Failure of my marriage was sealed when I continued to have a secret and habitual sin of pornography. This eventually led to me being adulterous. I was always too proud to seek God to help me, even when my wife confronted me. I shifted the blame from myself and denied it every time I was caught.
The first time I sought help from a Christian counselor, my wife and I were going through a divorce. The Christian counselor told me that God had allowed me to be exposed not to destroy my marriage, but to restore it and to save my life. After our conversation I went online, typed “restored marriages" into a search engine, and found Restore Ministries (RMI). It was very confronting to confess what I had done when I filled out my forms. However, I was so tired of cover-ups and lies that I confessed. I wanted to change. I received my marriage evaluation back from RMI, which really lifted my spirit. The RMI books were very difficult to accept because I saw my failures even more clearly with every page.
Yet that’s when God began changing me. I got into my bible like I had never before in my life. I started to pray twice a day for about 30 minutes, and just praising God before my prayers. I sang my favourite hymns and found myself listening to nothing but Praise, Worship and Gospel music. I started making immediate changes, and found a new church and bible study group. I became so changed that even I could not believe it was me anymore! I received even more help from a Christian ministry in dealing with my desire to look at porn. I didn’t stop there; I kept going. I got amazing support at my new church. God is so amazing because only He could have directed me to this church. God became my sunrise and sunset.
During my trials, God taught me two big lessons; having faith and staying consecrated. So many people, even close friends and family, told me to give up, move on, and find another girlfriend. I told one friend that I was standing for my marriage and he called me "delusional". All through this my wife continued to be really hostile towards me. There were no signs of progress at all. It seemed as if there was a large army assembled against my marriage being restored, but I kept praying and making changes. In the midst of all of this, I learned to keep thinking "But God is greater than all these things” and to carry the word of God in my heart for all these situations
The most difficult times that God helped me through was dealing with my wife. Sometimes, as if my wife was not hostile enough, she would be even more "over the top hostile". Her words crushed me. I sometimes felt that my wife would make seeing our children really hard for me. I kept turning the other cheek and remembering that Jesus stood falsely accused by the Pharisees in front of Pilate yet said nothing. His Love kept silent. So I stayed silent.
Because of my wife’s hostility towards me, I did not suspect that my restoration was close. There were no signs of marriage restoration until the very end. In fact, the opposite was true. Dealings with my wife got worse for me and it seemed that she became even more hostile. She kept confessing how much hatred she had for me and how much we would "never ever" be together. Her friend, at the time, from her church was only too happy to serve me with divorce papers.
I continued to pray even after I signed divorce papers. I did everything in faith and trusted that the divorce would not pass. I planned to have "marriage restoration party" and did not plan how we would split the little we had. I was living with non-Christian roommates at the time, and they openly confessed that they thought I had "cracked".
Suddenly, out of the blue, my wife asked how to restore a marriage when I was picking up the children one Sunday morning. I told her a bit of what I read about in the RMI books and other resources I had been using. She was skeptical, but the hostility ended that very day. She called me the next day and we started spending time together again. My wife just started speaking to me suddenly. At that point; picking up and dropping off children had descended into a " wordless transaction" but from that day we spoke, the phone calls became more frequent, and she started asking me to her house for dinner in order to spend time with her and help her with the children.
At this point, I am interested in helping to encourage other men, and encourage them to never stop seeking the Lord. Please don’t ever stop praying, worshipping or seeking the Lord in His word. Because I stopped and fell back into adultery, I now watch out for that devil who is roaring and looking for prey . My wife and I are still together, and we have more community at church to help us get better at our marriage.
My men’s bible study group, which I still attend, carried me and prayed with me during that time. I have podcasts in the car and have just replaced all my secular habits with Godly ones. So, don’t let your guard down for a moment, and have a men's Christian community even when your marriage is restored.
~ Tad Restored in Australia
Here is his wife’s Testimony that she submitted a few months prior that I hope will also encourage you. Remember, she came and asked me for the RYM book.
Husband Gives Wife our RYM Book
Ministry Note: The testimony you are about to read is different than most, because it was Odelia’s husband who found RMI and began following the principles. Unlike a woman, a man can share things as her spiritual leader, if asked, like him sharing the RYM book with her. Hopefully you will be able to glean many wonderful insights, without making the mistake of doing things that are reserved for men seeking restoration.
I am a born-again Christian. In the Lord’s mercy for me, He saved me from my life riddled with drugs, alcohol, and crime for the sake of myself and my three beautiful children. I have been clean and sober for many years, all praises to God. However, I still had a lot of issues I was trying to heal from, which affected my marriage. My husband and I are of different cultures. We had a tumultuous relationship filled with anger, resentment, and bitterness. We fought and argued constantly. Neither I nor my husband felt any peace in our home. My husband didn’t feel loved by me, so he turned to other options. One day I discovered that he was surfing the web looking for other women and on dating sites. I was devastated, but continued to remain faithful to him hoping that things would change.
Things did change in our marriage – for the worse, and eventually we separated. I remained intimate with my husband during our separation, but soon discovered that he was also sinking deeper into sin. When I found out, I wanted to die. I made the mistake of uncovering my husband’s nakedness to everyone I knew including my church. I sought counseling from my church, who advised me to move on with my life.
Although I did plan to move on with my life, I believed my husband was the one for life – until death do us part, yet my feelings of hate for him were very strong. As God tells us in His Word “Let all bitterness, anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away with malice.” (Ephesians 4:31 NIV). I was not able to put my bitterness away and allow God to heal and work within me. Although conflicted, I still began divorce proceedings, happily to get rid of my husband. I even cut myself free from him, mentally, during one of my church’s prayer meetings. There was no way that I was going to continue to be married to someone who I thought was the devil.
While I believed my husband was the devil, the Lord was changing him for the better. My husband began fasting and praying for our marriage, and eventually became a member of the Encouraging Men website. He confessed to me one day that he was standing for our marriage. He even gave me a copy of How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage! I thought, how bold was he and how dare he! I was livid, and told him not to bother praying for such a crazy thing, as it wasn't going to happen. A few weeks after my husband revealed this to me, I found myself deep in worship at a woman's revival conference, and having the Word and testimonies of others poured into me. It was at this conference that God spoke to my heart saying 'I can even fix your marriage.' I was devastated. I couldn't understand why God would want me back with my husband after the way he treated and disrespected me. I shared this revelation with some trusted friends, and my pastors. My pastors were furious. They even drove to my house to tell me that what I heard was not of God. They never once advised me to SG in my marriage situation. These were supposed to be men of God! I didn't know what to do, and grew more confused. I felt alone and empty inside, and often had suicidal thoughts.
Rather than seeking God for the answers and to fill my void, I turned to another man, and became involved in an adulterous relationship. I knew I was in disobedience to God, but stayed in the relationship. This relationship did not fill the void that I had; it only made me feel worse. I felt like dying, and to make matters worse, I became pregnant by the other man (OM). My pastors were informed and were mortified. They disowned me, and wanted nothing to do with me. However, I still remained in the relationship. All the while, God was using this awful situation for good, and began convicting the OM.
God showed the OM in a dream that I still loved my husband, and that He was going to restore both our marriages. When the OM shared this with me, I cried out to the Lord and then to my husband. My husband was not only forgiving, but he also promised to be a good father for the baby. We began talking more and spending time together. When I became sick a few weeks later, the OM disappeared, but it was my husband who stood by me taking me to my doctor's appointments. Shortly afterwards, I began bleeding and had to have emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. It was a painful reminder of my sins. When everyone else abandoned me, the Lord allowed my husband to stay by my side, taking me to the hospital for the surgery and taking care of me after it. My husband was not the devil I remembered him to be, but a Godly man. My husband was constantly talking about God and bible scriptures, and even listening to Christian music. Before this time, he hated listening to my Christian music! Proverbs 21:1 tells us that "the king's heart is like channels of water in the Lord's hand; He turns it wherever He wishes". I was seeing this verse come to pass firsthand. My husband had changed so much, which was only the work of God!
It was the changing of my husband that God used to soften my heart. As my heart continued to soften, my husband and I grew closer together, and to Christ. We ultimately reconciled and began living for Christ as the center of our lives. We recently renewed our wedding vows. Everyone thought I was crazy for taking my husband back. My pastors are completely against it, and were more concerned with the image of their church than for the salvation of me and my husband or what was best for our family. They saw me as a distraction and completely disowned me. It was through God's grace and mercy alone, however that saved me and restored my marriage. When I couldn't let go of the images of my husband sinning, God stepped in and helped me. No one else has the power to do such things - not pastors, husband, family or friends. Not even me. All those times I cried out to God and prayed for Him to make my husband a Godly man on fire for Him did not go unheard.
I thank God for His mercy and grace. I thank God for using my husband to bring me to this ministry, and for giving me the RYM book. When I came here and filled out a Marriage Evaluation, I hadn’t read it. It took just a month from filling out the evaluation until I filled out this restored marriage testimony. I have already recommended the ministry's resources to my friends because of how quickly they worked and helped me. One friend in particular just received the final divorce papers. So I am helping her navigate through RMI's website and encouraging her. I am believing for her marriage to be restored too, even though the divorce went through. God is a God of restoration. Only He can fix it!
Don't give up my friends! I am believing with you that God is going to perform a miracle in your situation. Draw near to Him just as I am learning to do. It is a process, but only God can heal and restore. God loves each one of you and cares for you so much. He doesn't want to see us sorrowful and desires for us to have an intimate relationship with Him. Two of my favorite Bible verses that God gave to me are Psalm 56:8: (NKJV) "You number my wanderings and collect my tears in a bottle. Are they not in Your book?" and Psalm 126:5-6 (NKJV) "Those who sow in tears shall reap joy in the morning. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing shall doubtless come again rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him." All the sowing through the tears, hurt and pain you have and are suffering will be rewarded if you just seek God first. No my dear sisters, God has not forgotten about you. Cry out to Him in your darkest hour. Offer up sacrificial praises unto Him. Spend time with Him in your joyful moments, as well. He is waiting for you!
~ Odelia Restored in Australia