Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided. Proverbs 16:6
“What brought you home?” I’ve been asked that question more than once. In fact, I’ve been asked that question almost every day since our remarriage. The world, which seems to almost idolize divorce, has a difficult time understanding marriage reconciliation, especially after a divorce has taken place.
Fellow prodigal, regardless of our backgrounds, you and I were brought home the same way by our Lord God. He might have used different circumstances to get our attention, but the bottom line is that the Lord loved both you and me enough to restore our marriages.
It’s been said before, but perhaps should be repeated, that restoration of a marriage is a process. Going home is a vital step in the right direction, but it is only a first step. That process of restoration will never be complete and whole unless the Lord is given His rightful place of kingship in your home.
We observe in the Bible the comparison of living a victorious Christian life with running a race. Marriage restoration might be included in that comparison as well. Prior to my coming home, Charlyne had gotten in shape spiritually. Frequent time alone with her Lord was a way of life. She not only talked the talk of a spouse trusting God to restore a marriage, she walked the walk as well.
When we were remarried, I set out to run the race, but was spiritually out of shape. I stood in the starting blocks of remarriage with a few spiritual candy bars hanging out of my pockets and a couple of bags of spiritual potato chips under my arm. I had a hard time even getting down on the starting blocks while sipping on my jumbo-sized World’s Way cola.
My wife made a wise choice. Running her race for the Christian life in full stride, she looked back to see me faltering. Charlyne stayed steady and ran with me. She helped me cast aside those Double Standard potato chips.
The World’s Way cola was dropped, as were those Anything Godly candy bars. She helped me, by example, regain my spiritual strength.
Now that a marriage has been restarted, how is a personal walk with our Lord Jesus Christ restarted? I suggest some “P’s” for you.
You may not be ready to deliver the morning prayer at church yet, (but you will). When we taught our children to pray, we taught them conversational prayer with God. This may be the time for you not to pray formal, eloquent prayers, but to talk with your Lord. The Bible assures us that He understands the utterings and groaning of our hearts. Your prayers, regardless of style, will be heard by the One who made everything that is. It’s not as important how you pray as that you pray.
Personal Time with God-
As you talk to Him through prayer, allow Him to talk to you through His written Word, the Bible. Charlyne has said often that the Bible came alive to her during her stand. His Word continues to be alive.
If God is working on your marriage, you should be in church at every opportunity. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. We learn we grow, we encounter God, we are accountable, we witness, we fellowship, and we are examples to others by regular church attendance. We need each other.
When I walked away from my family, I walked away from our home church.
During one of our pre-marriage reconciliation conversations, I told Charlyne that I would “never darken the door” of our home church again. She accepted my remark without rebuttal. She trusted God, not her arguments, to bring me back to that church.
Before you promise never to return to your family’s church, consider carefully and ask God what He would have you do. I received an unexpected and warm welcome on that first Sunday after our remarriage. No one condemned my recent past. I heard only reports of the many prayers for our family, felt only warm hugs from people who cared, and saw only tears of happiness for our marriage restoration.
Your family is the recipient of a miracle from God. Don’t hide your candle under a basket by escaping church. Give the Lord the glory for what He has done. Regardless of the circumstances, don’t be ashamed of what God has done. Forgiveness is key to our Christian faith. Allow your past to be your past.
Why has God restored your marriage? Your home is not being rebuilt for your mate’s satisfaction. Nor is it being restored for your comfort and convenience. The purpose for your broken home being put back together again is so that God might be glorified and His will for your family perfected. Understanding the purpose for all the Lord is doing for and through you and your mate right now should lead you to desire to draw closer to Him.
I returned home a spiritual wreck. Granted, I was in church most Sundays while out in the far country, but often after waking up in someone’s bed other than my own. My personal prayer and devotion time were non-existent. I had a fearful head knowledge of God, but lacked true closeness to Him. I was always going to make my crooked path straight—tomorrow.
Do you recall the plagues from the Old Testament? One was the plague of frogs. God had sent frogs everywhere. The Egyptians couldn’t even cook because of the frogs, and they went to bed to find the frogs had gotten there first. When Moses stood before Pharaoh to announce that God could remove the frogs, the king replied, “Just one more night.”
During my time in the far country, I always wanted just one more night with the frogs. Tomorrow, I reasoned, I would obey God. If God is working in your home right now, may this be the day that you turn away from the frogs and totally depend on Him for the strength that you both need so badly right now.
May your marriage and your relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ be based on what is right, not on what seems so popular. May God bless you as you strive to live for Him, loving your spouse with that love available only through the Lord.