Day 3 Securing Your Success 3:
but first a Restored Marriage Testimony
My Husband Completely Changed!
Thank you, God, for all Your Wondrous Works in my Life!
How does one begin to express the complete joy and peace that comes with walking in obedience to God? Words seem inadequate and yet, with all the blessings and answers to prayer in my life, I know that I need to find a way to write about God's almightiness, His faithfulness, and His power!!
In the past five weeks, my life has completely changed. I have known such heartache, such brokenness, such sorrow, but God took all of this and made me new. The most joyous words I could ever imagine were said by my husband one evening, as he once again opened up and talked to me about his own pain and suffering caused by my contentiousness, manipulation, and lack of submission. He ended by saying, "How does one divorce the nicest person in the world? You have changed so much"!
Although my husband was still living in our home, nevertheless God restored my marriage!! Before I found you, my husband told me emphatically that he was not going to stay, he told me of his hate for me, that he no longer loved me, and that there was another woman who "liked him just as he was"! He wanted nothing to do with me and was pursuing divorce.
After reading your books, over the just the past five weeks, everything has changed. I have confessed to him of my failing, of which he has replied to my utter joy, “The past is in the past, and we can move forward now.” Since God changed me, he has talked to me about the importance of God in his life, and I for the first time did not try to make him think like I think, or believe what I believe. Praise God, I can now listen to my husband and keep my mouth shut. This alone is such a miracle of huge proportions!
Now he is HAPPY when he is around me; he has told me I look beautiful, when previously he told me I was completely unattractive to him. He seeks my company instead of avoiding me. We have been reunited physically as one flesh even though he told me he could never make love to me again, that all his feelings for me had disappeared, and that I was no longer desirable to him.
Since applying what I learned, my husband has since completely taken over the finances for our family, once I confessed how overwhelmed and inadequate I felt in this regard. He is the head of our household now in every aspect! I discuss all things with him and do not make decisions against him or without his direction as I have always done in the past.
My husband used to travel with his work, and God has answered my prayers in that too, providing work close to home—even delaying his next job (in the town where the OW lives), several times, giving us more time to be with one another, and more opportunity for me to submit and walk out the changes God is making in me. I never discussed this with my husband, but spoke to my heavenly Husband again, and He changed everything!!
God has given me peace of mind. God has made me able to cope with the uncertainty that our move will make in our lives. And I am so surprised that we no longer discuss the OW at all any more, like he used to do with me, nor do I make any reference to her existence after I learned how my cutting words (or questions) about her proved I was not Christlike at all. Fortunately, and with great praise, it’s all because I read your books and learned so many things. I finally knew about the power of winning my husband without a word from reading A Wise Woman several times— Praise God!!!
After telling me that he hated our home, and dreaded spending time here, that he avoided coming home as much as possible, he has taken a new interest (mostly due to your workers@home book that I began to follow too). In one of our many heart-wrenching conversations, I told him that I would be willing to sell our home and move to another home if he was so unhappy here (I never took care of it). He replied that he thought he just might like to enlarge the kitchen that, in fact, he didn't desire to live anywhere else; he likes the location, the house, and the neighborhood and how nicely I keep our home now! God is working in the most incredible ways. Sometimes, I feel physically faint at the overwhelming awesomeness of it all.
Learning to let go of my husband (and grab onto the Lord instead) has taught me how to let go of everything, like our home, and that came back to me too! I know had I held onto everything but the Lord, even saying I let go, but not letting go completely in my heart. If I was still hanging on I know none of this would be happening my life.
Recently I have been caring completely for my husband because he had surgery recently, and then being ill with a stomach flu. Unlike the old me, it was a pleasure and a joy to care for him and take care of all his needs. I no longer feel exhausted, resentful, or out-of-sorts. I find complete joy in caring for my husband and family, because I know that I am in obedience to God—doing it as "unto Him" and for no other reason.
It's all due to my relationship with the Lord, which always comes first before anyone and anything. There is no better feeling than walking with our almighty Father, with my precious new Husband, which is why my husband wants me so much now. I praise God and thank God that I have been made sorrowful to the point of repentance, and that He loves me so much that I am forgiven my sins and made new.
And because I am clearly in love with my new Husband, my newly changed husband has begun to do little things for me . . . carry down the laundry, make my breakfast, make me tea, grocery shop for me, come home early, ask how I slept, if I am cold, and small gestures that he had not done for so many years. I no longer EXPECT these things or even want these things from him, but I instead rejoice that God is turning his heart from stone to flesh, mostly for the sake of the children and for the testimony of how powerful His principles are (that I found in your books).
So far the only change he hasn't made is that he does not say he loves me yet, but that’s okay because my love is for my Husband. What matters to me is that he acts lovingly; he laughs, and cuddles me, but what I long for is the Lord loving me on the inside!
What matters to me is that I know that God loves me completely, which is the only thing that matters, and though I wanted Him only, I realized that His will shall be done, which was for our marriage to be restored.
It’s God who is wonderful and God who hates divorce. He was just waiting for me to love HIM like He wanted, then He caused my husband to love me as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. He gave up the life he said he wanted, because I let go and gave him to God!
Thank you, God, for all your wondrous works in my life and how you changed everyone by helping me to focus on YOU!
~Ginger in Louisiana, RESTORED
If you're like most women who come to our ministry, before you found your way here you have made many mistakes. Mistakes that are now following you that you can't seem to shake off.
One such mistake is when you told people about your marriage situation. The reason this is detrimental to restoration is quite simple: the more you tell, the more advice, the more confused, the more you wander around in the desert—where most who set off on the Restoration Journey give up—after years wandering in the desert!
The other reason you want to stop talking to everyone is that most people who truly love you are sure THEY know what's best for you and what you should do.
I learned this lesson very early on in my Restoration Journey. Not knowing any better, when my mother-in-law called to talk to my husband, I told her he had left. Without knowing any details at all, she proceeded to tell me to tell him to move me into an apartment (out of our lovely home), put my two oldest into school (I was home schooling them), put my two toddlers in daycare—all so I could get a full time job! And if that were not enough, she told me (without any thought to how desperate I was already feeling), that she knew he would never come back... He was like his father, etc., etc.
She wasn't trying to be cruel, it wasn't her fault. I should never have shared what was going on knowing that it would bring back her own painful memories of her unfaithful husband. And naturally it would also cause her to rely on her "support groups" she had been going to for decades! I will always be grateful for what she said, not because I followed her advice, but because of the pain of her saying all this to me (when I was already so broken), taught me a huge lesson that I learn and followed to the end— tell NO ONE.
That day I learned that I could not handle other people's emotions (anger, pain, frustration) when I had so many of my own to deal with. And this wasn't founded in selfishness, but in order to be able to care for my children and finish my Restoration Journey rather than giving up and giving into that wide road that leads to destruction.
Think about it, each and every time you open your HEART to anyone, is it their fault when you are wounded? Only you know and understand your fragile state and what is at stake should you be led in the wrong direction.
In addition to our emotions, another very key component is your faith. Your faith needs to stay strong and there is a large group of people who simply lack your faith who can steal what you have. Each person you share your hopes with have the potential of using up your faith. You will soon find you need to "carry them along" each and every time something negative happens—the strength that you really need to finish your race!
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win"—1 Corinthians 9:24
"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..."—Hebrews 12:1
If you promise to no longer share what's going on in your life, if you instead let go of this group of people in your life, I promise that those who truly love you will be at the finish line cheering for you when you cross it! What you don't need, right now, is someone you need to carry every step along the way of YOUR Restoration Journey. You don't need one more person you need to explain everything to, and WORSE, someone who has the potential to oppose what you're doing, who will purposely be blocking your way!
The most difficult group are your closest family and friends. These are the people who love you the most. Therefore, they love you so much and are concerned about how your husband is treating you and what you have already gone through. This group let's you know that you deserve better. Therefore they often feel it is their "duty" to prove their love by blocking your progress either with their confrontations, information about your husband and/or the OW, and even things they hear other people saying. And believe it or not, there are some who actually will be praying against your restoration!
The way I learned this lesson was when my own mother was babysitting for me and my sister called. She didn't turn off the answering machine so I heard their hour long conversation that was taped! Not only were they against me getting back together with my husband, but my sister was coaching my mom how to stop it. After I got over feeling so horribly hurt, I sought God for wisdom and knew I had to kindly and lovingly tell them my plans and ask them to choose to be with me, but if they couldn't, I would have to cut off communication with them until my journey was done.
"He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters"—Matthew 12:30
First, I only spoke to them when there were no negative emotions attached to it. Then I asked the Lord to see it as He did, which is when I knew that they really loved me and my children. They were not doing it to be mean, cruel or unkind. Only then was I in a place of speaking kindly to them so they understood.
Once again, I was not angry with them. I did not talk to them until I could speak from my head, not from my heart when there were NO emotions attached to what had transpired. I told them I understood why they were doing this, because they loved me so much. However... my children's future (and mine) had to be my decision since I would be the one who suffered the consequences.
"Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong"—1 Peter 3:13-17.
The outcome was that my sister just knew she was right and just could not "stand by" and watch me "mess up my life with a loser." My mom, however, told me she was "with me" and for the remainder of my Journey she never once faltered from her commitment.
Nevertheless, I was VERY CAREFUL to share NOTHING with her that I would later have to carry the weight of. I told her all the GOOD things that happened and kept anything difficult or frightening to myself to share them with the LORD ONLY! I remember that this was for the most part good, yet, due to me never telling her anything negative she was much more positive and optimistic than I WAS sometimes, which I knew was due to her hearing only the good things and not the difficult things. I confess I was "tempted" a few times to tell her just how BAD things were, but I knew I would regret it later. Little did I know it was because I was so close and the enemy was pulling out all the stops to trip me up "knowing that he has only a short time"—Revelation 12:12
When my restoration was complete, my sister, I heard, wasn't ready for our relationship to be restored. I was fine with that, and just knew I needed to wait for her to make the first move. When I asked the Lord about it and He gave me this verse:
“Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you"—Isaiah 60:4
My sister waited for more than a year. When she called me it was for my birthday, and also to congratulate me on the birth of Tara (my first "restoration baby" born 2 weeks before my birthday) . She told me she was "wrong" (something I don't think I ever heard before or since) and that she was happy for me! After that things were even better than before.
What Can You Do that's an even
What I shared with you above was very EARLY in my Restoration Journey. Later I learned something much more powerful that I shared with you in a previous lesson. If you messed up and told too many people (who told people), then when they press in on you remember to apply the AGREEABLE principle.
"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
If you have close friends, family, coworkers, anyone—including your husband—tell you to Move On, or find someone new, simply AGREE! Isn't that what God told us to do? But when I first learned the Agree Quickly I only understood it to be for my husband who was clearly my adversary at that time.
It was so amazing how perfectly simple being agreeable is, and that when I agreed to move on, it didn't mean the way they meant it. The truth is, you should move on. Move on with your life by learning to be a better person, a better mom, better homemaker, better daughter, sister, etc.
"This lesson helped to remind me to ONLY rely on the Lord. I have friends and family that are trying to get me to move on and I love the fact I can say "okay" and not really have to explain." ~Sherry in Arizona
Finding someone NEW is what we recommend, remember? And do you also remember that we don't want you to settle for anyone less than WHO you deserve?!? You deserve the BEST. The Ultimate Bridegroom.
Isaiah 54:5-7 special promise is just for you! Embrace this verse and embrace Him!
"For YOUR Husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the LORD of hosts.
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.
And just as you would normally do when you felt that your family, friends, coworker would NOT like the new Guy you met, don't say anything about Him to anyone! It is not as if He is someone to hide, but you know that they simply would NOT understand and it would cause them to worry about you even more.
As far as your husband is concerned, he, too, should not hear that it is Him who is causing you to look RADIANT... Just keep him guessing. 😉 The truth is, MANY of us who have experienced restored marriages found that once we LET GO and AGREED to move on, and yes, even find someone NEW, that it was the first indication that our (ex)husbands really cared. They began to panic. But again, just keep Who it is to yourself.
NO, do NOT play games. This is not a game. If you haven't met Him in this way, then just agree to letting go and that you are open to someone new, but that as of RIGHT NOW, you need to focus on YOU. In today's world this is something that other people get excited about.
And the truth is—it is YOU who you need to focus on. You, who God is saying He wants to change. No longer looking at everyone else and blaming them, nor focusing on them and trying to get them to come back either. And the freedom will bring HEALING to everyone concerned.
Be ready to SHARE this change with everyone who asks you, and trust me, they WILL ask you:
"...but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence"—1 Peter 3:15
When I first read this verse I felt it meant that my duty was to tell everyone that I believed that God was going to restore my marriage. Who did I boldly tell? You won't believe it? The other woman! Yep, another hard painful lesson that God used for good! It taught me something I can now pass on to you!
Not only was it painful, I learned first hand about opposition, and that saying something stupid like this will drive everyone to prove you wrong! It drove my husband farther away and caused the other woman to pay for the divorce my husband didn't really want.
It wasn't until I learned the truth in being AGREEABLE to moving on, finding someone new, that I no longer had opposition AND I was able to recover from my huge blunder! But as usual, many began suggesting new men, but it was just so easy to tell them that I just wanted time for myself! Time to not have to worry about pleasing anyone. And what is lovely, is that once you know the Lord as your Husband, He is instantly pleased with you! You no longer need to worry about pleasing anyone who never seem to be pleased.
Instead, just as it promises in these verses:
"Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart"—Psalm 37:4
"Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him"—Isaiah 30:18
Once you are totally renewed and rebuilt, with your New Husband, you will GLOW! And you will become even MORE attractive to your earthly or ex husband.
"They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed"—Psalm 34:5
Yet be careful, men only want what they think they cannot have. Men were created for the challenge and the chase. Unfortunately, women are the ones doing the chasing and the men are running. Once you run after the Lord, we GUARANTEE that men will begin to pursue you!! And once they do, keep on running until your husband is man enough to catch you. And that kind of man will only be a godly man!
NOW, after learning the truth, when people ask you about your marriage situation what will you say?
Don't go running around town with this news, just be quiet and wait for them to come to you. And be ready each and every time your situation changes.
"AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame" —1 Peter 3:14-16
Don't share anything that should be kept secret until GOD reveals your restoration!!!
Personal Testimony from Erin
Just like most of you I went looking for someone who would help me seek restoration for my marriage, beginning with my own pastor who thought I was nuts to even want it, and in the end sent me to the singles ministry, that lasted just about an hour!
Thinking it could be my denomination, I began searching through the other churches in the area. Only one told me restoration was possible. It was the senior pastor, but his associate pastor he sent me to speak to, was the absolute worst. In the end I knew God wanted me to walk it alone, until He provided another woman who turned out to encourage me, and became the first ePartner, Sue.
One of the things we discovered together was how the greatest opposition came from the people closest to us! We learned that we could share ONLY with each other, and for all the rest, we just gave the appearance that we had moved on. NO, not with someone else, and when people suggested it I simply said "Not now, right now, I need time for me," which kept them from pushing some goofy guy or a blind date or something worse!!
And the other thing we discovered was that as things changed or improved it was so tempting to tell people the updates, especially those who doubted us! Yet, keeping our mouths closed, and learning how to be discrete, got us both over the finish line when we both could then share everything with everyone!!
And this is the best part of my story! The ones I wanted to "set straight" the most were the dozen or so pastors who told me marriage restoration (of the magnitude I was living through) was impossible. There was one pastor in particular who told me flat out that God honored my husband's relationship with the other woman he was living with while he was still married to me!! Can you imagine???
Well, guess what? God wanted to let everyone in on His miracle even more than I wanted to share it. So He gathered all these pastors into one place to show off what He had done! No kidding!!
About two weeks after my husband returned home I saw that there was a Christian seminar I had planned to go to, but then decided not to go. And to my utter shock, my husband said he wanted to go with me!! I didn't even ask him!
When I went to register him I found out that it was the "advanced" seminar, which meant he was ineligible. Yet with God nothing is impossible! A few days later they called to say that the headquarters decided to use the seminar in our city to test and see if it was necessary to always require Seminar 1 before Seminar 2. And that meant my husband could go AND he could go for FREE!!
But it just got better! As soon as I walked in, since it was the advanced seminar, I spotted at least a half a dozen pastors that I went to for help with my marriage. All of whom had said it was impossible. They ALL recognized me and their mouths dropped when they saw whose arm I was holding–my wayward husband whom they said would NEVER return!!
The best was the pastor who said God was honoring the immoral relationship my husband was in. The pastor was all smiles when he came over. He was thinking that I had taken his advice and I found someone new! Isn't that funny?!?! And as soon as I said, "Oh, you remember me speaking about my husband, let me introduce you" the pastor grabbed my husband's hand and shook it vigorously! And during the rest of the seminar he couldn't take his eyes off us as a couple. Before we left he had invited my husband and me to his church several times during the break.
I hope that this will encourage you to KEEP QUIET and let God do His work in you, in your husband and in your marriage. AND most importantly that you run after God and never look back! That you run so fast that your husband will have to overtake you spiritually and even then, by remaining His bride, you will never be less alluring than before because your heart belongs to Another!
And once He's had you alone for long enough, is done perfecting and intensely loving you, you will not need to send out any announcements! He will orchestrate it all for HIS glory!!
A Picture is Saying a Thousand Words
Profile Pictures. I can't emphasize enough how IMPORTANT it is to take time to change and update your Profile Picture IF they include your husband. The saying goes "A picture is worth a thousand words," so while you may be saying you've let go and are moving on, you're profile picture is still screaming that you are still hanging on to your husband who is doing his best to get rid of you.
In a later lessons, a lot of this will make more sense, but if you are at a place of Trusting God, and putting Him in His rightful place, first in your life— then change your profile picture to prove you mean what you say.
I GET IT!!
"Your testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors"— Psalm 119:24
"The Agreeable Principal is something I wish I had learned from the very beginning, along with the zipping the lips. Because my husband is in ministry I met a lot of pastor colleagues or so I thought, people that were his friends, that I thought genuinely cared for both of us and wanted to see our marriage restored. I found out the hard way that is not the case. The Lord is now helping me to share only good things and to be mindful of how I respond. I have even found out that when I shared information with my husband's pastor that he shared my information that was shared with him in confidence, to others! I guess I learned a valuable but hard lesson."
~Henrietta in North Carolina
By the Word of Their Testimony
To complete today's lesson, read one of our restored marriage testimonies taken from one of our By the Word of Their Testimony Series to glean the wisdom of this once hopeless marriage that has now been wonderfully restored by GOD.