The one you love, that one who stood and made a covenant with you to, “love, honor and cherish, 'til death do us part” has left. Your visions of a happy family and of a future together have been shattered. Two families each minute are being destroyed by divorce. This epidemic is reaching once-happy homes, leaving behind brokenhearted spouses and children.
Everyone seems to offer advice, but no one has a solution. Where do you turn? Who will help you? What do you do? Yes, you will survive. Yes, there is help available.
In 1985, my husband, Bob, became the Prodigal Son of our family, as he left his home, wife and three children, in an attempt to start all over again with someone new.
The hurt that followed cannot be described. Only one who's been there knows the emotions that follow separation. We experience, fear, rejection, anger, hopelessness, and yes, even a bit of hope.
That glimmer of hope became the foundation of my stand for a restored marriage. That stand for marriage restoration was fulfilled two years after our divorce was final. That day we stood in our pastor's office and were, once again, pronounced man and wife.
That hope for marriage restoration did not belong to our family alone. It is available for you. Yes, divorces do take place, but even more important, families are also being restored. Don't bury your marriage when there's still life in it. Granted, your relationship may need some resuscitation, as did ours a few years ago, but it can be healthy again.
DON'T LOOK AT CIRCUMSTANCES - Your circumstances may, as did mine, look impossible. There was another person involved. My husband wanted out. He was unwilling to work on our marriage. He had declared clearly, by word and deed, how little our family meant to him. Looking at circumstances would cause both you and I to give up. Look to the realistic hope of a restored marriage, not to that mountain of circumstances.
“ZIP THE LIPS” - Although it's a bit harsh, scores have found that to be good advice. Many a spouse have found the way back home made difficult by words strewn to others by a hurting and abandoned mate. Find one friend, of the same sex, one who will allow you to verbalize every hurt; one who will walk with you in confidence through this frightening valley. Share the details of your present mess of a marriage with this person alone.
DON'T TAKE SURVEYS - I was guilty, as are many others, of determining solutions to our marriage problems by taking surveys. Listen up, for God's direction, instead of listening around to other people. As you accept suggestions from others, you are allowing that person to live out your life for you. Additionally, no one can offer suggestions until they hear details, and you’re not sharing details.
KEEP A JOURNAL - Start today to write out your thoughts. Allow an inexpensive notebook to become your best friend; one who will hear every hurt and never make a comment. In the days ahead, you'll be able to look back and realize the progress that you've made in your stand for marriage restoration.
LIVE AS THOUGH MARRIED - Your spouse leaving home or even a divorce, does not validate your dating. Spend these days working on yourself instead of finding someone else. Many prodigal spouses have found the way home to be blocked by their mates having found someone else.
SEEK SUPPORT - There are ministries available to help you stand for marriage restoration, even when your spouse has no desire to work on the marriage. They focus on helping the offended party in a hurting relationship. These ministries can offer books, cassette tapes, testimonies of others and telephone encouragement to help you stand for your marriage.
LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY - Love your spouse with an unconditional love; a love not based on the actions of your mate. Love your spouse not because of what is being done, but regardless of what is being done. You can find the strength to continue to love when the conditions are put aside. I loved Bob even when he appeared most unlovable to the world. I loved him even when his actions were hurting our family. Unconditional love helped my prodigal find his way home.
TURN TO GOD FOR HIS HELP - The greatest help that's available for your marriage comes from God. When couples separate, one mate turns to God and the other usually turns away. Asking God for His solution will provide you more help than can be imagined. Since our remarriage, we have discovered from entries in my journal, and in Bob's diary, of the many time while we were divorced that my prayers were being effective in Bob's life.
TAKE HEART - Prodigals DO come home. During those early, hurting days of our separation, I did not know that on July 7, 1987, my husband would knock on my office window, invite me to go to lunch with him, and that I would return a couple hours later remarried to the husband of my youth.
I wish it were possible for me to put an arm around your hurting shoulders, give a hug, and encourage you to stand for your miracle as well. You and your spouse deserve better than the hurting world of divorce. Allow God to be your spouse for this season, as your marriage is being restored. He cares and I care. - Charlyne Steinkamp
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
A STANDER’S AFFIRMATION - I am standing for the healing of my marriage. I will not give up, give in, give out or give over 'til that healing takes place. I made a vow. I gave myself, I trusted God, said the words and meant the words ... in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad. I refuse to put my eyes on outward circumstances, or listen to prophets of doom, or buy into what is trendy, worldly, popular, convenient, easy, quick, thrifty or advantageous, nor will I settle for a cheap imitation of God's real thing. In a world of filth, I will stay pure; surrounded by lies, I will speak the truth; where hopelessness abounds, I will hope in God; where revenge is easier, I will bless instead of curse. I will allow neither the reaction of my spouse, nor the urging of my friends, nor the advice of my loved ones, nor economic hardships to make me let up, slow up, blow up or give up ‘til my marriage is healed! (Author Unknown)
...So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel. Malachi 2:15-16
ABOUT THE STEINKAMPS - Charlyne Steinkamp, along with her husband, Bob, are co-founders of Rejoice Marriage Ministries, based in Pompano Beach, Florida. The Ministry was birthed from their personal experience with separation and divorce, followed with remarriage to each other in 1987.
Bob and Charlyne have written eighteen books on marriage restoration. Thousands of Charlyne’s Bible teaching tapes go around the world each year.
Each day, Charlyne Cares, a free email devotional is prepared and sent to subscribers in many countries.
Rejoice Marriage Ministries sponsors two radio programs, God Heals Hurting Marriages, a daily five minute bit of encouragement, and Fight For Your Family, a weekly 30 minute Bible Study. Both can be heard on
There is help waiting for you from Rejoice Marriage Ministries. Contact them today. “When your marriage is falling apart, you may need an altar more than an attorney.” - Charlyne Steinkamp
REJOICE MARRIAGE MINISTRIES Post Office Box 10548 Pompano Beach, FL 33061 USA
(The above post is from the tract at Rejoice Ministries. It is also attached to this page and can be downloaded as a PDF file.
Please also Click Here To Join the Marriage Group at Prayer Request.com.)