Monday, 20 June 2016

Modern Day Samaritan Woman

Update: Interceding for My Broken Marriage

Hop - Scotching on Faith –

The anchor holds in the middle of the Storm.

Few things can test our faith more than when we have been called to stand in the gap for a loved one and despite many prayers, tears and seemingly  IN OUR OWN OPINION a lot of faith haven’t seen the desired results. We begin to question whether God has indeed given us the “mission” to stand in the gap. We begin to doubt ourselves, our faith and even start to come up with excuses as to why we may have misinterpreted Gods Will concerning our marriages.

Whatever we may feel, it’s important to understand and accept that the process of Godly restoration in our marriages is exactly that … a process and Father in His wisdom doesn’t only work on our prodigal spouse but in us as well.

How well do I remember the nights I would sit at His feet bemoaning one or other personal injury my spouse had inflicted on me, only to hear Father softly say, “I hear you but that is between him and I, Why don’t we talk about this instead?” While strategically placing his finger firmly on a character trait of my own that we had to address. I knew that nothing was going to change with regards my husband, until I had honestly faced the character flaw no matter how I tried to squirm out of it.

I quickly learned from that this process of standing the gap for someone else actually means starting with self-reflection and correction. I believe that I can honestly say that unless we are prepared to delve deeply into our own personalities and character traits first, we cannot expect that Father will assist us in “correcting” someone else’s character traits and flaws.

This is a difficult step, particularly when we feel we have been offended or hurt by a spouse or other prodigal, yet it has been my experience that nothing was going to change until I permitted Holy Spirit to highlight and expose areas in my own life that required illumination, correction and eradication all together.

I can clearly recall one such instance when I had the audacity to tell Father, “But you don’t understand!” Yes, I really did…It didn’t take me long to remember I was addressing the Omniscient Almighty Who clearly understood all too well…

So if you are called to stand in the gap for someone and to pray for a prodigal, prepare yourself to first address personal flaws before being directed by Holy Spirit into intercession and warfare on behalf of another.

The following are some of the more practical steps I learned along the way which may assist you if you are embarking on this journey of standing in for your spouse and a broken marriage.


1. Standing in for your broken marriage is a lonely walk. It is your marriage; therefore your commitment. Most of my well-meaning friends and family suggested that I should just move on instead of encouraging me to stand and fight on my knees. This is a time of true testing. How committed am I? How true were my vows? How pure was my love?


2. Find one or two trusted friends to assist you in prayer and encouragement. These friends should be of the same gender as you. When you are beginning this walk you are very emotionally unstable (particularly if your spouse appears to have moved on and having the time of their life without you), so you need some very safe and trusted friends who will assist you and support you. Befriending a person of the opposite sex and confiding in them regarding your emotions and broken heart is not advisable.

For one this could result in inappropriate feelings developing for this person or even vice versa (Which would defeat the purpose of standing in for your broken marriage). Secondly, your spouse would feel threatened by this friendship when he/she does return, creating unnecessary issues that will only add to the complexity of your marriage problems. Remember the issues that originally caused the marriage to break down are not going to magically disappear during this time of separation. They will still have to be addressed when your spouse returns. Therefore it certainly is better not to add to them with new issues.


3. Don’t discuss your spouse or what happened in a negative light with friends and even family. If you truly want your spouse back consider what they will be returning to. Do you want them to feel welcome in the home and family again or to always feel ostracised because family members know the ”dirt” and have already prejudged? Remember you love your spouse so your forgiveness will come easily, but not others who only focus on your pain.


4. Behave and live like a married person. The things you did and did not do prior to your separation are still applicable. If you truly are standing in for your broken marriage then you can’t live and behave like a single person. This is truly an either / or scenario. Either you want to remain married and will stand in the gap and pray while Father does the work of restoration or you want to be single and go out and behave like a single person. Once again the onus rests on you, as the person standing in the gap to be led by Holy Spirit, to live in a chaste and respectful manner (regardless of what your spouse is doing or not doing). Tit for tat never worked and never resolved anything.  This does not mean that you never go out at all. You can certainly socialize with your family and even with friends; just as you would have if your marriage was intact. However, there is a difference between socializing with family around a braai (barbeque) or attending a movie with friends and clubbing it out with people until the wee hours of the morning.


5. This is a lonely walk and it will take every bit of self – restraint not to give up and throw in the towel. I can tell you from experience that I had several “melt downs”, and several restarts, but Father is faithful and was there every step of the way. Trust and faith became my “key words”.


6. Do something that you like to do. Join a gym, prayer group, hobby circle, whatever you personally enjoy. This is now your opportunity to do that which you have always dreamed of doing. This provides an opportunity to get you out of the house, socializing with like-minded people for a few hours a week and provides an outlet for the loneliness.


7. Spend all your alone time in prayer, bible study and fellowship with God. His Word says Seek and you will find. This is so true. I found that my alone time soon became very treasured time spent with Father and I hardly noticed the time passing or that I was alone.


Restoration:

After several months of standing for my marriage, fighting off despair and trusting madly in God to bring about restoration, I can testify today that Father did just that. He restored to me my marriage and my husband. The reconciliation was as beautiful and special as I had always dreamed and I am eternally grateful.

However, we spend so much time day-dreaming and fighting for the success and restoration of our marriages that we don’t really think about the actual homecoming, which brings with it challenges of its own.

In my next blog post I will share how I prepared my home, heart and life for the return of my prodigal an also highlight some of the potential challenges that accompany the restoration.

Have you received an instruction from our Father to stand in the gap for someone?
Decide today to be obedient. He does not disappoint. There is no telling what your prayers will mean to your loved one.

Join us on face book – Come encourage and find encouragement in a group of like-minded people with similar struggles and hopes.


*Hugs* till next time.


Ari├ęte