AFTER THE PRODIGAL RETURNS/STANDING AFTER THE PRODIGAL RETURNS
by Bob & Charlyne Steinkamp
The Steinkamp’s first his/her book, After The Prodigal Returns. On one side Bob’s writes to the prodigal how to re-adjust to living back home. How to deal with your emotions and feelings. Turn the book over and read Charlyne”s Standing After The Prodigal Returns.
Charlyne teaches standers to learn how to love their husband or wife unconditionally, learn to “Zip their lips,” and to never stop praying even though your husband or wife may be back home.
In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:4
As you walk through marriage restoration, you may be frustrated that things are not as far along as you had hoped. As we approach Thanksgiving, it is a time when we are more intentional about reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for. Thank the Lord for your restoration and the journey that has gotten you to this point.
Remember that restoration is a process. The destruction that took place and threatened to harm your marriage didn’t happen overnight, and the healing won’t happen that fast, either. Rejoice in the small victories that you see happening in your relationship. Zechariah 4:10 reminds us to rejoice in the small things. You may wonder how you do that. Let me offer a few suggestions.
Write it down-
Be thankful for the progress that has been made in your marriage. When my mom, Charlyne, was standing for marriage restoration, journaling became a huge part of her life. It was so special for her and my dad to go back and compare journals during that period. They would find places where my mom noted how she was praying specifically for his plans with another woman to be canceled, and in my dad’s journal, he would mention how frustrated he was that plans got changed. God answers prayers!
If you are finding that you are frustrated at where you are, look back at your journals and remember all that you have to be thankful for! What a great reminder of God’s goodness in your life.
Find a visual reminder-
When the Israelites crossed into their promised land, they were instructed to gather 12 large stones from the Jordan River. These stones would be set up as a sign to future generations of God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises.
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:4-7
Several years after my parents’ restoration, my dad had a local landscape company deliver 12 large stones that were placed in their backyard. He had written a beautiful note and attached it to the stones for my mom to find. Those stones weren’t dug up from the base of the Jordan River, but they were a tangible reminder of the promise God fulfilled in their marriage.
What visual reminder do you and your spouse have of the work God has done (and will continue to do) in your marriage? It doesn’t need to be as big as 12 large stones, but find something that is special to both of you and let that serve as the reminder to keep pushing forward.
Don’t stop being thankful –
Restoration will take time. My mom always said, “Once a stander, always a stander.” If I could leave you with the most important piece of advice, it would be never to stop being thankful for what God has done in your marriage and as you reflect on that gratitude, never stop praying for your marriage.
The enemy will want to attempt to destroy the victory that has happened in your home. Be on guard and never stop fighting for your marriage.
God is worthy of our praise for what He has done!