Charlyne Cares

Are you standing for the restoration of your marriage? A daily devotional that will offer encouragement from God’s Word as you stand for the restoration of your marriage.

What’s Happening in My Prodigal’s Life?

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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

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.  Psalm 61:1-3 

Most men and women standing with God and praying for the restoration of their marriage have two questions. They want to know, “How long must I wait?” That question is for God alone to answer. The second question of many people is, “What’s happening in my prodigal’s life?” I have asked God to use a recent event in my own life to help you answer that second question for yourself.

I had a cardiac catheterization and a tiny medical device known as a stent inserted into an artery in my heart. That entire experience, including 24 hours in the hospital, reminds me so much of my prodigal journey away from a loving family for over two years.

How did anyone know what was going on in my heart? My physician sensed something was not right. He did testing and determined that an artery in my heart was almost closed. Without the stent, I could have had another heart attack, and blood flow stopped, damaging an area of my heart.

I suspect that just as my heart attack was prevented by a doctor who sensed something was not right, there are divorces that would have been prevented if you and I had always acted on what God was telling us about others. Today, when the Spirit nudges you to share your stand with someone else, He has a reason. Please allow yourself to be used to share the good news that God heals hurting marriages.

On the day of my procedure, I thought I knew exactly what was happening. I was awake but sedated all the time. A month later, I realized what a “fog” I was under with medication. I could answer the questions and do all the right things, but in between, I was sleeping and did not even know it.

More than once, when speaking to both prodigals and returned prodigals, we have heard about the “fog” they have been under and how they were blinded to the truth. You may exclaim, “How could they!” about your prodigal over some of their antics. Remember, they are under a satanic “fog,” and even though they are functional, they are being controlled by the medication of evil.

During my procedure and for the entire day, I was in a fog. I knew for sure that my wife was in the waiting room nearby and that she was praying for me. Regardless of your marriage status, the one you love must know that you are in God’s waiting room and praying for them. They need to know that you are available and that you are not giving up because they have done some silly (well, all right, some evil) things while in their fog.

Does your prodigal know that you are not giving up on them or your marriage, regardless of what they do? I pray they do. When we were divorced, Charlyne had told me she would still be waiting until she was 80 years old and sitting in a rocking chair, and I believed her. It is much easier for a prodigal to come home when they know they will be accepted unconditionally.

It breaks my heart to read emails from people about giving their prodigal “one last chance” or giving God deadlines. How long did Jesus wait for me and you? We hurt for that person when we read of a stander giving up on God or a spouse because of circumstances.

After reading the email we receive, I wish I could shake them by the shoulders and plead with them, “Don’t you realize this could be your covenant mate’s eternal destiny you are toying with?” I say it with love, but it is time that many people get serious about standing for marriage restoration and quit playing games with God and their in-a-fog spouse.

There is a lot of anxiety associated with lying on a glorified X-ray table while a cardiologist and technicians enter a leg artery and thread a wire into the heart. I knew I had a praying wife in the adjoining room the entire time. Does your prodigal realize you will pray for them, regardless of the good or bad reports?

The small device that was inserted opens a blocked coronary artery. In one sense, it does for me exactly what your prayers are doing for your prodigal. I was at risk for serious or fatal heart damage because of the lack of blood to supply my heart. Your beloved is at risk of spiritual death or damage without your stent of intercessory prayer to keep their sin-damaged heart functioning.

That evening, I was placed in an intensive care unit. My night was miserable because no one around seemed to appreciate what I was going through. The nurses were more interested in their own concerns than in mine. Do you ever feel that way about how people seem to set out to discourage you in your stand?

By late morning, I was home, had a shower, and was ready for a three-hour nap in our bed. Everything I had undergone was behind me. There is coming a day when your beloved may feel as I did many years ago when they return home, and again a month ago, when the circumstances were all behind me, my stander’s prayers having been answered. I was on the road to recovery, first from divorce and then from a cardiac procedure.

There is one more part to this story that needs to be told. After marriage restoration, your once-prodigal mate may have a sensitive area over what happened. This past weekend, I began to have symptoms that could have been cardiac-related. There is a risk of stent closure, especially during the first few months. Remember there is also a risk of restored marriage failure, especially during the first few months. This usually occurs when a person stops praying and walking close to the Lord.

My pain became so severe that I was up before dawn on Sunday, completing ministry projects for Charlyne and leaving things in good order in case the Lord was about to call me home. It turned out that my symptoms resulted from eating too many spicy chicken wings at a grandchild’s birthday party on Saturday and not my heart.

After your prodigal returns, please remember that every twinge of sin does not mean a relapse. If you will maintain your close daily walk with Christ, He will see you and your prodigal through to a marriage that is both healed and healthy, reaching others for Him.

Heart problems can be severe, both in the physical heart and in the spiritual heart. If you have a prodigal spouse, you have a spouse with heart problems. May your prayers and your firm, straight walk and stand with Christ deliver your prodigal to the Great Physician as you see your prodigal mate’s heart healed.

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”  Ezekiel 11:19-20

Because He lives,

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18 days ago

Thank you for Bob’s perspective! Thank you Father that You will give us an undivided heart and move us to obey You.

Nothing else

I just want You
Nothing else, nothing else
Nothing else will do

17 days ago

Really good book! I highly recommend it to every stander.

Get Charlyne’s Free Teaching:

The Path To Marriage Restoration​

This teaching is Charlyne’s introduction to “How To Stand & Fight For Your Marriage!” Charlyne’s goal is to teach you, a stander, or someone you know with marriage problems, the path to marriage restoration that she has learned over the past twenty-five years.