Each week VOM department directors meet to discuss the ongoing business of the ministry and update each other on various projects and priorities. Each meeting begins with a short devotional led by one of the directors. Last week that director was Jill from VOM's financial services area. She shared how God used a VOM donor and a well-timed phone call to answer her prayer and encourage her heart. Here is her devotional:
Last Wednesday, as I sat in the darkness of the early morning, I started my God time listing all the stress in my life: “God, I am following the path You set before me and You really think I can have July’s books closed AND the reports ready for the audit committee AND You want me to greet visitors at VOM’s chapel service, have the audit committee meeting AND do the devotional for the directors’ meeting all in the next week? REALLY?!?!”
Then, I moved on to personal things: “You want me to send my youngest daughter to Kansas City with a smile on my face, knowing she knows no one? What if.....?”
I will stop with that list because it became a very long and whiney list with too many I’s and me's.
God patiently listened and reminded me: "Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
And Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Ok, God, I get it...You’ve got it.
So, I thought I had done just what He said and moved on with my day. My morning was very busy and I had a meeting at 10 am. The meeting went well and I was so thankful and feeling the peace God had placed in my heart. After returning from my meeting, I looked at my phone...and there was a message.
I listened to the message and I immediately went back to that morning place of fretting and questioning. “Really God? You want me to talk to a donor? I have only talked to a handfull of donors since I began working here! She wants to know what are the fees that VOM has to pay if she pays by a credit card and what are the fees if she pays by a check. I’ve never had to answer one of those questions. I don't even know the answer! Why does it even matter? It costs VOM both ways. Where do I even begin? I don't have time for this! What if I say the wrong thing?”
Again God patiently reminded me that He was with me: Luke 12:25 “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?”
Ok God, here we go....
I picked up the phone and called Stacey. After I identified myself to Stacey, she thanked me for returning her call and proceeded to tell me what she wanted. She hardly took a breath between her words. She told me she was sitting at her computer, about to donate to VOM by credit card. She wanted to use her credit card because it would add airline miles to her account. All of a sudden she realized that she was sitting before God and was about to use the card for her own gain. She realized that she had to know which method of payment was best for VOM. She wanted to use her money for God in the best way possible.
We talked about the fees charged for each method and she determined what she would do. Then, still hardly breathing between words, she started thanking me for all that VOM is doing for Christians in Iraq.
Then, she started crying and thanked me again for calling her back as it was important that she not use her donation to benefit herself but to glorify God. She said her family is so thankful for VOM’s ministry and that they pray for us.
We ended our conversation by each of us telling the other what a blessing it was to talk today. We both believed God placed us on each other's path on that day at that time.
After I hung up the phone, I sat in my chair in awe of our God. How, just that morning, I had needed Him for so many reasons and He was there each step of the way. Just that morning, I did not know how I was going to give a devotional at directors’ meeting. He so-politely conked me on the head showing me that I was supposed to share Stacey's story.
VOM donors believe in our ministry. Just like Stacey, many of them agonize over how to use their dollars in the best possible way to further God's kingdom. May we always do the same as we spend the dollars entrusted to us!
Thanks be to God for leading His people on the path that intersects ours!
You can learn about VOM's stewardship and financial accountability here.
Yesterday VOM's Todd Nettleton was a guest on In the Market with Janet Parshall, aired nationwide on the Moody Radio Network.
In the 30-minute interview with Parshall, Nettleton shared updates about the persecuted church, focussing particularly on Iraq and what Christians there are facing with the advance of the Islamic State (IS).
Please click here to listen to this interview (a new window will open; Nettleton's interview begins at about the 27:00 mark). We are thankful to our media friends who help VOM share the stories of our persecuted family.
On this episode of ID the Future, hear Casey Luskin's interview with Issues, Etc., in which he responds to false claims that intelligent design theory is based on religious belief. Casey discusses how many Darwin doubters have found the scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution to be greatly lacking, despite claims of a "scientific consensus" on evolution.
“I don’t trust you anymore.”
When you learned of your husband’s sexual immorality, you most likely experienced a flood of emotions. Wives who have learned of the pornography problem describe swinging from paralyzing shock to disbelief and overwhelming rage, crushing pain, grief, and sorrow that defy description.
Thus began a journey that you never intended to take.
You are in the midst of a trial that has broken the trust you once had in your husband. Regardless of what kind of sexual sin he was involved in, the faith and confidence you once had in him has been damaged, or, at the worst, destroyed.
You may wonder if anything he tells you is the truth and it may be that way for a long time. This breeds insecurity and causes you to be fearful and suspicious all the time.Being the Wise Wife
The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands. (Proverbs 14:1)
Take seriously the message of this proverb. You can destroy what remains of your relationship through fear, anger, bitterness, and suspicion. Some women check up on their husbands constantly. They are afraid to leave him alone in the house; they check his phone and computer for downloads, search through his things looking for “evidence,” and live with a suspicious eye cast toward the man they once trusted implicitly.
Insecurity in the heart is revealed by these kinds of actions and can lead to feelings of anxiety and hopelessness. I want to gently remind you that your security is not to be in your husband, but in the Lord. Placing all your security in a changeable and fallible human is setting yourself up to be hurt all over again.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. (Psalm 46:1–3)
It is critical that you place your husband and your marriage into the hands of the Lord, and entrust yourself to Him as well.What Repentance Looks Like
Does your husband claim to have repented of his sin? Repentance is not a one-time action, but a lifestyle. Living repentant is something he must do daily, hour after hour.
Biblically, true repentance is a threefold response to sin that is found in the use of three different words that each express a different aspect of repentance. There must be change of mind, change of heart, and change of life. All three components or aspects must be present for there to be fruit of true repentance in a person’s life.
Most wives find it difficult to accept that they have no control over whether he repents. Despite your fear and insecurity, you must give your repentant husband opportunities to regain your trust.The Trust Bank
When our children were little and began to want a little freedom to go to a neighbor’s house to play or to be dropped off to see a movie with friends, we began to explain to them the idea of “The Trust Bank.”
We told them that their Trust Account with us was full, that they had all the trust we could have in them at that point, and the balance in the Trust Account after this outing was completely up to them. They could add to their account by being exactly where they told us they would be, by doing what they told us they would do, and by coming home on time. This would give them greater potential to receive approval for larger or “riskier” things like sleep overs and out of town events in the future.
If our children came home late, or we learned that they had been dishonest with us, the result was a withdrawal from their Trust Account. This meant that there would be more restrictive measures taken for a while until they regained our trust.
The key was that they were not sent to their room for three months, but that they had an opportunity to regain our trust again through small and structured steps that were designed to help them succeed. We also adopted the “trust but verify” method. Our kids knew that we would check up to see if they were really where they said they would be.
Now, of course some of this is not applicable in a marriage, but the idea can be utilized nonetheless. You, as the wounded and betrayed spouse, must allow your husband to regain your trust through testing in life situations.Forgiveness is given, but trust is earned.
Some couples work together on ways for him to regain trust such as giving her full access to his computer, phone, not erasing computer history logs, and installing special software that will allow a remotely located accountability partner see where he has been browsing, and the searches that have been done on the Internet. Other men place a phone call when leaving work for the drive home and provide financial accountability for every dime spent.
The day will come when you will simply have to trust that your husband is being faithful and true to you. The more trust building opportunities that are behind you, the easier this will be. You will need to entrust your husband and your marriage to the Lord and remind yourself that if your husband proves not to be trustworthy, the greater violation is against God, not you.
Keeping the Godward perspective is imperative; therefore, I suggest routinely reading Psalms and Proverbs to gain wisdom, insight and understanding.Trust but Verify
Because deception is such an integral aspect of sexual sin, the temptation is to disbelieve everything your husband tells you. It is easy for someone outside the situation to tell you to just believe him because they are not in your marriage and they don’t feel your heartbreak. They also don’t live with your fears regarding deception.
It is not biblical for you to continually disbelieve your husband if you have agreed to remain in the marriage and have determined to forgive him. You may not realize it, but each time you do not accept his words as truth you are accusing him of being a liar. You must understand that the more you tell yourself that he is untrustworthy, the more convinced you will be that it is still true.
This makes it very difficult to move forward and rebuild trust in the marriage. My encouragement to you is to accept what he tells you as the truth and pray that the Lord would confirm it for you as truth or a lie. God detests lying as much as all other sin, and He exposes the things done in the darkness.
Building trust will come with the passage of time. The more your husband is proven to be honest with you, the more you will find trust beginning to build. This will not be accomplished overnight but will come a little at a time.
Hopefully he will understand this process, and is patiently waiting for you to see the changes that are taking place in his heart.
Photo credit: sodaniechea
Julie Ganschow earned her Bible degree from the Faith Bible Institute and began a Biblical counseling position that grew into Reigning Grace Counseling Ministries. She is a certified counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, American Academy of Biblical Counselors, and the International Association of Biblical Counselors and is on the Council Board for the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Julie has published several biblical counseling resources including The Process of Biblical Change, and she speaks at conferences across the nation.
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