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.
"After being separated over a year, God is in the process of restoring my marriage. My husband is living at home again on the weekends and works out of town all week. God has done this, despite the fact that my husband had an affair, a non-covenant child, left me, left the ministry and our church. But God is faithful. What God has promised, He is also able to perform." (Texas)
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
"My husband and I remarried. We were divorced six weeks when we remarried. Our separation was horrific. I lost my job and had major health problems, but God provided. Hearing some of the turmoil and struggles that my husband went through, I knew each one was God's piercing of his heart. Don't give up. Stand firm. God is our Healer." (South Carolina)
"My covenant spouse came home in a suddenly. I had claimed in prayer Proverbs 19:2, Ezekiel 36:26, and Exodus 14 to take a stand against the divorce and the other woman. He went to see her in the UK. He had just told her goodbye and to return to her husband when he was hit by a car as a pedestrian. He broke both wrists. He called me from the UK hospital to ask to come home. Our three young children now get a new heritage of restoration. Praise the Lord for His victory over the enemy's schemes!" (Texas)
God has changed our lives and the Lord has really blessed our marriage. We just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. We have been back together seven years.
Charlyne has taught us to pray for what you may have done wrong in your marriage. God led me to Celebrate Recovery. I sat there and cried as I had verbally abused my wife. She could not forgive me, so she left for someone else.
I was at Cell Group and when I returned home, my wife, Vickie had returned home, suddenly with our daughter. That is when the standing really starts. Our Celebrate Recovery leader and the Assistant Pastor were over for dinner last month. When I called to invite them to dinner, I shared with them the most wonderful words my grandson had said recently. His words made standing for marriage restoration worth doing. Our six-year-old grandson said to my wife, "Grandma it's been a while, can I stay overnight?" My heart just melted. That is the best anniversary present anyone could ask for!
As your books say, "We can break the generational curse of divorce." Our grandson was born with our marriage restored and he is so cute and loves his grandma so much.
“PTL! God has restored my marriage after a year of standing. I felt like giving up but after praying and despite everything, I decided to stand for my husband. I prayed for his salvation and for the other relationship to end. The OW realized my husband needed to do the right thing. After a year God brought him back to us. We are in the process of looking for a house to move into together when his lease is up. Now, everyone knows when married couples are happy the devil tries to sneak in. Circumstances conspired to confuse my husband’s head and heart. But he said he is coming back to our family and will never leave me again. God is good!” (Georgia)
"In recent weeks both Charlyne Cares and broadcast program talked about 'The Suddenlies'. I read that email and listened to that message and wondered what I would do if there was a 'Suddenly' event in my life. This past week my husband called 'Suddenly' wanting to move things back in our house. He woke up and is leaving the other person because he misses his life, his kids, and his wife. Praise God for His answers to my prayers." (Ohio)
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow! After several months of separation from my husband and very little contact during that time, God has sent my husband home. I am a witness that prayer changes things in our lives if we will only believe in the promises of God. To all my fellow standers...NEVER stop praying for your spouse. We as standers must remember we cannot fight this battle with Satan through flesh and blood, we must fight this battle through spiritual tactics like prayer and fasting. Never cease from praying for your spouse and the other woman or man because both need to be forgiven and restored. Begin to confess the promises of God over your marriage and in God's perfect timing, He will restore your marriage.” (Florida)
"God is good. I was feeling depressed and lonely and I prayed those feelings away. I knew something big was going to happen and praised God in anticipation. The next day my husband showed up with his belongings, asking to come home. I am so grateful and aware that I am now standing firmer than ever because the enemy will attack more now than ever." (Texas)
"The Lord has kept His promise. He continually showed me that my marriage would be restored. Before the Christmas holidays the Lord did just that. Now my wife and I are planning our remarriage celebration. Thank You Lord for keeping Your promise!" (Texas)
"Praise the Lord! He hears our cry. He sees every tear and reaches far deeper than our incredible pain. I asked the Lord for a word, and He told me he would bring my husband home and fix my marriage (even after I asked him to come home and he refused). I prayed and trusted God's word and he came home suddenly. When I was ready to tell him off and give up, he called and said he needed God and needed me to let him come back. What the enemy meant for evil, God turned around for good. Jesus answers prayers and he is still speaks to His children." (New York)
“Praise the Lord, for God is good and faithful. For the past two nights my husband has come home as God is answering prayers and the Holy Spirit is convicting and directing my husband's path. Standers, keep praying and looking to our Lord. For with God there is nothing impossible! Thank you for your prayers and keep praying for all standers, children and prodigals. Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” (Florida)
"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)
"Thank you for your prayers. My wife and I have been back together for ten months. We have areas that still need healing but we are both trusting in God and are in the scripture every day. Your ministry is such a blessing. When everyone else said to get over it and move on, you encouraged me and led me to the trust in the Lord." (Washington State)
“All praises to God. My husband and I separated a little bit ago. My husband’s past was not allowing us to move forward. I wasn’t happy. I kicked him out of the house. I prayed for my husband, for his heart and for our marriage. He is coming home today. The enemy is a liar and he will try to discourage you. Stay encouraged. PUSH - pray until something happens. In Jesus name.” (New York)
"My wife and I have started talking and seeing each other again. She stays in another state with the kids, but God used the kids to keep telling her to come home. We are now working on our marriage and we even went to her reunion last weekend together and enjoyed ourselves. Praise the Lord." (North Carolina)
"My husband came home suddenly two weeks ago. I am so grateful to God. I stood on the promise of that little mustard seed and miracles started happening everywhere in my life, not only my marriage is healed, but also my family is healing." (New York)
"God has restored my marriage. He has been faithful even in those moments when I thought I could not take it any longer My husband has been home since June and our marriage is stronger than it has ever been. There is still work to be done, but God is in control. Since it was not my effort that restored our marriage, but God Himself, I am trusting Him. I pray, pray and pray. I read the devotionals Charlyne sends us every day. Thank you Charlyne and thank You God for sending her to me when You did." (Arizona)
"My prodigal husband came to visit over the festive season. We decided on trying to sort things out, taking things one day at a time. I just love having him home. I thank God for what He has done. Thanks for your help. You encouraged me more than you will ever know." (South Africa)
"My husband has finally come home for good. He has been home for a few months and I know that God is going to finish the work He started." (Georgia)
"My husband left our home after 35 years of marriage and said he would never be back. I was devastated and sought the Lord for answers. He told me to stand for my marriage and although it was one of the most difficult periods of my life, I grew in leaps and bounds spiritually and otherwise. One year later, the Lord brought him home and he has been home for three years now. The Lord's grace has been sufficient and this last May we renewed our vows. Today we will celebrate an early Thanksgiving with our grown children and 12 beautiful grandchildren. Our job was to make the pumpkin pies and turkey for the dinner and just listening to him whistling as he cooked and the excitement of a family gathering that could only be possible with the Lord, filled me with such joy. There has been such healing in our family and we now will leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren that wouldn't have been possible four or five years ago. My husband will do a solo for our church at Christmas called "Come Home." It is about the journey of the prodigal son and the Father's love for him. God is able to do all things. Nothing is too hard for him!" (Pennsylvania)
"We have been separated for many months. The little communication I received from him was cold and angry. I found a lawyer, but felt in my heart this was not the path I truly wanted to take. I prayed every day to God for guidance in this seemingly impossible situation. I am amazed about how this has all unfolded, but we are now trying to work things out. There's still work to be done, but I know God is there with us and will guide us to a better life together." (Quebec)
"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)
"I must praise my Lord, as a stander for twenty-two years. There is hope! God does heal sick, hurting and dead marriages. Nothing is too hard for our Lord God. The Lord does see your tears and hears your cries for your marriage to be restored. I cannot tell you how many times I thought Bob would never come home. I thank the Lord for allowing Bob and I to encourage others to believe in the power of our awesome mighty God. I thank Bob for being obedient to the Lord's voice, coming home to his Lord, to me and to our precious three children. Our three children are married and we have seven beautiful grandchildren. Yes, it is worth all the praying and fighting the heavenlies for your spouse to come home. Never give up! Happy 20th anniversary, Bob, of our remarriage." (Charlyne)
"After three years of separation, the Lord brought my spouse back home. He left me to raise our daughter alone while he pursued his selfish dreams and desires. He was truly blinded by the rulers of this dark world. But God! After having almost no contact for the first year, through many tears and prayers, God changed his heart. We began to communicate and even began dating. It often gets hard on this road to restoration, and often I want to give up, but God continues to push me forward through His words and encouragement. I know that God's hand is still at work. I thank God and praise Him as this Thanksgiving is my birthday and I will be able to celebrate it with my husband, daughter and our extended family in our home." (New York)
"Praise The Lord, my wife dropped the action for divorce and now is ready for me to come home. Only He can work this type of miracle. My spouse has been going to church with me and the reconciliation and restoration happened quickly. How great God is and how wonderful to let Him lead me." (New York)
“I give God the glory, my husband came home. There were hard moments but God is faithful. I give thanks to God, now more than ever. I will place my faith in Him, knowing that He will finish what He started. He will restore what the locus has eaten; He will give breath and new life to my marriage. Do not doubt for one moment for nothing is impossible for God. Ezekiel 37.” (Florida)
“It’s been a huge blessing since I came home. I've felt the Father’s love more now than I have ever felt. A lot of His love, mercy and grace I felt through my wife when I came home. I was expecting an angry, bitter wife but got the complete opposite. She loved on me and prayed for me and made sure I didn't feel the guilt of what I have done. I just want to encourage everyone that prayer is powerful and they are being heard. I kid you not, when I was gone, I would feel her praying for me and I would start to feel conviction. I encourage you to keep praying and that your prayers are being heard.” (Returned Prodigal in Florida)
"My husband filed for divorce and moved out. I decided to stand for my marriage, I made changes in my life to develop my spiritual walk with God while I waited with faith that God would put us together and better than ever. During this time, I also prayed for his salvation. Not only is my husband back home and divorce cancelled, but he now has a spiritual mentor. We have prayed together for the first time." (Texas)
"My husband walked out on me, I got evicted from my apartment, and my car was repossessed. I could not work because I was pregnant and had complications. I had to move in with my mom in her apartment. Now my marriage has been restored. I have a car paid in full, and a job making more money then I have ever made. My medical problems have been healed by prayer. The best part of my testimony is that through it people came to the Lord. I would not take back one thing I had to go through. God taught me intimacy with Him." (Florida)
“My husband and I went through a time when he was not at home. We had small children at the time and things didn’t look good in the natural at all. I stood on the Word of God, believing and trusting that He would heal, renew, and restore our marriage. It took a year before my husband came home, and even after that God had lots of work to do on the both of us. Now we have beautiful children and a restored marriage with such a Godly bond. Yes, we have to work at our marriage just like everyone, but we allow God to be in control and have authority, and blessings beyond our imagination have followed. Our last child is our little reward for obedience in standing in faith. Nothing is impossible with God. Our situation looked hopeless and came out shining God’s glory so bright.” (North Carolina)
“For months after asking Christ back into my life, I've been standing in the gap for my wife. I left after finding out about some circumstances. Through weekly fasting and prayer, I've begged Jesus to lead me home to be with my family. My wife told me to just move on. But I kept fasting and praying. As of now, I'm home with my children more often. God led me home. He is working on me, my kids, and I know my wife. I saw four Swift trucks today - though I don't ever remember seeing them in the past. God is good. All the time.” (North Carolina)
"My husband and I have been restored for over two years. I cannot believe how much my husband loves me now. This must be God loving me through my husband, because I have never known this kind of love. This is such a testimony to me about how, when God does something, it is so much better than anything we try to make happen ourselves. I am so blessed." (Arizona)
"When my spouse left me, I deepened my relationship with Christ and was praying for marriage restoration. I then realized that I was the prodigal, as I had left my first husband and had married another. I was given the opportunity by God to be obedient. He took the obstacles out of the way. On Christmas my loving husband proposed to me and on January 1, I was remarried to my true covenant spouse. Thank you so much, Mr. and Mrs. Steinkamp, for all you do to help restore all of us prodigals to the Kingdom." (Tennessee)
"God really does heal marriages. I was the one who thought the grass was greener on the other side. When our marriage wasn't going according to my plan, I began to confide in another man. After divorcing my husband I was left feeling so empty inside. The other man was the one I thought would make my life complete. Thank God my husband was led to your ministry. He learned to pray the scriptures and stood for our marriage and prayed for my salvation. The Holy Spirit began to do a work in me. The Lord softened my heart and by God's grace I was saved. We have been remarried for over two years and our relationship with the Lord and one another keeps getting better. Please do not give up on your marriage or on God. What He did for us, He can do for you. Always remember that the grass is greenest where it is watered." (Michigan)
"My husband and I have been back together since 2010. I kicked him out after what was done even though we were both unhappy. He had no relationship with the Lord and I was wavering from the faith. But then I made up my mind I wanted the marriage to work and cried out to God. It took some time, but after standing on God’s Word, prayer, and fasting, my husband came back and eventually gave his life to the Lord. This wasn’t his plan but God had other plans. It took some time but the prodigal did come back, and God worked in both of our hearts. We are better this time around than the first, serving the Lord which is the icing on the cake. I love You Lord forever. To God be the glory.” (Florida)
"I spoke with Charlyne on the phone in 2003 after my husband left home. Charlyne spent time with me and taught me about 'free will' and how to stand. My husband finally returned home on Good Friday, 2004. My son and I were thrilled at what the Lord had done." (Georgia)
"My husband left our home and began a relationship with another woman. I experienced pain beyond description; right now words fail me to fully describe the agony I was feeling. I was attempting to draw closer to God through all of my pain. I did everything I could to work toward moving forward and accepting that my marriage had failed. I sought help from anyone who would listen, family, friends, and church members. Basically everyone was telling me I should divorce my husband, that I deserved better, so I begun my process to divorce my husband. I felt it was the only thing I could do. The Lord led me to your website and I began the spiritual journey toward healing my marriage. The Lord told me not to my divorce and believe Him for my marriage to be restored. I trusted God and I believed Him even though my circumstance seemed impossible. On Mother's Day, my miracle returned home. He is broken, wounded, and needs Christ, but I trust God completely for the rebuilding of our family. (Georgia)