Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
Every new year brings with it a sense of fresh starts, renewed commitments and strengthened resolve. Depending on who you are listening to, the target of these resolutions may tend to focus on the external. Whether it’s shedding a few pounds, reading more, learning a new skill, or simply stepping out of our comfort zones and trying something new, the arrival of January 1st marks the point when many will begin their new journey. Unfortunately, this is also a time when many marriages hanging on by a thread get pushed to their limits and one or both parties decide it’s time to call it quits.
Making it through the holidays is challenging enough on its own. Normal holiday stressors, along with knowing what your spouse may be planning for the new year and doing everything within your power to prevent it from coming to pass, puts us in situations that are extremely challenging and difficult. Reflecting back, I remember the first Christmas apart from my wife saw me spend considerable time praying God would do a work in her heart and that the new year would bring healing and reconciliation. Surprisingly, there were more than a couple moments during the holiday season I actually sensed this may have been coming to pass. But unfortunately, those moments were short lived. Despite seeing what appeared to be real signs of promise in both word and deed, my prodigal eventually returned to the flesh and continued to willingly travel the road that led to destruction. Cleary, God had more work to do.
For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.Matthew 7:12 ESV
Now more than ever, the question we need to ask ourselves is if we are truly committed to standing for our marriage despite what we may see or know is coming over the horizon. An ungodly worldview void of biblical and eternal perspectives will tell you happiness and fulfillment is within your reach if you just let go of the past and move forward. We are told some marriages just don’t work out, and it’s better to leave an unhappy marriage, than to stay in a relationship where your emotional needs aren’t being met. Of course, this type of advice sounds great to the person who is hurting and has perhaps endured years of mistreatment and neglect. After all, don’t we all deserve to be happy and to not have to live in an environment where we find ourselves anxious, on edge, and unfulfilled? Biblically speaking, the answer is, no. In truth, what each of us deserves is an eternity in hell. Fortunately for us, because of the Father’s mercy and grace, we are promised an eternity with Him in glory, if we put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let this truth sink in and penetrate your soul the next time your heart turns and begins to long for what friends, family and those without a godly perspective say you deserve.
If you are in this stand for the long haul, let this new year mark the starting point for a renewed and strengthened resolve that will reject worldly counsel, and instead cling to the cross of Christ and his promise of hope and fulfillment. Your prodigal needs you now more than ever. It could very well be that God has the enemy on the ropes. Do you have the endurance required to finish the fight and end the battle? Are you going to give up on your spouse, your children and perhaps future generations because you are tired and weary? Purpose now to stand strong and believe in your heart that God is not done with you or your marriage. 2020 could very well be the year God has ordained for restoration to occur!
9 thoughts on “New Year, New Resolve”
Thank you Tom for your faithfulness to continue to encourage those of us that zre going through the deepest and darkest valleys in our lives. My court date is set for Jan 10 and I so don’t want this divorce. Not having Biblical grounds is making it doubly hard. I know I am not to divorce my wife and I have told my attorney that I will not sign the papers as I can not do what I know God hates ( Malachi 2) and what Paul admononishes not to do in 1 Corinthians 7. What happens from there, I guess the judge will grant divorce because it takes both parties to reconcile…only one to divorce. And now after God has dealt with me since May of 2019 I am the man my wife wanted for a husband but since I haven’t been able to contact her except through attorneys she will never know… Heartbroken, but I am not giving up on my Lord. He is first whether my Pamela returns to me or not. Michael C. ScottFrom Alabama.
Michael, I don’t know your story, but it sounds like ours is similar. I was the prodigal in sin (anger, control, selfishness, pride) and she couldn’t take it anymore (married 27 yrs). We separated July 3rd (a total surprise to me) and on Oct 30 the divorce was final. I did not fight her on the divorce. I signed. I gave. I sacrificed everything. I still do. Our house that I built for my family has just sold and I will move my remaining things this weekend. We talk, there is no hatred or friction. She knows I don’t want this. She knows I’m “standing” for her – for His glory.
The point I hope I’ve made to her is this: I didn’t consider her needs and desires before. I was only concerned about mine. Now, finally, I will sacrifice for her needs, her peace, her comfort. I hope this demonstrates empathy, and love. I hope this has surprised her. I hope it leads to her second guessing her moves. I didn’t do this because I thought it might “work”, but because God has dealt with and changed me and led me to sacrifice.
I’ll be praying for you and your wife.
Michael…I know your pain my friend. December 4, 2019 My one flesh and I sat in court and a judge invoked “man’s” law to a one flesh marriage that is under God’s laws. I will tell you that I was able to stand up and say the following “I didn’t want this divorce. I believed in the Woman I married and I believed that God WOULD restore our marriage”. Mind you thru my attorney she knew how much I wanted reconciliation and even set out an option to my wife’s attorney a month or so before our court date, but my wife’s hardness hasn’t softened yet. Unfortunately the judge said “you know if she doesn’t want to seek restoration then it won’t work”. The problem with that is this judge doesn’t understand our God and what he can do. He didn’t understand that there isn’t NO one or anything that is IMPOSSIBLE for him. I stand with you my brother….and know that God can and WILL open up a door for your wife to see the change in you. My wife and I also went through what your going thru and that is the “no contact unless thru attorneys” thing. We also don’t have kids. I pray that you are able ask God to open and lay upon your heart when you may contact your wife. I can tell you that I ask God everyday to break the yoke of non communication between my wife and I. I can tell you that I have seen answers to those prayers…in very small steps…just text messages and one phone call on 12/31/2019 that was about some offers I got on the house to sell as I have our home on the market to sell(by the way she wanted no part of proceeds and gave me everything in our divorce eventhough I didn’t ask or want the house). Continue to stand my brother and know…you have many brothers that are standing with you.
Prepare your statement like above when you go. I’m so sorry n understand. Charlene from Rejoice Marriage Ministry says to declare your stand and Godly views for all to hear in court. It stays recorded. Praying for your situation. Walk in faith. God bless you!
Thank you for this encouraging post as a sobering reminder as the temptation is strong. I couldnt zip my lips a couple of days ago and got pushed so hard that I lost it. Regardless of how Christ like I have beento her in these past years she is becoming more ruthless.
Thank you Father for this word. I have been weary and tired. Wanting to call it quits. Started the year with Is 43:19…but this gave me encourgement to go another year standing wholeheartedly if I am called too. Thank you
This post has really encouraged me. All around me, every single person is telling me I am a fool for sticking on and caring and praying for my wife, even though she is clearly antagonistic towards me and even saying she doesn’t care what I do or say as she has moved on. A constant reminder that it is about more than just the actual restoration, in that it is the eternal destiny of her soul that is at stake keeps me going. Thank you for this post.
Thank you for your website. I am in a similar crisis to the one Timmy faced . I am looking at an unwanted divorce. Hasn’t happened but it feels real and close in her mind.
Thank you for your blog. I look forward to your blogs and talks especially because they help me to keep going.
Thank you for reading and listening Tom. Our prayers go with you. More content is in the works. Stay tuned.