Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Marriage Anyone?

I just heard today of yet another couple headed for divorce. Maybe it is my age. Uhh. Late 40s but it seems everyone around it "doing it." Divorcing

You know is it me or is it the newest going thing. Find a new home, a new car, a new job, oh and a new spouse.

I know I'm in a minority when I've been married for over twenty years. Marriage use to be sacred. Special. Something to be proud of. Two different people who committed their lives to live together and form a family.

Everywhere I turn I hear of who is getting a divorce or who is now separating.
Lets be honest. I've been in the same place myself. Should I stay or should I go. But in reality one simple word is the cause of all this. I. It is not about I. What I want, but what is best for my spouse. If we could just take ourself out of the equation them I believe more marriages would last.

It isn't about your needs, wants and desires. That is not at all what love is about. Love is giving, not receiving. It is about the other person. Self removed.

Has my marriage been easy? NO!

But I am a stick to my commitment kinda gal. I looked outside my own hurts and disappointments in life and realized that

1. I'm not in the least bit perfect
2. I made my marriage commitment unto God.
3. I've looked inside my own failures and had to ask... If I need God's forgiveness. Why don't I see that my spouse does as well.
4. My child is more important than my own wants, bitterness, hurt, blame and anger.
5. One sin is not greater than another
6. I need grace and mercy, and so does my spouse.
7. For better or worse.
8. I can stand behind my own beliefs and feel better about myself and my decisions.
9. Pornography is real and easily accessible. That is reality. Learn how to defend against it invading your heart and those you love before it becomes an addiction.
10. Love one another.

I'm not on my high horse, uncaring, and certainly not saying anyone in an abusive relationship should stay. I'm saying until we become proactive, Church, we can expect more and greater numbers of divorces happening to those we love.

Marriage is a good thing. It is not an easy thing. I'm concerned where our children's generation is headed. I'm concerned that lives are torn apart.

I am all for restoration in broken relationship. It can work. I know. It can be better than you ever imagined. It is possible. But one person must decide to take a stand.

You want to stand? I'm here. You are not alone. Never have been if you know Christ. He is the answer. He will either restore your marriage, or restore your soul.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Forever Marriage Ministries


Lisa C. Myers is a fellow blogger that has a wonderful website with encouraging books, biblical truths, information on standing, and other useful resources.  Check out her story here and then click on the link to go to her website: Forever Marriage Ministries

They overcame him by the blood of the lamb
             and by the word of their testimony;
              they did not love their lives so much
                        as to shrink from death.
                              Therefore rejoice,
        you heavens and you who dwell in them!
               But woe to the earth and the sea,
         because the devil has gone down to you!
                             He is filled with fury,
          because he knows that his time is short."

                           Revelation 12:11,12

      My name is Lisa, I live in Arizona with my husband and two of our three children. Our oldest is now married and starting his life with his new bride. Praising God for the sanctity of marriage and the power of prayer to change things!

        You see, I was a very hurt, bitter, resentful, controlling, disrespectful, contentious wife, mother and friend, who was also prone to outbursts of rage. For years I had tried various self help books, classes, bible studies, church and church groups wanting out of this deep dark pit of despair. I was gaining head knowledge - not heart knowledge. In Hosea 4:6 it states .............
"For the lack of knowledge we will perish!" Everything I tried was not working - I was perishing. I was dead inside and no longer cared.

          For one reason or another it seemed that my husband and I lived apart more than together in all our years of marriage. Regardless of whether that was true or not, I felt unloved and abandoned. Everyone, christian friends included, couldn't understand why I just didn't get a divorce and move on. I felt God had spoken to me years ago about how He hated divorce - Malachi 2:16 and that someday He would use our lives as a testimony. I kept waiting for things to get better, but the truth of the matter was my husband and I were moving further away from each other and further away from God. I was blinded by my husband's sin, which at the time, was more apparent than mine and it was obvious by the world's stand point, that our marriage was over. I got more and more distant as the months turned into years. It came to the point that I just wanted the pain to stop, I wanted out of this dead marriage. A new life for me and the kids. I was looking for the out, the escape clause. But everywhere I turned, God said No!

         Then one day in a fit of anger, I told my husband I would see him in court and he said good! That was the day God truly had my attention. My heart instantly snapped. God and I wrestled all night long. I was broken and finally surrendered. All glory be to God - He won! Therefore, I too, won.

           Over the next twenty two months God drew me closer to Him, He turned my heart of stone to a heart of flesh. Placed a new love in my heart for my husband. I was no longer bound by bitterness, rage, unforgiveness, hatred or pain. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17  "I am a new creation in Christ Jesus, old things have passed away and all things have become new." I was becoming the woman God created me to be. I searched the scriptures for the truth, to learn God's word on marriage and the principles of being a God honoring wife. God placed upon my heart the ministry of restoration.

            All awhile my husband is running in the other direction. Filing for divorce and wanting to start a new life. Believing the same lies that so many spouses believe of the grass being greener on the other side. No matter what he was saying or doing - I had to trust God, believe God at His word. "Blessed is she who believes what the Lord has spoken to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45
I believed! And the Lord kept bringing my husband around, he began to make excuses to call me and to come home several times a week. Wanting to be with me and yet wanting to run from our past. He was in such turmoil, as the world continued to pull him away from his family.The spiritual battle was intense. God did not give up on him and neither did I.I believed "When the battle is the Lord's, the victory is ours!" 1 Samuel 17:47 I prayed for my husband and his salvation as though his life depended on it. His eternal life was at stake here. He was so deceived by the sin he was in that he could not see the damage his choices were doing to him, to us and to our family. But God! With Him ALL things are possible. Matthew 19:26

            If it was for this purpose that God had called me to endure these trials, to stand in the gap on behalf of my husband, in order for us to be delivered from all that had us bound and return to our Lord, so we could be a family united, forever, then it was all worth it. The relationship I have with my Lord today is more than I could of ever hoped for, and the marriage we share today is beyond our wildest dreams. God is the God of restoration, His ways are better than our ways, no matter how ugly things got, our Lord was there to see us through.

              My husband has been home a little over two years now. We have gone through many trials and are forever grateful that the Lord allowed our marriage to destruct in such a manner that it got our attention, drew us back to God and to each other.The love we share today is an absolute gift from God. We as a family have seen first hand the power of prayer and are believing together in the sanctity of marriage as we give God the glory for restoring our marriage and uniting our family.

                 What God has done for our family, He will surely do for you too. Do not be afraid - Trust God - draw close to Him - and stay focused - Our God is mighty to save! Divorce is not the answer - Jesus is!
                                Trust in the Lord with all your heart
                 and lean not on your own understanding

                                         Proverbs 3:5

Monday, December 3, 2012

To Sum It Up

Our story began in 1983. I met my husband on a Saturday night, and we had our first date the very next weekend. We were still in high school and it was love at first sight. There was just “something” about him. A comfort, an expression, a familiarity, that was there from the beginning. We dated three plus years. We had our one and only son seven years later. We argued rarely. He worked. I worked. And life became routine. Around the time our son turned four, we had the first warning sign. I blamed the internet and chat rooms. I never looked inward as to my role, perhaps that my lack of attention had anything to do with it. I was betrayed. I became even more distant. He asked for forgiveness, and my broken heart said, “I will,” but my bruised soul said, “I can’t.” Perhaps, it was even, “I won’t.”
Ten years pass by and we decide to build a new home, our dream home. And almost six months to the day we broke ground, January 17, 2009, my life changed. On a clear, cold winter morning, I woke up at 4:30am and I knew what I needed to do. I went outside and retrieved his cell phone. I sat there looking at all the erased messages, erased phone calls, erased history of searches, and at 5:30am a new message came through. It had only two words, “Good Morning.” It was from a woman I did not know. And at that moment, everything began to make sense, the distance between us, arguing over every little issue, working at the house until two in the morning, not answering my phone calls.
Bruised, broken, devastated and lost are the only words that could describe how I felt. Not only had I lost my husband, I had lost my best friend. I was angry for a short second, but revenge never overtook me. I was in a state of shock. We separated and tried counseling, but my husband’s heart was closed to me. I remember telling him, “Snap out of it.” He became even more bitter, mean and narcissistic. Mid life crisis some call it, but I felt he was truly in a battle for his very soul.
I begged God, I prayed, I wept, and I stood. And while I stood for my marriage, God changed me. I guess I thought at first, that my husband was the one who needed to change. He sinned. I didn’t look at my own contributing behaviors or attitudes. But, as I read God’s word, I began to see myself, my own sin, my own heart and it was just as impure as his. “Secret sin.” Not visible on the outside, but harbored deep within our hearts.
I would have loved for this fairy tale story to have had a quick and stress free ending. But it took three and a half years, three separations, three churches twenty-four hour prayer watch, two counselors, two homes, and many nights on my knees, and one broken man for our marriage to begin a turn towards restoration. And now, five years since that devastating text message, our marriage is better than either of us could have ever imagined. Not because we fixed it, but because of the mercy and grace poured out to us from our loving heavenly father.
Standing for marriage is not easy. I could not have done it without a strong faith, wonderful Christian parents, a body of believers that prayed unceasing, and many other people that crossed my path with words of encouragement.

I'm not without sin, are any of us?