I praise the Lord for allowing me to find this site, the men’s RMI because it was an answer to prayer because my wife left home. I, not knowing what to do, I went to prayer asking God to help me. But first, He changed me, showing me my mistakes, because He was aware that there was a good reason for her going away.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
But I knew that everything I was going through was allowed to happen. God put in my heart, even to go to church, read the Bible and pray, but knew I needed a change, that change should come and be directed only by the Word of God. And after I spent a few days of prayer, I went to the internet to look for a Bible study that really followed the Bible and talk about marriage, and there I found RMI. By analyzing the first study, I realized that it was a purely biblical study, for I am a Pentecostal evangelist, unlike other Bible studies that were analyzed, which quoted Bible verses, but that the explanatory texts themselves were contrary to the Word of God. But here it let His word speak!
In addition to that, already in the first study, I was tremendously confronted with my mistakes as I realized that the study was the answer to God for my prayers and showing me where and how should I change my attitude in general.
In the early days, I questioned God a lot asking, which He let everything happen to me, why He took my wife away from me, all away from me, “left alone in the wilderness,” was where He spoke to me:
“But now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all the work of your hands.” Isaiah 64: 8
“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker the shard and other clay shards Shall the clay say to him who formed: What are you doing or thy work: no hands?” Isaiah 45: 9
“Far off from me my acquaintances, I have put in an abomination unto them. I am shut up, and can not get out … thou put away from me and friend, and my acquaintances are in darkness.” Psalms 88: 8:18.
How wrong I was, unaware that I prayed wrong! Questioning God and nothing satisfied me. “I speak not of necessity, I have learned to be content myself with what I know to be abased, and I know how to abound. In any way, and in all things I am instructed both to be filled, such as be hungry, both to abound, and to suffer need I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4: 11-13.
I changed my mind, I believed in God, with faith and persistence as the scripture says in James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and the upbraideth not, and it shall be given him ask but in faith, nothing wavering because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed from one to another part. for let not that man will receive anything from the Lord. the double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. But the brother of low degree rejoice in his exaltation,” in other words, why would I ask and not believe or doubt or give up?
As a human being, I confess that I am extremely anxious, but He taught me to Rest in Him, fully trusting Him, for He has the power and control of everything in His hands, as we see in about that Scripture: “He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and cuts the spear, he burns the shields with fire Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps. 46: 9-10.
“Do not fear them, for the Lord your God he shall fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22
“Then came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation, upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph, and he said, Hearken, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, thus saith the Lord: Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God […] in this battle will have no that war: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed;. tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord will be with you ” 2 Chronicles 20:14 -15 and 17.
My desire is to seek the Lord in prayer and fasting, as a pastor, evil sought the Lord “Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” 2 Chronicles 20: 3.
At long last, I started to read the Bible as you suggested. Even though I was born in a Christian home, attended church all my life, even after becoming a pastor for over 7 years, I had never read the entire Bible!! I would say I knew about 10% of the entire Bible. I had memorized verses, texts, but not put anything into practice— being such a fool. See what the Lord tells us,
“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them, compare it as a foolish man who built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was its fall.” Matthew 7: 26-27
“But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, which broke against the current, and immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.” Luke 6:49.
I have yet to change much, but now I can say with certainty, conviction and without fear of error. I was a person who said to follow the Bible, but in fact was as hypocritical Pharisee and Publican. But now I read daily, something strongly written in 1 Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell (Abiding in common; Living together as husband and wife) with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife as the weaker vessel, and as it is his co-heirs of the grace of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
In other words, there lived a Gospel “empty” because I did not respect my wife, wounding her with words, despising, not protecting her from malicious attacks, even verbal attacks coming from third parties or relatives.
Today I am totally different, changed, transformed, modified, so much so that when I pray, I go into spiritual battle for my wife, because the enemy understands and knows that she is more fragile than I am as a man. I as a husband, I must protect her, love her as Christ loved the church unconditionally, despite her flaws and imperfections.
Praise the Lord! For turning me into a new man, who truly decided to rebuild his house on the rock.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon a rock.” Matthew 7:24
“It is like a man which built an house, and digged, and opened deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, broke against the current in that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.” Luke 6:48
~ José Santa Catarina