The first step each stage of our staff is to ask God for direction on what to do. He may give you a specific plan, or you may just feel His teeth as you follow the Word in your decisions. Here are a few basic guidelines:
If your spouse is coming over for a visit, saturate a prayer where he or she will be. Spent an hour to before he or she comes, asking the Lord to convict and strengthen. Be especially on guard during these times of doubt be drawn into strife or justifying yourself.
Divorce packs the children. Even righteous man like Sam and David had problems with their children. Shake off condemnation and develop a strategy to deal with where you are. For husbands, the issue of children is a tougher. The children may only been with them for short periods of time. This can be very frustrating as you will want to see their faith grow. Remember to pray! Pray! Pray!
Seek and Ye Shall Find
No booklet can cover everything, but God can. Seek God's help and comfort. James 1:5 tells us, "if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that give it to all men liberally, and braided not; and it shall be given." Take at least an hour a day to pray and searched the Bible. God wants you to have peace, wisdom and discern through this tough time. Additionally, find a godly counsel who believes in standing, to walk with you through this troubled time.
God can guide you in several ways. Some will find God deal with them to trust Him, even in court. Representing themselves, a stand with only God in order. Their faith is a tangible testimony to God's reality. Maybe, after prayer, find a Christian attorney. This will be somewhat fighting out for you, before your marriage and reconciliation. While lawyers can give critical advice on legal issues, you are the one who has to stand. Remember that laws may say a marriage will be over in early for 90 days, but the covenant is still intact. Expect a miracle!
A good attorney should also be a good Christian and someone who is not ashamed to let the world know he serves God. This person should help you to look for crucial that God creates for reconciliation. Often godly counsel can even help to maneuver circumstances towards healing. A Christian attorney is a great blessing through the turmoil. An attorney is outside the emotional turbulence you were experiencing can help your focus to stay on your goal.
A good lawyer friend of mine told divorces for years. As God dealt with, he moved from emphasis in the court battle to using his influence to bless marriages. The whole direction of his practice changed. Marriages begin to heal, and soon he had a growing ministry with other lawyers. Before he gave his life fully to Christ, the curse was active and he was facing a debt of millions. The blessing of God began to operate as he became a healer, and showed him how to wipe out the huge debt and set him on unstoppable path of blessing.
God's leading is not an option. It's a promise given to you. At times you may feel like Gideon in his crisis as he said in Judges 6:13 “If the LORD be with us, why is it so this befallen us? And where we all His miracles which our fathers told us, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?" God was not shaken by Gideon's question. In fact He ignored it and said to him, "go if this guy might, and I'll show have Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have I not sent thee?”(Judges 6:14) of cores we are troubled, but it's, that is sending you into battle, and He will bring you through. Gideon got serious about discovering if God was really on his side. He put out fleeces and with radical faith in a God who works miracles for His people He participated in one of the great miracles of the Bible.
God is on your side. Give Him your impossible situation and expect to see a miracle.
If Your Spouse Is Involved With Another
Of an unfaithful nation, he did so from a heart that was experiencing all the pain of separation. As he sought God, the Lord set him to buy his wife out of her prostitution and unfaithfulness. The call of God and His prophet was for the spouse to return.
It’s vital to remember that the real enemy is Satan. In John 10:10 Jesus said “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” A robber doesn’t take our old cardboard boxes and dirty laundry, he takes things of value. Satan’s goal is to take the Word of God from your hear. If you lose that, you lose the war and the victory.
Satan is going to use intimidation, fear, lies, and deception to back you down. Israel faced giants twice. The first time was with the twelve spies, and they handled the whole thing badly. Scared of what they could see, they ignored the promise of God’s help and walked for a generation through the wilderness. David’s story is more appealing. This boy had every reason to turn tail and run, but he ran into the face of the biggest, meanest warrior alive, quoting the promise of God.
God is not in question or even Satan; you are. James 1:13 says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God.” In a temptation, the goal is to pull you away from your confidence in God by using the circumstances. The circumstances will always look bad, so we need to look for the unseen by faith. Do this by standing on the truth, "for the weapons of our warfare are not,, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."(2 Corinthians 10:4) by faith we remind ourselves, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippines four, 13)
The battlefield we fight on is in our mind. Satan hurls his fiery darts; we raise the shield of faith, we stand. Revelation 2, seven says, "To him that overcome it will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." If your spouse says he or she is dating, don't view it as the end of the world. Realize that you are in a spiritual battle. Determined to do things God's way, and when. Focus your prayers. Your spouse is confused and deceived, and his real rebellion is against God. Try not to take it personally.
Focus on the need to take authority over the spirits of rebellion, right, adultery, lust, and divorce. God is going to give you insight to the factors that are leading your spouse away from Him ahead of time for this wisdom. Praise is the secret of lifting the heaviness that tries to settle on you. The Filipinos were facing strife, and Paul challenged them to, "rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice." (Philippines 4:4) here That is the foundation for effective prayer. Paul goes on to tell them, "Don't Worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don't forget think Him for His answers." (Philippines 4:6 – TLB)
Your prayers have great power. Paul tells us in Hebrews 4:16," let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Your father is awake on the throne and He says, "I will never leave the, nor forsake me." (Hebrews 13:5) God's strength is available to you.
Pray in the Spirit, "likewise is the spirit also help with our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Romans 8:26) Focus as you pray in the Spirit. Spirit – generated prayer releases God. It looked bad at the crucifixion, but three days later Jesus rose from the dead. It was there in the middle of what appeared to be to feet that God defeated Satan. The battle is over for Jesus. He sits at the right hand of the Father. The devil can only defeat you if he gets you to doubt that victory. Do not let the enemy still your joy.
If Your Spouse Becomes Engaged
Smith Wigglesworth, the grating Lish faith preacher, woke up one morning to find the devil standing at the foot of his bed. Unruffled, he said, "oh That, it's just you, devil," and went back to sleep. By now you're standing on your word of knowledge. All this information does is give you direction for your prayers. Get in your prayer closet, release your prayer language, and give the devil fits.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor they changed the balance of power in World War II. The war would stretch on were few years, but the first thing Winston Churchill said was, "We’ve won the war." He knew, with America's involvement, Germany and Japan were both defeated Erie he went on to get the first good night sleep in ages. They didn't is defeated. It does not matter how long it takes. You will win because God is on your side.
Your "one flesh" is your promised land. Let the Joshua spirit rise up in you very in numbers 13, the other spies saw giants that stopped them. Joshua looked past the problems and remember God's promise. Let God's promises become your rest. "I tell if ye abide in Mean, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7) "And when ye standing frame, forgive, if ye have ought against any: at your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." (Mark 11:25)
here is a strategy that has worked for others. Use Isaiah 54:17 to come against the attack, "no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn." Make this declaration, “By the Name and the blood of Jesus I, against those words which say our marriage is over. I proclaim that my marriage to_________________________________________ has just begun, in Jesus' Name. I'm standing for my covenant marriage. And quote then go on about your business, with no more than me, "Oh, it's just you, Devil.”
in every battle there are times of questioning and exhaustion. Many of the prophets had their questions, and even David despaired at one point of ever being King and drifted into an alliance with the Philistines. There are very few who are standing for their marriages with not based days when they felt as if they wanted to give up. Part of this is that God's timing and hours are seldom exactly the same. A bigger problem is the propaganda and half-truths of the enemy.
When Satan tempted Eve he told her, "He shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Dennis this 3:4 – five) There was a seed of truth in the statement. Until that day, Adam and Eve had no understanding of people. What Satan left out was that God didn't want them to understand or experience people. All of us that make up their descendents wish they had ignored the temptation, but there was just enough truth to make the deception tempting.
The devil is going to come against you standing for your marriage. He will tell you cannot possibly win, or even that you are better off without your old marriage partner who never appreciated you anyway. Your old fallen nature likes to take the easy path rather than the road to victory. If you are not careful, the power of the lie will grow in your mind, if you look at your feelings rather than at the Word of God.
When I was a pilot, I had to learn to fly a plane into bad weather. When you fly a plane through fog or clouds, there are no reference points to thank you. It takes a lot of training to learn to trust your instrument rather than your senses. The danger is that your senses will get you in trouble every time. Your instruments are the key to coming through safely. Our emotions will lead us into trouble every time in a crisis, but the Word of God will bring us through safely. 2 Corinthians 10:5 "... And bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
Where Are You God?
In many of the Psalms, David in distress asked, "Where are you, God?" The question came as David looked at his circumstances, but as his gaze shifted and he remembered God. In the end his faith in God was affirmed. God's words to us or; "Seek and ye shall find, and quote (Matthew 7:7) and "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”(Hebrews 13:5)
one of my favorite stories is that Peter walking on water. He stepped out of the boat, and then the fear of the ways distracted his faith. He began to sink. Jesus did not leave him to drown Erie he reached out and safety. God is bigger than any problem, and He cares about all welfare. Jesus tells us in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believed this in Him should not. She, but have everlasting life." These are the words of a God who cares deeply about what happens to us.
In John 15:7, Jesus said, "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." He does not just say this once. He repeats it even more forcefully in John 15:16 "Ye have not chosen Mean, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, Aggie should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: at whosoever the shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it to you.” God wants you to stand firmly against the devil for the healing of your marriage and for the salvation of every member of your family.
Don't think you are the only one to ask, "Where are you, not Western Mark" the secret is not to let yourself stay mired in questions. Remember, if you seek Him, you will find Him. You can stake everything you have on the faithfulness of God. I John 5:13 – 15 tells us, "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hear us us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him." These are not the words about a Savior who has forsaken you. Even in these trying, hurting moments, God is with you.
God allowed circumstances to change Jonah's mind, and then put this story in the Bible to encourage all of us who have loved ones trying to fight the will of God. Stories of the power of prayer and circumstances filled Bible. What about Gomer's will? Did she change? What about Paul on the road to Damascus? Here was a man set in his ways. He arrested and tortured Christians, and yet God got his attention. Could Paul have resisted God's will? It's easier to give in to God than to fight Him.
I have known a few people who have bought the call of God on their lives, and I have watched them destroy themselves in their rebellion. In Revelation 2:21 – 22 we read about Jezebel and a spirit that resists God, "And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her in two great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds." It is not a light thing to fight God's will, and we are those who stand in the gap for our backslidden loved ones.
Elijah was a prophet hunted by the wicked ruler Ahab. He panicked it once, but God was always there, and this man of God walked in peace, and Saul God's power. James tells us, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would no rain, and it did not rain on the land for 3 1/2 years." (James 5:16 – 17 NIV) prayer makes impact even on those resisting God.
As an oral surgeon, I met a wonderful lady (Rev. Dorothy Kirshner of Mendocino County, California close parentheses who prayed for my conversion for 30 years. She knew God had a plan for my life and kept my name before the Throne. When Lynne left me in 1983, Dorothy ran into her that day, and felt a need to pray for the marriage as well as our salvation. Two years later she was watching TBN's television program "Marriage on the Rock" and so is giving our testimony. It was a great day of vindication. When we told about getting saved and filled with the Spirit, her shout shook the windows of her house.
She was thrilled when in 1988, we invited her to our ordination. She came up afterwards and said, You will never know what this day means to me." Prayer can change lights. God spoke to my daughter Joan Johnson and she, like Dorothy, prayed for years for my salvation. If the answer takes a while, it only makes the victory sweeter. I will never be able to think these people enough for believing for my salvation.
Let God birth you a vision for your situation. As this begins to take form, give your life to it. In Habakkuk 2:3, God tells us, "The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it terry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." Joseph, Abraham and David all had dreams that seemed to have first slow in coming about, but the wait was worth it. Their families, finances and destinies were secure with God; and so are yours.
Pray for the Alien
Alien is the word in Scripture for the "stranger" in your land. I use this term to refer to that "other end of man or woman, the one wrongly involved with your spouse. A family breakup often involves an alien.
In the Book of Ezra, God spoke to a people returning from Babylon. While captive they married women from other lands. Some had established their families and had children, and yet Ezra commanded them to leave those relationships. This seems harsh but the people of God were to release these people to God. The marriages were wrong and they needed to get their lives right.
God wants us to pray for that person who has deceived your spouse. Pray that Christ becomes real to Him, but do not leave it there. Pray also that the fusion and enmity will come between him and your spouse. Break any soul ties or familiar spirits that are trying to hold them together. This is a spiritual battle. A spiritual bondage that is at work, your prayer can bring it here in there is little you can do here except pray, but that is enough.
Satan will try to make you feel responsible for the alien’s welfare. Shake off that kind of thinking. God can easily take care of him. Your commission is to save your family and take back what has been I just leave stolen. You owe this other person no more than love and to pray for his salvation. It evenly violated the sanctity of your home and covenant and is reaping the spiritual consequences.
I saw God move quickly as I prayed. The judge foster disposition, Lynne's attorney was disbarred and jailed, and the alien died of a heart attack. Your only job is to believe that God is going to intervene and help you. God is no respect or a person. What He did for me and thousands of others, he can do for you.
If Your Spouse Remarries
Here is a traumatic point, possibly the most difficult place in your standing for your marriage. This is also our most controversial stand. We do not ask anyone to act on our beliefs. We ask you to pray and seek the direction that the Holy Spirit (our Teacher and Comforter) gives. You will need to get your direction from God, not from an.
In Judges 19 and 20, Israel moved as one against the city of Gibeah at tribe of Benjamin. The men of Gibeah had committed a horrible crime. Israel took all the right steps they first sought God's direction and then went to battle as He commanded them. The problem was that instead of winning, they lost.
They sought God again and with clear directions marched off into a disaster. It was only at their third attempt that they want the victory. I do not understand why at times we have clear direction and see not immediate victory.
God states in Malachi, "I hate divorce and marital separation." In Matthew, Jesus said, "let no man put asunder what God has joined together." All through His Word, God shows Himself as the Keeper of covenant. God did not cast off His people even when they rejected Him. The greatest reunion in history began with the miracle of Israel returning to its homeland. The next step is when they come home spiritually. This is God's nature. He is the repairer of the breach and the reconciler.
God will speak to each one of you who are standing for your marriage area we can't tell you what to do, or even what is best for you, without your first hearing from God on this vital topic.
We believe that God does not tell anyone to stand for two years and then change His mind a little later. His best is still His will. I like to compare this to a family with a young son who loves God. At 14 something happens and he decides to go off and join a cult. With these parents stop praying for their son? Absolutely not.
While You Were Waiting
We have tried to share with you the principles we have learned in our life. Trudging through the mire of separation and divorce, I was deeply wounded, but also encouraged. When God says, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God," (Romans 8:28) He means it. A serious mistake is to gear your joy and devotions to the time when you get back together with your spouse. Life is not on hold while you are standing.
On the trip, people can so focus on the goal that they forgot to enjoy the journey. Some of your greatest experiences with God can happen during this time of discovery His love for you. You will feel strong emotions during this time. I often felt as if I was a cocoon. Do not allow your emotions to lock you into a negative place of defeat. Doors of opportunity are all around you. Many find themselves ministering to others during this period of waiting. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in all that you can't do.
How can we allow ourselves to be defeated when we know the Savior's promise, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5) Trust Him for today as well as your future.
Many times we worry about hearing God. I can tell you from personal experience, if you stay close to Him, He will stay close to you. It was on Sunday morning of Father's Day, 1987, when God sent a bullet of light through my Spirit. Tagged on to the light were the words, "I want you in full-time ministry."
I could not have missed God's will if I tried. It might own thinking this was impossible, but God can't draw a straight line with a crooked stick. I shut down my practice and begin a great adventure of faith. His blessings have literally chased us down.
The call is to learn the voice of God. He is the One Who will call you to stand and direct you in every step you make. There will come a time when you feel as if you're perched out on a limb. Today I feel like I am walking with Jesus out beyond the limb, and when I look back, I cannot even see the tree and more. Perhaps it has been chopped down at the wood corded. But who cares? If God be for you, who can be against you?
We at Covenant Marriages Ministry are dedicated to helping you receive your very chilling. Call or write to us, and let us help you in any way we can. What you're marriages healed, He will call you to help others in a hurting world. Do not turn Him down!
What about Those Relatives and Friends?
It's great to be loved by your family, but it can lead to problems when they will not accept your spouse. In extreme situations they may refuse or ever forgive your spouse or even to have anything to do with you. They can also put a lot of pressure upon the spouse after he or she returns. The key is to do everything by the Book. God says forgive! You do not need a root of bitterness to spring up; so take serious Jesus' words to, "Love those who spitefully use you."
Try to understand where they are coming from. They are scared to death that you were going to be some justice to even more hurt. Most parents and friends see things from a distorted perspective. Many cannot understand your desire to do things God's way. From the standpoint of the world you may very well deserve what you're getting, but thank God, we're not coming from the world's standpoint.
Release the Holy Spirit as a Comforter. The flesh wants to dwell on the acre and the pain, but the Holy Spirit will begin to take these away as He comforts you. God says we are to shed His love of brought by the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus said in John 13: dirty five, "by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
And after you're marriages healed, you will see these other relationships repaired, also. Only God can bring back the love and friendship. This may take time, but He is faithful. Let your friends and relatives know that you love them, but that your commitment to your covenant spouse takes priority. God said, "therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And quote (Genesis 2:24) You still love your parents want their counsel, but your commitment is to your marriage partner.
Good marriages are forged a conflict, and it will take time to work through your issues, but God's giving you the rest of your life to accomplish this. Take things one day at a time and see the miracle of God's help and intervention. If you will stay close to God, He will stay close to you. As you draw close to Him, you will see all relationships around you healed. The devil may attack, but let your love light shine.
You lead by example; so remember, those close to you are watching. This is a time that is hard on them, but it can cause their faith to grow as a see you grow in faith and God work in your home situation. You're enthusiasm for God will be contagious, spilling over onto all those around you. It is easy to praise God when you're being blessed; even sinners can do that. What causes held to trouble is when a believer faces the worst the devil and life can dish out and begins to talk about the goodness of God and His power to work miracles.
The people of the Old Testament based these kinds of situations over and over. Hebrews 11: 32– 34 tells us, "... Of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and out Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the profits: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, ordained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of which this were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of alien.” If God helped these people, He will help you. Remember, "What Satan planned for destruction, God will use for His glory." Asked line I traveled all over the country ministering to hurting marriages, and it thrills me to see children standing in faith with the believing parent. This is often a vital part of the miracle. Many times the inspiration of the simple faith of the children carries their parent through a difficult moment.
God loves children and acknowledges their faith. I believe that we are tremendous force of spiritual support when we do not in list children in the spiritual battle. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
When Your Spouse Comes Home
I wish I could tell you when your spouse comes home all your problems will be over, but they won't be. Israel faced one set of tests while they were in the wilderness, and a different set in the promised land. The promised land came with its challenges, but it had its blessing, also.
Your stance has won the victory, and now comes the challenge of walking in love. Here can be the real test. A covenant is based on vows to love in good times and in bad, in sickness or in health.
Jesus would defeat the, but this only drove him off for a season. The victory is still and say is licking his wounds, but he will come slink back to see if he can destroy your marriage. This is nothing to fear. It's just a fact of life. This is like saying there are no germs of the air that can hurt you if you allow yourself to become run down. You resist the germs by staying healthy. You have learned to walk with Christ and the Holy Spirit in a way that guarantees you victory, as long as you remember not to let your guard down. The battle will not be over until we reach heaven.
There is an opportunity for a new beginning between you and your spouse. There may be areas that need change. Do not become defensive at some of the old issues arise. Some of these areas in which God wants to bring change. Apply the lessons learned in prayer and guidance and close those doors that allowed the devil access. The wise husband or wife will have learned to recognize those sensitive areas that lead to pass defeat. Saturate these danger zones in prayer and major partner in prayer cover. Be especially on the lookout for some of the enemy’s favorite tools for destroying life: oppression, depression, anger, pride, apathy, unforgiveness, rebellion, last and hardness of the heart. Bind the enemy in these areas and proclaim God's purpose and direction over your mate.
Part III: The Way to Victory
Key Steps to Help You along the Way
Standing in love is a calling from the Lord. In order to be victorious in our stand, we must hear gods voice daily and follow His leading moment by moment.
Here are some things that have helped me and others in our journey toward the goal that God has spoken to our hearts.
You have been bought with a price. Jesus paid that price so that you could have a great and beautiful marriage. In Jeremiah 32:27 God asks, "Is there anything too hard for Me?" In verse 39 He says, "And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them, and their children after them."
Even as we write this, we are hearing of marriages be healed. Be a part of a large army God is raising up in the last days to stand for the healing of marriages. You are standing up for your spouse and children. Jesus said a husband should love his spouse as He loved the Church. The Church was not perfect, and yet He died for her. Our spouses and children are worth a sacrifice. To women, the Word says submit. The great women of the Bible did not have perfect husband, but their trust in God accomplished more than nagging or manipulation. Sure there is a price in this but our families are worth whatever it may cost.
As you find others to pray with you, praise God for their support. Sadly, some friends will not understand your pain and troubles and may not be able to help. This has nothing to do with you. They might not have the revelation that you possess. Real friends will come to the front, and God will send new friends to stand with you. Get close to those who can't agree with you for your marriage. In prayer, speech, and emotions, joined with these people in claiming what God promised you. Guard your mouth from negative statements that can allow Satan to come in and work more destruction.
Galatians 6:7 tells us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man so with, that shall he also reap." Make sure that's all you were sewing is good seat. Nothing will make life tougher on you had to have to go back and we out all the trash that you plan to that will stop the blessing of God.
Good words allow God's love to flow. Negative words activate the kingdom of darkness with all with lies and harm. This is a difficult but vital lesson to learn. You need to determine what your focus is on. Israel could have crossed the wilderness in three or four days; instead they spent 40 years wandering. These were God's people. They had a promised land that they missed because of their unbelief.
You do not have to spend your life in the wilderness. You can be a champion! As long as we walk in this mortal body, the devil is our enemy, but it's "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that he is in you, than he that is in the world." (I John 4:4) We will not be defeated. God never said that it would be easy, but good things rarely are. Remember, you will win. Jesus paid the price for your victory. God's power can heal every marriage. Catch the vision.
When you come back together, be open to the Spirit's leading for your future. There is often a change of direction. From operating alone, God will open the door for the two of you to minister together. God wants you to learn how to function as one flesh. If you attempt to do your own thing, you will just produce Ishmaels, but listen for His still small voice.
If one of you hears God's direction or you first, wait patiently for the other to respond. God will get through to your spouse. Remember, He doesn't call the equipped. He equips those he calls.
Scriptures to Point the Way
Pray for Your Spouse
When you get serious about prayer, someone may remind you that your mate has a free will. Too often this is misunderstood and robs us of any desire to pray for others. Each of us has his own will. But when the will of our spouse goes against God's will, we need to pray for them to be brought back. Oftentimes, God uses the circumstances of life to line up our lives with His will. The fact that a person has a will does not leave God powerless.
In the story of demoniac of the Gadarenes, Jesus freed a man from demonic influence. In the process, He upset pig production in the area and the first response was to drive Him away. The demoniac wanted to leave with Him but Jesus told him to stay. When Jesus returned later, peoples' wills had gone from resistance to acceptance. The demoniac had influenced their thinking.
God is looking for someone to agree with Him on the basis of His Word. Someone who will stand, whatever the cost or circumstances. Is that you? It is a tragedy to see someone fail for lack of persistence. The old saying is often true, "It's darkest before the dawn." You may be on the edge of victory, so don't give up. We commit yourself to pray for God to move in the lives of those you love.
During my separation I found this poem:
As children bring their broken toys,
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God,
because He was my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone,
I hung around and try to help
with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
' How can you be so slow?’
' My child,' He said,
' What could I do? You never did let go.'
Releasing your spouse to the Lord is vital to victory. We recommend that you do this with every area of your life: children, assets, finances, and resources are all His. Hold onto nothing but your love for Him and your family.
We at Covenant Marriages Ministry view marriage as a covenant between both God and your spouse. If you are standing on your wedding covenant for your spouse, then God stands with you, and that agreement stays intact. If you and your spouse release your covenant, then God will reluctantly stepped aside. This, though, is disobedience and sin, just as serious is the rebellion involved, and the Bible says rebellion is the sin of witchcraft. There is nothing else we can call it but sin; a sin that is avoidable.
For those with faith to hold the covenant, we believe that the marriage between your spouse and the alien is an adulterous one, and it will not stand. It's like those who led Israel was involved with during the time of Ezra. God told them to leave their strange wives and return to faithfulness. We have seen many of these adulterous marriages fall and the husband or wife returned to his or her first love and covenant partner. The we feel this is the will of God, your choice to stand has to come to God.
This kind of stand takes great courage. Well it will inspire many, it also convicts those who have less faith. As you boldly declare what God says, criticism may come even from other questions. Family members, friends and good Christians may question your faith. They mean well, but they based their advice on emotions rather than the Word of God. Remember, if God has called you to stand, then do not let men move you.
When Joshua led the people of Israel into the promised land, he knew things were not going to be easy. God had told them what He wanted. This was going to be a life of dependence on God rather than the seemingly easier path that other nations followed. Joshua did not look at others but said these powerful words, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
Here is the decision that we believe can turn the divorce rate around in America.
There is one other area vital for a strong. 1 Corinthians 11:3 tells us, "But I would have you know, that the head of everything is priced seven: ahead of everyone that is simple head of Christ is God away from God's clear teaching on authority.” Influenced by humanism and the feminist movement, our culture is subtly drifting away from God's clear teaching on authority. A home in God's authority to have God's blessing. These roles have nothing to do with one sex be better that the other. They deal with us becoming all that God wants us to be.
In Ephesians 5:22 – 25 it says, "Wives, set it yourself to your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even ask Rice is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the body. Therefore as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the whites be too careful husbands in everything. Husband, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it."
God never does anything by accident. He has a reason for the order He has established. This order frees us. The man is called to be the spiritual leader of the home, protecting and loving his wife. The woman is called to revere and respect her husband. This covering releases her. She becomes the helper she was designed to be at the one who brings beauty to the world. If we get out from under this covering, we open ourselves up to confusion and destruction.
Coming back together takes it and patience. Nothing in life that valuable comes easily or without a fight. You may even doubt your love for your spouse. This is a natural response to pressures and problems, but we aren't staying in the natural. Spend time praying together. God's love can change everything.
Sometimes when a couple gets back together after a divorce, they don't feel it's necessary to marry each other. This will allow entrance to the devil. This is a sin that always leads to disaster. Since without a renewal of wedding vows neither partner is fully committed to God or to each other, there is a white open path left for the enemy to plunder the heart of the marriage. It will usually fall.
Another concern is when one of the partners in the marriage sees no need to get into the Word or prayer. God wants both of you to put Him first, not just one of you. Make a special commitment to cover your mate, and ask God to reveal your spouse is need for Him.
Something exciting we are seeing it more and more churches is a "Covenant of Marriage Agreement." This is signed by both parties, stating that theirs is a covenant marriage where they pledged to forgive the spouse for all past offenses and future ones. They further pledge to handle all future conflicts through biblical values church authority. There is a recounting of divorce as an option for the future or the use of civil government and difficulties.
We believe this is a spiritual approach to a desperate problem. The couple is standing at the start of their union for God. Surrounded by believers pray for them, they leave no cracks for Satan to. By making these vows, they remove a casual approach to what is a sacred union. It also is a help in preventing the unequal yoking of spouses. If you would like to know more about these, contact us at Covenant Marriages Ministry and we will help you with these documents.
spouse who desires to dissolve the marriage seldom considers the damage he or
she causes, not only to the children, but to those of future generations. The
“This will be better for the kids,” does not consider the Bible’s warning that the sins of the father are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations.
God has another order for the family. The husband should be the leader of the home and submitted to Jesus. The wife is to submit to her husband, helping to direct and teach the children. Breaking disorder leads to chaos, fusion, and rebellion.
A woman deserted by her husband will feel the loss of headship, both in her personal life with the children. Children feel the same loss and rejection. The resulting anger may be directed at God. Destabilized the breakdown of God's order, they will often lash out at any authority.
If the husband is left to care for the children, he will feel the loss of his wife, and mother of his children. Neither. It is complete without the other. This is why God created marriage; He knew us, and wanted to fulfill us. Modern man can say we don't need marriage, but it's a foolish idea. God ordained marriage and its structure for our good.
As a Christian, I can't begin to approach my problems with faith. I John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love; a perfect love casteth out fear." The task is not too large, and all is not lost. I have given my direction; love. As I ask God for strength to love my spouse and simply release the love that God has given me for my children, I'm on the road to my miracle. I John 5:4 tells us, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world." God told us to bring up our children in abomination of the Lord. If He said it, we can do it. He would never tell us to do something we couldn't accomplish.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he was writing to the people who had a light view of immortality. Their culture and age were close to today's in its hedonism and immortality. Their religion embraced prostitution and their culture a card violations of the actual order. He wanted to shake them so that they would see the consequences of their acts, and He told them, "Flea fornication. Every sin that a man do with it without the body; but that he committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (1 Corinthians 6:18) They didn't realize that their bodies were temples or that they needed to live clean lives.
If Paul were writing to us today, he would warn us of immortality he might add, "Flea divorce, for every sin that a man does is outside the company, but he who breaks up his, sins against the very foundation of man's relationship to God.”
Divorce is a spirit that wants to spread like the plague through generations. The effect isn’t only in the home. As families destabilized, the whole society and morals and standards are affected. The devil knows that if he can destroy God's plan and one marriage, he can affect many generations. The answer to this is for someone to begin to take up the Word and stand against this spiritual plague.
In Numbers 25:7 – 15, Israel was in trouble. Immortality had literally set a plague loose among the people. Phinehas was a young man with a heart for God. He ran to the source of the plague and took a dramatic stand. As he stopped the sin; he stopped the plague. The chaos that has been released in our nation, can only be dealt with at the root; divorce and all that is associated with it, things such as in forgiveness, hard heartedness, bitterness, self-willed, rebellion and countless other destructive forces.
There is a principle of synergy in the World. This means that we join with others the power is not added to, but multiplied. The Word talks of what defeating 100, that says, two can't defeat-- not 200-- but 1000. As your children join with you, the multiplying power of prayer comes into effect.
A crucial warning is necessary; if not for the children to the conflict between the parents. They don't need to choose one side over the other. The children have a natural desire to see the marriage healed. They want mom and dad back together, and they will join their faith with with yours to see that and. You defeat this if you talk evil about your spouse. Speak God's Word to the children. Paint a faith picture of the spouse God is bringing back. Faith isn't how you feel, it's what you believe. When we talk out of our feelings, we can damage another person, but what we speak from God’s Word, we build them up. Remember, God love you when you were not that lovable. Your spouse is not your enemy—Satan is.
Never use the children as pawns to get even with your spouse. Share the blessing of raising them. Just as you have lost half of your one flesh, the children are entering a time where they only receive a partial parenting. They will fill this loss it off without the parents playing a tug-of-war game with their emotions or using them as a means of punishment. God can't put a love for these children in the heart of a person walking away from Him.
The best you are facing was not created by just one person-- it took two. The healthy approach it a separation is not to blame the other person. You can't change him; only God can. Realize these problems are also yours. Let God change you, and this will be a powerful testimony to your spouse. "But seek ye first the key demo of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
Jesus is our example in everything. He astounded the disciples went He had time for children. With all the attacks and pressures He faced, he still cared about them. Don't allow yourself to take your frustrations out on the children. Love them. Many are tempted to think that it doesn't pay to be nice. This is false. All the love that you show is seen by the Father, and received as a testimony of your love for Him. Parenthood is a stewardship. Entrusted to us are the lives of people who have the potential to be sons and daughters of God. Remember the gift your children are.
"Give and it shall be given unto you," is a law of creation. Whatever I give comes back to me, not the same measure, but "pressed down shaken together and running over.” The love I give to my children, God, and my rebellious spouse has power to pervade the whole situation with healing power. Don't let a spirit of pride and selfishness hinder the miracle. Let's love prevail!
Satan's plan has a weak spot. God's people can stop him. Revelation 12:11 states, "They overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony." (NIV) The plague can't be stopped. As the believing member of the family, you need not only catch a godly vision for the family, but to release overcoming power. This doesn't come without a cost. The same verse goes on to say, "They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” God will give you the dream, and you are commanded to give your life for it.
In every crisis we choose to react in either the flesh or in the spirit. In Galatians, chapter 5, Paul spells this out. Conflict is always the result of the flesh, he shows the fruit that this brings. "When you follow your own wrong inclinations, your lives will produce these evil results: if your thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure hatred infighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticism, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group-and there will be wrong doctorine, and the, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19 – 21 TLB)
on the other side is another fruit. Here Paul's pleading for a different life and a better result. Galatians 5:22 – 24 tells us, "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in his love: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to His cross and crucified them there." (TLB)
Part IV: A Final Word
Love Never Fails
God's word says, "all things work together for good for those who love and serve the Lord.”(Romans 8:28)
I wish I could tell you that by serving the Lord you will find no difficult circumstances in your life. I sometimes fill the closer you get to serving God and doing His will, the more likely you are to see Satan's attacks.
In 1985, my wife came home and we were remarried. We served the Lord together in seminars and a television program "Back Together Again." In 1994, Lynne again decided to leave the marriage and sought divorce. I was devastated, but two years earlier God had given me a picture of what would be happening and He instructed me to pray earnestly and to stay on course with the message He had given me.
Many times in our lives we are given opportunities to see what our covenant is to Jesus at the Father. In the natural the situation seemed very difficult. I was president of a medical device company was found her and pastor of Covenant Marriages Ministry. Without the support and affection of my wife, these tasks would become more difficult possibly less meeting. On yet God instructed me to carry on.
God must have a sense of humor. He called me into this ministry in 1983, in the midst of divorce with Lynne. He has continued to call me direct my steps even through Lynne’s latest divorce. God isn’t moved, He's moved by our hearts, our words and our commitment.
When we become born-again and make Him Lord of our lives, there is little room for self. He keeps asking us to lay down our lives for His.
Jesus said it was because of "heart us apart and quote that a person would seek divorce. I truly believe that. He said, "If you vow a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slack to pay it." As born-again Christians, I don't believe He gives us the luxury of divorce. He wants to use our differences to approve our lives. Divorce is bailing out--quitting-- giving up on God's plans. What glory does God receive through it?
If this ministry we have dealt with thousands of hurting people going through divorce. Maybe we have helped turn from their difficulties are to God's path for their lives so that their entire family might be blessed and they would live lives that honor God.
There have been some we have had the joy of remarrying and putting back on course. We have also encouraged thousands to stand for God’s best in their marriage.
View Form the Other Side
I have taken the liberty of including in this book a letter from a very honest and humble woman. She sent it to us along with a comp of a letter she wrote to a friend encouraging her to stand for her marriage.
Many times Christians as well as pastors of churches feel they are relieving pain by recommending to the divorced person, “Get on with your life.” Each Christian will be faced with crossroads as to whether she or he will follow Jesus or go the world’s way. Ultimately, putting self before God’s will brings more heartaches, less contentment, diminished self- esteem and little glory to God. Listen, as this dear saint pleads with her friend to “keep her foot from danger” so that God will bless her!”
In her letter to Covenant Marriages Ministry she states:
I was a stander. But I failed. I’m writing because I want to encourage standers in their stand. I hope others can benefit from my failure.
My original spouse divorced me. With a no fault divorce, I could do nothing to stop it. I set my will on remarriage to my original spouse.
After a few years I began seeing some men on a “buddy basis.” This was the beginning of my failure. At first I felt conflict, but after a while the conflict left. About a year ago I told the Lord that I was tired of standing. He said to me, “Can you not watch with me one hour?” I said, “But it is such a sacrifice.” He said, “Didn’t I sacrifice for you?” Instead of dropping to my knees in prayer, I called a male friend and asked him to take me dancing. That was the last time I heard the voice of the Lord. I miss it.
The Letter to her friend follows:
Dear (friend’s name),
I have something to tell you. I know it’s your birthday, and I don’t want to go heavy on you, but…..
Do you remember these words from a letter I wrote you last summer?
I no longer feel the conflict. I hope I am going the right way now. If not, I have asked the Lord to stop it. I don’t want to go back to living without the lord. I’m miserable then. No joy. I truly believe it is our obedience that pleased Him the most.
(Friend’s name) I feel I have failed the Lord. I feel I have ruined my witness. I have lost joy. I have lost the closeness I had with the Lord.
You know that a few years ago I would never have said yes to marring anyone other than (original spouse)…but I did say yes to a dinner invitation…and step by step I brought myself closer to doing what I said I would never do…
At times I think it is OK, but it keeps coming back to me. It lies beneath the surface of my life and rises up now and then to face me squarely: I truly felt God called me to stand for that marriage. I did not, and because of it, I wonder if my marriage to (current spouse) can be blessed.
I know (current spouse) and feels some responsibility. Several months before we married Alma we read my write up on how I was led by the Lord to stand for my marriage. When he read it, he agreed that I should stand and wait. It took a lot for him to say that because he wanted very much to marry me. I had delayed showing it to him because I thought that would be his reaction. By the time I showed him the write-up, we were entrenched with each other. I said, Well maybe God had not said. (Sound familiar) He went along with it, allowing himself to be persuaded. Just like Adam and Eve…
Would Adam and Eve have said yes to death? No! But they did say yes to a piece of fruit. Nothing wrong with fruit. But God had said this is not for you…
If we are to be obedient, then compromise and rationalization can have no part in our Christian walk. (I knew that. Yet it happened to me—baby step by baby step.)
Let God give you His best. Listen to your old buddy. So many times I could have stopped and changed course. I never had total peace. I told myself I had peace. I told myself I felt no conflict. I ignored the Spirit’s twinges. I stood on the shifting sands of my own rationalization—instead of standing on the unshakable word of God.
Would anyone say yes to bankruptcy? No! But they will say yes to just one more charge on their credit card…
Would anyone say yes to being fat? No! But they will say yes to just one more slab of butter…
I took just one little step off the main road. (It looked sooooo very long.) Then I took another step away. And another – until I lost sight of it. I didn’t mean to. I only wanted to step away a little…Now I can no longer get back to that road. I know now, even though it was a long road, it would have been the smoother way.
God has His plans for us. He knows what is best for us. His Spirit tells our hearts when we are wrong. We can rationalize. We can compromise. We can pretend we don’t hear. But God knows our heart. God knows our heart. God knows our heart. God knows our heart. It is awesome. The Almighty, Holy Lord of the universe knows our heart.
I know the Lord has something special for your life. He has His hand on you. He wants to use you for His purposes. If you follow Him, joy will be your companion. Don’t mess up like I did. It is just not worth it. Believe me. I went the way of the world, and I am missing out on God’s best for me.
In not standing for my original marriage, my life became ordinary. I lost the key that opened that opened the door to witnessing to unbelievers. There is no longer anything special about my circumstances to draw others to question me about my life.
I had freely told unbelievers my story. By not continuing to wait, I let them down. I’m sure they now see me as one more of those hypocritical, insincere “Christians” (of which this world has too many). I let believers down. I could have been an encouraging example of answered prayer. We Christians need to see and experience answered prayes walking around among us.
I had the opportunity to bring glory to God. I let Him down. I have no jewels to lay before Him. Feeling you have failed your God is a painful thing.
There have been some unpleasant surprises in this marriage. And after I married, some circumstances changed that I believe would have had a favorable affect toward reconciliation with (original spouse).
Don’t feel bad for me. I don’t feel the Lord is punishing me. (Current spouse) and I love the Lord, and God promises He will work good in al situations for those who love Him. I’m counting on that. Through it all, I am learning and growing. But I don’t expect an easy ride of it. And I will forever live with the “what ifs.”
Abraham was given a promise from the Lord. He goofed up, became impatient and tried doing things his own way. In so doing, he permanently messed up some people’s lives – and he missed out on some blessings from the Lord. I was encouraged when I read that the Lord had Abraham take Isaac up to the mountain to test Abraham’s faith and obedience – after the goof-up. This time, Abe came through for the Lord, he was obedient. I’ve asked the Lord for the opportunity to have my obedience and faith tested again sometime. I believe it will be a tougher test then before. The next time, I want to come through for Him.
I love you buddy. Happy birthday!
Read you Bible. Keep your foot from danger, and God will bless you, my friend.
I have taken the liberty of enclosing this letter from this humble and honest woman. She has presented the crossroads that will be faced by all those who choose to follow God’s will for their lives. Don’t think you won’t be tempted… you will, may times. Jesus said “God’s grace is sufficient for you.” The Lord made it clear to me that the big reason a church will start Divorce Recovery is they lack knowledge of covenant and God’s desire and power to reconcile families. It isn’t Divorce Recovery that’s needed, it’s Marriage Recovery. This letter tells the story of the conflict facing one who chooses to take a path which isn’t God’s best.
You see, dear reader, the desire to compromise and rationalize may seem to be a way of reducing turmoil and pain, but it the long haul, it will bring loss of confidence, dissatisfaction and knowing ta we he lost a golden opportunity to witness the love and glory of God.
The Lord spoke clearly to my spirit and said, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Because we lack knowledge of the wonderful powerful boding of a Christian marriage covenant, we abandon the very ones for whom we should lay down our lives. My friends, God is more than able. He is the Reconciler. Don’t sell Him short!
Speak the words of the song
He is able
More than able
I’m not disheartened by my second stand for my marriage to Lynne. She is the wife of my covenant and I am proud to still call her, my wife.
If you love someone, don’t be afraid to lay your life down for her or him. That’s what marriage is all about. Truly “His yoke is easy, His burden is light.”
Bob, Lynne, Andrew, Matthew with Gavin and friends after their remarriage at Church On The Way
Gavin and Bob after wedding
Bob and Patti before the wedding
Gavin, Lynne, Bob and Patti
Lynne, Gavin, Andrew and Matthew after wedding
Bob walking Patti down the aisle for their wedding.
Bob, Gavin and Pat