Dear brothers, today I’d like to share a conversation I had with a brother who was recently restored. I believe reading this will motivate you to begin to put into practice all you are learning, now, so that once GOD restores your marriage, you will be prepared for the challenges you will most certainly experience.
A conversation on How to Remain Restored
You have gained so much wisdom and the Lord has stretched you during your time away from your wife. Now restored, He’s put you back on the potter’s wheel and you allowed Him to remold you. He certainly did this for me! “He who started the work in you” is not finished with you yet. Perhaps you felt a season of chastisement. Again, He only does it for the ones He loves (Hebrews 12:6). Now you have to put it all into practice.
Your journey to get your wife home and back into your marriage may have ended. Yet, now, you’re entering a new phase—remaining restored. Becoming the servant-leader of your household; building your new life together on the Rock that is Jesus. I am only adding on to what you already know, here it is:
1. Lean on the Lord, He must remain in charge
You may often feel overwhelmed after your wife returns. The giddiness of the miracle; the anxiety of getting it right this time; friends and family are shocked or in awe of what has just happened; almost feeling like you’re performing but you’re not because you want to be genuinely changed. Plus, performing will lead to a lot of fake and superficial changes. Please practice remembering what the Lord has done and will do, it will keep you humble and protect you from putting on a show.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight
In addition, you have now learned how much you need the Lord. Remember to be in His presence every day or better yet, several times a day— asking for His help and being entirely dependent on Him. We cannot make it on our own!
Pray continually and pray prophetically over your marriage and situations. Your prayer life is not just at set times but a practice of constantly and continually being dependent on the Lord throughout your day.
I got into the habit before my wife and I were re-united of praying every morning and through the day. Once we were back together, that time was taken up by getting children ready for school (which I had not previously been doing because of separation). My discipline to draw near to the Lord daily stopped and after only 2 weeks, I started arguing with my wife! I had to come back to leaning entirely on the Lord because once I was not, I was defaulting to my normal foolish self. Don’t let this happen to you.
James 1:22-24 (GNT)
Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like. But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.
2. Manage “moments”
So many times, all the bad memories and mistakes will come up! It takes time before the bad memories become distant and forgotten. You and your wife may have something to say to each other, something from bad previous times. You may feel a desire to retaliate in light of everything that you have suffered—yet I beg you— do not fall into this pit of destruction. We used to say horrible things to each other and of course they yielded no good fruit. They stirred up tension and quarrels. It is so important that you manage these moments by removing yourself from feelings of anger/ bitterness because they can often lead to arguments that easily get out of hand.
So many times, the words “fear not” are in the Bible when people are in these overwhelming moments. So, I too say, “fear not” difficult times or tense situations and as His Word says, “refuse any urge to get into confrontations, quarrels, and vain arguments.” (Read 2 Tim. 2:23 that these begin with mere speculations disputed.) Manage these moments, as they begin, pray silently to the Holy Spirit.
Ask for GOD for wisdom. I made it a habit to go out for a walk to cool off when times became heated. And that “moment would pass”. That’s how I managed it. So dear brother, when these moments come, please find a similar strategy to manage them. If you ask God, He will give you your own that will work for you and your wife.
James 1:19-22 (GNT)
Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. Human anger does not achieve God’s righteous purpose. So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.
3. Find community
I cannot say enough about this. Our church community has been a saving grace where we have been forged. I heard someone preach and he said especially to men on finding community and he said to men “join a group or die!”.
That’s how crucial this is. I am really bad at making friends. I have batman / lone ranger syndrome that I am working on dumping, because it makes it hard to make friends! Sports and weather conversations are agonizing and awkward. Unloading all your problems scares people but getting to know people who can help is an invaluable asset. I learned that community is made by forging friendships—real life conversations with other men.
I use the word forging intentionally because think about how a sword is made. It is heated up to high temperatures and beaten with a hammer on an anvil until it comes right. Some more heating and more beating is often necessary. That’s how you will forge new friendships with other men in church and elsewhere.
Facebook is often used for this purpose, but it does not really have that “forging” effect. Brother, you and I need deep and meaningful relationships with other like-minded friends. It is easy to block annoying people, easy to like people who they only show you their good side. However, it’s not so easy when you are going through the fire.
That is why, I believe the book of Proverbs uses “iron sharpening iron” (Proverbs 27:17); because sparks may fly before both swords are sharp. It is hard work, but worth it. In the end you have 2 sharp swords to pierce other men with the truth!
Make a deliberate effort to find safe places with men where you can fellowship, where you can love others in a brotherly way and be loved in the same way. A fellowship where you can be given biblical feedback and challenged where necessary. In Christian fellowship you and your wife will also find prayer partners, and encouragement to navigate hard times and to share with good times. Remember, you need to be your wife’s spiritual leader now.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (GNT)
Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.
1 Corinthians 12:24-26
… God himself has put the body together in such a way as to give greater honor to those parts that need it. And so there is no division in the body, but all its different parts have the same concern for one another. If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness.
A great way to begin being your wife’s spiritual is by doing the free Couple’s Course offered by RMI.
Brother, you will need to be around people who are encouraging, people who are building you up in the word of God, supporting you and helping you live out what God has called you to do. Community is very hard sometimes, it is forged through good times, parties, sharing, hardship and difficulty. Once again do not perform for anyone—be genuine. I have often made the mistake of talking about an issue without talking about an issue—thereby masking over it or glazing over it. This does not help. That’s why I believe it says iron sharpens iron as it only happens when the iron is a red hot and there is friction, but again this = two sharp swords as the outcome.
4. Dealing with the old man.
Your wife has come back and she’s entrusting her heart to you again. She has needs and that is for you to remain the new man she witnessed you transforming into. Also important, I trust you have been dealing with sins you had into the marriage like pornography, alcohol, drugs, anger, bitterness, being abusive, etc. This is extremely important that these old man (old character habits) have each been put away for good.
Again, get all the help you can from GOD and never look back. Replace all these with the new man who has fruits of the Holy Spirit. We are in a world where as Christians, we have never had so much in resources. There is no excuse for the old man to continue to live. Jesus said to not look back:
Jesus said to him, “Anyone who starts to plow and then keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God.”
Jesus also told them this parable: “You don’t tear a piece off a new coat to patch up an old coat. If you do, you will have torn the new coat, and the piece of new cloth will not match the old. Nor do you pour new wine into used wineskins, because the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will pour out, and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins! And you don’t want new wine after drinking old wine. ‘The old is better,’ you say.”
Jesus was not prepared to put new wine in old skins. He did not want to put the power of the gospel into people such as the Pharisees who would not want any changes. People too stuck in the old, not wanting to move into the new life and new power. Don’t be like the Pharisees. Shake off the comforts of the old life that will lead nowhere. Walk into the new life and new you. Get all the help you need for this to happen.
and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him
that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
*Brother, if you struggle with pornography, Erin Thiele’s son, shared this YouTube video. Listen to part of the sermon that proves one of “The Effects of Consistent Bible Reading” is your propensity [inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way] for pornography goes down 61% and for other sins you may be struggling with.
NEXT MONTH we will cover the next part of our list of Remaining Restored.
James 1:22, 25
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves . . . Not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.”
Be sure you are not just a hearer, or reader, but you will put into practice what I have shared. Refer to this list often and ask Him each time to make these changes in you, brother.
~ Patrick RESTORED in Australia
If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to read my testimony and then my wife’s for encouragement.
Also, here are the previous letters from prior months that I hope will inspire you in your Journey.
Patrick RESTORED in Australia
Jodi RESTORED in Australia