Dec 2, 2013
I am so thankful to the Lord for your column.
My issue is this: I’ve been married to the same man for 29 years. We’ve been together for 36 years since 1976. In 2005, I was saved.
I have been working since the age of 15. I am 59 years old and my husband is 70 (he retired at age 52). I had to leave my job in November 2012 due to an illness. I have not worked outside of the home since and have been collecting disability since June 2013.
I also am not driving. My physical therapist has been working with me since February 2013, and now feels that I can drive around the neighborhood. My husband is adamant that I do not drive, because he says now I will go to church, visit homebound people, and knock on doors. I love the Lord and He is first in my life, but all the peace goes away in my home when I try to be around other believers (my husband does drive me to a friend’s house and they take me the rest of the way to church on Sunday and they take me home).
He also has a problem with tithing. He and I have been at odds with this for many years. I tithe $25.00 per week to my church, and my husband allows this. I know you must be thinking that he is controlling and you are right. I pray about this and try to talk to my husband, but he cannot have a conversation about anything relating to the Lord. He lashes out immediately. This morning I told him I was driving in the neighborhood and felt like a rebellious teenager responding (reacting, really) to a controlling parent.
This has been going on for years, and it has gotten much worse since I’ve been saved. I hope you have time to answer even if its not printed.
I’m sure you are busy with so many others.
I know the Lord wants us to have peace. And Jesus is first in my life. I’m very confused. Please give me your opinion. Thanks and God bless you for your ministry.
Your sister in Christ,
Marcie (coping with unbelieving husband)
I am so sorry it has taken me this long to respond to your letter. Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful spirit. I do get a lot of letters, and welcome them all. One person’s letter (story) can help many others, and in that way this column is a joint effort to bring glory to God and encourage one another to keep standing for and with God regardless of our circumstances. You are very understanding because we are incredibly busy at RR. We have a half-million readers per month. You have the right, gracious attitude.
The confusion you are feeling is natural. You were saved about nine years ago and your husband was not. Now there is a wedge is in your relationship. And even before that it sounds like he did not treat you very well. Have you ever heard someone say that once you come to Christ you will be persecuted for righteousness sake? Yes indeed, you are being persecuted. Unfortunately it is in your own home and from the man you would hope to trust with all your heart—your husband.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
It sounds like you are handling your situation well and you are calling out the issues with your husband in a balanced way, despite the fact that he has been a constant thorn in you side. You come from a gentle spirit of hurt, concern and disappointment (which of course is very understandable). Evidence that the Spirit of God is operating within you is shown by your approach to this matter, by your godly demeanor.
I get so many letters from people with very serious problems and those who are unassuming and polite are clearly walking with the Lord despite all the difficulties they endure. You are in a tough and unpleasant situation, but you obviously do not have victim mentality. You are not lashing out demanding anything. You are thoughtfully stating your case in an attempt to get peace about your situation. That places you in a position of hope, which will reap positive and practical results.
Even with your disability (illness) you are trying your best to get out there and serve the Lord—while dealing with your husband’s disdain for the Him. It is evident from what you are saying that you are getting through your life as best you can while being obedient to the Lord. Since you read my column you know there are many others who are in similar situations with unsaved spouses.
Of course that does not make your situation any easier. When we are unequally yoked there is always underlying tension. Nothing really flows smoothly. The gospel is viewed as foolishness and the unbelieving spouse thinks of the believer as a problem instead of a blessing (1 Corinthians 1:18).
I think in your case you are already doing what you can as far as being around other believers and getting support from like-minded people. That alone is a tremendous blessing. So many Christians are desperately seeking good churches and people they can fellowship with, those who are truly devoted to the Lord.
Tragically, your husband is in a very tough spot since he is so against the Lord. His future is very frightening unless he gets saved and I am sure that fact must grieve you time and time again. But never give up praying for his salvation. And the effect on you is that you get little or no love and from a man who is addicted to controlling you instead of someone you should be able to lean on and feel safe with.
Remember Paul who was Saul and how he mercilessly persecuted Christians before his Damascus Road experience? We always have hope in Christ even when it looks like nothing in the world could ever bring an unbeliever to his or her knees to receive the Savior. Please read Paul’s epistles often and the book of Acts, and keep in mind the cruel anti-Christian that he once was only to be totally redeemed by the Lord. He became one of the greatest, most productive men in biblical history. The life of Paul should give us all hope no matter what problems we face.
You sound like a precious lady and I am so sorry that you are in such a frustrating situation. As far as your issue with the driving, I suggest that you speak to your doctor or his secretary and explain that your husband is not encouraging you to take the steps you are to start driving again. Ask for a letter explaining that it is okay for you to drive now. Perhaps if your husband sees it in writing from your doctor he will stop fighting you on the matter. It is worth a try.
Marcie, you have lived with your husband for a very long time. You have worked hard throughout your entire life. You are a person who lives responsibly. And you have the Lord. He is number one in your life, as He should be. In His strength and His grace you can handle whatever time is left here on this earth and deal with your husband.
No, it won’t be easy (you know that all too well) but your rewards in heaven will be worth it all. Your cross to bear is not a pleasant one and short of a miraculous intervention it is unlikely your husband can be reasoned with at this time. Praying for him faithfully is the best approach. The Lord does want us to have peace in our lives but that peace does not come from our outward circumstances, but from our relationship with Him.
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:12-14, 16).
And rejoice Marcie, knowing that we are very close to the Lord’s return. The intense wayward condition of this world is pointing to His soon return. The signs, the birth pangs Jesus warned about are steadily increasing in intensity. One day in the not too distant future He will call His church home in the Rapture. You will finally be free of your life of restriction, emotional and verbal battering. I would not be surprised if your husband gets a wake-up call once we are gone. Scripture is very clear that multitudes will get saved during the Tribulation, as extremely rough is it will be on them, and most will be martyrs.
Keep Jesus—our blessed hope—in your heart and mind as you go through each day. When your husband throws those verbal daggers your way realize he is very lost and really has no idea how broken his life is. You are in a spiritual battle at home because of his unbelief and his selfish behavior. At least you can tithe weekly (although it is an issue for your husband), and you do get out to church regularly. Never mind that he is all bothered by it. Do what you have to do.
Anything we do for the Lord is considered to be foolishness by an unbeliever, or a weak crutch at best. They really don’t get it. They are too absorbed in themselves and the ways of the world. They do not have the Holy Spirit residing within them ministering to them. They would rather hang onto their own selfish concept of living and not take the Bible seriously.
Keep asking the Lord to give you the grace to keep moving forward. The fact that your husband drives you part way to church is something, at least. Let’s pray that one day (soon) he will drive you there all the way and go in with you and that the Holy Spirit with touch his heart and his miserable attitude will become a loving one.
One thing you can do to make your life at home more bearable is to create a place where you can go and be alone, a private place where you can read and study your Bible, worship the Lord and pray. Hopefully a room you can have to yourself. Make it a special place where you can spend time with the Lord without your husband yelling and scowling.
And whenever your husband starts ranting about something he does not like, don’t get into a verbal exchange with him. If he is standing in front of you carrying on go directly to the Lord, silently in prayer, and calmly leave the room as soon as possible. Your husband does not own you like some sort of slave whom he can order around. One thing you should make clear to him is that you need to be treated with respect. You could calmly say, “I am not asking you to accept my faith for yourself, but I am asking you to be respectful of my faith and treat me with respect.”
The only other alternative is to separate from him if things get even worse (and I don’t mean divorce) but I don’t think after so many years together that would be the best solution. Only you, your pastor and by seeking the Lord’s guidance, can you come to that conclusion if need be.
Once we are truly born-again so many things become evident in relationships and lifestyles that we may have gone along with previously. The closer we get to the Lord the painful reality of the intense darkness around us in this world becomes more obvious. The Lord wants us to work things out in marriage and in your case the less you say, the better. Make peace within yourself by fully acknowledging that your husband’s controlling behavior may never change, even though it is very unfair—this is how it is. And then do your best to stay focused on the great eternal future you have with the Lord.
If it gets to a point where your husband becomes more controlling and rude definitely speak to your pastor about what his opinion is on any possible options for you. It is a given that your husband will probably not talk to your pastor (considering his attitude).
If you have any family members you could live with and feel like part of the family, and not an outsider—that might be an alternative. But my overall feeling is that you are probably better off not going anywhere unless the situation gets even worse. For example if he starts forbidding you to go to church and outwardly practice your faith.
As I said before, trying to reason with your husband does not seem like a possibility, at least for now. Try your best to focus on all the blessings you do have and try not to have any expectations of him. I know that is hard because as women we want to be able to share our hearts and lean on our men, and feel safe.
But you do have Jesus, King of the universe and you are safe with Him. You can talk to Him. Fill your mind with His Holy Scriptures and by doing so you will be strengthened. He has promised never to leave or forsake us. And keep an ongoing dialogue with other believers who understand your need for love and acceptance.
The longer I am alive the more I realize that every hardship is meant to bring us into a deeper and more authentic relationship with the Lord. The heartaches, the losses, the disappointments are all part of our growth causing us look to Him for our every need and not to the world. He wants us to be God-dependent and not people-dependent. We can choose to be bitter and useless to God and others. Or choose to move forward in faith depending on the Lord to work things out in our lives, and all to His glory.
Keep praying Marcie and ask the Lord to move in your life in a way that you will be able to serve Him—without your husband getting outraged and acting like a self-centered bully. And never underestimate the power of God when it comes to reaching others. Keep those prayers going for your husband’s deliverance and whatever you, do not blame yourself for his controlling behavior.
And even when he is gruff with you, when the moment is right, take him a fresh cup of tea or one of his favorite snacks and give it to him with a smile. The smile is from your heart for the Lord, and in this way you are stepping above your circumstances. Small acts of loving-kindness can sometimes go a long way.
And you know that Jesus has overcome the world and this world is only temporary. I seem to be saying that a lot lately. Hold on to God’s promises and try not to get too caught-up in your husband’s negativity. Jesus has carried you this far. He will continue to carry you and love you. Stay in the Word and although your husband may not change, your strength comes from praising the Lord and serving Him.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).
Keep your life in perspective in relation to where you stand as child of the living God. Although we have trials and tribulations in this life, more than we think we can stand sometimes, we are on our way to eternal glory. Sometimes it does hurt to the point of deep sorrow—to live day by day in a situation where the person you took marriage vows with is living a life of self-centered misery, and treating you like an afterthought.
All your pain and heartache can be used for God’s glory. Jesus suffered tremendously so we can have the gift of eternal life. I don’t know anyone who does not have some sort of daily challenge. We are to trust and look to Him and get peace as a result of being controlled by the Holy Spirit:
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, doall in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Hang on Marcie. We are going home, soon. Hang on for a while longer and continue to do what you are doing, and know that we will not be here much longer in this very dark, vicious fallen world. In the meantime, knock on those doors and keep spreading the gospel. You are not a lost child who has to account for how you go through your day, and you have every right to practice your faith.
Stay in the Word and in prayer, and the Lord will strengthen you. (There is power in the Word: Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12). God can break through your husband’s hardened heart in His own timing and depending on your husband’s willingness to yield. When we call on Jesus truly all things are possible.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).
And if your husband wants to continue being difficult, tell him you love him—but keep on walking with Jesus. Smile lovingly as you walk out the door to reach others for Christ. And walk tall!
God bless your, dear Marcie. Never hesitate to write and reach out again.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Nov 25, 2013
I enjoy reading your great column and your detailed biblical responses and so does my wife. I am generally a happy person, and committed to the Lord and my family. My wife and I have been married for 18 years and we have two boys (12 and 14). I wonder if you can suggest how I can be even more joyfully committed to the Lord. We go to a good church but sometimes I find myself drifting away from God, spending time with my unsaved buddies and not quite being where I need to be as the leader of my family. My wife is a great person and I want to do better for her and our kids. I am also confused about what it means to meditate.
Thank you for any suggestions and insight you might have.
I am very happy to hear that you are interested in strengthening your faith and leading your family in a more consistent focused way. Here is my first suggestion. We’ll take it straight from Scripture, from Psalm 1:
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
The word “blessed” could be translated “happy” or “joyful.” The way to be happy and joyful is plainly seen in Psalm 1. The psalmist makes it clear that we can have an abundant, joyful Christian life by doing three things:
1. “Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [ungodly].”
That is, we should not take the advice (counsel) of the humanistic society of the day; people who do not consider the true God of the Bible in every aspect of their lives.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that” (James 4:13-15).
James is saying that the blessed (happy) person will steer clear of the human behavior philosophy of today—which says, “Do your own thing” or “If it feels good, do it.” Instead we should heed the Lord’s guidance in all we do, according to His perfect will. To able to discern His guidance we must be in tune with Him through a regular prayer life and the comprehension of His written Word by carefully studying the Bible with the leading of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26).
2. The psalmist says, the blessed (happy) man does not “stand in the way of sinners.” This means we live a disciplined life. We realize that there are two ways, which we can choose to live: The fleshly worldly way or the spiritual way. A joyful person seeks to live on the spiritual level.
“For all thatis in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:16-17).
Happy, joyful Christians who do not “stand in the way of sinners” realize that though we are children of God, we are still living in the flesh and that Satan tries to excite that flesh in many different ways. The apostle Paul said:
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
In the next three verses Paul shows that there is a much higher level – the happy, joyful level which the Christian should seek to live, as you are seeking, Kevin:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:22-24).
Paul’s disciplined living is seen in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bringit into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
3. The child of God will never “sit in the seat of scoffers.” The scoffer is the one who casts doubt and mocks the truthfulness of God’s Word. The scoffer or scorner is one who makes a myth out of the early chapters of the book of Genesis. He or she laughs at the idea that the universe and mankind are direct creations of God. Scoffers cannot accept God’s miracles of the Bible. So, the person who lives the happy joyful Christian life will be one who readily accepts and believes the entire Bible as the revealed Word of God, and has no trouble whatsoever accepting it as the true and accurate Word of God.
As we study Psalm 1, the psalmist goes on to show that it is not enough not to do certain things, but there must be some positive things that are brought into our lives by focusing on the Word of God continuously:
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2).
What David emphasizes in Psalm 1 is so clearly expressed in Romans 12 where God, first of all, tells us to offer our bodies:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
The Lord wants us to give Him our everything—our minds, emotions, ambitions, all of what and who we are. We can do this by regenerating and renewing our minds though meditating on God’s Word:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
The psalmist says:
“Happy is the man who meditates on the law of the Lord day and night.”
And Paul says:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The way to renew our minds is through purposeful prayer, by reading and studying (mediating) on God’s Word. I am not talking about the passive, emptying of the mind or repetitive mantra types of meditation used by various cults, religions and philosophies. These types of meditation are not of God but are accepted and hyped by much of the world today. Emptying the mind of everything is a dangerous process. Jesus Himself described the danger in doing that in Matthew 12:43-46:
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
The words spoken by Jesus describe what can happen to a person who empties their mind and creates an opening for demonic spirits to enter, using the repetitive types of “meditation” by uttering a name (mantra) or specific words. This is nothing less than a form of mind-control (brainwashing), mind-numbing techniques that can open up a gateway for demonic activity.
Meditation in the Bible is exactly the opposite. It is setting one’s mind on the truth of the Word of God, a conscious and deliberate action focusing on God’s Holy Scriptures with a heart of devotion and purpose. The word meditation can be confusing because of the way the New Age cults and other non-Christian groups use it. But mediating the biblical way is a must in order to grow as a believer.
When you do this, Kevin, you will find your leadership qualities at home sharpening and you will find your unsaved “buddies” less and less interesting. Instead of doing whatever they are doing with them, you will find yourself talking to them about the risen Savior and one of two things will happen: They will listen and come to faith in Christ at some point or they will stop including you in their lives. If they begin to cool off the friendship because of your faith—you are better off without them.
As believers we are not to make the unsaved our close friends. Our role is to witness to them and love them but not partake in their inner circles (2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 15:13).
“And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:15-17).
The best antidote to worldliness and our quest to grow closer to God─is to give our all to Him by meditating on and even memorizing His Word, and praying with a heart of worship and gratitude. Stay close to Jesus and He will stay close to you. I also suggest that you and your wife together get involved in some sort of ministry at your church (since you mentioned that you go to a good church). You can be a blessing to many by giving of yourselves to others.
The more we share God’s love by giving of ourselves; the more joyous and fulfilled our own lives will become. Many good pastors have an overload of work and responsibilities but not enough people to pitch in and help. Perhaps you should ask your pastor what you and your wife can do that would benefit your church the most. And be sure you are part of your church’s men’s group fellowshipping with other men who love the Lord. The fact that you are reaching out and want to grow more in the Lord is a wonderful testimony showing your love for the Him and your family.
Spend some time together regularly with your family at least two or three times each week, reading and studying the Bible together as a family. Make it a fun time by sharing God’s Word together. Include creative ways to share some good DVDs on Bible prophecy relating to today’s news. Lead your family in a way where they can see how that biblical prophecies are being fulfilled right before of our eyes. Search the Scriptures together.
Encourage your family by reminding them that this world is but a vapor, and the world to come when Jesus rules and reigns during the 1000-year millennium will be so spectacular that it cannot even be explained or understood by our limited human minds. All the troubles and concerns that we have now here on this earth will be totally gone, forever. Encourage your boys to pray together, and spend time with your wife praying with her. You could also start a small youth ministry in your home, which would be great for your boys.
I think far too many people think of spending time with the Lord as dessert; maybe going to church once a week, reading the Bible here and there when it is convenient. We need to think of doing the Lord’s work and growing in His Word as the main course, every day of our lives. We should hunger to learn more about Him and enthusiastically share His Word with the unsaved world in these last days.
I encourage you to carefully and thoughtfully “meditate” on the following Scriptures to strengthen and guide you as you delve deeper into your commitment with Christ:
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9).
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).
“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies aremy meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts.
I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:97-104).
All Scripture isgiven by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
“My eyes are awake through thenight watches, that I may meditate on Your word” (Psalm 119:148).
“I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” (Psalm 119:16).
God bless you, Kevin, and let me know how you are doing as you move ahead taking new steps to invigorate your relationship with Christ, and as you lead your family forward in family devotions—giving glory to our faithful and awesome Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
In God’s love,
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
Nov 18, 2013
I have been wondering about this, can revival happen? I mean as in national revival? Because in the Bible God would send prophets to speak out, or warn the land about judgment, and God would usually tell the nations if they would come back to Him. I believe that even though the “United States” isn’t in the Bible I believe it would have talked about revival just like it was with other nations. I’m sorry I don’t have Scripture to provide. Anyways I hope you answer!
We are now in a period where mankind is on a dangerous downward spiral and the U.S. is in great spiritual trouble. The Word of God does talk about a great future worldwide revival, which would include the United States, but not before the Rapture. Jesus said that the days just before the Rapture would be like the days just before the Great Flood of Noah’s time. Remember what the Bible says about those days? It was a very wicked time. Noah himself preached a message of repentance for 120 years—and did not get a single convert.
Jesus also reminded us in Luke 17:26-30 that in Noah’s day, people kept on doing what they were doing, living normal lives without regard to God. He also compared the last days before the Rapture to the last days before the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, a time of unrelenting evil and disregard for God’s commandments. Were they days of revival? No. If there was a single great sin that was common to both Noah’s and Lot’s contemporaries, it was exactly what the church at large is doing today: with Christ’s return getting closer every day the majority continue to live normal everyday lives, doing pretty much whatever they want – instead of what God wants.
The apostle Paul confirmed this. He wrote in 2 Timothy that there would not be a great worldwide revival before the Rapture, but rather that men shall be as wicked as in Noah and Lot’s time:
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Clearly what Paul described is not a picture of revival. Paul described the church in the last days as “having a form of godliness but denying its power.”
The prophet Isaiah tells us that Israel is destined to lead a worldwide revival during the Tribulation. Isaiah 24 is a mini-version of Revelation 6 through 10, describing the “apocalypse” or the period of time after the Rapture known as the Tribulation. The first part of the chapter shows us a terrible time for mankind in a world laid waste. But then Isaiah describes a sudden change – a lovely outpouring of praise from a great number of people. Isaiah 24.14-16a:
“They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; for the majesty of the LORD they shall cry aloud from the sea. Therefore glorify the LORD in the dawning light, the name of the LORD God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: “Glory to the righteous!” [Or the Righteous One.]
Since all true born-again believers will have already been caught-up in the Rapture, who will lead this revival? In Revelation 7, John gives us the answer. Just before chapter 7 begins, John gives us a description of events in the first quarter of the Tribulation (or, the first year and nine months of the seven-year Tribulation). Six “seals” are opened, unleashing terrible judgments upon the earth.
But then, as chapter 7 begins, the situation starts to change. The torture of the earth is called to a halt. Then in verses 2 and 3, an angel “having the seal of God” cries out to the other angels:
“Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, til we shall have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”
Who are the servants this angel is talking about? John tells us in the very next verse:
“And I heard the number of them that were sealed, a hundred and forty and four thousand sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel” (Revelation 7:4).
They are Jews -- children of Israel, coming from each of the 12 tribes. And their total number is 144,000. And their purpose is to accomplish an astounding mission: worldwide revival.
“After these things [after the Jewish evangelists are saved or “sealed”] “I saw, and behold [the result of their ministry] a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and people and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a great voice, saying Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb (Revelation 7:9-10).
John has described a huge group of people – and not just Jews, but people, “of all tribes and peoples and tongues.” This is a worldwide multitude. The 144,000 Jewish evangelists have gone out and evangelized the world. The Bible tells us that this group will come before the Throne of God, worshipping Him!
“These are they that came out of the great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14).
This is a worldwide revival. Israel will lead the revival. We must pray and work to win souls now, but the great results will occur during the Tribulation, as a direct result of the work of the 144,000. With this is mind we must keep witnessing to the Jews, to Israel as a priority, declaring the truth of the Messiah to them and paving the way for the coming worldwide revival.
How will the 144,000 Jewish evangelists win the world to Christ?
Those left on earth during the Tribulation will know that they are in the Tribulation. Revelation 6:16-17 tells us they will know their torment is coming from God and will cry out for help. The 144,000 will be there to preach the gospel, to minister divine relief to the suffering souls. People will be ready to listen to them – much more so than they listen to the gospel today.
God’s commandment to us is to be concerned, to take part in advance in the coming great worldwide revival. In 1Timothy 2:1, Paul wrote about one of the ways we are to take part is through prayer:
“I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men.”
Note that Paul specifies all men – this includes those who need Christ in the future. We are to pray every day for the preaching of the gospel; which will take place during the Tribulation. All believers today can actually have a part in the coming worldwide revival by praying for it now.
Another way to prepare for this great worldwide revival is to reach others with the written word, literature. When God wanted to give us His Word in a form that could be passed down from generation to generation, He chose to use the written word.
After the church is caught-up in the Rapture, books and literature will still remain on earth. How the 144,000 will be given the gospel could well be through literature left behind, Scriptures taken directly from the Bible, or the Bible itself. Some people have suggested that the 144,000 will be saved “miraculously” but we cannot be sure. But they will be “sealed” miraculously, but as believers we are called to share the gospel:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek [Gentile]” (Romans 1:16).
Not even the apostle Paul was saved “miraculously” or directly by the Lord, without having heard the Word. Before Paul had the amazing Damascus Road experience he had been present at the stoning of Stephen – and he heard a powerful sermon embodying the gospel from the martyr himself. He has also had plenty of contact with believers during the years he spent persecuting them. It is likely that many of them shared the gospel with him.
The Bible declares: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Hearing the gospel works to bring the unsaved to salvation in Christ at some point. Sometimes it takes a lot of listening before the truth sinks in. Since the Lord has commanded us to be partakers in spreading the gospel, it is very important to minister to the Jewish people since they will be leading the preaching of the gospel during the Tribulation. Their eyes and hearts may not be open now, but many will open up then. It is up to each believer to do whatever possible to help spread the gospel, not only for the time before the Rapture, but also to prepare to reach those who are left behind. We should be dedicated to serving the Lord in this way.
Jayda, your interest in whether there will be revival shows that you are thinking of those who need to hear and accept the gospel. One person can make a huge difference and I encourage you to reach out to others and pray with conviction taking into consideration what has been discussed in this letter. Time is short. Each day we see signs of the coming Tribulation. As believers, let’s all inspire one another to keep our focus on the Lord’s work and not get caught-up in the distractions of life that can keep us from giving our best to the Lord in these last days.
God bless you!
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2).
Nov 11, 2013
I have a question and no one else I can ask. I feel very alone on this issue and frankly the struggle is making me hard to live with (and that’s just for me).
For a long time I have been hearing that there is “more of God” to be had; that a walk in the supernatural with God is completely legal and available to every Christian; that we too can be filled with power from on high (Luke 24:49). I have prayed and asked and hoped for this for myself for a long time, and nothing has happened; it appears that God’s answer to this request is “No.” I have numerous friends who are very “connected” to God and who state that they literally have visitations to the Throne Room; who experience visitations from the Holy Spirit and that God speaks to them daily. Not so for me.
I am now wondering if perhaps this is only meant for certain people whom He has called for a higher purpose, such as teaching, apostleship, etc. and not for the likes of me, as I appear to be called to nothing. I am further wondering if the idea that it IS for the likes of me is at best mistaken and at worst satanic, because right now my failure to receive this has got me feeling rather like God’s little red-headed stepchild.
And I have been fighting off disappointment, and things like, “See, God doesn’t really love you, or He would do this for you and answer your prayer,” or “Don't you think you’re being presumptuous, asking for that stuff anyway, as sinful and unworthy as you are?” Or, “Obviously there is no plan for your life for which this would be useful, or it would have come by now,” and all that smells like an attack of the enemy to me.
I used to be joyful in the Lord, but I am not anymore, and in fact am rather depressed. I can only think that the whole idea about “more of God” is from the enemy since his goal is to steal our joy, if he can’t turn us from our faith entirely to render useless for God. Do I need to just accept that what I have of God is all there is, at least for me, and move on? Or am I wrong? Should I keep pursuing “more of God” even though right now it feels like striving after wind? The whole situation feels like unrequited love, much like the teenage girl passionately in love with the football captain (who barely knows she’s alive and only occasionally acknowledges her existence).
I should probably mention that I have just come off of what I know had to be an attack of the enemy - I went a whole week where something bad happened to me every day (flat tire, computer catching on fire, getting locked out of the house, etc.), and then the week following that, something interfered with my sleep every single night so that by the end of the week I was physically exhausted. He’s obviously after me for some reason or afraid of me, or both, although I have no clue why he finds lowly little me to be such a threat.
Thank you for your consideration, I appreciate your time.
Crushing on God (to no avail)
Dear Crushing on God,
Your letter is very heartfelt. Many professing Christians have claimed that they have a “special blessing” or “second blessing” from God. Some of the things they claim they have been blessed with are visitations from Jesus, special insights into Scripture, revelations of the future and about other Christians, and the ability to see into the spirit world.
That is not to say that there are not many strong, solid believers who are led by the Holy Spirit and can glean guidance and insight into things. But the pomp and circumstance, the flamboyant so-called miracles are quite questionable. I think if God showed up in my bedroom and started talking to me I would be flat on my face in awe, rendered speechless.
On the Internet there are hundreds of so-called prophecies, visions, “letters from Jesus” and all kinds of claims of supernatural visitations from the Lord. Most of the prognostications fail proving that these claims were not from God after at all. Impressive testimonies of previously bored Baptists who suddenly became electrified with a “special anointing” and are legitimized by fringe groups. Many people are deceived by those who stand before the world claiming they have a fast track to God that other believers don’t.
If we read and study the methods used by even non-Christian cults, similar experiences take place where emotions run high and strange, emotionally charged events take place. These same dynamics have crept into the church over the past many decades and in a sense create spiritual terrorism—where some believers are made to feel that they are inferior to others (to those who have the so-called special impartations/experiences).
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
I would advise you to be very careful about fellowshipping with people who rely on emotional experiences and signs and wonders. The devil has power and can appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He has a lot of counterfeiting going on designed to mislead people and make them think that what is being done is in God’s name. But in reality what is being touted as a message from God, etc., can stem from demonic influences. Not everyone who thinks they are delivering messages from God are doing so, but rather sharing ideas from their own imaginations or from a spirit that is not of God. Consider the following Scripture:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS’”(Matthew 7:21-23).
It is possible that some of the people you are fellowshipping with or thinking of, may be the ones Jesus prophesied about. Notice the three things those people boast of in the passage in Jesus’ warning: Prophesying, casting out demons and performing miracles. We know that there is a lot of deception in the world and we are all involved in a massive spiritual battle. Satan is extremely crafty and he goes out of his way to try to mislead us and pull us away from the true living God of the Bible. Numerous charlatans exist. The test of a true prophet is that their predictions come true one hundred percent of the time.
Scripture is often misinterpreted. One common misinterpretation is taken from the book of Joel. Many professing “prophets” try to use what Joel wrote to support their claims. The Lord was speaking directly to Jewish believers regarding dreams, visions and prophecies. Follow the next few paragraphs:
Scripture indicates the astonishing battle of Ezekiel 38 and 39 will take place before the prophesied Tribulation, opening up tremendous opportunities to share the Word of God. After this battle a large segment of Israel will be saved (converted) and the nation of Israel will turn back to Jehovah God after having rejected Him for over 2,000 years. The Holy Spirit will be poured out on them bringing about a revival in Israel fulfilling the prophecies of Joel 2:28b-29, double referenced in (Acts 2:17-18) when the Jews will prophesy, dream dreams and see visions. In verse 29 Joel wrote: “And also upon the servants and upon handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.”
Joel is speaking about the Millennium in verses 21-28a, and then halfway through verse 28 he switches to the time prior to the Rapture and the Tribulation. The Joel 2:28b-29 prophecies are directed to the nation of Israel—to the Jews. It should be noted, earlier in verse 23, Joel’s prophecies are specifically to the nation of Israel, to the “children of Zion.”
In verses 28-29 he is still making reference to the “children of Zion.” These prophecies are about God pouring out His Spirit upon Jews. In the New Testament Peter takes an application of these passages in Acts 2:17-18. 
The gauge for a true prophet, all found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, distinctly indicate that those prophets who did not meet strict qualifications could not profess to the rare distinction of being true prophets of God.
Scripture is very strong in admonishing those who add their own interpretations and revelations outside of the doctrine of Christ and create new doctrines:
“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9).
The previous verse lays the foundation that those who belong God are faithful to the Word of God by abiding in the doctrine of Christ. Those who do not stay within the parameters of God’s Scriptures do not have God.
In verse 10, below, it becomes clear that anyone who teaches doctrines outside of God’s Word should be rejected.
“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him” (2 John 1:10).
A teacher who proclaims various doctrines is shown to be true or false based on whether he or she abides within the teachings of the Word of God.
Error and Greed:
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself” (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
All true born-again believers are totally sufficient in Christ and do not need anything else to live a godly and fruitful life. Through God’s redemptive saving grace and His Word, a believer is complete and no further “experiences” need to be attained to be fully abiding in the Lord:
“All Scripture isgiven by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
We should be more concerned with giving our all to the Lord and not getting “more” of Him. As we give more of ourselves to the Lord through consistent Bible study and an ongoing prayer life we will get closer to Him. Your ability to discern truth from lies will get stronger as you grow in the Word. The more you study and read, the clearer you will get on the Lord’s teachings. The Holy Spirit will teach you (John 14:26).
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8a).
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:2-3a).
God pours out His love on all His children every day but we do not always see that love and we sometimes feel as if He has abandoned us. The cure for this malady is to fill our soul with the Word and pray with thanksgiving for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. Surely if you examine your life you can find many blessings.
The more we study the Bible, the more time we spend in prayer worshipping the Lord, and not asking for more of Him—we will get “more of Him” because His Word will become embedded in our hearts and minds. This is how to get your joy back. His Word is filled with promises, His proclamations of His love and devotion to His children. Humble trust in the Lord gives us peace:
“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” Psalm 4:8).
And by reading and studying His Word, we hear what He has to say:
“I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly” (Psalm 85:8).
Every believer is a threat to Satan and the forces of wickedness. The way to ward off attacks of the forces of darkness is to put on the armor of God every day (Ephesians 6.10-18). It sounds like you have had a series of attacks. But I would also consider that you might be crossing paths with some who are deceived in what they think are revelations from God, and this involvement could be adversely affecting you. The devil loves to lurk around and harass perplexed souls so he can cause even more confusion and drive people away from the true teachings of God. Be careful whom you spend time with and trust. Be careful what you read and what you watch (videos, DVDs and television).
We can count on the Lord to protect us from the devises of the enemy:
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).
If you research carefully, you will find that those who are always pushing for emotional experiences to support their faith are not grounded fully in Christ, and not staying true to Scripture. The Word of God teaches that it is by faith that we receive Christ, by His grace. Our spiritual standing with God is not determined by emotional experiences. A true born-again Christian is already “filled with power from on high.” God has already answered your prayers when you received Christ as your Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit within you is the “power from on high.”
Please make your focus the risen Christ who gave enormously of Himself for you. He suffered a vicious excruciating death for you. You have all of Him. He gave His life for you. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 3:5b). He is right there with you. Pray from a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude. In your letter you say that God has not given you any calling. But you do have a calling. He commands all believers to share the gospel with others. In doing so your focus will be on God and reaching the lost. The Holy Spirit will lead you in how to minister to others and you will be walking in step with the Lord.
Dear friend, I recommend that you read an excellent book on the issues of having more of God, titled, Our Sufficiency in Christ by John MacArthur. It shows how many Christians do not understand that the Scriptures meet real needs in today’s complex world, and calls believers back to a renewed appreciation of what it means to live a Christ centered life—based completely on the Scriptures. Pure Christianity needs no embellishment whatsoever. We find complete sufficiency in Christ alone and His provision for our needs. 
Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing. The Lord is closer than you think. The Holy Spirit is within you. If you are in good health you might want to fast for a few days and pray earnestly for the Lord to put your life in order, and begin anew to worship Him in a way that takes the focus off what you feel is a lack in your life. As I said before, pray with an attitude of gratitude and give your all to Him.
You might find that you will have new friends in the Lord—once you stop listening to those who base their faith on experiences outside of God’s Word. Seek out a strong Bible study group for fellowship and spend time with those who base their walk with the Lord on His Scriptures without needing additional “impartations.”
In God’s love,
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:23-24).
 Olsen, Kit, A Better World Is Coming Soon - Don’t Miss It, (2012 Expanded Edition) pages 63, 64.
Nov 4, 2013
I long to have the closeness of a husband and wife relationship but I don’t seem to find it in my marriage. For a while my husband had a midlife crisis and I felt so alone a lot of times. I also felt taken for granted for a number of years. When it came to my husband’s relatives it seems that we just had to please them because my husband would not stand up to them. He would not stand by my side and he said that some day our problems with them; will go away if we move to another state. In the meantime I was supposed to suffer and grin and bear it. We had two young kids then living at home and I did not want them to grow with separate parents so I stuck it out.
Now that the kids are out of the house, I spend my time taking care of my grandchild, since he was born. I used to work in school. It seems that my husband spends a lot of time on the computer even until 2:00 in the morning. (His reason is he wants me to get some sleep since I have to wake-up early.) I tried to snuggle up to him while we were watching TV tonight and he seemed irritated. I have already told him how I feel, being hurt and taken for granted all these years.
Now there is a woman at his work, the secretary of his boss who happens to live about two houses away from us. She’s been flirting with him. She called him one time to ask him a favor to get her work ID because she left it by the copy machine and to bring it to her house. When she could not get him through the work phone, she even tried his cell. Anyway, he agreed to just drop it off at her mailbox. When he got there, her relatives had just got there too, and said that she will appreciate him dropping it off.
She has hinted to him that her lawn mower was not working one time and that she thought that she might ask him to help her with it. At the break room at work she asked him if he would not mind to help her when she is in a bind. Of course he said, “Yes” because he could not say, “No.” I told him that he should have called me and that I will deal with her.
I don’t have any problem going to her front yard and telling her to back off. I even told my husband that if she keeps on asking favors from him, I will personally tell their boss who just lives a few blocks away. He told me not to do that because it would “destroy” him. I told him, it would destroy her because others will now know her as being a flirt. He said the boss talks a lot and he will tell everyone at work. My husband said; that I need to trust him—a man who almost left me when he was having a midlife crisis.
Longing for Closeness
Dear Longing for Closeness,
I am sorry to hear all of this. I cannot begin to tell you how many other women are in a similar situation. So much so, that many have come to the point of realizing that the situation may never change. We are truly living in the last days and the dynamics in relationships have become so selfish and unloving that it is startling (2 Timothy). But with Christ in our lives no matter what our outward circumstances are, we can have fruitful lives despite the lack of support and love from a spouse.
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
You probably read my October 21, 2013 post. Right there is an example of a husband selfishly going through life disrespecting his wife. If a woman is truly a friend to a man she should make every effort to befriend the wife and if need be step out of the situation. Otherwise she too, is as responsible as the husband for causing damage to the relationship. I often wonder what our precious Lord thinks and how disappointed He must be in the men he asks to be leaders, but miss the mark. I always say, “If you hurt your wife, you hurt the children” and the same goes for the women who hurt their husbands.
We must always give a person the benefit of the doubt and work things out as best we can, but we cannot do it in our own strength. We need the Lord to open and close doors, and He knows much better than we do how to resolve problems. Have you gone before the Lord and poured your heart out to Him about how you long to be close to your husband?
In the letters a couple of weeks ago, in Krystina’s case she had been crying out to the Lord in prayer for many months and pleading with her husband to stop talking behind her back and carrying on with another women on the phone all day long and into the night. She sent me a long list of the times her husband spoke with the other woman, a sample of just one day and I was shocked. Seeing the times in front of me was quite telling.
Reaching out for help as she has and as you are is not the same as what her husband and his “friend” are doing by carrying on a relationship outside of the marriage. This shows lack of character from the woman involved as well as the husband who surely would not like to be treated so rudely. It is one thing to have a friendly business relationship but when the dynamics move into the personal lives of a marriage covenant then trouble brews. An immediate wall is placed between the couple if the husband (or wife) allows a third party into the marriage relationship. In your case, the jury is still out to see how things develop.
Krystina will never stop praying for the situation but living in a home where this type of neglect and in-your-face disrespect is going on is very painful. The Lord is very strong about treating wives properly and He is not mocked. When a man inconsiderately brings a female “friend” into the matters of his marriage discussing personal marital issues against his wife’s wishes, then he is out of favor with God and the Lord Himself teaches that a husband’s prayers are hindered (1 Peter 3:7).
The Lord hates infidelity of any kind:
“But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
Now I don’t see these same dynamics in your case. I don’t know what happened during your husband’s midlife crisis but it does sound like your trust was seriously challenged when you say he almost left you. But he didn’t leave and he is still there. Since you have told him that you have felt neglected and taken for granted, yet still behaves in an aloof manner, then your frustration is understandable.
If you read my posts from over the past year or so you will find some words of encouragement and perhaps ways to use some of the suggestions given to others to also help you. Great patience is required and there are times when we must take a stand. A number of Christian counselors suggest separation when it is absolutely necessary, but only as a last resort, but not a divorce—unless there is no other alternative.
Today many attorneys try to reconcile couples in their offices and offer options of counseling instead of separation or divorce. Often, when third and fourth parties get involved creating a platform of accountability, the person in the marriage causing the grief awakens to the fact that he or she is behaving very badly, asks for forgiveness, repents and reconciliation can begin.
We are to be wise in how we live our lives. Godly counsel and legal advice are sometimes very necessary, especially when children are involved in a trying situation. After all, the person who is out-of-order could very well walk out one day and then what? God has given us free will and if a spouse is not living by godly principles their actions can become very detrimental to the family. Anyone who thinks Jesus would be offended because an emotionally abused wife seeks legal counsel, especially to protect her children—needs to study the Scriptures and get a reality check.
When you tried to snuggle up close to your husband while watching TV and he became irritated, surely that hurt. Have you tried talking out your concerns with him and remind him that you married him because you want to spend time with him and share life together (which also includes helping others, together)?
So much of the hurt and disconnect in any troubled marriage all boils down to a lack of relationship with the true and living God. You do not mention what your relationship is with the Lord or if you and your husband are saved, if you have ever made a commitment to live your lives for the Lord. Without God in the center of a marriage there is always trouble. I see this again and again. And even with God in the marriage the challenges can be great at times.
I do not recommend going to your husband’s boss. And as far as confronting the other woman, please be careful in your approach. It may be true that she is interested in your husband and is trying to get to him with the old “damsel in distress” trick but the best way to handle such a situation is pray carefully for guidance. If you still feel to speak with her, then offer your help along with your husband.
Speak to your husband in a way that will express your concern for the woman in his office if she is truly in need of help. Her flirtations are not good, but so far it sounds like your husband has not compromised himself in order to please her. In Krystina’s situation her husband came right out and told her that he would not stop his relationship with the other woman despite his wife’s heartache about it all. A female “friend” a man talks to more than he talks to his own wife has no place in the dynamics of a marriage. No one should come between a husband and wife. A husband should respect his wife’s wishes for the privacy of their relationship and a wife should do the same for her husband.
I can understand that you are frustrated, angry and upset but approaching people in anger is not going to help the situation. Your frustration is very understandable, but lashing out is the last thing that will help your dilemma. Without a prayerful manner and carefully thought out words, this situation could escalate into an unpleasant ordeal that you might regret. We don’t know what is going on in the secretary’s life and if she lives alone, she probably could use some help. Showing kindness is always a better solution. If deception is behind her behavior it will be revealed in time.
I think if you can figure out a way to convince your husband to be helpful to this woman together with you, then if she ever does call on him to “help” her with anything then you an go along, too. In that way she will get the message that if she calls on him, she gets you, too. If your husband does not agree to include you, you cannot force the situation. I would not start accusing him of anything. He is still with you and from what I have read it does not sound like he has made any efforts to spend time with this woman in any way that is inappropriate.
This is also a time to rethink your relationship with the Lord and spend time strengthening it through prayer and Bible study. Make the Lord number one in your life. You say you do not feel like you can trust your husband, and perhaps that is, true, but trying to force the situation will only create more distance. It does sound like he has a long history of not being attentive enough, but it is by growing together in the Lord that you will find true intimacy as a couple. Without salvation in the Lord we are floundering.
The best thing you can do is to prayerfully give the entire concern over to the Lord and trust Him to work this out. Your husband may never be the man you want or need, but Jesus will never let you down. Spend your time in these last days preparing to meet the Lord and trust that He is working in your life. By loving the Lord and giving your all to Him, you will automatically become less concerned about what your husband does or does not do. Your eternal future and cultivating your walk with the Lord should be of primary importance.
Please make an effort to get involved with other Christian couples. I pray that you and your spouse will get involved in Bible studies, prayer and worship, together. When the Lord is shared in a marriage, then all issues are dealt with from a much clearer perspective. Ask your husband to spend time with you praying and reading the Bible together. If you are not part of a local church community, seek one out and start going together. If your husband is not saved and has not studied the Bible he most likely is unaware of what his role as a godly husband should be; principles that fundamentally would improve the marriage.
Having a relationship with the Lord is not about going to church, but I strongly urge you to get involved somehow with other believers who are serious about studying the Word of God. I know it is hard to find a good Bible teaching church these days (if you don’t already attend one), but there must be one somewhere in your area. Or get together with believers and start meeting in your home sharing the Word of God and having fellowship sharing and celebrating the teachings of the Lord.
If you died tomorrow do you have the assurance that you would go to heaven? How about your husband? Do you both understand the gift of salvation? If not, please get back to me and I will suggest some material that will clearly explain God’s free gift of salvation.
Please pray and think carefully before taking any type of action. Coming from a place of love is always the best approach, but of course that does not mean you are to roll over and be ignored, either. You have good reason to feel hurt and neglected and I pray that through the Lord, even after so many years of marriage that you and your husband will move in a direction together that is solid and filled with the Lord’s blessings. A loving balanced attitude is your best strategy in working toward that end.
And remember, the Lord knows the motives of each and every one of us and through prayer, much can change for the better. He knows all our pain and it is He who can soothe our heartaches like no one else. Pray for your husband throughout your day and ask the Lord to break down that wall that He has around him—that keeps him from loving you the way you need to be loved.
And if things do not get better and your husband is defiant and hurts you by ignoring what is important to you, then see if he is willing to go with you for godly counsel.
And start today with reaffirming your faith for the Lord and keep asking Him to intervene and heal your relationship with your husband. It sounds like you have been married for a long time and I know it hasn’t been the way you envision a marriage to be, but there is still hope that life can get better as we await and prepare for the Lord’s soon return. Please keep in touch with me and let me know how things are going for you at home.
I leave you with a link to an excellent article posted on Rapture Ready recently titled, “Men of God Arise” by Lisa Wood. Please read it, and share it with your husband when you feel he might be willing to think about the message. :)
In God’s love,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Men of God Arise
I once heard a pastor say that everything he needed to know about a man he could find out by looking at the man’s wife. Boy, I bet that statement just made a lot of men hopping mad. Good! It is time to get hopping mad because this country is in trouble and something needs to change. Our marriages are broken, our children are on drugs, sexual sins are rampant and have you looked at the government lately? It is time to get back to Bible basics and quit blaming, ignoring, abusing and start stepping up. Whether you like it or not, whether we like it or not, God put you in charge.
Men, it is never too late to do the right thing. Right now is exactly the time to start taking back your broken marriages and your fragmented families in Christ Jesus. So if we work together and do this God’s way, we will reclaim and He will restore marriages and families to what they were intended to be. As we follow Christ and do this, the building blocks of our society will become reset on God and His Word and we will be able to reclaim our nation as well. Let’s do this because we have little time to step up and step out in faith. Our enemy has been very busy.
When Adam and Eve were in the garden after they had eaten of the forbidden fruit, God said, “Adam where are you?” Do you understand the magnitude of that statement? “Adam where are you?” God didn’t say, “It is all Eve’s fault.” God addressed the man. So “Adam” where are you? Let me simplify this for our slow learners: Adam is responsible for what Eve did. Now do you get it? The husband is responsible for what the wife does (or doesn’t do). It doesn’t let Eve off the hook. She still has to answer for her own individual sin.
However, in the confines of marriage, Adam is ultimately responsible. One day you men will stand before a Holy God and give an account for what you did and what you didn’t do to the “perfect helpmate” that God gave you. How will you answer? Did you help her realize her full potential? Did you bless her and exhort her daily? Did you speak life to her and call out her gifts? Did you look to Jesus for all your answers or did you look to the ways of the world? Were you the spiritual leader of your home? Did you look like a high priest in words and deeds or were you a disconnected and unfair taskmaster? Or will you simply stand before the Lord and say, “She didn’t submit.”
Everything starts with the leadership. Men, you are it. They say it rolls down hill for a reason and you know what I am talking about. I see men either blaming or abusing, and every single one of you knows that verse on submission. However, how many of you can quote the verses on love? Exactly! It is time for you to shut up with the verse on submission and to read your whole Bible and realize it has been taken out of context for far too long.
God never said, “Husbands command your wives as I commanded the church.” Jesus did not say or do that. He LOVED the church into obedience. He very simply directed, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church.” Think about that. Jesus gave and He loved. He was gentle and kind. He did not blame, curse or punch. Jesus did not say, “Submit.” or “Obey me!”
Men, hear me plain. You will give an account for how you loved your wife. It is from your love that she will gladly and willingly submit to you because she knows that you truly love God first. It is ALL about love! Love is the greatest commandment. So men, stop blaming and start loving.
How do I know you do not love your wives as Christ loved the church? I see your fruit: addictions, alcohol, pornography, divorce, separations, financial problems and unanswered prayers. I also see your wife. She is a reflection of you and what you pour into her. If you pour into her complaints, disgust, disappointment, hate, then guess what comes out? Overwhelmingly the wives I see in the church are unsatisfied and unfulfilled. God said she is your perfect helpmate and you husbands are all too quickly dismissing her and casting her out.
She does not need to submit to your tyranny or abuse. It is only from a place of love that she will be moved. Read Song of Solomon. God gave you all the instruction you need. This is the way of Jesus and the church. Out of your love for your wife, she will have no choice but to submit to your godly authority. She will have no doubts that you put her needs above your own.
So do you love her? Can you love her? Have you given her reasons to doubt you? Do you look to Jesus first in all matters? Do you put your wife before yourself? Will you repent before our Holy Father and say, “Show me how to love her?” Please stop trying to love in your own way. It is not working. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church. It is a command.
The most perfect example of Christ and the church is in the parable of the two fish and five loaves. Jesus had been preaching to the crowd for some time. (Do you openly discuss God in your home?) The people were getting hungry. The disciples approached Jesus about the people’s need for food. (Do you anticipate your wife’s needs? Or does she need to ask you?) Jesus did not curse the crowd, complain about it or send all the people away.
He did not look for another crowd or have thoughts of the crowd he saw on the beach last week. He asked for an accounting of what they had. Two fish and five loaves were all that was present for the five thousand. It was clearly not enough. How many times do you men come up short? Whether perceived or real, how many times do you not have enough? What you do when you find yourself in this situation separates the men from the boys; the world from the Word.
What do you do when you do not have enough? What did Jesus do? He gathered what he had and took it before the Lord. He laid it out and looked to heaven. Every time I read that, what comes to mind is Matthew 6.33: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.” That parable is also the perfect example of a husband’s prayers not being hindered. At that moment when Jesus looked to heaven, He was coming before God in a place of love. Jesus was representative of a husband and the crowd was representative of a wife. Jesus was thinking of the people first and wanted to provide for them but did not have enough.
How many times does that happen in a marriage? How many times is there not enough? Do you look to the Lord? So following the instructions of His Father, Jesus set the matter before Him. He was obedient, He acted in love and God moved to change the circumstances. At that moment Jesus had an open heaven. God multiplied what he had. Our Father in heaven will do no less for us! Men, it is time to move in obedience to the Father and love your wives as Christ loved the church. It is time to stand up and reclaim what the enemy has stolen.
Oct 28, 2013
A note to “Dear Esther” Readers:
I would like to thank you all very much for your heartfelt letters and for reading my column each week. This ministry has grown tremendously over this past year. Your letters are truly a blessing. Those who have shared their lives have benefited others greatly all over the world. Keep writing (and reading) and at some point I will try to respond to everyone. Each letter is very important to me but please understand it is tough to get back to each person right away. We are dealing with real lives, tough circumstances and such matters require TLC and time. So please be patient and I will continue to do my best to reach out to every person via email, if not directly in this column.
God bless you all,
Why do you think some people don’t want to talk about the end times and the things that will take place (Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium, etc.)? I have so many family members who profess to be Christians, but don’t want to have any discussion at all about the end times. They always say the same thing—“It doesn’t matter, we just have to be ready.”
Usually, they will be the ones to begin the discussion on something biblical or spiritual, but if the conversation even drifts to the Rapture or anything else prophetic, there is an abrupt, often angry response. I am always caught off guard. I guess I shouldn’t be. I think discussing the end times makes one more “urgent” in witnessing.
You ask an excellent question. I have asked the same question myself, many times. How can anyone who loves the Lord not be interested in anything and everything in Scripture, especially things relating to these last days? Prophecy covers about one-third of the Bible. I know a number of people whom I believe love the Lord but do not want to touch the Scriptures that point to end-times prophecy. They are very busy living their every day lives but seem to be somewhat oblivious to the vast number of prophetic Scriptures playing out before our very eyes.
Some people have the Scriptures completely misinterpreted and don’t get that Israel is God’s chosen nation. They think the Christian church has replaced Israel, which of course is a false teaching. Large movements are underway teaching that this world is going to get better by Christians getting heavily involved in the matters of the world and then Jesus will return.
But that is not at all what the Scriptures teach. The Bible says the world is going to get worse and worse, the church will be removed in the Rapture before all hell breaks loose (sudden destruction) and it will take the Lord Himself to save the world at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. This world is without a doubt headed for judgment and very tough and frightening times.
I have heard a number of people even deny the truth of the Rapture because they don’t study their Bibles. At some point they heard someone considered an “authority” say that the Rapture is a fabrication. Yet these same believers seem to understand many other things about the Bible. Far too many people place their faith in mankind’s teachings and not in God’s inherent Word.
Many believers are genuinely confused. They have had little or no teaching at church from their pastors or Bible teachers on the important topic of prophecy. Many people accept anything they hear from a Bible teacher, mentor or a pastor without studying the Scriptures themselves, as the Lord commands. Also, some people may be opposed to discussing the end-times because they cannot contribute anything to the discussion. They have never studied the prophetic Scriptures—so rather than sound foolish or admit a need to learn they would rather throw up a barrier and change the subject all together.
“Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Far too many people want to be spoon fed by others, which is a dangerous way to learn the Scriptures. Some Bible teachers and pastors do an excellent job but many simply regurgitate and repackage what they have heard all their lives from others and do not base their sermons or teachings directly from the entire Bible. They tend to pick and choose leaving out many important Scriptures. This is how false teachings and confusion have entered the church.
Or some come up with new doctrines apart from the Bible and introduce even more confusion and false teachings, promoting their way to personal glory by insisting that they have discovered hidden meanings to some passages—“new” missing prophecy’s which are nothing more than hyperbole. A “wow” factor penetrates the Christian world and careful biblical scrutiny is replaced with man-invented dogma that is nothing more than speculation filled with loopholes that do not make sense.
People are more charmed by those who know how to promote themselves and their ideas, rather than taking time to search the Scriptures themselves and realize the ideas being bantered about are very often nothing more than personal interpretations, and not biblical truth.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”.
Many Bible colleges and seminaries do not teach Bible prophecy. They frequently teach from books and Bible concordances written by men who have overlooked the prophetic Scriptures. Discernment seems to be a real problem not only when identifying the true teachings of the Bible—but life in general. Decisions and choices are made without carefully thinking things through. The strength and depth of a person’s day-to-day relationship/walk with the Lord determines their degree of sound discernment, for the most part.
Another factor to consider is that many people shy away from talking about prophecy because of false predictions. So many people have made one prediction after another about when the Rapture will happen or that they are having visions and dreams about things, which have never transpired. These false prophecies discredit the true Christian church. Rather than seeing these false teachings and predictions as part of biblical prophecy coming true, those believers who do not fully study and understand the Scriptures see false prophets, teachers and their failed prophecies as only a problem for the church, and not Bible prophecy actually coming to pass.
If the same people who shy away from learning and discussing the last days prophecies would understand that Jesus Himself said that false teachers and prophets would be prevalent in the last days—they would see that all those false predictions are a sure sign that we are living in the last days—as written in God’s Word.
Just because false predictions made by false prophets and teachers exist, it does not mean that the actual prophetic Word of God in the Bible is not correct. All it means is that some people for whatever reasons have disseminated their own ideas, predictions, perceptions and not biblical ones. On the Internet you can find dozens and dozens if not hundreds of false predictions that seem to feed upon one other.
Another aspect and I think, one the biggest reasons why some believers do not want to deal with the last days, is because they are more attached to this world rather than Jesus. Church attendance only and perhaps some social gatherings take the place of a true relationship with Jesus Christ and spiritual growth. A person can be a believer but never get past the early stages of their rebirth or they may not be truly born-again. They might carry a Bible around but rarely read it. Many factors can play into why so many people want to ignore one-third of the Bible. And this is where it gets a bit dicey…
We never want to sound accusatory or wrongly judgmental, but a personal inventory of how deeply some people are committed to the Lord must come into play in this matter. Is a person truly committed to the Lord—or to his or her own agenda? Do professing believers really want Jesus to come back soon or are they too busy living lives as carnal social Christians? I have spoken to some people who will talk about God in a general way but then when it comes to any in-depth discussions they get uncomfortable and even say, “Well, what if everyone is wrong? We have to plan our lives as if Jesus isn’t coming back soon.”
The Scriptures do teach that we need to live responsibly (to stay occupied) but that we must also watch and be alert. If someone actually states, “We must be ready,” that is a good thing but in order to be ready, we must know what time it is and what season we are living in. We are commanded to watch and be aware. Those who say, “It doesn’t matter” when it comes to prophecy are wrong. It does matter, because God says so. He commands us to be aware:
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
“Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:33, 35, 37).
So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).
Because there is a lack of sound biblical leadership in the majority of churches discipleship has not been taught. Every church should have classes in discipleship. Sharing the gospel is to be the first priority but the Lord urges that we are to study the entire Bible, and not just pick and choose from it. We are to be ready at all times to answer questions about the Scriptures, which include end-times passages.
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15).
I can identify another matter that might cause people to not involve themselves in Bible prophecy, because it is evident from websites on the Internet and material disseminated all over the world—that some teachers of Bible prophecy are not balanced in their approach to teaching the prophetic Scriptures.
Some seem to forget that the gospel is first and foremost to be an obvious part of any prophetic teaching. (Instead, a salvation verse might be very briefly added at the end of someone’s lecture, book or article.) Glory to God does not always come through, it is more about the Bible teacher or the preacher that attention is given. Some people who are rightly bothered by this type of unbalanced teaching may without meaning to, become unbalanced in their own way of accepting the Scriptures by omitting Bible prophecy all together.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
We cannot be sure what causes people to behave in certain ways, but if a person is unwilling to learn all of Scripture, including one-third of the Bible dealing with prophecy, then they are not giving their best to the Lord. Some people go through the motions of Christianity by heavy church involvement or learning only parts of the Bible. I am personally convinced that some professing Christians do not really believe all of what is written in the Bible. They are not truly surrendered to Christ and some most likely are not truly born-again—but outwardly go through the motions as if they are.
Whitney, we must pray that all believers will place the Lord and the entire Word of God first in their lives and come to understand that the prophetic Word of God is for encouragement—to act as a guide for the signs of the times, and a warning to us so we can be better prepared for His return. And I agree, by understanding biblical prophecy’s urgency factor we can be a more effective witness to the unsaved by pointing out the prophetic Scriptures that far too many “believers” choose to dismiss.
God bless you for your faithfulness,
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
Oct 21, 2013
I have been married for four years. We are both Christian, believers in Christ. I read the Bible/Scripture daily and he, only once in a great while. We don’t pray together unless I ask him, but he does say he prays every day/night. He used to go to church with me, and our little girl sometimes, but now not at all. I am a stay-at-home mom and I take my role as a wife and mother very seriously. I help my husband any way I can with his needs and now with his new business.
My husband, before he started his own company, recently, became close to another woman from his former job. They are just friends he says, like brother and sister. They call each other from early morning til he comes home from work and even when he is here at home (also texting).
Also they meet for lunch when they can, sometimes with her fiancé and others from work, sometimes alone. They gossip about where he used to work (she still works there), flirting sometimes. They discuss me and I heard them on the phone discussing her fiancé. I have overheard some of their conversations. My husband says she helps him with getting jobs (and yes that is true, she does).
One day I tried to talk to him again but it ended again in an argument, with him getting VERY mad! (I have tried to talk to him about this two other times to tell him how I feel about their relationship.) He called her up and told her to talk to me. On the phone she was telling me how they are “just friends” and in her line of work that she has guy friends. She said my husband talks to her about God. (Yet he has called me and my friends Bible thumpers, too judgmental and told me he doesn’t want me around his friends).
I am a quiet person, more of a listener, not unsociable or judgmental. She said she talks to my husband about her first marriage, how bad it was and other things and told me she is engaged and how jealous her fiancé is (my husband knows him and has worked with him and are friends). I asked my husband if her fiancé knows that they discuss him and would he approve if he knew. My husband said no, he wouldn’t approve (then he mustn’t know how they discuss him either).
He told me she is his friend and I need to get over it!
In other words my husband isn’t giving her up no matter what. (I never told him he needed to choose between us before he told me that, and haven’t still.) I feel hurt and betrayed that he would speak to another woman personally about me and say that she is HIS good friend. He has told me his other friends might not be there for him, but she would. He said I am the only person who would think this is not okay, because I’m insecure. Would this concern any other woman?
Something is really wrong with this picture, as the saying goes. From our follow-up correspondence, you have shared with me that your husband is in his forties. If you were both 20 and a couple casually dating I would say, “Let him have his ‘good friend’ and you go ahead and move on.”
But you are married and that makes all of this very hard to take. He is a grown man who has taken marriage vows with you (Forsaking all others?). You have a young child together. He says he prays every day/night but acts like a self-centered adolescent. He has literally told you, “Tough, this is the way it is. Live with it.” (Whom does he think he is praying to any way while he totally disregards God’s biblical teachings and disrespects his wife?) It seems he is praying to a god of his own design.
Your feelings of humiliation and betrayal are understandable. He should be ashamed of himself for placing you in such a vulnerable and embarrassing situation. He then tries to make you feel like you are the problem because you are “the only one that would think this is not okay.” Well, I’ve got news for your husband—God doesn’t think it is okay. And any true Christian, men and women alike would be very bothered by this. So would plenty of others who are not Christians.
According to the Bible, husbands must treat their wives with respect and as equal heirs of God’s gifts:
“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
He is making a mockery of your marriage and continues to insult you right under your nose day in and day out after you have already expressed your feelings. This is not only childish behavior it is down right cruel. His behavior is highly inappropriate, immature and totally self-centered. Now if the duo included you in their “friendship” that would be a different story to some degree. But the two “friends” seem to imply that they are a team and there isn’t room for anyone else. Apparently you and the woman’s so-called fiancé are meaningless objects to push aside while they carry on with their emotional tryst.
Husbands are to love their wives and treat them kindly:
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19).
Christ gave Himself totally and selflessly for us. The husband is to do the same for his wife. He is to place his wife’s needs before his own, living sacrificially for her. But this command has not been taken seriously by far too many men, and it is evident by the way wives are mistreated and neglected. The godly men who understand and live by this principle are some of the happiest most productive men in the church. Because they treat their wives with loving respect, in return they are given the love, loyalty and attention they want and need—in large doses. A loving unselfish attitude cultivates a loving response. A selfish, harsh attitude creates distance and mistrust.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
In our correspondence you told me your husband wrote you a very special letter recently, telling you there is nothing more than “friendship” going on with this woman and that he is devoted to you and your daughter, that he loves you and wants to protect you from the economic uncertainties and possible coming civil unrest and erosion of our individual freedoms. He credits you for helping him stop drinking and bringing God into the home.
That is all well and good but unless he sorts out his priorities there is going to be ongoing tension between the two of you. It sounds like he is concerned about problems in the world and is doing something to prepare for that -- but apparently he does not understand that he could die at any time and face an eternity away from God if he does not repent.
He needs to be ready for death or for the Rapture, whichever comes first and realize this is a reality, which he cannot escape. He could lose his life and live an eternity apart from the true and living God unless he wakes up, repents and starts to study the Word of God and starts living it. Instead, he is living totally in the flesh disregarding your feelings and needs.
You also say his behavior does not match up with what he wrote in his letter, especially since you have already told him a number of times how all of this hurts you. He certainly is not acting in a loving and concerned manner. And he is also being disloyal to the Lord by telling you to stop talking about God to his friends.
Apparently he doesn’t care to serve the Lord and spread the gospel. He is more concerned about pleasing his friends, not you, not God. His friends (especially the woman he is so close to) seem to take first billing. He is not honoring you as his wife as the Scriptures teach.
You have been placed in a very tough situation but you have God to reach out to on your behalf. Keep leaning on Him to carry you through this frustrating time. You have already talked to your husband and the last time you tried, he got so angry you started shaking with fear and he broke a glass. In our emails you said you got so scared that you were afraid he might hit you.
Why is he so attached to this woman that it makes his blood boil when you tell him what he is doing is not right? Krystina, I feel for you because unless your husband snaps out of this you are in for a rough ride. And the tragedy is that there is also an innocent child involved.
His first loyalty should be to God and then to you and your daughter. You know all this. At the moment his only loyalty is to himself, to this woman and his friends, it seems. Others are not to come between a husband and wife.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
You are the one he should be talking to all day long and confiding in, not his “good friend.” He is completely out of line and if he does not wake-up he is facing a very difficult future. Unless he gets right with God and with you, he is in for a surprise if he thinks God is going to stand for this kind of behavior. His attitude is totally unacceptable and he is not fulfilling his role as a husband and father as commanded by God.
He is much too emotionally attached to this woman and she, to him. Since he will not go to church with you, go anyway. Go and get involved with the people there and pray for the Lord to deal with your husband. You are going to need emotional support and there is always an off chance if you start going to church often enough he might go with you.
You need to be around true Christians who care about others. At least you have a good church available in your area from what you wrote, last. We don’t know how the Lord is going to work in this situation but He is not going to abandon you. He understands your heartache and your tears.
I understand that your husband is branching out and starting his own business and that is tough, and somehow this woman he worked with probably gives him a sense of security since she understand his line of work. But from what you have shared with me, you understand his work too, enough to help him get his own new business off the ground and maintain it.
The relationship with the woman has placed a wedge between you and your husband and it is difficult to feel emotionally safe when you know that he might tell her anything and everything about you; things that should only be between you and your husband. He has broken your trust.
Not only are you unequally yoked; the marriage bond has been damaged by the unholy alliance between your husband and this woman. Krystina, this is not fair. I feel for you. But for the sake of your little girl, and for your own sanity, please get involved with others so you are not alone, especially if things get worse. We cannot know how any of this is gong to evolve. The one thing you can count on is the Lord and His tremendous love for you. You must keep your focus on the Lord and not on your husband.
When a man knows his wife is a stay-at-home mom choosing to put her family first, but then places her in a difficult insecure position by causing her to not trust him (knowing full well she and the children are dependent on him for their daily needs), that is a low blow. Instead of loving and honoring her he mistreats her and takes advantage of her, and that is the situation you are in, and I am sorry to say—so are millions of other women.
Not to say there are not many men who suffer in a marriage because of a difficult wife. But the majority of complaints are from women who are treated badly by their husbands. Over the span of a year I have only received one letter out of hundreds, where a woman is seeking advice on how to repair the damage she has done in a her marriage because of her cheating, lying and abuse of her husband’s trust.
Have you ever considered inviting the woman and her fiancé over for dinner? If I were you I would insist on doing that. Make your finest meal and be as gracious as can be. The fiancé might also get a little surprise if he sees the dynamics between the two buddies. If your husband says no, then right there that is another bad sign that their relationship is much too exclusive.
Let him know that since he has made it loud and clear that this woman is to be a part of his life then you and the fiancé, all four of you ought to be able to get together, and have a nice evening together. After all, what is the big deal, anyway? Right?
You are not a doormat. You do not deserve to be treated like a worn out dishrag, tossed aside and placed in the background. Be as understanding of this change of jobs as you can but look at him wide-eyed and tell him that leaving you out of the picture is only going to make things worse and that he needs to tell his “friend” that she must respect the fact that he is a married man and that you, too, need to be a part of their “friendship.” You should be able to get to know her, too. After all it sounds like she knows a whole lot about you!
You are willing to do anything and everything to make his business a success and make the marriage work but that means you must also be involved in their relationship, and not sloughed aside like you are some sort of insignificant object. If he wants to lose his house and his family and start paying alimony because of this, then it may come to that. But first give him a chance to change the dynamics with this woman. I guarantee this type of wedge in your marriage cannot be sustained without a serious backlash.
Playing you for a fool is not something that can go on for a prolonged period of time. At some point you are going to react and if he blows up again, then I am sorry to say, you may have to see a good attorney and get some sound advice on what your options are. You are in a very difficult position.
You have already told me that your husband would not be willing to go to counseling and you have no one that can talk some sense into him. But God has a way of intervening in situations—so never give-up hope. At some point he may be, befriended by a godly man, somehow. It could happen in his work, through someone he meets. So please trust that God is working to bring about a good solution to your dilemma.
It is one thing to seek out support from a trusted friend when a spouse is abusive and unkind. Talking out such problems is not the same as taking up with another woman over the phone around the clock, sharing intimate details about himself, his wife and his marriage. You have done nothing to warrant this type of behavior from you husband, and his gossiping is damaging your relationship to a point that it will inevitably escalate into a blowout and a possible separation. Or, your husband will stop this obsession he has to bring another woman into your marriage. But right now that seems to be asking for too much as far as he is concerned.
I suggest writing a loving letter to him expressing your concerns even though you have already spoken to him about this. Tell him you understand that he has people that he needs to communicate with about his work/business but that does not mean he has to make anyone a confidant outside of you. You are his wife and you should be his primary confident, his “good friend.” This is the point you can use to try to make him understand his wrongdoing.
Tell your husband communicating with this woman occasionally or a couple times during the week would be okay but not the constant back and forth phone calls ALL day long, every day. This isn’t a matter of jealousy on your part. It is a matter of respect for you and the marriage. Your privacy!
In your letter, tell him it is very unsettling to have to be placed in a situation where your personal life is discussed with another woman behind your back. Tell him that his expectations are unrealistic and that no one would want to be in your shoes. And telling you otherwise is a weak excuse on his part so he can continue to do what he is doing.
If this woman were really his friend she would not want to cause problems for him. She should be reaching out to you, including you in the “friendship.” She obviously has no manners, and doesn’t care how she hurts you and/or has a hidden agenda. How would she like it if her fiancé were doing what she is doing?
You have also mentioned that this woman often asks your husband about your daughter, even sends her gifts, but never asks about you. This is very inappropriate and leads me to believe this woman has no respect for your marriage. A female friend should make an effort include the wife of a married man in some way, out of courtesy and respect.
His request for you to stay away from his friends is another matter that cannot be ignored. He is living a separate rebellious life outside your marriage. If he thinks he is a Christian why is he calling you a Bible thumper and telling you to stay away from his friends? He is living some sort of double life that is not edifying to the Lord at all.
Unless he repents and starts taking the God of the Bible seriously and stops appealing to his own god and self-centered lifestyle, you will have two choices. You stay in the marriage and accept the way he is and live separate lives emotionally, or your separate and live apart. Neither option is good.
Your best hope is to try to stay as calm as possible, encourage your husband with his work as you have been and get involved in your church and keep your focus on the Lord. Prayer can and does change things. Be as loving as you can but make your position known. Calmly and in your letter make it clear to him that by alienating you from his friends and continuing this constant communication with the woman -- he is living outside of God’s plan for marriage.
This hurts not only you but your child as well. It sounds like he wants to be out in the world doing his own thing regardless of how it hurts you, and then come home to a cozy nest.
If he continues with this kind of behavior and you choose to stay with him, then tell him he has changed the dynamics of the marriage and it will only create a bigger barrier between the two of you. Ask him in your letter why it is so important for him to risk his family and marriage happiness over this woman and the friends he wants you to stay away from. Ask him to take a step back and recognize that this path he is on is only taking him away from a true relationship with the God of the Bible, from you and your daughter, and the life you have built together.
“And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25).
When we find ourselves living in trying circumstances because of another person’s selfish unkind behavior, we must keep it in perspective as much as possible. Use this time to strengthen your relationship with the Lord. Pray that your husband will reach a point of true surrender to the Lord and grow-up emotionally. He desperately needs a strong Christian male role model to guide him. We serve a great and mighty God who can turn even the worst of circumstances into great ones. Stay optimistic but don’t kid yourself either.
I wish I could make this all go away for you. So many women and families are suffering because the husband (fathers), are not living godly lives and taking the leadership roles the way God intended. This seems to be an epidemic in our culture and a sure sign of the last days. Your heart for the Lord is very sincere and it is your relationship with Him that will get you through all of this.
No matter what happens, never forget that we are only on this earth for a short period of time. Our future is with the Lord in His kingdom. What our loved ones choose to do or not to do cannot be controlled. God has promised to take care of His children and that means He will take care of you and your little girl, too, no matter what happens.
Stay in close fellowship with the Lord and pray throughout the day every chance you can. At some point if this continues and your husband wants to keep acting like an insensitive fool placing this woman and his friends before you, you may get to the point where you don’t even care any more and that will be a loss for him.
A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Please keep in touch with me and know that the Lord is with you. Jesus truly does stick closer than a brother.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
In God’s love,