Shows Main Idea – Though I am dealing with a husband who left a wife for another woman, you can change the genders in this podcast, and the content will apply to the husband who has lost his wife.
Here is a flattened out and slightly edited email from the wife:
My husband moved out a while ago and into the home of another woman that he had been “dating” behind my back. He has filed for divorce because I told him I would not agree to a dissolution of our marriage. It has been a multi-decade battle for us and a long, long story.
I hung on through the years always trying to help him (or so I thought). Now we’re at the end and I don’t think I truly trusted Christ until he left me. Please pray for us. Thank you for your ministry that always directs us back to the sufficiency of Christ.
Caveat – I don’t want you to spend too much time on point #1 below, but mostly to think of it as a cautionary warning for others who are not yet where you are. Your story, as horrible as it is, should be a sober call to many other marriages that are not properly modeling Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:32).
As for you, if you spend too much time thinking about what he has done wrong it could prove to be soul-damaging, while casting you into a ditch of despair (Psalm 42:5). Points 2-8 is where I’d recommend you spend your time.
1 – Hypocrisy: “Everybody likes ‘Raymond’ but he was never real.”
- What you saw was the tip of the iceberg.
- Not being transparent with each other is a common marriage problem.
2 – Attitude: “I struggle daily with having the right attitude.”
- That will never stop. Your attitudes will shift and change, but some form of the struggle will remain, even if a faint echo.
- Fight for soul stability in the context of your friends.
- Practice gratitude. For everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
3 – Sovereignty: The “why” question. “I never thought I’d be in this place.”
- Must deal with this head on. It’s a thing.
- Must let your Bible inform you, not your oscillating thoughts. Bad thoughts lead to bad emotions.
- You must fixate on God because He is working in your life.
Two helpful articles
4 – Awareness: “I have now come to the place of seeing my sin in the marriage.”
- Examine your faults, but do not throw yourself in a ditch.
- Repent of what you need to repent from and let it go.
- Possibly confess and seek forgiveness from your spouse. Be careful: Each situation is different.
5 – Children: “My child still loves him; she does not know what he has done.”
- They will love him–at least while they are young.
- Paint a portrait of Christ with your life.
- Guard your heart and tongue regarding how you talk about him.
6 – Prayers: “I want to rain fire and brimstone down on them.”
- Pray that his path will be hard, that he will come to an end of himself (Luke 15:17).
- Pray for the Lord to turn his heart (Proverbs 21:1). Pray for other people too. It will help them and it will help you to reach beyond your suffering.
- Pray for other people too. It will help them and it will help you to reach beyond your suffering.
7 – Care: “I need a lot of help.”
- Surround yourself with good friends.
- Take care of yourself physically and spiritually.
- Care for others. It will push you out of yourself and into the two great commandments (Matthew 20:37-39).
8 – Expect: “The good Lord will take care of you.”
- Never forget that God is working good in your life (Romans 8:28). You may not be able to see it now, but you will experience it in the future (Job 42:10). Never lose hope.