Girlfriends in God - Feb. 8, 2011
February 8, 2011
God Can Resurrect Your Marriage from the Ashes
(In honor of Valentine's Day, Sharon's February devotions will be on marriage.)
"Then he [God] said to me [Ezekiel], "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones hear the word of the LORD!' This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'" (Ezekiel 37:4-6 NIV).
Friend To Friend
It was January 7, 2005 when a group of friends gathered at Don and Jona's house to watch the Dr. Phil show. Jona had written in to a contest that Good Housekeeping, in conjunction with Dr. Phil, had on "life change." Of fifteen thousand applicants, Jona was the grand prize winner! As the winner, Don and Jona were guests on the Dr. Phil Show to tell their story. But I didn't need Dr. Phil to tell me the story, I lived it with them. Let Jona and I share how we remember it …
Don was twenty-seven-years old when Jona first met him on a spring church beach retreat. Immediately, she knew he was exactly what she had always dreamed of in a husband. Don had a strong faith in God, a good job, a college degree, drive, and dreams for the future. He was physically fit, witty, adventurous, sexy, and "just plain gorgeous." On top of that, he was constantly surrounded by women at the retreat that were vying for his attention.
When they returned home, Jona could hardly believe her good fortune when Don asked her to dinner. Don and Jona dated only three months before he asked her to marry him, and on March 30, 1985, before the next spring beach retreat, they were husband and wife.
Their first year of marriage was a blissful blur of candlelight dinners, spontaneous lovemaking, and endless conversation. The icing on the one-year anniversary cake was the purchase of their first home. By their second anniversary, Don quit his job to start his own business. Life was clicking along at a steady pace toward acquiring the American Dream. By their fourth anniversary, Jona had their first child and joined the ranks of "stay-at-home-mom." But, after twenty-four months of Don's new business venture, the couple faced a second mortgage, a dwindling bank account, and a looming cloud of debt. Jona was forced to go back to work and seeds of discontentment, disrespect, and disenchantment began to take root.
"I was so mad at Don for the mistakes I felt he had made," Jona explained. "Deep down, I wanted him to be God and to fulfill all my needs. He made a poor God. When my mother died in 1993, I sank into a clinical depression. I spent most of my time at home in bed. And even though I had two children by this time, I withdrew from being a mom, as well as being a wife. I then began to eat…and eat. I went from 140 pounds to 240 pounds."
"Don and I had the perfect engagement, a beautiful wedding, and a fantasy honeymoon. But when the obstacles came along, I wasn't prepared to maneuver over, around, or through them. I thought "This is not the way the story goes. What happened to the fairy tale?"
"Don changed jobs about every other year, however, he always provided for our needs. It just drove me crazy that he couldn't stay put."
"I remember one day Don said, ‘Why are you eating and gaining all this weight?' I shot back, ‘I'm doing this because I don't want you to touch me. Besides, I can lose the weight if I want to, but you'll always be a loser.' Little by little, word by word, angry look by angry look, rejection by rejection; I began the process of destroying my husband. Comments like 'You're so stupid,' ‘duh,' and ‘can't you do anything right?' were constantly spewing from my mouth. I was in pain and I wanted Don to be in pain, too. One day, I made a list of all of Don's faults. He found the list, but I didn't even care."
Jona always thought that since Don was a Christian, he would never leave her. However, there came a point where he could not take the emotional turmoil any longer. On May 6, 2001, Don left. Jona had destroyed her marriage and her man. On January 31, 2003, the divorce was final.
"A couple of months after our divorce, I woke up to God's still small voice," Jona explained. "He seemed to say, ‘Is this what you wanted? Did you want a divorce? Do you want Don to marry another woman and have your children torn between spending time in two different households? Do you want to be alone? Were you the wife I called you to be?' Oh God," Jona cried, "What have I done?"
Now friends, the next part of the story is what Dr. Phil did not tell you. God began working on Jona's heart. She didn't change because of a self-help book or a ten step program, but because of the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. Do you want to know what really happened? Do you want to know what Dr. Phil did not tell his viewers? Grab a cup of coffee and join me tomorrow for the rest of the story.
Dear LORD, help me be the woman my husband needs for me to be. Help me to stop concentrating on his faults and failures, but start looking at my own. Show me. Teach me. Empower me.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
I know Today's Truth seems like a strange verse. It is! Go back and read Ezekiel chapter 37. If God can do that with a bunch of dry bones, just think what He can do with your marriage!
Do you see yourself in Jona?
Is God telling you there is something you need to do differently in your marriage?
Let's chat, visit www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes and tell me how changes you have made have affected your marriage. Or tell me how you are committing to change today.
More From The Girlfriends
Today's devotion was taken from Sharon's book, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams: Seven Qualities Every Man Longs For. Sharon interviewed hundreds of men to see what they really wanted in the woman of their dreams, and their answers are there for you to see! If you would like to have a husband who is sorry to leave home in the morning and eager to return, then this book is for you!
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