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*****= An all-time favorite
****The Spiritual Journey Toward a Healed Marriage
by Charlyne Steinkamp
Reviewed December 17, 2006.
After several months of enjoying daily devotional e-mails from www.rejoiceministries.org, I ordered several of their books to encourage me to continue standing for my marriage.
21 years ago, Charlyne and Bob Steinkamp were divorced. Charlyne had divorced him because of unfaithfulness. Then she began praying and reading the Bible, and learned how God hates divorce. She began standing for her marriage, praying daily that Bob would repent and come back to her and come back to God.
Two years after they divorced, when he was making plans to marry the other woman, instead Bob got remarried to Charlyne, almost on the spur of the moment. Now, nineteen years later, they have a thriving ministry with the message, “God heals hurting marriages.”
If you are having marital troubles, I highly recommend these books and their website. People will tell you there are times when you need to “look out for yourself” and “move on.” And they can talk about “Biblical grounds,” and there are probably many times when it is justified. So I’m not trying to judge anyone who’s divorced. I know better than anyone that it takes two to make a marriage, but only one to make a divorce. However, Charlyne and Bob Steinkamp, and the Word of God (which they consistently point to) convinced me in my case that I want to stand for my covenant marriage and continue to pray daily for my husband.
If you make such a choice, these books are wonderfully encouraging. Yes, they are self-published, and there are quite a few typos. There’s not really an overall organization to the ideas presented. But I found it delightful to read a chapter or two every morning, to encourage me and keep me going. Many times it was as if God had spoken directly to me that morning through this book.
Here are some of her encouraging words:
“I am writing this book to help people around the world to believe in the power of God and power of prayer. My prayer is that every word I write shows you that nothing is too hard for your Lord God to fix. Yes, I said ‘nothing’ is too hard for the Creator, the Counselor and the Great Physician who can touch and change your heart and then go touch and work on your spouse’s heart.”
“I pray that out of your tragedy, your despair, your pain, your shame and the rejection that you are going through, you will meet your Abba, Father in a new way. Once you meet him this way, you will never want to go back.”
“Go to the Lord and ask him what to do! He will speak to you, guide you, provide for you and direct your every step!”
“Every time you pray and do devotions ask the Lord to speak to you. If your devotions especially speak to your heart or seem to leap off the page, God is speaking to you.”
“All of you have been hurt, wounded and abandoned by someone that you deeply love. Because of the pain, hurt and rejection you have been going through, the enemy may use anger, bitterness and hatred to come into your own life. Beware of the enemy’s tricks. Know who the enemy is. It is not your spouse—they have been deceived and taken captive by the enemy.”
“Ask the Lord to give you the spirit of forgiveness in your heart. Ask the Lord to come and heal your wounded broken heart. Forgiveness is an act and a process. Your heart can be transformed by your Lord God starting today.”
“Many of you ask, ‘How can I believe that God can change my spouse when my spouse says, “I will never, never come back. I have never really loved you. I have put this off for years. You need to get on with your life as I am with mine. I do not care what God or the Bible says, you cannot change my mind.”’
“Bob and I cannot possibly write all the words that a prodigal will say to destroy all hope or faith in order that you will stop trying to change their mind or heart to return home. Bob and I understand why so often we receive mail and emails questioning, due to your personal circumstances, ‘Should I just get on with my life and give up?’”
“I believe the Lord is asking each of you to become an intercessor for your spouse and then for all the prodigals around the world who are in the far country living a life of sin.”
“Don’t give up! God is moving every day in different ways. Just keep growing and maturing in the Lord.”
“I am certain that any and all prodigals who have returned home (and there are many) are very thankful that their spouse did not give up on them! Don’t give up on your spouse! God is able!”
“When you receive a promise from God, hang on to it, believe it. Write the scripture or promise down in your journal. Also, write it in your Bible, put the date next to the scripture and/or put the person’s name next to it. You can walk through the deep waters of marriage problems because your Lord Jesus is carrying you in His arms.”
“God promises He will never leave you or forsake you. Do you believe Him when you are going through a raging storm or you are in the darkest time or hour of your life?”
“Ask the Lord what He wants you to do and then do it!! Become burdened for your spouse who is deceived and blinded by the enemy. Stand firm and pray, believing your Lord Jesus Christ will call your spouse’s name, leaving the ninety-nine sheep to going after the one lost sheep. Do not give up on your spouse. Be burdened for their salvation. You may be the only one that will NOT stop praying for their soul.”
“Often the enemy hits the stander with anger, bitterness, doubt, unbelief, jealousy, weariness and loneliness. How long should anyone wait for their spouse to come home? How long does the Lord wait for us to come home to Him? He often waits a lifetime for many of His children to come home.”
“Yes, you may have to die to your selfish desires of having a spouse meet your daily needs, but you Lord can meet them instead…. Did you marry for a lifetime, or only for a season? When you said your marriage vows did you mean them, ‘For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health?’ I can say that in our marriage we have experienced each of these areas. We have a covenant marriage with our Lord. I praise the Lord regularly that He gave me a second, third and fourth chance when I was being disobedient during our marriage separation. I was so mad and angry at Bob and at God for allowing Bob to treat me so badly. I have to admit I was mad at God when He did not just ‘zap’ Bob out of his sinfulness or that He did not punish him for his sins! Have you ever thought those thoughts? If you have, just stop and repent to your Lord. He understands and He still loves you.”
“Mothers and Fathers, God is asking you to stand in the gap for restoration of your marriage so that you will NOT pass on separation and divorce for generations to come. May you pass on to your children the heritage and legacy of being a powerful prayer warrior, a man or woman of God, an intercessor for your nation, a man or woman of faith believing in miracles for God to heal bodies from diseases as well as marriages.”
“One of the scriptures that the Lord gave me early in my standing and praying for Bob was I Corinthians 13:4-8. I used to pray both Bob and my name in it daily. I found out that I did not show the unconditional love of the Bible to Bob before we were divorced. The Lord showed me I had kept a record of wrongs and held grudges. The Lord taught me that I had to walk in unconditional love regardless of Bob’s behavior. I was only responsible for my own behavior. I had a choice to treat him with ‘tough love’ or love him as Jesus would.”
As you can see, this isn’t a book that will tell you you’ve taken enough and you should now get on with your life! But it is a book about all that God can do, and is tremendously encouraging.Related Reviews:
The Prodigal's Perspective
Your Father Knows Best
Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund. All