If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.James 1:5-8 ESV
So much of standing for restoration during a marriage crisis is based on faith that trusts in the Lord to work all things together for our good. Granted, this may be hard to believe, especially when dealing with a spouse whose heart has been hardened by the enemy, but this promise from God is a great assurance in the midst of trials and tribulations. We need to hold fast to it, despite what we see and feel surrounding us. And while many know and understand what we are to believe while waiting on the Lord, practically speaking, there tends to be confusion as to what specific actions we should be taking while believing in faith our prayers will be answered and our marriages restored.
While standing for my marriage, I received all types of advice as to what I needed to be doing. I would consider only a small amount of this to have been biblical. And while the intentions behind much of the advice I received was good, I recognize and can honestly say most of it was completely misguided. I recall one bit of conventional wisdom that urged me to focus all my time and energy into my boys. I should make the most of every moment I had with them, because it is the memories they make with me, that stay with them for a lifetime. On the surface, these words seemed to sound right, but the more I compared them to what I saw and read in Scripture, the clearer the truth became. God didn’t bring me to my knees in order for me to spend more “quality time” with my children. On the contrary, He broke me because He is a jealous God who wanted all of me, not just whatever time was left over after I had already dedicated the largest portion to my children. God is never satisfied with what we “leave” Him after the more “important matters” are taken care of. A complete and total realignment of our priorities is what He is after, and until we realize this, the longer we will wander, and be left to our own devices as we walk without the wisdom needed to navigate life’s waters.
While the Word of God doesn’t give us specific answers for every question or concern we face, it does lead us to the wisdom and discernment necessary to ensure the choices we make are in line with His will. Whether it be on the topic of how to speak to your prodigal spouse while they are running, or how to manage your money in the midst of desperate financial circumstances, the Word of God gives us the framework we need to discern what is right and true concerning important life decisions.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.James 3:17 (ESV)
With great regularity I reached out to the Lord when it came to responding to my prodigal spouse when she was held captive by the enemy. I needed assistance from Him to say the things that were right. I knew God desired for me to speak the truth in love but when attacks came my way, the natural instinct was to fire back in anger. It was a real struggle. I needed help in these situations. I knew the enemy could take my words, twist them and then take them out of context to advance his agenda. For this reason, discretion and wisdom was needed.
If you recall the story of Christ and His temptation in the wilderness, you’ll remember the strategy He used to win the battle. Jesus dealt with the temptations, lies and accusations with the wisdom found in the Word of God. Satan’s entire strategy was to trick Christ into believing there was a better way, apart from Scripture. Of course, Jesus was the very embodiment of the truth. Against this, the devil had no realistic hope of deceiving Him into abandoning His holy will. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether the decisions we are about to make will honor and glorify God. Will the fruit of that decision lead to something that is good, wholesome and pure, or will it lead to more conflict, chaos and uncertainty? Godly wisdom will always produce what is good and leads to life. Wisdom apart from the Savior, will invariably lead to death and destruction.
Friends, we recognize the battle for your soul and identity is very real. The decisions we make on a day to day basis flow from what is already in our hearts. It is for this reason, we need to be mindful of who is reigning and holding the keys. If you are struggling to make decisions in your day to day life and feel as though you constantly keep getting it wrong, reach out to the Lord and ask for His wisdom to fill your mind and spirit. It is His promise that this be given. All we need to do is ask.