I’ve been that wife. When all came crashing down, I promised myself that I would not make any swift decisions, but that I would seek God’s voice above my own heart. I didn’t realize the arena I was about to enter. You see, the world said, “Go, you can leave.” But I was the wife who wanted to stay.
I don’t know your situation and I don’t know your support system, but if you’re trying to do something that goes against the norm, I can bet that there aren’t too many lining up to understand or encourage you. So I wanted to write to you, to the wife who wants to stay.
To the Wife Who Wants to Stay
My marriage took quite a hit not too long ago. I’m positive that the enemy knew full well what he was doing. I could almost guarantee you that in the graveyard of failed marriages, there was a hole already dug for my marriage to be buried. When you took a long, hard look at the facts as the world sees them, my marriage was as good as dead. Failed. Should not be resuscitated.
What would I do? What would be the outcome? How could I go on?
Those aren’t easy questions, and I had no answers.
But I determined to be intentional in listening for God. The truth is, I was too devastated to do much else but shut out the world and talk with God.
Here are just a few things I’ve learned in my journey (which is not over yet), that will hopefully help and encourage you as you strive to stay in a marriage when you could leave.
Please note – I support what the Bible says on biblical grounds for divorce. I don’t feel that we should be ditching our relationships just because we don’t want to work out the issues with our spouse. That being said, I do know there are those times when it is physically unsafe to remain where you are. I fully support getting the help you need to remove yourself from a dangerous and violent situation.
The Wife Who Wants to Stay
1. Get Ready for Battle.
That one struggle that’s causing you to consider walking out? It’s not going to magically go away overnight. I wish I could tell you that it would.
This is a war – a very real war – for your soul, for your spouse, for your family. The enemy knows what he’s doing, and when he can’t take you out in round one, you can believe he will come at you again from a different direction, and with a harder punch. Ephesians 6:10-17 gives us such full detail on the armor of God because we will get attacked from many different directions.
But then, we read this encouragement from II Corinthians 4:8-9:
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Spend your down time getting close to Jesus. Hide yourself under His wings and immerse yourself in His Word.
2. Expect the Unexpected.
I can’t promise you that it will be smooth sailing. You might be surprised at the person or people who choose not to walk this journey with you. You’ll want to cling tightly to them, but hold even more tightly to Jesus. And while you may have friends walk out, you’re going to be so surprised at the places where Jesus meets you and makes Himself real to you! Keep watch – He won’t leave you on your own.
Also, come close for this one, you’re going to have good days. Yes, you will. Don’t be startled by them. Enjoy them! Cherish them as a respite from the battle you’re fighting.
3. Trust God.
You’re going to find the encouragement you need at just the right time. There were days when I would be longing for another woman’s perspective – someone who walked this road. God was gracious to put a couple of blog posts right in my path, from women who could have walked out on their marriages. I don’t know their full stories, just that they walked a similar road and survived.
Whatever struggles arise as you try to stand your ground, please know that God is going to take care of you. I can’t promise you that life will be easy-going, but I know that God will take care of you.
4. You’re Going to Make It.
Sister, I don’t know when your struggle will end, but I know that you’re going to make it. God is faithful to take care of you, to hold and heal your heart. Follow Him – stay close to Him and let Him work things out around you.
This thing you’re doing, trying to stay in a relationship when you could leave, it’s a big thing. It’s a life-changing thing. But also, it’s a life-giving thing. If God is asking you to stay, He is going to work it out for your good. He is going to use your strength and perseverance to restore what the enemy tried to kill.
The enemy came knocking, but there is nothing and no one that can stand up to God.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To the wife who wants to stay, I am walking with you. By God’s grace and in His strength, we can make it. And we aren’t just going to survive, we’re going to thrive!
Rebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in people’s lives. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – spreading the good news of God’s mercy and grace to a world in need. Rebekah writes at Sharing Redemption’s Stories. You can find Rebekah on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.