“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot see yet.”
I cannot count how many emails and comments I get from men and women who have a wayward spouse that is not at all remorseful, or ready to change. I honestly don’t know what to say when they write back at times.
If you have read our story, you know that thankfully, I had a spouse who:
A) confessed, instead of was caught in the indiscretion
B) was totally forthcoming with the facts of the incident, after said confession
C) was so sorry and ready to do whatever it took to reconcile our relationship
I have been praying and asking God what to tell these broken people. My heart aches as I write to them, because I know that stab of pain all too well. I usually just sit here praying and wishing I could fix it for them, but I can’t. All I can do, is point them to Jesus and to God’s Word.
I send them go read the blog post “The Prodigal Spouse, Because God Is Bigger Than Your Divorce Papers” because I believe that God is still in the Restoration business. I’ve walked that treacherous road, and lived to tell about it. You better believe it seemed easier to just walk away from it all, hoping one day I could learn to love again.
I believe with time, even wayward spouses who seem totally uninterested, can be brought back to Him and then, to you, in total restoration of that original Marriage Covenant! I believe mountains still move at the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
In a world that pushes Divorce and what we “deserve,” it’s hard to change that mindset to dying to self, to lay down the desire to get revenge, or move on, and just accept your circumstances for the moment, never ceasing to ask God to work a miracle, but being satisfied in the meantime.
But what if the wayward spouse isn’t interested in coming back?
Let’s look at the story of 3 men who had faith in the face of adversity.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, had an “Even If” faith. We can read their story in Daniel 3.
It all begins with a declaration that all must worship the giant image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, when the music started playing….Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the one true God, refuse. They know no matter what their society is telling them to do to keep the peace, that they should NOT bow to worship this idol.
13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But EVEN IF he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Now, we know this story has a happy ending, with 3 very alive men walking around in a furnace 7 times hotter than normal, with a “mysterious” 4th figure in there. Let’s think about this is real terms….these men had NO IDEA if God was going to spare their lives. They literally were about to be burned to death in a furnace so hot, that it killed the guards standing outside of it.
But God is in the miracle business. He allows these circumstances that seem IMPOSSIBLE, so you can remember with Him? ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
Where you end, HE begins.
I want to encourage you today, to keep waiting and watching for your wayward spouse to come home. To not bow to the World and it’s demands for revenge, and a better life after divorce.
Remain faithful as you wait for your love to come back to you. Seek God with your whole heart, and let Him fulfill you in the meantime. He is the lover of your soul, and wants to minister to you, to teach you, during this time of separation and of sorrow. Don’t stop believing and asking for that miracle, do not stop asking for Him to break the heart of your spouse and make it new. Even if you have to walk away for months, or years in the meantime. Even if, in the end, you walk away entirely.
Don’t stop praying, that one day, your spouse will see what he had with you, find Jesus, and come back changed. Be Jesus when you speak to them during your time of separation, using the verbage that comes from your heart, always planting seeds of hope and a future: “Someday, when we are back together again, I want to…”
Send a text now and then, “You are on my heart today, missing you and praying for you always.”
You CAN be Jesus to your wayward spouse, we are to be Jesus to the spouse who is lost, because we just might be the only Jesus they see.
1 Peter 3:1-2
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife…..”
Our Father’s heart hurts to see His children feel the consequences of divorce.
However, the Word also says in 1 Corinthians 7:15-16:
“But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”
I know these verses sound opposing, but we should view this, per unique situation, as a matter of prayer. Of what God is calling YOU to do, which will be different than others.
In the end, you are not responsible for the actions of your husband or wife, who are living in sin. They answer to God for that, not you. At the end of your life here on Earth, you will give an account of what you did for Christ, and be blessed for your faithfulness in the midst of sorrow, in your diligent prayers for redemption.
And you know what?
EVEN IF restoration doesn’t happen for you,
EVEN IF that spouse keeps hardening his heart, or plugging her ears, to the Lord’s nudges for redemption, reconciliation and restoration for the rest of their lives here on Earth,
EVEN IF the world scoffs at you for not just divorcing the jerk and moving on, you will be blessed for your obedience beyond your wildest dreams and expectations….
It’s time we have an “Even If” faith like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did.
Our prayer should be as follows:
I will obey you, Father, EVEN IF I never get to see the fruits of this harvest of obedience blessings until Kingdom come.
I will trust you, Lord, EVEN IF all I see is the mess of strings from the back of a beautiful tapestry I know you are weaving with my life.
Because even if you don’t answer my prayers just the way I had hoped, I know I can rest easy knowing that you have plans for me to bring you glory, and to bring me hope and a wonderful future…
Thank you, Jesus! Amen.