Woman-to-Woman – When to Stop Standing for Your Marriage, Even When You Have Kids

Diary of a Battered Preacher’s Wife – “Straight Talk, Wife-to-Wife”

A letter from a dear friend, Kimberly Dimick, when I was “King’s Bride” on a marriage forum… listen in as a formerly abused wife shares when it’s time for a Christian wife to back away from her marriage and to quit standing, praying, and waiting for the miraculous change…

January 23, 2010

King’s Bride,

Please let me as your sister In Christ hold your hand and walk with you to the same place of freedom I have found. I am going to pour my heart here to you and be really honest. This may not be the normal way it is done but like I said I am not a helper just someone who has been where you are. Granted your faith and courage makes mine look like I am playing in the sandbox of faith. You are an amazing, amazing woman.

I can hear myself in your story and in your pain. I know, sweet one. Please trust me on this one.

I stood in faith for 22 years and 6 years of separation because I believed with my whole being God can do anything. I had all the same questions you do. I struggled with the same struggle. My mind went on faith tilt over the same confusion you are feeling. I could not see what everybody else could see.

Did I mean to be stubborn and blind? NO, of course not. God saw my tender, merciful heart. He knew my motives.

God had to intervene in my life to stop the madness of the cycle I was in. It had nothing at all to do with my faith and everything to do with understanding the TRUTH.

Did I like that God had to re-arrange my mind-set. NO. I was humiliated and humbled and I am now forever grateful that God yanked me from my own insanity of thinking. My stand ended up no stand at all. I caused my sons and myself untold grief. I weep for what I allowed to touch my own children.

Yes, may we sometimes suffer great pains to bring about His holy will? Yet, this suffering has to be in line with His will. Like, with my children. I am believing God for their salvation but does this mean I allow them to commit any sin they want and live in disobedience without ever calling them to task for their sin?

I do not turn a blind eye to their sin to teach them love. No, I confront sin and love them by doing this.

Do I feel suffering and pain as I discipline them? Yes, I feel the pain greatly. Yet, I still, like God does with people, continue to let them feel the pain, so that, hopefully they will repent. God’s goodness and kindness hurts. Yet, it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness by those who are trained by it.

Yes, might I suffer trials and persecution at the hands of another? Yes, but there is a huge difference between suffering for God’s kingdom and suffering at the hands of an abusive husband.

My suffering at my husband’s hands brought absolutely no change in me or my husband. It brought no glory to Christ.

People thought, What are you doing letting him believe lies? Allowing him to think he can get away with putting his fist in God’s face and you, Kimberly, stand silently by fasting and praying?

Many told me and I consistently refused wise counsel. They spoke truth: STAND UP TO HIM do not stand for abuse and threats.

STAND UP and speak TRUTH. Do not STAND idly by and and nod your head in some kind of distorted submission without SERIOUS CONFRONTATION.

We learn obedience by what we suffer. Jesus did. My husband needed to learn truth the hard way. Did he learn it? Sadly, no but I will forever know that I stood up against the abuse and shouted from the rooftops to every woman looking on that,

Yes, I lost everything. I gave up and counted the cost for truth about marriage and I paid a high price for it. Luke 14:14 says this clearly………..”If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple. My husband’s refusal to reconcile and mistreat me kept me stuck in a bad marriage and I was not doing anything to serve Christ with my talents, gifts or calling. How could God want me to do this??

I chose covenant, my husband didn’t. I will not suffer because he turned his back on God.

God is so proud that I was brave and strong in the face of a man who refused to love. Refused to obey Christ. My husband will forever be without excuse before a Holy God who said marriage was Holy and to be honored among all. Allowing abuse is not honoring marriage. And boy does it ever hurt. It is the most excruciating pain to give up the love of my very own soul.

I had to say to my sons in a living word picture that I will walk the way of love and not allow your father to teach you that treating your wife like this is okay. God will not stand for it.

I, BY FAITH put my husband into the loving hands of God trusting Him alone to scourge His child for his eternal soul.

NO ONE is questioning your faith. NO ONE has not one doubt that you have loved your husband in the face of grievous adversities. The Father Himself would shout through the hallways of heaven that you are one who knows the way of LOVE. Love that has poured itself out without measure.

God commends you for your faith and heart. Mercy without applying God’s justice is NOT the whole counsel of God. God loves mercy. Yet, even God Himself who is the embodiment of MERCY itself knows when to say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

I have stood for years believing God for the very life of my husband. I thought with my whole heart that God wanted me to pray and believe Him for my marriage. For a season God did want me to. God did want you also for a season to be God’s hand of mercy and extension of grace to your husband as well.

Yet, there comes a time when prayer and faith has to have such bold action behind it that your faith is tested to the max.

God told me I needed to mix my faith with TRUTH. Faith has action behind it, or as the Bible declares works. Faith without the working of that faith is dead.

You know this I am sure from the evidence of your life story. You stood in the face of impossibility and believed. God honored that. So, now here you are again and you are faced with an impossible marriage problem and you want to believe God.

Yet, we must apply His Word about marriage to the marriage problem. I cannot stand for covenant in marriage and also VIOLATE God’s SACRED AND HOLY principles of how marriage/covenant should be walked out.

God made many covenants but along with those covenants there were conditions on them.

Salvation is free. Yet, the one being saved still has obligations to God to walk out that salvation with fear and trembling. The unbeliever himself will be judged for denying Christ. We do not get saved by osmosis, there is an action of receiving and believing. How can I keep in faith for my marriage when the other person in the marriage refuses to do marriage. That would mean Jesus died to save us but I can still be saved without ever believing???

A covenant is between two people. I cannot make covenant good by the refusal of the other party to engage as well. A man can not be saved by God standing by wishing and praying all men would get saved?? No, that man must make a choice. So must your husband.

You did hear the Word and you applied its truth. You applied the principles of marriage restoration in God’s Word to your situation. You put into practice the principles in God’s Word that also call us to confront our husband’s offense. What God does NOT hold you responsible for is his response. Even God Himself will not make people respond to Christ. I am sure He could if He wanted to but this is not love. Love gets to make its own choice.

Now, let God’s Word work … We must say, NO to the never ending demands of our husband’s flesh and sin to control us by means of fear and intimidation and silent treatment and abandonment. God says, NO. We must obey and say, NO with God.

Your Heavenly Father already knows you believe He can do anything. He can do miracles and wonders. He can also heal the wounded and frightened heart afraid to let go. God knows, He knows you love your husband. He sees every tear and has heard every prayer for your marriage and your family.

He has seen you take up the mantle of having to die to save your marriage. God gave you, a wife, the grace to go to the Cross for him when in actuality your husband should have gone for you.

Yet, this was for a season and then often God steps it up to tough love. Just like He does with me.

Jesus came to seek and save His own Jewish people. He came for the House of Israel but they rejected Him. Did Jesus fail then? No, it opened the floodgate for every tribe and nation and tongue to receive the King of Glory. Paul could preach this message to the Gentile world. You and I are the result and miracle of Jesus’ seeming failure. Does that mean Jesus did not have faith God could save Israel? No. Jesus trusted His Father to know how to bring about His perfect, most far reaching will.

God already knows the end from the beginning. His perfect will, will be done in your life. That may very well be your Husband gloriously made into a new creature in Christ. And God may also know he would break your heart for years and years to come. Yes, only God knows.

I know exactly how you feel sweetheart. I believed God for all my married life. Faith not mixed with truth does not work. I prayed and prayed and fasted a long time.

I did not mix my faith with the truth though. Truth that says, “No you can no longer abuse me or your children. God does not allow this.” Faith without works is dead. Your works in your marriage is to so love him you call him to task for his disobedience and give him what his actions (not mere words) are saying.

God’s Word says, that Godly sorrow is what is needed for true repentance. Not, “Oh, poor me I got caught”, without caring if I offended the holiness of God.

Worldly sorrow is temporary. Godly sorrow, however, brings about real heart change.

God hit me hard with was that I was DISHONORING marriage and my covenant because I kept allowing my husband to trample under his feet, like casting pearls before swine, the very truths about love and marriage.

He violated God’s truth by his abuse toward me and I acted like that was all right, that treating people wrong is all right.

How is letting my husband or yours (who previously knew God’s word and hope of salvation) abuse Scripture and twist it to suit their own purposes and standing there letting them get away with NOT honoring truth?

I fell to my knees and repented to God for showing my husband and children and the world a distorted picture of not only marriage but God.

I have to live the truth about marriage to shine forth the true picture of marriage. To stand for the truth of what marriage covenat should look like to show God’s picture of salvation, as Paul himself expresses in Ephesians 5.

It is the same truth applied to the message of salvation. God’s salvation nowhere says, abuse God and live!! No the Bible says, to love God with the same love He loved us.

Yes, your husband is an unbeliever. You have shown him the ways of love yet, the Scriptures also command that if the unbeliever wants out, let him out. How can I force my husband or how can you force your husband to stay married if they do not want it?

I know this because Jesus said, it is not mere words that matter, it is fruit, it is behavior that counts. It is action and choices that matter.

Many people will say to Jesus that day, Oh but Jesus I felt love for you and I loved you and I even said, I loved you but oops my behavior and life never lined up to what came out of my mouth or my feelings. It is IMPOSSIBLE, likewise Jesus said for a bad tree to bring forth anything but bad behavior (fruit). Show the behavior(fruit) of keeping with repentance.

You did 1 Peter 3 and loved him without a word by the actions and prayer of your life. Yet, 1 Peter 3 was not meant to give people the idea that a wife should do this until Jesus comes back or Paul would not have addressed letting the unbeliever go, go to his own devices and perhaps come to a truu knowledge of Christ.

I made God look like to others a cruel, harsh taskmaster beating me down and saying believe, Kimberly, AND do this by letting your husband abuse and mistreat you and withhold love and bully you and intimidate you.

People must have thought who wants that kind of God???? Who wants Christian marriage??? You can keep it already.Who wants to even be a Christian for that matter??

I so grieved the heart of God. I allowed my sons to watch me for 22 years take abuse at the hands of their father and claim I was loving God. What about that did I think made sense??? I wept and asked God to please show me the truth about His mercy and His justice.

God’s righteousness is as Holy as His love. His justice for the oppressed is just as sacred as His mercy.

Oh, how stubborn I had been with God. I applied Love without truth. I applied faith without the whole counsel of God about marriage and HIS covenant, the way He said it worked.

I made myself more knowledgable about what love looks like. Love is hard and it hurts and it is tough. So tough our Savior was brutalized because of love so we would not have to be. 

Why would God create marriage?? So women and children could be hurt by it? God said, Kimberly, you are causing detriment to yourself and suffering needlessly. You are not suffering for my names’ sake; you are allowing abuse and letting a man get away with disobedience and asking me to bless sin.

I was horrified and nearly fell over when God finally broke through my blindness and sheer stubbornness. Even if that man is NOT a believer. God said to me that the world knows better than my own children. Even they know to use tough love with husbands who are cruel and abusive. Like the Scriptures declares in Luke.

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

All my praying would get the results God wanted if I would dare to be bold and call my husband to task for his behavior. If I never let my husband reap the consequences of his sin I would actually be short-circuiting God’s will in his life. If I took on myself my husbands sin and mistreatment and he never felt the sting of the wounds he inflicted upon his wife and kids, how then would my husband ever be forced to real change??

Yes, you loved him. God’s Word says in Hebrews that even God will NOT STRIVE with man forever. Because God cannot be mocked. God puts mercy out there and grace but if your husband refuses as mine did to NOT take advantage of God’s love then God’s Word says, there will come a point in time where God says, all right you will have to reap what you have sown and God Himself allows the full force of His loving discipline to hit them squarely because this may be the only thing God knows will wake them up and lead them to repentance and change.

You mentioned that you stood on God’s Word and God honored your faith and performed an astounding miracle. Yet, this real-life miracle of healing is based on the fact you stood on God’s Word of healing Scriptures.

I thought the same way you did. If I stood on His Word God would do something. Yet, I was not standing on God’s Scriptures about marriage to restore my marriage. I was applying healing Scripture to a totally different situation.

Like, If I stand on His promises for peace but keep quoting and believing His Word about say, believing God for someone’s salvation, how can God answer my prayer for peace??? God taught me to to stand on the truth about marriage to heal my marriage. To apply the appropriate Scriptures to the situation.

The whole counsel of God in His Word, NOWHERE allows for husbands to abuse their wives and get away with it.

God’s justice dictates just as equally as His mercy that when we sin in the flesh we are brought to discipline for those abuses. Hey, God disciplines me plenty. Do I somehow think God would not discipline my husband as well and lead him to change?? We learn just as Christ learned obedience to God and JESUS WAS GOD. And perfect and without sin. If Jesus suffered to learn obedience how much more “sons of disobedience?” Our husbands will learn obedience by the things they have to suffer.

The Word of God is clear on marriage. Malachi told men, QUIT treating your wives treacherously. If God spoke like that then He still says in 2011 for men to STOP IT!!!!!!

God was saying, Look men, your wives are divorcing you because you treat them with violence and I do not like it

Totally different scenario than the way Christians like to take this out of context and say, oh God hates divorce???? Read this in light of the whole passage. This is good hermeneutics and most Church people throw this out there and spout, “Oh my gosh, God hates divorce.”

No, that is not what it says. It says, in essence God hates the way men treat their wives. He was not one place talking to a wife in that whole passage!!!

Millions of woman and children continue to suffer needlessly at the hands of their own husbands because God hates divorce. Of course HE DOES. He hates every last ounce of the fallout from it. He hates worse, men abusing their wives and families!!! Or He never would have addressed men about it.

God’s greatest gift of LOVE to mankind is our free will. Love dictates, that every man is not forced to believe Christ, By love, they get to choose or we would all be robots. I am free to choose life. I am free to choose mercy but mercy is not losing my life In Christ by leading me again to the bondage of abuse either. Did Christ save me to come under a yoke of bondage and slavery to a mortal man even if that man calls himself my husband?? May it never be.

I am so sorry I have posted so much. Please bear with me my dear sister. God has taught me so much. He has changed my whole thought patterns and paradigms and these truths I promise you will set your heart and mind free. So, so free.

God can save your marriage but He needs you to do it. He needs you to say to your husband, enough. Get this thing right and prove your love to me. Put your hand to the plow. I will no longer allow immaturity. You must be a man now and do the hard work of marriage.

Maybe he won’t but maybe he will. Only God knows. But at least dearest one, you will finally have an answer and an end to the pain you have endured with this man. I love my husband more than my own life and God said, let him go and push him to the wall Kimberly or you will never know either way what he is made of. I pray you will consider these truths, my sister. I pray so earnestly that God would give you understanding as He gloriously did for me.

Trust these women here, they do care. They truly do. It took God 22 years to finally lead me to the miracle I have found here. ‘

To change the strong-hold in my mind is a miracle. I know I have been honest here with you. I have opened up my heart and let you see my former pride and stubbornness before the God I so desperately love but because I humbled myself under His mighty hand, He is exalting me. He is giving me the grace to obey Him even though that looked totally different than I ever, ever thought it would. God loves you so, dear heart.

Revelation upon revelation be yours.

Love,

Kimberly

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With all my love,

Sue

Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan’s upcoming, interactive memoir, “On the Way Home,” tells the story of how she came to be known as “the most abused woman” her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2010 to 2015 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Schiller August 19, 2015 at 6:46 am

Susan, that is true… I'm glad you found my friend Kimberly's words to be as helpful for you, as they were for me, back in 2011. We need straight talk, women-to-women. 

Thank you for sharing!

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Susan August 19, 2015 at 6:15 am

Thank you for this article. It is enlightening, reading about marriage from God’s perspective. Many men and women are hopeless, incapable of making good, sound marriage partners.

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