The Benefits of a Long Term Stand
I want to encourage you in your stand for your marriage, especially those who feel that it has been too long, that it’s never going to happen, that I am still hurting (all lies of the enemy which can lull us into a state of passivity and complacency making us inert and inactive and even, for some, wanting to give up). You need to realize that the long term stand can be a place where much growth and maturity can come when we allow the Lord to work in us first.
During World War II several countries chose to remain neutral thinking that if they did not fight on either side they would be protected. To the contrary, seeing it as a sign of weakness, Hitler and his armies invaded and conquered some of these very countries.
We have been conscripted into God’s Army and our Commander-in-Chief is the Lord Jesus Himself. We did not choose this battle but we are in it to fight and win. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) God knows those who are His and He equips us for the battle. The marriage covenant is so close to His heart. That is why the forces of hell come against us so hard. Covenant Keepers Ministry has trained us for battle in the trenches when we did not have the support of many, even some in the body of Christ, including pastors. We have learned that the trenches are not a place of comfort, but they can be a place of growth. They can be dirty, cold, wet, with very little food or finances, but they can be a place of change, growth and prosperity. We get to choose how we view this journey. It can be a lonely place where we sacrifice holidays and special times with our loved ones but it can be a precious place of sweet fellowship with our Jesus. We have to trust our Commander, stand together and not give up till we see the victory. While fighting in the trenches we are away from those we love but we have to remind ourselves that our loved ones are the very reason we are in this battle.
Among the many qualities (the fruit of the Spirit) developed are: 1) maturity, 2) patience, 3) long suffering, 4) kindness – to speak kindly to our spouse when we have the opportunity, 5) faithfulness to our spouse even when the enemy wants us to retaliate with actions and words that hurt them, 6) gentleness, 7) self-control – speaking words that would build up and not tear down and allow God to get the glory. (Galatians: 5:22-24) When we know that those we love are going through a struggle we must not be the Devil’s advocate and agree with him but put him to flight by prayer.
I am so grateful for this journey of restoration that I am on as a long term stander. I would not be the person that I am today if I had not been trained in the trenches of warfare through Covenant Keepers.
I have gotten to know my Lord and Savior in a way that I never would have done if it had not been for these years of waiting. Moses waited 40 years in the desert before going back to Egypt to bring the captives out. Abraham waited many years for Isaac, his promised seed. Joseph, who endured so much by the hands of his own family, became the catalyst that God used to bring his entire family to Egypt to save them from starvation and to reconcile them all. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends.” We are in this fight for our families and for generations to come. In the words of Nehemiah 4:14, “Remember the Lord Who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England in World War II said, “Never, never, never give up,” and the war against Hitler was won!
Let us put on our spiritual armor, pick up our weapons and get back in the fight. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.” (2 Corinthians 10:3) Our families are depending on us for their freedom.
The Armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-20
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Our sacrifices are worth it. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) Let us all agree that God will restore multiple long term stands for marriages so that He gets all the glory and let others see that He honors those who honor His Word.
From a sister in Christ, honoring His Word, no matter how long it takes.