“So I prophesied as he [God] commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet-a vast army,” (Ezekiel 37:10 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I can hardly wait for you to read the rest of the story from earlier in the week. If you missed it, please go back and read it first. Here’s where we left off…Don and Jona were divorced.
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 keep reading.
God took Jona to a place of repentance and began to soften, remold and remake her very heart. That’s what God does. He doesn’t try to cover up our flaws; He starts from scratch and makes us new. While the divorce was final, God was only just beginning to work on Jona’s heart.
“God took me to a place of repentance,” Jona explained. “For the first time, through a support group, I saw clearly what I had done to destroy my marriage. I had always blamed our problems on Don changing jobs so often, but the real problem was my lack of respect for the God appointed leader of my home. I was the real problem and Don simply couldn’t take it anymore. I had rejected Don with my words, my appearance, and my withdrawal of physical touch.”
Whether or not God could salvage the marriage, Jona made a commitment that she would allow God to salvage her.
Jona’s heart longed to be reunited to Don, but her ultimate goal was to become the woman God wanted her to be. She immersed herself in Bible study and prayer, and began to take an interest in her appearance. Interesting, as the pounds began to drop, so did the scales that had covered her eyes.
“I began to understand what God’s Word said about the relationship between a husband and wife. I was not Don’s Holy Spirit. I was not the leader of my home. God had called me to respect Don as the leader, to honor him as a child of God, and to love him with my all. One day when Don came to pick up our two boys, I shared with him what I had been learning.”
“I told Don that I knew that we were divorced, but I was making a commitment to submit to him. I didn’t when we were married, but I did from that time forward.”
“That’s fine,” he told me. “But you need to know I’m moving on with my life.”
“You can move on,” I said, “But I’m staying right here.”
Jona continued to encourage Don and give him her BEST.
“BEST stands for bless, edify, share, and touch,” she explained. “I began to touch him when he came by the house. I’d pat his back or give him a quick hug. When I knew he was coming, I’d put on a nice dress and fix my hair. I’d tell him I was proud of how he was handling the boys and share with him what God was teaching me. Some people told him I was trying to trick him and that he should ignore me. But it wasn’t a trick. God had changed my heart and I was committed, no matter what happened between us in the future, to never go back to being that bitter woman I had been before.”
“Sharon, I hate to tell you this,” she said, “but for the first time, I prayed for Don. I had never prayed for him before, but now I pray for him all the time.”
Jona lost the added pounds and gained a beautiful glowing countenance. It was amazing. More than the change in her physical appearance, the glow of Jesus Christ shone through her radiant face.
Don was confused at times and a bit leery of the change. “Why do you think I’m wonderful, all of a sudden?” he asked her.
“Because now I see you through God’s eyes,” she explained. “I see that you are a wonderful man.”
Don fell in love with Jona all over again. No, it wasn’t a trick – it was a miracle. God has given them a second chance. They were remarried on August 24, 2003. Oh how I love God … He is the God of second chances.
Dear friends, Jona has so graciously allowed me to tell you her story because she has decided that she will do anything to help one woman not make the same mistakes she has made. She cried and cried all through the recounting of the story, and relived the pain…for you. “God allowed me to go to a terrible place,” Jona explained. “My prayer is that others will not have to go to that place before they wake up and realize what they are doing to their men.”
And that…is what Dr. Phil did not tell you.
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, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Is God telling you there is something you need to do differently in your marriage? Is there something you need to do differently in other important relationships in your life?
You know, Jona did not destroy her marriage by herself. Don made his fair share of mistakes too. But here’s the thing – we cannot change another person. We can only change ourselves. And sometimes…that is enough.
Consider giving your BEST to others. Write out the acronym and keep it in a prominent place.
What has this two-part devotion stirred in your heart? I’d love to know. Please leave a comment below and let’s chat!
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!