Renewing Day 24
Renewing Day 24, Week 4:
Mixing Methods & Understanding "Standers"
but first another DOZEN
Restored Marriage Testimonies!!
God Moved So Quickly
There aren't words enough to praise God for who He is and what He alone can do! He is the God of the impossible! His love for us is deeper and wider and higher than we could ever imagine. He loves blessing us and asks so little in return. Obedience with faith and repentance bring healing.
This is my second marriage. I had been married once before (when I was not a believer) and left that marriage in hate and anger. This time was completely different, because of God's grace!
When my husband was gone, the Lord continually encouraged me and showed me through scriptures and through other things that our marriage would be restored. He reminded me that it would be He who would soften my husband's heart as I sought and obeyed.
I found out about RMI when I was at church talking to a divorced woman; she gave me your pamphlet and shared her situation with me. I came home, immediately researched your website, and ordered the materials the very next day. I ordered the first resource packet and right away I read the book on restoring your marriage, which is excellent.
Although the Lord had impressed upon me that our marriage would be restored, my husband had filed for divorce, so I ordered the book Facing Divorce as well. I responded without a lawyer, and — praise the Lord! It was your book that the Lord used to convict me of all my sins. I already had a close walk with the Lord, but I needed to put God first in all things. God spoke daily to my heart and gave me the strength and faith to obey. I have watched a miracle unfold, and I give Him all the glory!
My neighbors, who were missionaries for 20 years, have a restored marriage after the wife read your book in just one day!
I have already shared your website with at least ten women and want to tell the world about it! I am recommending your resources to friends in both difficult and good marriages — I think every woman should do the workbook no matter the state of her marriage! I am buying a copy for our son and daughter-in-law, as well as for our daughter who is falling in love. I wish every woman could have your workbook before she gets married!
He is the Healer and Restorer and Redeemer and Lover of our souls. I praise Him day and night, always and forever!!!
Thank you, and God bless you and your ministry always.
~Shelia in Colorado, RESTORED
PLEASE Note: Some of you may be very disturbed by this "second marriage" Restored Marriage Testimony. I can assure you that it is probably based and due to the teachings you've gotten from "covenant" or standers based ministries. You all know what I teach in my books regarding remarrying and adultery; however, what supersedes anything and everything is God's WILL not ours!
The Pharisees exhibited some of these same negative emotions about miracles Jesus performed when it wasn't done according to the Laws. They didn't want anyone healed on the Sabbath and when Jesus healed the blind boy they were more concerned "who sinned, his parents or was it him."
"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him"—John 3:17
"They [the Pharisees] were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, 'He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her [the woman caught in adultery].' Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground"—John 8:6-8
He Saw Her Wonderful Change
A month ago, we received an email from a woman who had gotten How God Will Restore Your Marriage and was greatly encouraged. She started sharing the book with other ladies she began meeting, who needed help. One night at her church, she met a woman who told her that her husband had just filed for divorce. This woman began reading How God Will Restore Your Marriage, then purchased the workbook for women. To her surprise, her husband commented on the “wonderful change” he saw in her. He decided to drop the divorce proceedings and move back home.
~Madeline* in Kansas, RESTORED
Restored AFTER Husband Remarried OW
A woman from California wrote to me about restoring her marriage. Things were progressing very nicely and both she and I were hopeful that her marriage soon would be restored. However, one day she heard, through a friend, that her husband had married the other woman.
Despondent, she wrote to me, “What now?” I shared with her our brochure on remarriage. She wrote back and thanked me. She said that once she became content with God’s apparent will for her life, and she gave up her will for His, she was now at peace and content to live a single life, never to marry, even though she was in her early thirties.
Within a year, she wrote to me that her former husband recently contacted her. He said that he realized that he had made the biggest mistake of his life! He had already separated from the new wife and was filing for divorce. He wanted to know if she would consider dating him again or if she would only consider it after he was legally divorced. He told her that it was his intent to marry her again if she would have him!
I have shared the principle of COMPLETELY letting a husband go with several other women whose husbands had remarried. Only ONE woman was willing to completely let her husband go. She is the only ONE who now has a restored marriage; all the others rejected my scriptural counsel! Some “say” they agree, but secretly continue to hold on! But God knows.
Once left alone, her husband was able to feel the full impact of his wrong decision to marry the other woman. He had not seen or heard from his former wife during ALL this time, but had to track HER down to find HER (they had *no children). I say this to those who are afraid to let go, for fear that God is unable to bring a person back once free to leave and not be pursued. God is MORE THAN ABLE to reunite a couple - “Oh ye of little faith!”
~Janie* in California, RESTORED
*Note: It's interesting that Janie didn't ask for any proof (what God could do) even though I had never shared with her that it didn't matter if she had children or not that would prompt her ex from wanting to contact her. She used her faith and that's what made it happen. Her faith.
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him"—Hebrews 11:6
I confess I am always grieved and just a bit hurt when women write asking about specific situations that they don't find in our testimonies, like theirs!! When I was trusting God for my restoration I had NO ONE, not ONE restored marriage I had ever heard about, ever! This includes all the pastors who also told me they had never heard of ONE. At the time there was no Google either.
Most of the restored marriages you read are not prompted by finding someone exactly like them, it is based on FAITH, not a sign.
"Sighing deeply in His spirit, Jesus *said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation”—Mark 8:12
Reunited at the Altar
We just heard a wonderful testimony about a couple who had been divorced for three years and hadn’t seen each other for at least two. One night, each was invited to a revival service at a church in Pensacola. When the altar call was given, both of them went to the altar and they gave their lives to the Lord. When they stood up they saw one another and ran to embrace. They were remarried shortly thereafter at the same church.
~Mary Ann* in Iowa, RESTORED
Six months ago, our first publisher received a phone call from a woman who said that she got How God Will Restore Your Marriage about a year ago. She and her husband had been divorced for nine years. She said that she had not seen or heard from him during those nine years and didn’t even know where he was living. But she said that when she read the book, she believed the promises that were written within the pages.
This woman called to share her testimony with the publisher. She said that she had just received an amazing phone call from her ex-husband. He said, “I called to tell you that I am interested in restoring our marriage. What do you think?” This woman thanked the publisher again and again for their part in helping to get How God Will Restore Your Marriage into the hands of those who need hope.
Praise the Lord! They were just remarried!!
~Joanie* in Delaware, RESTORED
Another Marriage Restored in Florida!
We just spoke to a couple in Florida. They have a restored marriage due to the wife reading and applying the Restore Your Marriage book!!! Our publisher called and asked us to call them. They had contacted our publisher to ask permission to translate the book into Spanish. She wanted a Spanish version for all the ladies she knows who can’t read English. (The Lord did not use this couple for the Spanish translation, but instead a professional translating ministry did it for us!)
They promised to email us their complete testimony. When we get it, we will post it right here replacing this.
~Peggy* in Florida, RESTORED
Another Marriage Restored “Suddenly”!!
After two years, “suddenly” a young married woman wanted to stop the divorce proceedings she initiated against her husband and work things out!!! She said that she didn’t know how or why but her feelings for her husband had returned. Her mother in-law, who had been believing God for the restoration of their marriage, contacted us and said, “I am just amazed and awed by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ!”
Aren’t we all?!! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to His Word and His Promises!! Don’t let ANYONE tell you that God cannot or will not turn the heart of your husband. He does it ALL THE TIME!!! Who cares about the will of man, when God in His mercy created all of us with a heart that HE TURNS whatever way He wishes!!
“What a precious weekend I had with my husband. We literally spent most of the weekend side by side. He had me over for dinner Saturday night and Sunday night and both nights I ended up staying with him. However...THE ULTIMATE thing happened Saturday before we went to sleep. He said, ‘We should pray.’ He took my hand and he prayed and thanked God for His work in our lives. This brings me to tears.”
~Barbie* in North Carolina, RESTORED
Bankruptcy Brought Husband Home
A woman with two teenagers came to a Restore Ministries course and became very involved in the books and the study. Each week she was open to the lessons in the workbook for women and embraced the teachings from How God Will Restore Your Marriage. However, one night the discussion focused on the fact that a man in adultery would be financially reduced to a loaf of bread and come to poverty. This woman refused to accept the principle and told the teacher, “You obviously don’t know my husband!” She said that her husband was a financial genius, had an incredible job (one of the highest paid in their city), and that it was impossible for this to happen to him! She promptly left the class and promised never to return.
About six months later, this woman humbly returned to the course with some news. Soon after she left the class, her husband lost his great job because of the OW. Then he used all his savings, and even mortgaged the large home he had been given by his wife in the divorce, to start a business that had just gone bankrupt!
This woman came back to class with the mind and heart to accept every principle in How God Will Restore Your Marriage and the workbook for women. In complete poverty, this woman’s husband eventually returned home to her and his children.
~Chris* in Florida, RESTORED
Baby Safe! Husband Didn’t File!!
“Tomorrow during lunch I’m going to an attorney to file for divorce.” Praise the Lord! He NEVER kept that appointment because his wife cried out to the Lord in her spirit for help.
As soon as they got to church, she went into the ladies room. In the lounge, God immediately sent a woman who saw her crying. She comforted her with the principles she had learned in How God Will Restore Your Marriage; then they prayed together. That very night her husband became violently ill.
As her husband left for work the next morning he said, “I won’t be keeping the appointment with my attorney like I said.” God had turned his heart!
However, her trials were far from over when she began to lose their first baby. She was rushed to the hospital. While she was there her husband’s attitude toward her began to change even more. Her husband pleaded with God to save the life of his wife and his unborn baby.
Later, everyone watched as the miracle of birth brought a healthy baby, weighing 7 lbs., into the world - not the premature baby the doctors had predicted.
Six weeks later, the happily married young couple stood together at the altar dedicating their precious baby girl.
~Faith* in Australia, RESTORED
A desperate woman called a close friend of hers who had a restored marriage. Another of her friends was planning to divorce her husband. She wanted to see if someone would be willing to talk some sense into her girlfriend before she made the biggest mistake of her life. This woman, desperate to end her marriage, had no idea that the decision she was making would change her life forever!
Both she and her husband were Christians. So what went wrong? Nothing was really wrong; she just felt that God had released her from her marriage. She no longer felt that she WANTED to be married, and since there were no children, she felt God said she could leave.
The woman did call and shared some of the principles found in How God Will Restore Your Marriage. She told her that she had been deceived into thinking that God had released her from her marriage. On the contrary, His Word clearly says that “He hates divorce” and that “He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.” She also explained that many times Satan comes as an “Angel of Light” to deceive, and even uses Scripture as he did with Jesus in the desert to destroy lives.
She also shared the “what if” scenario. “What if” later down the road she found that she had made a mistake and that she wanted her husband back, but he had found someone else? Nothing, however, would persuade her to stop pursuing the divorce. She was NOT interested in the principles, and asked that she not be bothered again.
About a year later, she did indeed find that she had made a mistake in leaving her husband. She wanted him to come home to try and restore the marriage. But during the previous year of separation, her husband had met another woman.
If you are the one who is pursuing a divorce, make sure you first take the time to read the book How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage before it’s too late for you to turn back!
~Liz* in South Dakota, RESTORED
They Said She “Had it All”!
Everyone told a young woman that she “had it all.” She had a handsome husband who “worshiped” her, two beautiful sons, dozens of close friends and a new home. But she was discontented. She did not appreciate what God had given her. Regarding her devoted husband, she would comment to her friends at get-togethers, “I wish he would find someone else.”
Then the Lord blessed her with an adorable baby daughter that she cherished; yet her heart was still cold toward her husband. During arguments, she would state emphatically, “Go ahead and leave - and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” God’s Word states, “For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned” (Matt. 12:37). Her words now would condemn her. One night she found her husband in bed with another woman. The man who had adored her since she was just a young girl now held another woman in his arms.
The pain and shock that hit her that day was more than she ever knew existed. Her devastation was so great that she lay for days in a fetal position, moaning and crying, unable to eat. Friends began coming in to help care for her and her children. The Lord took this broken woman unto Himself and began to hold her and comfort her. She began reading and applying the principles found in How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage. After being gone for six months, her husband returned home to her and their three children.
~Janice* in South Carolina, RESTORED
Husband Packed Bags - Came Home!
A young woman, who had two small boys, found out that her husband had not just left her, but was actually living with another woman who had recently had his baby. She was devastated, but she sought the Lord for help. Soon after, she met a couple in her church who told her that they had a restored marriage, introduced her to Restore Ministries resources, and said that they would help her.
She began meeting regularly with this couple to pray. Soon after reading How God Will Restore Your Marriage and the workbook for women, she began to apply the principles on fasting with prayer. However, things got much worse the more she prayed and fasted. One day as she answered her door, she was shocked as a sheriff served her with divorce papers.
Instead of falling apart, she took the papers in hand and headed to the couple’s house to pray. The three of them held hands and prayed together against the divorce papers.
At that exact hour in another state, her husband was packing his bags. As he headed south and came to a fork in the road, he asked God to steer his truck, to the right would be home, to the left would be to join the other woman. His wife’s prayers were answered — the truck pulled abruptly to the RIGHT!
Once he was home, she talked to her husband about her prayers, fasting, and her new relationship with the Lord. She had become a Christian while he was gone and she shared her faith with him. That Sunday he went to the altar and accepted the Lord. That night the couple shared their testimony with their huge church. About a month later, they decided to renew their wedding vows!!
UPDATE: The last time I spoke with this woman, she was in a prolonged fast. She said that the Lord had impressed upon her heart to adopt her husband’s baby girl. They had heard that the baby had been left for months with friends while the other woman went overseas. It seems that she had lost interest in her daughter soon after her lover had gone back to his wife.
~Michelle* in Florida, RESTORED
What's wrong with saying "I'm Standing for my marriage"?
Whenever we notice a woman has come to us after being involved in a stander's or "covenant" ministry, we are on high alert.
First, there is nothing wrong with standers ministries! These ministries have had MANY restored marriages, so since the Lord led you there FIRST, we would like to encourage you to return there and completely embrace their doctrine.
We began encouraging women to return to the standers or covenant ministries and let go of ours, due to our concern for you—double-mindedness—when we began seeing some major consequences that only showed up with those who came by way of these other ministries. Here is what God says about the dangers:
“For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways”— James 1:7–8
Though it might seem like a good idea to look around for as much help as you can find, think of it more like going to two different doctors: We all know that there are serious dangers if you begin taking two different medicines, prescribed by two different doctors, that are KNOWN, and have been PROVEN, to result in DANGEROUS side effects. This is true for applying the principles we teach versus the methods and teachings of covenant and standers ministries—they oppose one another and when mixed have long term consequences.
"To be honest, I only recently LET GO of ALL standers theology that I used to hold fast to before God began showing me that it is error. If you choose to continue mixing doctrine, you will NEVER see victory. So it is a good time to choose one ministry or the other, which means letting go of all other "spiritual food." I will say that I KNOW this ministry is the path to life, because I have gone down the others for years with no lasting results." ~Helen in Louisiana.
**Helen is a former Stander and is now one of our Ministers in Training who will be heading up this ministry specialty due to her experience in it.
So far, we have yet to have a RESTORED testimony submitted to us from a woman who had first come to us from a standers ministry—even though we know that these ministries have restored marriages! The reason?
“I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Your law”—Psalm 119:113
If you still feel, however, that you want to know a bit more, because you really don't understand or see any differences, then please take a moment to read this page designed just for you.
First, would you say that you have a...
Marriage Crisis or is it a Spiritual Crisis?
One way that our ministry is not like the "standers" ministries, is because we strongly believe that you are NOT in a marital crisis, but a spiritual crisis. We believe that your marriage crisis was allowed by God to bring about the changes He desires in YOU because God first begins with the heart of everything. The "heart" of the marriage being YOU!
Knowing this is the truth, we are very careful to never focus on or concentrate on our spouse's sin, but on our own.
By merely referring to your husband as a "prodigal" is like calling them names and labeling them as a "sinner." Hopefully as you read through our books you found, as we did, that we had a lot to do with the condition of our marriage and why it collapsed.
"As a 'stander' we focused on the sins of our spouses and how they were 'taken captive by the enemy.' So we would gather weekly and do 'spiritual warfare' by praying in agreement and demanding that the devil 'release our captives.'" ~Helen
True, adultery or abandonment is sin, but so is contentiousness and anger. And what is worse is confessing the sins of someone else even when veiled in prayers.
"We, as women, are not built to be "warriors"! It is the enemy's tactic to wear you out by "praying a hedge", "standing in the gap", and "claiming your covenant rights" to keep you from focusing on the Lord and your intimacy with Him. Which, by the way, is the reason HE "removed lover and friend" in the first place. He wants to be first in your heart and life." ~ Helen
Being discrete is another thing that we focus on a LOT
in our ministry, which is the opposite of the standers doctrine. Shhhhh!
If you go around confessing your husband's sins, asking for prayer for him, the Bible says he will never be healed. Look:
"Therefore, confess YOUR sins to one another, and pray for one another so that YOU may be healed” —James 5:16.
“If we confess OUR sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive US OUR sins and to cleanse US from all unrighteousness”—1 John 1:9
As you read in the Restore Your Marriage book, too many misunderstand this verse and instead confess their husband’s sins. The verse says that we are to confess OUR sins, not another person's sins "for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret"—Ephesians 5:12
Healing occurs for us (or someone else) by the act of CONFESSING, which is why CONFRONTING someone in sin also undermines a man or women from turning from his/her sinful path. One way for a man to assure that a person REMAINS in his/her sin, besides never having had an opportunity to confess (since you've told everyone), is because as soon as sin is out in the open—sin is much, much easier to continue with once it's been exposed!
A Personal Testimony by Erin
By the grace of God I kept my husband's sin a secret, even from his own family. When they finally found out, it was he who told them. All along, to my dismay [dismay is causing someone to feel anxiety and distress], they seemed to accept his decision to abandon us and his relationship with the other woman when we were still legally married.
However, as always, God honored me when I followed His principles and trusted Him with what was happening. Due solely to my discretion, God used his family's disloyalty to me to move on my behalf!
One person my husband couldn't bring himself to tell was his grandmother. He knew how she would probably react, so everyone kept it from her. I didn't tell her for a different reason, I wasn't in on their decision, but had done so because of what the Lord had showed me in His Word, about discretion and covering the nakedness of someone who was in sin.
God rewarded me beyond my imagination!!
What turned my husband back to me was the reaction of his grandmother! He decided it was time to tell his grandmother since he had planned to marry the other woman. So he drove her up to meet his family, and then he took his grandmother out to lunch to tell her. Before he could finish, she stopped eating and told him to take her home! With her hands trembling (my husband told me later) she then said that he had broken her heart. That I was her granddaughter just as much as he was her grandson AND TO NEVER BRING THAT WOMAN INTO HER HOUSE.... meaning the other woman he had brought three states away to meet all of them.
After that, when he would call her, she would tell him, "You go home!" And not too long afterwards, he did. Later he told me all of this. I had no idea of any of it until after we were restored. My husband told me, she also told him when they spoke on the phone, that she was no longer able to sleep, so she would get out of bed several times a day to PRAY for him to go back home! My husband said the vision of her with her arthritic knees on her hardwood floor would eat away at him!
I never asked her (or anyone to pray), but God was the One who prompted the right person to pray at the right time and in the right way! Had my restoration happened any sooner than it did, I would not have had enough of the Lord to permanently change ME and I know for a fact that the other woman (and other women in general) would not have gotten out of my husband's system either.
Had I uncovered this in my timing with anyone, I know it would not have turned out this way. And not only that, but my husband would have blamed ME for his grandmother's reaction instead of taking on the full responsibility for it.
KEEP it PRIVATE
In addition, unlike the standers ministry doctrine, we are very clear that you should not only keep your husband's sins quiet (allowing him to do the confessing), but also that you should never tell anyone about your desire to restore your marriage. The Bible says, "discretion will guard you." Your desire for your marriage to be restored should NOT be made public. Instead, make it a "prayer closet" matter, then watch God "reward you openly!"
"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you"—Matthew 6:6
So many Christians believe that unless there are countless others praying FOR you, getting your name on prayer lists around the world, that God will not hear your prayers. This is simply not true. I had no one praying for me, interestingly, I really don't remember my first ePartner and I praying for each other! I believe that all began when other women began coming to our fellowship meetings who actually demanded people pray for them!
Later when I was a much more mature Christian, when women would run me down in the hallways in our mega church to ask me to add her to my prayer list, I would grab her hands and pray right there for her. Then I would tell her that the Lord would really like HER to speak to Him privately about it, and begin doing so in her prayer closet, quoting the verse above. I knew I was not the "only" person she was asking and I knew that this meant that not ALL the others would pray His will but insert many of their own concerns based on their knowledge of marriage, divorce, etc.—which we all know is not accurate—therefore it was doing more damage than good.
Also, who of us hasn't been guilty of speaking to OTHERS much more than we speak to GOD about things?!?! To your prayer closet ladies!!!
A Personal Testimony by Erin
In the beginning of my Restoration Journey I was doing really well not sharing my desires about wanting my husband back. But then I made the fatal mistake that got back to the other
woman, which then, got back to my husband. Even though my husband had no desire to divorce me, once the word was out, I became a threat to the other woman, so she ended up pressing him and even paying for the divorce herself!
Thankfully, I was able to repent to God when I learned the mistake I had made, and then made it my goal to fully let go and pursue the Lord. What a change it made! My husband was sorry for divorcing me and soon asked to me to marry him again, until we found out the divorce was invalid.
"They have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught"—Psalm 9:15
Since I had not willfully done the wrong thing by letting people know (I didn't know it was wrong because I was told by another church member that it was the right thing to do), I know God forgave me, because He could see that my relationship with Him was more important than having my husband back.
The same is true for you. If you've told others about your desire, or if you've confessed your husband's sins—repent, which literally means "turn around" and head the other way! Repentance does not mean "saying" or just "being" sorry. That type of "repentance" turns into a repeat offender— repeating and repenting the same thing over and over. Instead repent and turn to the Lord! Head in His direction, pursuing Him!!
One term we look for in our questionnaires is the term many women use. They say something like "I am standing for my marriage." But first, are you wondering why we still search for a term like "standing" when we come right out and ask if you are part of another ministry?
The reason is, like a doctor, we search deep into what our spiritual patients tell us, and don't tell us! Believe it or not we find so often (it's shocking) that the majority of questionnaires are not filled out, either honestly, or accurately! And when this happens, we can easily be missing things that would be a red flag if we knew about them and were able to help our client/patient.
For instance, another teaching of the covenant ministries is saying "in faith" they are married when they are separated or divorced or their husband has remarried. Though in theory this sounds pretty good, since they are speaking it "in faith" and also due to there being a "covenant" with God when they married. Unfortunately, truth always needs to be backed up, not contradicted, by Scripture and the Bible says, "the truth will make you free”—John 8:32
The other way, is to see the dangerous fruits of this type of theology. To explain this, let me share another part of some of Helen's ministry she is using to minister to her clients.
"Even though I found RMI, I was still praying with a prayer partner who was still feeding off of the stander’s ministries. Because I was mixing doctrine, I saw some movement when the Lord broke me after reading the RYM book, but because I was in spiritual adultery, double-minded and refused to “let go”, when the Lord brought my FH around, I ran him off again.
I was pursuing (both outwardly and in my heart) and I was always available, even to the point of becoming intimate after hearing a tape on “Sex and the Stander” which my prayer partner sent me. This teaching was based on the “covenant of marriage” and that you were still “married in the spirit” and encouraged sex with your ex-spouse.
Although, RMI principles were completely against this, I chose the fleshly, wide-road to destruction and couldn’t resist when my FH showed up in the middle of the night saying “I’ve been drawn here” and that “he got it.” This only lead to me being used and dumped again. That’s when I finally surrendered completely to what Erin told me 2 years ago which was to “let go and move on, pursuing the Lord as my Husband!” And the more I pursue Him, the more PEACE I am experiencing! ~Helen
"Standing" is a term our ministry began not using any more, though it is referred to in our main book, only because the term "standing" is used by those who "stand in the way" of their spouse. Even after their spouse has made it perfectly clear that it is his/her desire to leave them, divorce them and/or be with someone else, they stand in their way, which is completely and totally contrary to what the Bible says!!
Why would anyone want to get out of the way of someone who is clearly headed for sin?!?!?
Because the opposite teaching is found in the Bible! Therefore "standing in the way of a sinner" is NOT Biblical:
"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor STAND IN THE WAY of sinners...! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night"—Psalm 1:1-2
"Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, LET HIM LEAVE; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to PEACE"—1 Corinthians 7:15
Confirming this verse, we have another verse that clearly says, “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison”—Matthew 5:25 NKJV
To confirm this you have the next verse:
"Jesus said soon at the end of His beatitudes: “But I say to you, do NOT resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two”—Matthew 5:39–41
This is not what a standers ministry advocates—nothing even close.
We, however, STRONGLY BELIEVE and teach that a spouse should KNOW (be told and shown by your actions and attitude) that they are FREE to leave—no strings attached! No heart strings either!!
How do we know this is Biblical? Not only do we have the verses, we have the example of the father in the parable of the prodigal son who also displayed this type of “letting go.” As a matter of fact, read for yourself that the father actually helped his son pursue evil by giving him his inheritance early!!
Because God knows that as long as someone stands in their way, the more and the stronger they will pursue that evil in their heart. And secondly, because if they are never allowed to get to what they "think" they want, what they truly "believe" will make them happy, they will never, ever find that sin is nothing but a pig sty! No one can tell someone this—a person must experience that stench for themselves. This is what made the prodigal son and your husband and you and every other person you know— want to RUN and RETURN to their heavenly Father in repentance!!
Also, we strongly believe that when a spouse is allowed to leave that they are never, ever pursued (outwardly or inwardly) once they leave. We know that the Father was ready to wrap a robe around his son, put a ring on his finger and kill the fatted calf, but only when his son FREELY returned with repentance on his lips.
We've heard that covenant-based ministries encourage writing cards, calling, and many other ways to "win" their spouse back. But I guarantee this almost always builds what we term "A HATE-WALL" that the one who leaves feels they are forced to build (tall and wide) in order to stop the pursuer! A Personal Testimony by Erin
During my two years of believing God for my restoration, the Lord showed me that I was in a spiritual war. As I began thinking of my trials and tests in this way, I made a decision to keep my thoughts and God's leading to myself. I never told my husband (who had left me and was living with the other woman) that I was "standing" for him (or "believing" he would return), because I knew that it would have driven him into marrying the other woman! And as I shared earlier, I tripped very close to the end of my Restoration Journey by letting the OW know, which got back to my husband, which then led to his filing for divorce. Thankfully I knew this verse too:
"For a righteous falls seven times, and rises again, but the wicked stumble in time of calamity"—Proverbs 24:16. I knew I had to get up and turn toward the Lord totally and completely AND that in the "time of calamity" the other woman would stumble and never rise (in my husband's or my life) again.
Let's be real, every one of us hates to be manipulated or coerced or forced against our will. Early on I could see that the Lord kept encouraging me to let my husband go, more and more, as it says in all those verses above AND especially by reading the parable of the prodigal who was allowed to leave and was not pursued by his father once he left.
The main reason for my marriage crumbling was to allow the Lord to totally and completely transform ME, which is why I am so very glad and thankful that my restoration didn't happen one second sooner than it did. The truth is I could have used more transforming and would have cherished much more time to have been alone with the Lord!
Once I fully let go, the Lord led me to stop my pursuit of my marriage and husband and to pursue Him—the Lord. And that's when my face became radiant, as it says in Psalm 34:5, "They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed." My husband actually got jealous because he thought I was involved with someone else! It wasn't only the new ME he saw that made him suspicious, but because I was pursuing the Lord, I wasn't hanging around our townhouse as I once had been, and was often busy when he said he was coming by, which began to become more frequently.
What a change from the pathetic woman who would follow him around and want to spend time with him, dropping everything to just be with him. Back then he would simply be mean and hateful and reject me. He would stand me up and change his plans at the last minute.
"By following the standers suggestions of pursuing my husband who was clear that he didn't want me, all that happened is that I ended up frustrated and worn out. NOT ONE of the ladies (I prayed with) saw their situations budge. In fact, I was on a full on pursuit with my professions of "standing for our marriage" and "undying love for my husband."
This only made him think of me as a pathetic and obsessive, especially when he caught me driving by his house to check on him to see who was there! The more I pursued, the more he pursued other women!
It was ONLY when I prayed for WISDOM that I found RMIEW! I ordered the RYM book and read it in one night!!! I began applying the principles and my situation began to change quickly. But because I had looked into my husband's business, I had to endure a GREAT test as his latest girlfriend was paraded in front of me almost weekly during baseball season! It was only the "joy of the Lord" that helped me keep my composure under that attack. Later I found out that he was planning to move her into his house! But because I kept my mouth shut and had stopped pursuing, they finally broke up." ~Helen
If I had been playing a game, just a new way to get him back, I know it would have backfired and blown up in my face—making my situation worse, maybe unbearable and I would have given up. Not only can men sense when they are being manipulated or when a woman "says" she is not interested or is moving on and she isn't, but what's MORE important is that the LORD can see and is hurt by your unfaithfulness to HIM!
Don't make some big statement that you are letting go, and then find yourself doing the same things as you have been doing. Instead make sure the changes in you are real. The change in me was real and needed to be real—and it needs to be real in your life too.
Very soon I became someone he wanted to hang around, and because I was too busy for him, he began pursuing me even more. Had my heart turned back, I know his would have turned back to the OW.
"You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out. 18 You have removed lover and friend far from me; My acquaintances are in darkness"—Psalm 88:8, 18
WHY did He do that?
"But I have this against you, that you have left your first love"—Revelation 2:4
Part of the reason the Lord wanted to change me was to help me develop a "gentle and quiet spirit" which is not only precious in His sight, but also in everyone's sight! At the exact time I began to exhibit this change, in my husband's other relationship, she was becoming bitter and sharp with her tongue as it says the adulteress will be "in the end" in Proverbs 5:4. When he left me, boy oh boy, I WAS the contentious woman, but then I became someone totally new!
It only happened once I came to the place that I no longer NEEDED my husband, because of the relationship I had with the Lord, when my husband ended the relationship with the other woman and came home.
Do Not Pursue Your Spouse!We encourage all those who want their marriages restored, not to pursue their spouse who has left in any way, shape or form (i.e. phone calls, cards, letters or flowers). We believe that the spouse, who wants to leave, should be allowed to leave, as is directed in Scripture.
Psalm 1:1-2 "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor STAND IN THE WAY of sinners...! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night."
This verse doesn't tell us only what NOT to do, but what we are supposed to do. Meditating in His Word day and night! Some of you keep slipping back to your old ways. You want to change, but it won't stick. This is due to not replacing what you remove, with something good. It's another principle you need to learn:
"Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation”—Matthew 12:43-45.
Don't get too caught up about unclean spirits, since I am only showing you the principle. It's similar to people who successfully lose weight and keep it off. They change what they used to do. They stop eating the wrong foods, and begin eating the right foods. They used to sit and watch television, but then they begin going for walks or to the gym.
If you are replacing watching television with reading His Word. Replacing talking on the phone to others, with speaking to Him about everything that concerns you. If you are no longer hoping to see or hear from your husband, but are asking Him for ways to spend your time much more productively and happily... then you will continue to see your life change, you will change, and others will see the changes.
However, remember that you are in the midst of a Esther Treatment Makeover and people are the most radically blown away the longer it's been AND the more radical the change. So find new places and new women to hang around with—women who you go looking for to help—then you can do nothing else but talk about the Lord, which means your face will become even more radiant!
1 Corinthians 7:15 "Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, LET HIM LEAVE; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace."
And, once again, the type of "letting go" is what we saw the father do in the parable of the prodigal son, who never went after his son. Instead, he let go, got out of his way, and gave him money so the son could find his way to the pigsty. It wasn't until his son had come to his senses and was on his way back to repent when the father met him with the robe, his ring, and the fatted calf was roasted! May I ask those of you who are part of the standers ministry, "why do all of that (the robe, the ring, the fatted calf) while your husband is living in sin?"
And if your husband is no longer angry with you, why, if he can have both you and the other women chasing after him, why would he want to give it up?
Time after time we have seen that the person who is pursued will try harder to get away! If you send your spouse a birthday card or other holiday cards, you will only strengthen the relationship with the other person because you have violated the three Scriptures we mentioned twice.
Rather than pursuing your spouse, the women who experienced a RESTORED marriage INSTEAD pursued a relationship with the Lord. If you pursue God, then inevitably, your spouse will pursue you—and your marriage will be restored!
We simply can't say it enough, please don't call your spouse if he has left. Don't send him cards or even continue telling him that you love him. Don't keep asking for forgiveness. Make sure you do it once, then let this go too! Even if you've missed something, it really gets old and pathetic. And please don't let your spouse know that you are "standing" for your marriage or tell him about your "covenant with God."
RUNNINGRather than STANDING for your marriage, which, as we said, really doesn't mean that you are standing strong, but standing in the way of a sinner. We believe you should be RUNNING!
Run with your eyes fixed on the right prize—fixing our eyes on Jesus!
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" —Hebrews 12:1-3
One of the biggest surprises with those who come to our ministry, who have spoken openly about "standing" for their marriage, is that very often they expressed a spiritual arrogance. One telltale sign is when they freely tell us about their husband's sin.
Not only that, but they are usually quick to refer to their spouse as "the prodigal," which as I said, is like calling them the deep down dirty "sinner." When we see a woman looking at her spouse's sin, rather than focusing on their own, we know they are still tearing their houses down, not at all headed toward restoration. Matthew 7:2-5 says it this way:
"For in the way you judge,
you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you."Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye?
"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
This type of spiritual arrogance is what we began referring to as a "Pharisee spirit." This is so dangerous and WILL prevent God from moving your marriage toward restoration. When I was trusting God for my marriage restoration, the Lord showed me, in His Word, that Jesus was only harsh, critical, and opposed to one set of individuals, not the sinners, but the Pharisees! And that is when He showed me that I WAS a Pharisee because I was focusing on my husband's sins while ignoring my own!
There are so many Christians who pretend to be spiritual on the outside but are filthy on the inside. Jesus called them whitewashed tombs:
Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness."
I Will Wait — FOREVER!!
Have you ever told your spouse, or told other people that you would "Wait forever"? Well, get ready to WAIT. Pursuing your spouse or making strong statements will not help—it will cause them to run. This will also push your spouse away and toward the other woman! You cannot stand in the way of a divorce either.
Stop telling everyone about your "stand", get out of the way. Don't try to stop a divorce since this could very well be what turns your husband around! Jesus told us NOT to resist evil. But instead how to benefit from it. No, not our sin, we will never benefit from it, but the sins of others towards us! Look at the life of Jesus. It was what His life was all about.
"But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also"—Matthew 5:39
Why would He say that? Because it's God's way of setting you up to bless you! And the greatest blessing is finding His favor! Being surrounded by favor is a place I love to live IN!
Be grateful "to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, THIS finds FAVOR with God"—1 Peter 2:18-19.
This is powerful stuff, but no one talks about it!
Okay, so let's talk about some specifics with standers and covenant ministries since so many women can't seem to see things in the right perspective. Let's talk about the holes in the "covenant" theology. Helen already shared how far things can go when you believe you are still married, when you're actually divorced. So many embrace this belief that they are still married because they have a "covenant" with God. But if you think about it, it's the same as waving the title to a car when it's been stolen!
Holding a car title means nothing if you don't have the car! If someone else is driving it. A marriage license or covenant means very little when you get into bed alone and your husband gets into bed with her.
Instead, think of it God's way and ask Him to be your Husband. “‘Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.
For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one's youth when she is rejected,’ Says your God”—Isaiah 54:4–6
Once the Lord knows your heart belongs to Him, He will set out to be everything your husband never was and never could be to you! He doesn't want to bring your husband back when he knows how hurt you will be, because your heart is too open, too raw. Not until He knows you've let go of your husband, and have enough of Him, will He bring your husband back into your life, because there is no way He is going to let him hurt you anymore.
You'll Know by Their Fruits
In a time when your future hangs in the balance, it is important that you are careful when seeking or accepting counsel and help. How do you know whom you can trust?
The Bible tells us, as believers, how to discern whom we can trust and who we should stay away from. In Matt. 7:15-20 it tells us, "You will know them by their fruits."
When my husband confessed to being involved with another woman, I first sought the Lord. God totally turned the situation around instantly.
Unfortunately, I made the biggest mistake of my life that I would later regret for the rest of my life! I followed the advice of someone who had NO FRUIT.
As I shared yesterday, I read the destructive book about administering "tough love" by a very popular "Christian" psychologist. I was not aware of the bad fruit this book was producing. It wasn’t until I began ministering to other women who, in tears, shared with me that they had made the same mistake of following the advice given in this book—which resulted in their husbands hating and despising them too!
In addition to your covenant-based standers ministry, if in your desperation you may have also tried the method of tough love, stay away from this book and avoid the destructive results. It is not biblical, but is based on psychology because a psychologist wrote it!
OUR HISTORY with Standers
Over the past twenty years we have had hundreds of women (and men) who have come to us from standers ministries for additional support and comfort. Unfortunately, so far we have had very little good fruit, no real favorable results, with those who have already embraced the doctrine, that is so completely contrary to our own, as you have just read.
Every few years, our leadership team gets together to seek God for wisdom. At one point we had so many coming from Covenant Keepers and Rejoice Ministries that we began to focus solely on them and our ministry changed to emphasizing the principles that were contrary to their doctrine, only to find that we greatly damaged the women (and men) who had not come by way of a standers or covenant-based marriage ministry.
We regrouped, once again and felt that what was in the best interest of the huge influx of standers, and for the safety of our own members, that it was best to turn them away and send them back to the first ministry God led them to.
With the beginning of RMIEW in 2011, however, we once again sought God when, once again, we began getting a large number of women who came to us from Standers ministries. In the beginning we began to work closely with them, but later, after much was invested on our part, we were often sent a reply to something that was in following the standers firmness, basically telling us off before leaving!
Part of this is due to the ministry "feeding the flesh." Let's face it, it feels GOOD to do "something." It feels good to send a letter, make a call or tell someone about our stand. But it doesn't feel good when we are rejected over and over and over again!
We hate to group you or any woman, together in a negative way, and only wish we knew the right course that would ultimately help you and give you the desires of your heart. We were simply at a loss of really knowing what to do. Until God led Helen to begin ministering to us. However, we want you to know this is NEW territory for us. We have NOT had the success we have had with the woman or man who has not been part of these ministries.
The path we are taking at this point, is to offer you ALL the truth we have learned, and trust that God can help you LET GO of what you've learned and what you've been doing. ONLY THEN will you be in a position to renew your mind so that GOD can do the impossible.
Though we have had hundreds of restored marriages, so far, we have to be honest and upfront, we have had NONE, not one, restored marriage testimony that has been submitted when the woman was once a stander or who had come from a standers ministry.
We know that both Covenant Keepers and Rejoice Ministries have restored marriage testimonies, and therefore, once again, we feel this has to be due to the doublemindedness that comes from being part of BOTH ministries and mixing the two sets of teachings.
I also want to thank God because He has brought me light in the darkness. I was involved in a "stander" marriage program for 1 1/2 years before I found Restore Ministries. And since I have finally "LET GO" of my husband, I have finally been peaceful, knowing God will take care of it, instead of me. It is very stressful to "stand" because the outcome of your marriage is based on what YOU can do, not what GOD can (and should) be doing. Not "letting go" was what kept me mired in intense and incredible pain. It brought a lot of fears that I shouldn't have been carrying, because I thought that my marriage depended on me to hold it together (and sometimes I wasn't willing to do that anymore). I had left God out of the picture. SINCE I have let go, my husband has started coming around. He puts forth the effort to reach out to us. Although it is baby steps, I see God turning his heart toward us. He is starting to do things that he would never do before.
I want to praise Him because now when I have a problem, the first thing I do is PRAY, and with an OPEN heart (instead of "God, please fix this problem by doing this or that). I do not go to other people to ask their opinions anymore. I go to God, and He is answering me personally. He has been sending me so much truth, particularly about the "sacrifice of praise" - in praising Him in the middle of trials, instead of lamenting over them.
It is SO much better than worrying to death, and hoping to have my needs met by an earthly husband or depending upon the "arm of flesh" to fill me up. I always heard that God is the only one that can truly fill us up, but I never believed it. Maybe we have to be truly "empty" before He can begin filling us. Thank God for all His blessings!
~ Chloe in Tennessee
Read through what we offer, again and again. Take everything to God, and then allow HIM to lead you to where you should be and what HE would have you to do.
"Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors"— Psalm 119:24
In each of the principles shared in these lessons, I can look back see the journey God has taken me on. I was broken to my core the moment I found out my husband was in adultery. Never in a million years would I have believed he would do that, he too, says he can't believe he's done it. I made every mistake possible, I turned into a crazy, suicidal women. I am so ashamed and embarrassed by what I've done.
I somehow found a "standers" ministry and it seemed to get me on a better path than what I was on. I at least had hope that restoration was possible with God. Praise the Lord you changed your policy on this matter and allowed standers, like me, to come through these lessons!
While being part of the other standers ministry, I was still shattered in my soul. I cried everyday and night. I kept asking God where was this so-called "peace that passes understanding." He heard my cry and lead me to here to Restore Ministries and Encouraging Women. Now I have peace!!!
I see now that by standing, I was relying on myself, not God. That's why I could not find peace. I can't praise God enough for allowing me to struggle and fight on my own, then when I was completely exhausted, He lead me to you, more correctly, to Him."
That’s why we urge you to either go back and embrace their doctrine and remain under their guidance, love, support and teachings OR to do everything in your power to LET GO of everything you learned in order to embrace our ministry’s principles.
Here is short praise report of one woman who was willing to “Let Go” and embrace what what RMI teaches: