Testimony of a Healed Marriage
Table of Contents:
TESTIMONY OF A HEALED MARRIAGE
Many considered us the perfect couple. I was a drug education teacher in the public schools and a Sunday School teacher. My husband counseled adolescents at the local mental health facility and pastored (part-time) two rural churches. We served the Lord in every area of our lives, or so we thought.
Our daughter was born on our 11th anniversary. We considered her a miracle, and the Lord told my husband she was born on our anniversary because "You are a family." (God knew the choices my husband would make in the next year). The past two years had been stressful; we both changed careers, my husband started graduate school, we added a quite active "little one" after eleven years of just us, my husband was working two jobs, and I was trying to be the perfect wife and mother while doing my job and teaching Sunday School.
August 13: My husband told me he thought we would be happier apart. He added that he had been unhappy for years, never really loved me, and wanted a divorce. He said it was not fair for him to stay because he "could not love me the way I deserved to be loved." He cared, but was not "in love" and had never felt romantic love for me. I was devastated—I knew our relationship was strained but never thought he would consider divorce. He knew the Bible much better than I and was spirit filled. How could this be happening?
I knew who my enemy was; it was not my husband but the devil himself. I called three close friends who would pray and not talk, who could do spiritual warfare, because our battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6). I anointed with oil my husband's belongings before he moved out.
Covenant Keepers was one resource the Lord provided to encourage my stand. The scripture-based Weigh Down Workshop was another. I lost 40 pounds on this program based on obedience and a closer walk with God at a time when I would have used food for comfort. (Later, this weight loss did influence how my husband saw me).
At first, I thought it was just a separation while my husband got himself together. People told me another woman might emerge, but I could not believe my mate would be unfaithful. Several weeks later the Lord revealed this was true. He denied it, but it was hard to deny when the other woman came over to ask if my husband was who he said he was. Yes, that happened, but God's grace allowed me to treat her with respect and be truthful. She was in worse shape than me and commented on my strength! I shared how God was helping me.
My minister husband knew the Bible, but he was so deeply deceived he did not see anything wrong with what he was doing, nor did he feel it was wrong to continue to pastor. It was like trying to reason with a drunk! After the affair ended I ministered to her again, reminding her of the truths I had shared and of God's love, mercy, and desire to heal her family, too.
Yes, our separation was traumatic and devastating, but God became so real to me during that time. I had relied on my husband's relationship with God, his knowledge of the Word, and his listening ear; I had not pressed into God myself. The Father encouraged me with His Word and filled me with His peace. I never lost sleep except when He woke me up to pray and spend time with Him. God is a good God!
I continued to seek the Lord's will, He confirmed that He wanted me to stand, showed me that my husband would return, and that the divorce would not take place. In the natural this was hard to believe, but I stood on what God told me. The Father gave me specific scriptures to pray for my husband; I also knew the authority I had and the power of the blood of Jesus.
September 30: My husband filed for divorce; the Lord directed me to have communion and pour the blood of Jesus on the divorce papers and nail them to the cross in our backyard, so I did it. God had me repent to my husband for harboring anger and bitterness toward him; I only learned of these after I quit focusing on my husband and asked the Lord to change me. My husband noticed the changes—when he came back he said I was not the wife he left!
I prayed in the Spirit or prayed scripture because I did not want my emotional needs/desires to hinder God's work in my husband and in our marriage. I did ask that my spouse be home by Christmas.
I kept following the Holy Spirit's lead and treated my husband with love (1 Corinthians 13). I prayed a lot before meeting him or talking to him. He continued to push for divorce; the other woman was preparing to leave her husband and two small children.
I knew what God said, so I stood and spent much time crying in prayer. Once I felt too rejected and cried out to God; He told me that it was Christ in me being rejected, not me. When I got a hold of that, I did not need to feel rejected or condemned; Christ bore it all for me.
The Lord continued revelation through scripture, dreams, and prophetic words. At a Covenant Keepers meeting a lady said mine would be a quick work; the Lord was removing the wedge between us. She reminded me how circumstances change in God's time.
December 23: My husband wondered why I would not sign the divorce papers. I told him I would not sign until I was sure that our daughter was taken care of and that I could look after her interests. He admitted to problems with the other woman but said they were easy to overlook because she made him feel so good.
I cried with him and showed compassion; I told him God wanted to help him, but he had to allow Him to show him the truth. Later he thanked me for the way I was handling the situation, for showing him compassion, and for my maturity.
December 24: He said for a reason he could not explain, he had a desire to work things out and save our marriage. He had seen how destructive everything was (he related that the Lord had removed the veil from his eyes and had shown him many things through our daughter). He was going to break it off with the other woman; he said he felt stronger just by making that decision.
He came over Christmas eve and spent the night on the couch. My daughter and I left Christmas morning, and I told him he could move home whenever he wanted. I called him later and he was almost completely moved back; he had cancelled his lease and cut his phone and utilities.
I asked God if letting him return without a promise to never do this again was the right thing to do. The Father reminded me of the parable of the prodigal son (accepted by his father with open arms and no conditions). I decided just to love him and trust God to work in him.
My daughter and I came home to a greeting from a husband and father who was there by choice, not by obligation. Once the strongholds were broken, he was able to decide for himself. Several weeks later my mate said he could not believe what he had done; it was like he was left out of the decision-making process during the time he was involved with the other woman.
December 31 & January 1: New Year's Eve we spent together alone; my mother kept our daughter. On New Year's Day he burned every letter and card from the other woman at the same cross where I had nailed the divorce papers. As the ashes formed we took communion together and prayed the scriptures the Lord gave me during our separation. "And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony." Revelations 12:11
January 27: I'm pregnant! I was too afraid to tell my husband because he might feel trapped. We tried for years to have our first child, and now it only took a week! Another gift from God—and my husband was very excited about it. I found out our daughter was telling people before Christmas that I was going to have a baby; nobody had the nerve to ask about it because my husband was vigorously pursuing a divorce at the time. Perhaps there is a little prophet living with us!
March 5: We renewed marriage vows at church Sunday and took communion together. The Lord reminded the church how the old covenant was flawed and the new covenant is better. A man said the Lord gave him a song to sing during church; he thought it inappropriate but brought the words anyway. It was a wedding song! He did not know we were renewing our vows. God is so good; He gave us a brand new song! The man told us that he and his wife had been reconciled after a similar experience.
After we reconciled our pastor and his wife counseled us individually and as a couple. We both experienced deliverance and received inner healing over time; the Father opened doors for us to minister to others.
The process is not easy, but God is faithful. Our relationship is so different and better that all the pain was worth it! I have a husband with a changed heart; he is internally motivated by love, not externally by works to gain approval. This is what the Lord can do when we trust Him and do His will.
Don't get me wrong; our separation was a crisis for me. It was the worst time in my life, and nothing about it was easy. I spent many hours in tears and fought depression (put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness). Suicide even crossed my mind. Praise the Lord, I have Christian friends who reminded me of who I am in Christ, my authority in Christ, God's promises, and His good plan for me.
I chose to surround myself with friends who did not allow self-pity or "wallowing." I know my family thought I was nuts. Family and friends were concerned about me because I "knew he would be home." This was hard for people to accept because their mates never came home, but they knew my faith from past situations and honored it by not speaking negatively in my presence.
SOME IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
1. Prayer changes things and there is power in the blood of Jesus. Our marriage healing is a miracle from God, a direct result of intercessory prayer. Friends told me when I got discouraged, "We don't quit till we win." Even when their faith wavered, they did not let me see it. I made mistakes, but God is bigger than those mistakes.
2. A Christian can be under demonic oppression. The Lord revealed to me in a dream the name of the demonic stronghold in my husband's life. The devil prowls about, looking for whom he can devour, seeking a chink in the Christian's armor. If we practice a sin, keep areas in our life out of God's control, or make decisions against God's will without repentance, we leave ourselves open to the devil. Satan is no gentleman; he takes advantage of every opportunity given him, plus some.
My husband and I are both spirit-filled Christians. He could quote scripture and was a dynamic preacher and a great husband and father (as seen by those looking in from the outside). We did all the right things: prayed together, attended church regularly, visited those in the hospital, and taught Sunday School. My husband preached two sermons every Sunday and was the guest preacher at our home church. But without Jesus on the throne of our lives, these were nothing but dead works. The devil will use these things too.
3. Our God is a God of mercy. When I started praying for God to show my husband mercy, and when I began demonstrating love and mercy to him, the devil's power weakened. When my husband came home, he said he experienced the love of Jesus through me. He had stopped preaching, attending church, and associating with Christian friends. I was the only contact with Jesus he had; I am thankful he saw a Jesus of love, compassion, and mercy. That Jesus brought him back to the Lord and to his family! Only by the supernatural power of God was I able to show him that Jesus; it went against every natural feeling and tendency I had.
4. God is concerned about you. When I stopped focusing on God "fixing" my husband and sought a pure heart in myself, God was able to change me into the wife I was called to be. This attracted my husband because how I treated him was affected by things in my heart that needed cleansed. God was only able to reveal and heal when I invited Him to deal with me.
5. I am not the Holy Spirit. I tried to be the Holy Spirit in my husband's life. It is a struggle, but I am learning to shut my mouth and take my concerns to God. God is much better at conviction than I, and I don't have to be the "nag." The Lord has dealt with my concerns through the Holy Spirit, and my husband is learning obedience to God, not me.
6. Seek God's will in all things. It is easy to manipulate scripture to try to get God to do what we want. At the end of my prayers I gave God permission to do His will, and I asked for the grace and mercy to accept His will. When we seek God's will, we can be sure that it is the best thing for us. Sometimes God's will even went against Christian counsel. Allowing our 3-year old daughter to spend the night at my husband's apartment is an example. I knew there was a lot of demonic activity going on there, but the blood of Jesus is greater and provides protection. The Lord used these times with our daughter to speak to my husband.
7. Our God is a forgiving God. Many times we see our spouse's sins as worse than our own. Sin is sin in His eyes, and it is ALL covered by the blood of Jesus. My husband experienced true forgiveness: first, in the flesh from me (I had to forgive him before I felt like it and even before he asked for it or said he was sorry for what he had done); second, he experienced the supernatural forgiveness and mercy of a loving Father once he came to repentance. He has also received forgiveness from the body of Christ and restoration in the church.
Sometimes I wonder how he can be so bold, knowing what happened in the past, but then I remember, the old is gone and the new is come. He has experienced true forgiveness; his sins no longer exist in God's mind. The blood of Jesus has washed my husband clean. If God has cleansed him, how can I hold anything against him? I can't. I don't have the right.