What Should I Do?

If there is one question that I am asked most often, it is “What should I do?” In a variety of situations and circumstances, those who are standing for their marriage want to do the correct thing in light of what they are facing. The only problem with the question is that it puts the cart before the horse.

Knowing what to do comes from hearing the voice of the Lord. Doing what is right is simply obeying what He tells you to do. So, the first step must be developing a strong relationship with Jesus. The pain, the shame, the anger, the despair–the myriad of emotions that flood your life when your spouse makes it clear that he or she no longer wants the marriage can send you into an emotional tailspin that makes clear decision making almost impossible.

Some people react by wanting to do anything to make the marriage work. Others are in such pain that they can hardly function. Others react in anger and retaliation. Others begin to put impossible demands on themselves, placing the total responsibility for the healing of their marriage on their own actions and words.

In the early days of my stand for our marriage, one of my favorite scriptures was a prophecy that was spoken about Jesus in Isaiah and then repeated in Matthew, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.” That scripture spoke to me of the gentleness of Jesus when it comes to the broken heart. He knew my heart and He loved me and wanted the best for me. Initially I went to Him and just cried out my pain. He was there and He was loving and accepting.

The wonderful thing about Jesus is that He can make it clear He understands our pain completely and yet He still makes it clear that He loves the one who hurt us as well. That balance helped me get past the early days of pain. Jesus wasn’t taking sides. His love for me was strong and steady but His love for my husband was equally strong. He bound up my wounds and began healing my heart. It was a slow process, not because of Jesus but because I fell back so easily into pain and sorrow. It took a long time for me to reach the point where I was able to move forward with the Lord. He was patient and He never crushed the bruised reed. His Word brought healing to my heart and mind.

As I began to heal, the Lord began to speak to me through His Word regarding what to do next. His Word needs to be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105). A lamp shines brightly in a small area. God’s Word will show you where to place your feet, where to go and what to do. His Word will give you clarity for the next steps to take. And His Word is a light to your path. That light shines farther and clarifies the long-term direction you need to take. Developing a close relationship with the Lord and spending time with Him in the Word will be key to your healing and the steps you need to take next.

Without that close relationship with Jesus, your decisions will be based on emotions and circumstances. You will feel pressured by time and will be tempted to set deadlines and give ultimatums. Your number one goal at this time must be to develop that relationship. Be honest with Him. Don’t go all holy and pretend that you are doing fine. Pour out your hurt, your anger, and your pain to Him. He’s not afraid of your emotions and being honest with Him will not “ruin” your chances for marriage healing. There were days when I would tell Him, “Lord, I really hate my husband right now but I know You love him with an everlasting love. Please love Him through me today because I have nothing to give.” He was faithful and He met me where I was.

These steps are critical. If you don’t get honest with the Lord, you won’t be honest with yourself. You won’t be open to the Lord speaking to those areas of your own heart where you need to change. If you don’t allow Him to heal the very depths of your heart, you will continue to react out of emotion and fear<

Standing for your marriage is not walking in perfection. It is not doing and saying all the right things. It is clearly hearing the voice of the Lord and being obedient to do what He speaks to you. Take this time to fall so deeply in love with Him that nothing else matters. Develop such a strong relationship with Him that He fills every area of your life. Don’t put your life on hold. Begin serving the Lord powerfully and minister into the lives of others with all that He pours into your life. Love,  Marilyn

“But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him”  1 John 2:5

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”  Philippians 4:6-8

What Is Standing?

What does it mean to stand for your marriage? Some say it is a tremendous act of faith. Others say it is foolishness. Still others say it is witchcraft. I say it is one of the most significant things a person can do in a lifetime.

When God began to lead me in the stand for our marriage, I thought I was all about my husband getting out of sin and returning home. I figured whatever it took to make that happen was worth it. I had no idea what God had in mind.

First of all, standing for your marriage has to come out of obedience to the Lord. It can’t be based on how much you love your spouse. Love can turn to hate very quickly. Feelings are very fickle. It can’t be based on loneliness or need. Only the Lord can fulfill us and meet all our needs. No human being should be expected to do that for us. It can’t be based on guilt or sorrow either. Regretting what has happened in the past is no foundation for the future. If any of these things are motivating you, release them all to the Lord right now.

When Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, he wanted to join Him. Jesus gave him a word, “Come,” and Peter walked on the strength of that word. You are probably in a very grave storm right now and your marriage is in peril. There are many more storms to come and if you are going to walk on the water, if you are going to stand for your marriage, you must have a word from the Lord upon which to walk.

Someone else’s faith can’t do it for you. Someone else’s testimony can’t carry you through. Emotions and resolve won’t hold you up as the wind rises and the waves crash. You must know what the Lord has spoken to you and that is the word that will carry you. God has promised that His word will not return to Him void, without accomplishing that for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11). You need the strength of His word to carry you.

When David returned to Ziklag and discovered that his family had been taken from him (1 Samuel 30), he asked the Lord, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” One might ask why David would ask God such a question when the answer seems pretty obvious. David asked God because he wanted the word of the Lord to go before him as he fought for his family. He wanted to know in the heat of battle that God had sent him in pursuit. God told him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”

Another reason you need to hear what God says is that many other voices around you will be saying many things. Many will tell you what you are doing is foolish. Many will tell you that it will do no good. Many will ask you, as they did me, if you are really that desperate. They will tell you to get on with your life. If you don’t know what God has said, then all voices will carry the same weight. To obey the Lord, you must know what He has told you. Then other voices will not be as strong.

So, where are you today? Maybe you are just beginning to face a marital crisis or maybe you have stood for some time now. Either way, do you know what God has said to you. Have you taken time to seek Him and ask Him for His word? Has God answered your question? Has He given you specific directions? Do you have His word upon which to walk? If not, you need to begin there today. Learning to hear His voice is the key to a strong stand. Learning to hear His voice is also so life-changing that you will never be the same again.

To this day I walk in a sweet relationship with the Lord that developed during the time of my stand. No one can shake that from my life. I hear His voice clearly and I easily sense His presence. Walking with Him is sweet. You can either look upon this time of your life as the biggest tragedy you have ever experienced or you can embrace this time as the sweetest school of the Spirit you will ever attend. The choice is yours and it begins with asking Him and then waiting for His answer to you. Love, Marilyn

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand” Psalm 95:6,7. <

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” John 10:27.

There Is Hope

Almost daily we receive contacts from around the world from those whose marriage is under attack. They are looking for answers, looking for someone to say there is hope.

Too many voices today proclaim the inevitability of the destruction of the family and home. Too many voices that should be proclaiming the power of God are giving far greater credit to the enemy. Too many hearts have grown sick as their hope has been deferred by those who believe there is nothing that can be done when the enemy attacks a marriage and home.

Almost thirty years ago the enemy attacked our marriage and family. He declared that our relationship was irrevocably broken and that there was nothing that could be done about it. Our pastor and several counselors agreed with him. We were counseled to get a quick divorce so that my husband could marry his new love. Of course, he would have to wait for her divorce to also be final for that to happen.

I couldn’t find anyone who believed God could heal our marriage. There were no books to read or meetings to attend. All around me the voices seemed to shout defeat and loss, but within me One Voice spoke very clearly. Jesus assured me that it was not His desire for our marriage and family to be broken. His Word assured me that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. He reminded me that He had come to destroy the works of the enemy. Why then should I believe the voice of the enemy? He is a defeated foe.

I then began a long journey with the Lord, one at first filled with much pain and sorrow but one that eventually brought me to a place of victory and joy.

I learned to enjoy His presence no matter what the circumstances. I learned to walk in the peace that passes all understanding. I learned that He is my provider and there is nothing that can separate me from His love. If your marriage is under attack today, it is time to look to Him also. The world has no answers and can offer no permanent hope. Those who have seen you hurt will probably want to help save you from such a painful relationship. Many may think that someone else who will treat you better is the perfect answer to your current dilemma.

But if you are willing to be totally honest with yourself and with the Lord, this can be your greatest hour. It can be a season in which you learn to walk with your Lord in such a powerful way. It can be a season of healing and strengthening and victory.

Today I know beyond a shadow of a doubt how much God loves me and how strong He is within me. I learned those lessons in the lonely, desperate hours of pain brought about by the enemy’s attack on our marriage. I am sure for all eternity the enemy is going to wish he had left us alone. Instead of destroying our marriage and family, we learned how to fight him and how to walk in victory. Then we learned how to take that same victory to others.

So this is your blog. This is where I pray you find some answers to the questions that haunt you in this hour. This is where I pray you find courage and hope. Don’t give up! God has a plan and the enemy is not stronger than it is. Love, Marilyn

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9