Proverbs 3: 5-12
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops, then your barns will be filled and overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Many people stop only after reading the first two verses, but it’s important to continue as it’s a door into God’s heart and character. I grew up without a strong male role model so sometimes it’s difficult to understand the role of what a father should do. For that matter, what the role of a husband is. At the time of this writing it’s been two years since my wife decided to leave. I fight for my wife even if she rejects it and doesn’t understand it first and foremost because this is how I have been guided by the Holy Spirit. And the same goes for my daughter. Had I left I can only imagine the potential abandonment issues she might have. But the second reason is I have been given a love for Maggie in abundance that’s overflowing. I don’t understand it. When she curses me and figuratively spits in my face I just shake my head and think about how “lost” she is. And that’s what makes me sad. Not the insults, but to know how hurt she is. How many people do you know that are blind to the truth of God’s love because they won’t trust God?
Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
If you do not have a reverence (fear) of God how can you have peace. People walking in sin will never be able to find that inner peace within. If there is continuous willful disobedience, how can there be peace? Maybe for a time you can find happiness, but you’re only fooling yourself as in a matter of time the lies built around false peace will crumble.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
Be extremely careful of the advice you take from people! While your friends might love you and try and give you their best advice, only God is the one you should be listening to. Filter everything! Be wise and discerning. One of my biggest advocates would have to be my Christian mother, but even I had to caution her and challenge her. She is human and fallible.
A wise woman strengthens her family, but a foolish woman destroys hers by what she does.
It takes two in a covenant relationship and I believe this verse spells it clearly… you are either strengthening your relationship or you are hurting it.
The Lord works out everything to its proper end- even the wicked for a day of disaster.
From day 1 I had solid advice that this was a spiritual battle and I was not truly battling Maggie. All I have hoped for was for the scales to come off her eyes and see God’s truth. But that’s the tough part about a hardened heart… “truth” is the last thing anyone wants to face. And so my worry has not been for the marriage so much as it’s been for Maggie’s soul. If you have someone hurting you intentionally keep in mind that same person is God’s child as well and God loves that person even more than YOU love them. And that’s the trick… trust that God loves your spouse much more than YOU so even when it seems nothing is happening, most times things are happening behind the scenes.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
This is why I fight. I have often wondered how people, even after having known the TRUTH of Christ, give themselves over towards sin. I cannot stop my spouse (and neither can you) from taking the path she has taken. The hardest part in all of this has been to watch her self-destruct. Of course she would never see it this way, because in her mind things “appear” to be fine. A lot of people have been on the outside looking in and tried to speak “truth” into her life. But the harsh reality is they have to be in a place (even if it’s wallowing in the slop with the pigs) to hear truth. I am reminded of the Prodigal Son story… this is no different. The grass looks greener on the other side until you get there. But that is the deception. And the consequences for this is so clear in the Bible. This is why I am in fear for and praying for my wife… because the consequences are eternal. And if I’m not praying for her.. who is?
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
I can’t help but think of the “sound” advice Maggie has gotten from her parents and High School friends. Even my daughter has said, “All of mom’s friends are divorced and have lives that are disasters… I don’t understand why mom listens to them.” What wise words from such a young girl. The Word of God is really your only guide. And everything else you MUST put a filter on. Even the people that love you can give you un-wise advice.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
The truth is no one likes a trial. How can you find “joy” in it? Having endured a prodigal wife for so long and having such blatant disregard for the marriage covenant shoved in my face for so long… it is ONLY God living in me that has gotten me this far. And that’s what this trail is all about.. trials can bring you closer to God. I say “can” because I could have very easily ran, said it’s over, I’m not going to do this, and just walked away. But I humbled myself before the Lord. I became sensitive to His will and not my own. And from that came a true trusting in the Lord. This is where the joy comes from… NOT in what circumstances you are in, but rather to know that whatever you are going through will build endurance and truth in God.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
This is my prayer for Maggie. I have had to sit and watch her heart harden, but I am worried for her health. Carrying the kind of bitterness and anger that she does will only end in destruction. I’ve watched Satan tighten his grip on Maggie, but with God there’s hope. God can change anyone.
1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Recognize that your fight is not with each other so much as it is with an enemy that is real. Satan doesn’t want you to know what is really going on. He is the father of lies. (John 8:44) But will come as an Angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) It is a real mine field out there with pitfalls and easy ways to be caught off guard. This is why we are to depend ONLY on the Holy Spirit for guidance. God wants the best for us and is looking out for us, but without Him to lead our path we will be lost.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you. 16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc; 17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.
In all this I have done my best to lean on God, be in step with God, and be humble before God. And even my non-Christian lawyer (after going to court several times and coming out in good shape) said to me one day, “You must have divine intervention on your side because every time we go in there (to court) it always swings your way!” I don’t know what my future holds, but I know this… so long as I am cautious to stay in line with God’s will for my life not letting pride or disobedience sway me, I know no matter what people try and do to me or say about me, God will lead me THROUGH it all and protect me.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
In all the trials I have had to endure for over two years now I came to the understanding that God was with me the entire way. No matter what you may be going through I have no doubt that God is with you as well. You just have to call on Him. But remember… God may be trying to to a great work in you as well and want you right where you are to help mold and shape you into His image. But God is always right there.
“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”
Peace is one of those things that I believe EVERYONE is looking for, and many people find it in the trappings of the world. But it is never lasting. Maybe you consider yourself a “good person” so you might think the term “wicked” does not apply. The truth is all of us that are living in sin, God sees us as “wicked”. There is no “grey area” with God. And you either ask God to forgive you of all your sins through Jesus, or you don’t. Maggie has been searching for “peace” for a long time. There are issues in her past that have never been handed over to God. And because there is no peace in her heart, Maggie will ALWAYS be in a constant search for this peace… and she may find it temporarily through work, or sex, or a new place to live, or our daughter, etc. And she will point the finger at everyone else blaming me, or anyone that she perceives as not agreeing with her. The Bible is so clear in this area… “THERE IS NO PEACE!” This is the deception and the trap that Satan wants us ALL to fall into.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is a follow up and contrast to what is said in Isaiah 48:22 and proof that there is only one way to peace. True and everlasting peace. In my walk, while I have had to dodge the trials and accusations of this fight for Maggie, it’s only when I read my Bible, or pray, or lean on God in any way that I find the peace to get me through this. And when I don’t, that’s when I worry and doubt.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
So few people really seek the truth and apply it to themselves. I myself have even been guilty of this. The only way to hear the truth of what God wants to tell you is to be humble. Let me repeat… YOU MUST BE HUMBLE TO HEAR TRUTH. Growing up in America and living overseas I can say first hand we are a nation of people raising our hands shouting, “Look at me!” Just look at TV shows like American Idol or Americas Got Talent. We are producing a generation of people with no humility. This is why the Bible says things like “Die to SELF!” So instead of us changing our thinking to what the Bible says, we twist what the Bible has to say or we take only pieces we like and discard the rest. Do not fall into this trap. I remember pointing out one time to Maggie Ephesians 5 and how spouses should treat each other. Maggie’s responded by saying, “Well that was good for those ‘old days’, but that doesn’t apply to today.” Incorrect! The more I read my Bible the more I understand this book is more relevant today than ever. But if you’re not reading it, how would you know?
2 Corinthians 4: 3-4
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.