Much of what we do through Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc. is measured against how it would have affected me when Bob and I were divorced, and then after we remarried.
We receive many notices of spouses coming home each week. From that joyful date, it is going to take the couple about two years to heal the hurts, forget that other person, and to reconcile. Only then will they be ready to help other couples. We will never knowingly harm a struggling couple by publishing a premature restoration report. We hear of too many prodigals who leave again, because too much was being said.
These pages are not intended to be a report of all Rejoice restored marriages. Neither are they trophies for this Ministry. They are published to give you hope and encouragement.
“He is home! Praise the Lord, my precious husband is home. After several months of separation and an OW, God moved in my husband’s heart and mind. His eyes were opened to see the truth. I loved him unconditionally and cried out to our Lord. This journey was unbelievably hard but it changed me and my marriage for the better and right into God’s arms. Standers don't you dare give up. I wanted to many times and I would have missed out on this beautiful blessing and testimony.” (Florida)
“I have been reading your daily devotions and standing, waiting for my wife to stop the divorce for some years . We are three weeks from the final court date. My wife came by tonight and said she wants to call off the divorce. Praise God!” (Maryland)
"God has brought my husband and I back together. I can see God making improvements in my husband and also in me. Thank You Father for all that You do." (Oklahoma)
"My prodigal has returned to me. This situation will be used for the Glory of His Name. My prodigal has asked for my forgiveness and wants us to begin anew. He wants God in his life and that is what we are praying for. To God be the Glory, He is so faithful." (South Africa)
"Praise God my spouse has come home. I know that God is working things out and pushing us towards total restoration, praise Jesus. I was the unfaithful one, but I've given my life to God. I am excited about being back in His loving family." (Michigan)
"I am a stander whose spouse left several times, but is now home for good. God is restoring all. This week I went into complete heart block and by the doctors' words I shouldn't be alive, but God held my life in His hands and did what He promised in the above scripture. He is faithful." (Missouri)
“PTL! God has restored my marriage after a year of standing. I felt like giving up but after praying and despite everything, I decided to stand for my husband. I prayed for his salvation and for the other relationship to end. The OW realized my husband needed to do the right thing. After a year God brought him back to us. We are in the process of looking for a house to move into together when his lease is up. Now, everyone knows when married couples are happy the devil tries to sneak in. Circumstances conspired to confuse my husband’s head and heart. But he said he is coming back to our family and will never leave me again. God is good!” (Georgia)
“Praise The Lord. The Holy Spirit told me to call my husband and, despite my self-doubt, I did. My husband told me he is coming home tomorrow. All I can do is continuously praise God. I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted. Despite my negative thoughts and emotions, I kept on reading the Word and my daily devotionals. We are not perfect but look to God. He will make the impossible possible. Keep your faith and keep praying.” (Maryland)
“Thank you RMM for encouraging me for three years. April of this year my husband came home...suddenly! He came home the week after our wedding anniversary. We are waiting for vow renewal now. I began to thank God for not letting me sleep through those early morning hours so I could be the one to intercede for my family. The attitude of thanksgiving planted joy in my life and I purposed that no matter what, I would honor the covenant I made before God to show Him I understand His covenant with me is forever, unbreakable. When I was faced with telling someone that my children and I were standing for restoration, I thought maybe this is the one who needs to see that we can trust Christ. People say, ‘You never gave up, you knew he d come back.’ I tell them I didn't know the outcome but God doesn't lie and we can pray His words and claim them. He is faithful!” (Louisiana)
GOD STILL MOVES
Years ago, when I was standing for Andy, I came across the verse, Song of Solomon 8:7, “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.” It had meant so much to me, speaking of the powerful strength of love. It not only spoke to me of my new love God had given me for Andy, but also Jesus’ awesome love for him that would never fail. I asked my daughter to write the scripture out and frame it. All these years I have kept this framed scripture. Andy was not aware of it.
This year our church was selling homemade Valentine’s Day cards, with the proceeds going to the troops overseas. Andy decided to purchase one of these cards for me instead of going to the store to get one. When I opened the card he had picked for me, I was stunned at what I saw! On the front of the card was the same scripture that I had framed for myself so many years ago, Song of Solomon 8:7!
Valentine’s Day was the day after we took part in the Rejoice Marriage Ministries phone conference. I wanted to share with you what my husband wrote in my card……”My Dearest Wife, Going through the RMM phone conference yesterday made me once again realize and appreciate your great love. Thank you so much for your lifetime of devotion. I love you very much. Your Husband, Andy.”
This comes from a man who once told me, “Sondra, I don’t love you anymore, my love for you has died—it’s dead. I want to find happiness before I die, I have found someone else and I want a divorce.”
I am here to tell you that God; the Creator can create a new love where the love has dried up….never give up on our amazing God! Never believe Satan’s lies.
One day you can say like David……”Come and hear, all who fear God. And I will tell of what He has done, what awesome miracles He does for His people.” Psalm 66:5 Like David, I am doing the same.
“Almost five years of separation, God has brought my husband home! He has been so faithful. I am so thankful for all that God has done in my own heart, in my family, in our marriage and in my husband’s heart. A few days prior to my spouse's return, God brought me to Isaiah 62:4. To all standers who want to give up, please don't. God's plan and purpose will prevail and you will be so blessed. You may not know it now, but your spouse is taking notice of all that you do and someday you will see the soft heart the Lord gives. Be blessed dear standers, fight the good fight for HE is faithful and He has called YOU!” (New York)
"My husband and I met in junior high school and married after high school. We had been married 14 years when I realized he was pulling out of the marriage. I refused to give in. I found Rejoice Marriage Ministries and I was standing on the rock of Jesus and His Word and promises. My husband got an apartment and we struggled. Even though family members, a pastor, and my counselor all told me to give up and go on with my life, I knew in my heart of hearts that was not what I was supposed to do. Eventually my husband announced he was moving home. When he got there, he was not totally recovered or healed, but now, after three years of healing, we are closer than we ever were. He attends our church with me every Sunday, and we are in Bible studies together. Our Lord keeps his promises, even when we are not faithful. Be encouraged, be ready, stay strong, and stay in the Word. Satan will not win your marriage unless you let him. Our Lord will do so much more than we can ever hope for or imagine. Trust your Lord." (Indiana)
“All praises to God. My husband and I separated a little bit ago. My husband’s past was not allowing us to move forward. I wasn’t happy. I kicked him out of the house. I prayed for my husband, for his heart and for our marriage. He is coming home today. The enemy is a liar and he will try to discourage you. Stay encouraged. PUSH - pray until something happens. In Jesus name.” (New York)
"Last year God brought my husband home to me suddenly after being divorced for a few years. He had married the other woman but it fell apart and he came back to me. He came to faith in Christ during this time. t time. Even when I tried to give up, God always brought me back. I love my God, who makes all things new." (Texas)
“Praise God! I have finally heard the words that I have prayed for. My husband is coming home! After a year of separation, God has moved my mountain. Trusting in God doesn't sound easy, but with self discipline, praying on the full armor of God daily and never speaking negativity has given me the joy and patience I need. I wish I could express to the ones who are struggling to stand, just how much it works. The enemy tried to lie every minute of every day, but when I spent more time in thanking God instead of fighting the enemy, my life changed. God will do right for those who love him. He wants me to be happy, he wants my children to have a father here to comfort them. But we had to learn to love God first. God is jealous. As soon as I started feeling the need to read more scriptures, sing more praise songs, give him the praise for all the simple things, my life changed! My husband still has some legal issues to deal with, but he has spoken the words and planted the seed I will water!” (Arizona)
A TESTIMONY OF A RESTORED MARRIAGE
I was a Christian or so I thought. I prayed when I needed something. I praised when all went well. I pursued my career and wasn’t a biblical wife. I would never dream of making dinner for my husband or straightening the house because he was coming home. After all, I had worked all day taking care of the children. And the house, well he was the one with the problem with it, let him clean it. Blessing him? Why didn’t he bless me? I did all the work. I sat through a class one time where a woman discussed this very thing and I scoffed. “What century is she from?”
But when he said he wanted a divorce, my heart broke into a thousand pieces. My friends told me he was a bum and to get on with my life. People at the church I started to attend told me divorce was okay. Some of the pastors had been divorced. After all he had committed adultery. So, as I lay on the bedroom floor, in the fetal position, crying so hard I couldn’t even breathe effectively anymore, I cried out to the only One I thought maybe could help. That was the start of a faith walk.
First I had to believe He was real. And although throughout life I had prayed, even praised, I really had never come to the core of…is God real? I set out to find out. (More likely He set about revealing Himself.) And low and behold, one thing after another fell into place. I reconnected with an old friend who knew so much about God and His Word. I soaked it up like a sponge. I was bone thirsty for the Word of God and His promises. As I did, the chains broke off and I started to walk in that freedom that I had never understood and strange things started to happen.
I could hold my tongue in heated situations. I could be humble and even apologize. I could even apologize when I wasn’t really wrong. Just because God asked me to do it. Just to keep peace. I could be right, and lay down my right and let the other person be right. I could just shut my mouth, and let God be my justice. I started to hear God and walk in obedience.
I prayed about selling our dream house. I clearly “felt” like I should sell it and called the broker. It sold in three days and we were able to pay off many bills. I called the tenants at our rental house and told them that we needed the house back. They found a place to live in three days and we could move in right away.
But the one prayer that eluded me was, “God bring my husband home.” I begged. I pleaded. I cried. The children and I moved back to the old house and the divorce was going through. One day I was sitting in the parking lot of a Christian bookstore, crying, waiting for them to open so I could buy some self-help book someone recommended. Suddenly I wasn’t in the car anymore, I was standing before Jesus. He held me in His arms, stroked my hair. I sobbed onto HIS beautiful robe, it absorbed my tears, and yet there was no dampness on HIS robe. He told me, “This is not what I wanted for you. I will contend with your husband for you.” Now that should have been the end of the conversation. I mean I had come face to face with Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I had been given a promise from the ONE.
I continued to pray. I continued to cry out. In all of that crying out, praying, and most importantly worshiping, I learned a lot about God. God showed me HIS view of adultery, and how to stop looking at the speck in my husband’s eye and focus on the plank in my own. We had conversations about me, my self-righteous attitudes, and my view of HIM. About how I must think I am God. After all, my prayers were merely directives, telling HIM what I wanted and how He should do it. I knew He had changed my heart one day while I was thanking God for so much and out of my mouth flew, "Thank YOU for the divorce." I was shocked at what I heard my voice say, but truthfully without this situation in our lives I wouldn’t have gotten to have this very personal intimate relationship with God.
Through all of this, God was teaching me to die to self. He was teaching me to walk in obedience and be humble. Like that first Christmas I couldn’t afford a tree or anything for that matter. But God told me to go and buy one for my husband, the woman he was living with, and her son. I left work and drove toward their house. I said, “God where am I going to find a Christmas tree?” But as I approached their street, there was a Christmas tree lot directly across the street. I said, “God, what if they already have a tree?” He said, “Well then they will have two. But do you think I would send you out on a rainy night to buy a tree they already have?” Duh!!! I said, “God what if they are home? You told me to not tell them that I did it.” God said, “Since I set this up, why don’t you let Me worry about the details.” And sure enough, nobody was there. The next day someone gave the children and me a Christmas tree. My husband called to talk to the children, and asked to speak to me. He never asked to speak to me without something nasty to say. So I braced myself, and he asked if I had bought them a Christmas tree, I told him, “yes” and I saw one of the first cracks in my husband’s heart. With great pain, fear and trepidation I agreed that the children could go there Christmas Eve night and come home Christmas morning. With great pain, fear and trepidation. This softened Stephen’s heart even more towards me. I was at home Christmas Eve night, crying on the couch when he and the boys pulled in the driveway. He spent the night. We woke up Christmas morning together as a family. Apparently the woman and her son did the same at his father’s house.
There was a Christmas present under the tree for him because God had told me to buy it. Three weeks before Christmas my husband was not even speaking to me. Only cold stares, and mean comments, if he spoke to me at all. But God told me to spend every penny I had on a gift for my husband. I had doubts. What if she had bought him this item? What if he threw it back at me? But God said, “His response is not why you are obedient to me. You are obedient to me because of who I am to you.”
Much to my shock and pain, he came and went several more times over the next two years and continued to pursue hard after a divorce. The settlement was terrible. No child support and I was going to end up with all the bills. My gut ached. I knew I couldn’t swing the bills. I cried out in prayer and cried over that divorce. I said, "God what do I do about this? This is terrible. It is like he is getting everything he wants.” And then it occurred to me, “Yes, yes, he is going to get everything that he wants, like the prodigal son.”
Truly and honestly the number one thing that got me through all of this was to surrender to doing things the way Christ would have me do them. As for me, in any way a situation concerned me, I was to be at peace. If God asked me to do something He would provide a way to accomplish it. I learned to rely heavily on the HOLY SPIRIT to show me what to do in every situation. I learned that usually what I needed to do was not going to look anything like the church or others thought it should. I learned that God is a very BIG, BIG God and was almost always going to do something unexpected.
After more than two years he came home. It was another five years before we were remarried this summer on the beach. I always thought our situation was impossible. I read Charlyne’s story and I thought, well she didn’t face this detail or that detail...but the truth is it didn’t matter because the details are for God to work out. He can and will restore your family.
"After years of divorce, my husband and I were remarried last night with our two children as witnesses. Your ministry was a gift from God during this walk of faith." (Ohio)
"Praise the Lord! He hears our cry. He sees every tear and reaches far deeper than our incredible pain. I asked the Lord for a word, and He told me he would bring my husband home and fix my marriage (even after I asked him to come home and he refused). I prayed and trusted God's word and he came home suddenly. When I was ready to tell him off and give up, he called and said he needed God and needed me to let him come back. What the enemy meant for evil, God turned around for good. Jesus answers prayers and he is still speaks to His children." (New York)
"I would like to thank Jesus for the miracle of my restored marriage. It will be two years this December since my spouse came home. I am eight months pregnant. This December we will be blessed with our first child after almost 12 years of marriage. Be encouraged, God never lets us down if we stand on His Word. It just isn't always as quick as we would like. For those who have the miracle of a spouse coming home, but are still struggling with the other person or things from the far country rearing their head. Keep fighting on your knees, these things too will pass if you fight in the spirit. Remember zip your lips. It’s the best advise next to pray and stay close to God. Thank You again Father for the impossible being possible with You." (Florida)
"Just a note to let you know that my husband and I were remarried after being divorced for 14 years. Our marriage is still very much a work in progress. I know 'He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion.' Thank you both for all of your encouragement and help. More people need to know that God DOES heal hurting marriages!" (Ohio)
"I give Jesus all the praise because my husband is almost moved back in. Most of his belongings are back in the house and he is selling his apartment furniture. I continue to believe that his heart will move spiritually back home to Jesus as well. Nothing is impossible with God." (Canada)
"Suddenly, my spouse returned home. Through prayer, fasting and confirmation God answered my prayers. After receiving several text messages and attempts to find his way home my prodigal spouse is home. He is happy, healthy and humble. The battle is not over though, we must stay in the word of God always. Prayer really changes things. Thank you Bob and Charlyne for your support and prayers. You are a blessing to every troubled marriage." (Florida) Our of our faithful Rejoice Pompano people. We were honored to be with her when those messages started.
"It took a while, standing on God's promise and going through a divorce that just truly sucked the life out of me, but I stood on Hebrews 11:1; 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' I prayed day and night, and finally God found the perfect time. My wife is coming home this weekend to stay, and yes, a marriage will be coming soon. Praise God for all His mercy." (Louisiana)
“I have been fasting and crying out to Jesus. I gave it all to Him, but asked, ‘Lord I don’t want anything that is not in your time, but Father have mercy on my broken heart. If it is Your will and time, O Lord please bring my bride back. If it’s not Your time then I'll deal with it, just have mercy, O Father, on my heart.’ That night I must have woken up ten times frantically looking for my phone, and I didn’t even know why, but I never found it. I woke up in the morning and I felt God telling me to go get my phone right now, so I did. When I looked at it I saw that I had a text from my wife. She said that she didn’t know what to do anymore. She knew what she was doing was wrong and that I am her husband and she loves me with all of her heart. She said that she wanted me to come home! I immediately broke down and began to cry and praise the Lord. Praise the Lord for all of His power and majesty, as well as His mercy and grace. I know we still have a long road ahead of us to full recovery, but the Lord will get us through! Thank You my Lord and Savior, my rock and my refuge, I love You Jesus!” (California)
“A few months ago my husband decided he was leaving us. I was desperate and as I was searching on the internet, I come across RMM. I started standing. God is good! My husband has not left and he is taking the whole family on vacation. We still have a long way to go but Jesus is with us. Standers, don't give up. What He did for me He will do for you.” (Belgium)
"The checklist for standers you sent out in "Charlyne Cares" is excellent advice. As I read it, God showed me that even with my marriage restored, and in spite of all our problems, I still need to abide by these words of advice on this checklist. Many marriages are broken up because the spouse did not heed to the advice on the checklist and got into a relationship that caused a divorce. The Internet is a dangerous place where the enemy likes to prey on those with troubled marriages and on standers. Thank you Rejoice Marriage Ministries for this checklist that I needed to be reminded of." (Arizona)
"Months ago my wife asked me to move out and put a restraining order on me, and prevented me from having any contact with her. I began praying and believing God for restoring my marriage to my wife. I was very encouraged to know there are others who believe marriage is sacred and important enough to pray for. Last week my wife called me to say she wants to reconcile. We are going to church together tomorrow for the first time in a year." (Washington)
"After many months of separation, my husband is home and is going to church with me. I started off with little faith, but I held on to Bible scripture and I started preaching the Word of God to anyone who would hear me. My faith grew as I shared the teachings I was learning. God is a merciful, loving God, who will not leave His faithful servants in shame." (Florida)
"My husband came home, thanks to many prayers. I, as well as others, had prayed for the Lord to send someone to speak with my husband and the Lord used several. One of my prayers has been for us to worship together again. When he returned to church with me, the front of the bulletin had a picture of a married couple with a scripture from Psalms." (Georgia)
"After divorce and remarriage on my husband’s part, and me giving up my faith, God showed me He had other plans and I was to stand. My husband is now divorcing the non-covenant and we have been spending time together. Praise God that He showed me my prayers were working even though I could not see or did not know anything was happening. God is faiithful." (Oklahoma)
"When my husband told me that he was going to get a divorce, it was almost a relief. I had been standing with my life in limbo. Now he would have nothing to threaten. I had peace and a determination to stand. God had other plans. On Easter my husband said he wanted us to start going to church together. Since then, issues at my apartment led to him inviting me to stay with him. We are in separate rooms, but we are under one roof, praying together and working on our marriage in faith." (Texas)
"Even after our divorce, my prodigal husband has come home. The Easter time of fasting and prayer was the answer for our family. He went to church with us on Easter and the next night came to visit. Two weeks later, he moved home, praise God. Thanks to the Steinkamps for their wisdom from the Lord to teach us how to keep them home after they return. It is not an easy road, but there is so much laughter and joy in our home again." (Oklahoma)
"After months of separation, praise God, I've been back in the house for several weeks now, though my wife says it is still month-to-month. My posting this testimony is for the purpose of claiming Christ's victory in my wife's heart over the enemy's deceit in general. God will open her eyes fully, and quickly with persistent prayer." (North Carolina)