God First Family Second
[Guest Post by Beth Berry – I am overjoyed to introduce my second mother-daughter blog duo on devotionaldiva.com. Rachel Berry, Beth’s daughter and I previously met at the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild. She shared her blog here about losing the Miss Oregon crown. Now, I bring you her mom. Please welcome Beth with open arms.]
I left my office at 10:00 p.m. one cool September night, looking forward to crawling into my warm bed and snuggling up next to my husband of twenty four years.
Like every evening, I looked forward to sharing my day with him and hearing about his.
But that night was different than any other–instead of business meeting recaps or an update on one of our kids’ sports games, the words he spoke were piercing. He coldly pushed my embrace away as he spoke in a stern whisper that he loved me, but wasn’t in love with me. He wanted a divorce.
I resisted his words by initiating a hug, and cried aloud.
No. Please, no.
We have worked so hard to get where we are. We have an incredible family. And above all, I’m in love with you.
What I didn’t realize was that I could not change my husband’s mind, actions, or his ability to love me.
I knew my husband had been unhappy with his life for several years, but I didn’t think he would get to a point where he felt divorce was the solution to his discontentment.
I was angry, and became resentful. I tried in my own power and flesh to make my husband fall back in love with me. I had a successful business and worked another part time job thinking that the more money I made, the more he would love me. As a competitive runner, I thought if I ran faster, won more road races, and completed more marathons, he would love me more.
Those were all empty lies from the enemy.
The voice that didn’t lie was God–which urged me to let go and hand the situation over to Him, where it belonged.
God reminded me that only He can transform a heart. I needed to release my marriage into God’s hands completely.
Because I knew God’s word says he hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), I figured that God wouldn’t allow a divorce to occur between my husband and me. I was wrong. I questioned and doubted God when the divorce became final months later, disregarding what I knew to be true–that His ways and thoughts are higher than mine, even if I don’t understand.
During the years since my divorce, God has shown me that He alone is my provider, my healer, my rock, and my best friend. He revealed to me that my husband had been my idol.
I did everything to please and fear my husband first, and God second–instead of putting God first family second.
God has called me to stand in the gap and pray for my husband’s salvation and the restoration of our marriage. I have joy and peace knowing that I am not in charge of rekindling love into my husband’s heart. I know that God is the almighty restorer and healer.
If you are gazing down the dim road of marital dysfunction, divorce, or are divorced, I challenge you to pursue forgiveness for your spouse and surrender the hurt they have caused to the Lord. He alone has the power to heal and restore your heart, your spouse, and your relationship.
So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate (Matthew 19:6, NKJV).
Beth’s world was shaken when her husband of 24 years unexpectedly filed for divorce at the same time her older sister died suddenly of cancer. After seeking God’s promises through this stormy season, she has a heart for preserving marriage as God intends and standing against the enemy’s plots of family destruction. Beth is the mother of 3 grown children and lives in Southern California where she enjoys long distance running, road cycling, serving in her church. You can find her at http://www.foreverfaithfulfamilies.com/ and on Twitter.