that I am praying for you
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"The Prodigal’s Pen" appears each Tuesday in Charlyne Cares, as Bob shares
his thoughts on marriage restoration and the prodigal life, 19 years after
divorce, and then remarriage, to Charlyne.
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EIGHTEEN SIGNS THAT SOMETHING’S HAPPENING! –
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against
the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12
During my prodigal days, while we were divorced,
I heard a pastor make a sermon statement that has stuck with me to this day;
"If you were able to see the spiritual battle that is taking place all
around you, it would scare you to death."
My spiritual eyes were not yet opened, so I could not fully understand what
that respected man of God was saying, but nevertheless, I remembered.
Since standing with God for marriage restoration is a spiritual battle,
you may not recognize the back and forth of Satan’s ways, as God’s will is
I want to share with you some of the ways that you can know something is
happening in the heavenly realm.
It is not necessary for all eighteen ways to be seen for your spouse to be
nor will they happen in any specific order.
You may even see your prodigal coming up the walk before you see any of
but most likely some of these things will be happening:
* You feel like giving up. "Nothing’s happening and nothing will ever
change," the Enemy has you thinking.
* You start to sense an increased burden for your prodigal’s soul.
The restoration of your marriage does not seem nearly as important as where
your beloved will spend eternity.
* The Lord burdens you to pray for your spouse at the strangest times. For
some people, God awakens them during the night to pray.
* Satan sends a counterfeit into your life. Just when things are the
bleakest, Mr. Right or Miss Perfect arrives. Some standers make the mistake
of thinking, "This must be of God because we are so perfectly suited for
each other." Counterfeits always look better than the real thing.
* People are constantly reminding you about mate’s free will, and how you
have grounds for divorce.
* People tell you that God wants you to be "happy."
In truth, God is a lot more concerned about your holiness than He is about
your happiness. He also cares about your mate’s lost condition.
* You can see no way out of specific circumstances, such as financial
problems. Remember, God works best when nothing else will.
* You are tempted to take off your wedding ring.
* You find scripture that seems to have be written just for you. The Word
speaks to your heart and to your needs.
* Some of the actions of your prodigal spouse are unexplainable.
For example, I repeatedly asked Charlyne to stop praying for me. I just
knew the conviction that I was under came as a result of her prayers.
* The Enemy can even use your family members to dissuade you when the
spiritual battle is the hottest. An older teen says, "If he/she is allowed
back, I am going." Your parents may become dead set against restoration.
Do not allow this to discourage you. Over the years, we have been witness
time and time again of God restoring family relationships as well as
* You mistakenly start to view your local church as a hindrance to
restoration. Satan may give you fear over how your returned prodigal would
Your pastor may come out against marriage restoration.
The returned spouse/church relationship is one of the many areas that God
can and does heal for restoring families. Right now, you need the love and
support of a church family.
* Prayer partners may be removed.
There came a time in Charlyne’s stand, near the day of our remarriage and
before the Internet, when my wife’s personal prayer partner moved out of
state. God was
telling my wife that she needed to depend on Him, and not others.
* Major changes in your prodigal mate’s life are happening,
For some, this is a new job. For others, it is relocation to a distant
state, making restoration seem even more impossible.
There may be the attempted legalizing of adultery through a marriage
license, or a non-covenant child is born to your spouse.
* You are tempted to make major changes in your own life.
It could be reclaiming your maiden name, or changing the door locks on your
home for no reason. Whatever you are considering doing, it would be
something to say to your prodigal spouse, "It’s over!"
* You sense a certain uneasiness in your spirit.
Where you had once started growing in the Lord as a stander, you now feel
something indescribable in your life.
Some people confuse God wanting them to intensify their stand with Him, with
God wanting them to give up on their stand for a healed home.
* You can forgive your prodigal spouse, even to the extent that you have
pity for them, for how deceived they are, and for the situations they are
* Your prodigal makes false starts toward home, or toward family events, and
then just as suddenly withdraws or backs out.
Do you get it? Some of these signs are negative and some are positive.
Together, they allow you to catch a glimpse of the battle that is raging in
the heavenlies. This battle is for much more than your marriage. It is for
your prodigal’s eternal soul, and for future generations of your family.
The number one mistake that men and women praying for marriage restoration
make is attempting to do spiritual battle with earthly weapons, based on
They do not understand that spiritual battles, such as the one they are in,
can be won only by using spiritual weapons.
They use the courts instead of compassion, seeking revenge instead of
restoration. They want to heap guilt on the absent spouse instead of grace.
Instead of covering their prodigal’s nakedness and shame, they want to
broadcast it. Walking with Jesus, they become better. Walking in the
world’s way, they
will only become bitter.
The change we see in successful standers is amazing. The information sheet
sent back to us by new standers is often filled with writings of
circumstances, and how sinful their mate has become.
Often they share what they intend to do about the circumstances. We seldom
on these sheets what God is doing for the stander, (but we soon will)!
Future correspondence from that person tracks a change.
Somewhere along the way to marriage restoration, the spiritual lights come
on, and the stander realizes they are in a spiritual battle.
They start to do war against the Enemy, and not against their spouse.
They may have their ups and downs, but overall, a steady growth in the
things of God is noted until their prodigal comes home to both them and to
May you stand strong until that grand day.
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you
used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of
the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our
sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.
Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us
alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions –
it is by grace you have been saved."
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.R
Post Office Box 10548
Pompano Beach, FL 33061 USA
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Scripture quoted by permission and are from the Holy Bible; New
International VersionR CopyrightC 1973, 1978, 1984 International
Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
All rights reserved.
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CopyrightC 2006 Rejoice Marriage Ministries IncR.