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Old 10-04-2012, 09:34 AM   #1
Redman
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Default Spouses in the local church

I am a married man who's wife has announced that her involvement with the LC must now be her top priority and I will be required to manage our married lives around her schedule. She has been involved with the LC for a number of years but, up to now, has has agreed to my request that her church time be limited and be flexible around our family's schedule. I recognize now that this day was inevitable and am searching for similiar situations from which I can learn and try maintain my marraige. I would appreciate hearing from former members or current spouses in situations like mine.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:55 AM   #2
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1) Pray. Pray desperately.
2) Are there other men in the same situation who you can discuss this with (not in the LC but with a wife in the LC)?
3) Surprisingly, there are a few elders in the LC who have integrity and who care about the family life. Do you know the LC elders in your city, and are there any who you can discuss this with?
4) Do you yourself have a group of Christians you can open this up to and pray with where you are?
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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I am a married man who's wife has announced that her involvement with the LC must now be her top priority and I will be required to manage our married lives around her schedule.
I am a woman, was in the LC a very long time, no longer a Christian or God-believer, and also have been married for a long time. But this is how I feel. YOU are the man, and as the man, you are the head of that family, and the family should come under YOU. No good can come out of having your wife set those kind of rules down, and any brother in the church who doesn't see this isn't worth his brothership. There is a natural order to things. A woman doesn't respect a man who doesn't take the lead. I would use the verses in the bible that clearly state about coming under your husband, even though he may be an unbeliever so that perhaps one day he may believe. To me, it is crazy to manage your married life around only HER schedule. YOU and your family have a "schedule" too, in which she is needed and should be involved. Put your foot down, gently but firmly.

My two cents.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Spouses in the local church

Here's a question you might ask yourself and maybe ask your wife too:

Does she love her church/Witness Lee's ministry via the LSM more than her husband and her family? If her answer is "yes" to that you will have to decide whether you want to stay in a marriage with a spouse who's heart is elsewhere. The psychological impact on you and your children either way will be profound. But having a wife in the situation as you are describing is like having a wife who is involved with a lover - and one who takes up most of her time. Can you live with that?
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Spouses in the local church

Thank you for your replies. I must admit to all that it has been a long time since I've had any spiritual feelings ( Catholic, long ago ) and I know this lack of spiritual leadership has helped to put my marraige where it is today. I intend to explore my local devotional options as part of my new mission. As for the suggestions I've received....I don't really have biblical knowledge so I can't quote any marraige related verses; any help here would be appreciated. I don't know anyone locally who has left the LC who I could counsel with. Sadly, the primary LC elder ( leader, in my opinion ) has actually been in the background encouraging my wife to make her stand, knowing full well that this could easily trigger a divorce response from me; he, along with his wife are ready to give her the support she would need to continue her life without me. This, of course, defies any Christian teachings that I'm aware of and yet my lovely wife is unable to see through the fog. So, as always, any suggestions are welcome.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Spouses in the local church

Redman,

First of all, despite what your wife and/or the Local Church elders may tell you, the New Testament clearly instructs Christians that find themselves in your wife's position to STAY WITH THEIR SPOUSE. The only exception provided is in the case of adultery. I'll provide you with the biblical references if you want them. Unfortunately, the Local Church has fostered a culture that, in many cases, allows married people to ignore this biblical mandate in favor of fanatical devotion to their religion. It's sad but true.

Second may I recommend that you start to read the Gospels. (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, first 4 books of New Testament) Just a few verses a day, or as many as you like. These early Christian writings will provide you with a clear, unvarnished presentation of who Jesus Christ really is and what he is "all about". I am recommending this to you because we Christians do a really lousy job of presenting and representing our Lord and Savior. Besides it's always better to go right to the source anyway!

Lastly I would recommend marriage counselling. Your wife will probably resist this tooth and nail. Maybe if you could find a Christian counselor she might acquiesce.

Thanks for taking a chance and putting yourself out here by coming on the forum. You probably didn't realize how many opinionated people hand around a place like this. Most of us mean well....
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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I am a Christian, and you need to give your wife the freedom of worship that she needs. You are not her jailer, nor are you her dictator. You are her husband, and your mandate or order from God is to love your wife as Christ loved the church. Love is not controlling, demanding nor is it self-serving. Stop being a Pharoah, and let your wife go to the meetings of the local church as the Spirit leads her to go.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Spouses in the local church

Redman:

I have not been in the situation you describe, but I have been in a situation where my marriage and my faith were at seeming odds. Here's a verse (and chapter) that has been a great help to me:

1 Corinthians 7:17: Into that which you were called, so there remain with God.

also verse 20: Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

In my personal opinion, our spiritual growth comes MOST from the human relationships God places us in. Learning how to take care of one another requires a tremendous amount of faith. Being "zealous" for a ministry does not inherently require faith and can sometimes overshadow real human, God-ordained, relationships.

Just two cents. I encourage you to seek after Him in whatever way you find. You will need a compass for the difficult decisions, discussions and trials. Much grace to you.

In Love,

Peter
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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I am a Christian, and you need to give your wife the freedom of worship that she needs. You are not her jailer, nor are you her dictator. You are her husband, and your mandate or order from God is to love your wife as Christ loved the church. Love is not controlling, demanding nor is it self-serving. Stop being a Pharoah, and let your wife go to the meetings of the local church as the Spirit leads her to go.
"But to the married I charge, not I but the Lord, a wife must not be separated from her husband" 1 Cor 7:10

"A wife is bound for so long a time as her husband lives;" 1 Cor 7:39 exc.

The world is fallen, and our flesh is corrupt - in ourselves, that is, in our flesh, we are naturally allied with Satan rather than God. Divorce, which God hates, is a natural consequence of our sinful nature. That said, you have no right to excerpt half a verse of Scripture to promote a sin against our God as healthy or righteous. Wives, be subject to your husbands... that's the other half of the verse you left out. To advocate sin is to partake of it's guilt yourself. And where do you get that this husband is a jailor? By his account, his wife has been going to meetings for years - he has not stopped her.

I will pray for this man, that the Lord grant him wisdom and patience and that through the anguish of this the Lord might open the eyes of his household and gain more in them all.

In Christ,
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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Redman, have you ever read any of Stormie O'Martian's books, like "The Power of a Praying Husband" and "The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage"? If you need some direction in your prayer life, these are really good books to use. They have a lot of insights.
One way of looking at your situation is that this is a "stage" your marriage is passing through, and then seek the Lord about what He wants you to learn in this stage. Meanwhile, pray for yourself and your marriage in terms of, what does it mean to be a loving husband in such a situation? Are there ways you can improve as a husband, regardless of your wife's focus on the local church?
Just my two cents, fwiw.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Spouses in the local church

To all,

Let's try to be a little more "practical" with our suggestions for Redman. After all, he has advised us that he is not really a practicing Christian, and even if he was we all know that he probably wouldn't be too much better off with his wife and her relationship with the Local Church.

Sorry Redman...like I said....most of us mean well
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:15 AM   #12
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UntoHim, please read what Redman wrote:

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Originally Posted by Redman View Post
I intend to explore my local devotional options as part of my new mission.
...
I don't really have biblical knowledge so I can't quote any marraige related verses; any help here would be appreciated.
...
This, of course, defies any Christian teachings that I'm aware of and yet my lovely wife is unable to see through the fog. So, as always, any suggestions are welcome.
He asked for spiritual help, not just practical help. And how is telling someone to pray "not practical"? It could save his marriage. I know many non-practicing Christians who went through a marriage crisis, prayed desperately, and the situation turned around.

Using the icon that goes "blah" is kind of insulting to all of us who are doing our best to offer advice. Recently Igzy requested that lurkers participate more - would you rather us go away because our advice isn't up to your standard?
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: Spouses in the local church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I am a Christian, and you need to give your wife the freedom of worship that she needs. You are not her jailer, nor are you her dictator. You are her husband, and your mandate or order from God is to love your wife as Christ loved the church. Love is not controlling, demanding nor is it self-serving. Stop being a Pharoah, and let your wife go to the meetings of the local church as the Spirit leads her to go.
These kinds of statements never help. There is nothing in Redman's posts that warrants this. Obviously Redman has not been doing what you have accused him of doing. He came here for help, and all the other replies so far have been quite good.

Redman is rightfully concerned because his dear wife has recently placed new demands upon the family. I have personally witnessed this before, usually instigated by ministry zealots who heap demands upon their members. They place commitment to the ministry and to the church on the same level as the Lord, making ridiculous comments like, "how can we differentiate Christ and the church?" This is quite deceptive since our marriage and our family must always come before the church. This subtle misalignment of priorities has damaged many marriages in the Recovery.

Yes, the Lord should be our first love, and yes, He must have the first place in our hearts. The Lord, however, is totally committed to the institution of marriage. Regardless of a million teachings and instructions by LSM to the contrary, the Lord would never approve of a divorce so that one member could be more involved in the Recovery.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Using the icon that goes "blah" is kind of insulting to all of us who are doing our best to offer advice. Recently Igzy requested that lurkers participate more - would you rather us go away because our advice isn't up to your standard?
Darn you Igzy for giving us all those new icons. Don't you know how dangerous these are in the hands of the wrong people?

Sorry Unregistered, that was a little over the top, wasn't it. No I don't want lurkers to go away, but I think it's time that you registered as a member. You can use a handle to keep your anonymity of course. This will save the moderator time and you the problem of having to wait until your post is approved. Thanks for your consideration in this matter!

Now that I read the last part of Redman's post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redman View Post
So, as always, any suggestions are welcome.
I see your point.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
UntoHim, please read what Redman wrote:

He asked for spiritual help, not just practical help. And how is telling someone to pray "not practical"? It could save his marriage. I know many non-practicing Christians who went through a marriage crisis, prayed desperately, and the situation turned around.

Using the icon that goes "blah" is kind of insulting to all of us who are doing our best to offer advice. Recently Igzy requested that lurkers participate more - would you rather us go away because our advice isn't up to your standard?
I agree with you. Ole Unto must be having a bad day.


Finally got some decent smilies.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:44 PM   #16
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Darn you Igzy for giving us all those new icons. Don't you know how dangerous these are in the hands of the wrong people?


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Old 10-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #17
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This is the first time I have done anything like this and I'm amazed...in a good way. To update, I did visit with a local minister over the weekend and attended his evangelical service Sun. morning; I must admit it was a lot to digest as a rookie. I did purchase a NIV Bible to start to read the Gospels as suggested by UntoHim. I'd already concluded that being a better husband would be a requirement if I had any chance for success. Regardless, I believe my wife is now so confident that her "100% her way" stand is correct and with the Lord that she would accept my giving up and disolving the marriage; she knows her LC "family" is rooting her on and will support her if I just blow up. It's a very sad day to think that this group could actually consider themselves Christians.

By the way, she is a wonderful wife in many, many ways and is now actually trying harder to please me when she's not with her brothers and sisters. It actually seems she's taken on the "job" of pleasing me in return for her freedom. This may seem like a good thing until you realize I must knowingly agree to relinquish my authority in our household to the LC "family" to make it work. This gives me sleepless nights.

I'm not prepared to give up so I'll continue to search for answers/help.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:35 PM   #18
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By the way, she is a wonderful wife in many, many ways and is now actually trying harder to please me when she's not with her brothers and sisters. It actually seems she's taken on the "job" of pleasing me in return for her freedom. This may seem like a good thing until you realize I must knowingly agree to relinquish my authority in our household to the LC "family" to make it work. This gives me sleepless nights.

I'm not prepared to give up so I'll continue to search for answers/help.
Don't give up. Coming from the LC, authority has often been misused. Authority does not mean you can lord over saints. Even in the marriage covenant (not a contract), it's not about lording over. I would suggest reading the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 and also in detail Ephesians 5:20-5:33.

"20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
"

Verse 21 is italicized because of an emphasis on each person in the marriage covenant. It is not a case of one having absolute authority and the other absolutely submitting, but a relationship of submitting one to another.
In recent years one movie beneficial to a marriage covenant is Fireproof. If you have not seen it, I would recommend renting or buying it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:45 AM   #19
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Redman is rightfully concerned because his dear wife has recently placed new demands upon the family. I have personally witnessed this before, usually instigated by ministry zealots who heap demands upon their members. They place commitment to the ministry and to the church on the same level as the Lord, making ridiculous comments like, "how can we differentiate Christ and the church?" This is quite deceptive since our marriage and our family must always come before the church. This subtle misalignment of priorities has damaged many marriages in the Recovery.
On another thread awareness mentioned that Mel Porter would regularly meet with the sisters who's husbands were "not clear", poisoned or whatever the in vogue term was at the time. Kinda creepy IMHO.

Anyways Ohio you are absolutely correct - the zealots care not for the strength of families. All things must be subjected to the church/ministry of Witness Lee via LSM.

Redman in my view the answer is simple: NO! No it is not acceptable that your church is your top priority. No it is not acceptable that our married and family life will now be subjected and build around the schedule of your church. Don't be intimidated by thinking you are not a "spiritual" enough or Christian enough husband. The LC system cloaks itself in false spirituality while in fact the family life of it's founder Witness Lee was a disgraceful shambles. Don't let them pretend otherwise. And following his example most of their leaders couldn't care less about you, your family or your marriage. They are obsessed with Witness Lee and his ministry and the LSM i.e. their church.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:33 AM   #20
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This is the first time I have done anything like this and I'm amazed...in a good way. To update, I did visit with a local minister over the weekend and attended his evangelical service Sun. morning; I must admit it was a lot to digest as a rookie. I did purchase a NIV Bible to start to read the Gospels as suggested by UntoHim. I'd already concluded that being a better husband would be a requirement if I had any chance for success. Regardless, I believe my wife is now so confident that her "100% her way" stand is correct and with the Lord that she would accept my giving up and disolving the marriage; she knows her LC "family" is rooting her on and will support her if I just blow up. It's a very sad day to think that this group could actually consider themselves Christians.

By the way, she is a wonderful wife in many, many ways and is now actually trying harder to please me when she's not with her brothers and sisters. It actually seems she's taken on the "job" of pleasing me in return for her freedom. This may seem like a good thing until you realize I must knowingly agree to relinquish my authority in our household to the LC "family" to make it work. This gives me sleepless nights.

I'm not prepared to give up so I'll continue to search for answers/help.
Redman, I have known many, many decent sisters in the LC whose husbands were not a part of the LC. In some regards their marriages were more peaceful than many I knew where both were members of the LC. This was partly due to the extra demands placed upon the couples in the LC, whereas a sister by herself had the liberty to attend the meetings of her choosing. Another reason was that these spouses seem to give one another more liberties, than those couples who both were active in the LC.

It also helps to complement, appreciate, and praise your wife for all her virtues and positives. The last thing you want is for her to constantly be leaving conflicts at home and running to the meeting where everyone else treats her as a spiritual "heroine."

Since your wife has "taken on the "job" of pleasing me," you should joyfully reciprocate. This is what the Bible says in I Corinthians 7.33-34, "But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--and his interests are divided. ... But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband."

Your reading of the gospels is wonderful. Most LC brothers and sisters do not do this. Most of them are far too occupied with all the doctrines and teachings in the booklets that they are provided with each week. Because of this, they miss out on the simple excitement that comes directly from Jesus Himself. Try to "read yourself" right into the stories in the gospels. Try to picture yourself as a "typical busy resident" in the Bible lands, when Jesus just happens to visit town. Imagine how the news of what He did and said affected those around you.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #21
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Since your wife has "taken on the "job" of pleasing me," you should joyfully reciprocate. This is what the Bible says in I Corinthians 7.33-34, "But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--and his interests are divided. ... But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband."
Ohio, I don't think Paul is suggesting that this is a situation we should seek out. But you suggest it's one that we should "joyfully reciprocate?" I think the context of Corinthians makes it clear that Paul (and the Lord) prefers undivided attention to the Lord, cf. verse 35. Married life is certainly from the Lord and the Lord wants us to care for our spouse. I don't doubt that. But I don't think Paul is championing this in the way you seem to be reading it. I think this is or can often be the natural state of married life--we neglect the Lord, even partially, in order to please our spouse. It's inescapable. That doesn't mean it's commendable.

Mark 10:9 should be enough to get the conversation going and ringing in Redman's wife's ear. If she is seeking God, she should be caring for her husband, i.e. leading him to the Lord. Not, "pleasing ... in return for her freedom." I don't (as a habit) take care of my wife so she'll let me do what I want. The life in me, God's life in me, would call me out on that immediately. (And sometimes has).

To Redman,
Your reading the Gospels is the best thing you could do. Read it with a genuine curiosity, an open heart and the reason that was given to you by God. The more you know the Lord's word the more you'll be able to communicate effectively with your wife.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:43 PM   #22
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Ohio, I don't think Paul is suggesting that this is a situation we should seek out. But you suggest it's one that we should "joyfully reciprocate?" I think the context of Corinthians makes it clear that Paul (and the Lord) prefers undivided attention to the Lord, cf. verse 35. Married life is certainly from the Lord and the Lord wants us to care for our spouse. I don't doubt that. But I don't think Paul is championing this in the way you seem to be reading it. I think this is or can often be the natural state of married life--we neglect the Lord, even partially, in order to please our spouse. It's inescapable. That doesn't mean it's commendable.
Yes, BrotherinFaith, I do believe it is a husband's role to "please his wife," otherwise why would Paul say this? The local church understanding of "undivided attention to the Lord" has little to do with Paul's intention. In fact, the LC pays little attention to husbands loving their wives, other than occasional lip-service to the idea.

My idea of a husband's role to "please his wife," is how can I love her more, how can I make her life more fruitful, how can I help her joy, how can remove her stress, and make her happy, etc. to the best of his ability.

Redman perceived that perhaps his wife was trying to please him in return for her own freedom. It may not be the best motive, but it's not a bad start. Sometimes I try to please my wife just to make my own life easier. Is that so bad? Better than "venting" all over her because I had a bad day.

We have read the stories of brothers in the LC who would not assist their sick wives do the dishes because they didn't want to do this "out of their natural man." They wanted to have their heart and spirit undivided for the Lord and His church. I say this is spiritual bunk! Bunch of nonsense based on bad teachings! What if, instead, that brother had the thought to "please his wife" as much as possible? That's real love in my book. He should have made dinner, washed the dishes, and served her tea and toast in bed. With this attitude, perhaps they would still be married.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:10 PM   #23
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Yes, BrotherinFaith, I do believe it is a husband's role to "please his wife," otherwise why would Paul say this? The local church understanding of "undivided attention to the Lord" has little to do with Paul's intention. In fact, the LC pays little attention to husbands loving their wives, other than occasional lip-service to the idea.

My idea of a husband's role to "please his wife," is how can I love her more, how can I make her life more fruitful, how can I help her joy, how can remove her stress, and make her happy, etc. to the best of his ability. .
I think you're exactly right, brother. Our marriage covenants are pictures of the very covenant Christ has made with us, his Bride. Our wives, imperfect as they (and we!) Are, are God's gift to us... and I'd better get off my Galaxy SIII before mine gets grumpy with me....

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:22 AM   #24
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Yes, BrotherinFaith, I do believe it is a husband's role to "please his wife," otherwise why would Paul say this? The local church understanding of "undivided attention to the Lord" has little to do with Paul's intention. In fact, the LC pays little attention to husbands loving their wives, other than occasional lip-service to the idea.

My idea of a husband's role to "please his wife," is how can I love her more, how can I make her life more fruitful, how can I help her joy, how can remove her stress, and make her happy, etc. to the best of his ability.
Ohio, As I said before, I agree with you that a husband should love his wife, should take care of her, love her more, help make her life fruitful, etc. Yes. I never disagreed with you. I believe the Lord wants this too. BUT, and this is what I was addressing in my initial post, I do not think this is what Paul was talking about in the verses you quoted. He was talking about loving your spouse at the Lord's expense. That is the context.

Your idea that a husband's role to please his wife is "how can i love her more, how an I make her more fruitful, etc" is perfectly in keeping with the Bible, with God's word. I agree. But that is not what is being addressed in the verses you quoted. That's all I was saying.

Paul's intention, as far as I can tell, was to point out that it is better to have undivided attention for the Lord, but in a marriage that isn't possible. I don't think Paul would ever support what you and others say the LC claims for these verses.

What happens in the LC, whether is is in line with the Bible or not, was not my concern in my initial post. What you've described happening in the LC is, of course, a terrible interpretation of love in any usage of the word.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:33 PM   #25
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Ohio, As I said before, I agree with you that a husband should love his wife, should take care of her, love her more, help make her life fruitful, etc. Yes. I never disagreed with you. I believe the Lord wants this too. BUT, and this is what I was addressing in my initial post, I do not think this is what Paul was talking about in the verses you quoted. He was talking about loving your spouse at the Lord's expense. That is the context.

Your idea that a husband's role to please his wife is "how can i love her more, how an I make her more fruitful, etc" is perfectly in keeping with the Bible, with God's word. I agree. But that is not what is being addressed in the verses you quoted. That's all I was saying.

Paul's intention, as far as I can tell, was to point out that it is better to have undivided attention for the Lord, but in a marriage that isn't possible. I don't think Paul would ever support what you and others say the LC claims for these verses.

What happens in the LC, whether is is in line with the Bible or not, was not my concern in my initial post. What you've described happening in the LC is, of course, a terrible interpretation of love in any usage of the word.
I do understand your interpretation of Paul's instruction, but who on earth really lives like that? Can you provide an example of a single brother or sister on earth today who is giving their "undivided attention" to the Lord, as Paul did, and is not some kind of nut case?

I'm not so sure that those who really attempt to please their spouses do so at the Lord's expense, but thanks for your input ABrotherInFaith.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:55 PM   #26
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Redman

I too see the marriage situation as a Covenant between the people involved. Not merely a contract between two people that can be easily broken by either party, or a situation where a man lords it over the woman or the parents lord it over the children. Covenants include a great deal more than mere contracts. Integrity, mutual respect, agape love and submission, mutual affection, for example. Covenants are much harder to break, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be broken.

I’m a bit old fashion in my view of marriage. To the point that I feel that the woman is better suited to care for the children as the man is better suited to bring home the day’s hunt. By mutual consent, my wife was a housewife until the children were old enough and responsible enough to care for themselves to some degree. Only then did my wife take on responsibilities besides the family, and then only part time so as to be present when the youngest and up came home from school. My wife and I agreed that we would be far better caretakers of our children than a day care center or a nanny. And when I was home from the day’s hunt, I helped my wife in what ever way I could. Being a housewife is the hardest job in the world, that is more than a job, and much more comprehensive, if not taken lightly. A personal career in the modern sense is next to nothing in comparison.

I’m also a bit unbiblical perhaps in my view of what your wife is doing. I do not wish to detract from your statement that your wife has many good qualities. I have no doubt that you have a great deal of affection for your wife. And you seem to be practicing agape love to a greater extent than many Christians. Which implies you may be less nominal than you think. But keep reading your Bible and let Jesus be your excitement as he uses the Bible to teach you, as Ohio suggested.

Because of my intimate relationship with my wife, if my wife made the demands on the Covenant that your wife has, I would see it in terms of adultery and just as dangerous to the family as a whole. Knowing what I now know about the Recovery, some of which has been portrayed here, I wouldn’t confront anyone in this group, knowing how useless that would be. Adulterers don’t listen to reason. And it is as much the fault of your wife as it is the Recovery. Even if only by deceit, which wouldn’t surprise me, like Eve, she has conceded to the deceit. And if she has been attending the Recovery for any length of time, it says a lot about how Biblical the Recovery really is. That they would even allow her to take the course she has, shows they have no real understanding of the verses already given on this thread, and maybe no interest in understanding them for what they really say, if what has been said of certain leading ones in the Recovery is any indication.

What I would do, is only what I would do. Unless God intervened with a different course of action. I have the means to do such that most people may not have.

I would separate my wife from her family. Suddenly. To protect the family from further harm through her discretion. It will not be so much a shock to her. In fact she will probably take on a martyr complex. I would NOT separate myself from her to the extent of shunning her. Nor the Children, explaining to them fully the situation and how delicate the situation is with their mother. Children are often more understanding than adults given half a chance. Children tend to still have an open mind.

I would try to see her and instill some common sense where possible, but not in the sense of trying to shove a personal opinion down her throat. But like anyone who is in the throes of the flesh, and of Satan by proxy, it will be very difficult to get her to see beyond the words of Satan coming from the misguided leaders of this part of the Recovery. She has to come around herself to see the reality of the situation.

Just like an alcoholic. Your wife is a Recovery-holic. She may never recover. Since her support group has become practicing Recovery-holics. Rather than members of Recovery-holics Anonymous. It’s best to expect the possibility of a worse case scenario so as not to be too hurt by such an outcome. If that happens, your children will need you as part of their support group. They will be, and are now, just as much in pain as you are. Oblivious children are rare indeed.

I would never confront her about her religion. That too is futile. But if she brings the issue up, I would only ask her one simple question. Is Witness Lee or any of the leading ones of the Recovery, are any of these people the Lord Jesus Christ? That too may be insufficient to awaken her from her stupor. Especially if she has been indoctrinated to think they are valid representatives of Christ and thus “Church” lords over her. But at least a seed will have been planted. A seed that Jesus can use as a wedge to open her mind.

Then I would pray and pray and pray to the Father. And read and read and read the Bible at the feet of Jesus. Both are necessary no matter how nominal a believer one has been or how long one has been in Christ. Both are part of the window to the supernatural. But not to the extent that I neglect my children. I am a part of their support group. And I am, after all, their father, and they need me to be such to them.

There is no more action I can take short of physical violence. And though I believe in the validity of physical violence if need be to protect myself and those associated with me, it is still a last resort that isn’t highly condoned within American society.

Like I said, that’s what I would do. Too some it may be a bit over the top, but to me it’s something like necessary tough love. I freely acknowledge that I have never had such an experience personally. But we have friends who have, just not related to the Recovery. And being the close friends that they are, we were privy to just about everything that went on. So their experience became the experience of my wife and myself. And we can only hope that we both gained some little wisdom as a result.

You have many possibilities open to you through many good suggestions of many well meaning people on this thread. But in the end, you must follow God yourself. The Father is the source of all wisdom.


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Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:47 PM   #27
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I do understand your interpretation of Paul's instruction, but who on earth really lives like that? Can you provide an example of a single brother or sister on earth today who is giving their "undivided attention" to the Lord, as Paul did, and is not some kind of nut case?

I'm not so sure that those who really attempt to please their spouses do so at the Lord's expense, but thanks for your input ABrotherInFaith.
Ohio...
Are you deliberately not reading what I wrote?. Paul is not giving an instruction in the verses you initially used. He is describing a situation. He is not, as you put it, telling someone to "joyfully reciprocate" in the pleasing of the spouse. Paul is lamenting the fact that love is divided in the way it is divided. I don't think Paul (and I am SURE I would not) is advocating a love that is wholly for the Lord at the expense of the spouse. That would be impossible except under the grossest misunderstanding of Love. Love for the Lord should overflow into and encompass the love of a spouse. How could it be otherwise. He is describing a situation where someone's love is divided in a negative way between the Lord and the spouse.

I think you've misunderstood my post completely.
And your sentence, "but who on earth really lives like that?" is why I think you've misunderstood what I wrote.

And if Paul were to have been giving an instruction your question remains puzzling...would his instruction (if in fact it were an instruction...which I don't think it is) be unimportant because "who on earth lives like that?"

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Old 10-11-2012, 04:41 PM   #28
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Ohio...
Are you deliberately not reading what I wrote? .
I think you've misunderstood my post completely.

And your sentence, "but who on earth really lives like that?" is why I think you've misunderstood what I wrote.

And if Paul were to have been giving an instruction your question remains puzzling...would his instruction (if in fact it were an instruction...which I don't think it is) be unimportant because "who on earth lives like that?"

A Brother in Faith
Perhaps someone else could sort this out. I'm not doing well.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:56 AM   #29
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1 Corinthians 7 has always been a perplexing passage. If we were to take it as somehow prescriptive, it would seem to be:
  1. If you are single, stay single and pure if you can.
  2. If you can't, you should marry.
  3. If you are married, stay married and honor the needs of your spouse.
But on more than one occasion, Paul indicates that he is giving his opinion, not declaring that he has a clear word that this is how it ought to be.

For one thing, if it is "how it ought to be" then it would be more like "if you are single, stay single and pure." Period. Amen. End of story. No exceptions. Everything else is a sin.

No. In this case, Paul is expressing a preference for one acceptable condition over another. And whether you follow his preference or the alternative is decided (in this context) by factors that Paul does not simply say you should be able to control or dictate.

In modern terms, it is sort of like Paul saying "if you can remain single, then do it. But if you are having a hard time with it, then marry."

He does keep acknowledging that it is his opinion or preference. But not a command.

And if you have a goal to be absolutely single-minded for Christ, then remaining single might help. Of course so would not working a job or having any property or possessions. So unless you are content allowing the government (or the other believers who are not "single" enough to forgo making money) to provide for all your living, you will have distractions all around you all the time. Work, shelter, food, friends, family, a wife, children.

But it would sure make it easier to bring up Godly offspring since it takes no effort to bring up no offspring.

The thing that stood out to me in reading the passage this time is that (in the NIV) the chapter begins with Paul saying

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Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.
The Corinthians seem to have said "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman" and Paul is commenting on that for the rest of the chapter.

Note that Paul does not go directly to "and while you are at it, don't even get married so you don't have to think about a wife or husband." I wonder if what is following is somehow dealing with a state of affairs that is only hinted at in the single reference to their issue and the nature of Paul's comments. It would seem that the society in which they are living is much more free with sex. And it may be permeating the church. How does Paul deal with that? He commands that sex is only between the husband and wife. He goes on to say in so many words that neither should "cut off" the other.

And he suggests that those who desire to remain single should be truly single. And that if they can't do that, they should be married — for life — in a relationship in which sex is only between the husband and wife. He didn't say to try to avoid sex, and if you can't, then get married, and then try to be faithful. He said to be faithful. And that means a commitment.


I wonder if, in the context of the Corinthians' issue, Paul is saying:
  • If you are happy being single, be single because it is easier. Don't have sex.
  • If you have the desire to get married, then get married. Beware that life gets more complicated. Have sex only with your spouse.
  • If you are married, then you are married. Period.
Is this more of what it is about? Does ripping little bits out of context like fortune cookies make them seem to have an independent meaning that is not really what the passage is about? Is this passage about staying single, or about dealing with the statement that the Corinthians seem to have made to Paul as quoted in the first verse?
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:28 AM   #30
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I wonder if, in the context of the Corinthians' issue, Paul is saying:
  • If you are happy being single, be single because it is easier. Don't have sex.
  • If you have the desire to get married, then get married. Beware that life gets more complicated. Have sex only with your spouse.
  • If you are married, then you are married. Period.
Is this more of what it is about? Does ripping little bits out of context like fortune cookies make them seem to have an independent meaning that is not really what the passage is about? Is this passage about staying single, or about dealing with the statement that the Corinthians seem to have made to Paul as quoted in the first verse?
Yes, I think that sums it up quite well. Paul is talking about being free to serve the Lord. The freer the better, as far as he is concerned. But I've always felt that Paul favored this lifestyle because it was his choice and his gift--much like a pastor with the gift of evangelism who wonders aloud why everyone else in the congregation isn't beating the streets. At least Paul was wise enough to concede not everyone would have such a gift.

But his statement about it being "good to not touch a woman" was from the standpoint of achieving a simple, focused life, not that there was anything less holy about marriage.

I didn't get married until I was 44 years old--part of the fallout having a hard time adapting to life after the LRC. But it wasn't just that. I enjoyed my freedom and had watched as those of my generation got married in their early twenties, and then got divorces in their late twenties and early thirties. As I told people, it wasn't marriage that scared me, it was divorce.

But, as OBW's list implied, there were basically three motivating factors in that experience: (1) The freedom and simplicity of being single, (2) the desire for the companionship of marriage in all aspects, and (3) the desire for spiritual wholeness. A single guy who doesn't have "the gift" struggles with the feeling that his spiritual wholeness is being shortchanged. Everyone has to figure out how that dynamic works for themselves.

Fortunately, exactly fifteen years before two days ago, I met the woman of my dreams on a blind date at Starbucks.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:01 AM   #31
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Works for me.

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Old 10-15-2012, 07:52 AM   #32
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>>>By the way, she is a wonderful wife in many, many ways and is now actually trying harder to please me when she's not with her brothers and sisters. It actually seems she's taken on the "job" of pleasing me in return for her freedom. This may seem like a good thing until you realize I must knowingly agree to relinquish my authority in our household to the LC "family" to make it work. This gives me sleepless nights.<<<

If I may be rude, seems to me that conditions are ripe for an affair.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:10 PM   #33
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You're correct, that is remarkably rude and really hadn't crossed my mind. Giving my wife her freedom by disolving our marriage has. The more I read the more overwhelming my task seems. My wife tells me the church is now her oxygen and she needs it as often as possible. I suspected and now fear that vacation time with my wife is now extinct....how can that be ? I have been visiting local congregations and talking to pastors for the first time in many years hoping to find some answers. I bought a Bible and have said some prayers, hopefully I will see some light at the end of the tunnel soon.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:58 AM   #34
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You're correct, that is remarkably rude and really hadn't crossed my mind. Giving my wife her freedom by disolving our marriage has. The more I read the more overwhelming my task seems. My wife tells me the church is now her oxygen and she needs it as often as possible. I suspected and now fear that vacation time with my wife is now extinct....how can that be ? I have been visiting local congregations and talking to pastors for the first time in many years hoping to find some answers. I bought a Bible and have said some prayers, hopefully I will see some light at the end of the tunnel soon.
If your wife is not taking care of her relationship with you by giving you the time and attention you deserve as a spouse, then she is in the wrong.

I would simply tell her that you need to have a serious talk with her and tell her that your marriage cannot work if she puts your marriage as a distant second to her church life. Tell her you respect her need to have a spiritual life, but to relegate your marriage to second place to the LRC is a kind of spousal abuse.

Also, ask her if she really thinks God is going to bless her neglect of you. And ask her if she thinks she is going to win you over to her beliefs if she neglects you.

Sadly, this shows how the LRC disregards people and relationships. It's dead wrong. Your wife needs to seriously change and apologize. I admire you for trying to hold your marriage together.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:11 AM   #35
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The Bible says a Christian spouse should stay with a non-Christian spouse (1 Cor 7:12-16). Unbelief on one side is no excuse for neglect.

It also says that, in regards to sex, neither spouse should deny the other (1 Cor 7:3-5). It allows for temporary fasting from sex, but admonishes to not do that for long (7:5).

However, this passage could also be interpreted more broadly to include all marriage obligations--including time, companionship, affection, mutual activities and support, and so forth. It doesn't have to just apply to sex. In fact, sex can be seen here as a baseline for everything else.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:35 AM   #36
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Also, her plea that the LC is her oxygen and so she needs it as much as possible is selfish malarkey. God will meet her "oxygen" needs in the faithful carrying out of her spousal obligations. That's precisely how God does things. Paul was in prison and testified that God was meeting all his needs (Philippians ch. 1-4.)

Ask her, if she had children, would she neglect them to get her "oxygen" needs met? How self-centered! How lacking in understanding of how God really works.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:51 AM   #37
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I once heard a message from Charles Stanley that was very helpful.
He described going through a terrible crisis. (He implied that this was his divorce, but he didn't say so explicitly.)
The Lord spoke to him, "Treat this as coming from My hand. I am going to use this so that you can know Me. Keep your eyes and your heart focused on Me, and I will get you through this storm."
Stanley testified that this was indeed what happened - the Lord took him through the storm, and there was peace and joy on the other side (and even in the midst of the storm while it lasted).
This doesn't solve the problem of your marriage. But perhaps this perspective would help you go through the trial. Take this from the Lord's hand. That doesn't mean He caused it, but He has allowed it. The goal is to know Him like you never have before.
I apologize if this sounds too spiritual. But this message from Stanley has helped me many times in going through my own trials (including leaving the LC).
Concerning your marriage, I believe your heart to keep your family together is right, and the Lord will honor it. Don't divorce your wife, and don't threaten divorce. But if she initiates divorce proceedings, then you may have to accept it. Cross that bridge when you come to it, but don't be the one to bring it about.
Our marriage is a covenant that points to the love that Christ has for His people. He does not leave us when we don't honor our covenant with Him - He remains faithful, and exercises mercy and patience over us. He doesn't force us to love Him, but His love and affection for us remains unchanging, and that is what causes us to turn back when we realize we've departed from Him and gone down the wrong road.
This may be a strange analogy, but many military marriages fail, because one spouse is gone from the family for so long. But obviously, many military marriages make it. Perhaps you can view your marriage in this way - your wife is "deployed" in an army, and you didn't agree with it, but you have allowed her the freedom to do so. But you can wait for her to return home. Obviously the analogy isn't perfect, because you will see your wife all the time, and have to interact with her. But if you can learn patience from the Lord, you may be able to persevere until this stage ends, and she comes to her senses.
I fully understand those who've posted here, who suggest you should let your wife go and move on. My own advice is that you maintain your hope, since you still love your wife and still want the marriage to make it. But ultimately, you have to learn how to hear the Lord's voice on your own (although others can help you know how to do that). The Lord honors our obedience, and our seeking after Him, no matter how imperfect it is. He loves you, and He will tell you what to do.
I hope that helps. Much grace to you.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:59 AM   #38
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Sorry for the multiple posts, but things keep coming to me.

1 Timothy 5:8 says, "If any man does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

So this is saying if a man does not carry out his obligations to provide for his family, any other Christian activity is meaningless. It even says he is worse than an unbeliever. Why worse? I think it is because if you don't understand that God's love is first carried out toward those you are responsible for in a human way, then you are completely clueless about God's love. You might as well be talking about Bozo's love you are so clueless. This describes a lot of LRC people.

Should not this verse also be applied to Christian women and the carrying out of their human obligations to their families? I think there is no doubt it should.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:21 AM   #39
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My wife tells me the church is now her oxygen and she needs it as often as possible. I suspected and now fear that vacation time with my wife is now extinct....how can that be ? I have been visiting local congregations and talking to pastors for the first time in many years hoping to find some answers. I bought a Bible and have said some prayers, hopefully I will see some light at the end of the tunnel soon.
Perhaps this is a phase and six months from now she'll be less self centered?

Also, I have noticed that there have been many, many suggestions of all kinds and that you are reading the Bible and visiting churches. Have you considered visiting the church your wife attends? There are many husbands that go to church on Sunday morning for the sake of the family. Even if you only did this for one month it would help you better judge the situation. If everyone welcomes you then I think it would suggest your wife was trying to force you to join her. If everyone shuns you and they are uncomfortable around you then that would suggest you have some very serious problems.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:26 AM   #40
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Redman, I honestly feel your pain.

I didn't get into the details in my testimony, but because of my failings as a husband and as a Christian, my marriage went through a terrible turmoil. For my wife, the temptations to which she succumbed were drugs, alcohol, and other men. I knew it, and I didn't know how to stop it until finally, HE gave me the strength. It was more than two years of fervent prayers, repentance, and bitter tears - but God was Faithful. When my wife left me, taking our children, I was given a peace that came from the Father. When people in our home town saw me, they would ask "How can you be out and walking around? Don't you just want to die?!" - I did not. I was sustained by an Awesome God.

When the Lord turned my wife's heart to Him, and she came to me weeping and repentant and said "If you can never forgive me for what I've done to you, I can't blame you. But, but I need Jesus Christ in my life, and I don't know how to get Him. Can you help me with just that one thing, and then you can go..."

I did forgive her, my friend. How could I not? I who was forgiven for every cruel sin He had every right to convict me of. I forgave her with His heart, and we prayed together so she could receive the forgiveness of our Lord. That was five years ago October 31st. This Sunday, we stand together in our church building to give our testimonies before the people we meet with.... and I still love my wife with my whole heart.

You are in pain, I know your ache. You need Him every bit as much as I did - and He will be faithful. Dr Stanley's ministry helped me more than any other during my time of trial. No one else spoke to my hurts - not that Dr Stanley is anything more than another brother in Christ, but the Lord used his ministry in my life at that particular time.

I don't think (personally - though this is not from God) that you should go to the LSM church. Why? Because it is, I believe, a fallen church. Nothing more than a cult with the trappings of Christianity around it but none of the real thing. That view offends a great deal of people here, but I will be honest and tell you it is what I have seen. If you have children, it could be there will come to be a fight for custody, and at that point (for the children's sake), you would have to use the unorthodoxy of this "church" against your wife to get custody. Again, this is only my opinion - I am only a man. You DO need to hear from God.

I will keep you in my prayers, and your wife as well.

Yours in Christ,

Ray
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