Monday, March 25, 2013


There is a question out there that I want to speak to, because #1. I know the answer and #2. It is a question that entirely too many people are asking themselves and others, desperate for an answer.

"Does my prodigal spouse realize the mess they have created?"

The answer to this question is both simple and complex.

I've heard it a lot in the last several months. Those hurting right now because their spouse has been unfaithful, or is an alocholic, or porn addict-this is the question they want answered. They want to know why their spouses are seemingly so much happier than they are, even though their spouse is the one living in sin. I don't propose to have an answer to the why of that, but I do understand how a prodigal's mind works. I know what it is like to be in the shoes of the prodigal who is living in sin and darkness.

Did I realize the mess I had created?

Yes, to some extent I did. Not in a way that would make me acknowledge it on my own. But when forced to face reality and take a deep look at my life, I did see what a mess I had made of things. How I had ruined my marriage. How I had messed everything up. In the midst of my sin, I knew the harm I would be causing my husband and kids if they knew all my secrets.

It is something I wrestled with, in the middle of my mess. But the sin and darkness beckoned me. It had a hold on me that I alone could not break free of. I could see that what I was doing was ripping my family apart. I could admit that I had messed up big time, and that I was hurting so many people.

But that wasn't pretty. It wasn't fun to think about.

So instead, I pretended like I didn't care. I acted as if I could go about living two lives, and no one was being hurt. As long as no one really knew the truth, the full weight of it, then I was somehow hurting people less. I was able to convince myself that what I was doing wasn't affecting my loved ones.

What they didn't know couldn't hurt them, right?

This is where darkness brings us. It takes us to a place of complete denial. Denial about what we're doing. Denial about how our choices affect those around us, even when they don't know the details. Denial about how what we're doing is killing us.

I can assure you that prodigal spouses, especially those who have chosen to be unfaithful to their marriage vows, do realize the mess they have created.

But here is the problem:

We can't admit it.

There is too much guilt.

Too much shame.

Too much fear.

What if my spouse won't love and accept me?

What if they won't take me back?

What if what I have done is too unforgiveable?

And meanwhile, our spouses are at home, weeping and crying out to God to reveal why their spouse doesn't care about them. They are left to listen to angry raging, while their spouse lashes out. Words are said. Words that cannot be changed or taken back. It is amazing to me how this vicious cycle continually plays out in marriages everywhere.

God hasn't forsaken you.

He doesn't want you to hurt in this way.

He hurts with you.

But your spouse is never going to change because you will it, or because you love them enough. They will only stop what they are doing when they understand how much God loves them, and how vitally important the Cross is to their life. When their eyes are opened to the truth, they will come home.

And it will not be easy for them.

There will still be guilt and shame and fear.

But with God by their side, they will come home and deal with the mess they have made. They will choose to move forward and take risks to restore their marriage and end affairs and addiction, regardless of the outcome.

I have so many friends who are hurting deeply. Deeper than I can imagine. We all go through struggles. And they may not look exactly like our neighbor's, but that doesn't mean it hurts any less. I think that there is a lot of good that can come out of heartache. I think that how we live through our heartache determines the kind of testimony we will have.

If you choose to live as a result of your husband or wife's actions, rather than seeking God and allowing Him to be all that you need, I think that happiness and true joy will elude you. If, on the other hand, you are able to surrender your heart to something bigger, to serve God while you're waiting, and to love your spouse unconditionally no matter what they throw at you, you will reap a reward unlike any you could have hoped or imagined.

I was reminded of this truth a few days ago. I don't remember exactly what Kris and I were talking about, aside from the conversation having something to do with how good God has been to us. And Kris said, "What's that verse? Something about restoring what the locust have eaten?" What an incredible verse to hold onto, in the midst of your pain and hurt and confusion. God WILL reward your faithfulness to Him. He will give you back the years that were wasted. He will restore what was lost. The love your spouse doesn't think they feel for you, or you for them, it can be redeemed. You can love again. It won't be the way it was when you first "fell" in love. It will be richer, fuller, and deeper. It will be centered at the heart of God's great love for you, and it will be unlike anything you could hope for or imagine. It will be worth the wait, worth the heartache, worth the pain.

"I"ll make up for the years of the locust, the great locust devastation--Locusts savage, locusts deadly, fierce locusts, locusts of doom, that great locust invasion I sent your way. You'll eat your fill of good food. You'll be full of praises to your God. The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder." Joel 2:25 (The Message)

What an amazing promise from God!!


  1. All I can say is... Amen.

    If you're in the place that is being described in this post, please know that God CAN redeem it all. Keep your hope and trust in HIM - and continue to pray for your spouse who is living in the fear, guilt and shame. They will NEED your love and forgiveness when/if they decide they want to get out from where they are now.

    Thanks Jamie.

    1. Thanks, as always, for your support Jason. I know you guys understand this all too well! God is good, isn't He?

    2. He gave us back SO much - way beyond our wildest dreams... and the coolest thing is that we didn't deserve a bit of it. Thank You Lord!

  2. Thanks Jamie,
    Today God lead me to you post, when I decided to let go and let God handle the situation in my marriage. I trust God in the same situation that you and Kris have enounter. I don't understand why God allow me to still love me husband, when my head continue to tell we to walk away. The bottom line is that I trust God, and whatever God decide is the best course for my marriage that the promise I'm going to stand on. Not my will, but God will!!!! God is first and foremost in my life.

    1. Amen! Praying for God's healing touch and for a miracle for you and your husband!

  3. Thanks for posting. This is what I constantly find myself wondering ..... What is my prodigal thinking and why in the world does he look so happy and even seem to be prospering on some levels! .... Anyway it's nice to get a glimpse of some of what he could be dealing with.

    1. I know that as the supporting spouse, it is hard to see your husband or wife living in sin and appearing HAPPY! It's infuriating, really. But what I think can be missed is how incredibly sad and lonely prodigals are on the inside. Anyone can project an attitude of happiness and maybe even spend years in that lifestyle. But I believe that it will always catch up, and my prayer in these situations is that those standing for their marriages are ready with open arms to welcome their prodigals back home, just as God does each of us, and that hearts will be broken before God, so that HE can heal them. Thanks for reading!

    2. I feel the same way! Mine is happy, getting his life together, always busy and says he its time to spend with just "himself". He also says our marriage wasn't healthy, which in some areas it wasn't but I am afraid that he will find too much happiness alone and when he is ready to "settle down" again, it wont be with me. He really loved being married and spending family time, God just wasn't in the middle and the circumstances with the kids took over.

  4. Jamie,

    Thanks for your post. My husband and I have been going through this process for over a year now. Since january 1, 2013, he been in and out of the house. How long were you in the far country? What did it take for you to open your eyes?

    1. I spent 7 years in the far country. I knew all along that what I was doing was wrong, deep down. I just didn't want to face the truth. It wasn't until my husband found proof of the affair that reality settled in and I knew I had some tough choices to make.

  5. I needed this post. I want to give up but I know He needs me not to give up my husband.

  6. My husband has rejected me. 30+years, 3 kids and my heart is shattered. I believed God would restore BUT my husband is happy, content and thriving apart from me. he doesn't care about the pain, says the kids will be fine. I will NEVER be fine. I love him and sex and marriage was a one man lifetime vow for me. Crushed

    1. I hate the rejection. I am very tired emotionally and physically. What Does God want us to do?

  7. Mine has been deceived into believing he has 'outgrown the God thing' and found happiness in being free to do whatever he wants (mainly go partying and dancing all night long). He winces at any spiritual conversation or witness. He says he still loves me and wants our marriage to stay strong. I cannot find any sense of confidence in his leadership and am struggling to show any admiration for him. How do I demonstrate God's love when my heart has lost respect for his 'source' in life (himself).

  8. StandingAndTryingNotToHurtNovember 29, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    I'm exhausted. My health has been affected because of so much stress. I do not feel God has told me to give up. I do feel that I need to "release" a little bit because of health reasons. I buy gifts and cards, but do not get any call. I am not able to spend money this year for gifts, but I pray for God's wisdom in this area.
    I can't take the rejection of unreturned phone calls, no acknowledgement during the holidays, and acting as if I don't exist. Oh so painful. People treat me with kid gloves, mock or laugh at me. What else can I do except trust God. I did not ask for this. I believe that you continue to fight for your marriage. But decisions were made beyond my control. I am very tired. I struggle with sleep sometimes. I eat too much. I am sad inside, but I try to survive. Don't let God abandon me too? Why is God silent?

  9. I feel the same way we have been married for 18 years she cheated on me 12 years ago and I forgave her and recently she left me and she is living with another man in our 3 kids wish the person just got divorced and also has couple of kids himself 2 girls 18,16 and my son 11 she told me God told her to leave me and that she is not committing any sin I pray mercy and compassion on her I know God will forgive her

    1. She is deceived. This is the devil's best tactic to keep those of us who walk daily in sin enslaved. He convinces us that what we are doing is from God, because God wants us to be happy, right? It's sad. Praying for her that God will open her eyes and that you will lean on him for strength to endure.