Today I had an opportunity to tell someone that I believe God is asking me to pray for my husband and stand for my marriage. And I believe that God is telling me my husband will come back to God and back to me and be a leader and a witness.
Why, when I tell someone about this, do people feel compelled to say something along the lines of, “You know that sometimes God doesn’t work in the way we expect Him to.”?
It’s as if people need to apologize for God. They don’t want me angry with God if He doesn’t do what I expect.
Instead of making allowances for God, I need to make allowances for those well-meaning people. God is speaking to me, not them. I know what He has said to me, and I can’t expect to be able to explain it. Even my stories of amazing ways God spoke to me through circumstances may not convince them — because they were not there in my heart. They did not experience the question asked of God — which God immediately and clearly answered.
When I tell someone about this, they probably don’t realize that the process has taken years. One of the first clear answers was years ago, when my husband was first leaving, and I asked God, “Lord, can’t you change his heart and stop this situation NOW?” From that day for the next full week, every time I picked up a Bible or Christian book, I’d read something about waiting on the Lord.
But God keeps speaking, and He keeps confirming that:
— God is going to do magnificent things in my husband’s heart and life.
— If I will wait for it, God will restore our marriage to something beautiful.
— There will be great joy.
All I need to do? I need to be willing to forgive my husband and take him back freely when he is ready to come back. I need to refuse to look for someone else to satisfy my desires while I am waiting. I need to pray for him, as my wedding vows declared I would do. And I need to seek the Lord to work on my character to be a better wife when that day comes.
Not that I am some wonderful, spiritual person. But that God forgives us, and God loves us, and He can teach us to forgive each other.
Is God asking a great sacrifice of me? Is God cruel to expect me to wait for this man?
Certainly not! In the first place, I love this guy. Yes, there have been some hard things, but there were so many wonderful things, over the years. He’s the father of my sons. There are too many good memories over too many years. My heart still yearns for him.
But God is also giving me a chance to pursue some things I wouldn’t have time for if I were also trying to “please my husband.” As Paul mentions in Corinthians, now I am free to focus on my relationship with God. And some other things as well. I was able to get a Master’s in Library Science. I can work on my writing, my website, and my blogs. I confess there are some nice things about not sharing my home with another adult!
We married right after college. I never lived on my own as an adult. There are some fun things about it. This is only a stage in my life, but it can be a beautiful, vibrant, joyful one. And I’m thankful for this stage, even if I wish it hadn’t happened. God can bring great good out of anything.
At Christmas, the verse said of Mary comes frequently to mind: “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” The Lord has spoken to me. It’s my choice to believe that He will do what He has promised.