Monday, February 21, 2011

The Unrepentant Husband

As I have met with many women in difficult and unhappy marriages over the years one thing has been very clear; patience is important. There must be a willingness to wait and watch God work in your husband. 

I understand it is wearying and the road is long and the years have been painful. Can I promise you that your spouse will change and repent? No, I wish I could. Sadly, even after many opportunities and every gracious attitude that you display, rebellious spouses still refuse to repent and change. In spite of this, please do not give up. Keep praying, keep hoping, keep trusting! God is a changer of hearts and there is no heart that is beyond His grasp. 

When a believing husband refuses to repent and change for the glory of God the steps of church discipline (Matt 18:15-20) should be enacted. (Any church that refuses to deal with the sinning brother or sister biblically is not a church that is truly biblical.)

When church discipline goes into effect the urge to rejoice can be overwhelming as you finally see the  end (of some kind) in sight. While this is a human response, it is also of the flesh and is not in keeping with walking worthy (Eph.4:1) What can you do during this time? Pray. Pray for repentance. Ask for God’s heart toward your spouse. Surely you know that God hates destroyed marriages and broken covenants. It would glorify God greatly if you would continue to pray for your spouse and refrain from thinking things like how you are almost free of this misery.

At the end of the discipline process for her unrepentant husband, one woman said this: “I feel sorry for him. I pity him. To be so self-righteous and refuse to believe he is wrong and everyone else is right…that is to be pitied.”

I know these women pray diligently for their husbands over the years and endure the emotional roller coaster over and over again. Through it all they prayed their husbands will repent and grow spiritually in ways they could never fathom.

As you pray you "let them go." What I mean by that is you don't nag, plead, beg, or wheedle them. There is no "coincidental" leaving of Bible tracts, books on marriage, or anything else, you pray and leave them alone for God to work on his heart. 

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