A few days ago, Lysa Terkeurst, President of Proverbs 31 ministry announced in a blog post titled, Rejection, Heartache and a Faithful God, that she and her husband are divorcing.
As I read the words in the email we received, my heart broke for Lysa. My heart also broke for her husband, Art. The thought kept crossing my mind; no marriage is safe. That is a statement my husband and I have uttered for years.
Twenty-one years ago, I took a vow, “until death do us part.” Because of what my parents had been through Scott and I openly discussed divorce, even before we were married. We knew bad things could happen. The enemy could deceive one of us into believing there was someone better out there. We could face unthinkable circumstances, any of which could cause us to end our marriage. We agreed that divorce was not an option.
Scott and I are human. We have faced hard things in our lives that attack marriages. When those hard days come, we have reminded each other that we can’t get off the mountain of marriage, only go through it and make it better.
We are both aware of the schemes of the enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion. He schemes. He is sly. My marriage is susceptible to his tricks, your marriage is susceptible, and the marriages of any ministry leader is susceptible.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9
The devil would love nothing more than to take down the marriages of prominent Christian leaders. It has happened in our community with Pastor Bob Coy and Pastor Tullian Tchividjian. Both prominent pastors just minutes from our office admitted unfaithfulness in their marriages.
Marriage is God’s picture of His relationship with the church. It is holy. I believe that is why the enemy tries to destroy marriages at alarming rates. He is trying to destruct the body.
Author Gary Thomas poses a question in his book, Sacred Marriage. What if marriage is not about you and your spouse, but about you and God? We can use the challenges we face to draw closer to God and our mate instead of letting them pull us apart. He also poses the question, what if God designed marriage to make us both happy and holy?
We need to be on guard. We need to protect our marriages. We need girl friends that will speak truth in our lives when they see us heading in the wrong direction. Our husband’s need the same type of friends. We need to set up guardrails ahead of time. As a couple, talk about things that can happen and how you will address them before the situation arises. Protect your marriage.
When I hear stories like Lysa’s, I often think, “Lord, why are you allowing this to happen? Why bring this shame on Yourself and the family?” I don’t know the answer to that, but here is what I do know about Lysa. I know that for years, I have personally been encouraged by the mission of Proverbs 31 ministry and her teaching. I know that the books she has authored have been anointed. God has used her as a tool to deliver His message. I know that she is hurting. I know that she and her family have been through things we can’t even imagine over the last two years.
I also know that there are only three people that know the truth. Lysa, her husband, Art, and God. They know the details. They know the facts. And that is appropriate. We don’t need to know the details.
I recently stumbled across a social media page for a prominent Christian woman. She is in the midst of a divorce from her husband, who was once a Pastor. She shares intimate details of her situation online. Even to the point of giving a link where people can request a transcript of her divorce proceedings. What does she gain from this transparency? What if your spouse saw a post from you like this?
In this day we, the public, tend to think we have a right to know everything. The inner workings of Lysa’s marriage problems are none of our business. Even in her role as a ministry leader. That is between Lysa’s family, the leaders in her ministry and God.
What are your thoughts?
How do you feel about this announcement? You may be feeling like there is no hope for your marriage if someone like Lysa Terkeurst can’t keep a marriage together. I would imagine that thought thrills our enemy. Regardless of our professions, income level or affluence, the devil wants to destroy our homes. No one is immune.
You may be thinking Lysa is giving up too soon. Let me remind you again that we don’t know the details. I would imagine that Lysa is where my mom was and where so many of you have been. Shocked, hurting and wanting to do something to stop the hemorrhaging flood of circumstances looking her in the face. That is exactly how my mom felt. She sought counsel, she was told, “Bob will never change.” She divorced him.
In God’s perfect timing, He silenced the world around her and spoke clearly to her heart.
“I love Bob. I can redeem this. Do you trust me? Will you wait?” You may have heard those same words from the Creator.
I pray that Lysa will be able to silence the world around her and seek God’s perfect will for what she should do in the days ahead.
So what can we do?
We can pray.
That is all I know to do. I have been praying for Lysa and Art continually since her announcement. I have been praying protection over their children and grandchildren. I have been praying that Lysa and Art would be able to silence everyone around them and hear from the Lord Almighty. I have been praying that God would be glorified in this. I have been praying for the addiction Art is struggling with and praying he is released from the bondage of that addiction. I have been praying for repentance, reconciliation and full restoration for this entire family. I am praying that someone in this marriage will see the value of God’s marriage institution and they will fight for it. I am praying they will fight for an unworthy spouse, they will fight for a spouse that has had enough. It only takes one person.
Most importantly, I am trusting God. I am trusting that He will be glorified through this. I am trusting that because of the public figures they both are, He will use this to show the world that He does heal hurting and dead marriages.
This situation should strengthen your resolve to pray for restoration in your family. Our enemy wants to destroy what God created. Don’t let him whisper defeat to you. Let’s join arms together praying and fighting for the sanctity of marriage! Our God is able!!
Are you ready to stand?
“I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as a with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” Malachi 2:16
Lori Steinkamp Lassen
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.
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