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.
"It took ten long years of standing, but God miraculously restored our marriage. Many people told me to get on with my life, but I knew I had heard from the Lord that He would restore my marriage. My husband is so grateful that I obeyed the Lord and never gave up on him. One of our favorite verses is the one about forgiving "seventy times seven," because we had so many issues to resolve, but the rewards of a loving, happy home is well worth it." (Colorado)(posted 11/18/2006)
"God has once again moved in a mighty and powerful way and He did it suddenly. God, in His great Mercy and Grace, brought my husband back home to us and everyday I get to see the miracle and work of God being done in my family and I. Although my spouse is an unbeliever, I am standing on the promises of God's Word and He will do just what He says. My returned prodigal is proof of God's Word not returning to Him void." (Georgia)(posted 12/8/2007)
“Several months ago we parted, though we were still good friends. My heart, like many others, was broken. From day one the Father gave His word to me that He would rebuild us and reunite us. Ezekiel 36:6-12. God is faithful. My prodigal is returning. We are moving his belongings in each day. God is faithful dear standers. My refuge has been Jesus, and this website has been such a tool of blessing on how to respond to my husband while away, and zipping the lips, and totally trusting the Lord to carry us and care for us and restore us. Our restoration and rebuild journey together as husband and wife has now just begun. Praises to Him.” (New Zealand)(posted 9/26/2013)
“My husband has returned home after many months. No one thought that there was hope. My friends and family urged me to move on and get a divorce. Every time I was close to giving up, I did not feel God releasing me from my marriage. God made the impossible possible. Anytime I feel myself getting frustrated and offended I remember what God says about showing love. It is no longer about me but what God says. My husband has even started to do a devotional with me at night. When your spouse returns don't go back to the same attitude that you had before he left. Be the new you in Christ alone.” (Tennessee)(posted 2/24/2013)
“Praise God, He is worthy. After standing for some time, my husband has purchased a ticket to join me and our family in my home country at the end of the month. I was given Ezekiel 36:36 early in my stand and dreams and confirmation of what my God would do and He did what seemed impossible to man. God is still working on saving my husband but I believe my rhema word throughout my stand, ‘He is Able.’ Ephesians 3:20. I also thank God for my support prayer partner and dear friend. I thank God for leading me to this site and thank you Rejoice Ministries for all your support. I have grown with my Savior and can now say He is my idol and not my husband. Our God is a jealous God!! Standers don't give up, keep praying, fasting and believing. I will still continue by God's grace to do my fasting and prayer for God is not finished. My testimony and my marriage and myself and my husband will proclaim to the people round about us that God's name will be PRAISED!!!” (Saint Lucia)(posted 9/17/2012)
"After months of standing strong and firm in the Lord for my marriage and my family, my husband has returned home. God moves mountains. Praise be to Him. The first step has been taken, we now have hundreds more to take. I know by putting God first He will guide us through." (Iowa)(posted 5/11/2007)
"Thank you Steinkamps for being with me all those midnight hours when I cried all night. Listening to your encouraging tapes that told me to never give up and keep praying. After years my husband is home." (Ohio)(posted 4/18/2008)
“My husband returned home but I could tell he was still really struggling. We found out that there is a baby coming out of the other relationship. God prepared me for this news the week and day before. I handled it very well in front of my husband. I did break down after he left but God's strength got me through the night. To make a long story short, I am NOT giving up on our marriage! The enemy picked the wrong marriage to try to destroy. With all that is going on and family members contacting my husband with not so nice things to say, he told me that the only person he has seen God through has truly been ME! Praise God! God is working! Under the circumstances it looks hopeless, but with GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!” (South Carolina)(posted 12/17/2012)
"I give thanks to the Lord. My husband's attitude toward our marriage changed. He returned home a month ago and we have been very happy enjoying every minute of it. He is doing his best to make everything right again. I know I must continue looking to the Lord for help. The battle is not our, but the Lord's. God answers prayer." (Florida)(posted 3/30/2007)
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(posted 10/8/2012)
"Three years ago my husband left me and young child to pursue his dreams and plans. I secured a lawyer and knew the exact date that I would file for divorce. But God stepped in. God began to speak to me like I had never heard before. He told me that he did not want this divorce and that He would do a new thing in my life. I cried out to the Lord and grew stronger in Him and His might. During that time, God put three things on my heart that He would do: provide me with a new job, give me a house for my family, and save my marriage. I am blessed to say that God has done all three. My husband returned home in March. Today I reached one of the lowest points since the restoration. I cried and prayed all the way to the train this morning, calling out to God to save my marriage and send me a word. God put many scriptures on my heart which were all confirmed by reading Charlyne Cares today. My God is with me and He will fully restore this marriage. What an awesome God we serve." (New York)(posted 5/26/2006)
"My husband is home, but we are still rebuilding the foundation of our marriage. Sometimes he is very friendly, and other times cold and distant. During one of those times, I asked him what was wrong. He didn't believe the changes in me. He said they weren't humanly possible. I told him that he was exactly right. God is amazing." (Tennessee)(posted 8/6/2010)
“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)
"My husband came home to us for Thanksgiving. Praise Jesus and His Holy Name. Our Lord keeps all His promises." (Pennsylvania)(posted 11/25/2006)
“I can’t contain my joy, I have to share this with Rejoice Ministries which was an anchor of support throughout my stand. After some years and several false starts, my prodigal is home. It happened suddenly; only God knows how. The OW called to apologize. I feel like I am dreaming. Standers, take seriously what Charlyne and others say about Christ. He is alive and His promises to you will not return to Him void. And also take Habakkuk 2:2 seriously. I wrote down all my revelations, coincidences, signs and promises which I will be sharing with standers soon. I had to learn faith in God, not based on what I saw or perceived. This was only by letting go and letting God. For now, beloved, be encouraged. Only last week I did not know my suddenly was near.” (United Kingdom)(posted 2/5/2013)
“God is so, so good! My husband has been home since before Thanksgiving. He stopped the divorce a few days after that. It has been a homecoming not of party hats and loud cheers- but gentle smiles and unconditional love. Charlyne you gave me the best advice ever when you said to ‘zip your lips!’ I have become a listener instead of a talker. I have learned to trust completely in God that He will restore this marriage slowly brick by brick on the solid rock of Jesus. I know that God will make this marriage better than ever in His perfect timing! I believe with all my heart that my husband is home to stay. To all the other standers out there- never give up! This happened suddenly- just like Charlyne said!” (Minnesota)(posted 8/31/2012)
“PTL, my wife has returned! After some years away and many months of standing, she rededicated her life to Christ and is currently going through the fires of repentance. She has begun referring to me as her husband again and is speaking of a ministry that we need to start to help others. All standers need to know, never to give up! This came suddenly and in a period of extreme silence. BUT GOD kept bringing me back to being obedient each time I wanted to quit. There is so much to praise but I want it known that I've heard so much from her that sounded like I was listening to Bob's writings. All the times I thought things were 'perfect' on the other side of the mountain, she tells me she was never happy. She said how the Holy Spirit never left her alone and finally got so loud that she decided to have a mustard seed of faith to leave the OM and come home. Not out of love (but the rekindling by the Lord is taking place now) but out of obedience. Now the standing really begins. Never give up!” (Kansas)(posted 10/21/2013)
"My husband of 25 years and I were separated for eight months, including the holidays last year. People, including my pastor, told me to file for divorce. I was devastated and asked God what he wanted me to do. I kept receiving the word "stay." I drew closer to God than I've ever been. My husband came home eight months ago. It hasn't been easy, but I thank God every day that my husband is home and that he will stay home. I stand on Hebrews 6:15; 'Then Abraham waited patiently, and received what God had promised." (California)(posted 11/20/2006)
"Praise God my marriage has been restored. Over the past several months Jesus has revealed his heart to me and we have moved mountains together. I went from a believer to a follower. The key to this resurrection was being immersed in the Word and countless hours in prayer. God has been so faithful. Thank you Bob and Charlyne for this ministry." (Minnesota)(posted 1/1/2010)
"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)(posted 3/3/2006)
"I praise and thank the Lord as He brought my husband home to us last night. I am so thankful for my deepened relationship with my Lord and for being made a new creature in Christ. May I never forget this experience or become lazy, but worship and grow with our Lord every day. For it was Him alone that brought my beloved husband home." (Maryland)(posted 9/26/2008)
"I first came to standing when my second husband was taken into sin by someone he had met through work. They both divorced their spouses to be together. As God led me through this difficult time I realized that my spouse was not the only prodigal. I am the prodigal from my first marriage. We have been divorced seven years because of my sin and his addictions. He never stopped loving me or wanting his family back. God told me to restore my marriage and after much Bible study I realized that He was speaking to me of my covenant marriage. I have caused a lot of damage and hurt to many people, but thank God that He has brought me to my senses and saved me from myself and my sin. There is a wedding date set for January 1 to re-marry the husband of my youth. God gave us each a new love and forgiveness towards each other for all the pain that we have caused each other. God is also using me to lead my husband to Him by my faith and giving my husband the tools he needs to overcome his addictions. Our children could not be happier and neither could we." (State removed due to nature of testimony.)(posted 11/22/2006)
"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)
“I cannot thank you enough for your website! My husband has decided to reconcile and come home. Thank You Jesus! Keep the faith and keep praying and reading. Each time I questioned my stand I would get a sign to continue even though family/friends were not supportive.” (Virginia)(posted 12/3/2012)
"Praise be to God. My husband and I are remarrying soon. God has changed him completely around and he has become the man of my dreams. I am grateful to Rejoice Marriage Ministries. There were times when I felt like giving up. God has truly reconciled our hearts and lives." (California)(posted 8/24/2007)
"Praise the Lord, my husband has been home for several months. He has told me he will love me forever and would miss me if I wasn't around him. That's a big change from wanting a divorce just a few months earlier. More importantly he is spending more time around our children and that is a blessing. Thank You God." (Kentucky)(posted 6/7/2007)
"After years of separation, my husband moving in with the other woman, many postponed divorce court dates and even a final divorce court hearing, my husband is back home. Praise God. My family and friends kept telling me to get on with my life, but God had told me in so many ways to hold on and wait for Him and my family would be rebuilt. When I finally got out of God's way and stopped trying to manipulate things He gave me my blessing. I will pray as long as it takes for salvation for my husband and my family. Thank you for your support." (California)(posted 5/7/2010)
“Praise God! His promises just keep manifesting left and right! My husband and I have been separated for several months and he filed for divorce not too long ago. Another woman was involved and in the natural our situation looked so hopeless. But God! I started standing and walking in love towards my spouse and he immediately noticed a difference. No longer was I hurt and angry and defensive, but I had a peace that even my prodigal could see. He began texting me and emailing me to actually coming over and just hanging out with the kids and me. This turned into him spending the night twice because he didn’t want to be in his new house alone! Now he's telling all his friends that we are trying to work things out! PTL! There's a long way to go but God has brought us this far and He will perfect that which concerns us. Never give up, even when things look impossible!” (Texas)(posted 7/4/2013)
“A few months ago, our home was in such turmoil. I was disappointed to come to this after fighting for my marriage for 16 years. Prior to that, our middle child ran away from home. I was weak and weary from the physical and emotional pain but oftentimes, some friends would show up and pray for us when I was too tired and weary to do it myself. One day, I read about Moses and some battle he fought that lasted for 53 days. Somehow, I knew God was telling me that was also for me. Sure enough, after 53 days of intense standing in prayer, my husband called me and asked for my forgiveness with tears of repentance. We reconciled and I must say that he came home a changed man, and he is still changing to this day for the better. Meanwhile our son also came back home and we were finally reunited as a family. So I didn't have one but two prodigals coming back home!” (Canada)(posted 5/16/2013)