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 attended one of your meetings where I was able to pray for my spouse along with others who are believing for the return of their spouses. My spouse returned this Thanksgiving, free from all bitterness and a new sense of peace after they surrendered their life to Jesus. It is truly a miracle. I prayed that God would do what ever was needed to bring my spouse back home while at the same time protecting them from permanent harm. That is exactly what happened through a set of circumstances, God finally got my spouse’s attention and led them back to God and then to the family." (North Carolina)(posted 1/4/2008)
"All the glory to God! After many months, my suddenly happened, and I witnessed the moment God changed her! I withdrew my divorce filing, so she was aware that I was standing and knew God told me He would restore us. She’d been staying in our home for a couple of weeks and was able to see how God has changed me. He was working in her. Last week, we spent five days on vacation as a family – her idea! When we got home, we were talking, and at one point I said, ‘That was before. I was very selfish then.’ At that very moment, I saw her eyes soften, and she walked over and hugged me tight! It was the first physical contact she’d initiated in many months! I hugged her back, and she was crying and said, ‘I want to come home. I want to come back to my house.’ Sunday, she brought some clothes back and came home with her ring on! I didn’t have to say a thing. She wanted to put it back on! Our God is so awesome! TRUST Him and never give up! Just let go and TRUST Him!” (South Carolina)(posted 4/28/2014)
"I have never been as close to God as when I was standing. I saw no hope for my husband and me, but God is bigger. I am now back with my husband and life is good. At the brink of darkness, I asked God to give me a sign to show me if He really wanted me to stand. That same day I received a packet in the mail from Rejoice Marriage Ministries. It was my sign." (West Virginia)(posted 10/24/2008)
“My wife left me years ago. We reconciled after a few months only to separate again and eventually divorce. Although I was led to RMM through a friend's bumper-sticker and began to stand, it seemed that each month we were more and more alienated from each other. When things were at their worst, communication sad and hurtful, the kids aching and life very hard, God quite suddenly reversed the downward spiral. He (and He alone!) began to soften first my heart, then my wife's. He allowed opportunities for me to show my love to her again. And He started a process where each month we began to fall in love more and more all over again. Praise to His precious Name and Glory, we were remarried this past summer and are still growing in His love. HE is doing this restoration, and it is clearly HIS plan. In fact, He has used these past years to teach me so much and open His Word to my heart. I can thank Him for these trials, even though the hard times are so hard, His love and plan never failed.” (Oregon)(posted 2/11/2014)
"My husband and I woke early this morning. We held hands in front of a warm fire. It's Christmas morning and our teenagers are still in bed. This scene should not be happening. We almost let satan steal our precious family. My husband came home a few years ago after filing for divorce. God has healed and restored our marriage. He taught me how to stand and pray for my marriage. He showed me how to change my bad attitudes and let Him change my husband. All that we went through has made us closer and now I stand in prayer for marriages." (Arizona)(posted 12/29/2009)
"Praise God for His faithfulness. After standing for my marriage, God restored it and brought my husband home last year. The pain of our marriage trial has been covered over and is being blessed through our obedience to doing it God's way." (New Hampshire)(posted 12/28/2007)
"My husband had an affair. For months I fought in my own strength and rules, eventually landing in the hospital. My husband asked for a separation. The situation appeared hopeless. It went from bad to worse. But the Lord has restored our marriage, gave us a fresh start, renewed love and renewed marriage vows. I thank the Lord for the grace He gave me to not give up. My faith, the size of a mustard seed, was enough for Him to move mountains. All Glory to our Mighty Heavenly Father." (South Africa)(posted 5/21/2010)
PRODIGALS DO COME HOME
“To stand. To fight on my knees in prayer. To suffer and be persecuted for the sake of Christ and my husband’s salvation.”
I never knew what these words meant before my life changed forever on November 6, 2010. Three weeks before our seventh wedding anniversary, my husband admitted to a very recent affair. Confused, thinking he was feeling emotions of real love, he left me and my children. We had a newborn baby and a three-year-old. Devastation and shock doesn’t begin to describe my feelings. I was completely blindsided, weak, lost and in despair. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit inside me told me to cling to Jesus and to trust Him. I was so scared though, worried about my small children and fearing the future. I was desperate for answers and support. I tried to regain some control in an uncontrollable situation. Talking to family and friends, people gave me advice left and right. I tried to convince my husband we were God’s plan for one another but everything seemed to push him further away. I didn’t understand how and why this happened. I knew we had weaknesses in our marriage but I thought we always had time to make it better. I never realized how many ways God made me “one” with my spouse until he was no longer there. It felt like half of me was missing and I didn’t know how to function. I ached for his return.
Crying out to God day and night, I was so weary from caring for a newborn and my three-year-old on my own. I was completely drained from my fragile emotionalstate. As time went on, my circumstances were not getting better. I had to put a stop to listening and pleasing others. God was the only one I wanted to please. He alone was my true comfort. Psalm 62:5says:Find rest, O my soul in God alone; my hope comes from him.I so appreciated the loving people God surrounded me with during that time but God alone was my Rock. Thankfully, through faith, I never lost hope.
Early on in my stand, God led me to some wonderful scriptures.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:16-17
I needed to be patient. God would take care of me. God showed me to pray for my husband with all I had and to not give up. But my circumstances seemedto get worse and worse. I heard the words “I never loved you at all” and “the kids will be fine, this happens to people all the time.” I was so shocked and dismayed that my husband was acting like a complete stranger. He was now completely rejecting God along with me, his covenant wife. He had moved in with the other person and filed for divorce. My pain was so extreme. I would lay on the floor weeping, unable to pull myself up. I even tried a divorce recovery group at a local church. But I felt so lost and didn’t belong there. They didn’t talk about praying for our estranged spouses or standing for one covenant marriage, one spouse for a lifetime. It was all about how to make myself better instead. I left that group, crying out to God for support.
Looking online later, I discovered Rejoice Marriage Ministries. I realized with joy in my heart, that everything I felt deep inside was biblical and there was a large ministry full of people just like me. Many others were willing to love their spouse unconditionally and stand for marriage restoration even past a divorce. RMM showed me specific scriptures to pray for my spouse like Psalm 51 and Acts 26:18 which says, “‘…to open their eyesand turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins...’”I was emboldened to pray against evil. The devil had come into my home to steal, devour, and destroy. My prodigal husband was not the enemy!
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
I was reminded that we are called to love like Jesus, especially in the words of 1 Corinthians 13. I was to love my prodigal no matter how he treated me in return. This was my calling from the Lord! Praying these scriptures over my marriage and family gave me peace, strength, and perseverance to push forth. I clung to God’s Word like never before. Worshipmusic replaced any others. Fictional books and watching television wereno longer interesting to me. All I wanted to do was pray for my husband using God’s words and find comfort within the pages of my Bible. I knew God could do miracles.
“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
I had let go of fixing my marriage by my own words and hands. I had to completely surrender my husband, marriage and family to God. I felt persecuted from believers and nonbelievers. No one could understand how I could love and choose to forgive such actions. But Jesus is that ultimate example. Through deep prayer and trying to listen to His voice only, I was led to Isaiah 55. God showed me that He would provide for me and my kids (v 1-2). He showed me that my husband would turn from his ways and be reconciled to God (v 6-7). God reminded me His thoughts and ways are way above and beyond my own (v 8-9). And that His will and Word would be accomplished (v 11). Finally, the other relationship would end, and our marriage would be restored all for God’s glory! (v 13). Praise the Lord! I had this complete peace my marriage would be restored in God’s timing. A peace filled me that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). As I prayed on my knees each day, I knew I had to be patient and love my husband from afar. My prodigal assured me it would never happen, but I knew God would fulfill His promise to me.
God was moving on the other side of the mountain without me knowing it. From the world’s perspective, my marriage had no chance. I heard of my husband’s engagement and saw a new ring on his wedding finger. I thought it couldn’t get worse. But as I prayed, God showed me this was the devilpulling out all the ammunition he had left to destroy my marriage and family. Satan was trying to convince me to give up on my prodigal! But it made me pray even harder. He came to visit and I had total peace and love for him. As time had passed, by the grace of God, my love had only grown for my husband. I knew he was lost in darkness (Ephesians 4:18-19) and I trusted in God who is mighty to save on His timing not mine. My husband’s eternal destination was more important than anything else.
A coupleweeks later, things started to change. My husband shared that he listened to some Christian music again and he wanted some of his old theology books. He started to be more kind, apologizing for his hateful words and for missing the beginning of our precious baby’s life. He started to “test the waters,” asking me questions. He still thought he had gone too far to come back home. I assured him of my love and open arms and that he is always welcome back home. On April 3, 2011 my prodigal husband walked through the door! It was completely over with the other person. He wanted to be my husband again and wanted to be a full time daddy to our boys. God had saved his heart and soul, praise be to God! My husband returned humbled and completely broken. I felt broken inside myself but God is faithful to restore our marriage and family completely. The cross and the love of Christ covers all sins, redeems all, restores all.
Now a year later, I am blessed to have my husband by my side. We have come through the fire and now work on our marriage day by day that brings glory to God. We are cleaving together as one in this new place, building day by day on the solid rock of Jesus. We now know the reality of evil and what it means to pray for each other, our marriage and family. I now pray the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) daily against the devil’s attacks so he never gets a foothold again in our home.
We have victory in Jesus! I have learned to persevere, to fill my mind with God’s truth and put off lies from the devil. I have learned to fix my eyes on Jesus and run this race He has called me to (Hebrews 12:1-2). I have learned to always stand and fight this labor of love for my marriage and family. Praise be to God who has rescued us from the darkness and set us on the solid rock of Jesus that cannot be shaken. Prodigals do come home, may all the glory be His!(posted 10/1/2012)
“In 2004 I was separated from my husband and had decided to get a divorce. God stepped in with an invitation for me to trust Him to restore my marriage. My husband wanted no part of it, so I began my stand, alone. I came upon this website, and every day I received much needed encouragement here. Three months into my stand, my husband asked me to move back home. It took another couple of years before I could see tangible change. Now, at the beginning of 2013, I can say that God did such a miraculous work in both of our hearts, and our marriage looks nothing like it did for the first 20 years! Standing was difficult, but I wouldn't trade one moment of it. I discovered God's heart in a way I had never known before! Letting Him deal with my own heart and my own issues, while at the same time learning to pray for my husband from the Word of God, and with God's heart for him, changed everything for me, especially my prayer life! And God was ever faithful!” (Texas)(posted 1/7/2013)
"Praise be to God for bringing my husband home. I thank God for allowing me to show my husband unconditional love. I can see the Lord at work in my husband. I can, for the first time ever, go straight to my Heavenly Father for guidance in my marriage. We still have a long way to go, but praise and glory goes to God that we will be able to take this road together." (California)(posted 3/16/2007)
“My suddenly happened this week! My husband and I had been seeing each other over the past few weeks. He texted me on Monday to tell me he was at a crossroads and was thinking about giving notice at his apartment to move out. He said he would lose his rent deposit by leaving early but it was worth it. He felt life together would be better this time. He asked me what I thought. I told him that I had always said the door was open and this was his home. Two days later he was bringing belongings over and has been staying ever since! The Lord has transformed both of our hearts. I am trusting the Lord's timing in all of this and so very thankful for His mercy and grace! All the glory goes to Him! I have never been happier!” (Canada)(posted 7/15/2013)
"God is indeed awesome. Not only did He bring my prodigal home, but He is also working in bringing restoration to his whole family. Right before this happened, I was close to giving up. I was weary after the long stand and the back and forth. As I was driving home from work, crying out to the Lord, a car pulled in front of me, and there on her bumper was a Rejoice Marriage Ministry bumper sticker telling me that God does heal hurting marriages and there was hope. I cried all the way home thanking the Lord. Days later my miracle happened. Praise God that He never gives up on us." (Colorado)(posted 4/19/2007)
"It has been a year since my wife and I have reconciled. I thank and praise God every day for that. He is so faithful." (Florida)(posted 10/4/2007)
“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)(posted 2/12/2013)
"My prodigal spouse left to live in the far country with the other woman. He called me at work yesterday and asked if I still wanted him to come home. He was outside our apartment building with his car packed. Months ago I had tied a yellow ribbon around the door knob, which he noticed immediately. I believe that knowledge, prayer and thanks to God brought him home. I also kept my lips zipped sharing the information only with my prayers partners. I know this will be a long road, but we agree the Lord has to be our center. Praise God." (California)(posted 6/2/2006)
“Glory be to God! My husband has returned home. God has really transformed his heart. I got a call at five in the morning saying he never meant for things to get so bad and he wanted to come home for good. Although I had prayed and fasted with the other stander teams last week, the day before he called I was ready to quit but I said I would keep praying for other standers and their prodigals regardless of my choice. God knew I was tired and weary. I had already gone and got divorce papers and almost told him no out of my own selfish fears. I’m glad I didn’t. He apologized for everything in tears and even prayed before bed. God is great!” (Illinois)(posted 9/9/2013)
“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)(posted 8/31/2012)
“Praise God for He is good. My wife and I had breakfast yesterday and she hugged me and kissed me for the first time in three years. I have been standing for our marriage reconciliation since she left. Prayer does work, God has been with me and our children. She told me as she was hugging me that I should not be worried; soon we will be back together and when we do we will have to do a wedding. She told me she still has her wedding ring. I have never had such a happy day in my life. Jesus is King. I will praise HIM all days of my life.” (South Africa)(posted 12/3/2012)
"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)(posted 11/21/2006)
"My husband has been home for a few months after many false attempts. He is going to a Christian college majoring in theology. Sometimes I think that God has a sense of humor since my spouse is still not living a Christian life yet he wants to study in a Christian environment. This was also our first Thanksgiving together in many years and we went to Florida to visit family. For the first time I saw the Rejoice billboard that reads 'Forgive Them.'" (Georgia)(posted 12/4/2009)
"My husband has returned home six months ago after six years away. He said that he saw the writing on the wall--just when I was about to give up. He is now going to church with us. It just amazes me that God freed my husband from what held him captive all these years practically overnight. I would have given up had it not been for your encouraging and sometimes eye-opening messages." (Florida)(posted 11/17/2006)
"God brought my spouse home after an absence of several months." (Virginia)(posted 6/20/2008)
“There is hope, don't give up on your prodigal. Praise God, He has sent my husband home. We were angry and I was ready to file for divorce; there was no hope. By the grace of God, He sent a relative and a friend to convince me to pray for marriage restoration. I also found Rejoice Marriage Ministries that same week. My hardened heart took God in and soon I was praying for my prodigal husband's return to God and return to us. He returned suddenly! He repented and recommitted to our family. I am still praying for my husband to completely return to God, and for the other person to return to God as well.” (Pennsylvania)(posted 6/25/2013)
“PTL! My suddenly finally happened. After more than three years of separation and nearing the final stage of divorce, God restored my marriage. I had no idea that the Lord had moved the other woman out of my husband's life and was working on his heart in such a mighty way. He is worthy to be praised. Listen fellow standers, I got weary on the last stretch of my stand and was ready to move on but God intervened. Dear standers, please don't give up, even when it seems hopeless because my situation appeared that way. Just remember that Jesus is faithful. He is not a man that He should lie and He honors marriage. Never fail in bringing God's Word to His remembrance and claiming scripture for your marriage and family. I did and now my husband and I are moving on in our marriage by the grace of God. I’m praying for you all, so be encouraged because God will keep His promise.” (Nevada)(posted 11/18/2013)
"My husband apologized for all the hurt he caused. This week he called his attorney and is dismissing the divorce. The next day he drove hours to my home. We talked and then went over to our pastor and talked for another hour. My husband is making the restoration to his Lord. Before he left I gave him Bob's book 'Finding The Way Home.' I had it ready here for him for just that perfect time." (California)(posted 9/12/2008)
“It was only a year ago when my husband delivered his speech, ‘I love you, but I'm not in love with you.’ It was eight months ago when he gathered our children to tell them he was moving out. It was five months ago, he filed for divorce. However, with God ALL things are possible. I found this ministry and began praying for my prodigal and our marriage. God showed me what my part in the destruction of our marriage was. In February, my husband came home suddenly! Now, with Christ as our center, we are moving forward, and will be celebrating 18 years this summer! Thanks be to God!" (Texas)(posted 4/28/2013)
HER STORY: "I was looking for happiness that I didn't have at home, therefore I left my husband and divorced him. My husband was standing for our marriage restoration the whole time we were apart. When I asked him to marry me again, we both knew the marriage restoration road would be hard, but we are determined this time to allow our Lord Jesus Christ to lead us every step of the way. Philippians 4:6,7,& 13 gives me hope and assurance that God is in control."
HIS STORY: "Four years ago, my wife of nearly 30 years left. Shortly thereafter, the Lord God promised me He would heal and restore my marriage and family. On June 17, 2006, in front of our children and grandchildren, I married her again. A month ago I thanked her for divorcing me because it brought me closer to the Lord. Satan has stepped up his attacks since we remarried, but we are both determined to stand for our marriage." (Virginia)(posted 11/18/2006)
"Praise the Lord, my hubby came back after several years. God heard my cry and fulfilled His words to perform it. Thank you for Charlyne Cares that constantly encouraging me to stand, pray without ceasing and persevere. Your ministry help me tremendously." (Malaysia)(posted 7/3/2009)
“WOW is all I can say about my day today! My suddenly arrived. I hadn’t heard so much as a peep out of my husband, in many months. I got up this morning and had a message from him that he wanted to come pick me up so we could talk. I spent the whole day with him and he apologized to me like five million times and told me how much he's missed me! He told me that he had been so miserable and that every TV show, song, movie and video game reminded him of me! He said he hadn’t been able to sleep and that he's been waking up every day around 4 a.m., just about the time I've been falling asleep after praying! He wants to work things out, PRAISE THE LORD! The Lord is SO AWESOME! To everyone, don't give up on what you're praying and believing for. The Lord is faithful. Continue to pray for us as we start the reconciliation of our marriage as I continue to pray for all of you! The Lord receives ALL of the praises and glory!" (Texas)(posted 7/21/2013)
"Our divorce is gone. Thursday morning the same judge who pronounced our marriage dead years ago, signed papers to vacate the divorce. She happily announced it is as if the divorce never happened. All glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who gives us the victory. Thank You Lord for the grace to stand. Thank You Lord for restoring our family. Thank You Lord for the plans You have for us. Thank You Lord for creating Rejoice Marriage Ministries, providing Bob and Charlyne as Your hands, heart, and voice to care for us, love us, and mentor us as we stand for our marriages. May my husband and I be faithful and moldable in Your Hands as our marriage is restored." (Oklahoma)(posted 3/30/2007)
“Praise God for bringing my wife back after over seven years of separation. We have now been back together for many months and going strong. I thank God for giving me the strength to stand and wait and bringing me to Rejoice Marriage Ministries. I pray for everyone out there waiting for their time to come. Just remember it is God's timing.” (Minnesota)(posted 12/7/2012)
“Praise God and thank you for sharing Cari and Ryan's video. I can't wait to watch it again with my daughter. I've been standing for my marriage for many years now and my prodigal entered into a non-covenant marriage. Our daughter is about Cari and Ryan's daughter's age, too, and she has given up hope. Nothing is impossible with our God! Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him. I love You Lord!” (Pennsylvania)(posted 10/8/2012)
“PTL!! My Father is the God of restoration and love. My husband had a false start home last year, left and returned for good six months ago, completely wanting God to change everything we have done wrong. I see God changing him every day. It’s not always easy once God brings the prodigal home, but with God standing by your side He makes it easy. I see my husband’s craving for the love of God, how he wants God to change me. And He has changed me. God makes everything new. Please pass on to all standers that prodigals do return home when we are firm in our stand with God. Also, to standers with restored marriages, it’s not always a cake walk but pray unceasingly even after the return of your spouse as God has begun something great in our marriages. Thank You Jesus, I will serve You and love You all my life.” (Sri Lanka)(posted 3/3/2014)
“God is an awesome God! I thank the Lord for this miracle as he brought my husband home, out of the far country. My husband was gone for months, and it seemed like all hope was lost, but then God connected me to RMM, and my life has changed. I began my stand, and even though it was not easy, God never left or forsook me during this time. I knew that the enemy wanted to destroy my marriage, but my mighty God said, ‘Not so, I will do a new work,’ and that is exactly what He has done.” (North Carolina)(posted 12/2/2013)
"I have been standing for many months and my husband came home this week. There had been no sign of his return. God revealed Himself through answered prayers in a mighty way. My husband came home out of obligation more than love, just as God prepared me. The road ahead will be long as my husband mourns the break-up with the other woman but things are going exactly as God showed me they would. I know He is in control. We serve an awesome God." (Illinois)(posted 5/14/2010)