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When Your Husband's Heart Is Hard

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a Guest Blogger | 04.24.13

138 comments

This post is written by Joy McClain. Listen to her interview with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, “Waiting For His Heart,” today through Friday on Revive Our Hearts

I was a wife willing to stay and keep my vow, no matter what. I desired a good thing—a godly marriage. Yet I failed when that desire became a demand I placed on my husband who chased the elusive mistress of alcohol. He was locked in the prison of addiction while I was held captive by my pain.

If you are waiting for your husband for whatever reason, first of all, your sorrow is legitimate. It is extremely hard. But none of your tears or prayers will be wasted. There is great value in your waiting, praying, hoping, and surrendering. God desires to work in your marriage, but it may begin with you.

Here are some truths to consider while you wait:

Ask the Lord for wisdom.
For a wife in a difficult circumstance, it’s vital that she continually ask the Lord for wisdom. The fog of hurt clouds judgment; seek wise counsel and prayerfully make decisions that align with God’s Word. If there is any physical abuse of any kind, get away from the situation immediately and get help!

Remember that God is working even when you don’t see it. It is impossible with your limited knowledge to see all God is doing to draw your husband to Him. You might not see evidence of conviction for years. That doesn’t mean God isn’t pursuing him. Remember that God has an eternal perspective. His timetable is not your own.

If your husband isn’t saved, don’t expect him to act like it. You can’t believe the kind of movies your husband watches or the language that spews out of his mouth. He doesn’t like to go to church and becomes agitated when you bring up anything to do with God. Darkness doesn’t like light that exposes sin. If he doesn’t have a relationship with Christ, he doesn’t have the Holy Spirit to help him discern. His eyes are not open and his ears do not hear. Pray that the blinders would be removed from his eyes.

Be a peacemaker. That doesn’t mean you don’t stand up to sin. But, be respectful of your husband as a person—and of his family. You can hate the sin without disrespecting the sinner. Be cautious with information you share with others. Guard your mouth carefully around everyone, especially your children.

Don’t allow despair to be your identity. Often when you’ve dealt with a particular hardship over a long period of time, you can grow comfortable in the sorrow. You know what it is to live in that place of hurt, and you know the reaction you get from others as they feel for you. It is important to receive sympathy, but don’t remain in a pit of despair.

Have a right theology. Thinking it isn’t fair to have hardship or loss is bad theology and will tilt your perspective of your sovereign God. God hasn’t disappointed you; man has! God is the one constant in your life. In all of time, if anything wasn’t fair it was piercing the hands and feet of the totally innocent God-man for your vile sins. Repent of your bitterness toward God. Ask Him to give you a right perspective of His love for you. 

Grieve your loss. While you don’t want to remain in your grief, it is necessary to realize you have been affected deeply by things you could not control. Unpacking those hurts one by one, and then forgiving each one, helps you move forward. It doesn’t mean you forgive and forget, but rather you forgive and chose to move on.

Extend mercy. Remember that God first extended mercy to you by offering His Son on the cross. You were shown mercy and given grace while you were still a sinner. 

Don’t let bitterness take root. The enemy will gladly entice you into believing you deserve returned love. But if you allow those thoughts to consume you, bitterness will destroy you. God is a righteous God, and He will deal with the sin. Even in the times you are called to take a stand, God will ultimately be the One to deal with that person in their disobedience. 

Be willing to examine your own heart. This is perhaps the most important lesson of all. God wants to do a work in you. He doesn’t want to leave you where you are—He loves you too much. He wants to increase your faith, your reliance upon Him, and your love for Him. Be willing to allow God to transform you.

In my book, Waiting for His Heart: Lessons from a Wife Who Chose to Stay, my husband’s addictions are just the backdrop. The main focus is how God used a long and heart-wrenching season to bring me to the point where I desired Him above all else.

God loves you. He will never reject you. He hears your cries! He longs to draw you close and fill you with His supernatural peace. No matter what your circumstance, no matter if your situation never changes this side of heaven, God is there. He is the steady hand underneath your days.

Which truth above means the most to you in your current situation? Anything else you’d add?

If you’d like to hear more of Joy’s story, click Play.

 

Topics: When Life's Hard

Comments

  1. I say "Amen" to all of the above. Re: prayer, once when I was in so much emotional pain I didn't think I could stand it, the words "stand in the gap" came to my mind. I did not remember reading this verse, but I found that phrase in Ezekiel 22:30. I also meditated on Job's intercessions for his children. Our faithful God WAS at work in my husband's life; through some health crises, he was moved to return to church, although in many ways his heart was unchanged. After a violent episode one night, my college-age children and I left. My husband "came to himself" and truly repented. It has been heaven on earth (almost!).
    Our son eventually came back home, but forgiveness toward his father for years of verbal abuse has been very slow, and as he is not a believer, he really holds a grudge. Our daughter moved in with a boyfriend and has been gone for several years now, although she has forgiven her father and we have a good relationship. We pray that God will enable my husband's consistent walk with Him to be a light, although we know consequences from sin may remain.
    posted by Wendy Nichols
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 7:14 am
  2. In a way I have a lot of the same heart aches as above, but my husband is not an alcoholic and he dose not take drugs legal or illegal. He claims to be agnostic and of course he dose not go to church with me. I have been praying for him for 41 years and he is still not saved, but I am not giving up. He turned 66 years old in December 2012, and I am 61 years old. The Lord Jesus saved my soul 41 years ago, I was very young and it took me a long time to learn to be a better Christian. My husband has always been very emotionally abusive to me. It is a very long story so I would not be able to put it all down in this comment. I will always keep praying for my husband to be saved, serving the Lord and keeping His word is the most important thing. I will be glad to make it to Heaven some day. My prayer is that my husband will soon be saved.
    posted by Janet Mitchell
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 10:28 am
  3. "He is the steady hand underneath your days." Amen! Your wise words sound like a contemporary version of Deut. 33:27a: "The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms."
    I think your point of "Have a right theology" is so important. It's very hard to think biblically when we are in the midst of hard circumstances, but if we are not thinking right thoughts about God, our perspective about what we are going through will be all wrong. We'll start to distrust God and His love for us; we'll start to doubt His wisdom; we'll be tempted to take matters into our own hands. That's why it is so crucial to be in God's word daily, getting to know God intimately, getting to know His character. The more we know Him, the more we will trust Him. (Ps. 9:10) Randly Alcorn wrote an excellent devotional called "90 Days of God's Goodness." He writes: "In my experience, most Christians lack grounding in God's attributes, including His sovereignty, omnipotence, omniscience, justice, and patience. We dare not wait for the time of crisis to learn perspective....studying about evil and suffering doesn't equal facing it, but it can go a long way in preparing us for it, provided we see it in relationship to both the goodness and greatness of God. This will provide a reservoir of perspective from which we can draw. It will minimize disorientation and panic when we plunge into life's turbulence."
    That's the desire of my heart--to have a biblical perspective, to think correct thoughts about God, when all around me is "disorientation, panic, and turbulence."
    Thank you, Joy, for your post.

    Blessings,
    Arlene
    Ps. 63:7,8
    posted by Arlene
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 10:43 am
  4. I don't know if I should even write in this specific blog. Why, well I am NOT married to the father of my 4 year old son. We had been living together for 3 years now. I found out he was being unfaithful and decided to continue life without him. We are both believers and have accepted Christ in our hearts. It's a shameful situation since we know what Christ did on the cross for us. I love him, but I don't know what to do. How sad it is that I don't even think this beautiful story, would apply to me. I need Christ and I need him in every way. We both do. What do I do?
    posted by Karoll
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 11:32 am
  5. This is key: It doesn’t mean you forgive and forget, but rather you forgive and chose to move on.

    I constantly have to remind myself that, that choice to move on has to do with goodness for me, has to do with not allowing others to control my mood.

    Great article!!!
    posted by Linda
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 11:47 am
  6. Wendy,
    I want to encourage you to continue to pray, asking God to soften your children's hearts and as you said, "to stand in the gap!" No one will intercede for your children like you and your husband.
    Seeing you reconciled, watching as you were willing to allow your husband a chance - you extended grace...spoke into your children's hearts. Though there is is wounds from the past, they continue to watch you and how you interact with your husband and how you give glory to God for His redeeming grace.
    My children, too, had to grieve lost years and some very deep wounds. I pray that your children are able to come to the place where they know they are safe and free to lament over their losses. You can validate their sorrows, while helping them not to remain in despair.
    I am pausing now, to pray for your family. I am asking the Lord of all Creation, the Father of ever-lasting love and mercy to heal your family. I pray that the bitterness and resentment be washed away with the grace He's extended at the foot of the cross.
    God desires that your children come fully to Him. He will pursue them, you pray for them.
    Be encouraged, my friend, God is in the business of making beauty from the ash-heap of our messes.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm
  7. Janet,
    You have made a profound statement to a dark, decaying world. Your choice to remain with your husband all these years...though you have not seen change...it a statement of God's mercy extended to you and His strength given to you.
    I cannot imagine all the women you have been an example to as you have kept your marriage vow, as you continued to hope and wait upon the Lord. You have no idea how the Lord has used you all of this time to speak of unwavering faith.
    I know that your heart has been lonely many times over the years. I know that it has gotten so very old - going to church, partaking in the events with the Body of Christ without your husband. I know you so long to share your faith with you - to speak of it, to pray over it, to live it...but I want you to realize that you HAVE shared your faith with him! All of these years there have been no greater testimony of who God is than you in your husband's life.
    I pray for him, right now, right along with you, that God would soften his heart, that God would woo him, allow his eyes to be opened. I pray that the Lord give you time with your beloved, sharing the faith you have so gracefully displayed.
    Bless you, my friend, for your steadfast courage, tenacity and willingness to endure...you are a treasure in today's world, an example to all of us.
    May your heart be filled with the joy of the Lord today!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm
  8. Arlene,
    Love your words of wisdom you shared today! Amen!
    My goal when I walk alongside a woman is giving her a right perspective of who God is and who she is in Him!
    The Lord has allowed me to write many studies and if He allows, I'd love to write about theology vs. wifeology! Sometimes, we are so disarmed, disconnected, confused about what the world is screaming at us...our hearts struggle with being calm and quiet in order to hear the truth of God, let alone be willing to spend time in His Word!
    I too, pray that my soul, each day would be content in simply seeking and knowing Him. I love Psalm 27:4 - One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life...
    Keep sharing these glorious truths with those around you. Keep giving them a right perspective of God. Keep giving them Jesus!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm
  9. Karoll,
    What courage it took for you to write those words today.
    I am so glad that you did post something.
    First of all, God isn't angry with you. He isn't trying to punish you. He loves you. We all have sinned, we all fall short...that's why the cross means to much to the sinner (me included) because we will never be good enough, never be holy enough, never measure-up, never, ever be able to have fellowship with a Holy God.
    Christ has covered your shame, sweet daughter. Christ have covered you with his atoning blood...you are no longer seen as covered in sin.
    Shame paralyzes us. It speaks that we are never good enough, it whispers you are meant to be good - and you cannot - shame forgets mercy. Shame keeps you held hostage in a prison that the Lord wants to free you from. Shame isn't from the Lord. Condemnation isn't from the Lord but rather, from the enemy.
    Conviction, on the other hand...is meant to draw you to repentance and change. If God is convicting you of sin in your life then repent. Ask Him to help you put off the old ways and put on the new (Eph. 4).
    If you have a woman in your life that is a mature believer, ask her to come alongside of you right now...praying for your, speaking wisdom into your heart.
    God has given you a precious child - who was woven with hands of love, made with the intention of a plan - that God has for him. God loves your son! He loves you! He loves the father of your son!
    I do not know what it looks like for you to reconcile with the father of your son, or if that is good to do at this point. But God knows the plan He has for you (Jer. 29:11).
    He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Heb. 13:5)
    I'd first of all, repent from the sin you are being convicted of. Secondly, I'd get someone to help you walk through some decisions (pastor, elder, Biblical counselor, mentor, older, mature friend, etc.)
    I'd plant yourself in the Word, I'd set your mind and heart as flint on this truth: God loves you - just as you are, right where you are!
    I pray for you now, that God would give you clarity and wisdom - open doors with the father of your child if necessary. I pray that you understand just how deep God's love is for you.
    I am so grateful that you had the courage to post this today. I now it wasn't easy but understand...I too, am sinner, saved by grace - we all are! None of us have arrived, we all are desperate for our Jesus. God has called you into repentance and He will move you forward. The enemy wants to discourage you - don't allow Him to do that. You are a daughter of the King of Kings and no one can take that away from you!
    Bless you,
    Joy McClain
    apassisonatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm
  10. I had just had an argument with my husband of almost 30 years, and in my mind and heart I thought that I was ready to separate from him , he has been very un affectionate and distant towards me , we have had many issues including infedility on my part , for which i have repented and I have been working to restore our marriage, last night as I lay in bed alone , I asked GOD for help , and decided to listen to Revive our Hearts, and there it was , this conversation !! Amazing how God speaks to us in our time of need!! I continue to pray for forgiveness and the restoration of my marriage . I want a copy of this book!! I do believe in the Power of Prayer , God sent me a copy of Stormie O Martians book , when I happen to find a copy thrown on the ground , outside my car a couple years ago !!!!
    posted by Maira Miceli
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm
  11. I am struggling with a 30 year marriage; I thought he showed evidence of salvation and faith in the earliest few years, but now I wonder. Now the strife and hardness is on both sides. I don't know how to proceed. The stress and strain is debilitating physically and truly making me ill... which only makes things worse, as I am less able to meet expectations and manage the turmoil, anticipate the next problem, manage the emotions.

    No alcohol addictions or related issues, just coldness, distance, resistance and disappointment. He's always angry and nothing is ever right or good enough. Much old buried anger, but about things he won't talk about or discuss with anyone... stuff I can only guess about.
    He claims salvation, but attending one service a week is begrudged and he sleeps through it; no interest in the Lord, no reference or relationship for our lives or basis for hope.

    The tension is great; the household divided. He seems irrational and afraid of me. I wonder if I do have an idol of a godly marriage, and can't seem to separate what we should be as a couple before God and the idea of it being idolatry? I never wanted to grow in Christ alone - I always wanted to grow together with him.

    I hope you can read between the lines and offer some real suggestions. I am so tired and discouraged.
    posted by Beth
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm
  12. Maira,
    God is working in your heart! Praise Him for that! I know how difficult it is when you so desire affirmation, affection and even attention from your beloved. While it is God's plan that marriage represent Christ and His bride and that husbands love their wives and wives respect their husbands....we know it doesn't always look like that.
    But God is working, isn't He! He allowed your marriage to survive the hard things of the past! He's speaking truth into your heart! He's causing your heart to desire change! That is so wonderful, though you do not have the relationship right now that you want, that doesn't mean that you won't get there! You are two sinners living together. Always there will be struggles!
    As you continue to listen to the broadcast and read the book you'll see how God changed my heart first! It would have done no good to change my beloved's heart if he were coming home to the same fearful, controlling wife as before! God had to do a work in me first, He caused me to look to Him for my affirmation, affection and attention. Our husband's weren't meant to fulfill all our needs, our hearts were meant to be filled by Christ.
    I am so excited for you as God is speaking directly to your heart. He is working all around you!
    Steady on your course - trust God to do a work in your marriage. Trust the Holy Spirit to speak truth into your husband's heart - teaching him what it looks like to be a loving husband.
    Thanks for sharing!
    It will be glorious to see what God does with your testimony and marriage!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm
  13. Beth,
    So often I hear this same situation from women. They want so badly to be close and intimate with their husband in every respect, yet it just isn't that way. I know your heart aches, I've been there in that place of utter discouragement. Praise God you have been willing to stay in the marriage for all of these years- even when it has been difficult.
    First of all, I would be willing to examine your own heart. I would be willing to allow God free reign over every area of your life. Ask Him, as Scripture says, to search your heart...see if there are any wicked ways.
    Your husband is most likely equally lonely. Sometimes, we women have a hard time seeing our own sins, our own short comings and the ways we actually hinder spiritual growth in our husbands. Ask God to give you eyes that allows you to see your husband as He sees him.
    God knows the desire of your heart. Your marriage is meant to be a reflection of Christ and His bride, it is meant to be an intimate display of love, devotion and respect. God knows how deeply you hurt over this. He longs for each of us to desire intimacy with Him. He desires that we would be passionately pursuing and desiring Him...over all other desires.
    Perhaps, your marriage isn't what it should be because the relationship with God isn't what it could be, is meant to be...for both of you.
    I speak from experience ....I was all horizontal...keeping my gaze steady on the yuck of our marriage, rather than focusing on the cross and my relationship with Christ.
    If your husband is willing, I would recommend getting Biblical counseling. If he isn't willing, I still recommend it for you.
    Our perception and perspective of God is often tainted by our wounds, experiences and sin. There is great value in being reminded of who God is and who you are in Him.
    You've been married a long time and sometimes we can be set in patterns of behavior, attitude and sin - we cycle into the same old patters and arguments - there is no change.
    When this is the case, then change must happen on the inside. Our hearts need to be in alignment with Scripture. I know it seems so unfair at times and so lonely. I understand how much you want and need your husband to reach out to you...but what would it look like if you were to make the first move, if you were the first one to reach out - willing to be vulnerable, willing to extend even more grace?
    God asked that I change first in our marriage. I didn't think it was fair. I didn't think I needed to change. But looking back I realize that it would have done no good for my husband to have changed and come home to a wife who was still in the same "heart mode."
    Alcohol was the backdrop for our story...what's really going on is God teaching two sinners the truth of who He is, who they are in Him and how to extend grace and mercy to one another.
    My marriage, today, isn't perfect. There is no such thing. We still have our ups and downs, trials and tribulations and even days when we get on each others last nerve! But we are able to see the other as a son/daughter of God, able to understand that much grace has been extended to each - that we did not deserve, we understand that we are a work in progress and therefore, so is our marriage.
    I want to validate how you "feel" and the despair you feel, but I also want to point you to truth and hope. God is with you in your pain and sorrow. He desires to lift you up out of the pit. He hasn't forgotten you. It is OK to grieve what has been lost. Just don't remain there in your grief, don't allow the enemy to whisper to you, the lie that there is no hope.
    There is hope my friend and it is found at the foot of the cross. As you continue to listen to the broadcast and hopefully, read the book, you will see that I journeyed for a long time as the Lord was changing me, teaching me...that I could trust Him. Even when I couldn't trust my husband - I could trust God to deal with Him.
    Pray, sweet daughter of the King, He hears your cries.
    Repent, if necessary, ask God to reveal anything in your heart that has hindered your relationship with Him. Seek wise counsel. Get into His Word. Reach out for help - don't be isolated. And don't give up!
    I also invite you to my website: wwwapassionatepursuitofjoy.com - you'll get encouragement and if you go to the book's face book page, you'll see daily hope that is meant to remind you of who you are in Christ.
    Meditate on these passages: Psalm 42:5; Psalm 139:1-3; Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 57:1; Josh. 1:9; Isaiah 49:14-16
    I am so grateful that you reached out. I am pausing, now, praying for you. I am praying that God heal your wounds, your marriage, that He set joy in your heart and that we'll hear back...how God redeemed a lonely marriage.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm
  14. Wow, I guess I realize now that I might be a bit self-absorbed to think I am alone in dealing with this issue. My husband claims to be a Christian but is hard, disinterested, distant, and not the spiritual head of our family. I know my vow is til death do we part and I do love him. I just don't like him very much sometimes. I've prayed that God controls my tongue and helps me to encourage him and be that Proverbs 31 wife and mom that I need to be...but I get so very tired sometimes. Your words are a comfort to me--I am grateful for the friend that shared this and for God using you to be such an encourager.
    posted by Dawn
    on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm
  15. What is a wife and mother to do when her husband, who claims to be a believer, leaves and has been gone for 9 years? Our prayers have not seemed to changed anything; it only gets more difficult each year. We have been forced to live a life we never wanted, with much sorrow and despair even to the point of my children wishing they were no longer here. It still hurts as much as the day he left.
    posted by D.
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 12:19 am
  16. He used to be a multi-GIFTED and annointed pastor. But now he does nto even go to church at all, and spends a lot of time chatting with and calling/meeting women/girls over the internet and other mobile device chat applications (This si not suspicion, I have evidence and he has admitted, not soberly). I softly say "Christ paid a price for you. I love you and dont want you to suffer consequences of your sin" ....His response is God is a God of mercy. He has admitted to multiple adulterous relationships. Because I dont feed his wasteful financial tendencies, he is convinced I hate him & I am his enemy. Therefore he wont go to church because of me .He has no job, and is not trying at all to provide for the family. I think he is depressed. I have decied to love him despite this, practise 30-day husband challenge, try to speak the truth softly, respect him, pray for him, but I have decided NOT TO HAVE SEX with him, for fear of AIDS, and other STDs, untl he genuinely repents. When I tried condoms they caused me too much pain and injuries. I have involved my pastor and a close Christian friend to intervene. They have confronted him and have made several attempts to help him recover. e does nto think eh has a problem. I am PERSUADED that God will draw him to Himself again eventually, because He loves him more than I do. In the meantime, ReviveOurHearts and familylife.com have both helped to keep me strong and focused. I am yet to come across a resource that advises whether or not you should have sex when your spouse is repeatedly involved in adultery (With evidence and he admitting too). I am aware christians also die of deadly STDs. Besides, I believe God has plans to sue me to help others int his area at some point, so I need to know if I should be having sex with him under these circumstance, so I can guide others in future
    posted by Sade
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 10:16 am
  17. I wanted you to know that this was such a blessing to me. Although my husband has never had a sustance problem, evrything else has been tru for the last 15 years. We have 4 children with my oldest being 15 and youngest 7. He moved out for the 4th time last May. I remeber all the times of hiding with my kids in the laundry room and we would be crying as he was tearing the house apart in a rage. I would keep reminding them to pray over and over. I began to take pain killers ti numb the pain until I got help. But the abuse at home still continued. I had to file for legal seperation as he refused to put all of his guns/automatic weapons out of the kids reach. After telling him of the seperation, he got very angry and filedfor divorce. My oldest son is repeating my husbands behaviors and thinks there is nothing wrong with his dad and he is the one his dad is the hardest on and using as emotional support. I learned that I am not trusing God enough through your audio clip today. I realize that my prayers and desires for him to be saved may have been in my own selfishness. It has been very hard through the years as no one outside of our home would see him be abusive and he would always seem to be such a great guy to everyone else, but God knew. I am in the middle of a very hard situation but God keeps reminding me of His purpose and plan. "I believe, Lord help my unbelief." Mark 9:24 Thank you for your story of Christs grace and redemption through all circumstances.
    reviveourhearts.com
    posted by mindy
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 11:23 am
  18. Sade,
    I am so sorry that your husband has struggled with this sin that has left you broken and lonely. Your husband most likely knows the Word of God being that he used to teach it, but has it penetrated deep within his heart? Only God knows. I am proud of you for being willing to remain true to your vow. I am proud of you for being willing to look at the big picture - your husband's repentance and salvation perhaps. I encourage you to continue to get wise counsel for yourself. It is difficult to make decisions when you have the fog of hurt. Sometimes, it is necessary to set very distinct boundaries. It isn't loving to allow your husband to freely continue to sin against you and a Holy God with having relations with women who are not his wife. The bottom line is sin against God, but you too, can take a stand against the sin. While you cannot convict or control your husband, you can protect yourself, you can establish boundaries within the home - such as abstaining from sexual intimacy with him, or whatever else might be necessary. God will be faithful to direct you. But it is imperative that you reach out to the Body of Christ, get a covering for you as you seek wise counsel and prayerfully consider setting up boundaries that take a stand against his sin. Keep in mind that you aren't attempting to retaliate or be revengeful, you are setting up a safe environment for yourself and your children if you have any and you are letting him know that you chose not to partake in his sin any longer. You can love your husband and pray for him as boundaries are established. It was necessary for me to separate for a season from my beloved - I loved him, prayed for him, wasn't going to give up on him...but, I had to do it from a distance. Don't confuse obedience with enabling.
    Your husband obviously needs to repent and most likely some intensive counseling, but you cannot force him. I would concentrate on helping yourself and your family. I would place your husband at the foot of the cross and allow God to deal with Him...but God may ask you to do something to move out of the way or to remove any safely nets you have made for him. Get wise counsel, prayerfully consider, trust God in leading you. God will lead you by His spirit but He still asks that we take action sometimes.
    Praying for you, that you would be filled with peace, have clarity in what you are to do and that God would bring your husband into a place of full repentance, complete restoration.
    So glad you reached out today, I know it is exhausting and so very discouraging - allow God to be the lifter of your chin. On my blog site there are some posts about setting boundaries, you might want to check them out: apassionatepursuitofjoy.com.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm
  19. I am have been married to an alcohlic for 18 years. We separated in Oct of last year because of his drinking/partying. We have been trying to reconcile but he's making no attempts to stop drinking. He comes home late and drunk and I have been losing a lot of sleep because of the drunkeness. I love him and want to do what is best for him but I guess I was having a hard time being on my own. I feel like I'm not trusting God enough to take care of him or me. I pray everyday for wisdom, compassion and guidance. I guess I need clear guidance from God at this point. It's so hard to let go and let God. I admire your courage and faith.
    posted by Debbie
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm
  20. Dawn,
    We are all guilty of "self."
    God is with you in this. I know it is so very tiring and consuming. Keep in mind that the enemy wants you alone and isolated...don't allow that in your life. Continue to reach out. Don't forget to live during this season! Don't allow despair to become your identity. If you go to the book's face book page, you'll see where you can become part of a community of praying wives - a private page that I can send you a personal invite too. Be encouraged because the Lord is with you! As Jena said in today's broadcast...the Lord will fight for you!
    Seek the peace of His presence!
    Bless you and thank you for reaching out.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm
  21. "D"
    How long and hard has been your wait and your suffering. God is still with you in this. He has not left you or your children. I have several posts on my website that are about dealing with the sorrow and complex circumstances when your children's father has walked away or blinded by sin. (www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com)
    I don't know if you are legally separated, your husband just simply left, if you have contact with him or what...I would encourage you to reach out to him, see if he would be willing to get any type of counseling - even if just for the sake of the children. If he is not willing, get counseling for you and your children.
    Your children are going to follow your lead - if they see you trust the Lord, they will learn to do so. I know it seems so unfair, so one-sided that you are left to pick up all the pieces...I talk about that in my book. But I want you to know that although my children were wounded deeply by their father, every one of them said that God used that sorrow to cause them to trust in Him. They know that God will provide, protect, will never leave nor forsake.
    You understand Christ's suffering even more because of your suffering. I know it doesn't seem like you should have to go through this and maybe you are even thinking that God doesn't see you - care about you or hear your cries...those are lies from the enemy! God is working all around you.
    Get some wise counsel. Do not isolate yourself. Reach out to others. Lead your children on your knees - show them that even when you do not have the answers...you are going to trust God in all respects.
    I pray you can get a copy of the book I think it would help you in many ways.
    God has not left you nor rejected you!
    I pray that you have closure soon. I pray that your husband come to the end of himself. I pray that you find the joy and steadfast love of the Father in the midst of this dark time.
    I know it is so very very lonely. Don't allow despair to become your identify. Go to the website and the books face book page - you will find other wives in similar situations - they will encourage you!
    You are loved!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm
  22. Mindy,
    When there is much chaos in the home, often it leaves us feeling very fragmented. It takes its toll on the children. If you can get any type of counseling for yourself and your children, I would highly recommend it. They need a safe place to vent and to sort out all of the wounds. You need a safe place to unpack too! I'm glad you reached out, do not isolate yourself! The enemy will continually whisper lies of defeat to you.
    Be intentional about getting help for you and your children. I pray you can get a copy of the book, it will help steady your heart when all gives way.
    I am so sorry that life has been so very tiring for you. You are wise to protect yourself and your children. You use continue to use great wisdom, asking the Lord for the Holy Spirit to guide you in all things - he will be faithful to do so. Do not fear! God is with you in this!
    Meditate on these passages: Psalm 27:1; Heb. 13:5-6; Matt. 10:29-30; 1 John 4:18
    Pray, sweet daughter of the King, pray for God to heal your family, your children, your son, your husband....do not give up in seeking the Lord in this!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm
  23. I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. This means so much to me. When I heard your story it gave me goosebumps because it sounds a lot like my story. My husband and I have been married for 17 years and we have 3 boys. it's been so hard on me and the boys, but I know God's plan is so much bigger than mine. I pray through all of this that God gets the glory in the end. God showed me how he loved me when I did not deserve it and that I need to love my husband unconditional too. Because if I did not who would. And to keep praying for his salvation everyday and not to give up on him. My husband stopped drinking for 1 year and in January he started back up. I am trusting in God's will not mine. I have held onto many bible verses close to my heart but Romans 5:3-5 is one that God reminds me of all of the time. Romans 5:3-5 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
    posted by Dee
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm
  24. Debbie,
    I understand the fear and not wanting to be alone. I address this in the book a lot...I also know that I waited to long to set a boundary and just how important it was to keep that boundary once it was established. God is teaching you through this - to trust Him, to hear His voice. If you need to repent of something - then do so and move on. I would also get some good counsel regarding decisions and healing. Your husband also would benefit from someone to walk alongside him if he is willing. Celebrate Recovery is a Bible based program in churches that helps those struggling in any sin bondage. Check to see if there is one in your area.
    I know its hard to remove the trust from your husband - transferring it to God, but realize that most often when we are afraid to leave or set a boundary we aren't centered in keeping our focus on Christ. God is who you can trust - He never changes. His desire is your good and your husband's and He will allow you to continue to frustrated in your circumstance until you are willing to surrender - whatever that looks like.
    Trust God to deal with your husband. Do not fear the fall-out - that is for God to deal with. Take your grip off your husband and give him fully to God. I cannot tell you how freeing it is to do this.
    You can continue to love him and pray for him from a distance. It doesn't mean you are shutting him out, it means you are setting a boundary in love against sin. You are dealing the symptoms too - the real issue is your husband's heart. So, keep praying, place your hope and trust in God...not your beloved. Get wise counsel and be willing to ask the Lord, "What does it look like for me to love my husband?" You may have to set a new boundary, I don't know - counsel and prayer will help lead you to the answer that God will freely give you...but be willing to trust. I am so glad that you reached out!
    Reflect on these: Psalm 57:1; Isaiah 40:28-31; Josh. 1:9
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm
  25. Dee,
    Bless you for desiring to honor your vow. I know how extremely difficult it is when your heart is pelted with living with that sin once again. God will continue to carry you through. Your children will follow your lead - teach them what it looks like to have joy in the Lord, to trust the Lord and yes, even to take a stand against sin if necessary.
    Reflect on Isaiah 40:11 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.
    God is your good Shepherd. He will keep watch over your family. Your husband - He will continue to woo him to his heart. Your children- He will be faithful to surround them - He will never sleep nor slumber. I love this tender picture of us, as His sheep. We raise livestock and every Spring the new baby goats kids and lambs are so sweet. It is such a good word picture to think about ...how God cradles us close to his heart.
    There are so many women who, like you, are willing to wait and faithfully pray...you can join that community if you go on the book's face book page and leaving me a comment, asking for a special invite to that page.
    I sense you have a gentle, sweet spirit and I'm certain that even in the midst of the great trail you encourage others. You are making a bold statement with your choice to have joy in the midst of the pain.
    You are carried...in His arms.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm
  26. Dear Joy,

    I too was forced to leave my husband for my safety and that of my children. I even filed for a legal separation and the attorney was shocked that I refused to file for divorce. Neither of us were believers at the start of our marriage in 1986, but we both committed our lives to the Lord in 1999. Even though he seemed to fully turn away from drinking for a time, it always seemed to seep back into our lives. I prayed faithfully for him and I tried to protect my children from turning bitter towards their father. He was sober for three years when I became pregnant with our last child. We had both been praying for her, and after ten years of trying, our prayers were answered. When I was six months pregnant, he began drinking again and when she was two years and 4 months old, he died of liver failure. My prayers for my husband were always for him know fully the love of his Lord and Savior and to be completely healed from his Alcoholism. My prayers were answered! Of course not in the way I would have chosen. My older children still suffer from the scars of the pain their dad inflicted on us all, as well as not have a father for their very tender teenage years. I trust God's plan and purpose for our lives and I stand firmly on Jer 29:11. We may never see the hearts of our husbands completely turn to Jesus, but we are called to still pray and trust God totally, no matter the outcome.
    www.truewomen.com
    posted by Michelle
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm
  27. Michelle,
    How sorry I am that you've had to endure such sorrow. I understand what it is like when healing doesn't come for the man suffering from addiction. My brother, who was next to in birth order, died suddenly last year. He too, went back and forth from sobriety to addiction. It was a roller-coaster rider for our family, especially his sweet wife and their three children. It was hard to see him go, without the healing we all wanted for him...but God chose another way, just like with your husband. I recently wrote a blog post on my website about how it took a year for the anger I felt..towards him in some ways to be healed.
    God, no doubt is using your testimony to steady those women who's husbands will not come back, who will not chose to bow to the Lord. I deal with many of those women every single day. There are no answers, they are left to pick up the pieces and as you said, they must choose to trust the Lord as you have done.
    I pray healing for your children's deep wounds. I pray that God bring every one of you peace that passes all understanding.
    Bless you for being willing to trust God. Bless you for honoring your vow. Bless you for sharing this beautiful yet painful story. I am certain that God is going to do more than you can imagine with His story in your life!
    I'd love to hear more about your journey. If you are ever interested, I'd love for you to do a guest blog post for me on my website. It is a place where many people come for comfort in the midst of a trial or testing. You can go to the book's face book page and leave me a message or on the website. Take care, Michelle and thank you for sharing with me.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm
  28. I appreciated the truths in this so much. Thank you very much for writing it. What an encouragement.
    http://suziebeezie.typepad.com/
    posted by suzanne b.
    on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm
  29. I am so thankful The Lord brought this program to ROH so that I could hear it. 18 years of marriage, 10 years of recommitment to The Lord and 5 years of being in Al-Anon were the tools I needed when I found out he was having an affair last August. After a time of his acting sorrowful, he went back to his same prideful attitude. In this season the Lord has done a tremendous work on my heart, which I needed when I found out he was still seeing her in February. He says there is nothing there and he's "trying" in our marriage. I put our kids in AlaTeen and this has helped them tremendously but made him even angrier. I am still seeking The Lord and He has written it on my heart not to give up, to keep surrendering my husband to Him and stay focused on myself - this is what the 12 step program does in mirroring the 12 spiritual principles of Christianity. It's just the day-to-day living with it, struggling to set healthy boundaries and not become bitter that are the most difficult. I have sought professional counseling because it has lately been too much for me to bear emotionally. He is a loving father when he's not in his disease and a good provider and I know The Lord will deliver him as He continues to work on me and our children. Thank you for you and your husband's courage to share this story - praying for your family.
    reviveourhearts.com
    posted by Ruthanne
    on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 12:31 am
  30. Ruthanne,
    My heart breaks for you, I understand how exhausting it is and how weary your heart can become. I am glad that you have reached out for help. Equally proud of you for making sure your children are getting the support they need.
    Seeking God, desiring to hear his voice, being lead by the Holy Spirit is so important in the every day as God may ask something different of you. He will always be faithful to stir your heart if you need to set a more distinct boundary. I pray you also have the support of your church body. In every way you need the Body of Christ - practically, spiritually, prayerfully.
    It sounds like you have a healthy perspective of your husband's bondage in not allowing it to completely swallow you and your children.
    I encourage you to continue to seek the Lord, allowing Him to be your source of comfort and joy. I pray that there will come a day when you have a testimony of redemption for your husband. But even now - you have a testimony of how God has sustained you, carried you, encouraged you, been your All in All during a long and difficult season. Others are watching you, Ruthanne....you are being a light in a dark world as you choose to trust the Lord!
    Bless you and your family and thanks for sharing today!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 11:53 am
  31. Joy, I just heard your radio program yesterday, ordered your book today and have read many testimonies here. My situation is like many others ( a man with past issues, much anger, not into Jesus, addictive issues, trust issues). The family has lived in fear too many years and it has affected my health now, and my kids have serious issues and need counseling. 19 years of marriage I can say I have not enjoyed one year with him. We've been left alone to care for ourselves mostly because he chooses to work all the time but nothing to show for it. The main difference with my situation is Mark and I never loved each other when we got married. It wasnt even lust. I was screwed up on psychiatric drugs and trying to walk with God, he just got divorced and his father sued him he and lost his house. We went on 3 dates, knew each other 3 months. He just both selfishly needed each other. I live in regret now that I want to love for GOD and he doesnt. He lies, steals, anger, profanity, R TV before my kids. It burdens my spirit so and the kids are so affected. He does not even believe any one loves him. (His parents still reject him). He believes everyone is against him (seriously) and therefore counseling is not effective. I know God is trying to change me. I dont think I have the faith to seperate and deal with more of his anger. I have faith for others but I truly cant believe God will work this out for good here. God will have to create something out of nothing here - because we had nothing to start with and these 19 years has really damage our relationship even more. I do believe God wants me to show Mark the Father's love but I dont even like him. I believed he was a jerk when I met him (and he knows it) yet I still married him. I didnt believe the vows. I dont even know what I said. We got married in a park by a Justice of the Peace. My heart is torn - he has no one and if I left I think he'd go over the edge, but my life/health is seriouslt failing here if things dont change. I pray God will give you insight for advice here. Thank you. Deb
    posted by Deb
    on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 5:55 pm
  32. Deb, I am glad you ordered the book because you will see how my heart, for a long while, wasn't in my marriage, but rather, my attempt to satisfy my idol of a "Godly marriage." I understand how difficult it is to keep hanging on to something that doesn't seem to be there. Your husband has a great hole in his heart that can only be filled by God...the good news is...is that God desires an intimate relationship with him, God will woo him and work in his life even when you cannot and he cannot see it. For a long time I didn't have deep feelings for my husband, I had been too hurt, there had been too many promises broken and too much water under the bridge. I finally began to ask the Lord for a heart for him. I asked the Lord to be able to see Mark as He saw him. It didn't happen overnight but it did happen. I knew my husband had his own deep wounds. I knew the Lord could heal them but he had to be willing. I was powerless to do anything except for to pray.
    I prayed that God would change my heart, that I would have feelings, a heart for my husband, that I would desire him, that I would ache for the fact that he was a lost man. None of us are capable of the kind of love that will see you through this...it is only thru the power of the Holy Spirit that you will be able to do this...that you will be transformed and have the joy you so long to have.
    God can take a love-less marriage and make it something extraordinary. I know from experience and I've seen it in other marriages.
    Get into the Word - daily. Begin to pray - daily, for God to change your heart. Be willing - to surrender whatever it is God shows you. Know that holiness is what we should desire not necessarily happiness...when you desire to be filled with the peace of God - to have your soul content with Him, then you will discover that your soul really is filled up and you will have unexplainable joy in your heart!
    Your husband is most like as lonely as you are - what would it look like to reach out to him, in love, willing to trust that God could, would work a miracle in your relationship.
    If your husband isn't willing to receive counseling, get some for yourself. It will help you have a better perspective of God's love for you - who you are in Him.
    I am so glad that you reached out day, that took courage.
    God loves you, Deb, He has good things for you. (Jer. 29:11) Mediate on Psalm 27, read through the Psalms you will receive comfort for the lament of your soul.
    You are right - THINGS MUST CHANGE! God wants permission to make that change come about. He desires to set you free...from lies from the enemy, from the feelings of hopelessness.
    Praying for you, right now, that you would pursue the Lord with passion...that He would become that ONE thing you desire above all else. I know its hard, I know it won't happen overnight...but start today...I used to say my husband was a psycho-drunk, you say yours is a jerk...so give your jerk to God as I gave my psycho-drunk to God...give you feelings, your disappointments, frustrations, dreams, desires, everything to God...you can trust Him.
    God is moving on your heart, Deb...it was not a coincidence this broadcast and you hearing it.
    Keep us posted as to how the Lord speaks to you.
    You are love by the King of Kings - you are a daughter with an inheritance that NO MAN can ever take away.
    Blessings to you,
    Joy
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 6:22 pm
  33. Deb, (again)
    You might relate to a series that aired on ROH about a loveless marriage redeemed. Here is the link:

    https://www.reviveourhearts.com/resource-library/Programs/p/Revive%20Our%20Hearts/series/Hope%2520for%2520a%2520Hopeless%2520Marriage%252C%2520with%2520Dean%2520%2526%2520Julie%2520Petersen/

    Peace to you-
    Joy
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm
  34. So glad that it has turned out this way for you. Thank you for sharing.
    heidibylsma.com
    posted by Heidi Bylsma
    on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm
  35. Thank you do much for your story.I have purchased your book and will read it quickly I'm sure. Your story hit home with me so much. Only mine deals with adultery. My husband started having an affairs in 2006. But before the affairs our at least before I knew for sure, he was hanging out with girls that he called Friends. I was not happy with this but he gave me no choice in the matter. I became increasingly suspicious and increasingly possessive of him. I considered myself a Christian but really did not know the the Lord. The more controlling and possessive I became, the more he strayed. He said I was emotionally abusive to Him. Finally after many years of wondering my suspicions were confirmed. He had an affair and was now having another. This time he was done with our marriage and finally left. This is when I cried out to God to help me. Over the next 9 months I grew closer to God and learned how to pray for my husband. It was one of the most difficult times in my life. I prayed that if God would just bring him home broken, I would continue my prayers for his salvation. He did come come suddenly one day. I was ecstatic, God has answered my prayers. Then my prayers stopped. Again I found myself full of fear and worry that he would again have another affair. He continued close friendships with women he worked with and called Friends. One of his best friends who I thought was like a sister to Him, ended up being another affair that lasted 2 years. I was devastated. He threatened to leave again, but this time time I truly sought God will for me and our marriage. He told me to just keep praying and one day my husband would become saved. It's been 7 years since I found out about the first affair, he has come a long way, but still insists on having girls as His friends. Still I have been fearful of yet another affair. He obviously had not repented and feels his friendships and lunch dates are ok and that I have no reason to be concerned. Usually I don't say anything but recently I voiced my concerns and again, he threatened to leave. I feel he has a problem but it's unwilling to repent or even admit to it. So again I have just completely surrendered my husband to God. Your story had made me realize that I still have sin in my heart. I have forgiven him and know I always will but I still am more concerned about my happiness and my pain. Infidelity hurts down to your core. It tears you apart but I need to focus on God and know that nothing I can do it say will change my husband. Only God can bring him to his knees. Thank you for helping me get my mind back on track. I know my struggle is not over but I know God is faithful and I know I can't fear any more. I pray someday I too have a testimony like yours to share and to help others recover from infidelity.
    posted by Tracy
    on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 9:04 pm
  36. Tracy,
    Your heart has dealt with so much loss and betrayal. I am so sorry you've had to endure so much rejection. Remember that God will never reject you- He will never leave you.
    Your husband needs some boundaries established. Telling you that he's going to leave when you attempt to do that is manipulation. Please get some Biblical counseling for yourself. If your husband is willing to go - that would be wonderful, but even if he isn't, go for yourself. You need to get a more clear perspective of what it might look like to not "need" your husband, not fear setting boundaries ....removing yourself from the fear that has so paralyzed you...and into the place of peace and trusting God. When we cling to anyone, or anything, when we fear losing them/that, when we find that we focus on that more than anything, feel that if only "that" thing or person was fixed, then we would be happy....most often, what we have is an idol in our heart. My idol was the appearance of a Godly marriage. I know you so much want restoration, that is God's heart. I am so proud of you for being willing to remain true to your vow even when you see no hope, no evidence of change. You already have a testimony! God has already worked in your life in powerful ways. You are still standing, you are looking to God for hope now....you will help others by helping them understand their hope is in the Lord and they need not fear...even when that means having to take a stand on the sin. You aren't being revengeful when you set boundaries, you are stopping a pattern of enabling, removing the soft and safe landing for the person caught in the sin and removing yourself from their consequences. God will be faithful to direct and guide you. Get some help soon. We all are more focused on our own happiness rather than holiness...that's why the Holy Spirit is needed to help us overcome that...so don't beat yourself up about who you were, rejoice in the woman God is making you to be! You are a priceless treasure to the Lord, you are beautiful, fear-fully, wonderfully created, Tracy, don't believe the lies of the enemy that you aren't a spoken-for, daughter of the King.
    I am so glad you reached out, that God used our story to speak hope into your heart. Continue to plant yourself in His Word...that is your source of strength, hope, truth and promises. Reach out to someone - get counsel for wisdom, get into His Word and we look forward to how God works in your life. God is with you, Tracy....every moment, in everything, He is there with you!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 11:53 am
  37. Joy,
    Thank you so much for your Godly response. These are things I think I already knew but needed to hear. And yes I have worried that I have made this my idol. So much that when this all started years ago I was literally fixed on everything he did and what he was possibly doing when he was at work or when I was at work. He works night's in a hospital and there are way too many opportunities for him to pursue close friendships with other women. Most of the time he was spending time with these other women was when I was at work during the day. I worked 30 miles from our home and when I thought he was sleeping is when he was playing around. I became obsessed to a point of checking phone records, bank activities, etc. But thankfully with God's help I have mostly surrendered that to God. Though I never followed him or confronted any women I knew he was having an affair with, I was obsessed.

    Though I will tell you there is more to my story than this. After reading your book the last few days, I realized we have more in common. This is my second marriage. My first marriage was to a man that was an addict before we met. But he was verbally and mentally abusive to me even before we married and I always thought he would change. Later finding out he had bipolar disorder. Your stories of your children hearing the constant fighting and abuse hit home. My kids remember hearing the same things. He did start drinking again which made things worse. We did start going to church and then to counseling at church. He was told many times by pastors to do stop his behavior. But things just kept getting worse. I thought I was a Christian but I was angry at God for not stopping this. I had never been around a man that treated his wife that way. Over the 11 years we were married I became more hard hearted and I started looking else where for attention and love. Well eventually I found it. I had a very short affair which made me realize I was worth something. My husband found out and went literally crazy and threatened to kill me. They police got involved and he went to jail. After a week we reconciled and I prayed for healing. But soon after, the cycle started again. I was court ordered to a class for battered and abused spouses. It made me realize I finally had enough. He moved out on our 11th anniversary. Which is when I met my current husband. He was the man I had always dreamed of having. I too thought our marriage would be perfect. I moved from California to Florida to be with him and got married. Sold my house, left my family, and took my kids to live with him. We became a new family. You must know I forgot about God through all of this. I figured my kids and I were safe and that's all that mattered. Then 1 year after we were married I found out that he was having an online affair with some young girl from China and my world came crashing down. My insecurites were back and I was crushed because I thought he was the perfect man. So through the next few years the real affairs started which brings me to where I had started. It was not until after his first real affairs that I truly sought God for the first time. I became saved and started my journey of learning who God truly is and who I was in Christ. I prayed many times for God to tell me if I needed to go back to my first husband. I suffered great remorse and guilt for not standing for that marriage. My kids have suffered so much and this all had effected them in so many ways. It has taken me years to realize I am where God wants me. I attend a church regularly. This truly has made me realize the true value of a marriage and what it means to stick by our vows. I messed up once by leaving and I will not leave this marriage. I truly love my husband and forgive him, and still working on the forgetting part. I still do not think my husband has repented but I know he deals with guilt.I know my husband is missing God in his heart which is why he does these things. I am going to pray God helps me to let go of this idol of having a perfect marriage. I am going to pray God helps me to set boundaries with my husband and not fear him leaving for doing so.God is in control and has a plan. I will continue to stand in the gap for my husband but realize it's God who is the one that will change his heart. But I need to change myself first.
    Again, thank you for sharing your story. I somehow know one day I will be sharing mine. I pray God uses me to help others. I commend you on staying with husband through abuse and addiction It's funny, I left a man for unbiblical reasons, but am standing for a man I have biblical reasons to leave. God hates divorce and now I understand why.
    God Bless you!
    posted by Tracy Rodriguez
    on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm
  38. Tracy,
    God is at work and He will continue to work in your heart and all around you. Phil. 1:6; Isaiah 54:10; II Cor. 12:9 ...contemplate these beautiful scriptures, Tracy. I look forward to God's story in your life, but even now...you have a testimony of His long-suffering, faithfulness and endearing love to you and your family.
    Keep in touch with ROH and how God continues to heal, redeem and restore!
    Thanks for sharing this with me.
    Blessings on your day,
    Joy
    posted by joy mcclain
    on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 10:54 am
  39. I have read through many of the comments and stories and I too, have been affected by alienation, addictions, and hopelessness. My husband left me in 2007 and I later found out in 2010 that he cheated on me and wanted to do what he wanted to do. I was angry when he left because I could not understand why he wanted to leave me. I loved him and we had been married at the time for 8 yrs. His reasoning to me at the time was that he couldn’t be a husband anymore and he tried marriage and felt he couldn’t love me like I wanted. I was a Christian a t the time but I had many sin issues that I did not yield to God or I choose to do my own thing. (Bad choice). My husband was not a believer. In the time after our separation, I cried out to God and He showed me my sin and how I contributed to my marriage’s problem. I was angry with God for that but later yielded and humbly submitted to His way. I became stronger and my love for God grew and well as looking at my husband through God’s eyes. We tried to reconcile and work things out but I recognized a bigger problem; my husband was very angry and violent which I could not ignore. He pulled a gun on me once during the separation period and also, yelled and called me horrible names. I still stayed submitted to what God wanted me to do in my marriage. I feared for my life and in 2010 decided it was time to get out of this marriage. I tried everything and my husband refused to change. He did not work or provide for me and we lost our home, as well. I filed for divorce in 2011 and it was finalized in 2012. I wanted my marriage to work and still believe in marriage. I forgave my husband for all we had been through and my faults. I felt God’s grace in all of this and free to love my ex and pray for him. He became more bitter and depressed. Of course I blamed myself for all of this until I realized that I cannot change another person or control what they do. Today, I am walking in forgiveness and healing from abuse, control, and hurt. The Lord has brought a wonderful man into my life who loves the Lord. Many of the desires I needed in a relationship I now have. It is wonderful and I am fulfilling more of the gifting God has placed within me to do for Him. I am praying for all of the women who are in a difficult relationship and believing God for His grace and mercy to cover you and your family through this time. His grace is sufficient, Amen!
    posted by Renae
    on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 10:19 am
  40. Renae,
    God has brought you through much. Praise Him that you have known forgiveness, protection, mercy, grace and a freedom from guilt and shame! May the Lord bless you in your new marriage and as you reach out to women who are wounded - as you speak hope of the Lord's redeeming love into their lives. God is a caring and faithful God and He will see us through those seasons of suffering. Bless you for sharing and thank you for encouraging others with the hope of Christ! Indeed, His grace is sufficient!
    Joy McClain
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 10:35 am
  41. I stayed in a difficult marriage and then my husband committed adultery with a woman half his age and his family condoned his behavior and turned their backs on my children and I. He divorced me and he cares less and less about our five children and one grandchild. I am so hurt!
    posted by Donna
    on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 5:10 am
  42. Oh Donna,
    I am so sorry that you've had to endure such overwhelming heartache. I am sorry that your husband walked away from his marriage, his children, his commitment. I walk alongside many women who are in similar circumstances as you and it isn't an easy road. However, though man has rejected you...God never will. God will be there with you - in your hurts as you give them your sorrows, as you grieve what has been lost. If you have a relationship with your Lord Jesus Christ then you have so much ---you have everything you need for your soul to be satisfied. I know its hard to "feel" that. I know its hard to think that is true when your heart hurts so much. But I want you to know that no matter how good life is, or your marriage is...our hearts with never be satisfied and content unless we have a relationship with Christ.
    Donna, God loves you, perfectly. Give Him all your wounds - your children, those dreams that have died. Open your hands to new things that the Lord has for you. Open your hands to healing and to new opportunities in your life.
    I pray that you and your children will know peace and healing. I pray that the Holy Spirit wash over you and fill you to the brim, overflowing with the love of God. God sees you - He isn't mad at you, or punishing you, angry with you...no, He is drawing you to Him, He longs to give you comfort.
    Hebrews tells us that He will never leave nor forsake.
    Reach out to others, don't be afraid to live...don't be afraid. God will get you through this. I know it is so very very hard.
    If you go to my website, I wrote a specific post about when husbands don't return. It might minister to your heart further.
    You are deeply loved, Donna. Don't allow the enemy to whisper lies of defeat to you...or that you are unwanted, unloved, not worthy.
    Jesus died for you...that is your worth. You have been redeemed my friend, you have been redeemed!
    Grace & Peace to you,
    Joy McClain
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 10:25 am
  43. My husband is disrespectful in so many ways to me. He is an alcoholic binge drinker and abuses prescription opiates. He recently acquired illegal peyote plants and when I confronted him with the option of destroying them or I was calling law enforcement- he removed them. I have been going to his family's church for 1 year and recently was baptized. He goes occasionally. He is milking a minor back injury for attention and drugs. His parents refuse to listen when I asked for their help saying they did not want to take sides. I realized that blood is thicker than water. They enable their son by giving him their pain pills and believing he does not drink. We do not talk unless necessary, nor do we have any intimacy or sleep together. He calls me every name in the book and cannot understand why I will not go anywhere with him. He is childish and immature and needs psychiatric help. I pray a lot and God has protected me as I am afraid of him as he keeps loaded weapons because he is neurotic too. I have spoke to the church preacher and saw a psychologist last year. Where do I go from here?
    posted by Brigid
    on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 8:52 pm
  44. Dear Brigid,

    I just wrote a post today on my website about the cycles that women stay in when there is abuse and the fear they encounter. You are not alone, there are so many women where you are today...wondering, hoping, praying and so very tired and weary by it all. First and foremost, God desires to reveal to you just how much He loves you and how faithful He will remain. None of this will be wasted, though it seems as if all the sorrow is pointless. God is calling you to a deeper walk with Him and in doing so, He will be faithful to remain by your side, giving you wisdom and the grace you need each day.

    As you have reached out within the Body of Christ for help - have they offered wise counsel, desiring to see your husband be restored? Have they helped you navigate decisions such as setting necessary boundaries? If not, maybe you can go back to them, clearly explain all that you've been through. Be willing to hear them as they speak into your heart. Be willing to walk through setting boundaries they help you establish. Give the leadership within your church an opportunity to speak truth into your circumstance.

    Pray. God hears your prayers. Do not give up in your efforts of going before the throne room of God...do not grow weary in praying for your husband. The bottom line is his salvation. I offer a community of praying wives on a private, invite only face book page. If you like, I can put you within that safe community where precious women will sincerely pray for you and encourage you.
    I have written many blogs regarding your circumstance so if you visit my website: apassionatepursuitofjoy.com you'll find many postings on your situation.

    You cannot control your husband or his actions. If necessary we sometimes need to use the authorities that God has blessed us with in order to protect our families. He is responsible for his choices and God is responsible for the conviction in his heart.

    Seek wise counsel within the leadership of your church. Continue to pray and have others join you. Be willing to allow God to move and teach your own heart. Trust that God is working - He really is, even when you don't see it.

    Please, visit the website, you'll find many articles that you'll identify with.

    You are perfectly loved by your Father. He isn't angry with you, frustrated with you or punishing you.

    He will be your steady and comfort.
    He will not leave nor forsake.
    He will be faithful to guide you.

    Keep me posted and so very, very grateful that you reached out.

    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm
  45. Iv been marries for bout 7months now to a God fearing man but im so close to just giving up. He is wonderful but he abuses me with such hateful words. I try so hard to be the wife and mother God expects of me but my husband makes me feel so useless, like nothing i do is ever good enough. We live just downstairs from his family and so many times he puts me and our daughter as second option because hs always spending time with them,talking to then on the phone. Everytime i bring it up he abuses me with words and just lately, told me he feels like his in a prison with me. And everytime we fight he always chases me and my daughter away. God knows iv cried so many tears and sucked up my hurt to stay and keep working on our marriage. The past few days iv just been feeling so defeated. I cant take it anymore, marriages arent supposed to be this painful. I hear God telling me to stay, keep at it and keep comitting my husband to Him but im just feeling so discouraged :(
    posted by tori
    on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:44 am
  46. Tori,

    I am so sorry that you are feeling so defeated already. Let me assure you, the enemy of God wants you to feel defeated. He also wants you isolated. I do not know the dynamics of his family or the situation completely, but I do know God's heart towards you. God loves you with an everlasting love and He will not leave you nor forsake you. God has good things for you - beautiful, fulfilling and glorious things but first and foremost, He wants you - your heart to be satisfied by Him.

    That first year of marriage can be very hard. It can be even more difficult when you cannot break away from family - such as what you are experiencing with your living arrangements. Sometimes men feel as if their wife needs them too much...it can place a pressure on them that makes them feel like they could never meet your needs...and the truth is, they aren't meant to. I did this to my husband for most of our early years - I so loved him and thought that my happiness and contentment should come from him. He wasn't able to deliver and I was left feeling alone, isolated and unloved...while he just continued to pull away. I often tell women to love their husbands more but need them less. When we shift our inner-most need to the Father our men don't feel so much pressure. My husband wasn't meant to be my everything, but I sure thought he was.
    Words hurt don't they. I know you long to hear words of affirmation and tenderness. I encourage you to look in God's Word for truth in who you truly are...you are a daughter of the King, created with love, woven with tender care. I also encourage you to find a woman who is a bit older, has been married for several years and who is mature in the Lord...having a mentor makes such a difference. I am praying that for you right now - that God would provide someone to walk alongside you.

    Is your husband willing to receive Biblical counseling? If you present the idea to him - tell him that YOU need help, tell him you don't know how to be the wife God has called you to be - but you are so willing. I know your husband has sin that needs to be dealt with but if he hears you say that you recognize that you too sometimes struggle with sin...he might be more willing to be vulnerable and be open to receive counseling.

    If you could find a couple that is willing to spend time with you and your husband - that would be ideal. If you are plugged into a church, ask the pastor if he knows of an older couple that would be willing to invest time in your relationship. This is so vital to your growth and trust me in that building these kinds of relationships only strengthen the most fragile marriages. We were meant to dwell in community not isolation...that is from the enemy.
    Continue to pray, ask others (respectfully of your husband) to pray too.

    Seek wise counsel, reach out within the Body of Christ.

    Seek Biblical counseling with your husband if he's willing, if not, for yourself.

    Continue to ask the Lord to reveal to you any ways that hinder growth in your husband and your own growth.

    Know that it is normal to struggle. That's right it is normal. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Everyone, especially in the early years struggles. Marriage can be hard, frustrating and down-right irritating. But it can also be the most beautiful thing imaginable as it was meant to portray Christ and His bride, the church. There is sacrifice in marriage. There is compromise and the need for having a heart of a servant in marriage. There is mercy and grace extended in marriage. There is the refining of two people, two sinners and God will allow those things that are so hard to be the very things that cause growth and maturity.

    Don't give up, God isn't finished with either of you. This is just the beginning. Take a deep breathe...reach out within the Body of Christ, seek wise counsel, Biblical counseling, be active in getting a mentor, continue to pray, keep your heart pliable and willing to change as the Lord reveal. Know that God cares about your marriage even more than you do.

    We are called to be holy not happy. That doesn't mean you won't be happy or that you have to suffer or simply endure...not at all, it does mean that the more you chase after the Lord the dimmer the circumstance becomes.

    God desires your husband to treat you with tenderness and gentleness and He desires that you respect your beloved husband...learning how to do these things takes time, effort and the Holy Spirit.
    Do not be discouraged - please take the action I recommended, continue to pray and speak lovingly to your husband about getting some help.
    You are loved, perfectly, right now by your Abba Daddy.

    Praying for your marriage.
    Looking forward to hearing how God redeems!

    If you can, get a copy of my book, Waiting for His Heart; Lessons from a Wife Who Chose to Stay...you will find encouragement, practical help and will see how I felt as you did!

    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 8:19 am
  47. Wow, just found this site and I didn't realize that so many women are in this situation. Our parents were childhood friends and we came together and married in 2009 both of us our 2nd marriage bringing my two and his three. Because of his job, I decided to move in his town which was approximately 120 mi from where I lived. Shortly after moving, I experienced lack of respect from my husband. We attended premarital class, and counseling after we got married, however, my husband is prideful and self-righteous. I was also prideful and not supportive. Our marriage went into a whirlwind with problems with the kids, discipline and respect. About 6 months later, my husband told his children that he was going to divorce me. I didn't find out till later, however, he spoke to his pastor friend of our church and got permission to file for a legal separation. I never had an affair on him or abused him or his kids. I don't know what the reason was why the pastor approved? About a year later he filed for a divorce and it was granted. As horrible as this all sounds I believe that God is in the business of restoration and God has given me Isa 27:2-3, and my prodical husband will come home. He is hard harded but I know that God is in the business of softening his heart and opening his eyes. Women of God, don't let the enemy take from you what God has given to you as a blessing! Keep the faith.

    God has put in my life a wonderful man of God, my cousins husband who unfortunately experienced the same thing and now they are back together and God blessed them with another baby.
    posted by Ann
    on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm
  48. Ann,
    God is a God of second chances. Sometimes, when we get a better perspective we see that our heart wasn't right, we see our own self-righteousness and how we hinder the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. How wonderful that you see how God has purged your heart and continues to do so. If God has given you a personal promise...then hold tight to that. I know there have been times in my life where I believed that God was speaking a promise to my heart and because I do not trust my emotions...I've always asked the Lord to reveal His heart to me in three ways: By His Word; by His Spirit; by another source...I need to know it aligns with His Word, that the Holy Spirit is leading me that way and by something that would confirm this. For years, I was the only one who continued to hope for my marriage. I came to the place where it didn't matter what another person said, or how impossible it seemed, my God was a God of restoration and redemption.
    I encourage you to continue to seek God's perfect will as you continue on...praying, hoping, waiting. The Lord will speak to many with your example of faith. I also would encourage you to allow God complete access to the deepest areas of your heart - be willing to be broken, willing to allow Him to show you those hard things that would hinder your growth as well as others around you.
    Every day, I hear from women all over the world who are desperately seeking the Lord for their marriage. My counsel never changes...God is using this time to draw you closer to Him, do not think it is a time that is being wasted, press into Him.
    You are correct - the Lord is the changer and softener of hearts. No one on this earth will intercede for your former husband more than you will. Pausing to pray right now, for his heart, for his own wounds - that he be come to know complete healing, restoration and the glorious intimacy of our Savior.
    I waited for over two decades...if you haven't watched the video, you need to. God is a God of redemption and certainly the mender of broken hearts.
    Thanks for sharing, Ann...keep us posted.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm
  49. Me and my husband have been married for 5 years he was raised different from me my husband has been drinking for a long time. He can. Be .a. mean. Alcoholic I have learned to pray for my husband for the past 21 days eveverytime. We. Get. Into. It. I .leave. because. I don't. Know. What. Else to do so this last time we argued I left for a week and came. Back. Home to. My husband saying he doesn't want to be married anymore I found my self hurt not knowing when as to do so I noticed he would get off work leave and go straight. Outside everyday I found out he had been talking to a younger Girl that was pregnant still with the guy she was pregnant by I found out he was giving her money and she stayed in the same apartments we stayed in my husband turned his back on me put me out I didn't have no where to stay so I begged him to let me stay we have been working on our marriage I find my self seeking God more and more praying over my husband my marriage that God will change this man I married back into the one I fell unlicensed with I also well we also are working on baby and today my husband told me he wanted to move so we are moving it's crazy how God works but the Girl and her mom got put out of these apartments myhusband is slowly changing
    dont have one
    posted by unknown
    on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm
  50. Dear Unknown,

    I’m thankful to know that the challenging situation you are in is causing you to turn to God, to prayer and to God’s Word. Only God can change your husband’s heart and heal him from his addictions. Nothing is too hard for God to do in His time and in His way. I’ve paused to pray for you and your husband today. May God continue to give you both a heart to fight for your marriage and for complete restoration of your relationship.

    Serving Him,
    Lorree
    posted by Lorree, with the TW Team
    on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm
  51. No truer words spoken! I'm standing, and waiting for my husband (who professes Christ, but does not live as a christian). He has been addicted to pronography for many years, and the weight of his sin has ill affected our whole household. Bills, car repossession, mounting debt, physical, as well as emotional neglect have been all due to the consequence of this sin. I am saddened that the church is so free to offer divorce as a means of relief. So many in our body have fallen prey to a cross less Christianity. So little is said concerning our requirement to endure hardship like good soldiers. We want relief, and get leanness to our souls. It is refreshing, and encouraging to hear that there are women who have not bowed the knee to Baal, and are believing God for better. Thank you for making your voice known. Bless you.
    Sandy
    posted by Sandria
    on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm
  52. I am so glad I found this site. I am hopefully going to purchasing the book as well. I have been struggling with a husband that has over the past year become more and more distant and blamed me for him becoming a man he doesn't want to be. He has since moved out about 6 months ago and although I had a very difficult time at first, I have grown so much closer to God and realize that God has a bigger plan. The issue I am struggling with now is that I have recently found out that my husband is having an affair and, although I want to forgive him, I am finding it very difficult to do so. Part of me wants to throw in the towel and file for divorce because I feel as if he doesn't care anymore, but part of me wants to stay committed and continue to pray that God show my husband His love. I am just so torn on what to do. Initially when my husband moved out it was because he was trying to figure things out, but now I see that he isn't really trying to figure things out, but rather just kind of moving on without me or our son. I have been praying for days that God show me which path to take (stay with husband, or move on), but so far I am still confused. I continue to remember the vows of our wedding "till death do us part" and I that kind of helps me to want to stick with this even though it is very difficult, but then I see how much hurt my husband has caused to both me and our son and I just feel like I deserve to be happy and be with someone that loves me for me. I am just confused.
    posted by Michelle
    on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm
  53. Michelle,

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with such a difficult and sorrow-filled issue. There is good reason why we feel such loss when our marriage is being threatened. God designed marriage to be a living portrait of Christ and His beloved bride, the Church. When a husband is loving his wife, serving her and cherishing her...while a wife is respecting and honoring her husband, it is a beautiful union. However, when there is a tearing of that union, it is messy and painful. What was joined together was not meant to be severed.

    God will love you, Michelle, no matter what the outcome of this marriage is...if you are separated, divorced, widowed, single or married, God's love for you does not change. He loves you with an everlasting and perfect love. While you cannot control your husband or even provoke him to change you can allow God to work in your own heart. God isn't angry with you, He isn't trying to punish you, He isn't ignoring you and He certainly isn't trying to keep His wisdom from you. He will be faithful to lead you, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to guide you. He desires that you would pursue intimacy with Him...He is the one who has called you to Him. He will not leave nor forsake you.

    I would highly recommend that you seek out good, Biblical counsel - with your pastor, an elder, a Biblical counselor, etc. It is difficult to navigate through muddy waters while you are dealing with the fog of hurt and betrayal and sound counsel will not only help you with your choices it will also reinforce who God is and who you are in Him. When I counsel women, my priority is to help them see who God is...not with their own tainted lens of wounds and hurts, but through the living, breathing Word of God.

    I would also continue to pray and have others join you in your prayers for your marriage and husband. Ask them to pray over you and your son. The bottom line is your husband's salvation, that truly is secondary to the marriage. Be cautious not to isolate yourself - the enemy of God will whisper lies of shame, defeat and fear. Stand firm, believing and knowing that you are a precious daughter of the King of Kings - and He desires that your marriage be healed even more than you do.

    Seek wise counsel. Continue to reach out - especially within the Body of Christ. Pray and ask others to join you in your prayers. Realize that your husband's sin is against a Holy God and while he has deeply wounded you, without his acceptance of Christ, he will not know eternal life with Christ. Know that you are loved by a God who will be faithful to you, even when you don't see evidence of it around you. Rest in the fact that God Almighty still has a purpose and plan for you and your life and He will be faithful (no matter the outcome) to make beauty from the ash heap of your sorrows.

    I am so grateful that you reached out. Do not fret about having all the answers, it is a complex circumstance and you don't have to have it all figured out or even understand it all. God will lead you and you will have peace as you take each step as he directs. I am thankful for women like you, who desire to allow God to work in their life and marriage, willing to surrender, willing to wait, willing to trust, willing to submit to God. Check out my blog on my website, there are entries that pertain to waiting, questioning, hoping, surrendering, trusting, etc.

    Oh, Michelle, how great is His love for you - how unfailing are His ears where His sheep are concerned.

    Keep us posted, praying for you - for peace, for direction, wisdom, for restoration and redemption of your marriage!

    Much love, grace & peace to you,
    Joy McClain
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm
  54. I was amazed with your article. Your experience that your family had been. I may not be the same situation that you had but I was struggling in my marrige life too. C ompared to the number of years your family stayed, I am not. Actually we're just 9 yrs to go from our married life and we don't have baby yet. I agree to what you said that should be I have to have strong belief and continually should prayed for my marriage. And stop on letting my husband to change the way i want it. I was really wrong with it. For both of us I may say that I am more grown up spiritually compared to him. My husband is alsoa believer but not quite like that. And still i'm praying for his complete acceptance so he can be totally change as Jesus wants him to be. I was totally awaken by your article thst what was happening to me was not just as complicated as others does but we need to be careful too as early as it was before the situation eats me up. I pray that God continually be in our midst to remind us wgat are the vows we promised when we got married. I pray to Him that no matter how hard and long it will be for me to cry out to HIM, i am staying on my faith. I thank first our God Almighty secondly to all christian families that continuosly praying for all people no matter what nation we have.
    posted by Agnes Arciaga
    on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 3:54 am
  55. Thank you for taking the time to encourage me, Agnes. God cares about your marriage! He cares about the depth of relationship that you have with each other and more importantly, intimacy with each of you, individually. He will be faithful to teach your husband how to lead, how to be a man of God. I am praying for your beloved husband, right now...pausing to ask that the Lord draw him to His heart, that your husband would desire, above all else a mature and growing relationship with God. I am praying for you too, that you would not become impatient or fearful. I am praying that you are content in your own pursuit of God. I am praying that you would be able to show your husband love and respect and honor...even before you feel he deserves it. I am praying that the Lord would bless you with children and that they would come to know Him as Savior at the earliest possible moment. Agnes, God loves you - He has drawn you to Him..it is because of Him that you even know Him and have a desire to have a Godly marriage.

    You are a treasure to the Lord. He has wonderful plans for you. You do not need to believe the lies of the enemy who will whisper lies of defeat to you. I would encourage you to get into the Word of God. Get sound Biblical teaching. Plant yourself in the Word and don't allow anything to pull you away from its truths! We are so grateful that you reached out to us, that you desire to be changed before the Lord. He will be faithful to give you a heart for Him and for your husband. You have many years ahead of you with your beloved...how glorious ti will be this journey of marriage and learning to trust the Lord with and in all things.

    Bless you for your precious words,

    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 8:48 am
  56. first i would like to say thank God for you and that your page it is such a blessing to my life and walk. I prais the name of Jesus that he lead me to read your page, may his blessing always fall heavey apon your menstery and life and your church, and family again I thank you for being his sirvent and my sister in the lord. I would like to ask you with a humbel heart to pray for my husband Aaron and my marriage to be restored. I love God with all my heart, I am so thankful to be his child and your sister. I live in Muncie Indiana. God bless you and please know that you are a blessing others. I would like to share my story with you, I know you must be very bissy so I will not take to much of your time.
    i am standing on Gods word for my marriage. Its has been the hardest thing Ive been through in my life and walk with the Lord, but I am thankful at the same time because it has brought me closer to Jesus then I ever was, and i know that my husband will come back to me because his life is better with me. I also know that God is not a man that he could lie and that God will restore the years that have been stolen in our marriage. I have been married twenty three years and the last two my husband has been back and forth with a much younger woman. However I know he is deceived and backslide when I told the lord that I love my husband for better or worse I didnt say well Lord as long as everything goes my way then and only then will I stay in this marriage. yes I have my days on top of the mountan and my days in the valley. I am looked on by people in the world and in the church as week, however that is far from true it takes great strength to stand on Gods word for your marriage, to take God at his word to keep asking when everyone around you thinks its hopeless. the girl has been very mean to me said every hurtful thing she could come up with time after time. however our father is so great not only has he made a way for me to forgive her over and over. I pray for her not just that God would turn her heart from my husband but hat he would save her that no harm would come to her, and that she would never know my pain. I also pray day and night with out ceasing for my husband to come to himself and return to his first love Jesus that he would know what is good and true and be set free from bondage. what is really sad to me is that many Christians give the same advise as the world gives move on find another man, my reply is always the same show where Jesus said that in his word. many people say thy want to be like Jesus until thy are called to be. I ask God most days to make me the wife he wants me to be and I remind myself that love covers a multude of sin, and love is not just a word is is a way of life when we look to Jesus and that God said he made us one so many time when I pray I ask God to to set me free from the other woman and to bring me home to him and my wife, we just have got to get to a place where we rely belive Gods word and live like we do. i am thankful for your site and I am thankfull I came across it tonight becouse, so many times people say just thank God and be happy thy say where is your joy, the thing is when your husband is in the world and was once a man of God and you are one with him, you have a berden and a berden dose not meen joy. all my hope is in God I know all I can do is to keep it before him, untill he brings Aaron back to himself and me his wife. God bless you and I give you thanks from my heart. God bless you in Jesus name
    posted by sharon
    on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm
  57. Sharon, keep standing. I agree with you, the church offers so much of the worlds counsel it's hard to distinguish between the two, but the word of God richly dwells in you. I too am a stander (29+ years), but with God one day is as a thousand, so what's 29 years to Him? Keep praying for your Aaron for The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (women) availeth much. James 5:16. Sandy
    posted by Sandria Gutierrez
    on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm
  58. Dear Sharon,

    You are right when you say the burden is great and until we are asked to be like Jesus...it would seem so easy. It is a heavy load to carry when your husband walks away. You are wise in believing that the bottom line is his salvation. That is of utmost importance. At the same time, God does desire for you to be able to enjoy life. He would desire that you breathe - take time for yourself - enjoy the blessings that He has given you. So often when we are surrounded by grief, we tend to become that grief - it almost becomes our identity.

    I encourage you to seek the joy of the Lord because that is something that is truly supernatural. I cannot explain it or understand it, but I know that God's peace and contentment is a wonderful gift and He longs for you to feel it. He doesn't try to keep it from you and He doesn't make it difficult. One of the best ways to do this is obviously, to read His Word every day. Another way is to try not to dwell or think about your husband all the time and the circumstance. I know that that is a hard thing not to do, but if you think of God, how great His love is for you, how much He has carried you...then you'll will come to find their is gratitude in your heart. Gratitude is a doorway to joy.

    Continue to pray for your beloved and the other woman. I don't think we can ever know what the outcome will be because man does have free will. But I do know that God cares for you, desires to lead and protect you, longs to draw you into His safe and loving arms and will never, ever leave you. It was God who drew you to Him. And it will be God who draws your husband to him. Only the Holy Spirit can convict your husband so let your words be few - they might not be heard by your husband anyway. Continue to treat him with respect and honor - not because he deserves it, but because he is God's son, your husband.

    I know that others may discourage you or advise you to leave your husband - that is something between you and the Lord. I do believe that wise counsel if a wonderful help and I pray that you have someone that will help you align your heart and motives with what God's Word has to say about your circumstance. I pray that you have someone that will encourage rather than discourage, help rather than be a hindrance. The Body of Christ is meant to surround you and I pray that the Lord send His people to you!
    Above all else, Sharon, know that God is working in your heart. He is pulling you close to Him. He's teaching you just how faithful He is. He loves you so perfectly. He has always loved you. There is nothing you can do that will change His love for you. NOTHING! He sees your sorrow and your pain. He is grieved by your husband's actions too. He will exchange your burdens, Sharon. He will gladly take this heaviness from you and give you His joy!

    Thank you for writing us, for encouraging us.
    Praying restoration and redemption for you and your beloved husband.
    Praise God for His faithfulness! Praise God that you know Him!

    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm
  59. Dear God My husband and I divorced and now are back together. I believe that he is still with a coworker which was his girlfriend for two years. He is still home with me and our two boys. GOD get him from going in the wrong path again.Guide him to you Jesus Christ . I am very tired working taking care of the kids but I pray everyday. Get this women away from him and his path. AMEN!
    posted by MR
    on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 11:08 pm
  60. Dear MR,
    I am praying right along with you, I am pausing right now, asking the Lord to draw your husband to him, draw him to his family. I am so sorry that you have had to endure. I want to reassure you that God does see all of this - He knows how much you long to have your family fully restored. I pray that your heart does not grow too weary, does not grow cold, does not grow in bitterness. I am praying that the Lord bless you in your willingness to continue to pray and hope. I am praying for you right now, that you would grow in ways you never imagined - that this season would cause your heart to press deeper into Him. The Lord tells us in Hebrews that He will never leave us nor forsake us. In Jeremiah 29:11 the Lord also tells us that He has plans, a future and a hope. That includes you! His story in your life is one that is meant to glorify Him and cause you to see just how faithful He is.
    Thanks for allowing us the blessing to pray for you!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm
  61. This is a great article. I just spent the morning asking God to remove the deep bitter root of anger I have towards my husband. It's been 30 years since we married and he has been in and out of church a few periods over this time. I was saved right after we married. My struggle has been how he over rules me and disrespects my faith,. Of course there's the language and the TV choices. He knows I won't watch anything crude or dishonoring to God yet he walks in the room and turns on some of his favorite programs. He has a man room which I though would help and it does sometimes but he still turns on some of the most sensual and foul stuff there is. He likes to watch TV all night and I repeatedly ask him to turn it off. He obliges sometimes but when he wakes up he turns on the TV during the night which wakes me up. I sometimes wake up to sex scenes or violence..really graphic stuff.
    There's so much more but I'll get to the hardest part. He has always over ruled me with our 3 kids. They're grown now but the issue still exists. When they were home he'd say they could watch a show I said no to. He'd watch shows with them I didn't want them to. They could go to movies that were inappropriate. Same with parties, curfews and on and on. I couldn't enforce church their senior years because they were "adults" Sadly one by one they quit attending church when they were old enough to quit and I couldn't enforce it. They were allowed to disobey.He agreed to a junior high boy girl party at our home which we had outside then kept turning off the lights so it was completely dark. I kept turning them on saying we have to respect other parents wishes who trusted to us to keep an eye on these kids. He laughed, thought it funny and fine to let kids have privacy. I have so many stories I could share but I'll just tell my present struggle.
    My oldest son lives with his girlfriend and they are hours away. when they visit he allows them to sleep together. I have spoke up about this to my husband and my son but both tell me I can't tell a 28 year old how to live. There have 3 other young women over the years that were allowed to spend the night here. When I tried to intervene with one, telling my son "no more" and my husband that I wanted to honor God and please support me on this he told me you aren't the head of the house and not everyone thinks like you and quit trying to manipulate everyone. My son said no Mom I'm not doing that. I'm an adult you can't tell me how to live. So now the plans are for my son and his girl to come for almost 2 weeks over Christmas and I am struggling with dreading the holidays. It hurts to be disrespected so much and I have lived a long life of being treated that way. Our daughter has even tried to get her dad to see this is wrong and asked him to respect me and honor my faith. I know I cannot make rules my husband doesn't agree to so I am stuck. I believe my husband taught my son to disrespect me as he was growing up although neuter of them see this and I just want things to change and I want God's wisdom on how to handle the upcoming visit. And I want no more bitterness. It's miserable and I though I had it under control until recently it has surfaced strongly and I am struggling with terrible feelings towards my husband. Thank you sisters for letting me unload. here. I don't even know if anyone is still reading this. If you are please pray for me to endure and have peace and for my family to surrender to God. Regardless Jesus is worth the trials I have endured. Praise His name.
    posted by cheryl
    on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 9:01 am
  62. Dear Cheryl,
    By the grace of God you have been able to endure what at times, seems impossible to withstand. By the grace of God you are still willing to worship, surrender, pray and praise the Holy name of God. By the grace of God you have been a testimony to those around you. You have no idea the light you have given a dark and decaying world!
    You mention your daughter...how she attempted to convince your husband that what he's doing is wrong - your daughter must have picked up something from you - something from you faith!
    No matter if your sons were raised in a believing home or not, eventually, that faith must be their own. Yes, it is good when they have that solid teaching from their childhood and I expect that they do! You have lived a life of virtue - in front of your children, in view for the world to see and that includes your husband!
    I do not know why your answer is slow in coming. I do not know why your husband has chosen the path he's on but I do know that God is using you and I don't even have to witness your life to know this. Oh, Cheryl, what am impact you are making. You might not see it for years, you might not ever see it on this earth, but I promise you nothing you have endured will be wasted. All those nights of feeling so alone in your faith. All those Sunday mornings attending church alone - you have persevered and I imagine your faith and your character have been molded and so very refined!
    I am certain that there are young women around you who feel stuck and frustrated in their marriage. I pray that you would be willing to walk alongside of them. I pray that you see the value of your trial and how glorious it would be for you to extend what you have learned to others. It is greatly needed! Every single day I hear from a young or not-so-young bride who is struggling. We need mentors and older, mature women of faith to speak truth into the lives of these women. We need someone who is willing to get dirty with another person's sin.
    I believe that most women don't need intensive counseling, they simply need someone to invest in them. Oh, how you could be investing in those precious lives!
    I am praying for your husband. I know others on the prayer team will be praying.
    God has bestowed much grace and mercy upon your life. He will not cease to do so. He will continue to give you what you need for each hour of each day. He will not cease to cover you with His wing of protection. He will lead you beside still waters...just keep walking with Him, allowing Him to take you to that place.
    Guard yourself against the enemy! Stand firm on your position as a daughter of the King of Kings! Take EVERY thought captive. You are not forgotten, you are not being punished, you are loved, perfectly.
    Praying for you my friend, praying you see just how marvelous your wisdom and years of desiring holiness is to everyone around you.
    God will continue to give you His grace. He will dissolve the bitterness, the sorrow...for just a little while you are to endure...then you will know, you will see face to face the glory that you've been desiring all along here on this earth.

    One thing I ask, this is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of Lord all the days of my life. Psalm 27:4
    Much love, grace & peace to you,
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 11:29 am
  63. Dear God,
    Give me support through my trouble marriage. My husband left me again and our two boys. Open his heart, eyes, soul, body, mind to us his family. He's a drinker and does not think clearly or focuses on anything. Please pray for a return. My younger son is looking for his dad when he wakes up in the morning. It hurts me to see that. HELP...Amen..
    http://www.truewoman.com/?id=2477
    posted by MR
    on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm
  64. @MR...Bless you, dear one. My heart goes out to you. I am sure your days are filled with hurt and pain. I pray you will know the healing touch of the Lord, MR. When your heart hurts, open the Word of God and read His truth that transcends the darkness and gives light and life and hope. Read verses of Psalm 46 and 23 and 103. Let His Word wash over you with His grace. Know that we care and we consider it a great privilege to pray for you and your husband and your sons.

    "Heavenly Father, We call on Your Name and seek You to show mercy and grace to MR. Father, Your Word tells us You abound in steadfast love (Ps. 103:8). We know You are gracious and kind and Your heart is toward Your children. We entrust MR to You that You might indeed hear the prayers of her heart and our intercession for her. "And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You." (Ps. 9:10) Her husband may betray her, but You O Lord never do! Thank You for this truth. We are well aware Lord, that the enemy seeks to kill and destroy (1 Pet. 5:8), but You give life and hope (Prov. 13:12). We pray Lord that You will open the eyes of her husband to the destruction the alcohol brings. Help him to see beyond the drink to the love of his family. Bring healing and restoration to their family. Where the enemy has come in, we pray victory from You. Sustain this weary one in the midst; she so needs Your comfort and Your peace. Restore their marriage, Lord; that is our prayer. Only You can do that. You promise us that Your mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:21-24), so we ask You will give grace to her sons when they awaken each day. Give them peace and grace. Pour Your mercies onto this family. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm
  65. My name is Casey & I am in need of some advice. I am recently married. My husband & I haven't even been married a month yet. My husband struggles with the addiction of Crystal Meth. He continues to tell me that he will quit but he doesn't I work late hours into the night & when I am gone to work he goes out & gets high I know when he is messed up there is no way he can hide it but all he does is deny it. He was even high on our wedding day. I don't even want to look at our wedding pictures I have told him to get help but there is no way we can afford rehab because we both are uninsured when I mention something about maybe seeing if his family can help us with someway to pay for rehabilitation he made the comment I don't need rehab it hasn't ever worked The help he needs is in church. I'm not right with God. Don't give up on me but he can do drugs the Saturday night before church & not go Sunday morning or he can do drugs Tuesday night & go to church Wednesday night like everything is alright & he has done nothing wrong I an just lost I don't know what to do anymore I don't think he is ever going to stop doing Crystal Meth & I don't know if I should divorce him & stay away from him or if I need to stay I just wish he would stop more than anything I love him so much but I don't want to be a widow & I'm tired of him getting high I just don't know what to do he keeps denying it & says I am consumed with it & that I am crazy but I know he is high someone please help me & try & lead me on to make the right decision
    posted by Casey
    on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 12:30 am
  66. My name is Casey & I am in need of some advice. I am recently married. My husband & I haven't even been married a month yet. My husband struggles with the addiction of Crystal Meth. He continues to tell me that he will quit but he doesn't I work late hours into the night & when I am gone to work he goes out & gets high I know when he is messed up there is no way he can hide it but all he does is deny it. He was even high on our wedding day. I don't even want to look at our wedding pictures I have told him to get help but there is no way we can afford rehab because we both are uninsured when I mention something about maybe seeing if his family can help us with someway to pay for rehabilitation he made the comment I don't need rehab it hasn't ever worked The help he needs is in church. I'm not right with God. Don't give up on me but he can do drugs the Saturday night before church & not go Sunday morning or he can do drugs Tuesday night & go to church Wednesday night like everything is alright & he has done nothing wrong I an just lost I don't know what to do anymore I don't think he is ever going to stop doing Crystal Meth & I don't know if I should divorce him & stay away from him or if I need to stay I just wish he would stop more than anything I love him so much but I don't want to be a widow & I'm tired of him getting high I just don't know what to do he keeps denying it & says I am consumed with it & that I am crazy but I know he is high someone please help me & try & lead me on to make the right decision
    posted by Casey
    on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 1:45 am
  67. @Casey...OH, Casey...you are a new bride, a new bride facing such heartache. Actually, your post makes me want to cry; I am heartsick for you. Your situation would seem hopeless, except for the fact that we have a mighty God!! There is nothing—no situation, no marriage, no addiction—that is beyond His reach. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Ps. 27:13-14)

    Crystal Meth is one of the most addictive and destructive substances there is. Your husband is an addict and his actions are that of an addict—lying about it, hiding it, saying he will quit, blaming you for making much of it, his help is not in rehab but… . You are not "consumed" by it, you are not crazy, you mustn't stay quiet. There are many problems in marriage that with some time and counsel will work themselves out, but a Crystal Meth addiction is not one of those. Your choice is not at this time whether to divorce, but how to get help. You cannot hide this for him—that is enabling. It will take wise counsel to navigate what to do/ how to find help. There are rehab programs and resources available even without insurance. Let someone help you connect with those. Do you have parents that you can tell so they can help you? Do his parents know he has an addiction; will they help you? Does your pastor and/or church leaders know? If these are not options for you, find a Biblical Counselor from this list at www.nanc.org. Get someone to walk through this with you. Ask your husband to go with you to find help; if he does not want to go, then you will have to do that on your own. The important thing is not whether he goes or doesn’t go, but that you go to find help.

    Know that we care about you, Casey. I am praying for you. If you would like to write me at info@reviveourhearts.org, I would love to send you Joy’s book to encourage you and give you help and hope.

    God bless you, Casey.
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm
  68. After being in relationship with my boyfriend for six years, he broke up with me,I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem. Contact him now for your relationship or marriage problems via this email droyekpenspelltemple@outlook.com. or contact him with his via cell phone number(+2348102386568) all thanks to Dr Oyekpen regards
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    www.facebook.com
    posted by Aneesa
    on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm
  69. great spell caster
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    posted by cerli
    on Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm
  70. Hey this is Casey again the newlywed with husband facing problems of addiction to Crystal Meth. This week has been pretty good. I have been to work & came home & he isn't showing any signs of being messed up. I hope it remains that way. & no. No one knows of his problem. His family knows that he used to have a problem with addiction but they think he is over that. They all think I am his life saver because once we got together he has stayed out of trouble I just hope he doesn't do it again. I have been praying constantly . I've been asking God to help me make the right decisions & most of all to help my husband. I hope he continues to stay sober. I will keep updated. And again thank you for all the prayers. They are greatly needed & appreciated.
    posted by Casey
    on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 2:46 am
  71. I found encouragement here today to keep praying for my husband. I am newly married (since July) and have been praying for months for my husband to be saved but things keep going downhill. And now he got angry with me the other night over something that was truly not my fault and has not talked to me since. It would be so easy to return anger with anger, but rather I am praying. But still, there are moments I am so hurt that I feel like giving up but that would be the easy, worldly thing to do. Instead, I know a spirit of anger is gripping his heart and once that is removed, he will be the remarkable man I know he really is. What is truly encouraging to me is to hear the stories that God is working even though we may not see it. And if I need to pray for him for 40 years, I pray God will give me the strength to do it! I also realize there is much work to do in my own heart to become a more steadfast Christian. To this journey I say: Keep Calm and Pray On!
    posted by Nancy
    on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 10:44 am
  72. Hi MS. Joy McClain,
    greeting from the Lord Jesus Chirst, i wanna ask you how to know if im praying according to the will of God.. i want to heal, i was torn apart by my husband's adulterous relationship..worst, he told me he loves this girl more than me, and i can see it, i am witnessed since those things he is doing to this other person ..he never did or give to me nor to our two kids.. we have been married for 5 years, he started this relationship with the other person (his co-worker) year 2011, their relationship is on and off, he told me the girl is unpredictable..he even worship her he told me and yet, the girl is afraid of their future.. as the girl cannot stand being "the other person"..now, its been a year since they separated..yet my husband still madly inlove with her, in fact..he told his freinds just past week..he was wrong to marry me,, he is waiting for the time this other person will come back to him. Ms. Joy, i was torn into pieces, i dont know how will i restore my self..my life perspective becomes bitterness, rejection, emotionally tortured...i am praying for healness in my heart and his salvation, i want to know if it is according to the will of God to ask Him..my husband's love for me will reignite again.. but i seem feel so small doing this... its like,,so cheap..so desperate..its like..i am praying my husband will love me..BUT WHY WILL I ASK IT?? the other person did't ask the Lord that my husband will love him..yet my husband loves her truly..i saw him crying because of her,,, he always plays music that connected to them, its like slapping on my face, its so hard, so painful that he's deeply hurt because of the other person..at times, i want to be set free from this marriage because of the great pain i am experiencing, but we have kids..they will be hurt..i dont want to be a part of broken family, but what does the bible says about this? living with the man who doesnt love me anymore and doesnt care about me is like killing me softly..emotionally tortured...i love my husband so much,,but even God..dont want us to love him forcefully..He wants us to him Him according to our choice..my husband's choice is this other person,, the reason we're together now because of the kids, he totally change..he is not the man i married before..i just kept my lips close,,and cry at night..one time , he saw me crying, he just said sorry ..because he hurted me and that he can't do anything because he loves this other person...help.. ptay for meand my family :'( :'( :'(
    posted by tel
    on Monday, November 25, 2013 at 6:33 am
  73. I have been married 31 years we have 2 grown children . I have dealt with adultery for the last 20 years. My husband heart is hard. He accuses me but I know it's the enemy. I'm not fooled. This has caused my family to separate. My kids think I'm crazy for standing. I pray for God to convict him daily. But reading your letters has made me take a look at myself. I must chase after God not my husband. He has women calling him and he makes good money so he takes care of all the bills. And he is emotionally and verbal abusive and getting worse also. I feel as though I'm a fool for staying. I too have checked his records and knows he is with other women, but this blog has made me look at him and ask God to change me. It's so hurtful and hard that I'm numb I don't cry anymore. He's the only man I've been with. We are high school sweethearts. I hAd become bitter towards God for allowing me to suffer for so long. It's so much I've been through that it's not room to write. I seen and heard all.
    posted by Jo
    on Monday, November 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm
  74. Dear Jo,
    I assure you that God sees you in your suffering. He is a just God and although we often want to take matters into our own hands, we can trust that God will deal with your husband. Bitterness and the frustration that builds up over time can start to erode at our perspective of God. It isn't God that is sinning against you, it is man. But oh, how God loves your husband. And I pray that your husband come to the end of himself and come to a full relationship with the Lord. You can continue to pray for your husband - but perhaps a better prayer is one of salvation for him. The Lord sees you in your sorrow - He hasn't forgotten you. He knows that you are lonely and afflicted. But even in this hard thing - God is wooing you to Him. Even though it is so difficult - God can soothe your weary soul with peace. I would strongly recommend getting wise counsel - someone that you trust that is mature in the Lord. I would be willing to receive their counsel and seek the counsel of your pastor and those around you that can align your circumstance with the Word of God. I would encourage you to continue to pray and yes...pray that your heart would desire God above all else. I know it hurts so very much and you feel utterly betrayed and abandoned...but God is with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you. It's hard to understand why people or husbands act the way they do sometimes...its hard to live the day in and day out with those actions...that's why I think seeking wise counsel would greatly help you. God loves you with an everlasting love, He is your hope. It seems as if God allows this all to happen, but in reality God has allowed man to have free will. We are not puppets on a string...God allows us to choose and with that choice comes sin and the consequences and wounds. But God has made a way through the redemptive work of the cross and you have the blessed opportunity to know Him, intimately. I know it seems as if this is all a wasted...but it is not. I am so proud of you for desiring God, desiring to pursue Him, desiring Him to change your heart.
    Even amid the pain and the tears you have chosen wisely...you have chosen to seek Christ. That, my friend, will not ever be a waste.
    God will bless your pursuit of Him. He will continue to draw you close to Him. I am pausing now to pray for you - that your heart would be steady. I pray that your beloved man come to know the Lord fully. I pray that no matter what the outcome is of your marriage - your hope and contentment lies within the Lord.
    Be encouraged, God is working all around you.
    Be encouraged, God will not leave you.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm
  75. Dear Tel,
    I am so sorry that you have had to known the sorrow of a man who has rejected you. Jesus knows what rejection is...his closest friends turned away from him before he was crucified. He knows what it is to be alone. He understands your pain.
    While I cannot know what your husband will decide or if he will come to know the Lord a greater prayer would be that he come to know Christ as his Savior.
    It is understandable, these feelings of rejection and how you want to be free from them. God however, will never reject you. He will never tell you that you aren't good enough for Him - none of us are - but He so lovingly made a way through His Son - who would know what it is to have everyone run away...and then, He chose the cross for us!
    God's heart is for marriage and for redemption. However, even when a man chooses to walk away...God will still love you. No matter if you are divorced, separated, widowed, married, single...God loves you just the way you are.
    Your children will follow your lead. Show them a momma who is willing to trust God. Show them what it is to pray for their father. Show them that the love of Christ is the greatest love of all. Show them that one can be content - in simply knowing Jesus.
    Be willing to seek wise counsel within your church - with your pastor - or someone who is mature in the Lord. All of this pain you are enduring can cloud out wisdom. You need someone to help you as you navigate this hard road.
    I am praying for you - that you would see your husband come to know the Lord and that he would no longer desire this other woman, but would thirst after God.
    It isn't wrong that you desire to have a good and pure relationship with your husband. But even good things can consume our thoughts - or keep us so occupied that we think we cannot be happy unless we have it...God knows you are so weary in wanting this. Pursue Him with all of your heart. Trust God to deal with your husband.
    I am deeply saddened that your family is going through this. My heart aches for women like you, who so want their husband to be redeemed, their marriage restored.
    I promise you - no matter what the outcome, God is with you, His love for you doesn't change.
    I pray that God provide someone to walk alongside of you in this and that you receive wise counsel. I pray that you begin to ache for the Lord and that the desire for your husband lesson - though you love him more, praying for his salvation above all else.
    God is bigger even than this mess - He is able to clean up any mess. But, even if your husband chooses to walk away, God still has good things for you - a future and a hope for you.
    I am praying that you see a change in your husband's heart.
    I am praying strength for you.

    Isaiah 40:10-11 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. 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.

    God is carrying you - gathering you up in his arms of love and carrying you so very close to his heart. No matter how another person tries to hurt you - God is your protector and Shepherd.
    Please let us know how things are going. We care about you and we want to know how God is working in your life.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm
  76. My live seems to be in ruins. I have been married to what I would consider the love of my life for 7 years. This is my second marriage- my first ended due to abuse. I have three girls and he has a girl and a boy. We both have full custody and when we married moved to a new town and began our new life as a blended family. In the eyes of the community we were the perfect blended family. Everyone respected us- no one knew which kid was mine or which was his. On the phone with him Wednesday night - I was away for a dr appt. The last thing I said was I love you and I will call you when I am out of the dr office. He said I love you too- be careful. I am asleep and I hear -- get up something is wrong at your house. I am so scared. I find out my husband of 7 years has gotten drunk (we never drink) wine once or twice a year. He got drunk with my 17 year old daughter who was going thru a devastating break up . The call was from the sheriffs deputy who has been at my neighbors house for over an hour. your oldest child has had over 12 shots of moonshine and is at the neighbors house. She said your husband came in to her room and was inappropriate with her. when I arrived at the nidghbors house they told me she had not been raped she was in a state of hestaria when she arrived at the neighbors. I could smell the alcohol before I came close enough to give her a reassuring hug. Alcohol! What purpose does it serve but to destroy! at first I am doing everything I am told. back to the police station to give her statement when she sobers up. she doesn't want me in there- she says she is too embarrassed. I leave her to give her statement and I am in utter turmoil. I go to find a lawyer, change y bank accounts, change my life insurance, safe guard everything I can possibly safeguard. This was all a defense mechanism... running on what people are telling me to do. I go from one court house to police to sherrif to school as I was instructed. I made no decisions for my self. I feel I was running on ----OK tell me what I am suppose to do next. It has been a month- over the last month I have shed more tears than I have in my life. I have lost my children and my husband. I have lost my beautiful family.
    God gave me a peace when I was to divorce my first husband - after years ... He finally released me to divorce him and I was at total peace with it.
    This is not the case. I have been in turmoil this whole time. He has claimed to not have done anything at all inappropriate except the drinking. I have not been able to get my daughter to open up and tell me what she told the police. I am struggling with my vows I took - safty of my children- was it alcohol that clouded judgement and put her in a state of confusion.
    I must add there has NEVER been any out of the way behavior from my husband.
    I have prayed and prayed . I am currently fasting and in prayer for my daughter and my husband.
    Alcohol! I have prayed and prayed for God to break my husbands spirit- have him down on his knees crying out to God for his family. I have prayed for comfort for my daughter. If he did do something inappropriate- that is what it is and the courts will have to make the decision of his fate. If he didn't do anything- which I have not had a peace not one minute since this incident- then what about my family. What about my marriage? what about my wonderful life that has been destroyed in one night of foolishness.
    I am praying- I am fasting- I need words of encouragement and biblical instruction on what I should do-- how should I act-- what am I suppose to do when my family is ripped apart because of one stupid stupid night.........Catherine
    posted by Catherine
    on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm
  77. Dear Catherine,
    My heart breaks for you and your family. I am certain you feel as if you have entered into a nightmare. I want to gently remind you that God was not caught off guard when this happened. God knows the complete truth and He knows the hearts of man. While it is difficult not knowing who you can trust or believe, we know that God is a God of justice.
    If the authorities instructed you to make some moves they most likely, you can trust what they say. It is their job to set up protection for you and your daughter, it is what they have been trained to do and sadly, because they dwell in these types of situations, they have an understanding of how best to be proactive in that protection. There is a structure of authority over us in our society and we can believe that God will and can use it for our own good.
    I don't know if the court will order any type of counseling, most likely they will. However, if you can at all receive Biblical counseling for you, your daughter, husband...I would highly recommend it. There is much to unravel in this and a great amount of healing needs to take place as well as trust be established once again and that all takes time. The good news is that God is a God who desires to redeem, heal, restore. It is His desire to take this hideous ash heap of sorrow and evil that seems certain to destroy - and make something that has is beautiful. It is hard to imagine now, but it can happen.
    As far as your family being destroyed...I know full well how that feels. We can know however, that we are in good company - the Word of God is full of families that had very dark chapters, poor choices and even disbelief. But God was able to work in those families, He radically changed hearts - He is the changer of hearts.
    You can trust that He will continue to work in your husband. While only God knows what happened, I know that God is a God of grace - there may be consequences to pay, but He can bestow His unmitigated grace and undeserved mercy - and He does so every single day in our lives. I pray that your husband, if he is guilty of any sin against your daughter and you and more importantly, against a Holy God is filled with remorse and with humility - causing a desire for radical change in his heart. Even if for a poor decision that he has made - that he would be grieved by his sin.
    No matter what the source...drugs, alcohol, sex, lust, etc...they all destroy, they lead to death and they all are against a Holy God. No matter what takes place in our families - even those sins that seem to be not so bad (control, greed, manipulation, fear, etc.)...they all destroy. We all have fallen so short and that is why we are so desperate for the cross of redemption.
    I encourage you to seek counsel with mature believers.
    I encourage you to seek Biblical counseling for your family.
    I encourage you to continue to walk through the justice system, trusting that God will lead and direct with every step...from your daughter to the judge to your husband.
    I encourage you to take your deep wounds, fears, turned-upside-down world to the foot of the cross - lay them before the Lord and weep until you can weep no more. God sees you in your sorrow - He wants to take this burden from you.
    I encourage you to continue to pray for your family and get other, trusted believers to do the same.
    I encourage you to breath, take time to come up for air as this can consume every ounce of you - allow yourself time to contemplate simple truths of God: He loves you, He loves your family, He will see you through this, you can trust Him.
    We'll be praying for you and your family. I am, as well as the others on this team are grieved for you - that you have this hard tribulation to face.
    I pray that God do mighty and glorious things in each of your lives through this.
    We don't know the outcome, we have no idea how God will use this.
    This will not be wasted time.
    God is teaching you something through this...I promise you that He is.
    Your wonderful life that seems to have been destroyed will be even more fruitful, even more appreciated, even more productive and useable for God having had to endure this...I know it seems so unfair and impossible now...but God is working all around you - even though you do not see it now.
    The most important thing in each of your lives is each one's salvation - relationship with Christ. We do not know how God will use this to quicken and deepen that.
    Hold tight to Him. Hold tight to the promises of His Word.
    II Cor. 1:10-11
    Ps. 27:5-6
    Isa. 40:10-11
    Ps. 91:1-2
    You are not forgotten, Catherine, neither is your family. Praying for healing and for joy to come again. Though now, your grief is a cloud surrounding your every moment...praying for it to be lifted, truth to be told, justice served, healing found and peace to infiltrate every ounce of every soul within your home.
    You are loved -
    Joy McClain
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 9:31 am
  78. My situation is very different, this is my second marriage and we have no children together. I've been with my husband for 20 years, and during that time there has been many tragedies. Now it's like I'm in the middle of all his pain, because 2 of his children died in the state I'm from so he told me he never wanted to live here anymore. So we moved to his state and his last son after living there a month got convicted of killing someone and got 40 years to life. So he put me in the middle of all this pain, though we did grow apart because I didn't know how to deal with him and he is a back slider, so I moved back to my state, thinking he would come after awhile, so i' haven't lived in that state for over a year, but he now after I found out he is living with another woman, I recently turned to God, I'm so hurt and I cry everyday for over 4 months, he tells me that he will always love me but he wasn't happy anymore, so do I ignore him when he calls because he tries to say that I'm his best friend and that he can't give up all those years together, and he still considers me his family and his most important person in his life after his children, I can't sit here and hurt, I've lost over 20 pounds, I can't deal with this what do I do. Though, I did decide to move to another city closer to him, hoping that because I moved out of state is why he is feeling out sight out of mind. Do I give up on my marriage and move on, I don't want to do anything against God like get a divorce, I feel like I'm losing my mind, and I've closed my self off from so many people, though they aren't Christian and no one knows what is happening to me, I pray that God helps me stop loving him so I can move on, I feel like a fool, I really thought he loved me, he tells me that he loves me more than anyone but he says he is not in love with me , but then he contradicts himself and I just don't know. He also told me its him that is the problem because he has demons in his head, I've told him to go back to church, but I guess he feels how he is handling it is better.
    posted by annette
    on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 9:42 am
  79. Dear Annette,
    So much pain swirling around in both of your lives! I am so sorry that you and your husband have had to walk through such a difficult journey. I cannot imagine the grief that your husband has experienced with the death of two children. I cannot imagine even furthering the grief when you lose another child to the system over taking another person's life. Everyone tends to grieve differently and the process of that grief takes times...sometimes a very long time. He's had much to overcome. Loss can trigger so many other emotions and deep rooted issues. Perhaps your husband has also greatly struggled with feelings of not being able to save his children, failing them, or even like their outcome was his fault. I know as a parent, guilt seems to slide into my life so easily when it comes to my children. If you could begin to pray for your husband...do that simple thing. Pray for him - that God would heal his deep wounds, that he would come to place his faith and hope in Christ. When life is so very hard, one can tend to blame God or question His love. It happens to many people - even those who are so faithful. So, if I could recommend that you begin to pray for your husband - while knowing that the Holy Spirit is also interceding for him.
    Regarding your personal wounds from your husband...I know how deeply that wounds. It sounds like you do have feelings for him and that you want to honor God. I know it seems impossible now, but that is a "feeling" I fought and if you watch the video above...you'll see how God made beauty out of the ash heap of our suffering and sin.
    I would go back to that glorious thing called prayer for yourself too. It seems so simple, but it is where all change, repentance and healing begin. God isn't interested in you having a lot of words, the answers or having the final decision in your mind...He's interested in you seeking Him. He loves you with an unconditional love - no matter the state of your marriage!
    God wants to heal you too! He wants to reveal Himself to you and He needs you to look up - allow Him to be the lifter of your chin.
    Try not to isolate yourself - that's what we tend to do when we are wounded. This is a time when you need the Body of Christ. Tell someone you trust - speak to your pastor - get someone who will walk alongside of you and will pray for you.
    You don't have to have this all figured out today or even tomorrow.
    Just begin to place your wounds and your tomorrow's in the hands of God...they already belong to Him and He's already in them!
    God will lead you, He will not leave you. He is able to heal the deepest wounds.
    It doesn't mean we forget...it means we are able to move on... in Him, growing closer to Him all the time.
    Please, keep us posted. We are praying for you.
    Prayer. Reach Out. Place your hope in Christ.
    Read the Psalms - it is a great place to relate to the author's crying out.
    We truly do care, Annette, so know - you are not alone.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm
  80. Dear Lu,
    First of all, we are sorry to hear that you will need surgery because of the cancer diagnosis. We sincerely hope that you are healed and that the Great Physician would bring your body comfort, doctors wisdom and perfect peace - even healing before surgery!

    Most likely, your husband's need to drink is triggered by stress and the unknown. What a scary thing to have your wife diagnosed with any type or stage of cancer. Yes, he should be there for his wife during her time of need. And I pray that he is able to...however, as much as it seems like he wants to directly wound and hurt you I am sure that isn't the case...he just goes back to that which he knows will numb. Addicts became addicts because of pain - and they were looking for a way to escape. It is a deeply rooted heart issue and yes, it can cause such devastation in a family. I pray that he would allow the Lord of All to remove that desire and that he would allow God to fill him with perfect peace. It can be a very difficult road for the person who has been used to escaping in ways other than by the strength of God. Perhaps if you would express you need for your husband's support as a fear rather than the fact that he's letting you down. He most likely knows just how disappointing and hurtful this is to you and that can even lead to more downfall for him.
    I would encourage you to begin to pray for him. I would also encourage you to talk with him - perhaps with your pastor or someone that he trusts. This way he was someone to go to when he needs to talk but doesn't want to burden you and he also has accountability.
    I found that my anger only complicated things. Of course there were a hundred times when most anyone would have been feeling discarded but my anger never once made my husband stop drinking. But my mercy did. It seems unfair, I know, but your man is only human and has his own fears and frustrations. I certainly know the depth of your pain. I especially know how awful it is when you need your husband and he only complicates matters with his sin. It seem cruel. But I assure you, God can still work in this circumstance. God hasn't left you and He will not!
    I am praying for you right now...that you are not filled with fear, that God provide someone who will reach out to you and bring you comfort. I am praying that your husband reach out to God's hope and that he too, is willing to lean on someone within the Body of Christ.
    There is much to life we will not understand, much to life we will not have answers for, but I do know that God is working all around you - in ways you cannot see or know. I do know that God loves you, perfectly. I do know that God hears your prayers. I do know that God knows how terrified it may seem and how the unknown seems to have so many threats. I also know that God is a God who is faithful and true, abounding in love and mercy. He is slow to anger...these attributes of Him that are told in His Word are the very attributes that are being extended to you and your husband...in this circumstance that you find yourself in. He will prove Himself to be faithful.
    Please, keep us posted, we are praying for you.
    Again, we are so very sorry that you have to go through this but we pray that God will use this difficult time to reveal to countless others - His glorious grace. If you would like for us to specifically pray for you during your surgery date...please let the ministry know. May you feel held tight in the arms of your Father,
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 1:14 pm
  81. Dear Joy,

    Thank you for your response. It really put me in deep thought, I know I can't change him but I did start praying for him. I need to focus on me and my relationship with God. You helped me put everything into perspective. I will continue getting stronger and leave everything to God, I do understand I have to have patience. I thing I do need help with is, my husband says he wants to still come and visit and call me he says I'm his best friend, but it hurts me every time he calls, because he acts like everything is okay, him living with someone which he gets mad and says she is just a roommate, but he does sleep with her. So my question is do I not accept his calls and just ignore him for awhile till I get stronger with God, because when he does call me I feel like it throws me back into the pain? I think if I totally not hear from him I can heal better. It's like he wants to have sex with someone else not me but wants the family part of life with me. Am I allowed through God's eyes to just not have any contact with him even though he still wants to be friends? I can't be his friend I've told him that, but he said since we had grown apart these last 6 years because all the tragedies, that that's all we were anyway and why can't it be the same. When I first found out about him living with this other woman, it's like he wanted to blame me like he was mad at me for what he was doing. Yet, he tells me that he loves and cares for me more than anyone. What really throws me is when he calls me and he tells me that he is praying for me and that he will be here for me when ever I need any kind of help. He really believes that he isn't doing anything wrong by living with this woman. I feel like a yo yo that's why I go through this daily not wanting to answer his calls and to move on, I don't mean to go against my marriage vows, what I mean is so I can heal and not hurt anymore. I think I can handle it so much better if he wouldn't call me at all. Please answer these questions for me because I don't want to do anything against God, if I was my old self I would have moved on a long time ago, but I don't want to do anything against God anymore. Also, am I wrong to move to a closer city near him and leave my children and grandchildren here, since he says he will never move to my state, I convinced him that it's because I love California and not because of him. Which is true, I moved to California years before I met him, one of my granddaughters is moving with me to California and the other two when they turn 18. I actually feel like I'm running from pain, but I really feel like I can't stay living in my state anymore, and feel I can grow better with God if I moved to California and I already made contact with the church I will be attending their it is part of the same one I attend here. I will be ordering your book, because just reading all the stories that everyone has gone through and is going through since yesterday has helped me so much and also your video. Thank you so very much for hearing me and answering me so quickly, I will always read your site.
    posted by Annette
    on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:29 am
  82. I really hope and pray for all you, and at the same time comforted that many of us chose to fight for our marriages. Mine just happened about 2 weeks ago before thanksgiving. after one year of marriage and 5 years of living together before that, my husband decided that he is no longer in love with me, that he's been unhappy with me and that he lost himself during our marriage. We fight because i push him too much to try to be a better christian, every small thing he says that i find is not right, i correct him. He told me that he is always on his toes around me, trying to be better, trying to watch his actions, because if he doesn't we'll just end up fighting, and that is how he says he lost himself. and now he's already reached to the point that he is too tired to try, even if i promised to loosen up, to stop fighting him over small things, to change every thing about me that is not right. We still live in the same house, but he plans to file for legal separation, he reminds me about it everyday. I've been showing him how i've changed daily, it's been two weeks, and we haven't fought, but still reminds me every day how over it is between us. I know God is molding me, teaching me everyday. Right now im at the point of just leaving it all up to God, whatever His will may be in the future, i will accept because that is where i want to be, HIS WILL, HIS PATH. I know His will for me right now is to stay, to wait, to hope, to fight, because i made a vow to HIM. Even though it seems that my husband's mind and heart gets harder every day, my faith in GOd only grows stronger. I know God is showing me HIS power, I know HE has a plan for me, for our marriage, all i have to do is draw closer to HIM, cling to HIS word, focusing on HIM and continue to be the wife that my husband needs even though he tells me everyday that he no longer wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I will continue to fight and draw nearer to God. I know I need patience as well.
    posted by Cosette
    on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm
  83. Dear Annette,
    There are times when our questions do not have direct answers. This is part of trusting God - when we do not understand and when we do not know the outcome. In regards to your questions about continual contact with your husband...this is where sound counsel comes into play. It is imperative that you receive Biblical counsel from your pastor or someone who is mature in the Lord with a willingness to align your circumstance with Scripture. There are times when boundaries are very necessary. There are times when love must be tough. Having someone who will help you examine your entire situation will help you in your decision making. The Holy Spirit will also guide and direct you.
    We are to have a holy and reverent fear of God however, God isn't going to punish you for making the wrong decision here. There are consequences for our actions and choices but God isn't waiting for you to make the wrong decision so that He can "go after you." God's heart is for you . He wants to direct you. He wants you to pursue Him above all else. It was God who first called you to Him!
    While I cannot give you answers to your questions directly, I believe that someone who could spend time with you - getting to know you and your circumstance better - would be able to help you navigate these tough choices.
    Your husband must have some tender feelings towards you or he wouldn't be contacting you. Sometimes there is so much water under the bridge, so to speak, that we have a hard time moving forward without dealing with the pain of the past. Would your husband be willing to also receive Biblical counseling?
    God loves you. He also loves your husband. It isn't God's desire that you hurt like this, but He will use this circumstance to cause you to be drawn closer to Him. I know the pain is so very hard and so very real. If you could imagine how much worse it would be to not have the peace of God at all in your life...if that is the case with your husband...which is why I always say that the greatest prayer you can pray for your husband is that of salvation.
    I encourage you to pray about someone to walk alongside you to help you with these questions. I am so grateful for the wise counsel I received during those years of waiting and praying!
    God is with you in this, Annette, He is walking with you - He will never leave you or forsake you.
    Blessings -
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm
  84. Dear Cosette,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad that you are reaching out. I understand how it feels when your husband isn't living up to your standards or what you hoped for. I had made marriage - a happy and Godly marriage my idol. If my husband couldn't be what I wanted him to be then I would be disappointed and I had no problem letting him know that. Over time, my husband grew extremely weary of my self-righteousness. I only saw his sin. It took years for me to realize that I was so guilty of tearing my husband and household down. I had not been an encourager, I'd been a punisher!
    It is for God to convict our men and true change will only come from God. Sometimes, we women have a harder time seeing our own sin. Sometimes, we want our men to lead us so badly, that we attempt to force them into it...which is still us leading them.
    I would encourage you to confess your sin that the Lord reveal to you to your husband and to God. I would encourage you to place your hope in Christ - alone. Then set your heart and mind to praying - for yourself and your man.
    I would ask the Lord to give you a tender heart towards your husband. It may take a long while for your husband to see that you desire true change in yourself. It may take awhile for him to trust you with his heart again. You didn't get here overnight so be patient.
    God revealed to me just how deeply I had affected my husband it was shameful. Our men need us to encourage them, believe in them and honor them. They feel beat-up by the world and we should and can be a safe and soft place for them to land.
    When we fear that our circumstance (or husband) will not change we tend to control. Fear leads to control and control leads to the downfall of a household.
    I am proud of you for being willing to admit your part and your willingness to seek the Lord. Yes, He will be faithful and He will continue to draw you to Him.
    On my blog site there are some posts regarding allowing your husband to lead...you might want to check them out.
    I am praying for you, that God would redeem and restore. I am praying that we hear back from you - how the Lord changed your hearts and your marriage.
    Be encouraged! God desires that your marriage be a portrait of grace and mercy - and of Christ and His beloved bride, the church. God desires that you be healed and that your marriage be healed.
    Trust him, be willing to surrender those areas that He shows you.
    Honor and respect your man and show him each day...just as you have been...that you are trusting God to teach your husband what a man of God looks like.
    Be willing to extend grace...for much grace has been given to you and to me. When I understood just how much mercy the Lord had extended to me I realized that I too, should extend mercy to my husband.
    Hold tight to Him!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:27 pm
  85. Thank you very much for the advice, I will seek help from my pastor, and hopefully in the next few months I'll be able to tell you that my faith is stronger with God and that I'm able to cope with this better and have some peace.
    posted by Annette
    on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 12:27 am
  86. Are there times when you gave up. I tried separating from my husband and only made it three days before I called him. I want to be strong and trust God. I want him to call me. He says he doesn't love me anymore. I thought time apart would give him another perspective, then I gave in. Are there times when you gave in. I did learn that when I give in I make the situation worse. When I try to take control I make it worse. I need to know that it's ok to have weak moments and to learn from them.
    posted by Megan
    on Monday, December 16, 2013 at 12:31 am
  87. Megan,
    Yes, of course, I had weak moments, fragile moments, moments when I felt like I was a heap on the floor. God is patient and long-suffering with us. He doesn't give up on us. I do want to remind you that the less you "need" your husband the more freed-up he is. There can be an incredible amount of pressure when we make our men feel like our whole world and happiness is wrapped up, only in them.
    It also helps your husband to know that you can stand on your faith. It shows him that you do trust God to be what you truly need.
    I always tell women that when we need our men less, we are actually freed-up to love them more, in a way that is more of a pure love. In short: need him less, love him more!
    It can be difficult to keep going day to day, however, God will be your strength. He will be faithful to give you what you need for each day.
    God's heart is for reconciliation and redemption and sometimes, the only way to that is true repentance and the doorway to repentance is humility, consequences and brokenness.
    Consider the big picture - the eternal one - not the here and now.
    God will be faithful to give you what you need for each moment.
    Be encouraged, you are not condemned in your weakness...you are made strong in Him.
    Life is a learning process and God will be faithful to be long-suffering and patient as He teaches you. He will also allow you to become frustrated to the point where you are willing to surrender.
    Praying your faith increases and that peace overwhelms your heart.
    God's love for you is perfect!
    He has ultimate control so when we attempt to control our husband...it doesn't work. It only makes them feel more suffocated. Trust God to do a work in your husband as you concentrate on God doing a work on you.
    Show your husband that God is a God who can be trusted!
    In Him,
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Monday, December 16, 2013 at 9:59 am
  88. if my husband still pushes for a legal separation do I give in? He says he wants to be alone for a while to figure things out, what do you think I should do? he wants me to move out to an apartment, he says he'll even pay for it if I can't afford it. He says he just really needs to be alone, to "find himself" since he lost himself in our marriage because i've been pushing him to become a better person. Sometimes i do think that maybe it is better that we are separated so that he can find himself and maybe come back to me. But i don't know if that is what God wants me to do. I know RIGHT NOW He doesn't want me to give up and leave our house, but my husband does expect that I will be moving out next year, he reminds me about it everyday. I've been praying asking God that it won't reach to that point that my husband will have me sign legal separation and ask me to move out. Today is one of my weak days, my husband was so cold to me today and yesterday.
    Cossette
    posted by Cossette
    on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 10:46 am
  89. Hi I have been married for 3 years. I have been a christian all my life. My husband said that he is saved but his actions do not follow his words. He only goes to church 2 times a year, he NEVER reads his Bible. When I try to talk to him about the word he cuts me off. His church is these NA meetings. When things are getting out of hand for him he runs to the NA not church. A little back ground on my husband. His mother was raped for many years by her father. She was having an affair with a married man at her church which is my husband father. He nor anyone in his family wanted anything to do with my husband. At the age of 8 years old his mother took her life. My husband did not have a father so his uncle took him in. Raised him as his own. But the things my husband told me that they did to him were very mean and down right abusive. He ran away at a young age. He stared to use drugs and drinking to help deal with the pain. He also is heavy into porn. Now with that I marry him. Some things I did not find out until much later. I pray and ask God for a husband because this is number 3. We had a ruff start but I asked God if he was the man for me than let us get married so we did. Since we have been married its has been a fight to stay together. Every year for the pass 3 years around the end of September the 1st of October he moves out. His mom killed herself around the end of September. Which I feel he never has truly dealt with. He and all his brothers and sister have tried to kill themselves and all have had mental break downs and used drugs and alcohol. Its always he is not happy, its not me its him, he is not in love with me, I am the best wife he ever had, I need a better man that can love me the way I should be loved. He tells me he is not able to love anyone and so on. How can I pray for him? What do I pray for? How long should I pray? He moved out last year 2012 the same date Oct 4th 2013. I miss him so much but I do not want him back unless it is Gods will. I thought it was his will that we got married in the first place. So I am lost. I want my husband but a want him saved. Help!
    posted by Loni
    on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 4:22 am
  90. priscilla,
    In 2012 i get married , after our marriage we are facing many problems because of my father in law & mother in law. we are living join family. There is no peace in between us. now my husband keeping contact with another lady & my husband, father in law , mother in law are planing to divorce me.. I don't know what to do please pray for me .. i read your tips it was very useful to me.. Thank you..
    -
    posted by priscilla
    on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 6:31 am
  91. I have been married for almost 3 years been with my husband for 6 I recently found out he been cheating on me with this woman a 11 year on and off relationship but he married me my family were the first to kniw we were already separated but he kept telling me he wanted it to work then this came about I choose to stay married but my family does nit agree he has asked me to allow him to fix it but he still stays in contact with her using her car and so on so I trust and have faith but I am hurt what do I do
    posted by Netra
    on Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 5:44 pm
  92. Dear Priscilla,
    I am so sorry that you are feeling so rejected by your husband his family. I want to remind you that God will never reject you. He will not abandon you. His heart is for you, Priscilla. We see evidence of Him keeping safe His children in His Word. Read the story of Hagar in Genesis, chapter 16...she was rejected and sent away...but God met her, cared for her and ultimately sent her back, under the care of her husband, Abraham. I would ask the Lord to send you someone that you can speak with - someone who will give you wise counsel that is according to His Word. God is not blind to your circumstance. He knows exactly what is going on...and He will be faithful to you in this. While I cannot tell you how this will turn out, I can tell you with confidence that God is going to care for you. His love for you is perfect.
    I would continue to seek the Lord for wisdom. Continue to submit to the authority placed over you in your life. Trust the Lord's working in your life. Do not give in to despair - or depression...God still has a plan for your life! Please, keep us informed and let us know how we can continue to pray for you...and know that we are praying for you! You are cared about and loved!
    Rest in His care,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm
  93. Dear Netra,
    Of course you are deeply wounded and confused by your husband's betrayal. Especially if he is not willing to break ties with her - it can be difficult to see or understand his heart and rationale. However, God is present in this circumstance. I would highly recommend that as you pray for wisdom that you ask the Lord for your eyes to be open to what's really going on and that the eyes of your husband be opened. The way to freedom and reconciliation is repentance. If there is anyone that you can speak with who has a good understanding of God's Word...I would do so. You need someone to help you navigate through this journey and someone who would be willing to walk alongside of your husband - if he's willing to work on the marriage and have someone who will hold him accountable. Your husband's heart may not be hard as much as confused. I am praying for a strong believer, a man who loves the Lord to come into your husband's life - someone your husband would listen to and respect. I am praying that while you are seeking the Lord that you allow God to do a work in your heart - removing bitterness or resentment. We want to pray for complete healing so that your marriage can move forward and with that healing, we must allow God to have our inner most wounds and hurts. I am praying that you and your husband are willing to surrender those to the Lord.
    I am praying for that other woman also, that she may come to know the Lord as her Savior. God knows exactly what is going on and therefore, we want to inquire of Him...what you should do, I am praying that wisdom for you. I am praying that His thoughts be your thoughts. I am praying that God restore and redeem. I know that when trust has been broken it can be a long road back, but if there is repentance and hearts are willing to turn...oh, the glorious things that God can do within that marriage! Let's place our hope in God and remove our sight off of your husband - let's inquire of the Lord and see how He moves. In the meantime, seek wise counsel, remain in His Word, do not cease praying and keep your own motives and heart in check.
    I am sorry that you are going through this - I know the heartache is so very deep for you.

    Psalm 116:1-2 - I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

    He hears your cries, Netra!

    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm
  94. Dear Loni,
    I first of all, want to apologize, I think your posting got buried in my inbox! Secondly, how I wish I could speak to you in person. I'd place my arm around you and let you know that I understand what you are feeling and I'd also softly tell you that we are all broken people. We all fall so short and we all are so selfish - the only good thing in us is Christ. The book of Romans so beautifully explains how we are saved by grace and oh, how good is that grace. That doesn't meant that we accept the mistreatment of others or allow the sins of others to overrun our lives. But what it does mean is that we recognize that we are desperate for God's mercy - everyone of us.
    Your husband has had a very rough and difficult life and we cannot know just how deeply it has affected him. His perspective do doubt, has been greatly influenced - even his perspective of God has been tainted by the emotional wounds of his heart. But God can and desires to heal him, completely.
    Perhaps a better prayer for you to pray is this: "Father, I don't know the road back - or what that looks like. I don't know how my husband will ever be restored but I know that you love him. I surrender my husband to you. And Father, I surrender my own will and heart to you."
    It is obvious you have a heart and compassion for your husband. God will use your tender heart if you allow it to be continually softened and transformed. I know it all seems so very unfair to you - you just wanted a "good husband" but God is more interested in the you He sees. He is more interested in your holiness. It isn't that He doesn't care how you feel - oh, He cares deeply for you...its that He wants you to be drawn to Him, leaning upon Him, looking to Him...rather than anything or anyone of this world.
    If you can get a copy of my book, Waiting for His Heart; Lessons from a Wife Who Chose to Stay, I would highly recommend it. I talk about this issue a lot and how God dealt with me and my desire that is much like yours.
    For years I waited and prayed but God showed me that my heart needed to change first. God dealt with my husband's sins, but God also dealt with my husband's brokenness...and that is why he attempted to escape much like your husband...his perspective had been vastly tainted and how he viewed everything and everyone (including God).
    It was the mercy of God that called my husband out of his bondage. It was my willingness to forgive and move forward with him in his healing (and in mine).
    God's mercy draws the sinner to Him. God drew you to Him long ago and it was with an everlasting love and a love slathered in His grace.
    So, begin to pray that God would move...on your heart and upon your husband's.
    Ask the Lord for a measure of long-suffering and for eyes to really see the weariness of your husband's heart.
    This man needs your prayers.
    I would also speak to your pastor and begin to pray for someone to come into your husband's life - someone who can walk alongside of him, if he's willing.
    Don't stay alone and don't fear. Speak to someone who has good understanding of the Scriptures and allow them to speak God's unrelenting truth into your life.
    God cares about you, your husband and your marriage.
    God cares about your broken dreams and bruised and battered heart.
    Let's trust Him to do the impossible.
    Keep in touch, we want to know how you are doing, we care too.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 8:02 am
  95. Dear Cossette,
    I think your posting got lost in the Christmas shuffle! I apologize for that.
    Regarding your question about legal separation from your husband - I sought a legal separation from my husband because of his violence years ago. It wasn't anything final, but it did protect me and my children in many ways. It was during that time and afterwards that God caused my husband's heart to change...and God also changed my heart.
    For years and years I wanted my husband to meet my needs - he couldn't do that. He certainly couldn't do that when he began to drink. But alcohol wasn't the issue - it was only the escape.
    It took many years but God opened my eyes to just how critical I'd become of my husband. I realized that I had beaten him down. I had not encouraged or edified, I actually helped him remain in his addiction. I didn't give him a save place to be himself and I certainly wasn't trusting God to change him...no, I had a plan and I thought I knew what what best. It all stemmed from fear of not getting my way and fear that nothing would change and when we fear, we control.
    Our men were created by God to be taught by Him. The Holy Spirit, if your husband is saved will do a far better job of making him into the man God wants him to be than you could ever imagine.
    I know this because I've experienced it.
    Perhaps your husband needs space because there has been such a breakdown in your communication? Perhaps he would be willing to go to Biblical counseling. Perhaps if he saw that you were willing to admit and talk about your part of the breakdown in the relationship - then, perhaps your husband would feel that he has the freedom to open up.
    I am certainly not saying that it is your problem and not his. But I do know that it takes two to get to the place where you are now.
    Praise God your husband is seeking divorce! Praise God that he wants to make sure that you are cared for and provided for!
    Praise God that he obviously has deep feelings for you - he is saying he needs space...why is it that he feels so smothered? I certainly don't know the answer to that but I can imagine how it grieves your heart.
    God is for your marriage and He most certainly, is for the two of you - individually as well as a couple.
    See if he's willing to seek wise counsel - if you are willing to surrender your part.
    If he is, wonderful. If he isn't, get some help for yourself. I cannot stress enough how important it is to seek wise counsel during these times in life when things don't make sense.
    Begin to pray, asking the Lord to heal your marriage. I know it seems like a flurry of wounds and hurts and confusion now, but God is able to clean up the messiest of marriages. I know because I have been redeemed and my marriage restored.
    You are loved by your Father, Cossette, you are loved perfectly.
    There is still hope and a year from now, you may find yourself and your marriage in the midst of something glorious!
    Keep us posted as to how God works in your heart and in your marriage.
    We will continue to pray for you,
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitof.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 8:20 am
  96. Reconcile with my Ex husband Lord get me and my ex husband back together we Love each other very much. We were together 21 years. Between his drinking and other women I was forced into a divorce. We manage to get back and now he is out of the house again. Lord get us back together. Make all EVIL stay away from us both.
    We have two boys and a wonderful home. Open his heart to mine. I will open my heart to his. Give him wisdom, open his heart, mind, body and soul. Let him Re-marry me again and rekindle our LOVE. AMEN
    http://www.truewoman.com/?id=2477
    posted by MR
    on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 11:09 am
  97. Dear MR,
    We pray that prayer right along with you. God is a God who can save the most hopeless marriage, but He wants your heart more than anything. He wants intimacy with you more than you want your marriage saved! I am praying for you, that you will see redemption in your marriage.. I am praying that you know the peace that surpasses all understanding. God loves you and He hears your cries. He loves you with an everlasting love!
    Grace & Peace to you,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm
  98. I have been married for 26 years, my husbands name is Steve. We are both saved but both has obviously drawn cold in our walk with the lord. I love my husband very much however he has always struggled with loving me. He does not love unconditionally or forgive easy.I have had to do alot of forgiving through the years, adultery 3 times that I. Aware of. If course I have not always been the wife god intended me to be. I have not always given him the respect that I feel now that he needed. Anyway we have been separated for a year he still goes to church with me and our daughter on Sunday mornings. Still tells me he loves me when he hangs up the telephone.but does not want to come home. I know the lird wants to work on me and I have surrendered to walk in what I feel god has called me to do. I continually have to reach my fist up to god and open it and say here is the broken pieces of my heart please heal me. God promised me 23 years ago that he would make my marriage a testimony to this hurting world of what he could do I never dreamed this would be how. I hope you can see the pain through the lines I'm not very good at details. Bottom line is I love my husband I want god to make me whole make my husband whole and make our marriage beautiful.
    posted by judy davis
    on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 9:56 am
  99. Dear Judy,
    I do "hear" your pain and your willingness to surrender. More importantly, God hears and sees. What a beautiful thing you are offering to Him - yourself. I remember well the deep sorrow and pain and how I would do anything to heal my marriage and that's just where God wanted me...willing.
    He wants you willing too. He wants you to seek Him with all your heart, mind and soul. He understands the complexities of your marriage and relationship with your husband. He knows what your heart craves and what it fears. Likewise for your husband.
    Judy, God asks that we give him a pliable heart and that's just what you are doing. There is so much hope for your marriage with the simple fact that you are desiring holiness! There is such a testament unfolding because you want Jesus more than anything!
    I promise you that God is working all around you. He is drawing you close to Him - you are being transformed into His likeness!
    I encourage you to read chapter 11 of Hebrews. It will encourage your faith.
    I Thessalonians 5:23-24
    God is faithful to His children, Judy. Oh, how He loves it when we finally come to that place of surrender and we want what He wants.
    I am praying for you, Judy, that you would see redemption in your family. I am praying that you will speak of a testimony of the greatness of God - and that you would not waiver in your faith and would not waiver in your looking for His promises.
    Your post causes excitement in my heart...Judy, for you are a woman who is turning her heart towards the Father. And the Father has already begun a work in you that He will be faithful to complete!
    Keep praying, keep hoping, keep allowing the Lord to change and mold your heart.
    Surrender your husband - God knows what He is doing.
    Reach out to others and share your burden, have others pray for you.
    Be diligent in His Word.
    Trust that God is working and will see you through this season.
    Know Him, Judy - seek Him with all your heart.
    Keep us posted, we care about you!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm
  100. Joy,
    I'm trying so hard to be strong. My husband tells me he cares for me only as a friend and that he can never be in love with me anymore because the last few years we were just friends. That he doesn't want to ever live like that again, that he doesn't want me sexually at all. So I told him that I will never be his friend and that I didn't want to hear from him again. So Joy, I'm so hurt I've cried everyday for five months, I don't want a divorce and he hasn't asked me to give him one yet. How can he learn to love me again, does that happened? He believes in God but he really thinks he's doing the right thing. Can I move on and what hurts me is I can't have God be mad at me. Do you see hope, I can't live like this anymore, I don't know what to do and I pray so much just to have peace, I ask God to take the love I feel away for this man. But living how I am suppose to for God, I can't get a divorce and expect for God to bless me right? I go to church and maybe it's me because I don't walk up to anyone to help me with this, I can't see myself being alone, I feel so ugly, I haven't had t his weight on my chest gone for five months, I don't want to feel like this anymore, help me please. Today he told me that we are never going to be together in that way again, so I told him I wasn't his friend and to not bother me again, remember I told you he's living with another woman, and his best saying is He wants to do what he wants, when he wants and what ever he wants and that other woman is allowing him to do just that she doesn't question him and he does what he pleases and he tells me that's exactly how he wants it, So would God really want me to be with such a heartless person, he wants like that until I told you he lost his two sons that died and one has life in prison, he tells me he just wants to find some kind of happiness. So where does that leave me, I'm so hurt I feel like just staying in bed.
    posted by Annette
    on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 5:35 pm
  101. Dear Annette,
    I know it seems like your life is upside down and you will never know happiness. But understanding that you were created to crave God above all else will help you and your heart not feel so alone and rejected. God will never leave you or reject you.
    God made you with love in mind, a future and hope in mind. There isn't just sadness and despair for you - no, there are good things that God desires to bless you with - peace, contentment, an intimate relationship with Him.
    God isn't disappointed in you. He isn't angry with you. He isn't holding back from you. God isn't attempting to destroy you or punish you. He sees you, He knows what you are feeling. He's the one that made your heart that so desires to be loved.
    I encourage you to completely surrender your husband to God - that means - even though you continue to pray for healing and restoration, that you don't consume your thoughts with him. You don't allow him to ruin your every day because you know that ultimately, you need God, you don't "need" your husband.
    Marriage is a beautiful gift. It is meant to challenge, sharpen, and bless us. However, husband do walk away and that is a painful reality. Even if your husband never returns to you...God will not leave you.
    However, if your husband returns, you'll need to be in a healthy place, spiritually so that your husband is free to grow in Christ too.
    That looks like pursuing God: continuing to pray, read the Word, seek wise counsel, TRUST God.
    What that doesn't look like is this: feeling in utter despair and depression because your husband isn't where you want him to be, worrying about him, being consumed with him. That doesn't mean you stop praying for him or grieving for your marriage. Of course you are going to feel sadness for him and your relationship.
    However, if you could attempt a shifting in your heart - be more concerned with your husband's salvation and relationship with Christ and yours with Christ more than anything - that will help you stay focused on what is eternal.
    Continue to pray.
    Continue to hope.
    Trust God to deal with your husband.
    Trust God for your future.
    Continue to LIVE, do not let despair be your identity.
    Remember - God's love for you isn't going to change - no matter if you are single, separated, divorced, widowed, married!
    Trust God to show you what to do.
    Trust the Holy Spirit to lead you.
    Be willing to allow your heart to let your husband into your life if he shows an interest.
    Believe that God can do anything - most certainly, the impossible!
    No matter about your man...God loves you. You are eternally His. You are His daughter who He loves, unconditionally.
    God sees you. He hears you. He knows you.
    I am praying that you are able to supernaturally concentrate on God's love for you. Praying that the Spirit reveal just how incredible and how long-suffering is His love for you.
    I know it's so very hard, but know that God can and will heal the deepest of wounds.
    Trust him, Annette.
    Continuing to pray for you...
    and for your husband.

    Much love, grace & peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:36 pm
  102. Joy,
    After I sent you this note, I called my husband to let him know how much I loved him. He was crying telling me that he needs me in his life, that we've had to many years together that he loves and cares for me and always will more than any other women. He asked me please not to cut him out of my life. It stunned me because he is the one that caused all this, remember I told you we live in two different states, I am struggling mentally so much. I had asked him before that I would move back so we can work on our marriage and he said no, with all the pain with his sons, he has me in the middle of all this. He told me that everyday is a struggle for him and there is not one minute that he does think about me, so I don't understand. He knows that I'm trying to move two hours away from where he lives and he keeps telling my he will visit me always even if I don't want him to that he will come anyways. I thing he asked me what I thought well what happened is I told him I was going to visit some friends in the city he lived with, I told him that a week ago, he dwelled on it so much he didn't tell me what he was actually thinking, well he dropped his phone and it shattered the glass so when he went to pick it up it cut him and he wouldn't stop bleeding he thinks God was trying to tell him something, I told him I don't know, but though he believes in God he hasn't gone to church, I've told him to, I think he doesn't want to hear that what he is doing is wrong. That's what is making me so hard to get peace because he won't leave me alone. Before we hung up he told me i'll give you space, but I will be texting you to see how you are, My believe is for him I'm not living, there so I'm out of sight out of mind, so that's why he stressed so much that I would be going over there, even though I told him that I wasn't going to seek him out, Just wanted to let you know that. Thank you for your post, I read a lot of scriptures in the Bible that helped me and I know that it will go either way if it's God's will I will be back with my husband and if it's not, I prayed so hard yesterday and asked God to help me if it's not meant to be regardless I will keep God in my life from now on. Thank you for praying for me and caring,
    posted by Annette
    on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 8:59 am
  103. Annette,
    Thank you for giving me an update. While you still don't know how it will all work out with your husband, you can trust God with your future and your today.
    Perhaps your husband is allowing God to soften his heart. God does loves both of you and it is His desire that each of you come into an intimate relationship with Him.
    I encourage you to continue praying, reading His Word and trusting Him.
    I would also encourage you to pray specifically for your husband and that he would come to know Christ as his Savior.
    You are so very loved by your Father in heaven and of course myself as well as the team of Revive Our Hearts care deeply for you and every woman...that's why we do what we do!
    Blessings to you, Annette.
    Keep your focus on God - His eyes and care never leave you.
    Take care and keep us posted,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 10:20 pm
  104. Hello, I just stumbled across you blog via another and am very thankful for it. Following the end of his military contract, my husband of 3.5 years has been struggling to find work for the last year...and thus has spent much of his free time and our savings trying to avoid reality, with alcohol. He is a believer but his heart is very hard for the moment, it breaks my heart to see that he is hurting, yet also exhausts my patience when he stumbles home drunk, spends nearly every weekend with his 'friends', and has completely changed in his attitude...it's more like living with a teenager than an adult for the moment. He's broken doors, stools, etc, etc, never being violent towards myself but reacting for the sake of reacting....perhaps trying to remember that he is still capable of something. We live in a foreign country, and thankfully my family is not here to see this for the moment, but it also means that I have no support and am on my own.

    I have really struggled, and often failed at remaing respectful...and trying not to harbor a grudge for the things he says we he is drunk... I am also trying not to be too disappointed in him. I personally think it a very immature reaction to a serious situation, I too am frustrated and unsure of what the future holds, but drinking won't change that...I suppose I'd like to know, does it get better? Can it get better? I know god can work miracles, so that's what I am praying for. Thank you for sharing your experiences and may god bless your ministry.
    posted by Debe
    on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 3:12 am
  105. I will continue praying for my ex husband LOVE and Affection. I know he loves me and is very confuse. Pray Lord to bring this man I always loved back to my heart and my love to his heart. Keep all evil, demons, other women and friends aways who are bad to his judgment. We even got divorce. He is a lost of words and ways and even thoghts.
    http://www.truewoman.com/?id=2477
    posted by MR
    on Friday, January 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm
  106. Dear MR,
    God does love your husband. The most important prayer you'll ever pray for your husband or even ex-husband is that he would come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. I am sure that your heart is full of emotion and some wounds from that marriage...but know that God can make beauty from ashes and from the ash-heap of your sorrows. God is with you, now in your life and how beautiful that you are willing to continue to pray for this man. We are praying with you - that he would come to know Christ as his Savior. Trust that God is working for your good - in all things. He loves you perfectly!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apasionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm
  107. Dear Debe,
    I am so sorry that you are so far away from home and family and that you and your husband are going through this. I do not know what his experiences are from being in the military, but I have seen first-hand the difficulty from being deployed and how the stress can affect a man and his marriage. I have someone in my family very close to me that has experienced similar struggles. I don't know if your husband is willing to get any help and if any is available there - is there even a chaplain he'd be willing to talk to? I know there are ministries that want to help military families. I know that life is so very hard and can be so stressful on the marriage. I also know that yes, God is a big God and while we cannot fully know what another person is going through and we cannot control them - God is working in their life - all around them. He is also working in yours.
    It seems so daunting and depressing when things do not change. And sometimes, it seems as if there are no answers. But I assure you that God cares about you and He certainly cares about your marriage.
    I am praying that the Lord send you help - someone for you to talk to. I am praying that the Lord send someone that will have your husband's favor so that he would be willing to reach out for help.
    I am praying that pride not stand in the way, that he would have a soft heart.
    I am praying for you - that you would seek holiness above happiness. I am praying that the Lord give you a measure of hope and encouragement and wisdom.
    It can be a difficult to navigate through this and wise counsel is so very important. I encourage you to ask about family help through the military and spiritual help where you are currently stationed.
    I am praying that a local church even have help for you and other believers who will pray and walk with you.
    I would encourage you to get others to pray for you and your husband.
    God loves you - He has not left you. He isn't ignoring your cries. He can and will use this time if you will allow Him access into your heart. He wants to purge those things that have hindered and often - that is a painful process. I've been there, I know.
    Hang in there - God hasn't given up on you.
    Praying that your husband will be healed and restored.
    Praying peace for you tonight, praying hope for you.
    God will be faithful to you - His Word speaks of His promises for YOU!
    Keep us posted - we deeply care and want to know how you are doing.
    Yes...God can change and soften the hardest of hearts...He softened mine.
    Grace & Peace to you,
    Joy
    www.apasstionatepursuitjofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:36 pm
  108. Hi, I came across this blog while looking for encouragement and biblical based advice on what I should do about the problems I am facing in my relationship with my fiance. This blog has been very encouraging and has helped me realise that there is no perfect relationship/marriage and that there are other women out there facing the same problems I am. I believe God is truely using you to minister to women like me who are lost, confused, hurt and serching for answers and direction.

    I am engaged for 5 years now to a man I met while at Uni studying for my degree. He is from another ethnical background, with different sets of beliefs, values and cultures to mine. We are both christains yet aren't that dedicated to God and church. I met Tim (not his real name) 6 months after I broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years. We were the best of friends and so close but he cheated on me and so I left him. Tim was more of a rebound for me and I quickly got involved with him inorder to forget my ex. Tim and I got engaged a year later and we lived a long distance relationship because my work was based in another town. I'd go on holidays every 6 weeks and spend 2 weeks with him and his family. During this period he'd always ask me to leave my job and go stay with him,..so I did that after 2 years. During the 2 years living apart, he was having affairs with numerous women. I only found this out when I left work and moved in with him. He would go partying and drinking with his friends and female relative/friends and leave me at home. He'd return the next day without explanation. We would have fights and arguements about his affairs and behaviour but he was adament to remain the same saying I was the problem. He said if I had a child from him he would change. So after a year I fell pregnant. I told him the news but he showed no sign of happiness. He continued to womenize, drink, and go partying and would chase me out of their family home which we both lived in. I begged him so many times to change, yet it fell on deaf ears. As a result, I moved out and stayed with my mum & brothers who took care of me during my pregnancy. I thought that would make him change but it didn't. He only visited me once a month to see how I was doing because he was too busy living with another woman and enjoying his life and freedom. I craved for his love, attention and care , but he was very cold toward me. He gave all his time to other women and his friends especially. I always took last place and he always made sure he made me feel small and rejected. It really broke my heart to know he did not care about me anymore.

    I could not separate permanently from him because of my embarrasment and pride. I did not want to be alone and did not want my extended family and friends to know I was having problems. I did not want to be known as a single mom rejected by her partner.
    I stuck by him and continued to pray and hope for change. Tim is a very popular man among his friends, family and the town we live in. He has so many women he chases after and sleeps around with, yet he keeps me hanging on. I have asked him countless times for us to separate but he refuses to. He says he will change,..but that never happens.

    Because of how he treats me, I have no trust, little respect for him and am full of bitterness, hate and anger. I have been faithful to him since the 1st day I met him, yet he takes me for granted and belittles me. I have cried countless nights and asked God to help me. I have asked God to intervene and change his heart and convert him to be a God fearing man while in his young age and not when he grows old. I want us both to serve the Lord and love each other while we are in our youthful age of 29, not when we are 60 years old.

    I now have a good job through the grace and providance of God in my life, and he has blessed me with a home last year in May. My daughter and I moved to our new home and Tim followed us saying this time he will really change. Unfortunately, that has not happened. He continues acting like a single man, has several women he communicates with and spends time with. He has packed up and moved out of my house 4 times. I have no connection with him because he chooses not to spend time with me. Seems that nothing I do is good enough for him. I feel worthless, unloved and unwanted with him.

    All I want now is to leave him and start fresh. Please give me some advice on what I should do. Its been 5 years since our engagement and we have not married yet because he refuses to. He says it's too expensive and we already live "like" a married couple so why bother.

    Please help me as I want to know what I should do according to God's word.

    Thanks,
    G
    posted by G
    on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 2:20 am
  109. Dear "G,"

    I am so glad that you stopped by the blog and that the Lord is allowing it to minister to your heart.
    I am also glad that you are reaching out for help and wisdom.
    The Lord loves you - perfectly. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He created you with His hands and when He did, it was with thoughts of love and precious thoughts towards you. He also made you to crave and desire affirmation and love from some one and though women often look for that affirmation in men, only God can truly satisfy your heart and soul.
    God wants you to be a lover of Him. He wants you to worship Him, alone.
    That looks like: being willing to surrender anything that hinders your relationship with Him. That might include people!
    God wants to sit on the throne of your heart but in order for Him to do so, you must first clear that throne. What is it that you desire above all else? Is it this man, the father of your daughter? Is it love, love from a man? I know it is very difficult to be alone. But when you are in an intimate relationship with God - you never are alone.
    You want to raise your daughter believing that she has value and is precious in God's sight. We don't want her "needing" anyone or anything so that her heart is free to have the Lord reign over her life.
    Since you are not married to this man you are not obligated to him. It would be a wonderful blessing to him and to your daughter if he would repent and marry you. However, if he continues to be unfaithful, continues to refuse to commit to you and refuses to seek the counsel of anyone...perhaps God is giving you your answer. Perhaps God has given you this good job and home so that you can provide for yourself. God has plans for you life and it includes good thing!
    Sometimes, we wonder why God isn't moving around us, when we are the ones who are refusing to move! God will not lead you astray and He will not attempt to confuse you.
    Seek Him and read His Word!
    I would also seek wise counsel from someone who is a mature believer. That might mean going to a church that teaches the Word of God and speaking to the Pastor. I would ask the Lord to send someone to you, in your area who could help you walk through this journey and season. It isn't easy to give up on a relationship that has been around for years...but, where is that relationship going?
    The issue might not be the engagement but if you should be with this man. If he is not a believer and you don't see any spiritual fruit - only an unwillingness to repent and change, perhaps you would be unequally yoked and that is something God speaks of in His Word.
    God wants to protect you and your daughter. If you continue on with this man it may mean a lifetime of sorrow and trouble. I would also encourage you not to live with him. Even though you've been intimate with him and have had a daughter together, I would stop that immediately. God wants you to be pure in heart - and giving in to this man every time he wants something just to make him happy isn't honoring to your body or to God.
    You might begin by having a discussion with him. Tell him that you desire to lead a life that is holy and pleasing to the Lord. Tell him that you will no longer being giving him your body - acting as if you are his wife, because you are not. Tell him that you desire to grow together in the Lord but you will no longer live with him. He might walk away from you or he might decide to pursue you and the Lord.
    Whatever he chooses, I want to encourage you to read your Bible, pray to the Lord, find a good church that teaches the Word, trust that God loves you and is working in your life.
    God will be the one who softens this man's heart. You cannot change him and you cannot make his heart change.
    Enjoy the blessings that God has given you - your daughter, your home, your job, your salvation, your health, etc. If you need to find out more about what God's Word says about being his child...please, let us know.
    We care about you and are so glad that the Lord drew you to us.
    God loves you - perfectly and He isn't going to give up on you - you are His precious, beautiful masterpiece and He loves you enough to die for you.
    Don't believe the lies of the enemy that will whisper that you aren't good enough!
    Much grace and peace,
    Joy
    apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 10:05 pm
  110. I recently have a good luck spell cast on me by Dr ekaka email: ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com spell temple and I want anyone to tell me how it use to work because still I had this spell cast on me different companies has been coming to me for me to work with them and I do not really know which of the companies is the right one for me and I’m so happy because since last 7months I lost my job and I have been looking for job and I was unable to get one for myself till I had this spell cast on me so is there anyone that can advice me on which of the companies that is right for me? And I also thank Dr.ekaka for his help too anyone in need of help with spell I will advise you to contact him
    posted by marla
    on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 10:17 pm
  111. Hi Mrs McClain,
    I want to say "THANK YOU" for the Godly advice and encouragement you gave me. These are the answers I have been searching for. Being engaged is not "being married" and I have enslaved myself to him and continuously accommodated and entertained his sinful behaviour.
    I needed someone to tell the truth as it is, and you have done that for me. Thank you again.

    My fiance left for a business trip a week ago. That was staraight after I confronted him about the relationships he was having on Facebook with other women. We had a big fight/arguement and he physically abused me. He later apologised and flew off that afternoon. He did not bother to call/text me for 5 days and only text a day ago asking for my daughter and I to go and spend this weekend with him. Thank you for your advice, I will not go and see him. And I will also stop living with him as if we were married because God does not approve of such a union outside marriage. I have convinced myself that it was ok, even though I knew deep down it was wrong. I will start really seeking God and meditating on his word to give me the strength and wisdom to free myself from him. As you said, maybe God wants me to be alone and provide for my daughter, and myself.

    My request is for you and others to please pray for me and my daughter so that I make the right choices that are pleasing to the Lord. I cannot do this on my own, I need the Lord.

    May our almighty Father bless you richly.

    ~G~
    posted by G
    on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 2:45 am
  112. @G...Be assured there are those here at Revive Our Hearts that are interceding on your behalf. You are so right, G; you need the Lord to accomplish this, so we count it a privilege to carry your need before the throne of grace. "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4:16) He will hear; He will answer. He is a great and gracious and faithful God. Blessings to you and your little daughter, G. "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deut. 33:27)
    posted by Sarah, with the TW Team
    on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 9:09 am
  113. Joy,

    I just want to say that you are a very strong woman to be able to handle all you did and it worked out for you. I try real hard and I am getting better, I do understand if it's God's will my marriage will get repaired, but I know that I can't sit here and dwell and cry for something I have no control over. I think what is the hardest for me is I really thought our love was strong, but I guess we let the devil step in. I don't know what is going to happen in my future but I do know that I need God in my life, I do cry everyday, but my thoughts have been better, I can never hate my husband it's just the pain of what he is doing is so very hard for me. I am trying to stay focused in God and what he has planned for me, as you said he is the one that called me and I know he isn't doing anything to hurt me, because I need to focus more on God and let God do the work that he is trying to do on me and I do believe also in my husband, if its God's will we will be together again but I do have to accept whatever God chooses for me. It's hard but a pray everyday and all day for faith, strength and peace. Thank you so much Joy for all the words you have given me it brought me so much comfort, Please continue to pray for me and my husband
    posted by Annette
    on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:26 am
  114. Dear Annette,
    I really wasn't strong...it was the strength of the Lord. The Holy Spirit gave me the daily strength that needed. The more we rely upon God and the power of God, the more we realize the freedom in His care. We don't have to strive so much. We don't have to worry and be filled with anxiety. God watches over you. Jesus, Himself intercedes for you. The Holy Spirit is inside of you. You are covered. If you are a believer of Jesus Christ, then you are covered with His atoning, sacrificial blood. You are a daughter of the King. You have full access into His throne room. Therefore, I encourage you to continue to place your hope and trust in the Lord and continue interceding for your husband. But no matter what becomes of your marriage...God's love for you will not change, neither will His care and concern over you. He will be faithful to give you strength for each day too.
    Thanks for keeping in touch. I know your heart aches...but don't forget to live during this season. The Lord wants to fill you with His peace and joy! You aren't meant to live in despair. There is hope in Jesus!
    Blessings to you,
    Joy McClain
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:58 am
  115. I am in such incredible pain I sometimes don't know how to stand it. My husband has been in an on and off relationship with another woman (6 years younger) for at least two years, bough they started as friends. She was a student of his. In 2012 we almost separated, but she left the picture and he stayed. In 2013 almost exactly a year later she came back and a month later he moved out. Shortly their relationship failed, he came back to me and we were dating/together for 3 months. We went to Europe for 3 weeks and planned moving back together. Then he started pulling away, needing space, getting secretive and defensive. She was back again, and now he considers her his girlfriend (although online her relationship status is single). We still talk or see each other almost daily, although he keeps saying he needs to stop that. Sometimes he pulls away but then comes back more often. He says he feels like he hasn't chosen anything, although he is trying things with her. I have decided to stand in the gap for my husband. I keep loving him. He parks at our house for work and I leave a key for him every day, and sometimes a note or a treat. I have been praying incessantly and journaling. My friends know my decision to stand and pretty much everyone tells me that I need to tell him to go away and set boundaries. Sometimes I feel more at peace but other times it breaks my heart in ways I cannot describe. They are posting pictures online of them having fun and playing in the snow together and I don't know how to live and watch him replacing me with someone else. I do believe that he loves me- he tells me every time we talk. I am struggling with having faith to hang on. I don't know what else to do or how to get through this hurt. I am trying so hard to have faith that God will change his heart and bring him home, but then I doubt that maybe my husband really does love her and is happier with her. It's been years. Maybe he really should be with her and not me? How do I know I am doing the right thing and hearing gods voice? How do I know god will save him? Or our marriage? Thank you so much for your words and counsel- I am desperate and nobody seems to believe the way I do.
    posted by Shelly
    on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm
  116. Dear Shelly,
    First of all, I want to validate your pain. Of course you are feeling so very wounded and lost. Of course you are confused. He was supposed to love and honor you, keep that vow. But the reality is, he has strayed, he is confused and there is chaos because of his sin. Although your heart so longs to remain true to your vow...and I commend you for that...we cannot know what's truly going on in his heart and where he stands with the Lord. We can talk all day about his unwillingness to commit, etc., but the bottom line is his relationship with the Lord - everything that seems broken and lost stems from that.
    I highly recommend you seek wise counsel immediately. I know that you want to hang on and if the Lord is telling you to do so, then hang on and don't stop praying and hoping. However, boundaries may be necessary. Boundaries don't mean that we are punishing our spouse. They don't mean that we feel we have authority over them or that we are attempting to be a god in their life. Boundaries can actually be the most loving thing we can do. It isn't loving to allow your husband to continue to have you and have her. However, knowing what the most loving thing is...what it looks like in your marriage takes considerable prayer, wisdom and wise counsel. We always want to align our decisions with God's Holy Word.
    We also want to consider how you appear to your husband. If he feels that you are needy of him...it is good to love him more, "need," him less. You can love someone in a pure way, desiring God's best for them without needing them to fulfill you.
    I think it would do you so much good to have a good understanding of who you are in Christ. I know it may sound as if I am saying you don't...but I've been there and I know for me, the more I understand just how deep, how glorious, how healing, how complete God's love is for me...the more I was able to wait for my husband from a distance with a greater love for him ("needing" him less).
    Perhaps a better prayer to pray would be, "Lord, I invite you into this journey. I don't understand my husband and I don't know how it is all going to work out...I need your love and affirmation to soak deep into my soul. Show me, reveal to me, Lord, your love."
    The more you begin to seek the Lord and allow Him to be the lifter of your chin, the more your eyes will be taken off the circumstance...it won't sting as much. You'll begin to see just how much the Holy Spirit is helping you, directing, teaching, prompting and convicting you.
    There will be many who will doubt that this will all work out. And honestly, we never know if a man will chose to return and follow Christ and reconcile with his family. No matter how this all turns out - God's love for you NEVER changes! You will be OK.
    I encourage you to:
    * Continue to pray, asking God for wisdom.
    * Continue to pray for your man's soul - which a very important prayer.
    * Seek wise counsel with someone who is very mature and knows the Word of God - so that they might help you with decisions.
    * Attempt to need your husband less while loving him more.
    * Consider what does love look like in this circumstance?

    God is for you, Shelly. He isn't attempting to confuse you or lead your down a wrong path. But He wants you to trust Him - fully. He wants you to allow Him to lead. Even if you don't understand what He is asking you to do...He knows the outcome and always does what is most loving.
    For a long time, I thought that loving my husband looked like allowing him to continue in his sin without consequence. I thought if I just loved him enough, was a good enough wife...then he would change. It was incredibly difficult when I had to leave him for almost 3 years. But in that time, the Lord changed me! In that time the Lord taught me what faith is, how faithful He is! In that time, my husband hit the bottom and therefore, cried out to God which lead to restoration for our family.
    I would encourage you to read my book, Waiting for His Heart; Lessons from a Wife Who Chose to Stay. I walk through my journey with transparency...I know how hard it is. You don't have to fear any longer, Shelly. God is fighting for you.
    He has a future and a hope for you!
    Please, keep in touch and let us know -
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:53 pm
  117. Thank you for this wonderful internet page. I have enjoyed it. Your site does not scold or demean women. It tells us some real stuff that we can use.
    posted by Jean
    on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 3:40 pm
  118. Thank you, Jean, for your encouragement to us. It is the Lord we seek to please and in doing so, we pray that we help women feel encouraged in their identity in Christ. Grateful for people like you who cheer us on...
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm
  119. Joy
    After re-reading want I wrote "not" was missing and I wrote down cruse instead curse.
    The more they wanted things from him the more he notice the it was causing financial problems and he did (missing from sentence) "not" know how to tell me and also knowing that he was doing behind my back.

    Joy I am confuse about God will Reconcile and Restore your marriage, but at Christian Church
    I go one told me "If is God Will". But if it is God Will Yes or God Will is No. I will like to said it is a wasted of time, but no nothing is wasted if your marriage is restore and reconcile, but is does give one high hopes for nothing.

    Can you help me with Bible Scriptures, that will help me

    Thank you, I received your book today
    posted by Maria
    on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2:32 pm
  120. Maria,
    Here are some Scriptures for you:
    God's care over you - Psalm 103:8-18, Psalm 91:1-2, Psalm 139:1-2
    Hope - II Corinthians 9:8, Eph. 3:20, Heb. 6:19-20, Psalm 42
    Marriage/Wife - Proverbs 31, Matt. 5:23-24, Matt. 12:25, I Peter 3:3-4, I Tim. 2:11-14, Eph. 5:22-45, Col. 3:19, I Peter 3:7
    Trials - James 1:2-4, I Cor. 10:13, Rev. 3:19-20, Heb. 12:10-11, I Peter 1:6-7
    Repentance and Obedience - Matt. 16:26-27, II Cor. 5:10, John 3:16-18, Mark 13:23-37, Matt. 7:21-23

    Maria, While no one can tell you how this will work out I know that God is working all around you. He desires that YOU would come to trust Him, He desires to have an intimate relationship with you. He desires to cover you with His peace. He knows this is so very difficult for you. He knows the wounds and aches of your soul. He isn't going to leave you in this dark place - even though I cannot tell you how this will work out - I do know that God will not leave you in this valley alone. No matter the outcome, God will love you, care for you, have a heart for you.

    It is good to invite God into these places that look so very hard - that seem to last so very long. It is good to invite Him into your grief. This is a hard thing and God knows it. He's with you in this, Maria.

    Allow God to lift your chin. Allow Him to sweet peace over you. Allow the Holy Spirit to draw you closer to Christ.

    Your husband has free will - it is a choice - but God has been and is wooing him - He is drawing your husband to him. Even if your husband chooses not to follow God - that doesn't mean that God didn't move. When we don't know what the outcome will be, when we are fearful it is best to look at the simple things - and this is what you much be thinking about - God loves you and will not leave you.

    I pray the book speaks to you and helps you in practical ways. Take care of yourself, Maria. And allow God to love on you.

    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:29 am
  121. I am currently facing a possible separation or divorce with my husband of five years we have a 2 year old daugther. I have known God all my life and grew up in church. When I met my husband It was during a time I had put God aside, and even tru this God reach out to me and my husband and we were married by a pastor. After our marriage we constantly struggle it was very difficult and out marriage never felt "normal". About 3 weeks ago he said he didn't love me anymore and he wanted to be alone. He wants to move out and says he will not stay in a marriage just for his daughter for he is not happy. I have ask god for forgiveness because I have made mistakes in this marriage also and I plan to stay by his side and pray for god to restore our marriage but I can't hold him back from leaving and my only support is 3 hours away. My family will take me in and help me get back on my feet as I have quit my job. Is it okay to walk away if you are they only one fighting for this marriage or do I stay put and insure all his hurtful words and wait for god to help us.
    posted by Ruth
    on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:18 am
  122. I have been married for over fifteen years. The past 4 years have been very hard. My husband and I are no longer intimate with one another. We both are very cordial and polite to one another. Neither of us have physically messed with anyone else, but there have been conversations with the opposite sex. Over the past 3 years my relationship with God has gotten closer and I am focusing on Him and not my husband. It is just hard because my husband is a good man, but he seems to have no desire to make our marriage better. He is a good father and provider but when it comes to attention and affection to me, it does not happen. He says that he loves me, but does not think he is in love with me. I say that is a bunch of bull because of what the bible describes about love. He says he does not want to hurt me, but he can not seem to be intimate with me in any way i.e. sexually or kissing in the mouth (occasionally he will kiss me on the cheek or forehead). I have tried for years to discuss with him, he listens and then nothing. We have two beautiful kids who adore him and I have never said anything against him to them. I am at the point where I am giving up but I know that is not what God wants me to do, but it hurts so much sometimes. We don't even sleep in the same bed. I know that this entire situation is spiritual because we are both involved in church and spiritually mature but he refuses to acknowledge that something is wrong. Please pray for me.
    posted by Tracey
    on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:21 pm
  123. Dear Tracey,
    I am so sorry that you feel alone in this marriage. Indeed, it is extremely difficult when you don't have that physical touch, that intimacy and that union that draws you closer as husband and wife. First of all, I want to remind you that God sees and knows. He knows the ache in your lonely heart. He knows the desires that you have to be one with your husband in so many ways. Linda Dillow, the author of Intimate Issues writes about this very topic in a chapter called, When he has a headache. I would highly recommend her book. You are not alone in this difficult circumstance. I've counseled so many women who are dealing with this same issue. While I know I can tell you to draw your affirmation and affection from your Heavenly Father...I know that you desire your husband. I am praying for you now, Tracey. I am praying God's gentle sweeping of peace to wash over you. I am praying that you feel surrounded by His Spirit. Also, would your husband be willing to receive any counseling? While he claims that he doesn't love you - you are correct - love isn't an emotion...and most likely, there are deep things in his heart (his own wounds and fears) and of course, it is spiritual in nature.
    Even if your husband isn't willing to receive any counseling I would recommend it for yourself. I know you are guarding your heart and those hedges are very important - especially when you are vulnerable and lonely. I encourage you to reach out within the Body of Christ and get someone who can walk alongside with you - and pray for you and your husband.
    Also - get Linda's book and listen to her interview on ROH...I'm not sure the date it aired, but if you do a search. I'm sure you will find it.
    So, you are being prayed for - we are praying for you.
    God does absolutely, see you and knows of your pain.
    God also desires that your marriage be all He intended.
    Therefore, as we continue to cast our cares upon Him - asking Him to change and restore - we will trust that He is working.
    Please, let us know how you are doing.
    And may God's sweet and tender love wash over you today.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 9:43 am
  124. Dear Ruth,
    God is in the business of cleaning up our messes! We all make mistakes and I think most of us make a lot of mistakes early on in our marriages. While there are consequences from our sin, God's heart isn't that we "pay," His heart if for restoration and redemption. You cannot control your husband and you cannot control his actions or emotions. However, you can surrender yours to the Lord. We never know the outcome when another person walks away. But that doesn't stop us and shouldn't keep us from praying. Absolutely, there is hope when just one spouse desires to reconcile!
    Just this morning I learned from a friend of mine who was married for decades (5 children) that her husband, who had divorced her last year suddenly wants to begin dating his former wife - her! Now she had no control over his leaving or decision to proceed with a divorce. She had to get a job, make some financial changes, adjust a lot of things in her life, but she did not give in to despair. She had made mistakes too - just like we all do. But she set her heart to pray. She made up her mind that she would not give up on reconciliation - even though she knew there was no guarantee - she was willing to trust God with a very hardened heart.
    God is the only one who can change a heart.
    Get someone to walk with you. Get prayer support.
    It sounds like the Lord has already provided that in the way of family. That is wonderful and a blessing to your daughter.
    If God is showing you your sin or negligence in the marriage then it would be good to confess those before the Lord and then go to your husband. Ask for his forgiveness for the specific areas that God has shown you. Simply saying you are sorry can be too vague. Don't fear being vulnerable - let him see your humility and sincerity. No matter how he responds, you have done the right thing.
    It may take time for him to consider. It may take some sorting out in his mind.
    Through it all however, you can trust that God is working all around him.
    Are there any mentors within your church or family that would be willing to spend time with you and your husband?
    Sometimes it can be overwhelming for a man to carry the load of a family, spiritual leader and provider - especially if they weren't shown this example in their formative years. The Holy Spirit will be faithful to teach your husband and God can and will use other men in his life.
    I'd confess your part. I'd allow your husband to share his heart - without fear of being judged or an argument. Give him a safe place to speak. I pray he does the same.
    Don't give up. I know firsthand how hard it can be to hold onto something that seems so far gone, but I've seen God work in my own marriages and countless others.
    Remember, God is in the business of cleaning up our messes.
    Get in His Word - if overwhelmed, plant yourself in the Psalms. They are a balm to a weary soul.
    God hasn't given up on you so don't feel that you have messed up beyond repair or His forgiveness and grace.
    God also hasn't given up on your husband.
    Pray. Get support from others. Pray for a mentor for you and your husband and don't be afraid to ask about this within your church. Confess and be open. Know that God is working. Know that we are praying for you!
    Bless you for your willingness to stick it out...to keep hoping...to wait upon the Lord.
    Be encouraged - the Lord has your back!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 10:19 am
  125. Dear Joy,

    Thank you so much for your words. I have reached out to the pastors wife at my church and am in constant contact with the church secretary. They have shared stories with me that only confirms the devil is out there to destroy marriages and if mine is being attack I can only quess god has great things stored for me and my husband. I am amazed of the unbelievable calm he has given me (thru prayer and fasting)i have been able to give my husband silence. I'm not constantly questioning why he doesn't love me or what can I do to make it right. I am able to give him the space he needs. But what he doesn't know is that I am talking 24/7 to my god and he is giving me all the love my husband can give at this time. I Pray I can stay strong and wait in The Lord.I never want to give up on my husband. Thank You for sharing your story.
    posted by Ruth
    on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 5:03 pm
  126. Dear Ruth,
    I am glad that you are reaching out and desiring encouragement and that you are not seeking women who will help you speak ill of your husband. Good things are in store for you, Ruth, things of God, characteristics and attributes that He is developing in you. God desires to continue to fill you with a peace that doesn't make sense. He desires to have you walk in a way that is confident in Him -without fear of the future. I am proud of you for being willing to stay the course even though it is so very difficult. God will be faithful to give you what you need for each day. I know it's hard - I've been there. I know there are days when it seems as if your walk is more a crawl...but, God is in this hard place with you. He grieves over your marriage like you. He cares and He hears. You are loved, perfectly, by Him!
    Allow Him to be the lifter of your chin!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Monday, March 3, 2014 at 9:46 am
  127. I would like to first say that it has been a blessing to come across your website! I am a believer and i love God with all that's within me. I have been married for a total of seven years and have been separated for five of those years. My husband left and has yet to return. We have a five year old son. This time has been a trying time for me but at this point I have learned that no ,after what my husband chooses to do, I must honor God. I do what I can to get along with my husband and even through the rejection I still show him love. God has shown Himself to me countless times throughout this separation. He has taken good care of me and my son, supplying our every need. He also shows the fact that He is in control. One of the major things that I have had to come to grips with is the fact that God gives us a free will and will not force us to do anything. The same way God allowed me to make the choice to accept Him, also applies to my husband. God will not force him to surrender so that he can be saved. Its his choice. The sad thing is that the family has to suffer because the head is not in his rightful place. I am not taking this separation lightly. I have been working on myself so that I am not pointing the finger at my husband. Marriage is sacred. Prior to me getting married I didn't know how sacred it was until I started seeking God and reading my Word. Its not this picture that society has painted. May God bless u for sharing your story! For a minute I thought I was the only one going through something like this.
    posted by cheryl
    on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 11:50 pm
  128. Dear Cheryl,
    You are a wise woman. God is using this separation time in ways that you cannot even see right now. Although it is very painful and yes, your husband's sin has consequences that you deal with every day, God is teaching you about His faithfulness and His character. The free will was hard for me too - I wanted so much for God to step down here and slap my husband into redemption. But that is not the character of a loving Father. It took me a long time to understand and accept that fact. If you haven't read my book, Waiting for His Heart; Lessons From a Wife Who Chose to Stay, I would recommend that you do so. You will see as I pour out my own struggles and fears that I walked through many years of my own surrender as I waited for my husband.
    Sometimes, husbands don't return. I do not know how your circumstance will turn out but I do know that God will never leave nor forsake you. You will continue to know His loving hand in every area of your life. There won't come a day when God decides that He's done caring and loving on you...no matter how far away you get from this circumstance either by reconciliation or healing.
    The book will also give you some practical advice as well as insight since my three of my children and my husband each wrote a chapter from their perspective.
    I know its hard to watch your son struggle. I know for me, my children's sorrow about did me in...but God was faithful for them and in them.
    I encourage you to stay the course of this: pursue the Lord above all else. Let Him be the One that leads you soul to a place of contentment. Live life and enjoy the blessings the Lord has given you. God will be faithful to do a work in you.
    I pray that your husband come to know Christ as his Savior, that he come home and that healing and restoration take place.
    No matter what happens, Cheryl, God has a plan and a purpose for you. You are meant to fulfill your part within the Body of Christ. You are meant to bloom where you are planted!
    You encouraged me today with your steadfastness and willingness to wait upon the Lord.
    He will be faithful in ALL things!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Monday, March 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm
  129. I am in need of prayers. I have been married for almost 5 yrs and my husband has a son in Mexico and h has to talk to his ex for his son we have two small kids togeher and i habe 3 of my own who love him so much. He says not to rush him to fall back in love with me. But i love him with all my heart and don't want to be without him i just wish he could love me again. And in his heart let thrre be no other. I cry everyday that he will have a change of heart. Please lord i am crying out for you. Please fill our hearts with love for each other again. Let him love me the way i love him. And forget any other females that try to come between us. In Jesus name i pray. Amen
    posted by wendy
    on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm
  130. Wendy,

    Joy asked that we respond to let you know that we join you in praying for the return of your husband’s heart to you, Wendy! We are saddened to hear of the pain you and your kids are going through because of his choices. Remember that God sees all and knows all that is going on in your life. He loves you, and can comfort you and carry you through this difficult season of your life. He promises in Is. 43:1-3a that He’s walking every step of the way with you.

    We encourage you to be in the Word on a consistent basis so that God can strengthen you and minister to your deep heart needs while you are waiting. May your husband have eyes and desires only for you and may he have a desire to honor God by honoring his marriage vows. We are praying, Wendy!

    Serving Him,
    Lorree
    posted by Lorree, with the TW Team
    on Monday, March 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm
  131. Dear Joy
    I came across your site and it has been a great encouragement and blessing to me. I wanted to ask your advice and get some things cleared up once and for all. I was saved in 1998 and baptised in 99. I was very immature in my faith although I Believe it was genuine. I then met my now husband. At the time I knew I should not have continued the relationship because he was married (separated). And had children. It turns out I chose my husband over God at the time and dishonoured Him and myself by allowing myself to become sexually involved and then live together. We lived together for several years then got married in a bible believing church.so much more happened but will spare the details. My struggle is that I know I abused Gods grace easily back then. What does God think of me doing that? It amazes me that He blessed me regardless of this great sinfullness. I walked away and began living in sin and at the time was battling an eating disorder that had held me in bondage since the age of 13. God has healed me of this by His tender mercy and grace. I struggle and wonder sometimes if I really was saved if I could easily walk away from Him for the love of a man. We have been blessed with children and have many blessings in our life of which I am so thankful for. I am also struggling because my husband has seemed to have walked away from God and I know I had a big part in why due to my critical treatment of him as I was getting closer to God again starting in 2011. Now my relationship with Jesus is the most important one of my life and I am growing closer to Him daily trusting in Him reading His Word and pleading with Him to move. He has chiselled away at my heart since the day i accepted Him as my Savior. but it is so difficult at times knowing if I had not treated my husband in the ways I had as he was getting closer to God too he would still be on his walk. Now he doesnt come to church with us anymore and shows little interest in God. Seems hostile towards God in general i feel responsible and it is a heavy burden on my heart. I am thankful he is on board with my teaching the children Gods Word. although it breaks my heart I believe God has a plan. I know i got angry with him and treated him disrespectfully a lot in the days of re kindling my love for God. I know this turned him off. Would you please pray that my husband would come back to God and for him to know how much his Father in heaven loves him. I used to be mad At my husband. Now i am sad. . Now I am grieved at how much i took Gods love for granted and sad that i took part in my husbands backwards walk due to my self righteous pride and utter sinfullness. he has told me he believes Jesus is his Savior. I am up against the wall my hands are up in the air and i surrender. I can do nothing to change his heart. I have never felt so hopeless in a matter i would like to go my way. I know i am not in control of this and i also ask you pray that i would be the wife and mother God has called me to be for my children. I long for home. I really do. I need God to carry me to the finish and i want to glorify Him in all i do.
    Please pray for my children and husband and i as i wait for Gods plan to unfold not knowing when and how He will do it. Can i be sure He will? I know God gives every person the choice whether or not to follow Him. I need to know that no matter what happened in the past God is not mad at me even though i believe He has forgiven me. I press in to Him but remebering the history of my choice back then holds me back i think.
    Thank you for your ministry and support. God bless you greatly in all you do.
    Vanilla
    posted by Vanilla
    on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 2:18 pm
  132. Dear Vanilla,

    First of all, I understand how hard it is to forgive yourself when you know you had a part in any destruction of your marriage relationship. I've been there myself. But, the wonderful part of that is seeing just how merciful and grace-giving our God is towards His children. You are right when you say God does not hold this against you - once we confess our sins, He remembers them no more. So, if God forgives us - then we should not hold onto our sin past either. Don't allow the enemy to whisper lies to you - don't believe for a moment that because of your past - God cannot give you a future. His work on the cross is/was/will always be complete. You are free from sin and you are most certainly free from your past. Yes, we might have consequences for our sin, but God has forgiven you.

    If you feel that you have sinned against your husband - then ask him to forgive you and it's good to take the time to be specific about certain patterns of behaviors that perhaps you didn't see back then. Once you have sincerely and humbly asked for his forgiveness and have confessed before God - then you no longer have to allow that to hang over your head. Your husband's reaction is something you cannot control but perhaps he will see your sincerity and that you have truly humbled yourself.

    God isn't angry with you and He isn't trying to punish you. We all have fallen short and have sinned. We all struggle and the important thing is...you are changing, you are allowing God to purge those things in your heart and you are willing to surrender. It is a process but you are further down the road than you were years ago...that is something to be thankful for.

    God loves you and He loves your husband. God will go to any length to woo us to Him. He's called you to Him and He desires that your husband would surrender and God loves us enough to give us a choice. He offers us free will to choose Him, or not. So, while you cannot convict your husband you absolutely and should pray for him. A wonderful resource is available through Revive Our Hearts - it's a simple challenge and encourages women to pray for their husband for 30 days - The Thirty Day Encouragement for your Husband. I did this same challenge years ago and it really did help train my thoughts to encourage, not belittle, to edify, not tear down.

    I know it's difficult to think that you hindered your husband's relationship with God and while you might not have been the wife you wished - God is bigger than anything you ever could have done or said. His grace truly is sufficient!

    Yes, we will pray for you and your family. God is doing a work in your heart and He will be faithful to complete that work. He is working all around you in ways you aren't even are of - just look at how far He's brought you since you first came to know Him.

    God will be faithful to you, Vanilla. God's heart is for you and for your family. God's heart is for your husband! Hold tight to Him. Press deeply into Him. Steady your heart with the truth of His Word. He longs to grow you and He has given you the gift of the Holy Spirit to teach, convict and lead you.

    Some Scriptures that you might meditate on: Romans 8:16-17; Job 19:25-27; I Peter 1:3-5; Psalm 66:17-20; Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 19:12-14

    Grace & Peace to you,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 10:35 pm
  133. Thank you for being willing to share your story. I have been married for almost 24 years but my husband and I only received Christ 12 years ago at which time we were separated and then got back together. As I read what you wrote the tears just came. I thought things would be so different with going to church and surrendering our lives to Him. However, things are much the same as before, but they seem so much harder now because I came back to the marriage assuming it would be better. My husband is a good man, but he is very self focused. He says he loves me and can't imagine life with out me and works hard for our church, but it is just what he does to "keep busy". I believe he thinks he works hard enough at church that he is fulfilling his "duty" to God. I see little if any moving of the Spirit. I have tried many time to talk with him about what I am feeling and thinking but he pushes it aside or even will go far enough as to say I'm sorry, I will try to be better... But nothing has improved with our relationship...it is static. I feel like God isn't here in such a big way, but I also believe he won't ever leave me. I am in a church but there has been so much going on (and not in a good way) that I don't feel connected there anymore either. I am tired of existing, I can't break free from the sadness and repetitive hurt by the one that is supposed to love me the most. I keep telling myself I can't expect him to change when he won't face reality and that I have so many sins that I need to work on. At what point does something change? How do I get to the point that I am "okay" with the way things are and totally rely on God? I feel like a crazy person trying to figure out how to hang on to something I don't have. I can't find God in all this...
    posted by Deb
    on Friday, March 28, 2014 at 8:53 am
  134. Dear Deb,
    God does desire that we, as husband and wife help refine one another - much like iron sharpens iron and when we follow His plan for what marriage was intended we can enjoy intimacy in all respects. When we feel as if we have lost that sense of intimacy it can be overwhelming with emotions that tend to land into the field of loneliness, frustration and isolation. While it may seem as if your husband doesn't really "see" where you are, God does.

    Sometimes, it is hard to imagine that our husbands can't understand us, or why they don't seem to put effort into meeting our needs...often, it's not that they don't have the desire, they simply don't know how. I don't know if this is the case regarding your husband but it might be something as simple as not truly understanding what you need - even though you tell him, even though you've had many talks with him. He simply might not be hearing you in a way that he understands or can relate to. This is why it can be very beneficial to seek out wise counsel. I would consider praying about Biblical counseling for your marriage. It obviously will help place truth before each of you, but hopefully, will also help you get to the root of the issues. And it will help you communicate with one another. Perhaps your husband is struggling with a works-based attitude and perhaps that is showing up in your relationship - lacking intimacy. Seeking wise counsel can help lay a good foundation not only to your theology - taking every thought captive and aligning them with the truth of God's Word but it will also help you uncover patterns and habits in your marriage that have helped build those walls. The Lord knows the issues of your husband's heart and yes, absolutely, the Lord desires that your husband be free in His worship and in extending and showing love to you.

    The Lord will equally be faithful in revealing anything in your heart that would hinder your intimacy with Him and your husband. And this can be the painful part. I know - I saw myself for what I truly am and it wasn't easy to admit nor was it easy to realize the damage I had caused to our marriage. However, God was faithful to not leave me where I was. He was faithful in His long-suffering with me. He was faithful to draw me to Him - and willing to do whatever it would take until I desired Him even more than a happy marriage.

    I understand lonely - I have been there. You want very much to live and serve together, growing as a couple in the Lord. God desires this same thing. You are wise to remember that He will not leave you and as you flesh out your disappointments - it can sure seem like He has left...but perhaps that is because you are focused on today. God is working all around you and most importantly, in you. I write about this a lot in my book, Waiting for His Heart because it was key in the healing of my marriage. My husband for so long wasn't even capable of fulfilling my needs. And honestly, neither was I capable of meeting his. However, the more I looked to Christ to fill me - the more He did.

    You aren't meant for misery, Deb, but the enemy would sure have you believe that as well as keep you isolated. I would highly recommend that you pray about receiving counsel with your husband...if he isn't willing, go for yourself. Seek out an older, mature couple who are steadfast believers who would be willing to spend time with your husband and you. Don't give up! Keep praying. Keep serving your husband and be willing to ask the Lord to help you discern what it looks like to love your beloved.

    You don't have to be "OK" with the way things are - God desires to do a work in each of you. Your marriage can be more joyful, fulfilling and more important - holy. So perhaps a better prayer would be, "Lord, I don't know how to move forward. I don't know how to heal our marriage, but I know you do - I invite you into this mess. I am listening." Rather than attempting to turn off your emotions and desires - why not take that brokenness, sorrow and frustration to God and realize that you don't have to figure it out. You don't even have to have the answers. You simply need to surrender "you" to your Abba Daddy.

    All those years I waited for my beloved, I was never OK with the circumstance. I had peace. I had come to trust God with my beloved, but I never stopped aching for restoration and redemption. God isn't asking you to wave a flag of surrender to the wounds to your heart - He's asking you to surrender to Him. All those wounds go in with you when you enter into His presence. That's the glorious thing about worship- we take all that we are in with us and we are then, consumed with the glory of God. It eclipses anything of us...which brings me back to the "holy." God is making you more like Him, Deb and He just might be using your husband to do so.

    Trust God in this. Seek wise counsel. Don't remain isolated. Keep praying - inviting the Lord into the pain. Be real and honest with God - He knows it all anyway. Know that God wants your husband to be better equipped to love you. And He wants you to be the wife that will draw you husband closer to Him...whatever that might look like. God is there, Deb, all around you...He's never left nor forsaken. He's made a promise to you to compete what He began in you...trust Him in that.

    I don't know if you have read Waiting for His Heart but you would identify as I reveal my struggles. Nancy has a great 30 day encouragement challenge for wives and I would also recommend Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.

    Praying for you, Deb. Praying for healing for your marriage. Praying that you see that intimacy you crave and praying you experience intimacy with the Lord that you've never known.

    You are loved-
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 12:23 am
  135. Thank you so much for this site. It really touches me. I'm praying for my relationship with my boyfriend. We were together several years ago (engaged for 3 1/2 years), then split up and were each married to spouses who cheated on us, then came back together a few months ago. He has told me that he has always loved me and regretted leaving me, and we have both stated that we know that God has brought us back together. When we first started talking again, he was pursuing God, reading his Bible daily (even while gone working two weeks at a time on an oil rig), praying, and was very loving. He has gone through AA and anger management since we were together before, but he relapsed last week, and I caught him with another woman. We have decided to work through this, and I have forgiven him. However, he pulled back somewhat for a couple of days after getting mad at me for checking up on him. Now, he is doing better, but our relationship is different than it was at first. He doesn't say sweet things like he did at first or call and text all the time. I know this is normal as relationships progress, but I want those things. Some of this, I know, is because of my own insecurity. Throughout my entire life, I have only wanted a husband and family. God has given me such a heart for that. I have two amazing daughters, but I long for my spouse, and pray that my boyfriend is that man. I have felt that he is, and he started the marriage talk himself. He does say he still wants those things, but that he'd rather talk about it later when it's time, basically. He just received word that he got a new job (another oil rig), and I'm praying that he'll be surrounded by other Christians, and that God will draw us both closer to Him, and to one another through Him, and that our relationship will be a witness and testimony to Him. I'm praying that we'll serve God together and be married, and raise our families to serve Him. Thank you so much for everything you're giving to others. Thank you for the time you take doing this work.
    posted by Charity
    on Friday, April 4, 2014 at 10:04 am
  136. Dear Charity,
    Thank you for entrusting us with your circumstance and your heart! I understand that you desire a Godly marriage and a good role model for your daughters. It is a good thing that you desire and it seems as if you are willing to keep in mind that even a good thing can become an idol. I too, desired a Godly marriage and when my husband wasn't able to deliver that...I certainly didn't hide my disappointment. I think always keeping in mind your motives and that you are willing to wait on God's plan for you, God's best for you and His timing - all of this will certainly help. God knows the desires of your heart. He knows how lonely you get and how you want to journey with someone as you walk through this life.
    Your boyfriend had a set-back and quite frankly, that's a rather large one (being with another woman). I know that you have your mind planning a life with him but I do want to caution you. Perhaps he isn't the best choice as a role model for your daughters nor will it be easy. He might struggle greatly with his anger and might pull away continually. Only the Lord knows what is in a man's heart. Only the Lord can change a man's heart. However, we all sin, we all fall short and perhaps this man will become a man after God's own heart and do much for the Kingdom as well lead and love his family. Buy right now if he's struggling, if he's pulling away, if he cannot commit, I would absolutely put the brakes on the relationship. I know there is a history there and that can bring comfort and a sense of belonging. However, be careful as you weigh out a man who needs healing and asking this same man to be able to step into the role you desire in a husband. He might not even be capable of coming close to fulfilling that Godly role as husband and father right now. Maybe that will come.
    I would begin to ask the Lord for discernment. I would pray that the Lord give you wisdom and open your eyes to ANYTHING that would hinder his walk with the Lord and with you. Being that you are not married, your aren't committed to this man as of now. And there is nothing wrong with more time passing especially if it might spare all of you pain later. I would encourage you to seek the Lord about pursing a relationship where your boyfriend has already been unfaithful and unwilling to yield. If he's willing to seek wise counsel - I would do that - I would find some solid, Biblical counseling and walk through these issues. The last thing you need is to find yourself in a marriage where your husband continues to be unfaithful.
    Of course the Lord can heal and restore and of course that is His heart...but we are to be wise in our choices and we are to invite Him into our decisions and He will be faithful to guide you. The Lord will speak to you regarding this relationship.
    Spend some time contemplating why you want this relationship to work out so much - spend some honest time with the Lord and see what needs of yours are being met - are they healthy - or are they a gap that the Lord is meant to fulfill? These can be difficult questions, but for anyone, they are helpful when faced with decision and choices.
    God's heart is for you and for your children. His heart is for this man ....but that doesn't always mean you are meant to marry them...prayerfully consider.
    God knows your heart, Charity. He knows how much you want to be married. He knows what kind of man that will challenge you, help you grow and point you to Him. Make certain that God is telling you that this man is such a man. Don't trust your emotions...align everything with the Word of God.
    Josh. 24:14-15; Rom. 12:1-2 - Read these Scriptures and meditate on them. Take this relationship to the Lord - take all that you are to Him.
    Charity, God has good and wonderful plans for your life. He is working all around you. He has good things for you and your children. This may include this boyfriend and it may not...either way, God is with you and will never leave nor forsake you.
    God will be faithful to speak to you.
    Listen to His voice.
    He loves you - He wants to lead you to a path of righteousness.
    Thank you for entrusting us to pray for you and your precious family.
    Keep us posted. Let us know how God is working in your life.
    Psalm 55:22: Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy McClain
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm
  137. Thank you very much for your advice, wisdom, and encouragement. It helps a great deal to have the input and insight of someone with so much compassion and faith. I will pray as you suggested, and thank you for that guidance. It is difficult to know how to pray sometimes. I will say that even in the few days since I posted the first time, I have seen God changing my boyfriend. His heart has become more tender, and he is much more like the man that he was when we first started talking again--more considerate and attentive, and much more willing to share and communicate (just to talk in general). He has not drank any more, which is a huge blessing, as well. Of course, I don't know what will happen, but these are definitely blessings! God is blessing him with a new job opportunity--same field, but different company and location--and I am praying that he will be surrounded by Christian men who will encourage him. It is wonderful to see and feel God working, no matter to what end.

    Thank you for praying for us all! My boyfriend has a little boy, too, and I pray that he will be the Godly man that his son needs as his role model, just as I want and try to be a Christian role model for my daughters. Thank you, and God bless you!
    posted by Charity
    on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 8:35 am
  138. Charity,
    You are so welcome. God truly does care about you and your boyfriend. The Lord is the changer of hearts and let's continue to pray that all of our hearts are drawn closer to Him. Keep in touch and let us know how God continues to work in your life. Remember - God will be faithful to lead you. He wants you to walk a path that He has cleared.
    And thank you for your encouragement to me and the team at ROH - we truly do care about the women who take the time to write to us.
    Bless you and your sweet children!
    Grace & Peace,
    Joy
    www.apassionatepursuitofjoy.com
    posted by Joy McClain
    on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm

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