When I came to Restore Ministries many years ago, I wasn't like anyone I'd read testimonies about in By the Word of Their Testimony. I was not broken. I was not abandoned. My situation was different from most who said they'd found How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage, which is why I questioned myself to know why I'd come to a fellowship meeting my friend had invited me to. Everything about my husband made me angry, resentful, and extremely bitter towards him so I really didn't want my marriage with my husband restored at all. Honestly, I just wanted to know how to change my husband. So I had searched everywhere for help, several support groups, paid for help from several marriage counselors (that I'd forced my husband to go to with me to). I'd read so many marriage books on marriage, addiction, codependency, just about everything I could find to help me solve the problems I was having with my husband. He was a horrible alcoholic and soon after we were married also became a drug addict (and I had suspicions was also dealing).

So when I came to the fellowship I honestly had had enough of him and of my marriage! Only a few days before me coming with my friend, I had thrown my husband out of our house just as I had done at least twice before. Then just a few days later he'd come back sorry, said he'd change, would promise to go to rehab again, so I'd let him come home. I had done everything humanly possible. I had followed everyone’s advice, what every expert said to do, but nothing changed this ongoing nightmare. Now looking back I'd have to say instead of getting better each time I would tell him to leave, when he'd return each time, things actually got much much worse. Then suddenly everything changed. At the meeting I was given a book that I read and began to learn the principles. The book was How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage. What that book said was different from anything else I had ever heard or read before.

Finally I learned that the reasons for my problems were completely different than what I had been told by everyone. I had been so totally indoctrinated in psychology and most Christian books that pushed unbiblical ideas. I had heard from people (claiming to be Christian) how to make him change, and yet no one had ever told me what was actually in the Bible. Some people quoted verses, but always to prove that tough love was the way to change someone, saying that somehow that was the loving way to act towards people when the Bible really says just the opposite. It was selfishness on my part. Me wanting my husband and my marriage to be what I wanted it to be.

After reading so many "Christian" books, that I later realized were filled with psychology, I knew I could no longer discern the truth of what was right or wrong. How a real marriage was supposed to be. It wasn't until I found the truth in How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage and I have to say at first the words became a sword, cutting through my heart, but thankfully it cut away all the lies. In this one book I learned about the danger of ruling over my husband, like when I had told him so many times to leave his own house! I learned the right way to win a disobedient husband, which is "without a word" not yelling, threatening or belittling him. I learned in the course I took, how to deal with a man who was bound to the sin of alcohol, which means he is not "addicted" to anything, but means he's a slave of sin like it says in Romans 6:16, “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” And this means only the Lord could set him free from the sins he's was bound to. It won't happen through threats or even rehab facilities. And the worst thing I finally learned (but just in time) was that by me forcing us to separate almost always leads to one or both people committing adultery on top of the stuff I was already dealing with! 

So instead of helping to fix our marriage, I'd slowly tore my house down by my own hands. It wasn't my husband who was destroying it and it really wasn't the alcohol or the drugs. It wasn't the friends he was hanging out with either. I was tearing my home down and with all my attempts at saving my marriage, I'd only made my life much worse. It actually took me just one week after getting the RYM book, after I had looked up every Bible verse that was listed in the book and marked each one in my own Bible, that I think I really knew and understood the truth. This was the same Bible I always carried, always referred to while the pastor preached, and always pointed to and yelled from when trying to make my husband change! I never realized I was a contentious woman until I'd read the contentious chapter. 

The contentious woman was still very much me only a few days after everything sunk in. I realized I could find NO Scriptural basis for the actions I'd taken in telling my husband to get out. So in my very angry state of mind, I called my church and demanded that my pastor tell me that what I had done was really the right thing to do. I'm sure I was actually screaming at my pastor to tell me! I just needed someone to tell me something different than what I was reading in RYM. He could give me no good answer. He said a lot and read at least two verses, but not one verse could justify anything that I read to him over the phone from the book. But even without him finding even one verse, he kept telling me I was doing the right thing. That I needed to keep my husband out of our home, for my sake and for my children's welfare too, and not to let him come home this time. That the mistake I'd made was letting him keep coming back.

In all my confusion, pain, and anger, I really was searching for the truth. And the Bible says whatever you seek you will find. Deep down I'd always wanted to know, but I had taken what everyone else said without ever going to the source. Going to God's word myself. After much soul searching, I knew what I'd read in RYM was the truth, so I finally called and asked my husband if he wanted to come back home. I believe me asking him back humbly was such a surprise but once he got back home, this time I'm happy to say, I gave him the respect as the head of the household and spiritual leader even though he hadn't yet changed. That was the turning point.

Let me say too that rebuilding our lives was not easy and it took so much longer than I wanted it to. But each day I could see our lives were becoming much more stable. About two months after my husband came back home he confessed to me that he had been toying with adultery, with a woman he'd met the second time I forced him to leave. Thankfully he'd been too high that it never happened, but I'm sure it would have if God hadn't intervened.

It's been more than nine years that I asked my husband to come back home and I am happy to say that he has been drug and alcohol free for close to eight years! My husband is even a deacon at a church near our new home. Though I am not involved in our church, very often someone from our church will send women over to meet with me. I get to share my testimony with them and they always leave with a How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage that I buy by the case because that's just $8 a book that I can sow into and help change lives. And because I also keep the case in my car, I go through all 25 very quickly. If I could say anything, I'd say, don't let your friends destroy their marriages or even strangers that you just "happen" to meet. Care enough to confess the way you were before finding RMI and before reading the RYM book. That's what I always do. Then if they're interested give them a book. Most are, but a few still want to blab on about their husband which is when I hug them and just pray they'll find the book when they're ready to know the truth. I'd also say, be sure to take time to study A Wise Woman with your daughters and nieces and even older women you know because it will help you stay changed. Be blessed.

~ Barb in New Jersey, RESTORED

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Restoration Journey and experienced a RESTORED MARRIAGE.