A few months ago, I wrote a post on what it is like to be a “stander”.To those unfamiliar with the word "stander", this term refers to any husband or wife who honors the vow he or she made before God by waiting on the Lord AND remaining in the Lord for the restoration of their spouse's salvation and in turn, the restoration of the covenant marriage. This post offers resources and encouragement for those who stand for their covenant marriage.
The reason one becomes a “stander” is based on what they believe about God and His design for marriage. Thus, the most encouraging and edifying information is found in the word of God. One cannot stand if they truly do not believe that marriage is God’s design to bring Him glory. Those who stand are not only a witness to God’s love for us, they are also a witness to others who do not stand, and who do not take God for His word. This can be very convicting as it was for me when you finally realize that marriage is one man and one woman for life.
Conviction comes when the Holy Spirit attunes us to the truthof God’s word. The moment we repent of our sins and put our faith in Christ, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit to become children of God. We then begin a process of sanctification which is making us day by day into the image of Christ. We have in Christ a new spirit that convicts of sin and deliverers us from the power of sin so that we can do the work of the Lord.
Whenever we are convicted of sin we are to repent before the Lord and He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is how the process works. Yes, we are in a body of flesh, but the Holy Spirt remains in us to transform us from the inside out. We may stumble and fall but it is our faith in Christ that keeps us running the race until completion. This is the joy of the Lord and the grace of Christ that encourages us and sustains us.
This is also true in the lives of those standers who may have not had the same view of marriage when they made a vow of covenant to his or her spouse, but once the spirit quickens their hearts to knowing God’s design for marriage, they begin to see the urgency and need to remain obedient to God. This obedience is grounded in the Gospel and the knowledge that a man and woman are one-flesh and share the need to sanctify the covenant of marriage. It is not merely a desire to remain in marriage or to exit the marriage for fleshy desire, but as a witness to remain in marriage in obedience to God.
This obedience is grounded in the knowledge that a prodigal spouse is in jeopardy of spending eternity in Hell and that is a desire that he or she repents of the sin and reconciles to the Lord more than it is about reconciling the marriage. The knowledge is that once a spouse repents of the sin and reconciles to the Lord, the restoration the marriage is inevitable since the standing spouse is playing the part of Christ.
It is important to note that not all standers are waiting on the Lord for a prodigal to return. There are some standers who have divorced and remarried and have since been convicted that their “remarriage” was not a marriage in the Lord. They once believed that a divorce ended their covenant of marriage and that a “remarriage” was sanctified by the Lord. They now know that the vows they made to their covenant spouse cannot be broken and that second, third, and fourth covenant vows are meaningless since all remarriages after a divorce of a covenant spouse are adulterous unions and nothing more. They have decided to “divorce’ from a civil remarriage of which is an act of repentance to exit the adulterous union. They now stand for their covenant marriage.
Also, there are some like me, a never-married, thinking I can marry a divorced woman believing the words of a Pastor rather than listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit after reading Luke 16:18. I stand for the truth of one-flesh covenant marriage and the fact that there are consequences for disobedience.
Unfortunately, the evil and confusing interpretations most Protestant churches adhere to have so redefined marriage that many people are in adulterous remarriages. The fact is most who seek to divorce and remarry have relied on the desires of the flesh and the traditions of men rather than the word of God. Thus, a stander is most likely waiting for their covenant spouse to exit their own “remarriage” and often remain unmarried with very little support.
The idea in most Protestant churches is that it is better to be “remarried” then stand for a covenant marriage. There are plenty of ministries for married (and remarried) couples but when was the last time you saw a ministry for standers? The truth is that most standers are called Pharisees or legalistic rather that they are obedient to the covenant vow they made before the Living God. Sure, there are some standers in churches but they are not often mentioned as this is a deep conviction to the “remarried.” The sad truth is most Pastors will not mention the fact that there are those standing for marriage in fear of upsetting the “remarried.”
The only hope we have is found in Christ. Remaining obedient to the Lord requires patience and faith in the Lord to knowing that He has it all. Even if there was no one to encourage and support you, the Lord is a prayer away. He understands what it was like to be rejected and despised by family and friends. He understands that the world is a divorce and remarriage culture that is fueled by false teaching and by an enemy that has attacked the covenant of marriage form the very beginning.
Let us be clear. This is a spiritual battle that has waged since the Lord ascended into the clouds and will continue till He triumphantly returns. We are not without weapons, of which the sword of the spirit is a powerful weapon against the darkness that is prevalent in the world. We must daily put in the full armor of God and speak and do that which glorifies the Lord. The fact that you are a witness and an example of the Gospel in standing for your covenant marriage marks you as a target for the enemy.
Just as the word of God is a powerful weapon that breaks down false teaching and false interpretations by those who support divorce and remarriage, so too are their saints who stand fearlessly against the attacks of the enemy on the covenant of marriage. There are blogs, books, videos and other resources which stand for the truth of marriage. There are many standers who are boldly proclaiming the truth of marriage; thus, many are repenting and becoming standers themselves.
Here are a few resources which helped me and will help to to guide you to other standers and assist in supporting your stand. Some of these are in the social media website of Facebook. I also facilitate a permanence of marriage group on Facebook and co-facilitate and contribute to other Facebook groups.
- http://cpr-ministries.com/ Dr. Joseph Webb-includes 6 part video series
- http://cadz.net/ This also includes many other links to other ministries.
- Bible Research Reports -Myron Horst
- Permanence of Adultery- Joe Fogle
- The Family: God's Will Concerning Remarriage- Barry Gritters
- Till Do Us Part? Dr. Joseph Webb
- Have You Not Read? Casey Whitaker
- Except For Fornication -Daniel R. Jennings
Videos on Marriage:
- Except For Fornication -Daniel R. Jennings
- Divorce and Remarriage- David Pawson
- Marriage+Divorce+Remarriage=Adultery-Dr. Mike Gorrie
- Is Divorce & Remarriage Biblical?
- Divorce and Remarriage-an Unbiased View
- Divorce & Remarriage is Adultery. Here's why...
- My Testimony of Repentance from a Remarriage-Sharon Fitzhenry
- Why I Repented of a Marriage God Called Adulterous- Cheryl Daniel
- I'm Committing Adultery? Me?-Alisha Nelson
- Broken Marriage Restored
- A Restored Marriage
- Testimony-Marriage restored by following God's principles
- A short story
- Important note: Some of these restoration stories speak of divorce ending the marriage of covenant and refer to the "remarriage" as a second marriage. The truth is that the first covenant marriage does not end in civil divorce and making second vows to a spouse who is already one-flesh is not necessary. I would hope that we understand that the second vows only establish the first.
In Christ's love,Eph 5:31-33 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.