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.
My husband Joe and I were married for five years before he decided on a family vacation to Disneyland that he "just couldn't do this anymore." That was Halloween week and he had moved out of the house by Thanksgiving weekend.
My two-year-old daughter and I were devastated and shocked. Both of us claimed to be "Christians" and had a relationship with the Lord, attending church frequently, but never centered our lives and marriage around Jesus. I panicked at the prospect of being a single parent and immediately began searching Christian internet dating sites for a new partner. I met and began a long distance relationship with a man in a different state, seeking to fill the void in my life with this new relationship. I wandered as deep into the far country as my husband did until I was convicted one night by the Holy Spirit about being double-minded. How could I be actively praying for God to save my marriage when I was having an affair with a man "just in case" I actually ended up divorced?
My mother-in-law gave me a book shortly after that called "Can My Marriage Be Saved?" which is a compilation of stories of saved/reconciled marriages. One story referenced Covenant Keepers and when I looked them up online in a Google search, I came upon Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.
Your materials captivated me; I had heard of covenant marriage but never this concept of "standing." Once I got a hold of it I couldn't get enough of the Bible and what it teaches about the covenant and God’s design for marriage. I started acting on these principles praying God’s truths over my marriage and family and I began to notice a change in myself so quickly that it was actually shocking. I prayed for the Lord to break me and mold me into the wife He wanted me to be. I didn't want to have an adulterous relationship any longer and became content having Jesus fill that space in my life. I made a commitment to honor the covenant even if Joe wasn't at the moment, and I took God at his Word that he is a God of healing and restoration.
Joe and I spent the holidays together and the further I got into my studies about standing, the easier it became for me to treat him with such God-given kindness and grace that my co-workers actually used to joke with me that we had a better relationship while going through a divorce than several of them did married. I took these little opportunities to witness to them about what I was standing for and what I knew God could do, and they would snicker at me and tell me to move on. I truly didn't believe that our divorce would go through...but it did. On April 20, 2010 a judge ruled our marriage "dissolved." I loved your teachings about praying over the divorce decree and that it is just a piece of paper, but does nothing to break the covenant if you keep standing (quite a concept for me to regard a court ruling as "just a piece of paper, since I'm a lawyer!!).
My little girl and I used to pray together at night and thank God for restoring our family and for the brothers and sisters that were yet to be born to Joe and me. She would ask when will Daddy come home and I would talk to her about God’s promises and tell her that we'd wait for him as long as it took. Thankfully, my story of reconciliation didn't take long. Literally two weeks after our divorce decree, there was Joe, who was on my front porch weeping over the mistake he had made and asking if we could "date.” Because of where my relationship was at with Jesus, I found it so easy to forgive him and confess my own earlier affair. God had given me a love for Joe that I had never experienced during our marriage.
We began an awesome time of courtship, healing, and inviting Jesus to be Lord over our relationship. I drafted a motion to the Court asking them to vacate our divorce decree and Joe moved back home last October. Our son was born on August 4 and is nicknamed "the miracle baby" by the same friends and co-workers who snickered at me when I told them God would heal and rebuild our family. As crazy as it sounds, I'm actually glad the divorce was final. I think it makes our reconciliation an even greater testimony to God’s powerful awesomeness than if it were just a divorce "close call!” Praise Jesus!!
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!
“Praise the Lord. My suddenly happened! My husband came home after two years. I have prayed consistently for two years after my husband left me and our son. One year ago we were divorced and he moved in with the OW but my God kept telling me that he was still my husband and to pray for him without ceasing. I want to thank Rejoice Marriage Ministries for the daily words of encouragement. I just want to tell everyone to keep praying, fasting, pay your tithes, read your Word daily, and truly put all your trust in God because He will answer. Thank You God for all Your many blessings, for letting me know that You are real and letting me be able to tell the world God is able and can truly make the impossible very possible. Amen and Amen.” (Texas)
"My spouse came home Saturday night after months of no contact. He had called and two hours later we were still talking. God breathed on our conversation and I was on my way to bring him home." (Missouri)
"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)
"I stumbled across your web site years ago when my marriage was falling apart and I was desperately seeking some sort of answer to my pain. You pointed me back to God. Thank you. My husband and I are now enjoying the beginnings of a newly restored marriage. God brought us back together just in time to be a united front against the devil's attack on my health. The day after I got my diagnosis, I received the email from you about the new healing newsletter. God has already promised to heal me and the beautiful thing is that now I know how to trust Him for it. I learned how to rely on and truly trust God when standing for my marriage. Isn't it wonderful how God prepares us for every step in our journey with Him?" (Missouri)
"I am praising the Lord that my God brought my husband home this past weekend. It was very suddenly. Thank you Bob and Charlyne for your wisdom and direction on how to stand. I thank God for you both. There is much to continue to stand for, but God can do anything." (Arizona)
"I had written that my husband came home after being separated. Now, a year later, my marriage grows stronger every day. We are very much in love with each other. Not only did God heal my marriage, but He also healed my womb. I am several months pregnant with our first child. Glory to God." (New Jersey)
"I am happy to let you know that my husband has told me he is home to restore our marriage completely. Just to prove that God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or hope for, my precious husband has now told me he loves me and that he thinks the world of me. Thank You Lord Jesus, for Your blessings. I give You all the praise and glory." (Canada)
"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)
"God brought my husband home several months ago. He used a recent movie about what the standing spouse goes through. My husband grabbed my hand and kissed me during the movie. It seemed like now he truly understood the limitless extent of mine and God's love for him." (Louisiana)
“On our 14th wedding anniversary, my husband and I renewed our marriage vows. For almost three years, he left me and the children for someone else. The situation seemed impossible for many people including Christians, but I kept on believing what God told me. After fasting and praying, my husband left the OW last November and now we have a new marriage. Our children are witnesses to what God can do. Many people were crying at our celebration and realized that our miracle can also be their miracle. God is wonderful! Keep praying in Jesus’ name and wait for the unbelievable!” (Mexico)
“After months of prayer, fasting, shutting my mouth (not all the time, but enough), my husband has returned home. I thought that would be the hard part, but I see that my stand has only begun. He is committed and God has begun a good work in us. I truly survived with Exodus 14:14 (The Message translation). God will fight my battle, and me, I need to shut my mouth! Getting over an affair is very difficult, and only the pursuit of Gods presence keeps me at peace. I pray for all of my brothers and sisters still awaiting the return, and for those who are home, the strength and obedience to continue. May God get ALL the glory!” (South Carolina)
"I praise the Lord for His mercy. When my prodigal returned after many months separation, he lacked money, I asked the Lord, 'Please dear God, I have applied twice for a job and I got negative response. If You want to send me something, I beg you that someone offers me something to help my husband.' A Christian friend invited me to work real rstate with her. I give thanks to our faithful Lord. (Mexico)
Barren For 10 Years!
Eight days after our 10th wedding anniversary, my husband asked for a divorce. I was devastated, but it took this to utterly break me before God. That night, I didn’t go to sleep, but the Lord led me to scripture after scripture. I finally fell to my knees before my own sin. I couldn’t look away, blame, or give excuse for all the selfishness, pride, disrespect, disobedience, and rebellion that I had lived in for all 10 years of our marriage. Instead of feeling anger or betrayal toward my husband, I saw exactly the unlovable person I had been asking him to love all these years and I understood. The Lord changed me that night. I didn’t become a different person overnight, but each day God would strip away another layer. Immediately, He led me to a group of women who were standing for their marriages! They led me to Rejoice Marriage Ministries where I learned that I was a “stander,” and my husband was a “prodigal” (Luke 15). I loved that! It was so apt.
I believed my husband when he said there wasn’t another woman, but the Lord was preparing me for a different story. After a month of standing, the Lord was asking me if I would stand, even in infidelity. See, God knew the hardness of my heart. If I had initially known my husband had found someone else, I would have never been broken. I would have raged against my husband and would have felt justified as I took everything he had. But then, I would have never stood in the gap for my husband’s soul. Now, I know that everyone around me knew about the other woman, but they wouldn’t tell me. That was God. It took His work in me and gentle nudges to show me what His marriage covenant really means. As you know, the covenant made before God has no stipulations. I did not vow to love until my husband cheated. I did not accept a ring only until my husband’s love disappeared. I vowed until death, and God was holding me to that vow. It didn’t matter that it was the worst day of my life when my husband finally told me about the other woman. The next day wasn’t much better. I helped my husband move out, believing that God would bring him back. All of this, my husband knew, but he wouldn’t “come to his senses” for a while yet.
I was commanded by God to do four things:
1. To Stand: When I was so overwhelmed with how determined my husband was in pursuing this divorce, I told God that I didn’t want to fight this battle and I didn’t want to have to try and find a Christian lawyer to defend my stand. God spoke 2 Chronicles 20 to me and let me know quickly that I wouldn’t have to find a lawyer, nor would I have to fight this battle. It was HIS battle, and He was going to win it for me!
2. To Wait: I thought this meant that I would have to wait for my husband to come home, but God said I was to wait on Him and the work He was going to do in our lives.
3. To Be Silent: Whew! If you only knew me, you’d know how nearly impossible this is! But God was working and nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). I tried so many times to reason with my husband and point out what God was showing me, but it wasn’t my place and it only hardened my husband’s heart toward me. Through this, God showed me that I am nobody’s Holy Spirit. I can’t convict, and I can’t change a person’s mind. That is God’s job, but He showed me that what He does lasts forever, so I’m glad I can’t change anyone…it wouldn’t last. God told me that no man could change my husband. He was the only one who could change my husband and I needed to let Him work!
4. To Be Still: This was the hardest command. As my husband progressed in the Far Country, I saw the state of his soul. I couldn’t believe a born-again believer could believe the lies Satan was telling him. Satan takes the Word of God and twists it to fit what the flesh wants, which Charlyne taught me only leads to doing the will of Satan (2 Timothy 2:26). My husband was trying to find biblical justification for all of his actions and what his flesh wanted. Obviously, he couldn’t but he gave it his best effort. Needless to say, and he finally admitted it after he came home, he was miserable out in the Far Country, even though he told me then how “peaceful” he was! (Standers don’t believe anything your prodigal says!) There were many days I would lie on the floor in our home begging God to release me from this stand. I didn’t want my husband anymore after seeing where Satan had taken him. I didn’t want a man who would cheat on me. I didn’t want any of this! But God would let me rant and rave, then remind me of all the promises He’d given me and remind me that this path, though excruciating, was His best for me. Daily, I had to surrender my will to Him, believing He knows what is best.
My husband works offshore. He sent me an email saying he was coming home in a few weeks when he came back in town. He told me he believed God had finally answered him. He sent an email to the other woman ending their relationship. I was amazed! The Holy Spirit told me to rejoice. Ah, but Satan wasn’t done yet! A few days later, I discovered that my husband was still talking to the other woman and was beginning to doubt coming home. As the days drew closer, my husband was determined that he wasn’t coming home and told me he may never come back. I was prepared for false starts thanks to your ministry, but the Lord reminded me that He had told me to rejoice. So instead of me telling everyone that my husband wasn’t coming home after all, I would say, “He says he’s not coming home…” Our God has a bigger plan, and thankfully, He’s greater than man (Job 33:12).
I invited my husband to our house for dinner the night he came in from offshore. Although he resisted, he finally agreed to come. I had a vision to run to him when he came home, just as the father did for the prodigal. When my husband pulled in, he parked in the back of our yard. I ran across our yard in my bare feet smiling the whole way. When I got to him, I jumped into his arms and bear hugged him. He was laughing and smiling. He now says that when he saw me do that he knew he wouldn’t be able to leave! That night he kept trying to leave, but God wouldn’t let him. I told him that I understood if he couldn’t stay…I knew God would bring him home! Finally, after watching him wrestle to the point of exhaustion, he started drifting off to sleep on the couch. I told him to come to bed, but he said he had to do something first. He went out to his truck where he left his cell phone and texted the other woman that he was staying home. Now I understand the struggle; she had told him that if he ever came back home, they were over. My husband told me that was the first night of sound sleep he had through all of this!
I have to admit, the restoration of our marriage has often been more difficult than the standing. God has reminded me that He is still working on the other side of that mountain, and He’s not done yet. I want to encourage other standers that God doesn’t work the way we think or expect. His ways are higher than our ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). The Lord has been revealing His truth in doses to my husband. I’m still learning to obey those four things God commanded me. Just because my husband is home and our marriage is better than it has ever been, it doesn’t change where we’ve been and who we are to become. I will forever be a stander for my husband and our marriage.
God gave me a lot of promises while my husband was in the far country and I look forward to God fulfilling every single one of them. The first promise He answered is the return of my husband. The second promise was recently confirmed. For 10 years I have been barren. We are pregnant with our first child! Standing and restoration have been hard, but I still believe my God is greater and He knows what’s best! “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Luke 1:45
"The principles I've learned from the beginning of my stand are foundations for faith in my walk with God, even after my husband's return home. His time away was spiritual boot camp for me. I praise Him for the time of teaching before my husband came home. I've learned that my stand didn't end when he came home; it just grew to a new level, praise God." (Ohio)
“All glory to God - my husband and I are restored! Praise God he moved out and into an apartment just a short way from us and we joined as members of a family and him as the main member as it should be. God has taken so much pain and turned it into an amazing love for him and one another. Thank You God from the bottom of our hearts. Amen.” (South Africa)
"My husband and I separated and he said he was never coming back. He was very strong in his decision to divorce me, and I was strong in my decision to stand for our marriage. A couple weeks ago, my husband came back. I let him know that he is loved and forgiven, by me and by God. Miracles do happen." (California)
"After months of reading Charlyne Cares, fasting and praying, God has directed my wife to stay and end her affair. We are starting the reconciliation process, and I know God is in control. Praise be to the One who can reclaim hurting marriages." (Minnesota)
"God spoke clearly to me and told me to stand, and He brought healing to my spirit. My husband watched these changes in me, but his hurt kept him isolated and angry. But God was working in his heart too. Five months ago, my husband confessed that he still loved me. Since that time, God has restored all aspects of our marriage. There is a trust and an intimacy that was never there before. God's peace reigns in our home and we continue to experience His blessing and provision." (North Carolina)
"A few years ago I was dependent on Rejoice Marriage Ministries to keep me on track while God restored my marriage. If God can soften the heart of my prodigal He can do anything. God wants your prodigal back." (Florida)
“PTL God is good! My husband and I got remarried last Saturday. Don't give up, pray, cry, say, ‘Lord help me to keep the faith.’ God is on time. If He gave you what you wanted right now, you or your spouse might not be ready for it, so keep praying and let God do it in His timing. I love the Lord and thank Him for my restored marriage. This has been a long journey but with God it was all worth the wait. We are like one together. Thank You God, I owe You all the glory. Just know that God loves each of you and I will continue to pray for restored marriages. Amen.” (North Carolina)
My husband came home seven months ago. He was in a non-covenant relationship. God revealed to me that He would force him home. That’s just what happened when the other woman threw him out. God is still working on healing our marriage, but He has promised me that my husband is home to stay. I am believing that God will heal and make this marriage better that I can imagine. God does heal hurting marriages. I praise and thank him for all He has done, and is still doing." (California)
“This is for anyone who is waiting for their marriage to be restored. I’ve been praying for several years for my marriage to be restored. God kept me close with Him during the time of waiting. Early last month I went to church with my ex-husband. The preacher called me up in front of church and said what you have been praying for is coming true, just hold on to God. I praised God’s Holy Name and thanked Him. My ex-husband had no clue at the time and wanted to know what I had been told. I told him I could not tell him, I had to wait on God. Last week my husband asked me to marry him! This is a miracle from God. It’s been hard, wanting to give up, not sure if God was listening, friends trying to tell me to move forward with my life. But I said, God Your will for my life. So please do not give up. Hold on to God’s Words and His plans for your life. Thank You Father for Your love and understanding Your plan for my life.” (North Carolina)
"I was praying for an Easter miracle. On Friday night (Good Friday) when I thought all was lost, my husband suddenly called and said he needed me. He said he needed to come home. He was done with the other person and really needed me. He had packed his car and was calling me from the road. God is faithful. All in His perfect timing." (New York)
"After nearly two years of separation, my husband came home in 2003. He did not come home a changed man. I continued to stand and believe that with God, all things are possible. It wasn't until the Holy Spirit really got hold of him one summer afternoon in 2005 that things began to change. I began to really see answers to prayers. In September, 2006 my husband asked the court to void the divorce dissolution. It was granted. It was only the second one known to happen in this State. Praise God from whom all blessing flow." (Washington State)
"Praise the Lord, my husband came home suddenly. He is being delivered from bondages. What Satan used to divide our marriage, God has used for the good." (Michigan)
"Praise God, my husband came home suddenly. When it looked impossible, God moved. We are taking it one day at a time and I am fully trusting the Lord to save my husband and for our remarriage. God is good all the time." (West Virginia)
“Praise God, my wife is home! Through many months I heard all the things read about on this site. I saw the ugly emotions and heard the ugly way prodigals talk to standers. I was told there was no chance, she had her free will. There was no sign in the natural that she was close; circumstances did not point to her coming back. But God! My suddenly happened, out of the blue. Now she is invested in me, the kids, and the future. God's ways are higher than our ways and it will come to pass in His timing! I read the Saturday testimonies and never thought I would be able to post. Hold tight standers. God cannot lie. There will be a day where God will move and all your reality will change for his Glory." (Arizona)
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, tomorrow, and forever." Hebrews 13:8
“I thank the Lord for what He has done, is doing and will do in my life. l used to read other people's testimonies and faiedl to understand what they meant when they said suddenly it happened. But God is faithful. He has enabled me to experience my suddenly for my marriage was restored suddenly. I really cannot explain except to say it happened suddenly. Thank You, Lord and RMM for standing with me. Will continue to pray for ALL standers to experience their suddenly.” (Zimbabwe)
"Praise God for restoring my marriage. I had been separated from my husband. I was led by Jesus to Rejoice Marriage Ministries, the source of my encouragement and wisdom. I had been praying and standing on the promises of God. My husband mailed me and said we will be reunited and living as a family in the country where he lives. Above all, my husband has grown in the Lord." (India)
“Hopeless is the only way I could describe my situation. My husband left, told me he loved the OW, and said he was never coming home. It was difficult to do, but I did not listen to my husband. I listened to and believed God and His Word. I blocked out the advice of friends and loved ones and only obeyed God. My husband came home and it was still a fight. I tolerated things from him that I thought I never would tolerate out of obedience to God. No matter how messed up I thought my husband was, I continued to allow God to lead, guide, and work on me. God told me to relocate with my husband. My husband was still saying he didn't think we would be together. I was so afraid, but I chose to obey God in spite of my fears. We moved and PTL so did God in such a mighty way! My husband is loving, affectionate, and apologetic for the role he played in our trial. I have grown so much spiritually and will forever stand for my marriage and yours! God is able! Pray and have faith! Victory is yours!” (Louisiana)
“Praise Jesus. My hubby called me out of the blue and told me he loved me, he was sorry and he wants to work on his family. I've been praying all day for God to send him someone to talk with and He sent the OW - the last person I would’ve expected. But I've been praying for her, too, and she told him maybe you need to work out your marriage. Another person called and told him the same thing. He got conviction. I love You Jesus. Don't give up, remain faithful and God will see you through. Hallelujah, hallelujah. I give all the glory to my Lord and Savior.” (Florida)