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
Even though our favorite style of music is more Bill Gaither than pop, every so often a singing star of the world makes news to all of us when they fail in their attempt at lip-syncing a song. It has even happened at Super Bowl halftime shows. Regardless of how great studio editing made their song sound, when the motions don’t match their words, it is a major blunder.
Some of the people we know and love best, the ones we call standers, attempt to lip-sync their stand for a healed marriage, restored by our Lord God. Even though they could learn to sing the songs of standing, some people prefer to go through all the motions, sounding like other standers, but the words are what they have heard or read, and are not what is coming from their heart.
Every stander falls into one of two groups. Either they are sincere standers, striving to live the way that Jesus lived, or they are synthetic standers, singing about standing, but without the changes in their life that a stand for their marriage, and a walk with Jesus Christ demands.
Each day, Rejoice Marriage Ministries receives hundreds of emails. Most of these incorporate a prayer request. The requests that touch us the most are the ones being sung with a broken heart. They say, in simple words, “Please pray for me. I am having a tough time right now.” Most go on to briefly outline their circumstances. Yes, we pray for these people, but we do not worry about them. Their words, and their request for prayer, demonstrate they are sincerely singing the song of standing, and that they are looking to Jesus alone to meet their needs.
“And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.” Deuteronomy 31:21
We also receive email from synthetic standers. This group usually start their email by lip-syncing some pious religious phrase, repeated from somewhere else. Their message sounds more like something from the Old Testament than a request from a hurting individual. It may contain all the buzz words of standing, but it does not demonstrate the heart of a hurting stander, who is depending 100% on God. Intertwined somewhere in the email, the synthetic stander relates how they are taking things into their own hands, either by actions, or by imposing time limits or restrictions on their God.
Synthetic standers seldom say, “Please pray for me. I am having a tough time right now.” Instead, they will ask for prayer for some concocted scheme they have devised to manipulate a prodigal spouse back home, or into line. Their schemes usually backfire, and they stop standing, blaming the failure on God, when in fact God had very little to do with their plans.
The band of circumstance will strike up some day for every man or woman who calls themselves a stander. It may be the song of a non-covenant marriage, the birth of an Ishmael-child, loss of a job, children problems, or serious health issues. When that happens, will you be singing out the name of Jesus, or only lip-syncing words that you have heard from someone else?
Here’s the bottom line: Today we know many sincere standers, who would rather die themselves than give up on their spouse and allow them to go into eternity without Christ. We would expect to hear “I quit” from them about the same time as the earth stopped spinning.
This group is not result orientated, but rather goal orientated. They do not need to see immediate results in either their own marriage, nor in the marriage of others, for them to continue to stand strong with God.
We could send out a Saturday Testimonies edition of Charlyne Cares, with the comment “Nothing good happened to anyone this week,” and the sincere standers would reply, “It will be better next week.” Nothing can dampen their God-given quest for a healed and restored marriage.
Let’s look at the synthetic standers. If they hear that God had someone stand for years before He brought their spouse home, or if their spouse utters discouragement to them, or if everything does not go the way they have planned, when the circumstance band strikes up, they are ready to exit the stage of standing.
If you find yourself a synthetic stander today, take heart. Our Lord God has a new song of standing ready for you. He wants you to turn off the man-made sound tracts, and to start doing things His way this very day. He will never allow you to be embarrassed over being a sincere stander, when you are singing for Him.
We prodigals may be deceived, but we can spot a synthetic stander a mile away. Since the day I came home on July 7, 1987, and right up to this day, my wife’s walk has always matched her talk. Prodigals come home to sincere standers, and we run from synthetic standers.
Regardless of what song the band is playing today, may you join those who are singing a sincere song of standing.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:2-3
Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.