RYMC13

Wonderful Counselor

And His name will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Eternal Father,

Prince of Peace.

—Isaiah 9:6

 

 

 

My husband is filing for divorce; what should I do?

How do I find someone to defend me?

How can I protect myself and especially my children?

People who know about your situation may have been advising you to get a good Christian lawyer to protect you, your assets, and your children. It could be a Christian friend, a counselor, or even your pastor. When my husband was divorcing me, I got this same advice from other well-meaning Christians—but praise God that is what helped me find the “Mighty Counselor”! This is what I found in my Bible when I was searching for what God had to say on this subject of litigation.

I found in His Word that He had promised to protect and defend me! So I chose Him and did what His Word told me to do. He was not only faithful, but also mightier than any attorney or court could be because I put my trust in Him alone!

I have shared these principles with countless others. Each of them found that following these principles turned their situation around and brought peace where there once was war.

Who has known the mind of the Lord? “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?” (Rom. 11:33–34). Speak to the Lord. Then sit quietly and hear from Him.

Woe to the rebellious. Egypt represents the world. “‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ declares the Lord, ‘who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt, without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh, and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!’” (Isa. 30:1–2).

Have you sought protection in the court system? Do you trust your attorney more than you do your Lord? “. . . Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength.” It makes your heart turn “away from the LORD” (Jer. 17:5).

It shall not approach you. “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also” (Matt. 5:38–48). Usually we are worried that our husbands won’t take care of us and that they’ll take too much of what we (or our children) deserve. If you act like he’s your enemy and fight, he’ll fight back. Hasn’t he in the past?

Many share “horror stories” about those who have divorced to scare you into getting a good lawyer. Just remember, “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you” (Ps. 91:7). Instead, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). Release your attorney and trust God alone to deliver and protect you.

Dare go before the unrighteous versus saints? “Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?” (1 Cor. 6:1). This is a very firm Scripture. Would we dare God? If you merely show up in court, you are standing “before the unrighteous.”

In most states you do not violate the law if you don’t show up in court if you are served with divorce papers. You merely lose by default. Some make you sign a waiver that you will not appear, and in some (as in the state of Florida at the time of this writing) you neither have to sign the papers nor show up.

Check it out and don’t just take one person’s word for it if they tell you that you “have to” do anything. I took this verse literally when I was served my divorce papers. I didn’t sign the papers nor did I show up for the hearing—and God delivered me! Had I gone to an attorney or shown up in court, I would not have seen the mighty deliverance of the hand of God!

We shall judge angels. “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?” (1 Cor. 6:2–3). God is mocking us, showing us how petty and insignificant the matters of this world are in comparison to our life with Him.

Matters of this life. “If then you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?” (1 Cor. 6:4). The courts today do not follow biblical teachings as they did when this country was founded. As a result, we have rulings and burdens placed upon believers that neither God nor our founding fathers had in mind. If you choose the courts to help you, you will choose their judgment over God’s protection and provisions.

Before unbelievers. “I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?” (1 Cor. 6:5). When the church began to ignore the biblical teachings, they also began to ignore the church’s correction.

I have never heard of a man who turned from his sin of adultery after being confronted by the church. Some temporarily changed, but in all cases they returned to the other woman! So don’t ask your pastor to talk to your husband. Allow God to turn and soften your husband’s heart.

Rather be wronged or defrauded. “Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that your brethren” (1 Cor. 6:7–8). God says it is better that you are wronged and defrauded (cheated or tricked).

Most women that I speak to who are in the process of divorcing are so caught up in what they’ll get, how much money for support, and how many possessions. If you don’t allow yourself to be wronged, your husband will end up angry and bitter. If you don’t allow yourself to be backed up to the Red Sea, you will never see God’s power of deliverance! Remember that the “cares and riches of the world will choke the Word!” (Matt. 13:22).

We are told that Demas left Paul because the cares of the world choked the Word from him. The following verse tells us how. “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Matt. 13:22). Scripture says specifically that it was because of “worry” and because of “riches.” Don’t worry about or get caught up with money or possessions.

Trust that “our God will supply all our needs,” even when your papers say that he doesn’t have to pay enough child support or it doesn’t “look” like there will be enough money for you and your children. Many have fallen from their faith because the Word was choked out.

My divorce papers stated that I wouldn’t get nearly enough to support my four small children and myself. God softened my husband’s heart because I trusted the Lord. I didn’t even need to ask for more or tell him my plight. God placed in my husband’s heart the desire to pay all of our bills until he came home!

A defeat for you. “Actually, then it is already a defeat for you, that you should have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Cor. 6:7). This is your answer: if you go into court with your spouse, it is already a defeat for you. You may get the money or the possessions, but you will lose your husband!

No one will see the Lord. “Pursue peace with all men, and sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14–15). If you wish to act as Christ acted (Jesus was totally innocent) remember that He “opened not His mouth in defense” (1 Pet. 2:23). God can begin to work in your husband’s life because you are planting seeds of life and no longer giving Satan fuel for destruction. (See 1 Pet. 3:1.)

We want our husbands to see Jesus’ ways in us. We quench the work of the Holy Spirit when we do the things we “want to” instead of what we “ought to.” Do it God’s way!

Put away. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away with all malice” (Eph. 4:31). If you have a lawyer, slander and wrath will take place. This is what divorce is all about. You must put it away from you. It doesn’t matter if you have a “Christian” attorney or not—all “deliverance by man is in vain!” (Ps. 108:13).

Deliverance by man is in vain. “O, give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain” (Ps. 108:12–13). I have heard countless accounts of all the ways that people try to deliver themselves, only to find that even though the judge gives a judgment of a certain amount of money or protection, the courts can’t make your husband pay or protect you from his vengeance or physical harm!

There has been much media attention given to those who don’t pay child support. You have heard stories about men who come after their wives for physical revenge—and law enforcement can’t help them! Allow God to turn your husband’s heart (Prov. 21:1).

Your husband doesn’t need stricter penalties, but a heart for you and your children. You have His promise: “When a man’s ways [your ways] are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Prov. 16:7).

Take refuge in the Lord. “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” (Ps. 118:8). A lawyer is no substitute for the Lord. Can a Christian have both a lawyer and God’s protection, or are they actually in opposition to one another? “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord” (Jer. 17:5–8).

We have found in the area of divorce that you can either be blessed or cursed by trusting God or what you and an attorney can do. You must ultimately decide. I decided that I really would certainly lose if I tried to fight. I might win more money, but thankfully, God led me to want my husband and our marriage restored! So I chose to put all my trust in the Lord and He delivered me because of my faith in trusting Him alone!

Cease striving. “Cease striving and know that I am God” (Ps. 46: 8–10). Put it in His hands. Stop wringing your hands about it; stop discussing it with everyone. Be still! If your husband has already begun divorce proceedings, and you have already humbled yourself and turned from your wicked ways, then follow these steps:

Called us to peace. Tell your husband that you do not want the divorce, but that you will not stand in his way (Ps. 1:1) and that you will not contest the divorce either. Tell him that you don’t “blame him” for wanting to divorce you. Tell him that you will still love him (if the “hate wall” is down), no matter what he chooses to do. “Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave . . . but God has called us to peace” (2 Cor. 7:15).

Sweetness of speech. Again, be sure to tell your husband that you will not contest or fight him in the divorce and that you won’t get a lawyer for yourself. If you have a lawyer, tell your husband that you will dismiss him or her. Tell your husband that you trust him and know from his past that he will be fair, and that he will do what he believes is right for you and your children. The only way to win the war that is raging against your marriage is with kindness and refusing to fight! “Sweetness of speech adds persuasiveness” (Prov. 6:24).

I hate divorce. Tell your husband that you have made so many mistakes in the past that you don’t want to make any more. You hope that he will allow you not to sign the divorce papers. I told my husband that since ours was a state of “no—fault,” the divorce would go through even if I did not sign the papers. Seek the Lord for how He wants to deliver you and the words that He wants you to speak to your husband. Remember, the Lord said, “I hate divorce.” Of course if he persists in your signing, agree to sign and then pray diligently that the Lord will stop him from pursuing you to sign. If you are not the same disagreeable woman that you were, and your husband sees a humble and meek wife, then he will not continue to press. Don’t offer suggestions to try and please your husband; this is displeasing to the Lord. Seek the Lord! (See “Wives, Be Subject,” under the heading “Sarah’s Obedience: Submission unto Sin?” in A Wise Woman.)

Nothing is impossible. However, if you have participated in divorce proceedings, all is not lost. Ask the Lord’s forgiveness and then your husband’s forgiveness also. Demonstrate your desire to have the family together by dropping any and all legal action or protection. God will begin to heal right now: “With God nothing is impossible” (Matt. 19:26).

Again, if you have retained a lawyer, dismiss him or her immediately if you want the Best to defend you. Then pray, “Lord, there is no one besides Thee to help us in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this, O Lord. Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee” (2 Chron. 14:11 KJV).

Harder to be won. If you have already been through a divorce, bitterness, resentment, and extreme anger are probably what your husband feels toward you now. Pray that God will forgive your transgressions and blot out the bad memories he has (Ps. 9:5) and replace them with good thoughts. Pray harder and be sweeter (again, sweetness of speech adds persuasiveness) at every opportunity that you may have with your husband to win him back. Remember, “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Prov. 18:19). (See chapter 8, “Won Without a Word.”)

Then I could bear it. God does understand what you are going through. Read some of Psalm 55; He’s speaking directly to you. Beginning in verse 6, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. I would hasten to my place of refuge, from the stormy wind and tempest.” Verses 12–14: “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend, we who had sweet fellowship together . . .”

Steal, and kill, and destroy. If you have “flown away,” go back home. Satan is in his glory because he has again managed to divide and conquer! Take back the ground that he stole from you; he is a thief! “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Give God the victory and the testimony by turning this around for His glory! Instead of throwing away “your cross” (your troubled marriage), pick it up again and follow Him!

Take up his cross daily. “And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me’” (Luke 9:23). Be sure that your cross isn’t heavier than He has designed for you; take off all your lack of forgiveness and bitterness. It’s a heavy weight to carry and, eventually, you won’t be able to continue to carry it. You may not even be able to lift it up now, to begin to follow Him.

Take off any “works of the flesh.” The flesh will wear you out and break you down. Let go and let God restore. Use this time to fall in love with the Lord! If your cross feels too heavy to bear, there are burdens on your cross that you have put there. He does not lie and He has promised that He wouldn’t give us more than we could bear!

There is no one besides Thee. Now let us together pray as Asa prayed in 2 Chronicles 14:11: “Lord, there is no one besides Thee to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee.”

Below are a few short testimonies (or Fruit of the Word) from those who have chosen to follow the ways of the world or the ways of God:

Testimony: A woman came into class for the first time only a week before she was to take the “evidence” of her husband’s infidelity to her attorney. The attorney said that if she could show this to the judge, he could get her more money. The lesson that night was “Wonderful Counselor.” Without saying a word in class, she went home and threw the shoe box full of “evidence” into the trash. Since then, her husband has continued to pay her bills though he married another. She is still praying and trusting God.

Testimony: A young woman believed God when she read in her Bible, “He is our Provider.” When she read the divorce papers, which stated that she was barely going to get enough to pay the small rent payment for herself and her children, she made up her mind to continue to trust God. Then she acted on her faith. She told her husband that she trusted him and that she was sure that he would help take care of them as he had done so faithfully in the past. He did continue to pay all their bills and even gave her spending money from time to time out of his girlfriend’s savings! The other woman and the attorney tried to falsify the divorce papers, but they were not able to succeed because God had turned her husband’s heart. The divorce did go through, but shortly thereafter, they were remarried.

Testimony: A woman, whose husband had filed for divorce, tearfully contacted us. She said that she also had a friend who had filed. She said that she was so sympathetic that she failed to share with her friend about her own troubled marriage and that she was trusting God to help her.

A few weeks later she heard a shocking report on the news: her friend’s husband was so distraught about the divorce that he planned to kill his wife before he would let her leave. Yet the net, which he had hidden, caught his own foot; he died in the fire that also destroyed their entire house.

Testimony: An older woman came to Restore Ministries after her divorce was final (though a friend had begged her for months to come!). She shared with others the devastating effects of fighting it out in court. She did receive “all that she deserved”: the house, a new car, and alimony. Yet she now has a former husband who will have nothing to do with her. He has thousands of dollars worth of bitterness that the court made him pay to her and to her divorce lawyer.

Testimony: A woman came to a prayer group (not Restore Ministries) asking that they pray for her upcoming divorce. They prayed that God would have the judge provide well for her and her children. God answered that prayer and the court awarded her an ample amount of money in the divorce. Only a few months later she was asking for prayer again since her husband had not paid her a dime! Again they prayed for the court to be firm with her husband. The judgment again was in her favor.

Only weeks later she asked that the prayer group pray that the police would “find him” and bring him back for “justice”! He had fled to another state to avoid paying. At this point the police threw him into jail. That prayer group failed to really trust God for her protection, for Him to turn her husband’s heart and have him “want” to provide for his family. “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Only God’s way will bring “victory.”

Don’t follow the world’s way; trust only in Him. I promise you that He will never let you down. Only as you compromise or look to the flesh for strength and protection will things go awry. Still, it may take going through the fire of endurance (with Him) to reach the victory He has waiting for you. Will you pick up your cross and follow Him?

How much faith do you have? Do you have enough to take the step to allow the Lord to fight for you without a lawyer? My beloved sister in Christ, release your attorney, and take the hand of Jesus.

Personal commitment: to trust God alone. “Based on what I have learned in Scripture, I commit to trusting the Lord to fight for me in this battle. I will release my attorney (if I have one) and I will not show up in court (unless I will be in contempt).”


Date: __________ Signed:__________________________


For more help if there is a divorce that has been filed, or a possibility that one could be filed, I would urge you to get our Facing Divorce book and out Q&A video or DVD, Facing Divorce, available through our ministry office.