The Power of a Praying Wife: Chapter 25 – His Repentance
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Jesus Christ ~ Luke 5:32
I used to think the term “repentance” was the entire package of what a Christian was to do. Likely because of pop culture political cartoons or caricatures with some sign or caption in them about “repent and be saved!” So, in my mind, repentance meant confession of sins and turning away from sins while accepting Jesus Christ into your life and heart all at the same time.
I was much older when I learned that repentance actually means:
1. deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like.
2. regret for any past action.
Biblical repentance actually means to be so sorry for your past sins that you turn away from then and never face them again.
My ex-husband was an alcoholic and a drug addict. He was on one of those “illegal drugs should be legalized” bandwagons. He did not think that what he did was wrong, and he thought everyone should be able to do it without consequence. He was a big government conspiracy, “the man’s trying to keep you down” kind of guy. I was told, straight up, that alcohol and drugs came first, financially, and everything else second. On my weekly payday, I had to give him a set amount off of the top, then find a way to make due with the rest. He didn’t care that everything after was a struggle and that there were weeks that what was left for a food budget would barely cover a day, much less a week.
He was unrepentant.
When he got clean and sober and started a program, one of the first things he had to do was find people whom he had sinned against (I don’t know if they used the term sin – I think they used the term “wronged”) and repent – express sorrow and voice sorrow for his actions. He came to me and repented of most of the over nine years of our marriage, specifically the burden he placed on me financially and the way he was an advocate for drug use. He has been clean now for almost five years, and Kaylee is very proud of him and his strength in breaking free of the bonds of addiction.
Repentance doesn’t have to follow major, heinous sin like a decade of addiction. It can follow anything that’s sinful, and as fallible humans living in a fallen world, sin is dominate everywhere. Repentance is simply being so sorry for your sin that you turn away from it and don’t do it again.
When discussing this chapter with Gregg, the first thing he thought of was his requirements for a spouse. That’s not a bad thing, nor is it sinful. But, he would dictate to God his requirements. “Dear God, please let me meet a wife, but she must have never been married, have no children, be able to have children, be shorter than me, and live within fifty miles of me.” Having standards in mind is not sinful, dictating to God what He may do and how He may do it is definitely sinful.
Then he realized that it was entirely up to God whether he would be married ever again — OR NOT — and whether she would or would not meet one point on his list. It wasn’t up to him. If He never wanted him to be a husband and father in this life, then he would accept His will for his life. If He wanted Gregg to be a good husband and stepfather, then he would do that. He says that it was all about repenting of his selfishness and surrendering to HIS will for Gregg’s life.
And then he met me. A recently separated yet still married mother who had had a tubal ligation and couldn’t have any more children, who is two inches taller than Gregg and lived 357 miles away from him. I didn’t fit into any single part of his list. Within a week we were talking about getting married, and within six months from the day we first met, we were married. Without Gregg’s repentant heart, he would have never even considered me for a wife.
Read chapter 25 of The Power of a Praying Wife and consider the following discussion questions. They are also posted on the forum at Hallee’s Daily Brew here, but the comments are open on this post if you prefer to discuss it here.
1. Proverbs 28:13 says: He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. One of the first steps toward repentance is acknowledging the sin in the first place. Does your husband have difficulty confessing his faults? What will happen if he doesn’t confess his sins? What when happen when he does confess his sin?
2. When your husband does take the first step to confessing his sins, do you feel his is truly repentant and intent on changing his behavior? Why or why not?
3. Do you feel your husband moves fully in those steps of confession, repentance, and asking forgiveness? With which step does he have the most difficulty? The least difficulty? Answer these same questions about yourself.
4. Romans 2:4 says: Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? The goodness of God will lead us to repentance. In what ways can you pray about that for husband and for yourself?
5. Are there instances where you believe your husband’s true repentance would bring needed healing to you or to someone else you know? How can you pray about that?
6. Pray the prayer out loud on page 175 of The Power of a Praying Wife. Include specifics to your husband’s repentance.
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