Marriage Missions International

Give It Over to God Today – Marriage Message #91

Photo credit: Loving Earth / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Loving Earth / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Are you feeling defeated in your life and your marriage? We encourage you to read the following true testimony, which was sent to us from a friend of the Marriage Missions ministry:

“One year ago, my husband was off to rehab, my future was bleak, my kids were stuck in the middle of a torn home. My home was about to be taken by foreclosure although falling apart, because I could not afford to pay it for a whole year. My next day was uncertain and not promised to me.

“In all my efforts I failed. Everything that I thought I could do, I failed. I was not as in control as I thought I was. My TV sold for drugs; my van pimped out for more drugs. A guitar that was meaningful to my husband and his father pawned for even more drug money. My job was really meaningless to what God called me to do, other than the fact that I got to witness to others. I felt unappreciated and not cared for. I felt like I was in the middle of a hurricane watching my life just being ripped from me.

“God was the still small voice inside of me releasing peace into me. He gave me Romans 15:13 May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope (Amplified Bible).

“I answered him with, ‘Hope what was that?’ Darkness filled my life yet once again. How could I have Hope to go through this again, this was like the seventh time? I was answered by Matthew 18:21, Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. OK, but I am a righteous person.

“I was and am redeemed through Christ, a child of a King –the King of Kings. Why could this not be held from me? I was scared to death of what could happen at every moment. I was trying not to walk in fear. God then gave me 2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

“So, I refused to accept my life this way. I refused to accept my husband being beaten by this. I refused to accept that my home, my marriage, my family could be taken. I refused to think that God gave up on me. He then gave me Deuteronomy 31:6 ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’

“So how do I fight against darkness? How do I fight against something that I can’t see or really understand? Through Ephesians 6:10-18 God told me:

“‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For 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.

Therefore 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And 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 saints.

“That’s how. Then he gave me Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. And he gave me power!’ Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. God is so amazing! He has done it all! Why should I feel sorry for myself? Why should I let the devil have the victory?

“My husband is home now. God restored my marriage, and it’s better than I asked for. I’m not saying we won’t have trials, but we’re both looking to God and that makes a big difference! My children are reaping the benefits of my hubby being back. He’s stepped into the role of being a great father and man of God. Oh, also God had the mortgage company send me a modification (that I didn’t request) with a lower interest rate than we had before. SO I got to keep my home!

“My future is only looking brighter from here. I have been able to get out of a dead end job and go back to school and also volunteer at something that I am passionate about doing. Take that Devil! You can’t have US! We are children of GOD!”

Does this encourage you? We hope so. We also hope it encourages you to pray, believing God for the “impossible.” I’m reminded of something I learned from the Beth Moore Bible study of the book of Esther. Even though this study is directed toward women, it applies to everyone and how we sometimes give up trusting God when things get tough (which often happen in marriages). She wrote:

“Once we are in Christ, Satan has no authority to destroy us, so he settles for the next best thing: THREATENING to destroy us. Based on our histories and behaviors he deduces what we are most convinced would raze us. To the Devil, the irony is delicious: Our distrust of God tattles on us, telling our enemy exactly how to get to us. Many of us habitually rehearse, ‘If ___ ever happens, then I’ll just ___.’

“Our fears become like long, bony index fingers pointing at our vulnerabilities. Once Satan sees what we believe would be the end of us, he threatens and torments us with it.

“Our natural human defense is to grovel before God and plead with Him not to let those things happen. Our conditional trust not only makes us an open target for enemy torment; it also positions us as negotiators and beggars before God instead of secure children who trust their lives to their faithful Father. Those times when our fears become reality we feel devastated. We think God is unfaithful, and Satan essentially gets what he wants —for us to believe that life is over. Unless our belief system changes, for all practical earthly purposes, it is. After all, as a man thinks, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

“Don’t misunderstand. I’m a huge proponent of praying AGAINST what we fear and FOR the desires of our hearts. I also believe we’re free and safe to voice our worst nightmares to God. In times of crisis and demonic attack however, our vulnerable souls need something more. The most critical breakthrough of faith you and I could ever experience is to let God bring us to a place where we trust Him —period. We don’t just trust Him to let us avoid what we fear most. We determine to trust Him no matter what, even if our worst nightmare befalls us. We have no greater victory and can render Satan no harsher blow.”

Why are we sharing these thoughts? It’s because over and over again, we receive letters and see comments posted on our web site from those who think God has abandoned them when their prayers aren’t answered in the timing and the way they were sure it should be done.

But as Pastor Jim Pace challenges us to consider:

“If God were to do what I asked him to do, which is stop this, and then if he did what other people that are hurt asked him to do, which is stop the next thing and the next thing, where does God stop stopping? Is there any pain that is acceptable, that we would say, “Yes, you can let this through”?

And I don’t say that in a way to minimize the suffering families went through. I can’t imagine… I am getting choked up now. But the issue that God must deal with, that he has to, is where the end of the list is of what he allows. And if he doesn’t allow any suffering, then what are we left with? (From Crosswalk.com article, “Should We Fire God?”)

It’s not that we don’t understand why those who question God have a difficult time hanging on or understanding why God doesn’t do things differently. We’ve been there and have done that ourselves over many very difficult issues. But couldn’t PART of the bigger picture over this question, happen because we live in a fallen world and that God allows us to have a free will?

Sometimes a spouse freely chooses to do wrong and tragically the other spouse and children suffer as a result. But it’s not God’s way to take over his or her mind, MAKING him or her do what is right. We have to allow God to be God and not box Him into our timing and ways of doing things. That’s what it is to “live by faith.” We have to trust, and keep trusting, looking for the redemption God will eventually bring in some way.

Deborah McCarragher talks about this in her book “Mission Possible” which is written for wives whose husbands are not yet followers of Christ. (You can find more information about this book in our “Unbelieving Spouse” web site links section.) What she writes can apply to anyone struggling in this situation. She says:

“There are times when you might question God’s timing. Don’t beat yourself up by asking why your prayers haven’t been answered yet. Don’t let the terrible trio of FEAR, DOUBT, and UNBELIEF do a number on you. The enemy loves to torture you with those, so don’t be double minded (James 1:8). Take authority and just believe. Try not to analyze why your spouse won’t ‘take hold of the cross.’ We are not the Holy Spirit. Only God searches the heart and tests the mind (Jeremiah 17:10). God knows the perfect timing and plans He has for your husband. “’For I know the plans I have for you’, says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). Give it over to God today!”

And we hope you will. We pray that whatever you are trusting God for in your marriage, you will not lose hope. For: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters in the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf… (Hebrews 6:19-20). Again, give it over to God. P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens.

May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

Cindy and Steve Wright

— ALSO —

You may find the following links to articles posted on the internet helpful to read:

MARRIAGE TROUBLES? Don’t Give Up!

PRAY THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR YOUR MARRIAGE (Part 1)

PRAY THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR YOUR MARRIAGE (Part 2)

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Comments

18 Responses to “Give It Over to God Today – Marriage Message #91”
  1. Mary says:

    (ZAMBIA)  This message is insightful. I have been praying for God to restore marriage for the last 4 months. I have cried, I have prayed, and it seems the more I do that the more my husband shuns me. We do not speak at all. We are separated. This made/makes me feel that God has abandoned and forsaken me. I have lost hope in my situation.

    I suppose I should take it that God is able, and I will let all my problems to him. I want a smile on my face once again. Pray for me. I have only 2 weeks for court hearing. My husband wants a divorce and I dont want a divorce. Do I have a chance to stand? I don’t have enough strength left, I just want to end it all.

    • Farajah says:

      (AUSTRIA)  God is faithful and He shall not put those who trust upon him into shame. He will help you, guide you and give you comfort because He knows your willing heart and desire. Be peaceful and let Him do what He will. He is almighty. Be strong because I know you are a strong woman. Continue to pray for your hubby and still trust in God no matter what. In my prayers.

      • Mary says:

        (ZAMBIA)  I sent a text message to my hubby this morning. As usual I got no reply. I felt so distressed. I felt so hopeless.

        Later on I opened my mail box and found mail from a friend telling me to be strong and that God is not man that he can lie. It was more less like your post, Farajah. Thank you. Even if it seems discouraging, I will still trust God to intervene. I pray God gives me strength to stand firmly for the restoration of my marriage.

        • Kalunga says:

          (ZAMBIA)  My dear sister Mary, I realy feel for you. I know exactly what you are going through and how I pray that I may have an opportunity to communicate with you in depth. Whatever you are going through, no matter how strange or new to you, it isn’t new and there’s always someone in a worse off situation. Thank God for all the blessings you have recieved and He those He still has in store for you.

          I was married in 2000 and to date my marriage has remained troubled. I’ve leaned to trust only God because only He can fully understand your situation and change things in your life. No person, friend, relative, court official or anyone under the sun can give meaning to your life-ONLY God, who knew you would exist understands your potential and limitations… trust and rely on Him only, and wait to see what He will do.No matter how long it takes… Remember, He is a perfect God and all He does at His own time in His own way is the best for us. Stay blessed!

      • Sylvia says:

        (AUSTRALIA)  I will trust God. Its been 15 mths and I was so angry I left him and did a property settlement because he was unrepentant, having sex with a prostitute. This is too much to bear. I forgive him now and ask that Jesus softens his heart to repentance. Amen.

    • Manila says:

      (USA)  Stand firm, put all your hopes & trust in GOD. Forgive him for all the troubles & sorrows that he contribute to your life. Try to be nice instead of trying to be right; just listen instead of trying to be heard. Even if he’s not being a good husband right now, try to be a great wife. Serve him the way God want us to serve our spouse. Try to do everything for the glory of God.

      Hopefully sooner not later, he will change his heart towards you & your marriage. Try to make him feel that he’s your world, & without him you are a less a person that you are now. Make him your 1st priority. Stop what you doing when he’s around… take care of him.

      Lets just do P.U.S.H., hopefully he’ll notice what he’s going to miss if he leaves you. Pretend that all the troubles never happened. His heart will change, if we change our heart 1st. Help us Lord… God Bless you & your family… Good luck to you.

  2. Mary says:

    (ZAMBIA)  In my case I am not with my hubby anymore. We have separated. We don’t see each other. I wish I could behave different towards him, but we don’t ever meet. My parents tried to contact him yesterday so that his family and my family meet as per the tradition. He would not pick up the phone. At some point he could cut the phone just after a few rings.

    I cried myself to sleep last night. Maybe it was never meant to be.

    All along I have been praying for the restoration of my marriage and that God should open my husband’s spiritual eyes so he sees what he has made me go through. I have been praying that God remove the stubborness and pride in my hubby. That my hubby should come to know God and have a personal relationship with him.

    But last night I prayed to God that I have released my husband. If he is happy with whatever he is doing or if he has found somebody else, let it be. I give up.

    • Kalunga says:

      (ZAMBIA)  My dear sister, it’s not over until God says its over… I know it’s hard, humanly impossible as well! But rather than let it go, leave it to God to do His will. It may not be how and when you want it, just leave it to Him. In the mentime, I just pray that may He give you streglth and patience untill His will is done. We only have one life… try and be around things and people that can make you happy and carry on with life for as long as God allows…

      • Mary says:

        (ZAMBIA)  I am crying right now after reading your post. I believe you do understand what I am going through. Thanks for uplifting me. I guess it’s not over with God. I will get in touch with you.

  3. Ericah says:

    (BOTSWANA)  I think you should keep on praying hard and fasting. You need to petition your problems to God with a desperate prayer so that God will remember you. You remember the story of Bartmeo and that of Hannah those are good examples of desperate prayers. Tell God to reveal all the dark corners in your life and your marriage could it be pride, or what God is able.

    I am also facing some problems that my husband was having an adulterous affair with another woman and they have a baby. He is still seeing that woman behind my back but he tells me that he is not married to her of which I think he is lying big. I have tried to tell him to leave that behaviour and follow the right way but I have since surrendered. I am busy praying and fasting coz I have realised that only God can change the character of any man. May God really see you thru as you pray. We are together in prayer Isaiah 43:5; Psalm 37:7-9.

    • Mary says:

      (ZAMBIA)  I do really feel for you too Erica. The devil is busy destroying marriages. I have been spending much time in prayer. I have been checking on Christian channels on television, and usually the message I find is “what we think is humaly impossible, is possible with God.” I have to trust him and let his will prevail. I know sometimes it’s hard to see that God is working, and I easily give up. But I will try to be persistence until he accomplishes his will. Thank you for the scriptures. I will remember you in prayer too.

  4. Missy says:

    (USA)  Thank You for printing this. I have recently found your website and I am very happy for that. My husband and I have known each other since the 2nd grade (8 yrs old). We grew up as friends and then after we graduated, we I realized I did love him after years of him trying to date me. We were married when we were 19. After a year of problems, we accepted defeat. His parents didn’t like me because my family was not good enough. I was from a very broken home and had severe issues going on in my life. We divorced even though we were soulmates.

    After our divorce, I found out I was pregnant with our child, now 20, but I did not tell him. I raised her myself. She made me promise when she turned 18 to tell her who he was. I did so and in our correspondence, we realized that we always loved each other and had never wanted anyone else. Now we are back together again, we have our 20 year old living with us and her new baby. We also have a 7 year old from a previous marriage of his. We have a home and there seems to be great stress and chaos in our lives. We both work very hard and go to school full time. We have grown apart to say the least.

    I have had some of the old issues creeping back into our lives, as well as his inablity to deal with them. I am currently on medication and waiting on an appointment for counseling services. I lost my temper one time with the baby and although not physically agressive to her, I raised my voice and was very upset. He will not forgive me for this. I was sick and no one was helping me with her insistent crying and I lost it for a minute. He became very distant and would not talk to me for weeks. He started texting on his phone and staying gone away from home all the time. I assumed he had found something else to occupy his time and assumed it was a female. We are very jealous also. I snooped several times and he caught me looking at his phone. He said he cannot trust me any longer and he refuses to sleep with me, have a conversation with me or return any calls. He does tell me he loves me, but only if I tell him first.

    After all that we have been through and been apart for 20 years, I can’t believe he is willing to throw it all away. I have apologized and begged for forgiveness. He keeps pushing me away and that only makes me more frustrated. Please pray for my marriage. We are meant to be together and we are soul mates. We just need to get our marriage back to the way it was before I lost my temper and caused distrust. I have almost given up on my marriage. I have been praying and very upset, but I realize that I have not given this completely over to God. I still am hanging on thinking that I am in control. Please pray that my husband will open his spirit up to me again and we will not lose what we have worked so hard to find again after 20 years. Thank You and God Bless.

    • Mary says:

      (ZAMBIA)  It’s such a trying situation. I feel for you. I will remember you in prayer. I wonder why we sometimes go through such moments in life. Only God knows. As much as it hurts, we have to put trust in him.

      • Mary says:

        (ZAMBIA)  My husband declared it publicly during the family meeting we had between his parents and my parents. He says he does not want to get back with me. He is ready to file for divorce.

        Do I have to keep praying for him or should I pray to release him as he wants solitude? My friends and family are encouraging me to let go and move on. But it’s difficult, I love him and hope my marriage will be restored in God’s time. It has been 5 days now and I have not yet received any divorce papers from the court. Is God still saying something?

  5. Mary says:

    (ZAMBIA)  I have been reading comments from time to time. I really want this pain to go away, but for a reason I am still grieving my husband who has not filed for divorce yet, but I hear he has moved on. Is it really necessary to stand and pray for a spouse who said point blankly that he is not interested in reconciliation? How would I know it’s what God wants? Should I just pray so that I release him from my grip and learn to move on myself as I seem to be in denial?

    I am so confused, I don’t have enough strength left; all I do is cry…

    • Cindy Wright says:

      (USA) Mary, How I wish I had a way to take away your pain. I can only imagine how much you are suffering. My heart cries with yours. I want to be as sensitive as I can as I answer your questions. You ask if it is “really necessary to stand and pray for a spouse” when he’s not interested in reconciliation. And all I can say to that is, what do you think God would say? By standing and praying, that does not mean you put your life on hold. You are looking to God, lining your will up with what He sees for your future and asking Him to prompt your husband to do what is right. You’re headed in the right direction when you do as you ask, and that is to “release him” from your “grip.” I call it ducking. It is praying and ducking and getting out of God’s way, so He has full access to work within your husband. Your husband can still deny God, but that is his choice, not yours. You aren’t standing in the way.

      I believe Dr David Hawkins gives good advice in the Crosswalk.com article, “Don’t Divorce on a Friday: 7 Ways to Save Your Marriage.” He wrote: “Don’t sit around waiting for your spouse. Don’t act as if your life depends completely on your mate. This gives your mate have an unhealthy sense of power.

      “Do keep yourself strong, attractive and outgoing. You want to put your best foot forward, using every opportunity to make a positive impression. Every situation counts. Every encounter, even if few and far between, makes an impression.”

      This and other advice given in the article might (or might not) help you save your marriage (I provide a link to it in the title). But whatever you do, don’t put your life on hold while it appears that your husband has moved on. Pray, stand faithful and build your life into the best it can be under the circumstances, and watch and see what God does.

      Don’t put your focus on other relationships so your heart grows heavier and don’t get involved in one yourself. (We’re working with a couple that is SO glad neither of them got involved with anyone else while separated because now they’re reconciling, even though it looked hopeless in the past, but they are now glad that they don’t have that added complication as they build for a new future together.)

      This is a time to allow God to be your husband to the degree that your husband won’t. Watch and see how God will unravel this thing. You’ll know in the future if things change, but right now, stand, pray, and work towards a new “normal.” A few principles that Bible teacher Beth Moore points out might help you, if you keep them in mind: “If God puts a stay on things, something is up… things in heaven are coming into play with things on earth. So be patient.” … “We will lose our strength when we wait upon the event, but our strength will be renewed when we wait upon the Lord.” … “We can find our significance and satisfaction in the shelter of the Most High.” I hope and pray you will, Mary.

  6. Mary says:

    (ZAMBIA)  Your reply to my post really encouraged me. Thank you Cindy. I will tell you that I have not been myself, I am just a shadow of myself. I have become so enclosed and don’t move about for fear that people will laugh at me. I feel so ashamed to be walking as a divorced woman.

    As hard as it has been, I will try to change the way of thinking. I read “Don’t divorce on a Friday, 7 ways to save your marriage” It was quite inspiring.

    In most African cultures, men rarely file for divorce. They even marry without formally divorcing the previous wife. In this case I hear my ex is involved with someone and he says he is happy. He says my marriage with him was a mistake to begin with. 9 years a mistake!

    I will try to stand firm and also try to live my life as I have been sitting and waiting that my ex hubby is coming back. Thank you again.

  7. Alex says:

    (USA) I Need to know if anyone whose husband went to a Christ centered rehab or any rehab was told that they need MORE separation. We are still early in our marriage but God has given me much strength.

    But recently we were told by the center we need MORE separation… my husband has been in the center 58 days. I have only seen him 3 weekends so 5 days today. We talk 1-2 times a week for 10 mins and I write him everyday sending him scriptures to encourage him and pray for him and tell him I love him. It’s nothing dirty or anything truly, just supportive… and they say we need more separation? WHAT DOES that mean from a biblical stand point? I don’t think that is God’s will for our marriage… We have already agreed to be separated, why more?

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