(Note from Linda: The FAM members have truly been blessed to watch the Lord at work in the restoration of two families that were totally devastated by a non-covenant relationship that led to two divorces and a non-covenant marriage. MNO (member name omitted) has a very powerful testimony of how the Lord spoke first to her non-covenant husband and then to her, and convicted both of them that they needed to return to their covenant spouses if they would have them. The legal dissolution of that marriage will be final this week and both are standing on the power and promise of God’s Word for healing and the restoration of their covenant marriages. It’s truly been a great blessing to see how MNO moved from uncertainty about what to do (even wondering if she should stand for her second marriage) to the understanding and confidence she now has in the truth of God’s Word and will; not to mention so much love, admiration and respect for her husband. And what a blessing her very unique insight has been to everyone in the fellowship; such as the following message she shared this morning. I know it will be a great source of insight to all who read it, so be blessed and encouraged! Thanks, MNO! I know the Lord will bless you so abundantly for the great praise, honor and glory you bring to His name; so just as we’re told in Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28, God ALWAYS meant it all for good and the saving of many!)
Sometimes it is hard not to lean on your own understanding about what is happening on the other side of the mountain; but as a former prodigal, I can tell you that image of happiness is fake; nothing but an act, and all of the hurtful words come from frustration.
I tried to make everyone believe I was happy; I made myself believe I was, even though I can’t count the many times I cried myself to sleep or the number of times I would dream about returning to my covenant husband. But despite that, the hardest thought to deal with was the fact that I walked out on my husband of fourteen years and hurt not only him, but his family, my family, and all of our friends.
I grew up in a Christian home, so I questioned how I could let this happen. I knew how God felt about divorce and adultery, but that wasn’t enough to keep the devil from making me believe I was doing the right thing, because all that really mattered was MY happiness. I couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t understand that. Didn’t they want me to be happy?
Is that what your prodigal is saying to you? “I am not happy. Don’t you care about my happiness? How can you be so selfish?” I’m sure many of you have heard those words. I know I said them numerous times. And yet, in my mind I knew I shouldn’t be saying them, but I had to try anything and everything to “validate” what I was doing. I made up lie after lie to make people feel sorry for me; to try and make them understand. I even told my husband that I was never happy in our marriage. It’s amazing how we could be married for fourteen years and all of the sudden I came to the conclusion that I was never happy. Or have you heard the words “I love you, but I’m not in love with you?” What does that really mean? It means “I love you, I have always loved you, and I will always love you. But I am being deceived by the evil one and I must go. I cannot stay here. Please pray for me, pray that I will be convicted, pray that God will call me back home.”
The dynamics of my non-covenant marriage changed the minute my husband and his first wife started showing respect to each other, because I became very insecure and threatened by that. Before that, they argued constantly on the phone, and I was always happiest when they were not getting along. Wives, are you showing respect to your husband as it says in Ephesians 5:33, and husbands do you love your wives as you love yourself as it says in Ephesians 5:28-29? I can tell you from experience that when you do, the non-covenant partner will become threatened by your actions. I felt much safer when fiery darts were being launched instead of honoring words and actions of respect.
God loves each and everyone of us, even me, the former prodigal. And God has promised us marriage restoration, so do not worry about what is happening on the other side of the mountain; He has it all taken care of. Appearances can be very deceiving, and prodigals can even fool themselves into thinking they are happy, but God knows the truth, even when we can’t see it.