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How many times has your broken and struggling heart been told to “get over it and move on;” “get rid of the rings so you can get a date;” or my first favorite, “I hate to say this but you’re in denial;” and last but not least, my second favorite saying – “he has his own free will.” After hearing people talk about being free to choose what they will and will not do – exercising their almighty free will – we have a built-in tendency to accept that. We’ve been brainwashed in our Christian society to think that’s part of the gospel. After all God helps those who help themselves. Right? So does that mean do God a favor and help yourself out? That’s a sure fire way to really need His help. . . And a pretty dumb thing to think – and believe. If you look at that long enough you should see the futility of exercising our own free will to help ourselves right out of the proverbial frying pan and into the fire. Being the prideful bunch that we are, we do that. Besides being all knowing and all seeing, we’ve got it all figured out.
There are many people like me who walked out the door and didn’t wait to hear it slam shut behind us. I loved my husband with all my heart but I didn’t know what else to do. After hearing Christian folk tell me that my marriage was dead and he has his own free will, the bed was made. All I had to do was crawl in and get comfortable. To my aching heart and mind it all made perfect sense. So I made my own plans and headed out the door for a new life. . . Obviously I didn’t remember my life was not my own.
So what we really do is exercise our “free will” and hope it agrees with God’s Will. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances were – or are – surrounding the separation and divorce. We make a few attempts at seeking the Lord and when it doesn’t happen when or like we think it should, we make our own plans. At that point, what just happened is that we’ve made a choice and acted upon it without asking God what His Will is. Of those that walk away, 100 percent of us haven’t even really read God’s Word or seriously consulted with God – or if we have read what it says, we didn’t understand it and we depend on someone else to tell us what it means OR we read it but we haven’t really heard what God said because we didn’t want to. Why? Because it doesn’t agree with our will. “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NASB)
“It is a snare for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” and after the vows to make inquiry.” (Proverbs 20:25 NASB) What that means is that it is perilous to dedicate something to the Lord — as in Marriage — and then reconsider or renege your vows. In one of my last counseling sessions where the subject was the anger of my Covenant Spouse — and right before the Pastor announced that my Marriage didn’t stand a chance, he told me that “without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin.” He was saying that if my Husband didn’t repent, there was no forgiveness. He made it sound like I didn’t have to forgive my Husband for his lack of repentance before God and as a result I was justified in leaving. The words were somehow twisted in my weary mind. How cunning the devil is. . . . .
God bless you Mr. Pastor and I forgive you — while it is true that if there is no repentance then there is no forgiveness of sin when we are dealing one-on-one with God, we as Christians are called to Forgive seventy times seven – translated means “without limit!” These were two very separate issues. The relationship between God and my Husband and the relationship between my Husband and me. If my Husband doesn’t repent before his God, then yes, there is no forgiveness for his sins until he repents. BUT between my Husband and me — I have been commanded to forgive seventy times seven – without limit. Forgiveness and Reconciliation are two of the hallmarks of a TRUE Christian. Today I would say to this Pastor, “There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the Lord.” (Proverbs 21:30 NASB) This Christian man stood in the place of God, slammed the gavel of justice in judgment of my Husband, pronounced our Marriage dead and justified divorce for any cause! Nowhere did I ever hear that Love covers over a multitude of sin — my Husband’s and mine. Proverbs 16:6 says, “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for . . . ” and 17:9 “He who covers a transgresson seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.” And nowhere in my Christian counseling did I hear about the Power and Will of God! Nowhere did I hear about His Sovereignty, Love, Mercy and Grace in Marriage. I heard His Name mentioned in counseling but I did not hear that He is the God of the impossible! Again, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NASB
So this Prodigal-turned-Stander is still hearing “Well, hon, you should probably move on. Don’t you think it’s time? How long are you going to do this? You’re gorgeous! Go get a man that cares. I mean after all, there is nothing you can do. No matter what you’re saying and praying, he’s got his own will and ability to choose.” At first, hearing that is very discouraging – and if I take my eyes off God and put them back on what people are saying and on my circumstances it will really bother me. It will also mean I’m doing the same thing I did when I walked. Before I saw what God really said in HIS Word, at the time I didn’t realize that what they were basically saying is that God is powerless and totally incapable of answering prayer!!! I almost quit standing! I didn’t know what I was going to do next but I just about gave up. That’s what the devil wants! Be on your guard continuing constant in prayer! Put on the armor of God in Ephesians 6 so you can Stand Firm against the fiery darts of the evil one!
Folks, the father of lies will use every opportunity and every well-meaning friend, relative and even some Christian counselors to try to discourage you from staying in your Marriage and Standing in the Gap for the Restoration and Reconciliation of your One-Flesh Covenant Marriage. The father of lies will take a lie and mix it with just enough truth to make it believable – and then we quit! When the discouragement comes, we should immediately see the warning flags and hear loud sirens going off in our spirit. God doesn’t discourage us to the point of total despair. He is also not the author of confusion – but He is a God of Peace. If you’re not in a peace that surpasses all understanding despite what’s going on around you, then God isn’t at the helm. Turn off the voices and get back on your knees and into the center of HIS will.
The next time someone says to you that your Prodigal Spouse has “free will,” you hold up what they say to what God’s Word tells you! That someone has left no room for the power and will of God. If they’re quoting pieces of Scripture, tell them to show you, then get the context and bump it against the rest of what God says about Marriage, divorce and REmarriage. I now know and understand that while we do have a free will and we are free to exercise that will, that doesn’t make it right – or righteous. GOD will stop at nothing to bring our human free will into alignment with HIS Divine Will. Especially if you belong to Him. It happened to me. It’s happening to you – to all who have been called to Stand. And that should be ALL of us. God has taken your human will and has been and is now aligning it with His Divine Will to accomplish HIS purpose – namely that of the salvation of people to Him; the salvation of Marriages and families – Churches and communities and more . . .
The reason you’re searching out Marriage restoration and spiritual warfare prayers is because the Holy Spirit is speaking to YOU! He is aligning your will to match HIS Will.
Selah. Stop and think about that. . . .
Here is what God says about the will of man — a man who devises his own way and makes his own plans:
Proverbs 16:9 – “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”
Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord, it will stand.”
Proverbs 20:24 – “Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord. How then can man understand his way”
Proverbs 21:1 – “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
Jeremiah 10:23 – “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself. Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.”
Acts 5:38-39 “. . . for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against GOD.” — I put these Scriptures from Acts in here because it tells you that if it’s of men, it will fail – but if it’s of God, what a man plans will be “overthrown!” What your Prodigal Mate is planning will not be able to overthrow or determine the final outcome of God because really they are not fighting against you, but against GOD. The plans they make for themselves will not come to fruition! Those plans are born of human free will. Human free will is carnal in nature and is very contrary to the Spirit and Will of GOD. This should be very comforting and encouraging to every Stander.
Also reference the death of Christ on the Cross. To some seriously misguided folks out there, the Jewish people were the cause of the crucifixion. They are the ones who had Him crucified and were acting of their own free will, but in reality their steps were directed “. . . to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” (Acts 4:27-28) Without God’s divine direction to accomplish His purpose, salvation would not have come. If He had not been in total control of the will of man, His will would have been overthrown and Christ would not have died for our sins. For if they had known that they were crucifying the Lord of Glory, they wouldn’t have done it. And by the way, it was GOD Who had His Son crucified on the Cross — not the Jewish people. Selah. . .
God IS Sovereign and He IS in control of every detail in your life, your Prodigal Spouse’s life and your Marriage.
Jeremiah 24:7 – “I WILL GIVE them a heart to know Me, for I AM the Lord; and they will be My people, and I WILL be their God, for THEY WILL RETURN TO ME with their WHOLE heart.”
Ezekiel 11:19-20 says, “And I SHALL GIVE them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I SHALL TAKE the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, THAT THEY MAY WALK IN MY STATUTES and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people and I shall be their God.”.”
Ezekiel 36:26-27 – “Moreover, I WILL GIVE you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I WILL REMOVE the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU and CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUTES, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances.”
If the enemy of our souls tries to come at you – and he will – hold up the Word of God high and declare “It is written. . . .” And then quote the Scriptures back to him out loud!! Jesus did so. He fought back by saying “It is written. . .” The enemy cannot stand the Truth and he definitely can’t stand in the presence of a child of the Most High when that child fights back. Resist him and he will flee. He has to! It says so.
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