Today’s message is from Bob, who was a prodigal who returned home and was remarried to me for an additional 23 years before the Lord took him home to Heaven. Bob wrote 19 books from the prodigal’s perspective for more than two decades after our divorce and remarriage. – Charlyne
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Many people often ask, “What were your thoughts while Charlyne was standing for restoration of your marriage?”
While it’s difficult to recall each emotion, I’ll share my reflection with you. Charlyne informed me that she was standing, but I couldn’t grasp the concept. We had tried to make our marriage work, and somehow it had failed. Now, I reasoned, God would give me a new start with another person.
While I had head knowledge of the Lordship of Christ, I blocked out a heart’s knowledge of Him. Sundays, I was in church, often with a girlfriend. I even wrote and saw published an article in a national denominational singles magazine dealing with forgiveness following divorce (not very tasty words to eat later). I dated a divorced woman from church. One evening she read the story of Gomer from Hosea and asked for my comments. I had none. Later, I called Charlyne and asked if she knew the passage. Of course, she did. That’s one of the first times the Lord provided her with a ray of hope that He was working in my life.
As Charlyne continued her stand, I began to live more and more with one leg in each of the two worlds. One of my employers in one of the cities where I lived (some prodigals tend to move around, running from a praying spouse and God) sponsored me in Rotary. The application asked for the name of my “Rotary Ann,” the Rotary term for a wife. I wrote something about planning to be married soon but thought how perfect it would be for Charlyne Ann to be my Rotary Ann. Few of my thoughts were verbalized to Charlyne. Our conversations on any topic often ended in an angry exchange of words. I would lash out at her for calling my home and then secretly treasure the cards she sent me. Although I never told her, I feared the effects of Charlyne’s prayers as I observed her stand from afar.
During Charlyne’s stand, God answering her prayers could be seen in a progressive working in my life. I began to hurt Charlyne by words and deeds in an attempt to discourage her. Had she given up on me, I would always have been able to claim that her stand was false. I had an increasing secret desire to be with her. This week a woman wrote that her husband would come by and hug her and not say a word. Praise the Lord!
I kept all contact with Charlyne secret from my other person. Yet there was almost a desire that she find out. She began to be jealous of Charlyne. I began to compromise with God (If I attend church, maybe He will leave me alone). I remained blind to spiritual matters. The Lord was firm but ever so loving and gentle as He drew me to Himself and back to my wife.
Perhaps you see some of these traits in your prodigal. Even if you don’t, God is still doing His work in the heart of your prodigal. Praise God for His work and DON’T GIVE UP.
Somewhere along the way, Charlyne sent me a note that included a card with a verse of scripture, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 That verse found its way to my refrigerator door. Several times each day, I would read the promises of God for my life. I thank Him for a wife who prayed and didn’t give up on her prodigal spouse.
Because He lives,