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Before I begin, I want to be completely honest with you and share that I absolutely do not want to stand in the gap for my marriage or my husband. It is hard, painful, and many times I see absolutely no progress. There I said it. I know this may come as a shock to many, but before you click the “next button” or browse another website or article, please let me explain.
For the past several years, I have done the “cha cha slide” with the Lord regarding my marriage restoration: One step forward, two steps back. There have been moments when I am totally on fire for the Lord and praying for my husband, and then at other times I become indifferent and even frigid about the whole idea.
Thankfully, when I have become complacent and even angry about standing in the gap for my beloved husband, God has been faithful to put some holy fire under me (through a health or financial crisis, or the loss of a loved one) to get my head back in the game so I can keep walking on the narrow path, rather than the broad road of destruction.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14
However, lately, God has given me a different lens through which to view my husband and the critical state our marriage and family are currently in. Rather than looking at how our marriage restoration would benefit me or even our dear children, God has shown me how devastating it would be for my husband if I chose to no longer stand in the gap and pray fervently for his soul to be redeemed.
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12
My new vision has come as I have read the stories of faithful wives who found their husbands caught in the horrible pit of sin, and the painful consequences that always follow. The range of their husbands’ sins were absolutely horrific and terrifying. One wife found out her husband (a well-known pastor) was involved in a homosexual relationship. Another, just days into their new marriage, was informed by her husband that he was HIV Positive. And one other, after coming to the Lord, was told by her atheist husband that he would consider divorce if she continued to follow after an unseen God.
Though each of these women had a different cross to bear, the one thing they each had in common, which has made them a beacon of light and encouragement to women all of over the world, is their unwavering love and commitment to their husbands and their marriage union.
Not one of these women even considered leaving their marriage or their husband, though many would have told them they had every right to. No, instead, they remained faithful to their vows to love their husbands for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, through good times and bad, until death parted them both.
As I read about the shame, pain, rejection, ridicule, and stigmas these women endured for the love of their man, I thought to myself: “How can I do any less? My husband, my one flesh mate, needs me. How can I abandon our vows?”
“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:5-6
Lastly, what has touched my heart the most and grounded me in this stand, is the love and appreciation these now healed and whole husbands have expressed to their beautiful, loving wives. Each and every one of them credited their very life, success, ministries, and recovery to their wives who stood in the gap for them when they were at the lowest points in their lives. And even more amazing is the great contribution these men have made to the world through charities, books, and spreading the gospel – none of which would have happened had their wives exercised their “rights” and left them.
Though this devotional is written from a wife’s perspective, I pray that husbands will understand too that their wives will never be all that they can be apart from their husbands. As spouses standing in the gap, we must realize the tremendous LOSS that the world and the Christian faith will experience if we follow the way of the world and give up and/or move on to somebody new. This is our calling, this is our cross to bear. May we bear it with grace, dignity and courage, as Jesus did, so that many souls will be saved.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:24-26
Tiffany in Texas