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.
"Miracles do happen. My wife and I were separated. I was the one who caused the problems, but became the stander for the marriage. I was saved and became a true Christian. My marriage was restored a few months ago. Nothing that happened regarding the restoration was my doing, I gave my marriage to God and in His time He restored our marriage." (New York)
"Praise the Lord, my husband unexpectedly returned home today. His lease was up and he said he was going to move into another apartment. I just didn't know it was mine! Thank You Lord for the wonderful blessing and provision for the needs and desires of our family. We are so grateful." (Georgia)
“Praise be to God. My husband is back and this time for good. God never fails. Whenever I felt like giving up, God gave me hope. Exactly a month before my husband’s return God spoke to my heart and said it’s over, he's coming home. Now I see after his return that God has not only convicted my husband and brought him home but He has changed me. Dear standers, things will look really bad just before it settles down. Just claim and hold onto God’s promises because the God we love is a never failing God. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Sri Lanka)
“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)
“I want to send hope to standers and remind them that you never really stop standing. It’s now a way of living; I believe God’s way of living. I had someone come out to fix some things in my apartment. We talked for awhile and somehow got on the subject of marriage. She started to tell me of her first marriage and how it ended in divorce. I asked her if she would ever marry again. She told me that not too long ago she was dating a man and they even moved in together. She felt they were soul mates. I asked her what happened to them. She told me one day he up and left. She said he went home to his wife...after three years I might add. Because I'm a stander (even though my spouse is home) I felt different when she said he went home to his wife. I thought in my mind that maybe his wife is a stander too. Keep the faith!” (California)
"My husband came home to us for Thanksgiving. Praise Jesus and His Holy Name. Our Lord keeps all His promises." (Pennsylvania)
“My suddenly happened on Saturday. And it came totally different from what I ‘dreamt’ and ‘hoped’ for. After many months of separation and hardly any communication, the OW broke off the relationship with my husband so he had nowhere to go. She phoned me to come to her house to basically come and get him and his stuff. Oh dear, everything just went so horribly wrong when he saw me.... I just kept praying and praying for strength and to zip the lips. He eventually came home hours later, moved into the spare bedroom downstairs, and he is a ‘stranger’ to me. I will keep on praying for the divine work of the Lord in our marriage and for His breath of life and the salvation of my husband. PTL for bringing my prodigal ‘home.’ He is under the same roof now and the rest will come in God’s perfect timing.” (New Zealand)
"Although my husband never left our home physically, he left emotionally and spiritually. He left the church. He talked badly about Christians. He had started pursuing other woman and told me he no longer had feelings for me. He was looking for somewhere to go. Since he wasn't able to leave, I was able to stand with him still under our roof. God has taught me where I was wrong as well as shown me how to be patient and trust Him to restore my marriage. A few days ago my husband told me I am the love of his life and that he needs me in his life. He has returned to church and is allowing God to work in him. He acknowledged that he knows our marriage was saved because of my prayers. Every day God gives us something new. There are still battles, but we are winning the war. The love we now share is a new one and a growing one." (California)
“I have given up a few times in my stand but God has always reminded me He is faithful and to trust Him. Earlier this year I received my suddenly from my beloved, but due to me giving up and detouring it caused us to split up. For months I agonized about missing my suddenly. I attended the Dallas Rejoice on the Road conference and was encouraged by Charlyne praying for me and my beloved. After the prayer, Charlyne told me to continue praying and be prepared to write my testimony. I decided to let go and let God, stop trying to control my spouse coming back to me, seek God for His will for my life, and grow in Christ. During the process God taught me to trust Him to move on the other side of the mountain and that He is faithful. Well to God be all the Glory. My spouse has contacted me to say he is now ready to work on us and reconcile.” (Texas)
"My prodigal came back and we have been living together many months now as a family. I know that God is in control and is continually working on my husband. Even when I told God I was giving up, He would inject my prodigal into my life again, to remind me to stand firm. Thank you Bob and Charlyne. Without you, my family would still be broken." (Texas)
"God is good. My husband came home after being gone for months. He slowly starting coming around and started spending more time with me and the kids. He stated seeing what the Lord has done in my life. He is now home and attending church with us. I give all my praises to God." (California)
"A couple of years ago I met someone and in a short time we divorced our spouses and married each other. Everyone’s lives were turned upside down, including children. The Lord convicted us recently and we both agreed we needed to go back and make it work with our covenant spouses. We annulled our marriage and are now prodigals turned standers. God is good, our covenant spouses have forgiven us and we are rebuilding our relationships with our Heavenly Father and also with our spouses." (Kansas)
PS from the Steinkamps: May this praise give every stander such hope and encouragement especially if your spouse has 'married' the other person. God does speak to His children even after they have legalized their adultery. God is in the reconciliation and restoration business, turning these two people to Him and back to their covenant spouses. God is faithful. Two more marriages are being restored! Hallelujah!
“Several months ago my husband left me and our boys. In my brokenness, I cried out to the Lord, because I knew He was my only hope. I always believed in the power of prayer. I humbled myself before God, completely submitted my will to Him, gave Him my whole heart and began to obey the Word. I began spending all my spare time in His Word, in prayer and listening to worship music. The Lord started to speak to me. He told me to just trust in Him because He would restore my marriage in His time, if I would give Him total control. I kept my eyes on Him and off my circumstance. I learned to walk by faith and not by sight. When Satan was attacking the strongest, God was moving in my husband’s heart. Then my 'suddenly' happened. My husband came home. All the glory goes to God!” (Canada)
"God is so good! My husband is coming home! I`ve followed RMM for almost four years . With a couple of setbacks, third time's a charm. After a few weeks of communication I pick him up from airport next week to come home. Although this is just the beginning God`s work isn't done. I's just begun!! (Michigan)
“My husband’s plan was to divorce and move away. I found this website through an Internet search and availed myself of Charlyne's godly advice. I prayed, fasted, and stood. I let my husband know that I was never giving up on our covenant before God. Suddenly he expressed that he wanted to try again. He had noticed a difference in me and everywhere he went he thought of me. We are aware that our marriage needs repair, but we know that God has great plans for us together. Stand firm and get as close to God as you possibly can. My stand will continue for my marriage as long as we have breath. Now we are standing as one.” (New York)
“I wanted to stop by and encourage someone going through difficulty. I've had a restored marriage now over two years. The circumstances seemed impossible. My husband seemed so much in love with the other person but she's been gone from his mind, heart and life completely. I almost gave up because the storm was its biggest right before it was completely calmed by my Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST. My husband is closer to the LORD, which I never pictured happening, and the Lord has placed other men in the same situation he was in so that he may help them not make the same mistakes. Praise our Lord for not giving up on us when we try to give up, and bless Charlyne and her ministry to continue what they do best. When I was about to give up, I would remind myself… if I cannot trust God to get me out of this situation then how could I trust him in other situations?” (California)
“I have been receiving encouragement from RMM for many years and it's been such a blessing. I received a pamphlet that talked about the covenant of marriage when we were going through our divorce and I decided to stand for my marriage. I lived through five years of silence without hearing from my spouse, but God continued to encourage me to keep standing. I did ‘suddenly’ hear from my spouse and thought I had my restoration, but things don't always go the way we think. It's been three years since that suddenly, and we are now getting remarried! It's been slower than I thought, but God's timing is perfect. I am so thankful for the scriptures, prayers and encouragement. No matter how things look to us, God CAN and WILL do the impossible, if we keep believing. He is a great God!” (Pennsylvania)
“I am confessing that my covenant marriage is restored! God made me a promise and I believe in His Word. He is not a God that He should lie. After some years of separation and months after the divorce, my husband said he loved me too! Praise God! It is not by anything I have done or said, my Lord gets all the GLORY! We are attending a family wedding in the near future, as a family. I am in awe of the unconditional love that He has for me and my family. Forgiveness was hindering my prayers and now I have a testimony that God does heal. Blessed is she who has BELIEVED that what the Lord has told her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45.” (Pennsylvania)
"After years of separation, my husband returned home the day before Thanksgiving. Our boys and I had hardly heard from him in months and now, suddenly, he is home. I am praising God for this miracle. I am so thankful that God did not give up on my husband and even arranged a divine appointment with a pastor who spoke the truth to him, which was one of my specific prayers for him. I am thankful that God kept me standing and praying for my husband through some very difficult times. I can't look back on anything that I have gone through and say that it was not worth it when I think my husband was lost and now is found. I know that God will continue to be with us as we deal with all the issues that come with our restoration. God is faithful and nothing is impossible for Him." (Washington State)
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!
"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)
My husband filed for divorce and we were suppose to be in court, but I stood and told him we were not getting a divorce. I have prayed for him ever since I started standing. I have almost given up many times, but God would not let me. Yesterday my husband called and told me he was cancelling the court case and is coming to Germany with our children. He is willing to make our marriage work. Thank you, Lord. 'For nothing is impossible with God.' (Luke 1:37) Amen. (Germany)
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!!
"After 22 years of marriage, my spouse left home. God became my Counselor, Deliverer, Comforter, and strong tower. The more I read His Word, the anguish and tears were replaced with peace and contentment as God continued to refine me. After four years, God brought my spouse home physically, but not completely in his heart. While my spouse was gone, Thanksgiving was spent in different homes of friends and family. This year, my spouse and I are hosting the family for Thanksgiving. It is such a blessing to witness the excitement of our young adult children as they contribute to the preparation. here again. Thanks be to God for our family once again, celebrating Thanksgiving together. I can't describe how much your ministry has kept me encouraged and in tune to God's Will." (North Carolina)
"Praise the Lord my husband came home for Christmas. It was a complete surprise. God has been so good and faithful during this trial. He has given me many promises and scriptures. The Lord gently and patiently directed my steps. He has changed my heart for my husband and allowed me to love him unconditionally and deeper than ever. I am so to excited be on the path of restoration." (New Hampshire)
“Well I knew in my heart I would be writing this one day, but in my head I don't think I truly believed it. My wife and I separated. I wanted to stay together, but she pursued a divorce. Very close to the final hearing to end our marriage she began to soften, to change, to open her eyes. We began our restoration about this time last year. Although there have been some bumps along the way, we seem to get over them easier than before with God's help. I am so glad I did not quit on my wife! Keep praying for your spouse and trusting in God's Word!” (Ohio)
“Praise the Lord! I got my miracle. My spouse is coming home and the divorce dismissed! I had several years of crying out to the Lord day and night. I am so happy! I was in anguish crying out to the Lord God and heard a still small voice tell me to wait. After reading everything I could on God and marriage and studying scriptures about marriage. I told God I would wait as long as it took. Every time I experienced another obstacle I'd pray and remember what God said and my promise to Him. It looked hopeless. Finally after being forced to sign a court appearance paper I turned it completely over to God. This is when I saw the hand of God at work! Now when I look back, I see He's been working the whole time. Amazing! He is faithful. Never give up. God will do what He has promised! He is love. Learn to trust! My journey has only begun… But God! A scripture which really helped in the last month was Psalm 91:4.” (Nebraska)