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7times,

This journey you are on is MUCH greater than just your relationship with your wife. This journey is about being obedient in love for Him first. If you are not willing to suffer in the consequences of your choices, why would you ask her to do so? God bless. David

David, Your reply brings a ton of comfort. The reason being, I can control my obedience to Him first. I can't make my ex change her mind, but I believe the only way she would ever change her heart would be in response to my relationship with God and the unconditional love which goes hand in hand with that relationship.

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7times,

Only YOU can squash unacceptable thoughts. Children are normally impatient, self-pitying, fluctuating in their beliefs and absorbed with how they "feel" (aka damaged ego). Instead of seeing all these faults that you have, try  looking at it in a different way. You are a little boy (emotionally and mentally) in a man's body and society has told you certain "lies" that show your supposed manhood. Manhood is achieved -not by charm and sexual prowess- but by depth of integrity, character, self sacrifice rather than self-serving, patience, etc. These characteristics mark a true man. And the only way any true man gets them is by going through what you are going through right now. If you don't want a repeat of what you have just been through with your ex - whether it's with her or another woman- then do this hard work now before you get any older. The rewards you will reap will more than make up for the two to three years you invest in this process.

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These characteristics mark a true man. And the only way any true man gets them is by going through what you are going through right now.

Thanks for the redirect 4evr. There is no doubt I'm growing in emotional maturity, but there is also no doubt that I am often still a little boy as you described. For example my daughter just told me my ex is staying at a hotel again tonight (My mother in law is in town and will be with my children.) This caused uneasiness (she is staying at hotels often - for obvious reasons) and my first thought was not to love through it, but rather to be angry and say to myself "what am I doing? This is ridiculous!" That was the little boy ego. I drove her to another man through my past behaviors and neglect, so I guess there is no better way for me to be reshaped into a man. I wish there was an easier way, but this is obviously what I need to go through whether it is for my future with her or someone else. Wow. This part stinks!

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David, I have the book per your recommendation....will definitely watch the movie.  7X, Perserverance, patience in your case for sure.  I have not experiencing lessons to offer you obviously, but like you, I too do not want to be with anyone other than my wife.  I honestly have a hard time believing GOD wants you to be social with anyone else and will not for some time.  My sense is, and from my personal experience, that absence of being with my wife, and in the presence of a "Lady", gives me the opportunity to think of the small moments I am finding are coming back to mind, and it is refreshing.  It fuels me to pray to GOD to have it in his will to let me be in her life again.  I believe in what Joel says, that until she marries another, GOD is giving me a chance.

 

By the way, 7X, would like to tell you and OC what happened at home after the call Saturday....do either of you two know how to get in contact with him

 

8136383259

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Had a long post almost finished and lost it.

 

Want to say I agree with 4evr:

 

7times,

If you don't want a repeat of what you have just been through with your ex - whether it's with her or another woman- then do this hard work now before you get any older. The rewards you will reap will more than make up for the two to three years you invest in this process.

Also, when "the predator" begins to show his true colours, you will want to be waiting in the wings, her true husband who has been transformed into the knight in shining armour for whom she has been looking all her life! She will need a caring, available shoulder to cry on. Let it be yours.

 

Father God, let that fellow's true colours be revealed at the right time and in the right way we pray. We claim protection for 7Times' (ex) wife, for her heart and soul. In Jesus' Name. And thank You for being 7Times' Help and Strength. Amen!

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MaryJane, Thank you. I was having a woe is me morning and am doing better. My ex is trying to send me a message of stop being kn denial by not answering calls or texts. This is normally not like her. She also wants me to stop with doing things to help her. All of this had me wondering how can I bless her and be Christ-like to her now? That's what brought on the woe-is-me thinking (along with a disconnect with God). I had forgotten that my continued growth in Christ has nothing to do with all of those things. I can continue praying, dying to self,remaining in the word and acting Christ-like in all other areas of my life. My interaction with my ex may be much more limited, but there will still be opportunities. In the meantime, I must learn more patience and use the time to grow...alone.

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Being a good godly father to the children will speak much.

MaryJane, Well that's something I'm good at :-) I have a wonderful relationship with each of my three daughters. I will remember that.

 

Here's a pretty severe issue affecting me right now: Although I never told my ex wife about my knowledge of the boyfriend before or after the divorce, I am having horrible, sometimes obsessive and graphic thoughts of her with this other man. Somehow, much of the time, I'm able to grow from the pain (which she also experienced) and love her right through knowing what is going on. But other days (like today) those thoughts consume me to the point of taking my focus completely off God and moving me into an unhealthy depressive state which takes away any motivation to be Christ-like. I know these thoughts serve no useful purpose, but on some days they are severe and I embrace the thoughts to punish myself. The dominate emotion is usually regret rather than anger. What a mess this whole thing is!

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7Times, I completely understand where you are coming from.  Those thoughts are like tidal waves spinning you around and turning you upside down.  With that said YOU control your brain.

 

2 Corinthians 10:5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 

I have mentioned it before but I really think you need to go with Dr. Caroline Leaf's 21-day Brain Detox at http://21daybraindetox.com/.  The devil wants to sabotage your joy, peace and contentment.  If we don't have those in our lives we are not abiding in Christ.  I am praying for you today 7Times.  You are not alone in this.  Continue to fight the good fight.  

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Thanks for the understanding and encouragement ChooseLove. I think I'll sign up for the 21 Day Detox and keep you posted. The thoughts aren't always necessarily physical in nature, but rather the whole message it sends to my mind. A message based on lies as to who I am today and growing to be. The lies say I am still inadequate, not worthy and self-centered. This is no longer the truth about me.

 

The other day, when my ex-wife said she was beginning to get angry about my positive actions towards her (demonstrated for the past 4 or 5 months), she said why couldn't I just "be a man" and do these things when we were married. She also used the phrase "just be a man" when we first separated. I think that's what started me into the thoughts I mentioned. Comparing myself to others, rather than recognizing who I am in Christ and the strength I now have. Regrets of my past cane flooding back.

 

I understand what she meant and I completely see the difference in being the man God called me to be...which I'm finally doing.

 

I don't fully understand why she's mentioning it now, but I'm still giving too much power to her words and thoughts of me rather than accepting that my only true approval comes from God. I'm sure she sees this other individual as the "real man" she's been missing and there's some truth to that (had been missing), despite the man I'm becoming. I must continue to lean on God and keep growing regardless of what I believe she thinks of me right now and regardless of what she is doing.

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2 Cor 5:15,17

We look at it like this: if one died for all men, then, in a sense, they all died, and his purpose in dying for them is that their lives should now be no longer lived for themselves but for him who died and was raised to life for them... For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether; the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new.

 

Why is this sometimes not enough for me? Because my ex-wife hangs onto the past (which is her choice), I often feel obligated to do the same. This is not biblical and it hinders genuine Christ-like thinking. More to work on.

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Being a good godly father to the children will speak much. Not that you will try to "speak" to her through them, but she will still "see" you through them.

A moment of clarity today: Total focus was on one of my three daughters all day due to a semi-serious health issue. I took the reins and brought my daughter to two different doctors while keeping J (ex) posted every step of the way. At the end of the day, there was a pretty good connection between us and a good talk about my daughter's test results and future health-related considerations. The strong, shared love we have for our children was evident. We will always share that love and that it's comforting. We talked about a few other things for a while and it was very cordial.

 

This was a big lesson for me. All day my focus was on my daughter and being Christlike for her (without even realizing it). She loved having me with her. It was not about doing something to get something back. Not in the slightest! It was because I love my children and I want them to feel safe and protected and know that they are cared for.

 

What an eye opener. This is how I needed (and still need) to be with J. There should be little if any difference in Christ-like love we show our spouse (or I show my ex) to the unqestionable, unselfish, giving love we show our children. On top of it, knowing that I took care of our daughter all day seemed to have a strong positive impact on J (as MaryJane noted, quote above), when that was not at all my intention.

 

I have always been a very good father, but the same Christ-like love I've normally given my children (without thought or hesitation), was shown to my wife less frequently (much less frequently). Today gave me a better idea of what Christ-like looks like with J: Not forced, no hesitancy, no need for a response, etc. No different than the way God loves his children.

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More dying to self: J (which is how I'll refer to my ex-wife because I dislike the word "ex"), asked me to watch our dog this weekend because she's staying downtown again (in all probability with the BF). I said yes, pretty quickly, but soon thereafter I felt pitiful. Here I was, happily watching our dog so she can be with this other person.

 

I guess the false image of a supposed "real" man would have been to have some "dignity" and tell her she'd need to figure out the dog thing for herself. The Christlike response, which I chose, was to help her and love her regardless of the situation. I caused this mess, so I'm somehow relinquishing the right to be bitter or jealous also.

 

Would most people in society consider that to be a weak, non "manly" decision? Probably? But my goal isn't to be like most people in society. It's to suck it up and learn from every disgusting consequence of my past I encounter and allow God to teach me each time. Little by little, every time I respond Christlike to each of these consequences, I believe I am being permanently reshaped. I now believe that is being a real man. The man God called me to be. Not the worldy, bitter, anxious, fearful man who feels life is unfair.

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Just read this and thought of you my friend.  Do not be afraid.  God is with you...

 

Faith Tabernacle                                                    http://ft111.com

 

March 19, 2015  

 
SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS:
If you will steady yourself and seek My face, says the Lord, I will reveal to you things that have been difficult to grasp.  Bring your inquiry before Me, and be assured that if you ask, I will answer.  But, you must lay aside your own speculations and assumptions and come with a heart wide open and ready to receive.  Do not be afraid. 

Luke 11:9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." 
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CL, I can't tell you how timely that is. Thank you! I feel like the "Opposite George" episode from Seinfeld :-) I'm responding to challenges and disappointments as learning experiences from God. The greater the heartache the greater the growth. I'm slowly but surely learning to respond in a Christlike way to these disappointments, which is basically the opposite of my past insecure, angry, self-centered, victimhood reponses. "I will reveal things to you that have been difficult to grasp." Yes he is...

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Glad to have been able to share 7Times.  This process takes time, pure and simple. God wants the best for you, so as you continue to turn towards Him you will become more Christlike.  This is really is probably the hardest, most noble work you will ever do.  God bless you brother.

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Today, I seriously found myself wondering just what I'm doing. I will continue striving to be a Christlike man in all areas of my life, especially towards my ex-wife, but I am releasing her to God and will likely be removing the "winning back her heart" component from my actions. Any inkling of hope is having a severely detrimental effect on my emotional and mental state.

 

She is now with another person and despite it happening during and immediately after the divorce, I would not be surprised if she was in love. I will love her anyway and bless her and my daughters to the best of my ability and with a Christlike heart, but my heart is also telling me to let her go.

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I am releasing her to God and will likely be removing the "winning back her heart" component from my actions.

After the men's call today, I realized the above comment doesn't quite make sense. I believe the only way I would ever win her heart back would be through Christlike love and actions. So, if I am saying I am continuing with Christlike love, then by default I am accepting the power that can have to possibly change a woman's heart.

 

Looking at the statement honestly and breaking it down, I was really saying: "I am impatient, this is too painful and I'm going to go find someone else who loves me to soothe that pain"...even though that's not truly what I want in my heart and it's not what I believe God wants for me. This is a constant battle of self-awareness, honesty and commitment.

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"This morning, I heard a pretty amazing statement. Great men are uncomplicated. Meaning that they aren’t bogged down with irrelevance. They know what matters and have their focus. No drama. Not complaining. Not whining. Not perpetually angry or distressed. Choosing to be happy and content. Choosing to have positive attitudes."

 

-Erik Matlock (from www.erikmatlock.com blog)

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Another great church service today (my youngest daughter joined me). My good friend who restored his marriage after being on the brink of divorce by walking yhe walk gave his testimony (excellent! good timing.Tears flowed) I am praying for the peace I receive when I'm in church to remain with me, because when that peace fills me I am at my best and able to be most Christlike. Without that peace (refusing to let the Holy Spirit live through me), I wax and wane. This is all about striving to be consistent for the rest of my life.

 

I'm actually developing a small amount of acceptance of her involvement with someone because all I can control is being Christlike regardless of those (or any other) circumstances. Maybe it's not "acceptance", but more like it's something I'm dwelling on less because those thoughts serve no useful purpose. That's a true God-created paradigm shift in the making.

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Be STILL and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Thanks David. That sums it up even more directly than the following which I've been meditating on:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

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You have strength....I have seen it and it has hit me in a conviction.....I believe you can outlast this and come out on the other end with a great relationship with your daughters and quite honestly, I believe your wife....I say that because in GOD's eyes, you should be together, will more than likely be beside her self when she reflects on the path you are making, and be astonished

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Thank you very much skiingco! I am trying to see this as a marathon in which I am also growing all along the way. Growing through the grueling pain. I recognize this is a lifelong journey of continual dying to self. As painful as this is at times, I am accomplishing things and living a way which would have been unheard of for me 5 or 6 years ago.

 

So, your comments help me to not lose sight of who I am becoming and to not give in to impatience, temptation towards the "easy" way out and the voice telling me I can throw in the towel for restoration because my growth at this point is now "good enough." It is not good enough because I know God wants us to never cease striving to grow and become more Christlike every day. Many marathon runners hit the imfamous "wall" at some point during the race, but the ones with dedication and endurance run through that wall. God bless!

 

Hebrews 12:1, ..let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us...

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