Standing No More

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Sixteen years ago yesterday, May 30, 2014, my now ex-wife and I were married. In the terminology of a group I have been involved; my ex-wife is not to be called “ex” but my wife. This group calls themselves “Standers” and the spouse who leaves the relationship, the “Prodigal Spouse”. One ministry in particular that I have been following is “Rejoice Marriage Ministries” of Pompano, Florida. If you want to know the backstory of the founders, this ministry can be found on Facebook and online.

I have not submitted a new entry to this blog for quite some time but check on the views that are shown, I do this less these days. Recently a woman made several wonderful comments after reading some of my posts. Many people find my blog by searching for questions about divorce and “Joseph Prince”. I do not represent Joseph Prince and extrapolated his teachings on grace and forgiveness to the divorce situation. I have no idea if he supports my conclusions, I’m not sure I do any longer.

I began my last round of seeking marriage enrichment, restitution over 4 years ago. I began working through the “Love Dare” book and found it to be very good. The main relationship the Love Dare addresses is our relationship with Jesus. In retrospect when I was working through this book while still living with my spouse, I believe it heightened the spiritual warfare that is common in marriage difficulties and in the life of a Christian. Major life altering events were taking place, adding to the marital strife and stress. My wife lost her job, the house we were renting with an option to buy was being foreclosed due to the fact that the people we were paying were not paying the bank. I also believe my wife was beginning to “backslide” and engaging in behaviors that were difficult for me to handle. If you have read any of my previous entries you will know I have taken full responsibility for my share in our problems and on further reflection, responsibility for parts that had nothing to do with me.

I went through the Love Dare prayerfully and honestly at least 3 times. I started studying Dr. Gary Chapman’s ‘The 5 Love Languages’ and read through the Bible with his devotional for a full year. I studied The Word and read the entire Book more than once during this time. I have gained insight that I would have been well served having had it previous to the marriage difficulties. I believe that I had to be ready to receive this teaching and my heart was not receptive to any of it before now.

I know my shortcomings and character defects and my defects of mind and brain chemistry. What I did not consider is the personality disorder that I have learned about and believe my wife enjoys, I would say suffer but to suffer one has to see it as a problem and this disorder does not allow those who have it know they have it, or believe they are suffering due to anything on their part! The disorder is called Narcisstic Personality Disorder. Studying the characteristics of the people who have this disorder shed much light on what occurred in our relationship. I still believe that with God’s help, no problem is too difficult or unable to be made whole.

It is coming up on 3 years since my wife’s divorce was finalized. Through much pleading, begging, 100’s of hours of professional counselling and conversations with pastors, 1000’s of prayers from me and countless prayers of others’, I have come to the solid conclusion that this marriage will never be reconciled. What’s more, I do not wish to have it reconciled any longer, and there has been too much damage and no, absolutely no personal responsibility taken on the part of my ex-wife. So on the day of our would be anniversary I declared and declare, I am no longer “standing” for the reconciliation of this marriage.

 

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Do Not Divorce

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I have been getting many “hits” from people searching out what Joseph Prince says about divorce.  I can only assume it is because some are considering divorce, have been divorced and are Christians seeking out God’s opinion on the matter.

 

Search the scriptures, it is relevant today and will speak to your heart.  God hates divorce.  If divorced, we are to be reconciled or remain single.  I will add Scripture quotes later, I am at a coffee shop and feel compelled to write this.

 

If you are in a situation where you or your children are in danger, seek help and a shelter from the abuse.  If your spouse is mentally ill and or using drugs or alcohol, there is help and there is hope.  Your spouse can be healed and be the person you fell in love with and most likely will be better than ever through Jesus.  It will take time for recovery to take place, if the situation is abusive or involve drugs and alcohol, I think a year minimum will be required of honest work being done by the abuser to regain sanity.

 

If you or your spouse have cheated, been unfaithful, there is forgiveness form God through Jesus, just receive it and let God’s Spirit keep you from sinning in this manner again.  Forgive your spouse, keep your heart tender in the Lord towards your spouse and remember God paid a heavy price for your forgiveness, so forgive as you have been forgiven.

 

God will heal your broken heart, He knows your pain and has made provision for a total recovery.  Do not hold things against each other, keep no record of wrong.  Meditate on the 13th chapter I Corinthians.  God is love and His love has been shed abroad in our hearts, keep the love flowing with God’s help.

 

I pray to the Father of us all in Jesus Name that healing take place in your life and marriage and that by His Spirit you are able to do what we cannot do on our own.

 

 

 

 

Day 22 Love is Faithful

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I am not Hosea and my wife is not a prostitute.

In the Old Testament there is a book called Hosea.  Hosea was told by God to marry a prostitute. He obeyed God.  Hosea and his wife had 3 children together.  It was just a matter of time that his wife wanted back in her old lifestyle.  Hosea was heart broken and shamed through this abandonment.  More time passed and God told Hosea to find his wife and reconcile their marriage.  By this time his wife had reached the bottom and had to be purchased of the slave block.

The lesson that we are to learn from this is how great God’s love is for us.  There are references all over  the Bible about how the children of Israel “went whoring after other Gods.”  We are to realize that we too have turned our backs on God, rejecting His love, yet He waits for our return. The time away from God and refusing his love always ends up with us paying a price for our unfaithfulness, while we are pursuing our lusts. How long does it take for you to recover from knowing you have disappointed God?

A man shared in an AA meeting how ashamed he was that he had a “slip”.  He got drunk a few times after being sober for 10 years and it took him 2 years to get over the shame.  Alcohol is the seductress that many of us are confronted with.  He told of how he went to a “Round Up” which is a very large meeting and they had everyone stand.  The longest to the shortest time of sobriety was called out and people sat when they heard their time.  He said he knew people there and they knew how long he had been sober.  Then his time passed, people stared at him and after quite some time, they called out 1 day, and he was able to sit.  To me that exercise is very shaming, I guess they had something else in mind.

My wife and I both know that if we were to have sexual relationships with someone else, that our relationship would be irreparably damaged. This time of separation is really a dangerous time, there are temptations everywhere and a seemingly sliding scale of morality heightens the danger.  There are those who give really bad advice.  Like, “you have your needs, get them met, but make sure she knows that is all you’re doing.  My AA sponsor says, “you have to keep from thinking about your wife, consider it over, but don’t get involved with another woman”.

Gods example for rejected love is to remain faithful.  I will know when the time is here to move on, but for now I will remain faithful and continue to work on the areas of my life that need work.

The Love Dare book speaks briefly about how our marriages can be a battlefield and our spouse become our enemy.  Jesus says we are to love our enemies, do good to those that hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you.  We are to be known by our love, people should know we are disciples of Christ by our love for one another.  What is great about this is we are to simply release the love God has placed in our heart.

This book is not the answer to every difficulty there is in relationships.  If we can learn to love and act the way outlined in this book, it would be great.  Some of us have addictions that need to be dealt with on a daily basis, some of us need to get our attention back to where it belongs. We need to stop listening to people who are anti-marriage, anti-reconciliation, those whose first word of advice is to divorce the blankety blank!