When I got off the phone with her I was angry. Not at her, but because I knew I couldn’t tell her exactly what I wanted to. With all the hurt and frustration she’s experiencing, I want to tell her to leave and not look back. To get away from the person who is causing her such distress. And if it would’ve been any other person besides her husband, I may be able to tell her that. However, there is no probable reason to leave and as a faithful servant of God I can not suggest that. If I am to fully trust God, I have to go the distance to fully submit to His will no matter my lack of understanding or what I would like to say or do.
Sadly, this is not the first conversation I’ve had with a distraught wife, and I’m sure there will be more to come. I’m always thankful to share this burden with any woman, but angry and so sorrowful for their suffering. I have come to learn that what I’m really angry about though is the unrighteousness that is causing these situations; this angers God too, and it’s definitely something worth being angry about. So, in my anger, faithfulness, love, and concern for their pain, I write this letter to encourage these women in their time of frustration and heartache.
Dear Distraught Wife,
My heart is breaking for you, and I am angry at the turmoil of sin that is causing you such great distress. God hates sin. We both know this. He hates my sin, your sin, and your husband’s sin so we know He is not pleased with any situation that involves it. It’s disheartening that you have gotten to the point of wanting to leave your husband. It’s discouraging that your husband is an influence on this. I’m so sorry you’re not getting the comfort and encouragement you desire from him. It’s not right, and it’s not godly. I can imagine this is one of the worst places to be. Suffering anything you can’t walk away from is grueling. I know because I have been there myself in a different way. I never fathomed I could ever be so low in my life, but I was, and on occasion I still am. My influence has never been something I could walk away from because it was in my body. Your influence is something you can’t lawfully walk away from because of God’s marriage covenant. Just as I may never understand fully what you are going through, you may never understand what it’s like to live in a body that makes you feel like you are going insane with nothing to take it away. But, what we can both understand from each other is Satan’s attacks through suffering, and we can be there to uphold each other through it. As someone who has been to the depths of despair in so many scary ways, has endured, and overcome through clinging to faith — even if by a thread — I can tell you the only way to fight this evil is by being faithfully devoted to adhere to the good of God.
You are being called to fight a spiritual battle. It’s a battle where right now you may feel totally and utterly weak to advance in. Thus, it’s time to put on the whole armor of God to stand against the wiles of the devil. You need your breastplate, shield, helmet, and sword. Where do you find them? Through diligent actions of faith (shield) that are the product of you consistently searching God’s word (sword) while allowing its truth to teach you righteousness (breastplate) so that you will learn the way to fight evil with good as you allow the gospel of peace to give you hope and protection for salvation (helmet) from all wickedness.
We may not know the exact details of how to proceed with every step, but the answers will be found by prayerfully seeking them by being clothed with God’s armor. Remember that God never leaves you desolate to fight this battle alone. He has given you an army of saints, such as myself, that are armed and willing to fight with you. However, you have to choose to fight God’s way no matter what your husband decides. You have to put the responsibility with yourself to recognize the self-worth God places upon you, what ways you are sinning, how you need to grow through this, and how this opportunity will build strength and character by you persevering through great trials. I so wish this was something I could tell you to just walk away from because it hurts to see your pain. Yet, God has called us to something greater in our marriages as it is a manifestation of our commitment to love Him with our whole heart, soul, and mind.
You will mess up. I will mess up. With our mess ups we will face the consequences, seek God’s mercy, and work harder to build up our faith to live more godly lives. Let’s share in our struggles together as we learn to fight evil with good with the whole armor of God.
I love you with the love that believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. I believe in you, I hope with you, and I endure with you. You are continually in my prayers.
Truth in love,
Father, I pray that every distraught wife that reads this will be encouraged to boldly put on Your armor to fight against the wiles of the devil in their marriage. In this way, You will be glorified in their suffering, and Your good will ultimately overcome Satan’s attack. Thank you for the self-worth, protection, love, peace, strength, wisdom, and hope that is found through being wholly faithful to Your purpose through Christ. Amen.
1 Pet. 3:1-7
1 Cor. 13:7