"Mixing Methods & Understanding 'Standers'"
What's wrong with saying "I'm standing for my marriage"?
When we first began ministering to women claiming to be "standers" we found ourselves on high alert whenever we notice a woman who used this statement—knowing she had come to us after being involved in a stander's or "covenant" ministry.
First, there is nothing wrong with "standers" ministries! These ministries have had MANY restored marriages, so since the Lord led you there FIRST, we would like to encourage you to return there and completely embrace their doctrine.
We began encouraging women to return to the standers or covenant ministries and let go of ours, due to our concern for you—double-mindedness—when we began seeing some major consequences that only showed up with those who came by way of these other ministries.
Here is what God says about the dangers:
“For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways”— James 1:7–8
Though it might seem like a good idea to look around for as much help as you can find, think of it more like going to two different doctors: We all know that there are serious dangers if you begin taking two different medicines, prescribed by two different doctors, that are KNOWN, and have been PROVEN, to result in DANGEROUS side effects. This is true for applying the principles we teach versus the methods and teachings of covenant and standers ministries—they oppose one another and when mixed have long-term consequences.
"To be honest, I only recently LET GO of ALL standers theology that I used to hold fast to before God began showing me that my mistake. If you choose to continue mixing doctrine, you will NEVER see victory. So it is a good time to choose one ministry or the other, which means letting go of all other "spiritual food." I will say that I KNOW this ministry is the path to life because I have gone down the others for years with no lasting results." ~ Helen in Louisiana.
Here is a portion of a RESTORED MARRIAGE testimony submitted to us from a woman who had first come to us from a standers ministry, she said...
"...it was the RMI courses that taught me, taught me a lot, mostly not to try but to trust. How can I warn other women not to stand, not to hold on, but to let go? I want to save them from the pain I endured, facing so much hopelessness, so much humiliation, times I wanted to die. I came through very painful times, but coming here to RMI, finding my HH, God freed me, He humbled me, He forgave me and finally, I came to the place of no longer wanting my earthly husband as husband, I wanted the Lord as my Husband. That’s when everything changed.
To read the pain and why her restoration was so long, read Fits of Rage Came Over Me!
In this lesson, we want to share some of the differences between being a stubborn stander, who as Micaela said, was spiritually arrogant when GOD is calling us to become women of humility, walking along our journey with our Heavenly Husband drenched in His Love—to the point that is easy to let go and when GOD is free to restore.
Marriage Crisis or is it a Spiritual Crisis?
One way that our ministry is not like the "standers" ministries, is because we strongly believe that you are NOT in a marital crisis, but a spiritual crisis. We believe that your marriage crisis was allowed by God to bring about the changes He desires in YOU because God first begins with the heart of everything. The "heart" of the marriage being YOU!
Knowing this is the truth, we are very careful to never focus on or concentrate on our spouse's sin, but on our own.
By merely referring to your husband as a "prodigal" is like calling them names and labeling them as a "sinner." Hopefully, as you read through our books you found, as we did, that we had a lot to do with the condition of our marriage and why it collapsed.
"As a 'stander' we focused on the sins of our spouses and how they were 'taken captive by the enemy.' So we would gather weekly and do 'spiritual warfare' by praying in agreement and demanding that the devil 'release our captives.'" ~Helen
True, adultery or abandonment is sin but so is contentiousness and anger. And what is worse is confessing the sins of someone else even when veiled in prayers.
"We, as women, are not built to be "warriors"! It is the enemy's tactic to wear you out by "praying a hedge", "standing in the gap", and "claiming your covenant rights" to keep you from focusing on the Lord and your intimacy with Him. Which, by the way, is the reason HE "removed lover and friend" in the first place. He wants to be first in your heart and life." ~ Helen
Being discreet is another thing that we focus on a LOT in our ministry, which is the opposite of the standers doctrine.
If you go around confessing your husband's sins, and asking for prayer for him, the Bible says he will never be healed. Look:
"Therefore, confess YOUR sins to one another, and pray for one another so that YOU may be healed” —James 5:16.
“If we confess OUR sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive US OUR sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”—1 John 1:9
As you read in the Restore Your Marriage book, too many misunderstand this verse and instead confess their husband’s sins. The verse says that we are to confess OUR sins, not another person's sins "for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret"—Ephesians 5:12
Healing occurs for us (or someone else) by the act of CONFESSING, which is why CONFRONTING someone in sin also undermines a man or woman from turning from his/her sinful path. One way for a man to assure that a person REMAINS in his/her sin, besides never having had an opportunity to confess (since you've told everyone), is because as soon as sin is out in the open—sin is much, much easier to continue with once it's been exposed!
In our modern day world of technology and social media it’s so easy to search for help when we are desperate to restore our marriage. There are many FB Groups for Standers and Covenant Ministries where many women and men are desperately asking for prayer and posting the details of their spouses' sins as prayer. Being a part of these Groups can cause us to lose our faith and focus from where it should ultimately be and that is on the Lord and developing an intimate relationship with Him, instead of feverishly scrolling through the cries and pleadings of those desperately searching for answers which can cause us to stumble in faith. Once you have been healed we encourage you to return to these Groups as a Marriage Minister or Evangelist to share how you were able to overcome and share the HOPE.
A Personal Testimony by Erin
By the grace of God, I kept my husband's sin a secret, even from his own family. When they finally found out, it was he who told them. All along, to my dismay [dismay is causing someone to feel anxiety and distress], they seemed to accept his decision to abandon us and his relationship with the other woman when we were still legally married.
However, as always, God honored me when I followed His principles and trusted Him with what was happening. Due solely to my discretion, God used his family's disloyalty to me to move on my behalf!
One person, my husband couldn't bring himself to tell was his grandmother. He knew how she would probably react, so everyone kept it from her. I didn't tell her for a different reason, I wasn't in on their decision, but had done so because of what the Lord had shown me in His Word, about discretion and covering the nakedness of someone who was in sin.
God rewarded me beyond my imagination!!
What turned my husband back to me was the reaction of his grandmother! He decided it was time to tell his grandmother since he had planned to marry the other woman. So he drove her up to meet his family, and then he took his grandmother out to lunch to tell her. Before he could finish, she stopped eating and told him to take her home! With her hands trembling (my husband told me later) she then said that he had broken her heart. That I was her granddaughter just as much as he was her grandson AND TO NEVER BRING THAT WOMAN INTO HER HOUSE.... meaning the other woman he had brought three states away to meet all of them.
After that, when he would call her, she would tell him, "You go home!" And not too long afterward, he did. Later he told me all of this. I had no idea about any of it until after we were restored. My husband told me that his grandmother also told him when they spoke on the phone, that she was no longer able to sleep, so she would get out of bed several times a day to PRAY for him to go back home! My husband said the vision of her with her arthritic knees on her hardwood floor would eat away at him!
Most important to note, I never asked her (or anyone to pray), but God was the One who prompted the right person to pray at the right time and in the right way! Had my restoration happened any sooner than it did, I would not have had enough of the Lord to permanently change ME and I know for a fact that the other woman (and other women in general) would not have gotten out of my husband's system either. And maybe even more importantly, I would not have this ministry and training Marriage Ministers, like Atarah to minister to you and other women around the world!
Had I uncovered this in my timing with anyone, I know it would not have turned out this way. And not only that, but my husband would have blamed ME for his grandmother's reaction instead of taking on the full responsibility for it.
KEEP it PRIVATE
In addition, unlike the standers ministry doctrine, we are very clear that you should not only keep your husband's sins quiet (allowing him to do the confessing) but also that you should never tell anyone about your desire to restore your marriage. The Bible says, "discretion will guard you." Your desire for your marriage to be restored should NOT be made public. Instead, make it a "prayer closet" matter, then watch God "reward you openly!"
"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you"—Matthew 6:6
You may believe, just like so many Christians believe, that unless there are countless others praying FOR you, getting your name on prayer lists around the world—that God will not answer your prayers. This is simply not true. I had no one praying for me, interestingly, I really don't remember my first ePartner, Sue and I, ever praying for each other! I believe that all began when other women began coming to our fellowship meetings who actually demanded people pray for them!
Later when I was a much more mature Christian, when women would run me down in the hallways in our mega church to ask me to add her to my prayer list, I would grab her hands and pray right there for her. Then I would tell her that the Lord would really like HER to speak to Him privately about it, and begin doing so in her prayer closet, quoting the verse above. I knew I was not the "only" person she was asking and I knew that this meant that not ALL the others would pray His will but insert many of their own concerns based on their knowledge of marriage, divorce, etc.—which we all know is not accurate—therefore it was doing more damage than good.
Also, who of us hasn't been guilty of speaking to OTHERS much more than we speak to GOD about things?!?! To your prayer closet ladies!!!
A Personal Testimony by Erin
At the beginning of my Restoration Journey, I was doing really well not sharing my desires about wanting my husband back. But then I made the fatal mistake that got back to the other woman, which then, got back to my husband. Even though my husband had no desire to divorce me, once the word was out, I became a threat to the other woman, so she ended up pressing him and even paying for the divorce herself!
Thankfully, I was able to repent to God when I learned the mistake I had made, and then made it my goal to fully let go and pursue the Lord. What a change it made! My husband was sorry for divorcing me and soon asked me to marry him again until we found out the divorce was invalid.
"They have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught"—Psalm 9:15
Since I had not willfully done the wrong thing by letting people know (I didn't know it was wrong because I was told by another church member that it was the right thing to do), I know God forgave me, because He could see that my relationship with Him was more important than having my husband back.
The same is true for you. If you've told others about your desire, or if you've confessed your husband's sins—repent, which literally means "turn around" and head the other way! Repentance does not mean "saying" or just "being" sorry. That type of "repentance" turns into a repeat offender— repenting and repenting the same thing over and over. Instead, repent once and turn to the Lord! Head in His direction, pursuing Him!!
Read this amazing RESTORED Marriage Testimony to be inspired. Our Marriage was Defeated Soon after it Began
One term we look for in our questionnaires is the term many women use. They say something like "I am standing for my marriage." But first, are you wondering why we still search for a term like "standing" when we come right out and ask if you are part of another ministry?
The reason is, similar to a doctor, we search deep into what our spiritual patients tell us, and don't tell us! Believe it or not, we find so often (it's shocking) that the majority of questionnaires are not filled out, either honestly, or accurately! And when this happens, we can easily be missing things that would be a red flag if we knew about them and were able to help our client/patient.
For instance, another teaching of the covenant ministries is saying "in faith" they are married when they are separated or divorced or their husband has remarried. Though in theory, this sounds pretty good, since they are speaking it "in faith" and also due to there being a "covenant" with God when they married. Unfortunately, truth always needs to be backed up, not contradicted, by Scripture and the Bible says, "the truth will make you free”—John 8:32
The other way is to see the dangerous fruits of this type of theology. To explain this, let me share another part of some of Helen's ministry she is using to minister to her clients.
"Even though I found RMI, I was still praying with a prayer partner who was still feeding off of the stander’s ministries. Because I was mixing doctrine, I saw some movement when the Lord broke me after reading the RYM book, but because I was in spiritual adultery, double-minded and refused to “let go” when the Lord brought my FH around, I ran him off again.
I was pursuing (both outwardly and in my heart) and I was always available, even to the point of becoming intimate after hearing a tape on “Sex and the Stander” that my prayer partner sent me. This teaching was based on the “covenant of marriage” and that you were still “married in the spirit” and encouraged sex with your ex-spouse.
Although RMI principles were completely against this, I chose the fleshly, wide road to destruction and couldn’t resist when my FH showed up in the middle of the night saying “I’ve been drawn here” and that “he got it.” This only led me to being used and dumped again. That’s when I finally surrendered completely to what Erin told me 2 years ago which was to “let go and move on, pursuing the Lord as my Husband!” And the more I pursue Him, the more PEACE I am experiencing! ~ Helen
"Standing" is a term our ministry began not using anymore, though it is referred to in our main book, only because the term "standing" is used by those who "stand in the way" of their spouse. Even after their spouse has made it perfectly clear that it is his/her desire to leave them, divorce them and/or be with someone else, they stand in their way, which is completely and totally contrary to what the Bible says!!
Why would anyone want to get out of the way of someone who is clearly headed for sin?!?!?
Because the opposite teaching is found in the Bible! Therefore "standing in the way of a sinner" is NOT Biblical:
"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor STAND IN THE WAY of sinners...! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night"—Psalm 1:1-2
"Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, LET HIM LEAVE; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to PEACE"—1 Corinthians 7:15
Confirming this verse, we have another verse that clearly says, “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison”—Matthew 5:25 NKJV
To confirm this you have the next verse:
"Jesus said soon at the end of His beatitudes: “But I say to you, do NOT resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two”—Matthew 5:39–41
This is not what a standers ministry advocates—nothing even close.
We, however, STRONGLY BELIEVE and teach that a spouse should KNOW (be told and shown by your actions and attitude) that they are FREE to leave—no strings attached! No heartstrings either!!
How do we know this is Biblical? Not only do we have the verses, we have the example of the father in the parable of the prodigal son who also displayed this type of “letting go.” As a matter of fact, read for yourself that the father actually helped his son pursue evil by giving him his inheritance early!!
Because God knows that as long as someone stands in their way, the more and the stronger they will pursue that evil in their heart. And secondly, because if they are never allowed to get to what they "think" they want, what they truly "believe" will make them happy, they will never, ever find that sin is nothing but a pigsty! No one can tell someone this—a person must experience that stench for themselves. This is what made the prodigal son and your husband and you and every other person you know— want to RUN and RETURN to their heavenly Father in repentance!!
Also, we strongly believe that when a spouse is allowed to leave that they are never, ever pursued (outwardly or inwardly) once they leave. We know that the Father was ready to wrap a robe around his son, put a ring on his finger and kill the fatted calf, but only when his son FREELY returned with repentance on his lips.
We've heard that covenant-based ministries encourage writing cards, calling, and many other ways to "win" their spouse back. But I guarantee this almost always builds what we term a "HATE-WALL" that the one who leaves feels they are forced to build (tall and wide) in order to stop the pursuer!
A Personal Testimony by Erin
During my two years of believing GOD to RESTORE my marriage, the Lord showed me that I was in a spiritual war. As I began thinking of my trials and tests in this way, I made a decision to keep my thoughts and God's leading to myself. I never told my husband (who had left me and was living with the other woman) that I was "standing" for him (or "believing" he would return) because I knew that it would have driven him into marrying the other woman! And as I shared earlier, I tripped very close to the end of my Restoration Journey by letting the OW know, which got back to my husband, which then led to his filing for divorce. Thankfully I knew this verse too:
"For a righteous falls seven times, and rises again, but the wicked stumble in time of calamity"—Proverbs 24:16. I knew I had to get up and turn toward the Lord totally and completely AND that in the "time of calamity" the other woman would stumble and never rise (in my husband's or my life) again.
Let's be real, every one of us hates to be manipulated or coerced or forced against our will. Early on I could see that the Lord kept encouraging me to let my husband go, more and more, as it says in all those verses above AND especially by reading the parable of the prodigal who was allowed to leave and was not pursued by his father once he left.
The main reason for my marriage crumbling was to allow the Lord to totally and completely transform ME, which is why I am so very glad and thankful it didn't happen one second sooner than it did. The truth is I could have used more transforming and would cherish much more time to have been alone with the Lord!
Once I fully let go, the Lord led me to use the pursuit of my marriage and husband to pursue Him—the Lord. And that's when my face became radiant, as it says in Psalm 34:5, "They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed." My husband actually got jealous because he thought I was involved with someone else!
It wasn't only the new ME he saw that made him suspicious, but because I was pursuing the Lord, I wasn't hanging around our townhouse as I once had been, and was often busy when he said he was coming by, which began to become more frequent.
What a change from the pathetic woman who would follow him around and want to spend time with him, dropping everything to just be with him. Back then he would simply be mean and hateful and reject me. He would stand me up and change his plans at the last minute.
"By following the standers suggestions of pursuing my husband who was clear that he didn't want me, all that happened is that I ended up frustrated and worn out. NOT ONE of the ladies (I prayed with) saw their situations budge. In fact, I was on a "full-on" pursuit with my professions of "standing for our marriage" and "undying love for my husband."
This only made him think of me as a pathetic and obsessive, especially when he caught me driving by his house to check on him to see who was there! The more I pursued, the more he pursued other women!
It was ONLY when I prayed for WISDOM that I found RMIEW! I ordered the RYM book and read it in one night!!! I began applying the principles and my situation began to change quickly. But because I had looked into my husband's business, I had to endure a GREAT test as his latest girlfriend was paraded in front of me almost weekly during baseball season! It was only the "joy of the Lord" that helped me keep my composure under that attack. Later I found out that he was planning to move her into his house! But because I kept my mouth shut and had stopped pursuing, they finally broke up." ~Helen
If I had been playing a game, just a new way to get him back, I know it would have backfired and blown up in my face—making my situation worse, maybe unbearable and I would have given up. Not only can men sense when they are being manipulated or when a woman "says" she is not interested or is moving on and she isn't, but what's MORE important is that the LORD can see and is hurt by your unfaithfulness to HIM!
Don't make some big statement that you are letting go, and then find yourself doing the same things as you have been doing. Instead, make sure the changes in you are real. The change in me was real and needed to be real—and it needs to be real in your life too.
Very soon I became someone he wanted to hang around, and because I was too busy for him, he began pursuing me even more. Had my heart turned back, I know his heart would have turned back to the OW.
"You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out. 18 You have removed lover and friend far from me; My acquaintances are in darkness"—Psalm 88:8, 18
WHY did He do that?
"But I have this against you, that you have left your first love"—Revelation 2:4
Part of the reason the Lord wanted to change me was to help me develop a "gentle and quiet spirit" which is not only precious in His sight, but also in everyone's sight! At the exact time I began to exhibit this change, in my husband's other relationship, she was becoming bitter and sharp with her tongue as it says the adulteress will be "in the end" in Proverbs 5:4. When he left me, boy oh boy, I WAS the contentious woman, but then I became someone totally new!
It only happened once I came to the place where I no longer NEEDED my husband, because of the relationship I had with the Lord when my husband ended the relationship with the other woman and came home.
Do Not Pursue Your Spouse!
We encourage all those who want their marriages restored, not to pursue their spouse who has left in any way, shape or form (i.e. phone calls, cards, letters or flowers). We believe that the spouse, who wants to leave, should be allowed to leave, as is directed in Scripture.
Psalm 1:1-2 "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor STAND IN THE WAY of sinners...! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night."
This verse doesn't tell us only what NOT to do, but what we are supposed to do. Meditating in His Word day and night! Some of you keep slipping back to your old ways. You want to change, but it won't stick. This is due to not replacing what you remove, with something good. It's another principle you need to learn:
"Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation”—Matthew 12:43-45.
Don't get too caught up about unclean spirits, since I am only showing you the principle. It's similar to people who successfully lose weight and keep it off. They change what they used to do. They stop eating the wrong foods and begin eating the right foods. They used to sit and watch television, but then they begin going for walks or to the gym.
If you are replacing watching television with reading His Word. Replacing talking, messaging and scrolling through social media, with speaking to Him about everything that concerns you. If you are no longer hoping to see or hear from your husband, but are asking Him for ways to spend your time much more productively and happily... then you will continue to see your life change, you will change, and others will see the changes.
However, remember that you are in the midst of an Esther Treatment Makeover and people are the most radically blown away the longer it's been AND the more radical the change. So find new places and new women to hang around with—women who you go looking for to help—then you can do nothing else but talk about the Lord, which means your face will become even more radiant!
1 Corinthians 7:15 "Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, LET HIM LEAVE; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace."
And, once again, the type of "letting go" is what we saw the father do in the parable of the prodigal son, who never went after his son. Instead, he let go, got out of his way, and gave him money so the son could find his way to the pigsty. It wasn't until his son had come to his senses and was on his way back to repent when the father met him with the robe, his ring, and the fatted calf was roasted! May I ask those of you who are part of the standers ministry, "why do all of that (the robe, the ring, the fatted calf) while your husband is living in sin?"
And if your husband is no longer angry with you, why, if he can have both you and the other women chasing after him, why would he want to give it up?
Time after time we have seen that the person who is pursued will try harder to get away! If you send your spouse a birthday card or other holiday cards, you will only strengthen the relationship with the other person because you have violated the three Scriptures we mentioned twice.
Rather than pursuing your spouse, the women who experienced a RESTORED marriage INSTEAD pursued a relationship with the Lord. If you pursue God, then inevitably, your spouse will pursue you—and your marriage will be restored!
We simply can't say it enough, please don't call your spouse if he has left. Don't send him cards or even continue telling him that you love him. Don't keep asking for forgiveness. Make sure you do it once, then let this go too! Even if you've missed something, it really gets old and pathetic. And please don't let your spouse know that you are "standing" for your marriage or tell him about your "covenant with God."
Rather than STANDING for your marriage, which, as we said, really doesn't mean that you are standing strong, but standing in the way of a sinner.
We believe you should be RUNNING!
Run with your eyes fixed on the right prize—fixing our eyes on Jesus!
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" —Hebrews 12:1-3
Jeopardised Her Own Restoration
I have a very dear friend whom actually belongs to a Stander's ministry. We became friends and I introduced her to RMI, she never really did any of the lessons because I think she never really "bought" into the Ministry as she still clung to the principles of the standers ministry. During the holiday season, she told me that due to a family member not agreeing with her stand on covenant marriage she was not invited to attend Christmas lunch with them.
A miracle occurred whereby her FH invited her to Christmas lunch at their home, although he had always been hostile towards her for breaking up their marriage. I was elated because our stories were so similar and I was praying for her restoration also. After Christmas day I messaged her only to find that she was in fact not invited and after hearing her story where she was in his company at a couple of church events whereby she attempted to speak to him and also gave him a lecture.
I then realised that she had violated the principle of not pursuing and winning without a word. To my utter horror, she had jeopardised her own restoration, as he had told her previously that if she attempted to pursue him he would go back to breaking all contact. My heart broke and I sat thinking about the situation and knew I had to do something, as I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me to comfort her.
I spoke to her about the RMI principles again and how we are not to pursue our husbands but that they were the ones that needed to do the chasing. I told her to purchase the RYM book and that she would learn all that she needed in it. Only to find that she had already purchased the book but that it was packed away somewhere!!!
Ladies our men do not owe us anything. And all we owe anyone else is to love them. As Jesus did. No amount of pleading will get your husband to take you back or bring him back. Only God can and will and only if and when you start obeying. Do not waste years of believing for restoration with one simple act of weariness. Let's run the race to win. Let God do His best work through us and for us.
1 Peter 3:4 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
4 Instead, your beauty comes from inside you. It is the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Beauty like this doesn’t fade away. God places great value on it.
Psalm 27:14 NIRV "Wait for the Lord.
Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord.
One of the biggest surprises with those who come to our ministry, who have spoken openly about "standing" for their marriage, is that very often they expressed a spiritual arrogance. One telltale sign is when they freely tell us about their husband's sin.
Not only that but they are usually quick to refer to their spouse as "the prodigal," which as I said, is like calling them the deep down dirty "sinner." When we see a woman looking at her spouse's sin, rather than focusing on their own, we know they are still tearing their houses down, not at all headed toward restoration. Matthew 7:2-5 says it this way:
"For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you."Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
"Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye?
"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
This type of spiritual arrogance is what we began referring to as a "Pharisee spirit." This is so dangerous and WILL prevent God from moving your marriage toward restoration. When I was trusting God for my marriage restoration, the Lord showed me, in His Word, that Jesus was only harsh, critical, and opposed to one set of individuals, not the sinners, but the Pharisees! And that is when He showed me that I WAS a Pharisee because I was focusing on my husband's sins while ignoring my own!
There are so many Christians who pretend to be spiritual on the outside but are filthy on the inside. Jesus called them whitewashed tombs:
Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness."
I Will Wait — FOREVER!!
Have you ever told your spouse, or told other people that you would "Wait forever"? Well, get ready to WAIT.
Pursuing your spouse or making strong statements will not help—it will cause them to run. This will also push your spouse away and toward the other woman! You cannot stand in the way of divorce either.
Stop telling everyone about your "stand", get out of the way. Don't try to stop a divorce since this could very well be what turns your husband around! Jesus told us NOT to resist evil. But instead— how to benefit from it. No, not our sin, we will never benefit from it, but the sins of others towards us! Look at the life of Jesus. It was what His life was all about.
"But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also"—Matthew 5:39
Why would He say that? Because it's God's way of setting you up to bless you! And the greatest blessing is finding His favor! Being surrounded by favor is a place I love to live IN!
Be grateful "to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it, you patiently endure it, THIS finds FAVOR with God"—1 Peter 2:18-19.
This is powerful stuff, but no one talks about it!
Okay, so let's talk about some specifics with "standers" and covenant ministries since so many women can't seem to see things from the right perspective. Let's talk about the holes in the "covenant" theology. Helen already shared how far things can go when you believe you are still married when you're actually divorced. So many embrace this belief that they are still married because they have a "covenant" with God. But if you think about it, it's the same as waving the title to a car when it's been stolen!
Holding a car title means nothing if you don't have the car! If someone else is driving it. A marriage license or covenant means very little when you get into bed alone and your husband gets into bed with her.
Instead, think of it God's way and ask Him to be your Husband.
“‘Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.
For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one's youth when she is rejected,’ Says your God”—Isaiah 54:4–6
Once the Lord knows your heart belongs to Him, He will set out to be everything your husband never was and never could be to you! He doesn't want to bring your husband back when he knows how hurt you will be because your heart is too open, too raw. Not until He knows you've let go of your husband, and have enough of Him, will He bring your husband back into your life, because there is no way He is going to let him hurt you anymore.
You'll Know by Their Fruits
In a time when your future hangs in the balance, it is important that you are careful when seeking or accepting counsel and help. How do you know whom you can trust?
The Bible tells us, as believers, how to discern whom we can trust and who we should stay away from. In Matt. 7:15-20 it tells us, "You will know them by their fruits."
When my husband confessed to being involved with another woman, I first sought the Lord. God totally turned the situation around instantly.
Unfortunately, I made the biggest mistake of my life that I would later regret for the rest of my life! I followed the advice of someone who had NO FRUIT.
As I shared yesterday, I read the destructive book about administering "tough love" by a very popular "Christian" psychologist. I was not aware of the bad fruit this book was producing. It wasn’t until I began ministering to other women who, in tears, shared with me that they had made the same mistake of following the advice given in this book—which resulted in their husbands hating and despising them too!
In addition to your covenant-based standers ministry, if in your desperation you may have also tried the method of tough love, stay away from this book and avoid the destructive results. It is not biblical, but is based on psychology because a psychologist wrote it!
OUR HISTORY with Standers
Over the past twenty years, we have had hundreds of women (and men) who have come to us from standers ministries for additional support and comfort. Unfortunately, so far we have had very little good fruit, no real favorable results, with those who have already embraced the doctrine, which is so completely contrary to our own, as you have just read.
Every few years, our leadership team gets together to seek God for wisdom. At one point we had so many coming from Covenant Keepers and Rejoice Ministries that we began to focus solely on them and our ministry changed to emphasizing the principles that were contrary to their doctrine, only to find that we greatly damaged the women (and men) who had not come by way of a "standers" or covenant-based marriage ministry.
We regrouped, once again and felt that what was in the best interest of the huge influx of standers and for the safety of our own members that it was best to turn them away and send them back to the first ministry God led them to.
With the beginning of RMIEW in 2011, however, we once again sought God when, once again, we began getting a large number of women who came to us from "Standers" ministries. In the beginning, we began to work closely with them, but later, after much was invested on our part, we were often sent a reply to something that was in following the standers' firmness, basically telling us off before leaving!
Part of this is due to the ministry "feeding the flesh." Let's face it, it feels GOOD to do "something." It feels good to send a letter, make a call or tell someone about our stand. But it doesn't feel good when we are rejected over and over and over again!
We hate to group you or any woman, together in a negative way and only wish we knew the right course that would ultimately help you and give you the desires of your heart. We were simply at a loss of really knowing what to do. Until God led Helen to begin ministering to us. However, we want you to know this is NEW territory for us. We have NOT had the success we have had with the woman or man who has not been part of these ministries.
The path we are taking at this point is to offer you ALL the truth we have learned, and trust that God can help you LET GO of what you've learned and what you've been doing—ONLY THEN will you be in a position to renew your mind so that GOD can do the impossible.
Though we have had hundreds of restored marriages, so far we must be honest and upfront, we have had very few restored marriage testimonies that have been submitted when the woman was once a stander or who had come from a standers ministry.
We know that both Covenant Keepers and Rejoice Ministries have restored marriage testimonies, and therefore, once again, we feel this has to be due to the double-mindedness that comes from being part of BOTH ministries and mixing the two sets of teachings.
That’s why we urge you to either go back and embrace their doctrine and remain under their guidance, love, support and teachings OR to do everything in your power to LET GO of everything you learned in order to embrace our ministry’s principles.
Read Atarah’s RESTORED Marriage Testimony, “Better for Me Then, than Now”! who was a previous Stander and a special audio message from her— about how she felt discouraged at first when reading that no other marriage from a previous Stander background had been restored and what GOD led her to do!!
Then read this short praise report of one woman who was willing to “Let Go” and embrace what RMI teaches:
I also want to thank God because He has brought me light in the darkness. I was involved in a "stander" marriage program for 1 1/2 years before I found Restore Ministries. And since I have finally "LET GO" of my husband, I have finally been peaceful, knowing God will take care of it, instead of me. It is very stressful to "stand" because the outcome of your marriage is based on what YOU can do, not what GOD can (and should) be doing. Not "letting go" was what kept me mired in intense and incredible pain. It brought a lot of fears that I shouldn't have been carrying because I thought that my marriage depended on me to hold it together (and sometimes I wasn't willing to do that anymore). I had left God out of the picture. SINCE I have let go, my husband has started coming around. He puts forth the effort to reach out to us. Although it is baby steps, I see God turning his heart toward us. He is starting to do things that he would never do before.
I want to praise Him because now when I have a problem, the first thing I do is PRAY, and with an OPEN heart (instead of "God, please fix this problem by doing this or that). I do not go to other people to ask their opinions anymore. I go to God, and He is answering me personally. He has been sending me so much truth, particularly about the "sacrifice of praise" - in praising Him in the middle of trials, instead of lamenting over them.
It is SO much better than worrying to death and hoping to have my needs met by an earthly husband or depending upon the "arm of flesh" to fill me up. I always heard that God is the only one that can truly fill us up, but I never believed it. Maybe we have to be truly "empty" before He can begin filling us. Thank God for all His blessings!
~ Chloe in Tennessee
Soon after finding you I encounter another ministry "rejoice ministry" which I began to follow along with this I have to confess that somehow listening to that ministry I found appealing to the flesh, but not to the soul. After crying out in pain, He led me back here to your ministry and I spend all night reading chapter after chapter on the RRR site and finally I found answers for all my so call "standing for marriage." That night I found a new conviction, I took off my wedding ring and let go of my church, when a began tithing to you, to my new storehouse. That's when I finally understood almost everything even though it was in English (my first language is Spanish)!
In less than 2-days, my mind was completely renewed. and it felt well in my soul and spirit. The "stander ministry" whole concept and the journey for needs to be encouraging women to find our heavenly husband.
~ Diana in Texas
As I mentioned before that before I found RMI I was seeking help as I was determined to fight for my marriage because I was a stander. Little did I know that I was standing in the way of my restoration. I searched for restoration testimonies and came across a marriage restoration testimony on YouTube that led me to hopeatlast.com and that's when I found RMI and I started applying the principles.
Read Jada's RESTORED Marriage Testimony “Divine Appointment”
Read through what we offer, again and again. Take everything to God, and then allow HIM to lead you to where you should be and what HE would have you to do.
"Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors"— Psalm 119:24
In each of the principles shared in these lessons, I can look back see the journey God has taken me on. I was broken to my core the moment I found out my husband was in adultery. Never in a million years would I have believed he would do that, he too, says he can't believe he's done it. I made every mistake possible, I turned into a crazy, suicidal woman. I am so ashamed and embarrassed by what I've done.
I somehow found a "standers" ministry and it seemed to get me on a better path than what I was on. I at least had hope that restoration was possible with God. Praise the Lord that you changed your policy on this matter and allowed standers like me, to come through these lessons!
While being part of the other standers ministry, I was still shattered in my soul. I cried every day and night. I kept asking God where this so-called "peace that passes understanding." He heard my cry and lead me here to Restore Ministries and Encouraging Women. Now I have peace!!!
I see now that by standing, I was relying on myself, not God. That's why I could not find peace. I can't praise God enough for allowing me to struggle and fight on my own, then when I was completely exhausted, He led me to you, more correctly, to Him."
HE LEADS ME
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
HE LEADS ME beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.”
—Psalm 23: 1-3
"Are you becoming weary of your Stand?" "Are you feeling weary?" "Standing has become just too hard" "Thinking of throwing in the towel and moving on with your life"? There is Hope At Last.
"Your ears will hear a word behind you, 'This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.'"
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”