TAKING A STAND
The following is an excerpt from my book, Standing for God’s Best, available from the Rejoice Ministries Bookstore at the link on the right sidebar.
For that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard – if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment. 2 Peter 2:8-9
In the simplest of terms, “standing” means honoring the vows you made on your wedding day regardless of your circumstances. In the world’s view, it is “I will love you, if you love me.” This is not what God expects of us in our covenant marriages. In a Christian marriage, we vow“to have and to hold, until death separates.” God was a witness to the covenant vows you made on your wedding day and these vows are not to be taken lightly:
If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. Deuteronomy 23:21
As Christ loves us unconditionally, we are to love our spouses unconditionally regardless of how they treat us, including separation and divorce. If your spouse walks out on you, this has no bearing whatsoever on your part of the covenant. You and your spouse are “one flesh” until death separates – PERIOD! During your time of separation from your spouse, you need to be praying that they turn from their sinful ways and return to the Lord. This is your duty and responsibility to God and to your mate! I have encountered countless individuals that spend their time searching scripture for escape clauses from their marriage vows. As explained elsewhere in this book, do not waste your time searching for excuses. Your time would be better spent searching God’s Word for his promises for your marriage. God only blesses obedience to his Word. It pains me that many in the Body of Christ do not seem to understand this principle. God will never bless disobedience to his Word.
The book of Hosea is a perfect illustration of how “standing” works. Hosea’s marriage to his unfaithful wife, Gomer, is used as a metaphor of how God loves us unconditionally regardless of our waywardness. Gomer leaves Hosea to enter a life of prostitution and worshipping idols. Hosea is faithful to his wife in spite of her actions. He prays for her daily. Finally, after many years of sinfulness and debauchery, Gomer is brought to the slave market to be sold. She is broken, haggard and thin. She stands there naked but no man looks at her lustfully. In the crowd is Hosea, her husband. He bids the top price for her and takes her home. Hosea nurses Gomer back to health and daily reads God’s Word to her. Through Hosea’s faithfulness to his wife and to his God, Gomer is restored to health, God and to her children. What would have become of Gomer if Hosea had “gotten on with his life” as the world tells us to do? What will become of your spouse if you do anything less than what Hosea did for Gomer? What would become of us if God were not faithful to us in spite of our waywardness?
To give you a better idea of what it means to “stand” for the healing of your marriage, here are my top three “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of standing:
The “Do’s” of Standing
1. Be Obedient to God
In everything you do, put God first and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Proverbs 3:6
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
2. Pray Incessantly
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. Luke 18:7-8
3. Love Your Wife Unconditionally
Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy. Ephesians 5:25-26
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Be on you guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
The “Dont's” of Standing
1. Don’t talk about your problems to anyone other than God
A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. Proverbs 16:28
You do not have, because you do not ask God. James 4:2
2. Don’t bad mouth your spouse to anyone, especially your children
Let your conversation be always full of grace. Colossians 4:6
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:8
3. Don’t give up!
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord in not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
And as for you…never tire of doing what is right. 2 Thessalonians 3:13
Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds…he will revive us…he will restore us that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. Hosea 6:1-3
The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. Psalm 37:39
May he give you the desires of your heart and make your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
God is looking for men to stand in the gap of divorce for their families. God is looking for someone to break the generational curse of divorce. It is our duty and obligation to God to honor our marriage vows. We are in a unique position to bless our wives and children beyond comprehension by standing for the healing of our marriages. I pray that you will choose to be a man of your word. You spoke the vows, now honor them with your life. Someday your wife and children will thank you for being the godly man that you are!
Peace and blessings through our Lord, Jesus Christ.