Q and A

Okay, I took a deep breath since yesterday. I want to make sure you understand when I talk about Christians divorcing I am not talking about those who have no choice because the law allows their spouse to divorce even if they don’t want to. I am talking about Christians who both walk away from a marriage and declare that nothing can be done. When one spouse decides to take a powerful stand in the spirit to see the marriage healed, that sends an entirely different, very healthy message. Just want to make sure that is clear.

I’d like to start answering questions today that have been submitted by followers of this blog.

Question: How did you pray while you were standing? Were you scared?

Answer: When I first began standing I was terrified. I was pregnant with our third child, our two other children were terribly wounded by what was happening, and I didn’t know of one person who had stood for their marriage. I didn’t know what the future held for us and I didn’t know what to do. I was an emotional basket case and I was filled with fear and doubt. All I knew was the Lord had told me if I was willing to stand, He would be there for me.

Our pastor says that sometimes the most effective prayer is, “Help!” That was my initial prayer. It was usually prayed as I sobbed uncontrollably, clutching my Bible, trying to figure out what to do next. The hurt was so deep and so painful and I felt so worthless and abandoned. I was not a woman of faith or courage. I vacillated between hopelessness and fury. One minute I wanted God to heal our marriage and the next I just wanted to kill the two of them. No wonder people watching me thought I should just move on with my life.

Gradually, though, the peace of the Lord began to sink into my heart. I couldn’t explain it. Nothing really had changed in the natural. If anything, things had gotten worse. Yet in the midst of all of that, the Lord began to forge within me a solid faith that He was at work. It didn’t happen overnight. Every waking moment I clung to Him. Every moment I was not taking care of children or working or completing household chores, I sat in His presence and read the Word. I was bankrupt emotionally and spiritually and being in His presence was the only place I could find peace from the storm around me. I think that gradually the peace of being with Him began to calm my heart and clear my head. Faith had been planted in my heart and was beginning to grow.

At first my prayers were very basic and very scattered. I prayed for God to take care of my children and me, I prayed for food and other necessities, and I prayed for my husband to come home. Sometimes my prayers were uttered in a moment of panic and other times they flowed in a more settled emotion. Basically, though, they were survival prayers.

As time passed and as I learned to hear the voice of the Lord more clearly, my prayers changed to praying scripture for my husband and our marriage and family. I had begun to realize that the attack on our marriage was really a demonic plan to destroy our family and home. This helped me to remember that I was not fighting flesh and blood. The Lord had begun healing my heart, so things weren’t all about me anymore. My own pain had subsided somewhat and I could focus on my husband who was caught in the enemy’s snare.

I began to realize that I was not a victim but a victor in Christ. My husband was the one who was caught in the clutches of the enemy. I was free in Christ and in Him I was more than a conqueror. As I began to get God’s perspective, I began to pull out of the focus on me and my problems and began to fight spiritual warfare on my husband’s behalf.  (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Eventually (after a couple years) my prayers became very focused. I would wake in the morning and ask the Lord what demons were assigned to my husband that day. The Lord would very clearly reveal to me the enemy’s plans for the day. I would then bind those spirits and declare their assignments cancelled and I would pray for Michael to recognize those areas of his life where the enemy was working.

I think the key for me was the more time I spent with the Lord, the greater the compassion that He placed in my heart for Michael. Eventually I could pray for him with the love and compassion of the Lord, not my own emotions or desires.

Everyone’s journey is unique but I would encourage you to spend every moment you can in the presence of the Lord. He will transform your heart and give you vision far beyond your own. He will also replace your hurt with a powerful love and compassion that is not limited to human love. There were many days when I did not love my husband, but the Lord never stopped loving Him. He went to the cross to see Michael set free and that love is what carried me when I had none of my own left.

So many times people say to me, ” I want to see our marriage healed. I love him (her) so much!” Believe me, human love is not enough. It will not endure the days ahead. It will not survive betrayal and rejection. The love that Jesus has, though, endures through everything. Draw on Him today. Lose yourself in Him. Rest in Him and find peace! Love, Marilyn

“But You, O Lord, are a God of compassion and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in mercy and truth.” Psalm 86:15<

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Don’t Give Up!

Our youngest son has begun an incredible exercise regimen. He found that he was plateauing on his previous workouts, so he is now working on a new program that prevents plateaus. When the kit arrived, he was reading some of the material to me and one phrase really struck me. “Most people give up far too soon.”

As he began the daily regimen, I realized why they had warned him up front. He works out for an hour and a half every day and the workout is brutal. Yet every time he feels he has reached the point of quitting, the video encourages him, “You can do more.” He told me that he would have given up long ago if he had not been encouraged continually to keep going.

Of course my mind immediately drew the parallel to the stamina and courage it takes to stand for a marriage – and to the fact that “Most people give up far too soon.” That’s why it’s important to have folks cheering you on and telling you frequently, “You can do more!”

I saw other parallels with the exercise program as well. Not too many people are willing to push their bodies so vigorously. Not many begin an exercise program that tough and even among those who do, many drop out when it gets too hard.

When the enemy attacks a marriage, not many people realize that the problem is the enemy and not their spouse. Not many are willing to take a stand and fight for their marriage. And of those who are, not many continue on when circumstances or people convince them they should stop. That is why we all need encouragement just like our son receives from the video he watches.

The Holy Spirit is our number one coach and encourager. When we’re exhausted or discouraged, He is right there to cheer us on. When circumstances seem to overwhelm us, He reminds us that it is not by might or by power but by the Spirit that victory comes. When we are hurting, He is the great Comforter. When we need direction, He brings us divine wisdom. His is the voice we need to hear when we want to give up.

We also need the encouragement of each other. That is why we always recommend that those who are standing for their marriage become a part of a support group, such as a Covenant Keeper’s meeting. It is important to encourage one another. Not only do we get blessed but we also learn to move beyond our own needs by reaching out to others.

Every January it seems that the whole world decides to get in shape. Commercials for diet programs and exercise equipment bombard the airways. People are making New Year’s resolutions and determining that this year will be different. Yet by March it is amazing how many have abandoned all hope of ever getting in shape. Newly purchased exercise equipment sits gathering dust and diet programs have either been discarded or are on sale on eBay.

It takes courage and determination to follow through. The pain of staying the same must be greater than the pain of change in order to endure the effort needed to change.

It is the same with standing. First of all, we need to realize that change is possible. The Lord’s desire for our marriages is not to paste us back together in the same state we were in when the trauma began. His desire is to heal each of our hearts so that we are whole and healthy in Him. He wants our marriages to be filled with unity and power. Change in our hearts and in our relationships comes through Him. Our part is staying steady and faithful while He works.

So realize that you are in this for the long haul. It is going to take time. It is going to take effort. Look for those who will encourage you and and avoid those who want to help you quit. Realize that if it were easy, everyone would do it. It is not easy, but just as with physical exercise, as you exercise your faith, you will begin to see results. Think of the Holy Spirit as your personal trainer and follow His direction. And remember, most people give up far too soon! Love, Marilyn

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.” Galatians 5:7,8

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1