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
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
If you have listened to much of my wife’s teaching, you have heard her make the analogy of standing to running a race. Charlyne would tell you to throw off that which is slowing you down, as described in Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” She has compared preparing to stand for marriage restoration with training for a race, as in I Corinthians 9:25: “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
Over the years, thousands of standers have taken Charlyne’s advice and run with it, so to speak, but where are they today? Many have marriages now restored by God. Others are still running the race and standing strong. Sadly, many fell out of the race. What happened? They had the event God had called them to all wrong. The people who fell started out to run a dash, when God had called them to participate in a relay. They simply ran out of steam.
At one Bible study, Charlyne was surprised by a woman who had been one of our first friends with the ministry. She had come that evening to testify about her remarriage to her husband, the man for whom she had been praying. That evening our friend related events from years past that we had almost forgotten.
Can you see it? My wife started in 1985 when we were divorced, and God had called her to pray and stand for me, to run the race. She knew the event she had entered was a relay, not a short-distance sprint. She knew marriage restoration was more about becoming like Christ than about a spouse returning home. Years later, she passed the baton to the woman who testified about her remarriage one week prior. That woman had since passed the baton of standing on to other women, even within her own family.
What happens when one runner in a relay drops the baton? The entire team is penalized by not getting the gold. They may have trained well and even been predicted to win, but they do not finish well because someone dropped the baton.
As you stand with God and pray for the restoration of your marriage, you have an entire team of your spouse, family, and friends depending on you and rooting you on. For their sake, you need to finish the race you have started well.
The baton used in the relay race for a restored marriage is not a b-a-t-o-n, but the B-i-b-l-e. If relay runners have a good grasp on the baton, the race is easier. If you have a good grasp on the Word of God, your race will be easier. May you run strong in your race for your family’s salvation, a restored marriage, and life eternal for the people you love.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24
Because He lives,
Love this perspective of Bob’s on standing. Thank you! Father help us run our race of marriage restoration in such a way as to get the prize. Help us stay in Your presence and let Your refining fire purify us and make us like Jesus as it’s only in the fire of our trials will gold be found!
I took note of a work van named Crown 👑 on way into work this morning. This devotional correlates with getting a crown that will last.