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RYM: Wk2 Chapter 9 "Gentle and Quiet Spirit"

Course 1: RYM LINKS

Day 11, Week 2: RYM Chapter 9

"Gentle and Quiet Spirit"

 

but first Restored Marriage Testimonies

taken from

 

What a Wonderful God We Serve!

Thank you, Erin, for your encouragement and dedication to praying for marriages. Praise the living Lord—my husband is home! He is a mighty man for Jesus, and he guides, guards, and governs us in God's Word.

My husband left me for another woman who was pregnant with his child (I did not know this when he moved out). He swore he was never coming home. He told our children every time they went to visit that he would never come home, that he did not love me, and to get over it. But, our wonderful God had a different plan!

My husband returned home a broken man and very sorry toward God and us. He now serves the Lord. The Lord has chosen to remove this other woman and child. She became bitter and resentful (prophecy fulfilled about the adulterous woman!) and moved away. God's ways and thoughts are much higher than our own. I pray for God to bless her and this child for His kingdom. I am grateful that the Lord chose to get hold of my attitude toward my husband before I learned of the other woman and child. It was months after he moved out that I found out.

But, along with the devastation that he saw my children experiencing, my husband said it was my forgiveness toward him that drew him back home, and that God had to be responsible for my change. Bitterness and unforgiveness are not building blocks for the house that God builds. Love (as described in 1Cor. 13) is.

I posted a prayer request on a prayer board in December almost two years ago and a gentleman responded with a link to your website. Through the principles of your workbook for women, I learned that my ways were contentious and unforgiving. I also learned that God was in control and I needed to put Him first in my life. I also learned the importance of spiritual weapons (Scripture, faith, trust in God, and love). My husband and I stopped arguing because I stopped nagging! He remained cold toward me for a while, but he was still attracted to my change.

God taught me to be thankful for all things; He taught me that the battle was not mine. He showed me that He did want my marriage restored and that I should trust Him to restore it with my mouth shut. So I shut it!

Your How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage book and the Workbook for Women were packed full of a Godly walk. I have shared these principles with many hurting women. I also received the "Be Encouraged" tapes. What a blessing! (I have since sent them on to my ePartner, who could not afford them.)

All resources from your ministry are good, but, as you suggested, I spent most of my time memorizing Scripture from many places in the Bible so that I would be armed for the battle in my mind (taking my thoughts captive). God was fighting on my behalf and I saturated my mind with His living Word!!!

We are still healing, and God is so faithful to guide us every day. My husband and I pray for broken marriages. He is not yet comfortable with us sharing our story with people who did not know about his affair, but he is an avid encourager of my prayer partners who are awaiting restoration. He prays for marriages!!

My husband spent 12 years trying to divorce me, and now he prays for marriages to stay together!!

He also says that he barely has a memory of last year when he was gone. What a wonderful God we serve!!

There are many verses that held me afloat (from your Restore Your Marriage and Workbook for Women) and without the prayers of my encouragement partner, I would have been devastated! She sent an SOS prayer request to your website last summer after I found out about the baby and was distraught, and you had a lady send me an encouragement email! After I read it, I realized that God had not brought me that far to drop me on my head!

God has surely used your ministry in all stages of restoration to get His message across. This is all for His glory and His kingdom. I am blessed to serve our Father with my life! Thanks for all you do!!!

Sarah,* RESTORED in Texas


Miracle Restoration in Ohio!

Praise God! He has restored our marriage! He stopped the divorce and brought my husband home! I asked Him to restore our marriage by April 16, before our son's wedding on May 3, and He did!

On Good Friday, I received a letter from his attorney, dated April 16, stating that my husband had asked for a dismissal of the divorce. If I agreed, I need only sign the enclosed papers. I could not stop crying when I saw the date on that letter!

I realized my Lord God cared about the smallest detail of my prayers. When I received a copy of the date-stamped court order dismissing the case, the date on the attorney's letter to me was June 5, our 27th wedding anniversary!

From the time I asked God for the April 16 date for restoration of our marriage, He continually confirmed that date. I work in an office where we deal with birth dates, and that date continually came up. The most amazing confirmation came when my son showed me his wedding announcements—the date on the RSVP card for his wedding was April 16!

Be encouraged to be specific in your prayers. Continue to pray, waiting patiently while you believe you have what you asked for, and leave the results in God's hands. He is able to do immeasurably more than you can ever ask or imagine. Pray His Word and His promises back to Him for your situation and circumstances. He loves to hear His Word spoken from your lips!

I do not want to forget mentioning that throughout my wait "until my change came," God changed my heart as well as my husband's. I was willing to be molded to whatever He desired for me. It is truly the miraculous work of God! Praise God! He is worthy.


Restored in Utah!

I have been disobedient by not sending in my praise report sooner. In March, my husband had me bring our children up to where he was working during spring break. He was working in the Denver area when they experienced their worst snow in forty years.

We were snowed in at his apartment in the forest for four days. Glory be to God! It was wonderful!!! We got to be together as a family!

I have other praises, too. My husband was home this weekend from his out-of-state job. He no longer sends me away when he comes home and says he feels comfortable being here with and around me. He calls almost every day to talk and sounds concerned when he cannot reach me. It is so wonderful from where we started two and a half years ago! Glory be to God!

This weekend was special as he took us shopping and to the movies, and then we enjoyed dinner as a family at home!!! Praise God—He is so wonderful! When I took my husband to the airport, he asked me if I needed anything! I told him I was having a hard time deciding which college to attend. (I feel a calling to teach and begin a private Christian school.) After I explained, he guided me where I should go.

That was an answer to prayer as I was struggling. Then my husband said not to worry about the tuition because he would pay for everything! (We are restored, but he still keeps some of our finances separate.) Praise God again and again as this was a prayer answered, too!

God is so good. He loves us all even though we are not worthy. I have a confession though—I have not been appreciating all the little things the Lord does every single day. Since being restored, it has been easy to be lax in praising and seeing all those little (and big) things the Lord does. I need to keep steady with my praises, appreciation, and warfare.

Dan and Erin, thank you, and all the dedicated people who help you, for all your devotion to the ministry. Your perseverance and faith are such an inspiration. I have enjoyed the weekly letters from Erin and Michelle. Thanks again and God bless.


Husband Comes Home in North Carolina!

Praise the Lord! My husband and I had been separated for two years. He lived outside the country for the last twelve months, and now he is home!

Although I am still praying for his salvation and for his heart to turn toward me, the Lord has answered two of my prayers! One was that he would return home and the other was that his heart would be turned toward our daughter and her heart to him.

Not only does our daughter remember her father (she was only one and a half when he left), but she also adores him! It is amazing that the bond between them is as though he never left. Praise the Lord!

When you are in the midst of a trial and hurting so badly, it is often easy to overlook what God has done. I just want to openly praise Him for what He has done and what He is going to do! Hallelujah!

I give praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I was a foolish woman and left my husband (with the blessing of my parents/pastor) two years ago. I never wanted a divorce, but I was tired of hurting and wanted to “help” God create a crisis in his life. I thought that leaving him was just the crisis he needed.

He tried to reconcile with me, but due to my hard heart and stubbornness, I rejected him. At that time, he wasn't changed the way that I thought he should be, so I didn't want to take him back until I saw what I wanted. Little did I know that I was the one who needed changing!

A year ago, my husband left the United States to return to the country where he was born. It was only supposed to be for three months, but he kept delaying his return. I am not surprised because our conversations were argumentative and I was still a self-righteous Pharisee.

However, after he had been gone about six months, the Lord began dealing with me about leaving. He actually began to show me that I was wrong. Up until that time, I thought I was right. Even so, I would pray occasionally that IF there was a slight possibility that I was wrong, would He please show me.

He did begin doing that! First, He showed me that I needed to forgive my husband. I asked Him to help me do that, and He did! However, I still did not come to face my own sin until I found Restore Ministries. I was getting desperate because I had been praying for my husband for so long but wasn't seeing anything.

When I ordered How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage, it was as if I was reading about myself. I had to pause every couple of pages and repent of all my sins. In that book, God revealed things to me that He had been trying to tell me all along. God used Erin to speak directly to me!

Immediately, there was a change in me. I could not see my husband's faults, but only my own. I begged for God's mercy and asked Him to forgive me for being so foolish. Once I finished the book, I thought I knew how I needed to change, and that would be that. I had no intention of joining the fellowship or ordering the other materials. However, as time went on, I knew I needed more, so I ordered the Wise Woman workbook.

Again, God convicted me of more sin and opened my eyes to the woman and wife He wants me to be. Before then, almost every conversation I had with my husband was stressful and argumentative. It had been that way for nearly four years. But, the contentious woman died and a new woman was born! Hallelujah!

Regardless of what my husband said to me on the phone, I stopped arguing and striving. I no longer felt the need to make my point or prove him wrong. I was determined to be that woman with a quiet and gentle spirit. I also stopped fretting over when he was returning. I used to cry trying to persuade him to come back, but then I stopped. I realized that had he returned earlier, I would have blown it big time because I was not changed. That alone taught me to trust in the Lord's timing.

A month ago, I overheard him telling our two and a half-year-old daughter that he was coming home next month. I knew he could change his mind as he had done before, but I wanted to prepare as though he were coming. Praise the Lord—he did come home last week!

I am so thankful to God that my husband is here. I also thank the Lord for taking this former contentious, self-righteous Pharisee and turning her into a peaceable woman with a quiet and gentle spirit. I thank God for Restore Ministries because you have truly changed my life! Even though I was a committed Christian, I was not living the Word of God in my marriage. I also thank God for my encouragement partner who is still there for me.

Praise the Lord that we are now in the first phase of restoration. I am praying for my husband's salvation and for his heart to continue turning toward me. I am also praying that God will give me wisdom as I finally have the opportunity to win my husband without words. The Lord is truly my beloved, and I am forever His.

I can't tell you how your ministry blessed me. I heard about another marriage ministry a long time ago, and went back to their site about one and a half years after I left my husband. Their website linked to Restore Ministries. For some reason, I felt drawn to your ministry. I never ordered a tape, book or anything from the other ministry, but yours was different. I now know that to be God.

At first, I saw the book How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage. The word "restore" caught my attention because a few months prior, a guest minister at our church had called me by name and told me that God was going to restore for me (he hadn't known my name, or that I was the pastor's daughter). Instead of ordering the book, I tried to find it in the local Christian bookstore. When I didn't find it, the next day I went back to your website and ordered it. I felt such a sense of urgency and desperation. I could not wait to get the book. God had been gradually showing me that I was wrong for leaving, among other things. However, it wasn't until I got your book that I realized what I fool I was.

Erin, after every other page I was repenting. I could not believe what I was reading. I grew up in a spirit-filled church, and know that people say things like "this isn't a mistake that you are reading/listening to this." However, I am a skeptic of Christians. This time, what I read was true. God used your ministry to change my life in a way that He had been trying to all along!

When I found you, my husband was out of the country (sold his business and went back to his homeland). It was only supposed to be for three months, but he kept delaying his return. I would argue and cry with him about it over the phone, but it only made matters worse. My family knew I was standing for our marriage, but were encouraging me to move on. I knew that wasn't what God wanted me to do; I just couldn't find anyone who would stand in faith with me. So I stood alone. Anyway, my husband missed our daughter's second birthday, Christmas, and a planned vacation to Florida. HOWEVER, I know it was God. Had he returned nine months ago as he was supposed to, I would have destroyed things again because I wasn't changed!

I do have an encouragement partner. As I mentioned earlier, I had no intentions initially of joining the fellowship. I thought the book was all I needed. However, I began to realize I needed more help, so I ordered the workbook. After that, I decided to join because I became hungry for every resource available to help me hope for a restored marriage. I wasn't talking to family and friends, but I did have a wonderful ePartner and we still keep in touch.

While going through the workbook for women, I realized that I needed more. I proceeded to order the workbook on audiotape, the "Be Encouraged" series, the Queen Esther video, and the "Alluring and Unconditional Love" video. I knew I needed to submerge myself in God's Word, prayer, and the resources of this ministry. Every morning, at the conclusion of my prayer time, I would read another section of the workbook. At night, I would put on headphones and listen to at least one tape before going to bed. I told my ePartner that I felt like I was in “marriage restoration school”! I looked forward to prayer and reading my Bible so much that I actually started getting up two hours earlier just to have time with God and to study His Word!

The best recommendation that I have for those who are praying for restored marriages is to make sure they study the Word diligently, even as they are going through Restore Ministries' resources. Also, now that my husband is home, I realized how right you were on your "Be Encouraged" tapes—I have faced the biggest battle since his return. It has been absolutely painful, but God has prepared me. Women want their husbands to return, but sometimes they don't have any idea what they will be faced with when he does. They had better take heed and allow God to pour into them as much as possible so that they can stand firm in His Word when their husbands return home.

The one thing that I keep remembering is how you said you felt when your husband first came home. I never expected it, but I have battled more feelings of hopelessness and defeat since my husband's return. Actually, things have appeared to be more hopeless now than when he was away. I know that is not true, but it's amazing how the enemy does not want to let up. Anyway, I have won those mind battles through prayer. This first phase is really hard, yet I know God has equipped me.

I want you to know that I have no words to express my gratitude to God and to this ministry! The fact that I am changed is a miracle that I still can't believe. We CAN win this war on divorce, one marriage at a time!

**Ministry Note: Some of the materials mentioned in the testimony above it no longer available to find out what we do off please visit our 
Encouraging Bookstore, thank you!!


I Am Happy and Blessed of God!

I will bless the Lord at all times! His praises shall continually be in my mouth! I am rejoicing in the Lord for the restoration of my marriage. My husband has come back to me—he is back home!

God has turned my husband's heart back to Him, me and our son and away from the OW whom he was with for six months. Any feeling he had for her has waxed cold! In Jesus' name, that relationship has been put to death. That is one of the prayers I prayed and God answered!

I'm reminiscing about one of our conversations from the past week when he said, "I came to myself one day and thought, what am I doing?" Though living with her and sleeping in the same bed with her, he said he couldn't keep his mind off me. He went to bed and woke up every day desiring to be back home! He said he was lonely, but pride and shame kept him from coming home.

One day over a month ago, he boldly told the OW that he couldn't continue in the relationship and that he was moving back home to make things right with his wife and son. PRAISE GOD! He said he left immediately and does not want to look back. He cut off all communication with her and declared that no one will ever come between us again! God is so good!

Since my husband's return, he is attending church with me and has given his life to the Lord! Praise God, he came home to me broken before the Lord. I told my mom that he behaves as if a ten-foot angel came to him and sat on the foot of his bed! He cannot say he is sorry enough for the things that happened. He says he was foolish. He told me that he was not even worthy of a second chance and thanks me for giving him one every chance he gets.

I thank God for the changes He made in my husband and in me. Through this crisis, my husband and I have been molded and shaped into the persons God desires us to be. I thank God for helping me to see that my first ministry is to my husband. I thank God for loving me enough to show me my shortcomings. I thank God for showing me that I was a contentious and controlling woman and that my behavior contributed to pushing my husband into the arms of another woman. Even so, he takes full blame for the adultery.

I thank God for showing me how to be a lady, to keep silent and to pray and let Him deal with my husband. I thank You, Jesus, for my husband who has been (without coaching from me) leading his son and me in prayer each time we come together. Praise God! My husband says that he realizes that he can do nothing without God. His cry to God is "Help!" God is truly helping us on the road to recovery.

I encourage everyone who is believing God for their marriage to not give up and to apply the biblical principles from Erin’s books and her audio and video tapes. Especially follow the principle that informs us not to pursue our husbands—it works!

I am so happy for my husband. At one time, he didn't want to see me, but now he makes excuses or begs to see me. At one time, he only wanted to communicate through email, but now we talk...talk...talk...and chat on the phone like teenagers! At one time, he just wanted to be friends, but now he says he loves being my husband, my best friend and my lover!

God is so good!

Thank you, Erin, for Restore Ministries.


God Has Restored in New York!

Praise our holy Father! I give Him all the glory for He has answered my prayers! My husband did not intend to return to our marriage; he did not feel the same toward me as I felt toward him.

Once I received Erin's book, I learned a lot about myself and how I needed to change, starting with trusting God for everything. My husband had been gone about one week and I was very distraught. I was already a Christian, but I was not trusting the Lord completely. For the first time in our relationship, my husband told me he did not love me any more. (We had been together for thirteen years.) Your book encouraged me daily, and once I let God take full control, He began to change me, as well as my husband's heart.

I found your ministry when a man from a prayer request group I had searched for sent me an email suggesting your ministry and your book. (He had the man's version of the book.)

I ordered your book How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage. It showed me how I needed to change first before God would work with my husband. It helped me to believe that God wants to restore all marriages, and it taught me how to fight the spiritual battle. I felt strengthened knowing God was in full control, once I allowed Him to take over. Most importantly, I learned how to trust God completely with all of my trials, especially our marriage. I highly recommend your book to anyone who is praying for a restored marriage. It was the best twelve dollars I ever spent!!

Once I had complete trust and faith that only the Lord could change my situation, I began to pray several times a day, talking to God and giving Him total control. I felt peace inside when I prayed at the lowest times of my day. God gave me strength to avoid calling my husband. I was tempted several times. God's Word kept me going. I knew that if I had faith, He could change ANY situation. God also changed ME. As I found out, I was a CONTENTIOUS WIFE, and I used bad language.

We had been separated for exactly two months when my husband called me and said he needed to talk. He told me that he had a feeling that God was talking to him. Praise the Lord!

Thank you, Erin and Dan, for your ministry, and God bless you! Love in Christ!


Restored in United Arab Emirates!!

Remember Jesus! All glory to our merciful Savior. After nearly six months of waiting, crying and praying, I received a call from my husband. He is coming home shortly! All glory to our merciful Savior who cherishes us close to His heart.

I know how much it hurts for you to be where you are today. I have had days when I never wanted to face the world, when my future looked uncertain and it was difficult to trust in the Almighty. My reasoning was, if He is the merciful, compassionate Lord, why does He not deliver me?

Remember—He has a purpose for you and He has plans for your life, plans not to harm you, but to give you a bright future. I love Jesus more than anything in this world; never give up on Him. He will make you new and set you free from all your pain.


It Is Finished! Restoration in Virginia!

The Lord has worked miracles! We have been back together for almost a month! My husband has returned over twenty times in the last two years. Each time I knew it was to be short-lived, that he was only home because "they" were fighting. However, this time, I knew the Lord was working!

About three months ago, I heard "It is finished" when I asked Him to please restore our marriage and heal our family. With complete faith, my prayers changed. I claimed that I knew it was finished, and asked the Lord to please finish changing me so that I would be ready. One morning, I cried out to Him, "Lord, my family is hurting—do WHATEVER it takes and make me ready."

Without details, I will tell you “ask and you shall receive.” Big things happened to separate my husband and the OW, things that could have only come from the Lord. I am praising and worshiping Him, knowing that I have seen the Lord move mountains!

Thank you for your ministry and the knowledge and wisdom you have shared with me, for teaching me to be a godly wife and helping me to deal with my husband's needs. I know I will be walking this course for the rest of my life. I know that God will always be my Comforter and Supporter!

Never, ever give up on God. He didn't give up on my husband and me, and He won't give up on you, either!


Restored in New Jersey! Praise for God's Continued Refining!

All praise to His Holy One that my husband has been home for nine months after a three-year separation! What a miracle! Right now, though, I want to praise my dearest Lord for refining me each day my husband has been home!

I have finally reached the point where I place in God's hands ALL my trust, love and peace. I am not deceived into believing that I have to learn to trust my husband since it is my almighty Maker who is to be trusted with all things—my marriage and TOTAL restoration included!

Brothers and sisters, please remember—it is living in this truth that makes ALL the difference in the total restoration of our marriages after our husbands' return. When I feel (God's truths are not "feelings") afraid (God did not give us a spirit of fear) and begin to mistrust my husband, I go to prayer and reaffirm the trust I have in Him. Amen!

All my prayers are in agreement with your prayers for the restoration of your ultimate relationship—the one with God—and for your marriages.

Thank you, Erin! God is truly so very awesome! It makes we wonder how I could have left Him out of my life for so very long indeed...



— Chapter 9 —

Gentle and Quiet Spirit

But let it be the

hidden person of the heart,

with the imperishable quality of a

gentle and quiet spirit,

which is precious in the sight of God.

—1 Peter 3:4

 

Boisterous women are common today. Boisterous is defined as “offensively loud and insistent.” It is not only accepted but encouraged through our media.

Sadly, this behavior has also permeated the church and Christians today. Is it any wonder that the divorce rate in the church is now higher than the national average?

A woman with a “gentle and quiet spirit” is called a doormat. She is told that her husband won’t respect her if she doesn’t stand up for herself.

Husbands even tell their own wives to fight back or defend themselves, and at the same time they follow through with the divorce and stay with the other woman. God says that a gentle and quiet spirit is precious to Him, and therefore it is the only way toward healing and restoration.

However, when a husband strays from the truth and falls into sin, you hear Christians, even pastors, advise the wife to use “tough love,” even though it is unbiblical and will destroy marriages. In addition, it results in a “hardened heart” which inevitably results in a wife who is unwilling or unable to forgive her husband. Only a heart of flesh, a tender heart, is able to truly forgive.

In this chapter, we will seek the truth regarding tough love and the healing that comes through forgiveness.

 

Tough Love?

Love is patient. God gives us a description of love. See if you can find the word “tough” or any word even remotely similar. “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails . . .” (1 Cor. 13:4–8).

This verse proves that there is no place for “tough love” in a marriage, on either side. The love that Jesus lived and calls us to is “tough” to live, but never “tough” in response to another whom we love.

This I command you. Another very popular statement in the church today is “love is a choice.” Read with me the following verse to see if God says we can “choose” to love. Or does God command that we do so, as followers of Christ? “This I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:17). We do have a choice: to obey His command or not. This is not exactly what Christian psychologists are telling us, is it?

Love your enemies. Our friends encourage us to “protect ourselves” or to “not love those who are difficult to love.” Are we to love them or not? “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27–28).

In this passage God is even clearer. He even admonishes those who love only the lovable: “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you . . . for if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?” (Matt. 5:44–46).

Leave room for the wrath of God. In the book that talks to us about being “tough” with our spouse, we are told to confront and to cause a crisis. In other words, we are to take matters into our own hands. What does God instruct us to do?

“. . . Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer . . . bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not . . . Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,’ says the Lord” (Rom. 12:12, 14, 17–19).

He uttered no threats. You may ask yourself “Why do I have to endure such suffering, and not even have the satisfaction of vengeance?” Read God’s explanation for your suffering:

“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps . . . and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him (God) who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:21–23).

Overcome evil with good. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink, for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:20–21).

Blessed are the meek. If you don’t take matters into your own hands and take a “tough” stand, others (even Christians), will tell you that you are a doormat. However, let me remind you whom Jesus said are blessed: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5). Jesus chose to lay down His life and allowed His enemies to seize Him. Are we to follow in His steps or not?

The righteousness of God. People may even remind you of an instance where Jesus turned over the tables in the temple. They will use this example to tell you that you have the “right” to be angry with others. God says He is a jealous God. Can we then also be jealous? “But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:19–20).

That you may not do the things that you please. When we have an impulse to do or say something to another that is anything but meek, we are walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit. “But I say, walk in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:17, 22–23). “And just as you want people to treat you, treat them in the same way” (Luke 6:31).

The kindness of God. It is deception to think that confronting and being unkind and firm will turn the other person around. If that worked, why would God use kindness to draw us to repentance? Sinners do not go forward to accept the Lord because they think that they are going to be criticized or chastised, do they? “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4).

No one will see the Lord. Another extremely important reason for your gentle and quiet spirit in dealing with your husband (or others) is that we are to let others see Christ in us. “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).

Don’t think that you can act kindly with your husband, but act horribly with your children, parents, or coworkers. God is watching and He is the one who will turn your husband’s heart. Nothing is hidden from Him. Let us not forget that He is looking at our hearts; therefore, even if you try to control your anger, He is looking deeper! You must “die to self.”

The ministry of reconciliation. We are to be ambassadors for Christ in reconciliation. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19).

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20).

Lest you too be tempted. The following Scripture is a warning to us when we are not gentle to others when they have sinned against us. “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1–2).

Lest the Lord see it and be displeased. Many women have been so happy to see their husbands “get what they deserve” when God punishes them with financial difficulties or other trials. Then they see their husbands’ situation turn around for the better. Why does this happen? “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and He turn away His anger from him” (Prov. 24:17).

Doers of the Word. It’s important that we learn the truth and agree with what we see in Scripture, but we must not stop there. “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves . . . Not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22, 25). “Therefore, to him who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

The error of unprincipled men. God has warned us that we should not listen to or follow men who tell us something contrary to Scripture. “Be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him . . . in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of Scripture, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .” (2 Pet. 3:14–18).

“Tough love” is wrong and totally contradicts the teachings and example of Jesus. Let us instead learn from Him who describes Himself as “gentle and humble in heart.” “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light” (Matt. 11:29).

 

Forgiveness

Only a woman with a heart that is gentle and quiet can forgive her husband. However, many women have been deceived and do not forgive their husbands because they don’t fully understand the grave consequences of their lack of forgiveness. Let’s search the Scriptures to see what God says about forgiving others. Here are some questions we should ask:

Q. Why should I forgive my husband or the others involved?

Christ also has forgiven you. We forgive because God forgave us. “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).

The precious blood of the covenant. Jesus shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins—even your husband’s sin! “All things are cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). “For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28).

Reaffirm your love for him. To relieve the offender’s sorrow. “. . . You should rather forgive and comfort him, lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him” (2 Cor. 2:7–8).

Let no advantage be taken of us by Satan. Satan can use a lack of forgiveness against you to take the advantage. “For if indeed what I have forgiven . . . I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Cor. 2:10–11).

Our Father will not forgive your transgressions. God said that He won’t forgive us if we don’t forgive others. “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matt. 6:14–15). “So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you do not forgive his brother from your heart” (Matt. 18:35).

Q. But shouldn’t the offender be sorry if I’m to forgive?

Father, forgive them. Those who crucified Jesus did not ask Him for forgiveness, nor were they sorry for what they were doing or what they had done. If we are Christians, we are followers of Christ; therefore we are to follow His example. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing”(Luke 23:34).

When Stephen was being stoned he cried out just before he died, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” (Acts 7:60). Could we do any less?!

Q. But how often does God expect me to forgive?

Seventy times seven. Many women exclaim, “But my husband has done this to me before, throughout our entire marriage!” When Peter asked how often he was to forgive, Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22). That’s 490 times for the same offense!

Remember no more. Does forgiveness really mean that I forget that sin, even in an argument, even in divorce? “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jer. 31:34). “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12). “Not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing” (1 Pet. 3:9).

Be prepared; Satan will try to bring up old transgressions in your mind even after you have forgiven. When he does you must forgive again. Many women, whose husbands have been unfaithful to them even after their husbands have returned home, have experienced “flashbacks,” almost like “spiritual” war trauma. They say they must continually, sometimes daily, forgive.

Q. How can I possibly forgive as God has asked me to do in His Word?

God alone. Only God can help you to do it. You must humble yourself and ask Him to give you the grace. “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7).

Ask. “. . . You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Ask God to forgive your husband through you as you yield to Him.

God gives grace to the humble. How do I get the grace I need? “God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Pet. 5:5–6).

Humbled their heart. How can I gain humility? “Because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; they stumbled and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses” (Ps. 107:11–13).

“I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer kept returning to my bosom” (Ps. 35:13). Sometimes it could be through illness that He quiets and humbles you. Don’t fight it—it is God working!

First be reconciled to your brother. When do I need to forgive those who have hurt me? Shouldn’t I feel convicted of it first? “If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matt. 5:23–24). If you have not forgiven another, especially your husband, you need to ask forgiveness.

Bitterness. Not forgiving someone causes bitterness. The definition of bitterness is “poison!” “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger . . . be put away from you” (Eph 4:31). Not forgiving another is eating at you, not the other person! “The heart knows its own bitterness” (Prov. 14:10). “For He knows the secrets of the heart” (Ps. 44:21).

A brother offended. Be sure that you follow scriptural guidelines. I have heard many who have said that things were actually worse when they did ask forgiveness or that it did no good. I can speak from experience. At times, when I have asked for another’s forgiveness, I have stated it the wrong way and further offended the other person. “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city” (Prov. 18:19).

Men pleasers. Be mindful that you may fool your husband but God knows your motives and your heart. “. . . But the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam.16:7). “. . . In the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eye service, as men pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Eph 6:5–6).

Every idle word. Prepare every word you say! Every word you say must be carefully chosen. “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind” (Prov. 18:2). “Every idle word that men shall speak they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36).

Try writing down what you are going to say. Then read out loud what you wrote, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and hearing it from his point of view. Did it sound accusing? Ask God to put the right words in your mouth and speak through you.

Many words. “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable” (Prov. 10:19). Only say what you did; don’t set the stage with something like,When you did this, and such and such, well then I . . .

He uttered no threats. If the other person starts to lash out at you, do not open your mouth except to agree. “And while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering He uttered no threats . . .” (1 Pet. 2:23).

Every idle word. The “prodigal son” prepared his words after his decision to return home: “I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men’” (Luke 15:18–19).

Make sure your words are sweet and kind every time you have an opportunity to see your husband! Remember that “sweetness of speech adds persuasiveness” (Prov. 16:21). “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Prov. 16:24).

Q. How can I be sure I have truly forgiven?

You will know and have the confidence that you have truly forgiven when your sin and weaknesses loom before your eyes so large that you are unable to see your husband’s sins and weaknesses. You will be blind to his past, present, and future failings.

When women write or talk about anything that their husband is doing wrong, I know that they are far from restoration. So many who have been seeking restoration see no progress because they have failed to take the full responsibility for the sins committed in the marriage that caused the separation, divorce, or adultery.

They, in error, want to “share” their part in it, which is to their own destruction. Jesus took the full and complete responsibility and bore all of our sins. We, too, must take all and bear all. Then, as believers, we can seek the Lord and lay the sins of the marriage at the foot of the cross, knowing the debt has been paid.

Also, if you still are irritated by what your husband says, does, or does not do, or worse, you become angry then you have not forgiven—anger is a deadly heart condition, which shows up in a trial.

Personal commitment: to desire and strive to be gentle and quiet. “Based on what I have learned in Scripture, I commit to do everything I have learned by being quick to hear and slow to speak, and to forgive those who have offended me and to do what I can to reconcile with those I have offended.”



If you are ready to make this commitment to GOD, by CLICKING HERE you've agreed, and are ready to document this part of your Restoration Journey in your "My Daily Journal" form.

Also, if you want to be paired with a LIKE-MINDED ePartner after your Rebuilding, be SURE to pour out your heart in EACH Journal.


PRAISE REPORT
from Salvation Stories

"Tough Love vs HIS Love!"

Several months ago God revealed to me that tough love was not biblical. I was seeking God for my 28-year-old son who is a VET and an alcoholic with PTSD. He was in Afghanistan over 5 years ago and was injured. The army pumped him full of narcotics when he was sent stateside from war, and he became an addict. Once they sent him home, without the drugs, he substituted pills for alcohol. For the last five years, he has been in and out of rehabs and the VA hospital. I was practicing tough love because that is what my family and the world was telling me I had to do for him to hit rock bottom. I loved him but from a distance. It was very hard, and he didn't seem to be getting better, only worse. Because of these lessons and my husband leaving me, I started seeking God on everything. When my son asked to come stay with me this last time I said: "Ok, but if you drink, you're out." He drank. I went to my knees to the Lord and asked Him what I should do. All I heard was "Just love him." I said "Lord I do love him, but should I kick him out?' Again I heard "Just love him." I got into God's word and tried to find something to support my kicking him out and using tough love. It wasn't there, and God kept telling me just to love him. I didn't kick him out, and he laid drunk on my couch for 7 days. I prayed for him nonstop and on day 7 he came to me and asked me to pray for him and told me he had decided to stop drinking and turn his life over to God. He was going through some major withdraws and came in my room many times that night asking for prayer and we cried out to God. I took him to the Hospital the next morning, and they kept him for four days. He has been home and sober— now for 3 weeks. God's love works. Tough love does not!

~ Miranda in South Carolina