It had been a while since I’d opened my collection of emails from Proverbs 31 ministries. I had gotten so busy with life that my First 5 morning devotionals had diminished and the reality of only having 24 hours in a day had been consuming the most important moments of my day. But on this day, I had chosen to take a different path to devotion and sneak away to my office for a moment of seclusion. As I sat there, I opened my phone with the intention of going to a bible app and reading. But instead, my rabbit trail led me to my email, particularly, an email from Proverbs 31 ministries that had been sent a couple of days prior.
I opened it and began to read. As I read each line of the email that was sent out on June 13, 2017, My heart sank deeper and deeper into my stomach.
Was this a mistake?
This couldn’t be true!
In the era of “Fake News” I was hoping that this was some sick, cruel, joke.
My encourager, Lysa, was walking through a present reality that was almost identical to the one I had walked about eight years ago.
Her boldness amazed me. Her pain consumed me. Her reality saddened me.
She was so compassionate and kind to think of us, her tribe and sisters in Christ, when she penned such a difficult blog. Her gift of encouragement has carried me through many hard times, but today I have a few things I want to say to my sister to encourage her, in this open letter.
I want to begin my letter by saying to you these three words, You are Enough!
When we are forced to walk the long and painful road of divorce, we ask ourselves many questions along the way. We often wonder what we could have done differently to keep our marriage together, and when infidelity creeps on the scene, we try to wrap our minds around the question of, “ Why am I not enough?”
I remember when adultery and infidelity seeped its way into my first marriage. I was beyond devastated. My thoughts often consumed me, and I remember thinking, I can never be them. No amount of makeup, exercise, surgeries or acting classes will ever make me become the women who had been placed above our covenant. I can only be me. Why am I not enough?
This question gripped my heart each time I found out about a new affair or was spoken to in a way that diminished my value. Well today, if I could answer that question for the younger me, and the hurting you, I’d say, “You are enough, but satan is never satisfied.” See when the enemy enters the scene, he isn’t happy even after he has destroyed everything in front of him. He is never satisfied. Lustful looks don’t satisfy him, so he invites inappropriate conversations. That doesn’t satisfy him, so he invites fantasy thoughts. That still doesn’t satisfy him, so he invites lies, then before you know it adultery has paved the way for divorce, and he still isn’t satisfied!
Adultery in itself is an outward expression of a person coming into agreement with lies about themselves or their spouse. When these lies are not filtered through the funnel of truth and wisdom, they create a physical response that often leads to adulterous behavior. When a person is drawn away from truth and refuses to honor a covenant, what happens?
“15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees, and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.”
Destruction! No, we are not God, but we are made in his image, and we are the righteousness of God, so our standard of living should reflect that. We also walk in an understanding of his nature and his heart for his children and his standard of love for us is far too great for us to accept anything less. In the end, if lies are not submitted to the truths of God, this is often the pathway that leads to divorce influenced by infidelity.
So today I want to remind you that, You Are Enough!
You are enough for marriage, you are enough as a mother, you are enough as a grandmother, and you are enough as the leader of Proverbs 31 Ministries.
The second thing I want to share with you from my heart is that Your voice has power even in battles, so PLEASE don’t silence it for long!
In your blog you said,
“Therefore, after a season of rest and continued Biblical and professional counseling, I will continue to do ministry with an even deeper belief in the goodness of our God and a greater empathy for the deep heartbreak that happens to us all in this broken world.”
This sentence speaks of such wisdom, and I believe that in that sentence alone, you echo the heart of the Father for you in this season, but please don’t allow the enemy to manipulate that truth and silence your voice for longer than God intends. The enemy may try to make you feel that you are not ready to return to your place of influence because things surrounding the divorce are still circulating, but please remain sensitive to God’s voice for your return and resist the devil’s nudge to stay silent for too long. The words that will flow out of you from God in this season will carry so much LIFE and will have the power to heal broken hearts, even your own. I believe that you will speak and write with a greater passion and authenticity when you allow the hurt and pain you feel to intertwine with the healing and forgiving hand of the Father. No good father plans this level of pain for his child, but every good father is there comforting and covering them when it happens.
The final statement I would like to share with you in this letter is that being divorced doesn’t make you an advocate for divorce. To me, you’re STILL a Proverbs 31 Woman that advocates for the the heart of God in marriage and that is why we, your sisters in Christ and your tribe, are so thankful for you!
I have full confidence that although your marriage did not turn out the way you had hoped, this experience has not changed your perspective on the importance of honoring the marriage covenant.
Some people assume that being divorced means that you are an advocate for divorce. This is far from the truth. I have been divorced and am now remarried, and my understanding of the importance of honoring the spiritual covenant relationship of marriage has grown significantly because of my experience with a broken marriage. There are casualties and victories in a fight, and the outcome of the fight is never revealed until the end. When fighting for your marriage, at some point both parties have to be willing to conform to the truth. God’s nature is not to let those whose hearts desire to obey His covenant be destroyed with those whose hearts have been hardened to the truth. Look at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 16:18-33) where those whose hearts were still open to God were removed (saved), and those whose hearts were hardened were left in the pending destruction. God doesn’t show us he loves us by not honoring His covenant and promises with us and he doesn’t desire for us to experience a love under his marriage covenant that defies His love nature. His love should always be the standard by which we give and receive love, and when it is not, and the enemy is invited in, things change!
With that, let me also boldly say that divorce does not mean the enemy has won. Sure by the world’s standard, when the gavel hits the mallet, the devil has won. But for children of God, that is a lie. We live by a standard of reconciliation that looks different than the world’s. I have remarried, yet I still desire that my relationship with my ex-spouse would be reconciled in the area of peace, parenting, and respect. Most importantly, I desire that we would both take steps to be reconciled back to God as divorce breaks the covenant made with him.
So in closing, I want to remind you (my dear sweet sister in Christ) of three things!
You Are Enough!
Your Voice has Power, Even in the Battle!
You’re Are Still a Proverbs 31 Woman!
So with tears in your eyes and a war wound on your heart, I want you to know that we, your sisters in Christ, your tribe, your fellow warriors, are rooting for you, praying for you, crying with you and waiting for God to bring beauty out of these ashes because he always does and always will. We love you!
Your Sister in Christ,
Rachel G. Scott
P.S. To My Fellow Prayer Warrior Sisters Reading this Letter:
No one gets married with hopes to plan their divorce. No one does. No one plans an entire life with someone in hopes that one day when life is just getting good, they will find out that their spouse has chosen others over them. No one gets married expecting that they will have to spend the same years preparing for their child’s wedding and their divorce. No one buys a home, starts a business, raises kids and desires to wake up night after night to the nagging reality that their spouse has been unfaithful to them and their family. Yet, sin has no social, racial or economic preference. It just looks for someone that has an appetite for something it has to offer and places its deceptive fruit in front of them. It sneaks its way into the hearts of anyone that is not girded up and works to harden the heart of its victim.
And what happens when sin enters the scene? Destruction! Destruction of family, life, and purpose. So let’s begin to stand in the gap for our sister. Lets rally together on her behalf and send prayers to the throne of grace that will bring her and her family peace and comfort during this time. And let’s pray intentionally for Art, that his heart would be softened to truth and that he would never feel that he has gone so far from the Savior that he can’t return.
Let’s show Lysa that we are rallying and praying for her by doing #YouAreEnoughP31