My Spiritual Leader, Part 2...
but first a Restored Marriage Testimony
She Was the One Who Left Him!!!
A woman emailed wondering if we could help her. Things were totally different in her situation. She wrote,
“I am the one who left and was in adultery. Can you help me? I became involved with a man and was convinced that I should leave my husband for him. I have three children who God had called me to home school who are now in the public school. One day while driving (after I had filed for divorce to be with this other man) God just came all over me. Instantly, I knew what I was doing was wrong and I went to my husband to beg his forgiveness and ask him if I would come home. By this time, his heart had gotten hard and he would have no part of me returning home. I was dumbfounded as my husband of 10 years had ALWAYS loved me and stuck by me.
Even though I had filed for the divorce, I called my attorney and dropped the divorce. However, my husband was able to re-file and the divorce papers were still valid. The more I tried to reason with my husband about getting back together, the more he was set on continuing with the divorce. I wondered at times if there was any hope.”
I wrote back to say, yes, there is hope and her husband is undoubtedly hurt and doesn’t trust her any more. “Reason” will never turn his heart or bring him into the revelation of forgiveness. And discussing things will drive him farther away because it is a spiritual battle, so if you fight in the flesh (by reasoning, begging and talking about it with anyone) you will lose.
"It will take the Lord turning him," I said, "exactly as He was faithful to turn your heart. It might take some time and a divorce might be necessary for the Lord to work and turn everything around, so don't try to stop it. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus”—Philippians 1:6
I also wrote: “The Lord will take this time to mold you and change you so that you will glow in the goodness and love of the Lord. It will certainly be painful at times. He totally and completely had to make me over first before He would bring my husband around let alone come back home. And to encourage you even more, there is a dear friend who lives here in Pensacola whose situation sounds almost exactly like yours. She was the one who was unfaithful. She wanted a divorce and then she was the one who had a revelation about her condition before the Lord. When she repented and came back to the Lord, her husband refused to accept her back.
"It took some time and many, many trials and tests, but I saw this woman become one of the most spiritually powerful women I have ever met. What we found in all of this, is that her situation was really no different than in mine. Both of us were unfaithful to our heavenly Husband! Our common bond continued when both our marriages were restored.
By helping my dear friend, the Lord showed me that no matter how a woman comes to our ministry, the Restoration Journey is the same. Most who come are like myself: their husbands have left and are in adultery. Many other women come when their husbands are abusive, drinking or into drugs. Surprisingly, at least one-fourth of all the women who come have been in adultery themselves. And also that 100% of us were adulteresses and unfaithful to our FIRST love—the Lord!!”
That's when she wrote: “Do I cease ALL spiritual conversations and conversations about reconciliation and just let him see the work God is doing in my life? He told me that his pastor told him to go to counseling, but he refuses.”
I wrote: “Don’t you make contact, but when he does (or you just make contact when exchanging children) make it short, and be sweet, joyful in the Lord (not necessarily in your situation). And most importantly, ask for the Lord’s love to fill you so that you can love your husband unconditionally, which means loving him if he doesn’t love you back or even if he rejects you. Now I am not saying to love him aggressively. Since you have been the one who was unfaithful to him, this is one way your situation is different than most. Just remain sweet and quiet. Make no contact nor any advances. By showing your chaste and respectful behavior, winning your husband without a word, will show him that you love and care about him.
And be GLAD your husband is not interested in counseling!! It ALWAYS causes more problems and solves nothing because, once again, it is a spiritual battle so fighting this in the flesh will mean you lose the spiritual battle. Your consistent love (the love that’s found in 1 Corinthians 13), which is first patient, will win him since we have the promise that "love never fails." Love him enough to let go and then make the LORD your Husband!
Then she asked, “My husband wants me to tell him EVERYTHING about my adultery. I don’t know how to handle this.” I wrote: “Giving ‘details’ about past affairs can be very damaging to your future. Your husband is falling into the same trap many of us have faced, desiring to ‘know’ everything. However, since he is asking, as a submissive wife you must respond. However, try to be discreet and only answer what he has asked; go no further in the circumstances or details. Use the time to ‘minimize’ the feelings you thought you had for the other men and ‘maximize’ your love for him even when you were unfaithful. Also, share how it was clearly deception that caused so much of your adultery. Share your need for his spiritual protection that you got out from under which put you in such a foolish and vulnerable spot. Don't blame him, but let him know how you are no longer going to pretend to be the spiritual authority you bragged about and you are pulling out of church. And reiterate your awakening to the need for his protection.”
Then she wrote: “Last night my husband came over at 9:00 p.m. and stayed until 3:00 a.m. Even though there were some ‘rough’ spots, I could tell there was a calm and a peace in his heart. The main thing he is working through right now is memories of my unfaithfulness to him. My ‘words’ do not mean much to him at this time, because he feels he cannot trust me. So I am trying to just SHOW him on a daily basis my commitment to him and the change God has brought into my life through my actions. It is so much better when I hold my tongue and just smile!”
“Last night we also talked about me moving back into our home. I have been trying to be completely silent about this because I have noticed that ANY amount of eagerness means pressure, which causes him to go the other way.
Once before he made a comment about me moving back, but when my face lit up he quickly said, ‘But I am not sure that is what I want yet.’ I told him that I trusted him and whatever he thought was best. However, I confess that on the inside I am LONGING to be by his side every day again.”
“The divorce date is tomorrow and my husband is adamant about my going!” She let go of her attorney and her husband had already agreed she could stay home, but the enemy was working hard—since he knew his time was short!!
The morning of the divorce her husband called and said “DON’T GO! Stay home!!” He called his attorney and put the divorce on “hold.” This was the beginning of even more testing but after two months of her husband WATCHING her from a distance, he decided to ask her to come home EASTER weekend. The divorce was once and for all dropped. New life had begun in their home.
Update: Together Julia and her husband minister to other couples and email me often for wisdom. They have been restored for several years now. Julia still does not attend church, her husband attends a church and is a deacon. Instead of her going, her husband comes home to share the sermon with her and discuss it with her throughout the week instead of watching television or sports! He has encouraged her to go with him, but she explained to him that what mattered most was hearing it from his mouth, not his pastor after she showed him a couple of verses she read and asked him the meaning about.
"If they [women] desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church"—1 Corinthians 14:35.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless"—Ephesians 5:25-27
As a result many of the wives remain home and these husbands formed a Wise Man group to study their roles and the Bibles more. Julia ministers to the wives in a Home Fellowship, the same Home Fellowship she started when her husband would not let her come home, which helped her find the fellowship with other women that she said was paramount to her restoration and becoming and remaining the LORD'S bride!
~Julia in Wyoming, RESTORED
Yesterday's and Today's lesson is your Spiritual Milestone.
Did you stop your Restoration Journey to make a list of reasons NOT to let go?
Interestingly, this is the same place your husband or ex is doing, reasoning why he should let go of the OW and/or return home to you. So the next time you are frustrated, remember this hurdle you had trouble leaping over.
“But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves…not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22,25
My Spiritual Leader: Part 2
In the first lesson of "My Spiritual Leader" we began learning what it takes to make room for a man to take his rightful place as leader.
In this lesson we want to teach you:
• More about the significance of YOUR relationship with the Lord...
• Help to prepare YOU for your husband's return...
• Fill in the span of time before your husband returns...
• And what we found out was even MORE important than when your husband becomes the spiritual leader.
To do this, let's begin with two powerful testimonies that show these principles in action. The first:
A Head Covering or Spiritual Covering?
This first testimony is one I shared briefly in My Spiritual Leader Part 1. Now I'd like you to read the rest of the story about the Mennonite woman who came to me after she had, herself, fallen into adultery. Please pay attention to what it took for this woman to not only get her marriage restored—but what led to her husband getting saved and becoming the spiritual leader of their home.
I believe that once you realize the potential and power of this principle, you will be able to let go of hanging onto your church, and experience the freedom and power of living this truth in your own life!
This seriously is one of the most amazing restorations that happened early on in my ministry. This woman, as I said, was a Mennonite. When she walked in everyone noticed immediately that she was covered from head to toe in her modest, religious clothing. Her husband left her immediately after SHE confessed to committing adultery, which Erin explained was due to her not having her spiritual protection over her. For YEARS she attended church faithfully, bringing their children, while the husband, a non-believer, stayed home.
After this woman left her church after finding us (and me explaining she not only had to confess to her husband, but to her church, which led to them standing her in front of the congregation and asking her to leave), as I said she removed her religious clothing and her head covering. That's when her husband panicked and told her to put it back on and go back into the church. Not at all being disrespectful, that's when God gave her an opportunity to explain that HE was her covering, not the church. And very soon after their marriage was restored, due to being willing to confess her sin of adultery (which led to him leaving her and being kicked out of her church) her husband pulled into a church that he passed on his way to and from work because, he said, "It said ‘Bible’ in its name and I knew the Bible was a good thing."
Once again it was his pastor who encouraged him to come and bring his family to church on Sunday morning. It was her husband who brought his family to come sit in the front row (as a complete family, not with him at home) for the first time. It was all of this that led to her husband, and at the end his very first church service, getting SAVED! But it didn't stop there.
As I also said the next thing God did was to have this man's pastor tell him to join the men's bible study! This woman never needed to say anything (and knew better than to) try to teach her husband anything! Instead, God stepped in and took care of everything! Are you surprised? And then, only a few months later, this man came with his wife to THANK Erin for her help in restoring their marriage, so that she and he could share the truth that led to him getting saved and becoming a believer!
Notice that when this woman made ROOM for her husband to become her spiritual leader and chose to no longer be under any other spiritual authority other than the Lord, just what happened. For years she was taught false doctrine that caused her to fall into adultery because she was not under what God said is her protection—her husband and the LORD only! Her church told her for years to keep going to church and this would cause her husband to begin coming to church, which never happened (and what rarely ever happens!).
Notice, too, that she left room for her husband to begin seeking help from his pastor: HE found the church, HE brought his wife and family. HE was the one who began going to MEN'S Bible studies. AND finally his eternity was secure—which is the most important aspect as I am sure you would agree!!
It was before I met my Mennonite friend when God asked me to live this same principle myself, which is why I am so convicted of its truth. For me to help anyone I need to learn and then live it.
Leaving room for my husband to become the spiritual leader of our family began (as I mentioned in the last lesson) when my husband was gone and God spoke to me about giving up going to church, leaving room for my husband to be my spiritual leader. God had spoken to me about my spiritual arrogance, which led me to hide my Bible, stop going to church, stop playing Christian music whenever my husband came by for a visit, and to begin to follow the principle I found in Matthew 6:6 "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
After a few months of making room for my husband to become the spiritual leader, my ePartner and I also discovered this verse in the Bible that said…
“If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church”—1 Corinthians 14:35
We believed this principle should be taken literally and to confirm this, we both waited for God to create an opportunity to ask our husbands at home something we really didn't know.
By the time God provided the opportunity my ePartner and I had already come a long way in our Restoration Journey. We had both already stopped going to church and our relationships with our husbands had both finally come to be on friendly terms again, due to radically letting go. So much so that my husband had actually confronted me about "seeing someone else" because, he said, "I glowed." And due to radically letting go, he had already begun to pursue me again.
By this time both my ePartner and I were able to keep letting go and focus on our relationships with the Lord. Since we had begun meeting together weekly, not to talk about our problems (because we believed that gave power to the negative things), but to pore over our Bibles looking for more truth to combat what we "saw" happening. And this caused everything to begin to move more quickly.
So as I said it was months before God created an opportunity to ask my husband a spiritual question. It happened when my husband came over for his weekly Saturday visit with the children. That week God had given me a question I honestly did not have an answer for. And since I didn't know the answer to it, and would have normally gone to my pastor to ask, I knew it was time to "ask my husband at home."
When I asked my husband the question, he replied by saying that I would know the answer more than he would—due to me being much more "religious" about reading my Bible! What came out of his mouth was rooted in the hurt from years of me being such a Pharisee. He went on to say that I was the one who went to church and I was the one who went to all the Bible studies. Thankfully I knew to simply keep quiet and not say anything to the contrary—but then it was like God turned a light on and he remembered that I no longer went to church! God finally rewarded my obedience!!
That's when I showed him why I was asking him, by showing him the above verse, saying again that I really didn’t know the answer. Immediately he asked me if I still had his Bible around (the one he left behind when he moved out and in with the other woman)—the one I prayed he would ask me for one day! That night he took his Bible back to his apartment and called me the next day to give me the answer!
*When reading these lessons be very careful about what principles you follow when. Since this is Restoration "Journey" you need to be careful about not getting ahead of God. For most of you, it's not yet time in your Restoration Journey to implement the principle of asking your husband anything, let alone something spiritual. Notice how many destinations and principles I had to apply that led up to this point in my journey?
Just remember there are many destinations along your journey that need be conquered in their proper order. You don't need to worry which one is next if you are simply following the Lord and are quick to obey each principle. If you do, with the right heart, then this opportunity will happen much sooner than you think.
Though it was thrilling that my husband asked for his Bible back, and actually call me only a day later with the answer, I want you to understand that this miracle was bittersweet. Most miracles and/or breakthroughs usually are bittersweet. Do you remember why? Do you remember that the enemy's main objective is to steal, kill and destroy: like stealing your joy, killing your hope, and destroying your journey if he can?
To steal my joy (what I realized immediately after he left that night) was that what I had been using to comfort and feed me was gone! I didn't have a Bible! I had been using my husband's Bible exclusively right after I got rid of my King James Version. No, it's not because KJV is not a good version, it is! I love the book of Psalms more in the KJV (and many other verses) more than any other version. But due to me flaunting my KJV Bible, and because my husband used the New American Standard (and I never followed his lead and asked or purchasing the same version for myself), I knew I needed to radically obey by giving my KJV Bible away to our soup kitchen. (During the time my children and I lived on food stamps, tithing with bulk food was how I began to learn and apply the principle of tithing. I had no income at all, but what I had, I tithed from, which was food. But that's another story that I will share more about in a later lesson).
But let me fast forward to an entire week without a Bible. Thank God I had written my survival verses on 3x5 index cards or I know I would have died! Yet, God didn't take long to bless me for my obedience. On the way back from delivering food to the soup kitchen, the Lord gave me a half a dozen Bibles in a variety of versions!! While downtown I stopped at a thrift store and there they were! I never would have thought to look there.
And I also found a Bible for my children (that they wore out several copies of) and what laid a solid foundation for them to build their lives on—The Picture Bible! Here is the link to purchase The Picture Bible.
If you have young children, I’d highly recommend getting this. It’s how all my children learned the bible better than I knew it. I only wish they’d been too young to read it themselves, so I would have read it to them. Instead, we went through more than a dozen of these over the years when the binding broke due to overuse! CLICK ON to order The Picture Bible for young families and be sure to share the testimony with it.
How I discovered this breakthrough book was when I was in a local bookstore with my children and they had a book with a warped cover that was discounted that the store owner pointed out. She said she’d gotten one and brought it home for her 12 year old boy. She said she would find him late for dinner and staying up past his bedtime due to him reading it! Then the fruits were discovered when he won a bible knowledge contest beating children much older. She was shocked and asked if he learned it in his Sunday School class and said, “No, it’s all from reading the Picture Bible you gave me.” Of course I bought it and found I had the same results with my sons. My daughters all love it too by the way.
Again, never forget it's a "journey." Had I not given my Bible away, I would not have discovered all the many Bibles versions God gave to me as a recompense! Had I continued to go to church, continued all the other things I was doing, I would not have reached my destination as quickly, or maybe not at all.
Had I continued going to church and Bible studies, had I not made my relationship with the Lord the most important goal, and reading my Bible a private and personal matter, my husband would no doubt have continued to feel unable to be my spiritual leader!
Yet, as I said, it was bittersweet when the enemy again tried to steal my joy. He tried to convince me that I had made a huge mistake only a few days later!
Would you believe that my husband came over the following Saturday to tell me all about how he was reading from his Bible to the OW!! Instead of him becoming my spiritual leader, he had become the other woman's spiritual leader!! But no matter what I heard, I made a decision to believe and trust the Lord and His faithfulness. I chose to believe that somehow and in some way this had to be a GOOD thing, and due to the magnitude of how devastating this was, it had to mean just as much good would come from it. And later I found out it did—it led to a turning point in our restoration!
My problem was getting past thinking about myself. As a Christian I had to focus on the spiritual state of the other woman. I also had to realized that my "feelings" were from the enemy, who once again, was trying to convince me I was a fool.
It was years later, long after my marriage was restored, when I found out just what happened, and what I didn't know—but had chosen to believe. First, that my husband had shared the gospel, about getting saved, with the other woman hoping to lead her to the Lord. Though she didn't accept Him then, my husband said that thankfully the seed had been planted.
But that's not all, he said that due to him sharing the gospel and reading the Bible to her, along with first searching for my answer, it's what led him to begin reading his Bible again. Which, he said, God used to bring about enough conviction that led him to walk across the street one evening to pray outside a church. He didn't go in because, he said, he realized he was too "sinful" to enter a church (this from a man who didn't think he was doing anything wrong). And while sitting behind the church he said he began to beg God to help him out of his mess!behind the church he said he began to beg God to help him out of his mess!
Never underestimate the power of God's Word, His promises, or the POWER that is behind His truths! And remember, you will need to look at everything with eyes of faith, and not what you see, never wavering from what He calls you to do humbly.
World-Renowned Revival Only 2 Miles Away
Years after my restoration, God saw fit to test me once again in regard to making room for my husband to become even more of a spiritual leader to our family. Due to being called to minister to women, I know God needed to test me to be completely sure I would faithfully share the truth with women—and to do it with the right compassion, as well as, conviction. God asked me to walk through a very difficult valley of decision that included losing my ministry for a time (that led to a greater ministry online not locally) and endure a horrendous amount of mocking and taunting by the very women whom I had been encouraging every week in our fellowship meetings (this too had it's purpose in helping you shake off cruel words so that when praise comes it doesn't bring about pride).
Soon after our restoration our family began attending the church where I had been leading the very first Restoration Fellowship on Monday evenings. I did not attend the church, but due to the pastor and what he taught, it is where my husband took us as a family. But only a year later our pastor left (due to health reasons) and was replaced by another pastor that preached about things that were contrary to marriage, divorce, and the right way to handle a husband in adultery. That's when my husband said he didn’t want us to attend there any more.
For months we visited a new church just about every Sunday, but none, my husband said, were suitable. Yet only two miles from our home a world renown revival was going on—but my husband believed and said quite vocally—it was all hype; it was fake.
Rather than asking more than once, I knew that the only solution was to keep bringing my desires to the Lord. Speaking only to Him about wanting our family to go. And because it was only 2 short miles away (where over four million people traveled around the world to attend), very often I would drive by and see hundreds of people standing outside before dawn in order go to the evening revival meetings. I didn't ask anyone for prayer, because doing so would mean I would be sharing things that I knew I needed to keep to myself.
A couple of times while I waited, my husband actually told me I could go (since he kept hearing friends talk about it), but I kindly said that since he was the spiritual leader I would rather NOT go (even though, inside, I was dying to go!!). Every time I would think of it, I would rush to my prayer closet and cry out to God to intervene (not out loud but in my heart)! Yet no matter how many times I asked God, months turned to years while the revival continued to make headlines around the world!
After two YEARS of my husband and our family not going to church, many women began leaving my ministry due to them judging me and my husband as "backslidden." They mocked me and made a point of letting me know how blessed they were at revival meetings they were attending whenever I ran into them around town.
Then one day it happened! My husband brought ME to the revival on our date night, and HE WAS the first one to run to the altar—giving his life to the Lord!!! The next day was Sunday and my husband brought our whole family (all seven children) to church. Four weeks later we officially became members of this fantastic church that we attended for the remaining years of the revival!! Though he always believed himself to be a Christian, the night he got baptized he said he had prayed the prayer twice but had no fruits and knew now he hadn't been saved. He also made a public apology to me for what he had done.
After we joined ALL of our children (that included 3 teen-aged sons) got extremely involved in our home church. My third son was seen on the 700 Club as the youngest deacon in the nation, and all three boys eventually joined the teen choir that had very few young men. During one song when the few young men began to sing, and sing with complete PASSION for the Lord, the entire church would always jump to their feet and begin to shout praise to God! The church literally shook because the people were so moved. And there, on the back row, were MY three oldest sons! God's way of letting me know that it was ALL worth it!
"I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth"—3 John 1:4.
And as we said in the last lesson, today each of my sons is known to be POWERFUL and COMMITTED believer, volunteering and working in their churches, and all three of my sons are the spiritual leader of their wives and families! This is not to brag, not at all, it's what GOD did not what I did! I am sharing this to show the awesomeness of GOD and HIS POWER, HIS faithfulness. And to prove that no matter what you're going through now, you are INVESTING in your future and your children's future by following these principles radically.
In a day and age when so many children who have been brought up in the church turn their backs on God, and even stop believing there IS a God, what matters more than to see your children have a passion for God and the things of God?!? It takes just ONE person, YOU, doing what is right to turn your entire family to God. Religion and being "religious" won't do it, but instead, it will have the opposite effect—it will drive those you love away from God! Be willing to do the harder thing for the sake of everyone who matters to you!
By letting go of my church (more than once), God faithfully put into my sons (into all my children) a love and passion for Him. So many women simply accept that her children will walk away or never know the Lord due to their marriage and family crumbling. But why accept it as fate?
Instead embrace the adversity, believe His truths, trust Him, and live the principles He gave us in order for us to succeed. Be vigilant to go against the norm (the wide road). If you do then someday you will see God instill in your children a fire that will never go out!
The Truth About Church
Today I knew I had to write to share with everyone that I grew up in a Christian family and went to church pretty much my whole life. I heard the message that was preached and I was not save until my son was two. He is now 20. So making children go to church will not get them saved. After I had children I was told by my family to bring my children to church and Sunday school and if I did not do so my sisters and mother and father (My EH was not and is still not a believer) would yell at me and tell me that I was not doing the right thing.
Meanwhile they were talking about everyone and how awful the people at church were.. were..
As my children grew older my family would make comments to them about how their father was not a good person because he was not a Christian and that he was going to hell. Against my EH wishes I continued to go to church to be with the people who were judging me and my children because we were not blessed to have a Christian husband/father. This was the beginning of the breakdown of my marriage! I was not seeking God but instead I was listening to everyone else except the Lord.
My mother and father ended up getting a divorce because my father was unfaithful to my mother. In the end my father's new wife had a heart-attack and died, then he remarried my mother. At the end of my father's life he was a wonderful grandfather to my son and daughter and when my dad died he truly was a man of God and was sure to ask for forgiveness for being the father he was prior.
On the other side, it was my Christian, church-going mother who would tell me to go down to Florida and take my daughter so I would leave my husband. When my daughter was little and my EH would work late I would be home with my daughter my mom would be there telling me that my husband was not good enough for me and what was he “really” doing. My mom was planting seeds in my head that was not of God.
Well to make a long story short, today I went to see my mother (I rarely go to visit her because of how she is with me) but I have been asking God what I need to be doing about my mom because she is getting up in age and it says in the word to honor our parents and in the lesson I did the other day when Erin talks about how you need to submit to your EH when your are married but not to your parents, which I never did. I also remember her saying how one woman who was torn between submitting to her dad and EH and she listen to her dad and did not submit to her earthly husband and she is still not restored. So when I went to see my mom today and she was talking about church and things that I now know are not true it was amazing how God gave me the confidence to speak respectfully to her but to share the truth with her about what God says versus what people and the church says. Thank you Jesus for always being with me and having the confidence to be able to speak what You want me to speak and maybe not what they want to hear. God is so Good He went before me and allowed me to get this burden off of me and say things in a kind, gentle way that was well received.
Could God be leading YOU out of the church?
Whenever God calls a woman OUT of her church, she never really WANTS to leave. I didn't want to leave; I loved my church and my pastor and the fellowship and all the areas where I volunteered!!
Most women leave a church because they are angry or hurt, which means she is doing it because of the flesh—God is not leading her out.
When things feel good to the flesh, it is of the flesh. But the things that NEED the Holy Spirit and His strength to carry out—this is how you know things are of the Spirit.
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may NOT do the things that you please"— Galatians 5:16–17.
Another reason God may be leading you out has to do with immorality!
What do I mean?
Well, when we are in a church where we are being encouraged to do what we found out is wrong, then that's when it's time to SEEK GOD about fleeing.
Throughout the Bible God teaches us to STAND or remain steadfast except for one verse—
"Flee immorality"—1 Corinthians 6:18
Though we usually associate "immorality" with sexuality, the word actually defines being moral as "principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior."
We get emails and questionnaires every day where women tell us that their pastors encourage them to kick their husbands out of their home, join singles groups, that it's okay to remarry, to go to counseling rather than finding the truth in the Bible, and many other things that are simply NOT Biblical, but are immoral. This is a key reason to flee and begin building your personal relationship with the Lord—and then to know the Bible well. Because to remain where you are could be very dangerous to you and your family spiritually.
How Could Attending a Church,
Without Your Husband
be Spiritually Dangerous?!?
One of the most powerful or destructive principles in the Word of God concerns being submissive to authority. All authority. Once women read our books and finally learn about being submissive to their own husbands, most women are more than willing to begin being submissive to their husbands.
However, it's not just our husbands we are to be submissive to. God says we must be humble and obedient to ALL authority.
"Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves."—Romans 13:2
You do not want to oppose God by resisting authority—especially not the spiritual authority of your church.
"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account"—Hebrews 13:17
Here’s the truth: If you remain in a church that does NOT promote MARRIAGE RESTORATION from the pulpit, teaching the truth clearly and often. But instead encourages other things that are not Biblical, then it puts you in a place of rebellion if you do not do what they teach, preach or encourage. And rebellion only increases the destruction you are already experiencing, if you do NOT obey what your church teaches.
"For rebellion is as the sin of divination [witchcraft], and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you . . ." 1 Samuel 15:23
Therefore, if you are in a church and are taught or encouraged to go to counseling, which almost always is founded on psychology, and you don't obey, you're in rebellion.
And how can we trust a pastor or church when they encourage us to go to counseling since it is founded on another religion?
How could the church not encourage us to go to the Mighty Counselor rather than one that is training in psychology?
[Later on in this lesson you will learn how psychology was actually designed to destroy Christianity.]
If the church won't encourage us to go to Him, who will?
If your church tells you that it is okay to divorce and maybe even that it's okay to remarry, and you do NOT obey your spiritual authority, then you are in rebellion.
Some women wrongly believe that they simply can choose not to obey—just keep doing what they believe God is telling them to do without saying anything to anyone. But that's what got you in to trouble in your marriage, right?
Some women believe they should explain or argue their beliefs with their pastor or counselor they were asked to see, which is when it then turns from rebellion to insubordination (read 1 Samuel 15:23 again above). And then this puts them in another dangerous position spiritually— falling into idolatry (believing you are above your pastor and his authority).
What Can I Do?
The remedy to this scenario is to simply make an EXODUS out of the church, thus creating a void that your husband will soon be called to fill. This is what I did, what the Mennonite woman did, and countless others women who were willing to do what was right. I have seen over the years of helping to restore marriages that many say they are willing to do what it takes, but only when it's something they like doing or are comfortable doing. When it's difficult then they simply choose to opt out of a principle—a principle that is ultimately and often the deciding factor for restoration. That's when women write after YEARS of "believing" for restoration and ask us why they were not restored.
Though this is a very scary step, trust me when I say that once you are no longer going to church anymore, you will find you spend far MORE time with the Lord, and will develop a close, intimate relationship with Him, which is what you and everyone needs!
The results are always totally AMAZING!
By spending time with the Lord you will find you’ve acquired a "gentle and quiet" spirit that God says is PRECIOUS in His sight—and as we have experienced first hand—is also a magnet to wayward husbands! Yet as we have also said, once you've come to this place of glowing, it's the Lord whom you will want!
"But let it be the HIDDEN person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God"— 1 Peter 3:4
One of the first things exiting the “church” CURES is judging our husbands and judging all those people we look at now so distastefully and arrogantly! Once we are close to the Lord, we begin to see things and see people as HE sees them.
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him”—John 3:17
What about Fellowship?
Most pastors agree that we ARE the church, but are then quick to mention this verse once they hear about that you are not in a formal "church" setting "…not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near”’—Hebrews 10:25
We AGREE!!! Fellowship IS Important!
Yet "fellowship" does NOT have to be done IN a church. As a matter of fact, the first church met in homes, and so does the largest church in the world today! The first house church is recorded in Acts 1:13, where the disciples of Jesus met together in the "Upper Room" of a house. And for the first three centuries of the church Christians typically met in homes, until AD 232.
The Bible and history confirm that rather than a church building, the "church" is US, not a building, where the Lord should resided in. When the early church met together, it was in order to build up one another, not to mimic the temple, since we are the temple.
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?"—1 Corinthians 6:19
Another interesting fact is that throughout the New Testament Paul makes it a point to speak of the "church" as meeting in houses:
"Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house"—1 Corinthians 16:19
"...also greet the church that is in their house" —Romans 16:5
"Greet the brethren who are in... the church that is in her house"—Colossians 4:15
"Greeting Philemon...and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house"—Philemon 1:2
"I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house" —Acts 20:20
But Does this Work Today?
As I said, the largest church today is in Madras, India, and due to the laws in Madras—95% of the “church” meet in homes!
And interestingly, they do NOT conduct a “church-like” service as some “home churches” do here in the U.S. They are encouraged, instead, to grow in their intimacy with the Lord at home, and to privately study their ONE page of the Bible that they read over and over again! Why? Because there are so many new believers, that they have only ONE Bible per home church! So when they come together they exchange pages they have not had and memorized! Isn't that amazing?!?
When they meet together to “fellowship" (which is usually not on Sundays), due to their deep intimacy with the Lord, He comes up in every single conversation as an object of PRAISE. Their "fellowship" is centered on praise for what God has done for them that week! They also do not sing normal church hymns since this would draw attention and would endanger those attending.
And because they do not “appear” like a church gathering, they are able to invite so many more people who would never go to a "church" because they are predominately a Hindu nation. Therefore if people invited them to a "church" their invitation would be rejected. And an invitation from a "believer" would also make it dangerous for their group and their family to continue meeting.
The other amazing thing is, even though this is a Hindu nation and it is dangerous to be associated with any Christian, each and every year every one of their home fellowships DOUBLES in size! They are encouraged to divide and conquer another home where they meet on another day of the week! Is it any wonder WHY this church is the largest in the world?!?
This is the way the early church grew so quickly. Due to persecution, they were forced underground. The symbol of the fish was used to alert Christians that they too were believers.
In a very small way, those of US who believe in marriage restoration (rather than filing for divorce, divorce recovery, and doing every other "normal" thing, like moving on and finding someone new), are also a group that would do well to mimic this same method of home fellowships in our own communities.
Where Can YOU Find Fellowship?
Here is a personal message from Erin:
Hello fellow Ministers of Reconciliation!!
I can't begin to express how excited I am to share the vision the Lord has given me—a vision that will help each of you FIND an Encouraging Women Restoration Fellowship in your own community—through YOU sowing Hope!
His plan is so easy and so discreet that it had to come from HIM.
Matthew 11:30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Once you are willing to let go of your church, you can begin to realize just how brilliant His plan is that I want to share with you.
"For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him" —Isaiah 64:4
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts’”—Isaiah 55:8-9
His Plan for bringing Hope to your Community is based on this verse that you've already read once above. Read it with me again:
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave US the Ministry of Reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation"—2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Beginning today I want to encourage you to simply ask Him what churches (in your area) that you are supposed to visit ONCE He gives you at least ONE other like-minded woman.
Don't venture out now, simply take time to write down the names of the churches, and then put the list in your Bible—while He begins to prepare you for your first church to visit.
Honestly I am still Having Trouble Letting Go of My Church
No matter what God is asking you to let go of—it's difficult—but oh so freeing once you obey. And once you obey, the "understanding" will follow. All of us want to understand BEFORE we obey, but that is NOT faith. Faith is moving without seeing, even seeing the reason before we take that step of faith.
It really comes down to this: you need to do this not just for you and your marriage restoration, but because Jesus taught us that thinking of and helping others is what has the POWER you need to see your Restoration completed.
When the time is right, you need to reach out to women who are still in your church (and surrounding churches) who, like you, were not fed on the truths about marriage and dealing properly with a crisis and who are now perishing for a lack of knowledge. Remember, this is what led to your marriage to collapse and all the other failed marriages in your church—to the point of it being an epidemic. Someone has to leave the comforts of her church to go find the truth, learn the truth, live the truth, then go back and help save others whose marriages are perishing. Are you willing to answer His call???
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!'"—Isaiah 6:8
Will you go?
Honestly, Are these Principles in this Lesson Really Valid?
"Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors"— Psalm 119:24
~ Bianca T in Salvador, Brazil I was raised in the Baptist church, but I only was able to really know the Lord in an intimate way when this journey began. I was in church, I played the piano, and I thought I knew and had enough of "God" in my life, but I didn't. The Lord in so much more than only 1 or 2 days of meetings in the church. Only when we can let go of attending church, and choose to be alone with Him, will we be able to feel what is the real power of the Holy Spirit and to learn the principles and to apply them in our life, even if we listen to those principles in our church for so many years, only when you give all your life to the Lord, and allow Him to make you knew, only then you will truly know Him in a different and wonderful level. RMI is my church, this is where I learn more about fellowship and where I can see the Lord doing miracles in other woman's lives and where I grow. Here is where I am spiritually fed and am encouraged every day. Here is where I can learn to help other women too.
~Connie in Canada, one of our Minister in Training Candidates, had her own struggles that she shared candidly in an Encourager!
Good Morning Dear Friends! Please rejoice with me—a burden that has been weighing me down has been lifted! After months of struggling with being obedient to a principle in the Renew and Rebuild Lessons in the Wise Woman Course, I have made the decision to follow His plan in my Restoration Journey and finally let go of my church. Letting go, so that I might be in obedience to my new Husband, allowing Him to be my Spiritual Leader and allowing Him to work in my (earthy) husband’s life, by removing myself from the role that was intended for him as our family's spiritual leader.
In the lesson it read, “Therefore, by putting yourself under the spiritual authority of a pastor (most of whom are men) or any other person (man or woman), it's another way we are not being obedient or being submissive to Him as our Husband.”
"But I have this against you, that you have left your first love"—Revelation 2:4
This time, after 5 long months of struggling with this, I was finally ready to obey…God helped me to understand that sometimes we need to obey His Word even when we don’t understand the ‘why’ behind it.
This Bible verse is meaningful to me because it says, that if I obey His Voice, He will be my God and I will be His ‘people.’ It goes on to say that I will walk in all the ways He commands me and ‘it will be well with me.’
In the RYM and WW books, it says that the number one reason things don’t go well with us, is because we don’t tithe. I have been tithing and yet, financially and otherwise, “things aren’t well.” I could only conclude that there was still disobedience in my heart, like the rest of the verse states, “Yet (she) did not obey or incline (her) ear, but walked in (her) own counsels and in the stubbornness of (her) evil heart, and went backward and not forward.”
The one area that I have had the most struggle with was ‘leaving my church.’ I have not wanted to leave my church, because I didn’t feel "called" to leave it. I avoided making this decision as well, because I worried about my teenage children becoming confused. They recently became confirmed, (accepting the Faith and confirming Christ as their Lord and Saviour) and are now members of the church. I wondered how my decision to leave our church would affect them and their walks with Christ.
Then, after months of prayer and searching for God’s guidance in this area, I decided to ‘let go’ and trust God for both my and my teenagers' spiritual teaching.
“. . . you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed” —Romans 6:17
I learned that I truly didn’t know what Faith was, until I was asked to do something that I didn’t understand, but did it anyway, out of obedience to our Lord. And though I delayed my obedience, which was disobedience, Jesus is with me and led to even greater changes in me and my children that I will be sharing in another praise report.
This is from: Diedra, who is currently Divorced in Ohio
"Here's why this lesson hit me so hard (right between the eyes!):
I was convinced to proceed with my divorce from a Christian counselor AT my church. Yes, I had doubts last summer if I was doing the right thing that my pastor advised me to do, divorce my husband, so I asked to speak to someone at my church. This man told me I was perfectly justified (after hearing our story) to proceed to divorce my husband.
Now here's the kicker - I found out just last week that, at the time I had my counseling appointment, this man had just left his own wife and filed for divorce. Knowing "now" so many things I didn't know then, I'm appalled and upset, but no longer surprised that this man would encourage me to divorce my husband!
More importantly, I'm ashamed beyond measure that I allowed his "counsel" from people in my church to convince me of something I should have been crying out to God for HIS opinion! Especially given the fact that God was clearly trying to get me to change my mind at the time before it was too late.
If you are still struggling with letting go of your church and did not read this yesterday CLICK HERE to read more testimonies.