First Aid for a Wounded Marriage.
Just a few years ago nobody looking at the circumstances of our marriage, and especially looking at the kind of man I was, would ever have dreamed that some day I would be writing a foreword to a marriage healing booklet. I was so set in my desire to get out of an awful marriage. I was so put out with the fact that I was saddled with two children and another on the way. I was so in love (or lust) with another woman (Marilyn's best friend) who "understood" me. I was driven by the lust for money. I was trapped by pornography and alcohol. I was self-seeking, self-centered, and selfish. I had made a god out of who I was and what I wanted.
Look at what kind of man is described in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 (NIV). "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." That is a description of the man that I was.
But...Praise the Lord that we have a God that is a God of FAITH. Praise the Lord that those who serve Him can have His faith. They can see with eyes of faith and not natural eyes. His vision for me (and all mankind) was so different from what I was. It was His desire that I be a man of God, the kind described in His Word. 1 Timothy 3:2-4 (NIV) speaks of a godly man who "...must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect." In addition He wanted Marilyn , who was in covenant relationship with Him, and me to have the kind of relationship that Adam and Eve had before the fall, to have the kind of relationship that is described in Jeremiah 32:38-41, that our marriage should be of one heart and one way so that we might be blessed by Him and be planted and bearing fruit in this world.
It seems like it would have been so much easier for Marilyn to look at the circumstances. It seems that she would have been better off protecting herself by looking out for herself. But that is not the Lord's way. The essence of what He said to her was that if she would sell out to Him and His Word, there would be nothing preventing her from receiving all of the covenant blessings promised in His Word.
She did sell out to Him and His Word and not to the world's way of doing things. For three hard, long years, in the face of very little encouragement from even the Christian community and certainly none from me, she stood and battled for the Lord's will in her life. It was not an easy battle; in fact she blew it on occasion, but she had a heart after God. This booklet will give you an idea of the battle that you face. But greater is He (the Lord) that is in you than he that is in the world. The victory is yours. To the victor goes the spoils. And in the case of Marilyn's victory, she now has a husband (me) that is serving the Lord and growing in a marriage that's doing honor and service to the Lord.
This statement is going to be strange coming from me but understand it. Marilyn had a tremendously tough fight BUT it was worth it. I was worth it, our marriage was worth it. Don't let the devil rob, steal and kill your marriage. You and your spouse have a godly purpose for your marriage, that it be a powerful tool for the Lord. Don't look back to see what it has been; don't look at the present with its disaster, but rather look to God's heart and vision for what it will be "...exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" Ephesians 3:20.
P.S. Marilyn, I love you and thank you so much for standing steadfast despite all of the circumstances for the healing of our marriage.