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.
I met James twenty-two years ago. “Who’s that new salesman?” I asked my co-worker. “I think his name is James, but why do you care, I thought you were done with guys?” Coming off a bad relationship at 20 years old, I had sworn I was done with guys...but he had caught my eye. “If he is from New Jersey, I’m going to marry him,” I told her. She thought I was crazy. It turned out he was from New Jersey, near where I grew up outside of Philadelphia, and we DID get married! Three years later in Florida, we became husband and wife.
After four years, we moved to South Florida, and were blessed with the birth of our precious daughter, Avery, in 1995. Like many young couples, we struggled as we grew a life together, but with the birth of Avery our whole world changed. I began asking the big questions about life. Perhaps the biggest question of all…”God, I know you exist, but who is this Jesus?” God answered that question and many more through a local Pastor. In 1996, James and I both gave our lives to Jesus Christ. We had found a new life in Christ, and a new purpose as a family. James’ purpose was found in his passion to serve others as a firefighter/paramedic and we celebrated as he was hired by a Fire Department about 60 miles away from our home.
At the same time, I accepted the call to teach at a new Christian school our church had started. The same year, Avery, started Kindergarten. It all seemed to be coming together, a new life in Christ, our careers were established and Avery flourishing in school. Then our family’s peace was shattered when I found out James was having an affair. For the next seven years, James and I went back and forth, up and down, in our relationship. We struggled with our sinful nature and what God would have us do. We both had times we wanted to just give up on our marriage, but when he wanted to quit, I would stand fast, and when I was ready to set him free, he would not leave me. From my perspective it was the most painful, but amazing season of my life. I learned the true meaning of sacrifice, faithfulness and love. On Valentine’s Day 2008, after years of pain and struggle for both of us, James planned a special night. He took me to the beach, served me dinner, and gave me a beautiful new diamond wedding ring.
God’s love never fails. God’s love toward me, even in my sin, humbled me so that I could love and forgive James during the toughest season of his life. That love, as God promises, “covers a multitude of sins.” This man not only loved me, he was finally able to accept God’s love and forgiveness…which changed his life.
From that Valentine’s Day on, James loved us and served us selflessly. My husband and Avery’s dad, was the man I always dreamed he would be, the man I prayed he would become. We renewed our wedding vows on March 26, 2008, and began what we expected to be a long and wonderful new life together. Then came that tragic, but glorious day, almost one year later on March 8, 2009, when God took James home to Heaven. Traveling on his motorcycle to the job he loved as a Firefighter/Paramedic, James was killed. The day he died, James was right with his wife, with his daughter and with his God. James stood before God that day and heard the words we all long to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant...come and share your Master’s happiness.”
The promises God gave me through this journey were fulfilled. God promised me that James would “rescue souls from the flames.” His life and death are still accomplishing this truth. I continue to cling to His promise to me that, “Blessed is she who believes what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” The Lord also promised that He would “complete the work he started” in James, “until the day of Christ Jesus.”
James, God’s work in you is complete, well done. I can’t wait to see you again, until then you are finally home!
"My marriage is now restored after a year apart and my wife having an affair. She was saved a few months ago, six years to the day after I was saved. We have since moved back in together and are in a good church and in a Bible course together. Our children have since received the Lord also. Thank You God and thanks guys." (Ireland)
"My husband left 18 months ago. He then came home unexpectedly thru the power of God. We are doing well with God's help and are serving in our local church together. God is good." (Florida)
"My husband told me he didn't think he loved me. He moved out. He came home after a year. I still hadn't heard the words 'I love you.' He is saying them to me again. He and I are working on our marriage and it is all because of Jesus. God is ever faithful and true. I had to learn that the hard way, but when I finally did put all my trust in the Lord, that's when He moved." (Ohio)
"I need to update that praise report I sent yesterday. My repentant prodigal is home! He called last night to tell me thankyou, again, for being so nice to him. He was very emotional, saying he wasn't worthy of another chance. He refused to come over, but I finally told him I was turning on the porch light and would keep it on until he took that step of faith we had talked about earlier. He was here an hour later. He said as soon as he saw me yesterday he knew I was the only real thing in his life. (That counterfeit thing you talk about Bob!) He told me he loves me, put his wedding ring back on, said he is completely committed to making this marriage work, and wants us to get counseling. Praise the Lord! He is awesome indeed!"
“This past summer, there has been more friendly contact with my wife than ever before. She has asked my boys and me to move in with her and even though she says it's for financial purposes only, I strongly feel that it's the hand of God moving toward my marriage being restored.” (Texas)
It has been ten days since my husband returned home suddenly. I thank God and your Ministry for helping me through such a trying time. This is definitely a joyous occasion, but I admit that I have to go not just daily but every couple of hours to the Lord for reassurance that all will be well. I'm thankful that I'm able to see how God is fighting on my behalf. (New York)
“The Lord we serve is a faithful and a loving God. It’s been some months since my beloved husband came to the Lord and to be with me and our baby. It has been a whole new journey for both of us, and we realized that our Mighty God is definitely a God of restoration. God still has to perfect me and my husband and I know He will complete it. The key to marriage restoration is to completely surrender yourself and your marriage into the hands of God and be humble, let Him take control. Pray unceasingly even after your spouse is back. Standers, NEVER EVER GIVE UP! God loves what you are doing, standing for your marriage which He adores too. God bless.” (Sri Lanka)
"My husband has returned. I trusted in the Lord and the Lord was true to His word. For the first time in my life I learned the Lord was my everything and I learned to trust Him." (California)
“Praise the Lord! I got my miracle. My spouse is coming home and the divorce dismissed! I had several years of crying out to the Lord day and night. I am so happy! I was in anguish crying out to the Lord God and heard a still small voice tell me to wait. After reading everything I could on God and marriage and studying scriptures about marriage. I told God I would wait as long as it took. Every time I experienced another obstacle I'd pray and remember what God said and my promise to Him. It looked hopeless. Finally after being forced to sign a court appearance paper I turned it completely over to God. This is when I saw the hand of God at work! Now when I look back, I see He's been working the whole time. Amazing! He is faithful. Never give up. God will do what He has promised! He is love. Learn to trust! My journey has only begun… But God! A scripture which really helped in the last month was Psalm 91:4.” (Nebraska)
“My husband, daughter and I have spent the holidays together. Now we are looking for a house to live in together. I pray every day for my husband to receive Christ in his heart. I feel he has a very big call to youth and families. I remain faithful, standing in the gap to see my marriage fully restored emotionally, physically and spiritually. I give glory to God, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to continue transforming lives around the world.” (Ecuador)
"We divorced and my husband remarried. I found your website and started my stand. We barely had contact except through authorities. God is good and after years of separation and no ontact, I got a call telling me that my prodigal was sick and almost dying. I called him and on the exact date we had separated. He told me it was time for us to get back together again. I went to see him and took care of him in the hospital. He has recovered. He and the other person have separated and now we have a new relationship. Praise God! I am going to help him move home closer to us. God is above all." (Sweden)
"Praise the Lord, my husband returned just as suddenly as he left me. I had just about given up on standing when God sent me the message that I was closer than I thought. Two days after receiving that message I got the phone call I had been waiting for. Our God is the one of suddenly. He is so good. Charlyne’s testimony is what helped me see that my situation was not hopeless." (Texas)
"God has restored my marriage. After no communication, my wife called to tell me she had made me a birthday cake. She was also going to cook dinner for me. She accidentally set her kitchen on fire and asked if she could come and stay with me for a few days. Days turned into weeks. She said she loves me and wanted to start over again. The Lord has totally restored her love for me. I am still in a state of shock. I praise the Lord." (Ohio)
"My prodigal husband is home now, after a year of separation and divorce proceedings that God put on hold. Praise God for raising up this ministry that confirmed to me what I already felt in my spirit, although unpopular with most. I am thankful to my Lord for working a miracle for us. I will continue to listen to help me be the wife my husband needs and block by block, prayer by prayer rebuild our marriage on the solid rock of Jesus Christ." (California)
“I thought my husband’s leaving was all my fault. After a week of separation I found out about the other woman. I stood for my marriage; I never gave up. I tried and tried to speak to him but he refused. One day he decided to talk to me and we had a good talk. The week after that he called me for lunch. After several months of separation, he moved back home after breaking off the relationship. We just celebrated the best Thanksgiving ever. We are still working on restoring our marriage but we know it will be better than ever before. My husband has thanked me for not giving up on him. I am thankful for God's faithfulness and mercy!” (Oklahoma)
“I have given up a few times in my stand but God has always reminded me He is faithful and to trust Him. Earlier this year I received my suddenly from my beloved, but due to me giving up and detouring it caused us to split up. For months I agonized about missing my suddenly. I attended the Dallas Rejoice on the Road conference and was encouraged by Charlyne praying for me and my beloved. After the prayer, Charlyne told me to continue praying and be prepared to write my testimony. I decided to let go and let God, stop trying to control my spouse coming back to me, seek God for His will for my life, and grow in Christ. During the process God taught me to trust Him to move on the other side of the mountain and that He is faithful. Well to God be all the Glory. My spouse has contacted me to say he is now ready to work on us and reconcile.” (Texas)
"Praise God, I did not give up on my spouse. God wouldn't let me even though almost daily I begged Him to give me permission to let go. He promised me that my husband would be His and I held on to that promise. God was faithful and saw me through these hard times. Today my husband is home with me and my children, attends church with us, and is being transformed. Thank You Jesus." (Virginia)
A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
By Mary in Missouri
As another Christmas is drawing near, I am filled with such excitement knowing it is the day we celebrate the greatest miracle of all, which is the birthday of our Savior, Jesus Christ! I can't even imagine how exciting it was back in time when everyone was awaiting the actual birth of Jesus!
I wanted to share with everyone my own Christmas miracle of 2010 which is that my precious prodigal came home after three years of being in the far country! Praise the Lord! It was a few hours after Christmas Day of 2010 at 2:00 A.M. I was still awake, sitting in the living room when I heard a key in the door and in walked my dear prodigal! I can't describe the overwhelming joy in my heart when I saw him walk through the door! He had listened to a sermon and the minister said, “Receive your forgiveness and go home” and that is just what my husband did!
I could write a book about everything that took place from the day he left until the day he came home but it would have to be just that, a book! Maybe someday I will write a book about my stand if God leads me in that direction. Anyway, through much prayer by myself, my prayer partner and many other people's prayers, God touched my husband's heart and my husband turned his heart back to God and back to me and our children.
The years that my husband was away were very difficult for me and our two adult children. There were many tears, trials and conflicts. In the beginning of my stand, I just wanted my husband back but later on I realized that the most important thing to me, because I loved my husband so much, was his soul and where he would spend eternity. He was a Christian but had walked away from God and in the process he was then deceived by the enemy and tempted by another woman whom he started a relationship with.
There were days when I just felt like giving up and moving on but by the grace of God I didn't. I am so thankful to God that He sustained me and gave me strength to stand even though I felt I was so weak at times but it was worth it!!! I was up against negative advice, even from my own children, to move on with my life. It got so bad that I didn't even feel like God could hear me talking or praying to Him since nothing ever seemed to change. I know now that He was there with me all the time and the Lord was working everything out for my good, my husband's good, and our children's good.
A few of the good things that came out of this attack by the enemy to destroy our family are that my daughter's faith in God and walk with Him has gotten stronger. My husband realizes how much he and I are alike in every area of our life where before he thought we had nothing in common, which was a lie from the enemy. Our family has gotten closer to God and to each other. God has blessed us so much and in so many ways since my husband turned his heart back to God and back to his family! God turned what the enemy meant for evil and destruction into so much good for us. I just can't begin to tell you all the blessings that God has bestowed on us because there are so many.
I read other people's testimonies and I would wonder if I would ever have one to share. I have to admit that sometimes when I felt so hopeless I didn't even want to read testimonies and I am ashamed that my faith became that weak.
So, I just want to say, in all humility and honesty,that no matter how hard it gets in your standing for your prodigal spouse, don't give up on them! They need your prayers and interceding on their behalf because they are blinded by the enemy and they can't see the way out without our prayers for God to remove the blinders from their eyes so they can see God's truth and find their way back to God and home to their spouse and family!
God bless you all and may He give you His strength, His peace, and His joy as you stand in the gap for your precious prodigal! Please don't give up on them! It will be worth every difficult day, hour and minute of standing and praying!
God be with you and bless you and I am praying for you all!
"My husband left suddenly and has been home now for a year and a half. So much has happened in that time. God has become Lord of my life, but even more important is that my husband surrendered his life to Christ. Now we have a Christian home. God has led us to buy our first home together. I've learned lessons in faith that will always help me. My husband's beginning to learn, knowing how God has led me. What an incredible blessing to hear him pray. It's worth it all." (Ohio)
“My wife left me, divorced me, hated me, and married another man. I was about to quit my stand but the Holy Spirit reminded me that all things are possible for he who believes. God did not want me to just stand; He wanted me to jump into action with aggressive Bible faith and force Satan to let go of my wife. God did speak to my wife and led her from a fake worldly marriage to our heavenly covenant marriage. After over seven years of failed standing, of bad going to worse, God told me to do what I told you to do and it won't take as long. In less than 40 days she was back. Knowing and obeying.” (Canada)
"I wanted to give a praise report that my prodigal came home. Praise God. You were right, Bob and Charlyne, it was when I least expected. I just can't describe the joy in my heart after the long storm, but for the work God did in me and in my husband I would not trade for anything. When going through the storm I never thought I would be saying I wouldn't trade it for anthing." (Missouri)
"My husband left me and was going to file for divorce. Several months ago he began staying at home, but did not want to re-commit to our marriage. I felt like I was going crazy and I questioned if I was doing the right thing by continuing to stand. Every time I asked God, I got the same answer, so stand I did. My husband wants to renew our vows and move away and start over together. God is faithful and what He promises He will perform." (Texas)
"I want to thank the Lord for bringing my husband home one year ago. In the past year, I have seen the hate walls come down, and his softer, gentle side is being returned. What a wonderful God we serve." (Alabama)
"I first give honor to God, my Lord and my Savior. My husband and I are living together under one roof. This is a big step considering we both had separate places and separate lives. We were separated for nine months. My husband called me one Sunday after church and we have been together ever since. The Enemy found a way into our marriage through our separation and I am dealing with some things. I know God works everything out for our good and I have to leave that to Him. God knows he is "at home" with my marriage." (North Carolina)
“My husband and I are reconciled after a separation. I continued to stand for him and I learned to grow in the process. We thank God every day for His love and power. We are stronger than we ever have been. I'm so thankful for Charlyne's web site. You helped me to stay encouraged.” (Florida)
"We just passed the one year anniversary of the remarriage to my husband. The relationship could not have been any deader, with my husband's announcement to marry the other woman. Suddenly, the Lord breathed life into the dead situation. As a stander, I would read the Saturday Testimonies and cry out to the Lord, with the hope of one day being on the other side, reconciled and restored. God kept His promise. I am grateful to Rejoice Marriage Ministries for helping me to stand through biblical based principles and encouragement." (Illinois)
"After being separated, moving out of state, and raising an infant on my own, God has spoken life into our marriage. I have moved back into my home, my husband is attending and active in church regularly, and we are committed in letting God lead us in every step of reconciliation. Praise God for His wonderful promises." (Virginia)
“I left my spouse years ago. I was the prodigal but many months ago I became the stander. My situation seemed hopeless. My husband’s life was out of control. I was devastated. I prayed unceasingly. I gave up many times and just when I started to think there was no hope, my suddenly came completely unexpected. My husband came to me and told me he loved me and wanted to reconcile our marriage. I see now that if I had just been still and let God be in control it could have happened much sooner. PTL! God is faithful.” (Canada)
To God be The Glory. My husband and I were remarried on Wednesday, June 19. We were divorced in 1998. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart in 2000 that my husband and I would be remarried. I said to myself how can this be since he does not know the Lord, but I carried that promise in my heart. My husband then became a believer. We were then in each other’s lives, however I did not officially start standing until November 2003 when I received deep conviction in the middle of the night from The Holy Spirit as to my mistakes in not treating my husband properly from my heart. In the summer of 2004, I was led to Rejoice Marriage Ministries where I first heard the word “standing” and understood what I was already doing. He came home in February 2011, after two other relationships, and he came home very broken. Here we are, husband and wife, again after 13 years. My husband had no intentions of ever coming home, but God! (Florida)
"God brought my spouse home after an absence of several months." (Virginia)
"After false returns, I was embarrassed to send a testimony. Now after months of restoration I can say my Lord has changed my husband’s heart of stone and has given him a heart of flesh. There is power in the Word of God. Thanks, Charlyne and Bob, for supporting me. Praise be to God." (Sweden)
“When I first found Rejoice Marriage Ministries, my husband had left. I prayed and fasted. It was a difficult time. But then "suddenly" my husband came home with conditions. I said OK and slowly the Lord began to change him and showed him the truth without me having to say or do anything. The Lord handled everything and in 2008 we came back to our original home. It is now 2012 and you can’t imagine how much the Lord has blessed us. My husband is the most wonderful man in the world and he is totally different from what he was. But I believe we would not be where we are today had we not gone through this trial. Please don’t lose heart in your stand. God will bring your prodigal home.” (Texas)
“I felt neglected and alone. I had an affair. My husband knew and two years after the fact couldn't take it anymore and began to act out himself. I was at a loss. I knew it wasn't him; it was pain and anger. I clearly heard God tell me to stand; that He would reach my husband and give me a marriage seven times better than we'd ever had before. I spent months of praying and loving him as he continued to act out. I hated what he was doing, but I knew it was Satan and I knew God had already defeated Satan. Thanksgiving Day he told me he loved me and put his wedding ring back on. Two weeks later he bought me a new ring and re-proposed. My suddenly came just in time! PTL!” (Indiana)