THE PRODIGAL’S PERSPECTIVE
Bob, a returned prodigal, has been asked most often, “What is it like for my prodigal spouse?” In The Prodigal’s Perspective, Bob gives answers from his heart to dozens of questions that are on the hearts of men and women standing with God for marriage restoration.
Are you seeking marriage restoration? This book will open your eyes to your spouse’s present way of life. If you are a prodigal, you will be amazed how Bob will encourage you that there is a way out of your present lifestyle. Both prodigals and standers will rejoice that our Lord God wants to show the way out of the “far country’s pigpen.”
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘’made them male and female’’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:4-6
May I ask you a question? Do you consider yourself married in God’s eyes regardless of your legal marital status? I pray that you do because that covenant between you, your spouse, and God is the basis of your stand, praying and trusting God alone to heal and restore your marriage. It would take a miracle, you say? Yes, it would, but our God is a miracle-working God.
There’s a second question that needs to be asked. If you consider yourself married, are you acting as though you are married 100% of the time? The physical absence or presence of your spouse has no bearing on your being married in God’s eyes.
Far too many people are becoming situational standers. Around other standers and marriage ministries, they talk the talk of standers, but they then walk the walk of a single person. They are, in effect, like Sunday Christians, who attend church, Bible in hand, sing the songs, and go through the motions, but then for the rest of the week, live not much different than the world does.
“Who will know if I am standing and acting single?”
Foremost, you and God will know. In addition, your absent spouse may know. A major television network followed a woman from when she left her apartment until she arrived at work and discovered how many security cameras captured her on the way. The number was amazing. Do you not feel that if multitudes of strangers can photograph us without our knowledge, some of what you are doing, be it positive or negative, can filter back to your prodigal spouse?
Each week I share the prodigal’s perspective with you. I can say that I came home to a wife whose walk matched her talk 100% of the time. Charlyne was certainly not speaking the lingo of one standing with God and then acting differently.
You must remember that Satan will turn every situation to his benefit, so you cannot afford to risk having your prodigal hear of your single-type living. The future of your restored marriage may well depend on your actions in these days.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9
I pray that you can realize how the Enemy is out to turn the best of intentions into a mess, into something that will do additional damage to your family.
Here are some items to use as a checklist to avoid becoming a situational stander.
Wear your wedding band. That is a reminder to you–and to all who come near you–that you are a married person. That one action resolves many issues.
Have prayer partners of your same sex. Praying together brings about a level of intimacy. Save that for your returned spouse.
Avoid phone chats with the opposite sex. If you are doing this, you are asking for trouble. Yes, even if it is praying.
Do not go out, for any reason, with persons of the opposite sex, except in a large group. How would your prodigal spouse feel if someone reported seeing you out with a person of the opposite sex?
Avoid the “But we’re just friends” syndrome. I heard a pastor say that if a person is voicing those words, they are already in trouble!
Use as a guide the question, “If my spouse was home, would I be doing this?” For example, I would not go out for coffee with an opposite sex stander, so if you consider yourself married in God’s eyes, why should you now?
Look for opportunities to minister to people of the same sex, not the opposite sex.
Do not think about what kind of husband or wife someone else might be.
Do not look for loopholes allowing male/female relationships. Strive to see how far from the edge you can live. Refocus your thoughts, energies, time, and emotions on living as a married Christian, always striving to advance Kingdom work.
There is good news for you today. Regardless of how far you have strayed from being a stander and living a married lifestyle, there is forgiveness in Jesus Christ. My prayer is that today you will seek His forgiveness and also that you will make the changes needed in your own life to live for Jesus Christ as one excited about His promise of marriage restoration.
God has something very special for you, in a healed marriage, with everyone serving Him. Charlyne and I desire to share any and every obstacle to restoration with you. The male/female issue is challenging, but we sense it is an avoidable pitfall holding back more than one marriage restoration. Break off permanently all male/female relationships. Today you may need to cry out for repentance right now. Then you can walk in freedom through Jesus Christ our Lord and start standing again immediately!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Because He lives,