Dear Believing For a Miracle,
Dear Word Washed Wife,
I do not know how I stumbled on to your page, but I have a question. My husband recently left me and my two kids for another woman. We were church attenders and I’m sure from the outside we looked like we had it all together. I was shocked when he left us, but as I look back I realize I had neglected him. I had put all of my energy into raising our children and I ignored his needs. I don’t blame him for leaving, but I don’t want a divorce. I want to believe that God can heal my marriage. My family thinks I’m nuts and wants me to divorce him since he cheated. I want to stay the course and believe for a miracle. So my question - am I crazy for staying? Help, please.
Believing for a Miracle
Dear Believing for a Miracle,
I am so glad you stumbled upon my page, because I find your letter so very refreshing. Often when a marriage goes wrong, and with an affair I’m talking seriously wrong, neither party wants to accept responsibility. And almost always with marriage problems, there is plenty of blame to go around. No matter what happens in your marriage, either with your attitude or with your beautiful heart for God, you are going to land on your feet. Thank you for e-mailing me!
First, disregard what is said by anyone who contradicts what the Holy Spirit has impressed upon you to do. If you feel like staying and fighting for your marriage, I applaud your choice. Now having said that, do not be naive and think that this will be an easy road upon which you will walk. This will be tough! And every day, Satan will launch his darts of self-doubt, rejection and fear. Stay washed in the Word of God, stay connected with a community of believers and find a professional to talk to – either a professional counsellor or a trained sister in the Lord would be great. If a sister, find one who is in a Gospel-saturated marriage. She will be best able to watch and protect your back. Explain to her what has happened and why you feel convicted to fight. Then ask her to walk this journey with you. Please know that as I type this to you, I am praying that God will illuminate the sister or professional counsellor who can best come along side you. I wish you lived closer, because I would be honored to be your friend during these difficult days.
Second, confess your sin in putting your children first over your marriage to both God and to your husband. Then, get up off your knees and do not again beat yourself up over this. To idolize motherhood is an especially tempting trap for women. There are probably many reasons why this happened to you. Maybe this is what you saw growing up, maybe this is the only place you received love or maybe your pride of being a great mom became your idol. Whatever the reason, once you confess your sin to God, it is forever covered and hidden under the blood of Jesus! And, only you can dredge up your past sin, for once confessed to your Heavenly Father, your sin is no more! Hallelujah!
Third, in order for your heart to stay pure, you will have to spend extra time in the Word of God and in prayer – when in a trial we invite God to lead us out, He will give us spiritual growth. Please allow God to turn all your heart ache and pain into something good for you. I would strongly encourage a Psalm a day – they are good medicine for the heart. I would also spend time in Ephesians 5 and in verses that describe who we are in Christ (John 1:12, Colossians 2:9-10, Romans 6:6, and Genesis 1:27, to list a few).
Ultimately, your husband’s heart needs a change so that true healing can happen. If he becomes repentant and becomes interested in reconciliation, rejoice! But, do not dally in fixing the things that got you to this point – get busy in the business of restoring your marriage relationship. If, however, he does not desire reconciliation, forgive him and move on with a guilt-free conscience. While your heart heals, God will be your husband and meet your needs.
Stay washed in the Word and remember that all you can control is your relationship with God and your response to your husband. I will continue to lift up your marriage and agree with you in prayer for healing. Please write to me again and let me know how you are doing!
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him as he is (1 John 3:1-2).”
DISCLAIMER: In the interest of all reading, and with an intent to simplify some questions, I have taken the liberty to edit some letters. Because every marriage situation is unique and multi-faceted, I have personally reached out to each person who wrote me an e-mail to offer more specific details that address their needs.