The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.
Men, has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers?
Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains. They helped David against raiding bands, for all of them were brave warriors, and they were commanders in his army. Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king. 1 Chronicles 12:8, 21-22, 38
David was anointed by God to be King over Israel. This promise was given to David while Saul was still king, a king who wanted to kill David. After Saul was killed in battle, David left his stronghold in the desert to Hebron to take the ark to Jerusalem. God grew David’s army from about 600 to more than 200,000 battle-hardened men determined to carry out God’s promise. It was like “an Army of God.”
Why did God do this? It was because David was a man after God’s own heart. David was anointed.
And when he had removed him (Saul), he raised up David to be their king; to whom also he bare witness and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who shall do all my will. Acts 13:22 (ASV)
Does this mean that David did not make mistakes? Not at all. David lived in fear, disobedience, adultery, and murder. He was a man after God’s heart, not because he didn’t fail, it was because when he did, he cried out to God for mercy, for forgiveness.
Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. Psalm 31:9
For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34
There were consequences for his sin, but God was there, lifting David up, carrying him through the storms and restoring him.
As husbands, we may be asking ourselves, why did this happen to us. If we are honest, it was because we failed. We failed our wives and our children. Like David, we made mistakes; we didn’t listen to our wives, we took them for granted, maybe there was abandonment, abuse (emotional, or physical), adultery, pornography, etc. More importantly, the mistake we made was becoming complacent in our prayer walk and not falling on our knees and covering ourselves, our wives, children and family with prayer and pleading the blood of Jesus over our families. We did not protect them the way they needed us to, the way we have been called, to love our wives as Christ loved the church.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Ephesians 5:25-28
How did Jesus love the church? He laid down his life for us, he prayed for us and covered us with his blood. Have we truly laid down our lives for our wives, our children? Are we carrying around our own pride, our own desires, our hurts and hang-ups? This season has taught me how little I actually protected my wife and children. I was not the Christian leader or prayer warrior that my wife and children needed. If we love our wives as Christ Jesus loved the church, then our wives and children should be placed above our own needs and desires.
My son often asks me to teach him to be a man, something which convicts me. I am finding out more and more that in order to be real men, we have to fall on our knees and cry out to God and let Him change us, teach us. As with David, we need to be men of God. We have to cry out for mercy and forgiveness for our own mistakes in our marriage and be the men that our wives and children need us to be. With God’s hand over us, we have to overcome our own hurts and hang-ups and cover our wives and children with prayer. God will never fail us.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16
Throughout this journey, amazingly, God has surrounded my life with people who pray. I have been caught off guard by perfect strangers who have walked up with no knowledge of my marriage troubles and prayed for me and my family. God has surrounded my life with pray warriors, battle-ready warriors who know how to pray, people who have taught me to pray. It has been “like a great army of God.”
We need to remove all that hinders and seek forgiveness for our part in our marriage failure and let God comfort us, cover us and teach us to pray. Protect your wives and children, cry out to God for your families. Get in the presence of God and feel Him moving in you and around you. Stand firm on the Word of God. Ask God to bring into your life a prayer partner, or prayer warriors.
Let God guide you; let Him be your strength. He is our strong tower. Lean on Him. Be a man after God’s heart.
Standing on the promise of a healed and restored marriage!
David in Texas