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“I Want a Divorce!”

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Obviously, divorce is quite prevalent today – even in the church among those who claim Christ.

Let me say right up front…

No one answers to me about why they got a divorce or why they want a divorce.  We will all answer to God alone for our thoughts, words and actions.

I am not a pastor, theologian, psychologist, psychiatrist, lawyer or certified counselor. I am just a normal wife who loves Jesus and His Word. I am not giving legal advice and I am not qualified to tell you what to do in your situation. Your decisions are ultimately up to you, knowing that you will stand before God and be accountable to Him for each of them when this life is over.

My concern is – what does God say about divorce?

I have listed all of the scriptures I can find about this topic at the bottom of this post.  What God says is the only thing that matters here.

*** Please keep in mind, I write for women, so I am only addressing wives here.  God’s Word applies to husbands, too.

If we are disciples of Christ and we love Jesus – we will long more than anything to obey Him and please Him – no matter what the personal cost and sacrifice – in every area of our lives.  That is what it means for Him to be LORD of our lives.

  • Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. John 14:23-24

I want us to live without regret – knowing we honored Jesus in everything.

GOD’S PURPOSE IN MARRIAGE

God intends marriage to be a living, dynamic, beautiful picture of the relationship and oneness between Christ and His church, His people.  For disciples of Christ, our living out God’s design for marriage, masculinity, femininity and family is intended by God to draw people to Jesus.

If we as the church of Christ don’t portray Christ and His church properly to the world… what do we really have to offer of any value to this dying world?

God NEVER forsakes us.  He NEVER divorces us.  Even when we are faithless, He is faithful.

  • Ephesians 5:22-33 – God’s beautiful design for marriage
  • I Peter 3:1-6 (God’s commands for wives whose husbands are far from God.  If we want to see God work in our husbands’ lives, THIS is the way it must begin!)

Divorce can easily be a factory of hatred, contempt, bitterness, hard-heartedness and resentment that continues to produce these things every day for the rest of our lives.

That is a big problem – because if I hate someone, God says I cannot love Him.

  • If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”  I John 4:20-21
  • We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.  Anyone who does not love remains in death.  Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.  I John 3:14-15

“BUT I DON’T FEEL LOVED!  I AM NOT HAPPY!”

It would be awesome if we always felt loved, cherished, adored, protected and safe in our marriages. If this were a perfect world, maybe we would! But this is not at all a perfect world.  We are sinners.  Our husbands are sinners.  It hurts to be sinned against!!!!  There are many times we all will feel unloved (check out yesterday’s post).  Sometimes we may actually even be unloved by our husbands.  But we are NEVER unloved by God. For more about the ultimate love of God, please read here!

Our feelings are important.  I believe God gives us feelings to help guide us in our decision making processes about some things.  But…

  • God commands us to make our decisions based on the absolute truth of God’s Word, not based on our changing and fleeting emotions.

Marriage is a COVENANT relationship.  It is between our husbands, God and us.  It is to last until one of us dies.  God does not intend for us to break covenants.  He never breaks His covenants!  Covenants are based on holy commitment and holy promises, not emotions or feelings.

Our obedience to God MUST come first.  Being mature in Christ means that we do what is right and we choose to love by God’s Spirit working in us even when the feelings are not there.  Then we trust God with the results.  Feelings are not to be my master.  Jesus is my Master.  God is MUCH more concerned about my willing obedience than He is with my feelings.

This is about what honors Him and about being holy, not about me feeling loved or being happy in the moment.

“IS DIVORCE AN IDOL IN MY HEART?”

It is entirely possible for me as a sinful human to make almost anything into an idol

  • something I put above Christ in my heart
  • something I think I HAVE to have to be happy
  • something I am willing to do ANYTHING to get – even sin against God and/or others if necessary
  • something I am willing to sacrifice for and give up huge amounts of my relationships, money and time to possess

If I am looking to divorce to meet all of my emotional/spiritual needs and to make me happy, if I think that “if only I could get divorced, my life would be great”… I am on very dangerous ground.  It is definitely time for a motive check.

I VOTE TO TAKE THE WORD “DIVORCE” OUT OF OUR VOCABULARY AS BELIEVERS

My husband and I have an agreement that we don’t ever use that word.  It’s not an option for us.  We have never used that word in our 19+ years of marriage – even when things were difficult at times. I have never regretted our commitment to this agreement.

Joy and contentment come from within – our husbands can’t “make” us happy.

  • If I am filled with God’s Spirit – I will respond in His power and in obedience to Him no matter who my husband is.  I will have peace and joy no matter what my circumstances are because I have Living Water welling up in me through the Holy Spirit.  I am not dependent upon any human to make me happy.  No matter who I am married to – if I am filled with God’s Spirit, I will have love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
  • If I am controlled by my sinful nature – I will respond sinfully to my current husband and I will respond sinfully to any other man I might marry.  If I am disrespectful and controlling with my husband now, I would be disrespectful and controlling with any man.  That is my character.

All husbands will sin against us.  Some much worse than others, of course.

My husband’s sin against me doesn’t create sin in my heart – it reveals the sin that is in my heart.

  • My level of respect and biblical submission toward my husband right now is a tangible indicator of my level of reverence for and submission to Christ. (Jesus says in John 14 that anyone who loves Him obeys Him.  And if someone does not obey Him, he does not love Him.  God commands me as a wife to respect my husband and honor His leadership in Ephesians 5:22-33)
  • So, my level of respect and biblical submission in my marriage has almost nothing to do with my husband and almost everything to do with my relationship with Jesus.

I do not believe a wife is obligated to respect clear sin or to submit to instructions her husband gives that are clear violations of God’s Word.  For more on this, please click here.

For info on a husband’s authority and a wife’s authority in marriage, please click here.

Biblical submission does not mean a husband is always right.

This is all about Christ.  It is not about me.

SEPARATION

There can be times when there are serious problems that separation may be necessary.  It is not ideal, of course. God’s Word addresses this.  You can check out I Corinthians 7 below.

If you are dealing with addictions, unrepentant major sin, physical/sexual abuse of yourself or your children, uncontrolled mental health issues, severe controlling issues…. please seek godly help ASAP!  If you or your children are genuinely not safe, please get help!  You may need to leave, at least for a time. Please do not read my blog if this is your situation, but just seek godly, biblical, experienced help.

A BIBLICAL FOUNDATION ABOUT DIVORCE FOR CHRISTIAN WOMEN

There are only a few situations where God allows divorce.  If you are not yet divorced – please carefully study what God’s Word says because with the possible exception of a few circumstances, divorce is sin against God and against our husbands.  Separation is not labeled as sin in the Bible.  There can be times separation may be necessary – but God desires us to honor the covenant of marriage, prayerfully seeking reconciliation and trusting God to heal and work in our marriages.

  • Divorce is a concession possibly in cases of sexual immorality – but it is not commanded by God (Matthew 19:1-12).  In fact, many times, God can and does heal marriages even after infidelity has been committed. I have seen God heal MANY, MANY marriages even after adultery and make the marriage into something beautiful and godly and holy. And, some translators of the New Testament Greek believe that Matthew 19:9 is not talking about adultery, but only if a woman is found to have had sex with someone else before the marriage takes place – which would mean that the definition of a divorce that is condoned by Jesus would be extremely limited.
  • If an unbelieving spouse leaves – I Corinthians 7 says to let him leave and not to try to force him to stay.  But the believing spouse is not told to initiate a divorce in such a situation.

Another very significant concern I have is that most Christian couples who divorce go through the secular court system.  Paul was extremely clear that believers were not to take one another to court and that if we have law suits against each other, we are completely defeated already.  We destroy our witness for Christ when we as believers take others to court I Corinthians 6:1-11  I am not offering legal advice here.  I am not qualified to do that.  But I do want us as women of God to know God’s Word and to obey Him and honor Him in everything we do – that we might bring the greatest glory to His Name.  That has to be our goal – to glorify God with our lives.  Nothing else matters if Christ is our LORD.

Divorce is VERY serious in God’s eyes.  It is always a result of sin.  Our society, unfortunately, makes divorce so easy.  But this does not honor God.

  • I want to encourage and exhort those who have not divorced yet to STOP and truly seek to honor and obey God and to seek His healing in their marriages and to pray for reconciliation and God’s power and wisdom and not to turn to divorce, but to uphold our marriage covenants in order to please God.
  • If you already divorced your first husband and are already married to another husband?  Please search the Scriptures and seek to honor and please God. There are a few different interpretations about what believers should do in this case. I pray for God’s wisdom for you.

 

“Not my will, but Yours be done, Lord Jesus!”

If a wife is able to have pure motives of loving and obeying God and is not full of resentment, hatred, unforgiveness and bitterness, has God’s peace, love and joy overflowing in her soul and has no idols in her heart – those would be good indicators that she is generally moving toward God.

We must lay down our dreams, our wisdom, our plans, our rights, all that we are and all that we might ever be before Jesus – this is DYING TO SELF.  Christ calls every one of His disciples to die to self and submit 100% to Him as LORD – men and women.  We must give it all up to Him as a sacrifice.  Then we must be willing to pick up His will, His dreams, His wisdom, His plans, His purposes, His holiness, His love…. and seek only His glory.  This is our purpose in life!

This is the place we must be in order to be in right standing with Jesus – willing to give up anything He asks of us, willing to sacrifice everything for Him, willing to do His will even if the cost is great to us personally.

I’M ALREADY DIVORCED.  IS DIVORCE UNFORGIVABLE?

Thankfully, Jesus’ blood is able to cover any sin!!!!  Idolatry, murder, theft, hatred, contempt, bitterness, divorce, kidnapping, unforgiveness, lust, adultery, addictions, gossip, divisions, slander, jealousy, disrespect of God-given authority, self-righteousness, greed … you name it.  Jesus’ blood can cover it.

If you realize that you got divorced and that what you did was out of line with God’s Word – repent and ask Him to forgive you!  Ask Him to show you what to do to try to make things right at this point.

God loves a broken, humble contrite heart.

God will not allow me to find contentment in anything other than Himself alone.

THE POWER OF GOD

What I would love to see happen is for us, as the women of God, to determine to look to Christ for our strength, our hope, our help, our wisdom, our direction and our decisions – not to the world’s ways or the world’s wisdom.  I believe that as we focus on becoming the women God desires us to be and focus on repenting of any sin in our hearts and focus on responding to our husbands in godly ways in the power of God’s Spirit – we open up the flood gates of heaven to pour into our lives and marriages.

  • Our God is able to heal.
  • Our God knows how to bring dead things back to life.
  • Our God is able to bring joy from mourning, beauty from ashes and restore the years the locusts have eaten.
  • God does not guarantee to change our husbands if we obey Him and live in His power – He may or He may not.  But He does guarantee He will change US!
  • If God is going to change our husbands and draw them to Himself, it will only be after we are willing to obey Him and follow I Peter 3:1-6.

What if we seek to do things God’s way – even if it costs us something?  That is called, dying to self, picking up our cross and following Christ.  To be His disciple costs me EVERYTHING!  I can hold nothing back from Jesus if He is my LORD!  And yet, when I am willing to give up everything – I get so much more in return from Him!

He who tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, will find it!  Matthew 16:15

God’s wisdom is NOT like the world’s wisdom.  His wisdom is counterintuitive to our human attempts at wisdom.

Let’s put our faith and trust in Him to change us and trust Him to work in our husbands’ lives for His glory!

Then –

We open up the possibility that God may do miracles in our lives.

I don’t want any of us to miss out on that!

But even more importantly, I desire for Christ to be greatly glorified in each of our lives and marriages.  That is our primary purpose as believers in Christ – to bring great honor and glory to His Name by our steadfast obedience and love for Him and our willingness to do whatever He asks of us.

I pray each of us might be sensitive and obedient to His voice.

RELATED:

For wives in very difficult marriages, please check out the healing that is available to you in Christ in Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity!

The Marriage Covenant – “Brides and Butchers”

“I’m Thinking of Having an Affair”

When My Spouse is Wrong

WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY ABOUT DIVORCE?

MALACHI 2

13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with  favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.

So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

Another verson (GNT) of verse 16:

1I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel. “I hate it when one of you does such a cruel thing to his wife. Make sure that you do not break your promise to be faithful to your wife.”

MATTHEW 5

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

LUKE 16:18

“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

ROMANS 7:2-3

For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

MATTHEW 19

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

I CORINTHIANS 7

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?…

39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

HOSEA

The entire book of Hosea is about the faithful love of God as a Husband to His faithless people Israel – portrayed vividly in the marriage of Hosea ,the prophet, to the prostitute, Gomer.

God does not divorce His people.  Even though they deserved it time and time again because of their idolatry – which is like adultery in God’s sight – a heinous breaking of their covenant relationship with Him.

When There is No Happy Ending in Sight

broken-promises
This is an email from a wife who is in an email support group for wives whose husbands have committed infidelity or have abandoned them.  God is doing HUGE things in these women in the midst of some very dark and difficult days.  This precious sister in Christ allowed me to share her story this week.  I’m so thankful for her.  She tried to stop her husband from divorcing her, but he is not a believer and he refuses to stay.  

Sometimes a wife can do everything “right” but her husband will not stay and will not change.

Sometimes it is impossible to prevent divorce.  Sometimes separation can be necessary to bring healing – and couples may reunite.  Sometimes they may reunite after divorcing.

Some couples may never salvage their marriage covenant.

A wife cannot force her husband to stay if he has decided to go.

This is an excruciatingly painful time for this wife – and several others in our group.  Please pray for God’s wisdom, for Him to empower her not to be overcome by bitterness and for His greatest glory in her life and for her husband to come to know Christ.  Only God knows the ultimate ending of this story.  Christ is still with this beautiful woman.  He has never left nor has He forsaken her.  Her faith has been growing by leaps and bounds this past year.  It has been a VERY HARD year for her.  But God is able, somehow, in the midst of the destruction and ashes to bring beauty:
———————
Having quite a day here…
I started attending a national class called Divorce Care.  This week it was about anger.
Today is very emotional for me, as my attorney and I spoke about the agreement and what all goes into it.   He wants me to hold out and make dh show what the properties are worth and get an appraisal on his business or keep my share of the business…blah blah blah.  He wants me to get a fair settlement and come out ahead. He is on my side. I know that.  Struggling though because dh agreed to something that I think will be fine for me and I don’t want to go any further. I don’t care about worth and all that. I want to sign on the dotted line and get it over with. So that was upsetting.  Also, I read an email that dh sent to his attorney, which was copied to my attorney and then forwarded to me.  I broke apart reading these words, “My wife’s counsel will be sending you an agreement”….
He called me his wife.  I’m crying again.  I know that technically I am… but he hasn’t said those words to me or called me his wife in so long and to read those words in an email to his attorney…  Just heartbreaking.  I’m an emotional nightmare today.   My attorney’s last words to me were, “Let’s have this conversation again tomorrow morning when you are in a better frame of mind”. As I cried to him and slobbered over myself.
One huge reason for my hystericality…is that.. the most poignant thing said in the class, which I reviewed this morning and really went through in my heart and mind was that

I have been keeping my husband in a prison.  I have kept him locked up tight in the “you hurt me” prison.  Our entire marriage since the first affair.  I am his prison warden and I have seen to it, that I have kept this guy locked up tight and doing time for what he did to me.

Well, where do prison wardens reside?
In prison with the prisoner.  We are just on different sides of the bars.  But sure enough, I have been locked up in there with him for years and years.
  • I’m ready to set him free.
  • I am ready to open those prison doors and let this man go.
  • to stop holding onto the hurt and the pain
  • to stop holding onto the need to be right
  • to stop holding onto the need to make him pay
  • to let go of the need to have him acknowledge me and my pain.

There is so much pain in opening those doors and releasing him.

I know there will be much healing too.

I don’t want to be in prison anymore.  I want to be healthy and whole and I want to forgive him and want to stop rehashing all the things he has done and I want to heal.
My head is pounding from crying all day and I have to see him tonight.  I want so badly to share all this with him, but now is not the time. There may be a season for that down the road.
I read this poem this morning on a friend’s FB, reposted it to mine, and am sharing it here.  Of course it made me cry.  I might have to accept today will be a crying day for me.  Take some Tylenol and get used to it.
“After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises…
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child
And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn
That you really can endure
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And with every goodbye
You learn again.”
– Veronica A. Shoffstall
—————————————–
From PEACEFULWIFE:
God has GOOD things in store for everyone who puts all of their hope and trust in Him and who desire to obey and please Him alone.
ROMANS 8 NIV

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.  And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified;those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

RESOURCE

For wives in very difficult marriages/situations, please check out Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.

A Wife Under Construction

189776_7024
This story is from a wife who is deeply hurting in a very troubled marriage. 
First comes the demolition work.
  • conviction of sin – seeing the beam in our own eye for the first time
  • repentance – turning away from our ways that offend God
  • crucifying the old sinful nature – dying to self – laying down our plans, our wisdom, our dreams, our desires, our hopes, our expectations and yielding completely to God
  • tearing out any idols – things we have set our hearts on other than Christ
  • tearing out all the worldly ideas and ungodly mindsets and any sin – letting God have free reign to remove all that is diseased in our hearts

Then the building

  • making Jesus LORD – being willing to completely surrender to Him and being willing to trust Him no matter what the outcome
  • beginning to walk in faith, trust and obedience by the power of God’s Spirit filling us  (we HAVE to be plugged in to His power-  we cannot do this on our own!) – we learn and stumble and learn more.  It is a struggle.  But we learn to lean on God’s wisdom not our own understanding.  We learn He is faithful. We learn His ways bring peace and joy and purpose.  We learn His commands bring freedom.  We long to know Him more and more.
 One of them is allowing me to share her story  – and I hope to get to share others soon, too.  I know that many wives and marriages will be greatly impacted by what God is doing in these precious wives’ souls.  This wife’s husband had become very distant.  He had been having an affair for months (which is totally wrong and utterly sinful on his part.  He will answer to God for that – and each of us will answer to God for our own sin, too.).  She didn’t know until this fall that he was being unfaithful and when she found out she asked him to leave (totally understandable!).  
God got hold of this wonderful sister of mine a few weeks ago.  I want you to get to see these painful first weeks of struggle and learning to completely surrender to God in an extremely difficult situation and how God changes US first.  (You can see her first raw lightbulb moment here.)  God is doing something BEAUTIFUL in this woman’s heart.  She has a long road to travel.  She is still in the beginning of this journey.  I can’t wait to see what He has in store for her!  Pray for her, please!  Pray for God’s greatest glory and for His will to be done!  Pray for healing for both the husband and wife – that BOTH may be reconciled to Christ and for healing in this marriage according to God’s will.
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 I just so wish I had started doing something about (my behavior/attitude) when (my husband) STILL lived with me.  Instead I could only focus on my own pain.  I did cry out to Jesus, I was a Christian (been one for a long time).  But I never looked at myself the right way, and I never took my husband down off the pedestal I had him on.  Not in a good way either.  I knew there was something wrong and I suspected he was cheating and I lambasted him with it all the time.  Turns out I was right.  Unfortunately.
Now, he is been gone since 2 days before Thanksgiving.  And last night, we got into a huge fight, and even though I have been SO good the last few weeks, I let my anger get the best of me and so once again, all he saw was the same old me.  Even though he was being a total (jerk)!!!!  He refuses to take responsibility for anything, is still unrepentent and still continues to throw in my face, “You kicked me out”.  Um, yea,  cuz you were sleeping with another woman for the previous 10 months and lying to my face about it.  But, he honestly gets furious when I point that out.  It’s almost funny.  As if I just woke up one day and decided to kick my husband out of the house for no apparent reason!
BUT REGARDLESS…  I still am totally responsible for my lack of self control.  I had my finger in his face.  GASP!  I thought I was doing so well and had come so far.  Boy oh Boy.
But, here is the good news.
He broke up with his girlfriend.
Ironically enough, because of last weekend, when I refused to watch the kids for him so he and her could go to a show together.  I told him no, and said it was his weekend, and if he was choosing to go on a date during his time with his kids, he would need to get a sitter.  And I left it alone.  I found out he was out with her BOTH nights and left my kids with his mom all weekend.  Of course he blames me for this and says I should have “done the right thing” and kept the kids.
Turns out, he tried to get out of the dates with the ‘she devil’ and the she devil had a fit.  He told me they always agreed the kids would come first and he saw clearly last weekend that she didn’t care about his kids…  Kudos to him.
His next sentence to me was, “I filed for divorce”.
WOW.  But I was still so happy about their year long relationship ending that I was like, ‘yeah, whatever’.
I feel like God totally and finally answered my prayers, in HIS timing.  I know he filed, but, I feel more hope now than I’ve had in a long time. Even though we fought all night while he was there.  He can be something mean!

But, here is my plan…  To continue to totally surrender it to the Lord.  To completely work on me.  God FIX ME…  Come in and heal me of my abandonment issues and rejection issues and trust issues, which have made me defensive and insecure and unable to respect him.  My focus is to get healthy.  I still give the marriage over to the Lord and refuse to make it an idol again.

So he filed.  Big whoop.  Ain’t no thing to God!!!  But, I can’t worry about him or that or anything, except me and loving the Lord with all my heart and soul and mind and strength.  I can’t think about any end results.  Like April said,  bring it back to today.

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”  Isaiah 43:18-19
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GREAT POST ABOUT SUBMISSION/RESPECT AND “Does it mean I have to keep my mouth shut all the time?”
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