My life is surreal… there’s simply no other way to describe it. I just spent the holiday weekend with my kids, playing Trouble, having tea parties, doing laundry, attending picnics, and going to church. Basically, I continue to live life as though nothing has changed, providing stability the best I can. I mowed some lawn. I ran the weed eater. I cooked. I did dishes. I read the Word and I prayed. I read and prayed some more. Last evening, my wife came to take the kids for an overnight. I gathered some things for her and reminded the kids to “be good for mommy”. She reminded me that I would have them back in two days for a reason that essentially translated to, “I have a date with the other man.” I said okay, she drove away, and I cleaned up the toys in the yard, praying for her. I should be angry. I should burn with malice, but I don’t. I hurt deeply. I am lonely. I am tired. I am unsure where this is going or how long I must endure. Still, I am called to love. Loving her is easy, despite the pain. I married her. Loving the other man and praying for him is not so easy. Loving her new friends and co-workers and leaders who let this stand and call themselves “Christians” is even more difficult.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48).
My good friend stopped by two minutes later. I baked cookies. We talked and prayed until 9:30. We talked of forgiveness. We talked about love. We talked about when the Bible tells us to fight, when it tells us to flee, and when it tells us to stand. As my friend says, too many of us mix those up. That’s why I have so many well-intentioned brothers and sisters telling me that my wife is the enemy, that I need to look to my own happiness and safety, and that I need to flee this whole situation.
- We are to fight the devil and the war he wages on our thought life.
- We are to flee from temptation.
- For all else, we are to stand.
Somewhere along the line we’ve allowed the proverbs of Oprah to blend in with the Proverbs of Solomon, Agur, and Lemuel. Somewhere we’ve become convinced that God is as worried about our happiness and He is our holiness. Somewhere we’ve been convinced that we should fight for our happiness and flee those who we believe drain us and stand for our rights to happiness. We come first! That’s a load of crap. The Biblical truth is that we’re to put our enemies before ourselves, let alone our family and our spouse! That’s what happened to so many our prodigal spouses!! Satan convinced them that God wanted them to be “more happy” and the key to that happiness was to escape their covenant marriage. My spouse even tried to convince me that I would be more happy with someone else! She sat in our bed and gave me all of the reasons that I would be happier with someone else. That’s a nice fantasy, but it is not Biblical in the least. God said I can’t marry someone else! I married her! She is my covenant spouse. Look in Malachi. Look in Mark. Look in Luke.
Therefore, I continue my surreal existence. My friend and I pray for my spouse’s heart and that she would turn back to God. We pray for her lover, that he would be convicted, converted, and blessed in his own ministry and in a right relationship with a woman who is perfect for him (and not in a covenant relationship with someone else). That’s right, I find myself praying blessings on the other man. God’s marching orders are all upside down feeling. That’s surreal! I will read and pray and read an pray. Many of my brothers and sisters will continue to ask me if I’ve received some kind of special instructions from God. No I haven’t. I am only following the standing orders found in 1 Corinthians. I can either stand and pray for restoration, I can live my life single and bitter, or I can fall into sin myself by marrying someone else.
I have been blessed with a lot of support through this. I still do not know how many people are praying for my marriage. Still, a local community of support would be nice. I have been invited to a lot of Divorce care groups. I do not want Divorce care. I want a marriage restoration ministry. I want like minded believers to gather with in prayer, to join hands, and lift up our covenant spouses. One should not have to join an exclusive online message board or drive to Florida in order to gather with people seeking marriage restoration. I’m praying for revival. I’m praying that our churches would stop accepting the demise of our marriages and Satan’s victory in our homes. I don’t know if God wants to use me in this or not, but I am willing.
- Pray for me and all standers today.
- Pray for my spouse and all prodigal spouses right now. Stop reading this and pray for their Damascus road…
- Pray for our kids. They are not okay.
- Good, thank you. Now, pray for the church & its leaders.
- Pray for a revival in this land.
Honestly, I need strength. We all do. No one can do this surreal standing thing on his or her own without slowly going insane. We need God to be our refuge. We need support and we need prayer. Holiday weekends are a great reminder of how lonely and deeply painful this journey is. God bless. May He be with you.
If you’ve just started standing and have stumbled upon this blog, go to Rejoice Marriage Ministries. Get over the web design. It’s 100% Biblical. The resources are great. The people are genuine. Everything you find there, other than printed books and CD media, is free. They’re not after your money. They exist to help. I read the daily and weekly devotionals. I listen to the podcasts.
There are a lot of great resources at Faith and Marriage Ministries. I have not paid to join.