Questions & Answers

How do I keep going? I am so lonely and I miss my spouse's affection. I can't do this anymore.

(Answered by a stander with a restored marriage) I can feel your pain. Really, I know what it's like to feel lonely, frustrated, broke and wondering if just maybe there might be a soul out there who will really love me and want to stay with me, while not rejecting our relationship and in the process rejecting me. Oh how that hurts, I know! Well, I did fall and give up. I entangled myself with other wrong men. At the time they seemed right! After all, my husband did not want me and continuously encouraged me to move on and find someone so I could be happy. For a time, and I mean a short time, it was fulfilling. But it was just a temporary fix for my emptiness and loneliness. Then I would wake up to reality. I was with a counterfeit. I knew in my heart those men were not my husband. I became miserable and lonely again. Thank You Jesus for not leaving me alone, for nudging me the whole time to go back to my first love. My husband was lost in the world of sexual sin and gambling. He was contemplating taking his life due to shame and guilt from the devil. I was selfish in the process, magnifying my desires and my loneliness. The Holy Spirit reminded me of the vow I took, and the covenant my husband and I made. It was then that my joy came back, that my peace returned. I only had true peace and joy in my heart when I would pray for my husband. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you divine revelation. God is faithful. Ask Jesus what you are to do. He will speak to you. Today I can tell you my husband and I live for Jesus! We thank Him every day for the restoration of our home, for cleansing us of our sins, for making us whiter than snow via the Blood of Jesus! It was worth every tear. My stand and heartache was worth the many smiles we have today. It is not over; allow the Lord to work! It was not easy, but it was so worth it. Hang in there!

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

I have people tell me I can't remarry my spouse because of the passage in Deuteronomy 24. What are your thoughts?

THE “DEUTERONOMY 24 WIFE”
Everyone knows about the “Proverbs 31 woman,” but have you ever heard about the “Deuteronomy 24 wife?” Bible scholars will tell you the divorce and remarriage issue is one of the less exact topics in the Bible. We do know that God “hates divorce” (Malachi 3) and that His best is one man for one woman for a lifetime. Beyond that, God seems to have left much open for interpretation, possibly to allow for the tangled webs His children often weave. The first verses of Deuteronomy 24, dealing with divorce and remarriage is not such a passage. When time is taken to study it, God’s law on that topic in Deuteronomy is without question. We are contacted from time to time by some misguided stander who has had one verse quoted to them as the reason they cannot leave an adulterous marriage relationship and return to their covenant mate. Those who do so are taking the verse out of context, and most cannot even quote it properly: They are hearing only: “... then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.” (Verse 4) To correctly apply any scripture to your life, you must consider the verses that appear before and after. Let’s look at this entire passage, with emphasis added for clarification: If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.” (Verses 1-4) What is, “something indecent?” It could not have been adultery, because the woman would have been stoned to death, and a dead woman returning to her covenant husband would not be an issue. (Exodus 20:14) It does not apply to a prodigal husband’s antics, because God is referring specifically to a “wife.” What is “something indecent?” In some translations, the word “uncleanness” is used in place of “something indecent.” The Hebrew word from which that is translated is”arwah”, meaning “shame,” or “disgrace.” The early rabbis could not come to terms with what constituted “uncleanness,” but it is thought to be nakedness, disgrace, or some other action having to do with sexual uncleanness which stopped short of adultery. Does this passage even apply to you? Let’s look. To be fretting over Deuteronomy 24, you must be (1) a wife (2) whose husband divorced her (3) because of sexual uncleanness, bringing shame upon the family, but stopping short of adultery. We have a mailing list of several thousand people, and my wife and I know most of their stories personally, and I cannot recall a single “Deuteronomy 24 wife!” Sadly, we know some who would have been stoned back in the time when Moses received these Laws. These laws were handed down at a time when the Egyptians were “divorcing” the wives by simply speaking words over them. The Egyptians had contracts for every area of their lives, except for divorce. As a result, women and children were being left with nothing. The Israelites then picked up the practice of divorce from the Egyptians. Out of necessity, and to provide food for their families, many “divorced” wives turned to prostitution. This passage appears to be God’s way of making order out of man’s “hardness of heart” over divorce. What does the Bible say elsewhere about returning to a covenant spouse? (Emphasis added) “If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers—would you now return to me?” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 3:1) Would God say “No” to Israel when she desired to return to Him? Certainly not. Bible commentaries discuss a strong rebuke in the verse above, but the Lord will always accept His nation back. How then, can we say that a husband is prohibited from receiving his covenant wife back? Ephesians, Chapter 5 teaches us that marriage is a representation on this earth of the relationship between God and His church. There is serious error in instructing a hurting spouse that God will receive back both the individual and the nation that have been unfaithful to Him, yet our covenant spouse cannot do so. The “Deuteronomy 24 wife” issue is not complete until we acknowledge the covenant of marriage. If a wife is married (covenant) to one man, it is not possible for her to establish a second covenant with another man. She is in adultery, but not married to the second man. It is at this point that the path of life widens with God’s grace. There are a thousand and one scenarios that could have taken place. Neither could have been Christians at the time of the first marriage, or one was and one was not. Who was saved when? Are past spouses remarried? Has there been heartfelt repentance by those involved? The bottom line is that the Holy Spirit, and not any man or woman, should be speaking truth to those involved. God’s Word may be fuzzy on some of the divorce and remarriage issues, but His speaking to you will be loud and clear, if you are in a right relationship with Him. Do not allow any other person to attempt to become the Holy Spirit’s helper by dictating to you what is right or wrong, unless the Bible is perfectly clear on the subject. A “Deuteronomy 24 wife” is attempting to live under the law in this age of grace, (New Testament age). If you feel that you are in fact a “Deuteronomy 24 wife,” let’s look at what other directions and laws God gives in that same chapter: “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” (Verse 5) Did your husband stay home with you for one year after you were married? If you are really a “Deuteronomy 24 wife,” your husband could not have worked for that one year period. “Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a man’s livelihood as security.” (Verse 6) Millstones were two stones used to grind food. When a “Deuteronomy 24 wife” buys a car, her millstone cannot be taken as collateral. “If a man is caught kidnaping one of his brother Israelites and treats him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.” (Verse 7) The death penalty is recognized as appropriate by the Deuteronomy 24 wife. “In cases of leprous diseases be very careful to do exactly as the priests, who are Levites, instruct you. You must follow carefully what I have commanded them. Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam along the way after you came out of Egypt.” (Verse 8) This is law for the “Deuteronomy 24 wife” to follow should we have a leprosy epidemic. When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, do not go into his house to get what he is offering as a pledge. Stay outside and let the man to whom you are making the loan bring the pledge out to you. If the man is poor, do not go to sleep with his pledge in your possession. Return his cloak to him by sunset so that he may sleep in it. Then he will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the Lord your God. (Verses 10-12) Cloaks must be returned by sunset to a poor man. How many cloaks are you holding? “Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns. Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.” (Verses 14-15) If your family has financial needs, tell your husband that he must be paid by his employer each day. If not, tell the employer that he is sinning “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.” (Verse 16) Children dying for their sin? I am thankful Jesus came to pay the price for each of us and for our children. “Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this”. The “Deuteronomy 24 wife” may still be a slave, not realizing that Jesus redeemed her on the cross. When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. (Verses 19-21) Very few of us harvest wheat, olives, and grapes today, but here is God’s standard, should you want to be a real “Deuteronomy wife” and grow your own food. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this. Yes, each of us were slaves at one time, but our Redeemer came to set us free. Our precepts for living the Christian life today are found in the New Testament. No, God did not change His mind. He set us free from the law. Being a “Deuteronomy 24 wife” sounds silly, once we study the verses, doesn’t it? So does not being able to return to a covenant spouse, and restoring a family to live for and serve the Lord. These are the laws in the same chapter of Deuteronomy where you are attempting to make application to marriage. You cannot select which verse you will follow. I thank God for Jesus and the grace He provides. - Robert E. Steinkamp

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

How old are the testimonies you post in the Saturday testimonies?

Our Saturday testimonies are compiled from testimonies we receive each week. If someone misses the cut-off, their testimony may be used the following week. Almost every testimony is from the prior week.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

What is your counsel about sex with an absent mate?

You need "Sex and The Stander" CD from our Bookstore - http://stopdivorce.org

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

A stander wrote and told us she got divorced yesterday. I hurt so much. What do I do?

I know the pain that you are feeling, but please remember that I did not start standing until AFTER my divorce and the Lord sent me a couple with a restored marriage to our church. Yes, even after I had divorced Bob. God knew my heart. God also knows the desires of your heart. Today is a new day for you to say to the Lord, that you trust Him to move the mountain of divorce out of your life in the Name of Jesus. Mark 11:22-26. Forgive your husband for his lack of knowledge of the Lord and keep forgiving him daily for choosing to live a sinful lifestyle. Is he going to see the children? I pray that you will encourage him to continue to see his children. Pray Malachi 4:6. Please don't give up, your husband has to see and feel that he can't run from God and His plan and purpose for your marriage restoration. Seek the Lord and He will NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU! Stand firm in your faith. Take captive all the negative thoughts, because you know they come from the enemy. Go to church, read God's Word and keep praying for God's perfect will for you and your marriage. Don't give up. Read Luke 18:1-8. Ask the Lord to speak to your heart His plan and purpose for your life and marriage. God does speak. Read Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Jeremiah 33:3. We will be praying for you.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Are you ready to talk to your spouse's other person in love if the Lord opened the door for you to share with them?

Be ready! The Lord opened the door for me to meet the other woman and I was able to share my testimony in love what the Lord had done in my life. Pray for the other person as they are not the enemy!

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

I am having lunch with my husband's non-covenant wife tomorrow. He is planning to return home. What should I say?

This is a huge praise. Go to the meeting prayed up, radiating the Lord. Just love her. Be sure you have forgiven her for all that has happened and remember she is not the enemy, Satan is. When I met with Bob's girlfriend, I told her my own testimony of all that the enemy had done in our marriage and how the Lord touched me and changed my life after I divorced Bob. At the time I met the other woman, her husband would not return their children to her one weekend, so Bob called for me to meet and pray with her. She met me on a Sunday evening at a church service where our son, Tim was the sound man for a singing group. I was honored enough to pray for her at that time of the crisis for her children. But God! After we met, he returned them later that night. She thought I was crazy, not coping with the reality of our divorce, etc. But in the end, she told Bob I knew in time you would go back to your wife. Be careful all that you say as everything you say will go back to your husband possibly in distorted truth. You are blessed and pray that if this is the Lord's plan, that you will be obedient and speak only the Words that He wants you to say. Pray that you can share the love of the Lord and the plan of salvation. Praise the Lord for you being a light in this dark world. That is Lord's assignment for all of us. John 3:16-17, Acts 26:17-18.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

We received an email that is common when spouses come home. Let me share a small part of it: "My husband has come home, but we still fight. I read a devotional about that I need to change first. I realize I pray, fast and read my Bible, but my heart has not changed. What can I do?"

What a praise that the Lord has revealed your problem. You must change first. I have written and taught teachings all about this. Do you list to our radio programs, "Fight For Your Marriage" or "God Heals Hurting Marriages" on the Internet or StopDivorceRadio? You would learn this. Otherwise, you need to consider buying some resources to teach you: "How to love your spouse unconditionally," What Are You Speaking? "Zip Your Lips!", Are You Really Ready For Your Spouse's Return Home?", "My Spouse Has Come Home! What Do I Do?", and "Forgive Them." These are just a few teachings that will help you change and grow in the Lord. Bob was abusive and then I would react, but the Lord, changed me, to tell me to hush, be quiet. Stop fighting. Love Bob unconditionally. Read 2 Timothy 2:22-26. Don't give up. Learn how to love and live with your husband who may be an unbeliever, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Read I Peter 3. We have the material on the Internet and available in our Bookstore. I pray that you will spend hours allowing the Lord to teach you wisdom, knowledge and understanding how to rebuild your marriage on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, when your husband is home or trying to return home. We also have Bob's book to prodigals, "Finding The Way Home" which may help you both, also.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Have you chosen to start rebuilding your home with the Lord's help?

Charlyne has written a special devotional about this very subject. Learn what you have to do to start rebuilding your home right now. Read her devotional at: http://www.rejoiceministries.org/charlyne-cares-daily-devotional/2011/10/07/have-you-started-rebuilding-your-home/

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

I have nowhere to turn for world support for my stand and I am weary. There are pressures coming at me from every side and I feel that I have failed in my obedience to the Lord.

How hard it is to feel so alone, I know! But you are not alone. Not only do you have our Lord and Savior walking with you, you have thousands of other standers around the world walking and believing with you. The enemy is aiming his fiery darts and you feel helpless to deflect them. When this happens to me, I always turn to Ephesians 6:10-18. I pray that armor of God around myself and my family. Another scripture that helps me is 2 Kings 6:16-17. "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." I envision God opening my spouse's eyes to see the hills full of horses and the chariots of fire that He has placed around my family. The holiday season is always a very difficult time for standers. Television, ads, billboards, storefronts - they all show happy families celebrating together and we feel like we are all alone. This is the time when we need to draw even closer to our Savior. The heart of our troubles is where He shows His heart to us. I pray for God's comfort for you. I pray that you will feel His loving arms embrace you from above and that you will crawl up into His arms and let Him take your pain. "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40:11

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

My child is getting married. My spouse is in a non-covenant marriage. He/She is coming with their non-covenant spouse. I am struggling with anxiety attacks and concerned how I am going to handle meeting my spouse for the first time in a long time. I am still believing for marriage restoration God. My other child is not wanting to even attend her sibling's wedding. Do you have any suggestions?

Let me share an email that Kim wrote whose husband is in a non-covenant marriage and both of her children have been married recently. Dear Stander - First and foremost, congratulations on your son's marriage. I pray that their lives together will be filled with the Lord. Secondly, I have walked that road you get to walk this weekend...twice. The confusion and anxiety you feel are normal and understandable. One thing that really helped me was to increase my Bible reading and praying. I knew that I would be in "enemy territory" so to speak and wanted as much armor of God as I could get. I confess, the first time around I didn't fare so well. I let the taunts of the enemy drown out the words that God had so lovingly given me. But this second time...I KNEW that God had surrounded me with His loving arms and that gave me confidence I didn't even know I had inside me. May I share a very special verse that the Lord gave me some weeks before the wedding? It is Psalm 23:5. "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." God is promising us here that He is in control and that His blessings are going to come. I like the NLT version even better. "You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings." See? He is not only promising us a table, He is promising us a feast! I pray that these words from scripture will encourage you. I am sorry to hear that your other child does not plan on attending the wedding. Forgiveness is such a big part of our stands and I pray that they will be able to forgive their parent so that they do not have to miss the most important day of their sibling's life. Sometimes it takes just one act of kindness to topple an impossible wall that has been standing for years. This is that chance for you and for your child to show what it is to be a Christian; to extend the mercy and grace that the Lord has given you to others. I pray that this day will be special for all of you in so many ways. "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26 God bless, Kim

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

My spouse promised to be here to spend the holiday with me and the children. He never showed up. I feel like I have been used and set aside like trash.

The holidays ARE a very difficult time for standers. I have faced difficult holiday situations myself. But I have found that these are the times when I really need to rely on God's grace and mercy to get me through. These are the times I need to cling to His Word and His promises. Instead of rehearsing all the wrongs committed or railing against circumstances, I have found that letting these things go, committing them to God, and trusting Him to take care of them, gives me a peace that I know I could not have without Him. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 This is the best time of year to hang on to this promise. Give everything to God - with prayer and thanksgiving. I know how difficult this is to do when you feel you are in the middle of things, seeing no way out. But God will guide you and give you the wisdom you need if you will only ask. "Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." Proverbs 4:5-7 Don't forget what Charlyne and Bob always tell us - your spouse is not the enemy. He has been deceived and blinded by the enemy. It is our job, our calling to pray that God will open their eyes.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

How do I put my family on your prayer list?

If you have ever contacted Rejoice Marriage Ministries and given us your name and other information, your contact has been recorded in the Ministry records and you are in our personal prayers. Be assured that someone with the last name of Steinkamp has read your email or letter. Often more than one person has read your message. Charlyne or I, or both of us, look at all signed email personally. We hear from far too many couples with hurting marriages to list name individually on the Chapel page, so you may never see your names there, but you can know we are praying for you and your family. Confidentiality issues do not allow us to share publically the names of people who contact us.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

I have messed up morally while standing. I have asked God to forgive me, but is there any hope left for our marriage to be restored?

Once God forgives you, forgive yourself. He does not hold forgiven sin against us, so why should you. Be so very careful in the future to avoid situations where you might be tempted.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

My spouse has returned home, but they are not fully committed to our marriage. What should I do?

What a praise! Your spouse is home. Now you get to apply all that you have learning. Often when a spouse comes home, they are coming home for many different reasons. Some come home because the other person is pushing for marriage or there is strife between them. (Often due to the results of you praying.) Another reason that a spouse comes home is that they know they should have never left. They are trying to correct the mistakes that they have made in their life. The best way for a spouse to come home is confessing, repenting and crying out to their Lord for help. They are sorry for all that they have done to their marriage and their family. Bob came home suddenly in obedience and fear of God. His Heavenly Father had spoken very distinctly to him. That happens to many prodigal spouses. I always suggest you pray, break, smash and destroy all soul ties between your spouse and any other ungodly relationships. Some spouses that come home are afraid how to get back into the family's routine, when you have been living without them for a period of time. You need to try to bring them back into feeling accepted by all family members. Many prodigals who come home start feeling the spiritual battle between Satan and Jesus Christ. One is leading them into restoration, while the enemy is tempting your spouse with the other person in many different ways. Offer to your spouse that you do not mind them telling you when the other person calls or contacts them. You then must react as Jesus would and pray for them. Do not get mad or upset with either person. This is a spiritual battle. Read Ephesians 6:10-13. You need to walk in faith and trust your Lord. Just keep praying for the Holy Spirit to give them strength to leave the other world of sin and darkness. Daily pray for their salvation and for a new life in Jesus Christ. Pray that your spouse will repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their life and turn from the temptations of the world. Bob and I know that you want all the love and feelings back into your marriage with all the bad memories to be gone instantly, but that does not always happen. Pray Psalm 51 as a prayer with your husband/wife's name in it regularly. Give them time. Believe in them and give them space. You can trust God only for complete restoration of your marriage. This may be very hard for your spouse to be back home for many different reasons. Bob had to deal with grief and sorrow of his other relationship being broken and severed by knowing that is best for him, his family and God's will. He still cared and worried about the other person for awhile. That is why some spouses come and go two or three times before all contact with the other person is broken forever. Satan may retreat for a short while, but never stop praying for your returned spouse being home. Satan may try another trick or scheme. Bob spoke to a counselor after his return home about the battle that was raging in his mind. The counselor told him to break off all ties with the other person, regardless of all circumstances. Then Bob was told to wait 6 months and see what the Lord had done in his mind and heart. Yes, there were telephone calls and her showing up but by then, Bob had grown in the Lord and there was victory. Now you and your spouse always need to be alert for any temptations. Pray that you or your spouse will recognize any tricks or schemes and say NO! What would Jesus do? Love your spouse unconditionally and wait on the Lord. Read Romans 12:9-end and I Corinthians 13:4-8. God gave me those two scriptures while I was standing. Some additional scriptures that I suggest to pray with your spouse's name in are: Psalm 51, Job 33:12-end, Hosea 2:6&7, Ephesians 1:16-20, Ephesians 3:16-20, Ephesians 6:10-18 (Armor of God), Galatians 5:19-24 and Colossians 1:9-14. Pray that all generational curses, impurities, sexual immorality and all idols will be removed, broken, severed, and destroyed from your spouse. That your husband or wife will be cleansed and given a new heart of flesh and remove their heart of stone. (Read Ezekiel 36:25-36.) Your spouse is not the enemy, but Satan. They have been blinded and deceived to God's way and truths. That is why we suggest you pray that your spouse will have a Damascus Road Experience even now while they are living at home. You need to pray without ceasing as never before. Remember to pray Hosea 2:6-7. Also may I suggest you read Romans Chapters 6-8. Please note the scripture in Romans 7:14-25. That is the battle that we have been talking about. There is victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord gave me a scripture three weeks after Bob came home and when Bob was saying it is too hard. Read Isaiah 28:23-29. Depending on your marriage, and God's wisdom and instruction, you may consider counseling, if you and your spouse agree. If it will cause strife, allow your Lord to be the perfect Counselor as in Isaiah 9:6. Bob and I wrote a book together, "After The Prodigal Returns/Standing After the Prodigal Returns" that we share about the adjustments that you face after your spouse returns home. We also have a teaching that has helped many standers, "My Spouse Has Come Home! What Do I Do?" Both resources are available at Rejoice Marriage Ministries' Bookstore. Go to: http://www.stopdivorce.org/ God does heal hurting and dead marriages. God is moving, trust Him. Just keep praising the Lord and keep praying. "Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it." Ezekiel 36:36

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Do you ever think about how things could have been if you had not come home?

Every time we have a family function and I am around my children and grandchildren I think about what little influence I would have had on their growing up. Years ago God removed thoughts of what life would have been like with someone else.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

What is the best part of now being in ministry?

Friendships God has given us with people around the world, and hearing about their coming into a closer, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. (He is the only One who can help them.)

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

How many years should I keep standing?

Forever! Don't let the number of years stop you praying and waiting for the miracle of your marriage being restored. As you read the Bible, you will see that Abraham and Sarah had to wait until they were in their nineties to have their first child as God promised them. Seek the Lord for His answer to your questions. Then your Lord speaks to your heart. Then obey His commands. God's ways are not our ways. "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." Habakkuk 2:3 Read our Devotionals on this subject: http://www.rejoiceministries.org/charlyne-cares-daily-devotional/2003/06/18/patience-waiting-promise/ http://www.rejoiceministries.org/charlyne-cares-daily-devotional/2004/02/26/wait-perseverance/ http://www.rejoiceministries.org/charlyne-cares-daily-devotional/2005/02/03/faith-wait/

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Should I tell my prodigal I am praying for them to come home?

Your actions every day need to tell your spouse (and others) that you will be waiting forever.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

My spouse is still at home, but having an affair. Am I still a "stander"?

Yes, indeed. God has your spouse right where you can pray for and minister to them daily.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

My spouse is living at home. They are speaking separation or divorce. They are acting differently, what should I do?

We receive many letters and emails of spouses who are thinking about leaving, or have left and keep stopping by. What are you to do? I wrote a devotional that may answer many of your questions. Go to: http://www.rejoiceministries.org/charlyne-cares-daily-devotional/2004/08/05/spouse-home/

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

How about telling about tough love? I have given and given and my spouse just keeps taking. I am enabling my spouse to have that life and not to have the consequences of it.

Doesn't Jesus say the same thing about us? Yet He keeps loving us with unconditional love. Be like Jesus. It is not your place to punish your spouse.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Our situation is so different. I really do not think we will make it.

It is Satan's lie that your circumstances are so different from anyone else's. We never hear a story that we have not heard before. Listen to God for your direction and answers, not to the Enemy.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

I feel like my life and my marriage have been buried under a load of debris and I don't see a way out.

There's a scripture card on my desk right now - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This message is for you, too. It may seem like you are buried in the rubble of debris - fallout from broken promises and enemy attacks. But there is One who can help you see your way out of this mess. His name is Jesus. He has promised that if we call on Him, He will help us. He has promised that if we seek His face, He will bless us. He has promised that He will be with us, always. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2 Your circumstances are, indeed, difficult and the situation may seem impossible. But we serve the God of the impossible. If you can just keep walking and believing and trusting, you will find your way out of the rubble. It is not an easy path we have chosen but it is one we have been called to walk. God promises that we will not walk it alone. So reach out for His hand today and let Him show you the way out.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

I feel like I am ready to give in to what Satan is throwing at me and at my marriage. It looks like everything is hopeless. My spouse is living in sin with another person. I feel like running away.

Don't run away - run to God! God forgives and heals and restores. He is "the God of all grace." Praise Him and trust Him. He promises to give you the wisdom and guidance you need. He promises to always be with you. He promises to heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds. "Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:1-3 The circumstances you are facing today are just that - circumstances. They are ever- changing and often not what they seem. As Rejoice Ministries often tells us - take you eyes off your circumstances and place them on Jesus. Look to Him to be your Wonderful Counselor, your Great Physician, your comfort and your strength. You ask why you should keep praying for something that doesn't look or sound like it will ever be healed. You should keep praying because it is what God has asked you to do. He has called you to a very important assignment - to stand in the gap for your family; to be an angel as mediator on your husband's side; to pray for his salvation. Everything may look dead to you know - rotten and smelly and beyond repair. But don't forget the miracle God worked with Lazarus. Lazarus was dead in the grave four days, yet Jesus waited to work a miracle. Instead of a healing, Lazarus received a resurrection. This was so that God could be glorified. The God who did this for Lazarus wants to do the same for your family. Keep walking, keep praying, keep believing. As He tells us in John 11:40, "Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

When living as a prodigal, what did you miss the most about your family?

The little every day things that would remind me of home. I could block out the big things, but God sent reminders of home in dozens of small ways every day, just as He is doing to your mate.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

I wish I could talk to you and Charlyne every day about my situation.

In Charlyne's recording studio, she has a photo of a once-happy family. It is a reminder that every thing we write and tape is being done for one person-You-and we do that every day.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Of all the emotions, what did you feel the deepest?

Guilt. It started at day one of our mess and continued until the day we remarried. Alongside guilt is shame. Our Lord God turns the prodigal's guilt and shame to joy, once we do what is right.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Did Charlyne acknowledge events like your birthday and holidays?

Yes, she did. It made me feel good; to feel secure in my insecure world, when I would receive something by mail from "Your wife and children."

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

For years, my spouse never lied. Since they left home, I never hear the truth. Why?

When Satan takes us captive "to do his will," as the Bible explains, the evil one controls every area of our very being. Lying is part of the prodigal experience. Remember, it is not your spouse speaking, but the Enemy himself.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

My prodigal does not seem to have any interest in me. Why should I stand?

You are standing because of God's interest in you, in your spouse and in your family. If you will be faithful and stand strong, the Holy Spirit will change your spouse's heart at the right time.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Do you tithe (give 10% of your income) to your church?

I wonder if marriages are not restored because we do not follow all God's commands. When I became a Christian, I started tithing. Even when Bob was gone, I never stopped tithing. Tithe and test God. Read Malachi Chapter 3:6-12.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

What do you do about words that are said to your spouse in a heated argument? I lost control.

I remember those times so well! Ask the Holy Spirit to forgive you and erase all words that were not of the Lord from your spouse's memory bank. Then have faith, trusting in your Lord for His outcome.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Is this a spiritual battle?

Your spouse has been taken captive by Satan. "And that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." 2 Timothy 2:26 The Lord showed me that Bob was not my enemy, but Satan. "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:10-12 The Lord continued to teach me spiritual warfare. I read many books on the subject, but also studied the scriptures which showed me that prayer and fasting released the captives free. "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:18-20 You may be thinking, "I do not know how to do this." I personally prayed a portion of a scripture. Read Galatians 5:16-21 personalizing the scripture with names binding against the sinful nature. Bind against any specific actions or attitudes that are wrong such as: sexual immorality, impurity, adultery, lust, pornography, hatred, jealousy, anger, selfishness, envy, idolatry, witchcraft, drugs, alcohol or drunkenness, homosexuality, greed, stealing or lying. Loose on the person the fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) There is power in prayer, so pray and believe the Lord to touch, cleanse and sanctify your spouse and loved ones. Jesus Christ died on the cross and defeated Satan, so your spouse can be set free from Satan's tricks and schemes. Your spouse has been blinded and deceived. We would want our spouse to pray for us if we had been taken hostage, so can we do any less? Satan is using alcohol, drugs and adultery by stealing our spouse and children, putting them in a bondage that they do not realize the consequences of their sins. Once they are in bondage, they do not see a way out. Bob said throughout his time in the far country, the Lord kept calling his name telling him to, "Go Home." He kept being disobedient, but the Lord never gives up, SO DON'T YOU GIVE UP ON YOUR SPOUSE!

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Why do you say "Zip the lips"?

I'm not an Einstein, but here is Steinkamp's Theory of Relativity: "The ease of a prodigal spouse's responding to the Holy Spirit's wooing and to coming home, is in direct proportion to how tightly their standing mate's lips are closed."

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Didn't you fear God?

Yes, I did, in some ways, but remember I was working under the enemy's influence. Satan always whispers "That's not so bad."

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Should a returning prodigal confess everything to their spouse?

Not at first. There should be no secrets, but God will tell the prodigal when, what and how to confess, after He has prepared the mate's heart. (By the way, the stander should not be asking for details, either.)

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Is standing like spiritual witchcraft?

Witchcraft is evil, and you are praying blessings on your prodigal and a hedge of protection around them each day. You are doing what God's Word directs us to do. You are praying for your mate's salvation. That is far removed from witchcraft.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Why are you so opposed to standers having opposite sex friends?

If your marriage has fallen apart, your emotions are wide open right now. You are vulnerable to mis-reading attention from another man or woman. During the years, we have heard, "He/she is only a friend." Two opposite sex people, both wounded by marriage problems, both craving affection and appreciation, simply does not work out. We also hear, "He/she lives so far away it is safe." Satan's evil work is not hindered by the map. We know time and again of male/female email friendships between standers, where one person mis-read the intentions of the other, even when they lived half a continent away from one another. Another frightening comment from a stander is, "We're only prayer partners." There is an intimacy developed between one man and one woman praying together that needs to be reserved for your spouse. Some standers say, "We only went out for coffee." What would your absent spouse think if they saw (or heard about) your being out with someone else for even coffee? What would your emotions do when you receive attention from the opposite sex? The Enemy is going to attempt to demonstrate to your absent spouse that your stand is not sincere. We can promise you that just when your spouse comes by to pick up the children is when that other person will call you. We know of email sent to a prodigal, when a stander intended it for their opposite-sex friends. One of the reasons we are remarried today is because of Charlyne's position on opposite-sex friends while she was standing. She would not even ride in a car alone with a male church friend. Nevertheless, Satan used innocent situations in an attempt to convince me Charlyne was looking for my replacement, a thought 180 degrees from truthful. You can do one of two things with what has been written here. You can dismiss our counsel as old fashioned, and continue with opposite-sex friendships. If you do, your stand is destined for a detour not too far ahead. Your stand may, or may not, recover from that detour. In either case, it will be painful to all involved, and especially to the cause of Christ. On the other hand, you can take what is shared here, praying and asking God what His will is for you, regarding opposite sex friends, and then develop your personal policy on this issue. You should allow Jesus Christ to be your mate during this season, and not be looking to have your needs met by a person of the opposite sex.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Why did you wear your wedding band after divorce?

In God's eyes, I was married. I wanted others to see me as married.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

I quit! Take me off your mailing list. I am giving up. Why should I stand after what has been done to me?

"But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." James 1:6-7 At some time or another, all of us have had to write a resignation letter. People resign from jobs. People resign from church committees. Even presidents and pastors find themselves writing resignation letters. Some resignation letters are many pages long and others are only two words in length; "I quit." Regardless of the length or the wording, someone is saying they no longer desire to do the job they were hired to do. Some people even resign from doing what God has called them to do. Why do people resign? In most cases, it is because something has changed in their assignment. The job has become a disappointment. They feel cheated out of money, job satisfaction, recognition, advancement, or some other area. Other people resign to take new positions. It is amazing how an individual can resign to accept a new job with double the pay and half the hours, but before long, many of that group are wishing for their old job back. A few people resign to do the will of God. Charlyne resigned after 25 years with the same doctors to enter into full-time ministry. Executives and janitors have both written resignation letters, after much prayer and soul searching, in order to be able to carry out the work of God. For my wife and for all of this group, a resignation letter is something positive. It is allowing that individual to better carry out the revealed will of God for their life. Have you ever resigned from a job? Think about your resignation letter? Was it thanking the organization for their part in your employment? Did it take a final slam at those around you? My wife and I desire for each stander God entrusts to work with us to always be growing upward, to be more like Christ. I sense in my spirit that some standers need to be making apologies for the way they have left their jobs. God has called you to do a job for Him. It is known as standing for the salvation of a prodigal mate. The hours are long and you may have little contact with others. The compensation may be small, but the true rewards are eternal. This work of standing can affect generations to come. It can mean success or failure in life for your children. The continuing education benefits are endless, as God reveals more of Himself to you. Opportunity for promotion is promised, as you grow as a Christian to become more like Jesus Christ. God promises that He will provide everything you need for this job of standing, if you will only follow His Manual, the Bible. It is critical to this job of standing that you maintain daily contact with God through prayer.You will be a representative of the largest, most powerful group of people to have ever lived, namely the church, so much will be expected of you in matters of behavior, dress, and attitude. Why would anyone ever write a letter of resignation for the God-called work of standing for a prodigal spouse? We do not know, but we receive them weekly. Someone feels that God has not done what He promised, so they fire off an email to a marriage ministry, declaring how they are giving up on standing for marriage restoration. We have never understood why these resignations come to us. After all, we are only the assistants, carrying out the tasks that God has directed us to do. They do not resign from us; they resign from God. I wonder if they have told God what they tell us in their resignation letter. Most of them use many of the same phrases: "This is too hard!" - What is too hard? Living the Christian life and obeying the Bible, praying for a prodigal spouse to repent (turn) and to come to a personal relationship with Jesus? "I am hurting too much." - How will giving up on God make you feel one degree better? "Everyone says I should..." - Why are you listening to everyone? You should be listening to God. What is He saying to you? "How do I know that...?" - Has God made you any promises? "I deserve to be happy." - You certainly do! That is exactly why God is at work, moving mountains that you cannot see so that your marriage can be restored. "I deserve someone better." - Yes you do. That is why God is changing your spouse (and you) day by day, in every way. "I...; I...; I..." - The number one trademark of every stander's resignation letter we receive is the excessive use of the personal pronoun, "I". What about Him? Is your happiness more important than your family's holiness? Which will matter two generations from now? "I have to move on." - Will you be moving on toward God, or away from Him? Come on, let's be honest. It is highly unlikely that your resigning from standing will cause you to be more like Jesus one year from now. "I met someone." - Have you met my Jesus, who heals marriages and changes hearts? Have you encountered what His Word says about marriage and divorce? ("What His Word says" is not what someone is telling you the Word says, but what you have discovered in your time alone with God.) "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 Charlyne and I have been involved in ministry to abandoned spouses for over 15 years. Based on our observations, may we give you a composite of the people who send us resignation letters? In two or three years, when they anticipated being so happy, they are miserable. Many even take up their stand once again, but with baggage from their detour. Some have entered into another relationship, even when knowing the truth about remarriage. Right now, eight people come to my mind. They were each once prodigals, but are now standers. What happened? The mate standing for them resigned, and after the prodigal "Came to their senses," there was no one to come home to. Your circumstances right now are nothing compared to the years of the Enemy's destruction that always seem to follow a stander's resignation letter. When you resign from standing, you are openly announcing to Satan that you feel God has no power. What will follow will be attack after attack upon you, your spouse and your family. If you stop praying for your prodigal mate, who will? How will they ever come to Christ? There is far more at stake here than your present happiness. My first resignation letter was written when I was eighteen years old. I was quitting my job with a large chain of funeral homes. Like many standers, I envisioned something better, so I was giving up. On the day the owner of the funeral homes read my resignation letter, he took me to the ambulance dorm and sat down on the bed across from me. Looking me straight in the eye, he said, "Bob, I want to talk to you like a son." He did not attempt to persuade me to stay, but laid out some facts that I was overlooking. In half an hour, my resignation letter was torn up. That event was 41 years ago this summer, and I will never forget that man's words. To think that someone that important had a personal interest in my long-term best and my success touched me. Is that where you are today? Have you started your resignation letter from standing a few times? If so, I pray that you will allow God to look at you and to say, "I want to talk to you like my child." It is my sincere prayer that you will realize that God is on your side, and that you will tear up that letter. Now, let's get back to the work of standing! Charlyne and I are here and ready to carry our share of the load if you will be faithful to the work God has called you to do. "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12 Hang in there.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

I do not know how it happened, but I have become involved in a sexual affair when I was standing strong. Is there still hope for my marriage? What do I do to get out of this mess? The thrill and acceptance has been replased by overwhelming guilt

Having been where the other man is, I asked my wife if I could present a man's opinion to this dilemma. This man wants something you have. Beyond the bedroom, where is he headed? If the guy has any sense at all, he realizes he is taking what is not his. Does he want to marry you? Granted, he may utter the word "love" if it will advance his sinful and selfish cause, but you are married, and not available for either sex or matrimony. May I give you some suggestions from experience? Foremost, the other man needs to know once and for all that he has NO place in your life. That means no "How are you doing" calls, no birthday or Christmas cards, no gifts, no contact at all, in any form. Stop praying with this man. Praying builds intimacy and that is a synthetic man's shortcut to what he wants. If you need a person to pray with, there are thousands of hurting women. You may have to change cell phone numbers. You may need to change email addresses, stay away from chat room and the like. Do not answer the door if he comes around. Change your daily schedule, or whatever it takes to never be with or speak to this man. If it is a work situation, is your job more valuable that your marriage? You do not need to see the man to explain that he is history and you are a forgiven and changed Christian woman. This can not be done face to face. If another female friend is already in your confidence over this matter, pray about asking her to deliver the news to this man who is after you. I can promise, if you attempt to meet him face to face, you will get yourself into trouble all over again. If you do not have an accountability partner, please pray that God would lead you to one, always another female. It could be an older Christian woman or your pastor's wife. You must find another woman who will look you in the eye on a regular basis and ask the hard questions. She is not there to judge you, but to pray for you and to help you through the mess you are in with another man. If the man continues to attempt to give unwanted contact without any encouragement coming from you, or if you feel threatened, an attorney may need to send a letter. If that does not help, you could apply to the court for an order of protection or a restraining order. Are these extremes? Yes they are, but so is losing your marriage because of another man. Missing Heaven because you are an adulterer is also an extreme. I fault the other man, yet all the fault will be with you if you encourage, or even allow him to be involved in any manner in any part of your life. It is not too late to once again stand strong, but the enemy has thrown a counterfeit into your path. For the sake of your husband, please recognize what is happening to your relationship, not only with your husband, but also with your God. You can get right with the Lord today. He can teach you a valuable lesson for the future of dealing with all men, if you will allow Him to. I apologize if my words sound a bit harsh, but if so, my wrath is not against you, but directed against Satan, foremost, and then against the other man who would dare take advantage of a married and godly woman, which he is doing. Charlyne and I are praying that you to do what is right and what is necessary for the sake of your marriage and for the sake of your walk with your Lord Jesus Christ. God will send His forgiveness and help, but the decision to stay pure is yours alone. You can wake up tomorrow having been forgiven by God or you can start another day filled guilt. Standing in for your husband, I beg you to do what God would have you do. - R.E.S.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

"DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?"

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:20-21 Every few days we hear that question from a man or woman who has been served with divorce papers. We want to share our amplified answer to that question. Do you need at attorney? We do not know the answer, nor does any man or woman on this earth. Only your Lord God knows what His plans are for your family. In our marriage, a divorce was granted before our marriage was restored. In no way did that make restoration more difficult. You need to be asking God if you need an attorney and not listening to advice from anyone else. If you ask Him, God will provide His answer, not man's suggestion, which could be wrong. Rejoice Marriage Ministries does not provide legal advice, nor do we tell people facing divorce they should, or should not, retain an attorney. We are distressed, however, when we hear about an individual who followed the direct advice of someone to not get an attorney, and then have walked out of court after losing their home, their money, and often their children. There is a vast difference in your retaining an attorney to institute divorce proceedings and your finding an attorney to defend you after your spouse files. The Bible teaches the difference between a Christian bringing suit and of defending yourself against the suit of someone else. If you have received divorce papers, you are being sued, possibly for everything precious to you. Let's assume you had been in an accident. The other party had filed suit, falsely accusing you of untrue facts. If you lost in court, you risk losing everything you have. Would you consult an attorney to know your legal rights? There is a false teaching that a real "stander" will not use an attorney, trusting God alone to be their advocate in the courtroom. If an individual who teaches this were to become seriously ill, would they consult a doctor? We know that God alone is the Healer, so why go to a doctor or hospital if you are having a heart attack? The Lord gives special wisdom to some of His children so that they can help others. "The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death." Proverbs 13:14 If you have been served with divorce papers, you have suffered a legal "heart attack." The court action will not go away, simply because you choose to ignore all that is happening. If you were awakened in the middle of the night by a noise and discovered someone in your home, attempting to steal, what would you do? We know the Lord will protect His children, so would you roll over and go back to sleep? No way! You would be praying while you were on the phone calling for help from the authorities. Satan, the enemy of the family has broken into your home, intent on stealing your spouse, your belongings and possibly even your children. Yes, God will be your defender and your protector, but you need to be asking Him if He would have you seek legal counsel. "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice." Proverbs 12:15 Unless you are the one who is initiating divorce proceedings, consulting an attorney does not end your stand for marriage restoration. Doing so does not make you less of a stander. Anyone who would instruct that it does is giving false teaching, based on their erroneous opinion and not on the Bible. If the Lord leads you to retain an attorney, you need to prayerfully seek the man or woman that God has for you. Whenever possible, your attorney should be a Christian who understands and respects your standing with God for a marriage healed by Him. Do you need at attorney? We have no idea, but we serve a God who has the perfect answer, not only to the attorney question, but for everything you ask of Him. Turn to Him, not man, today. "Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek... Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:7-8,11-14 We have a book titled, "Your Father Knows Best," telling of victories of standers when they were facing court. This book also contains ten pages of Charlyne's favorite scriptures for court. "Your Father Knows Best" can be ordered from the Rejoice Marriage Ministries Online Bookstore.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Did you ever think about Charlyne?

How many times a day do you think of your absent mate? How often do you witness something that reminds you of the one you love? You are coming to your prodigal's thoughts just as often.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

My husband was starting to change but then, all of a sudden, he turned ugly again. I know that God has told me to keep hanging on but this waiting is hard. I have become so impatient.

Waiting is perhaps one of the toughest things for us standers - especially when we have seen signs of change in the flesh. Remember what Rejoice Ministries tells us - our spouse is under the control of the enemy. If he sees you succeeding in any way, he likes to up the ante. This is the time when we have to hold tightly to the promises God made and dig even deeper in His Word. He will lead and guide us as we walk this out. "This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it-the LORD is his name: 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'" Jeremiah 33: 2-3 The path you have chosen is not an easy one, but it is the right one. Never forget who it is that walks beside you. Ask for His guidance every step of the way. Rely on His comfort and strength when you get weary. He will not let you down. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Didn't you miss your home and family?

More than I wanted to admit. I even arranged my first apartment to be as much like our home as possible.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Can you give me the names of other standers in my area so I can get together with them for fellowship and prayer?

Confidentiality issues do not allow us to do this. Everyone who contacts Rejoice Marriage Ministries does so in confidence, knowing their personal information will not be shared with others. If you feel the need to meet other standers, ask God and He will send just the right people your way. "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:14

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

"I don't know if I am the prodigal or the stander. I left our marriage first, but after I came back to Christ, my spouse could not forgive me for what I had done. Now, I am praying for our marriage to be restored, but my spouse has moved on to another relationship and wants nothing to do with me. Is there any hope?"

There is ALWAYS hope! With Jesus in your corner, nothing is impossible. It is not by chance that God has touched and changed your heart. He has called you to a very important task - to stand in the gap for your loved one; to serve as that angel mediator at His side. God has spoken to your heart and given you promises. And He who promises is faithful. "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19 And just as God has called you to repent and forgive, He has called your prodigal. Just as He spoke to you, He is speaking to them. Just as He whispered promises in the dark to you, He is whispering to them. Think about the many, many times He has held you in His arms when you were confused or hurting. Think about the numerous answered prayers and the peace and comfort you have found in His Word. This is what He wants for everyone, including the one you pray for. We shouldn't be discouraged when circumstances make it seem impossible. We serve the God of the impossible. Nothing is too hard for Him. And although everything seems to be a big mess right now, He knows just the right time to make Himself known. He has placed the seed of His promise in your heart and He will bring it to fruition. "Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God." Isaiah 66:9

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

Does my prodigal hurt as much as I do?

Each of you have different pain. Your greatest pain today might be from rejection. Your prodigal's pain might be caused by guilt or shame. You both may share the common pain of fear of the future. That other person does not have the unconditional love that you do.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

My mate's heart is so hard right now. Is there hope?

God tells us that He can turn the heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

These answers have developed in response to questions we have received over many years. May you consult the answers with an open Bible and an open heart, thus allowing God's Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.

To order Books and CDs go to:
http://www.stopdivorce.org

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