So then, if while her husband is living

she is joined to another man,

she shall be called an adulteress;

but if her husband dies, she is free from the law,

so that she is not an adulteress

though she is joined to another man.

 —Romans 7:3

 

Dear Michele,

Hi, my name is Anita and I am a member of Restoration Ministries International. I read your Bible study today and I feel I have to share something the Lord has led me to in His Word concerning a certain part of the “Wise Woman Study,” specifically, “I Hate Divorce!” Something I think you must have missed. This is something the Lord had shown me quite some time ago and I know I have written about it before. It concerns the part “Should I restore this marriage or go back to my first husband?” under “An Adulterous Foundation.” It is in Deuteronomy; please pay particular attention to verse four as this is my concern for which I write to you this morning.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 KJV, “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; verse 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”

I hope this is helpful and will prompt you to change your direction. Thank you for listening. I’ve appreciated your helping so many of us understand the true Word of the Lord when so many of us are so desperately in need! GOD WILL NOT LET IT GO UNNOTICED; ALL OF YOUR LABOR OF LOVE! Peace in the Lord!

~ Anita

When I got this email I wrote to my secretary and asked if she’d respond with, “Can you write to Anita and tell her I totally agree with the verse and her opinion? Also let her know that I will prayerfully consider what she has shared and will seek the Lord about it, then speak to Erin,” which I did.

What Erin and I discussed was that the main reason Erin left that portion in A Wise Woman is because it has always been her desire that all women seek the Lord concerning her own personal situation since each of our relationships with the Lord is the most important thing in anyone’s life—even more important than a woman’s marriage.

My life, like yours, has without any doubt been a journey, and like me, very often we have thought about the mistakes in our past that we each, later, found clearly in Scripture that we had been wrong. At that point in time, when I was personally reading and teaching A Wise Woman, I never really understood of that particular principle, a principle that had caused me to make this “mistake” and what many other women began to challenge me about soon after Anita did. All I could do was wonder how I’d missed it.

Darling bride, have you ever felt that way? Wondering how or why God didn’t stop you or open your eyes to something before it took you on a journey that, looking back, you would rather have missed living through? Painfully realizing that due to this misstep, that could have been avoided, you are suffering the consequences of due to being so ignorant? It wasn’t prior to you knowing the Lord or prior to knowing His word. It was almost like He pointed you in the wrong direction.

My Plan

“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work. For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think” (Isaiah 55:8-11: The Message).

Just recently, specifically on a recent traveling tour that took me through South America, Africa, and Europe which I am only two days from completing, I found myself asking the Lord about many of my “mistakes.” Why I had made them, and more pointedly, why my Beloved had not stopped me from making them. To my incredible surprise, He told me that these were not mistakes, but each was part of His plan for my life! So I stopped to ponder long what He’d just said. As each “mistake” came to my mind, the outcome, especially on some of my most regrettable mistakes, had turned out to be the ones that brought me closer to my Lord, my Lover, my Husband and my Best Friend. So, I thought, if this is what our mistakes do for us, I then began to finally comprehend that there is never any reason for any of us to regret our past, and that means never having to worry about our future, worrying about any mistakes we could make.

This revelation held immeasurable truth for me, and I also finally understood it’s what “Perfect love that casts out all fear” really meant! Just imagine no longer being fearful of making mistakes—so we become free and are able to let go of all our worries. Finally, with all fear gone, we can freely love Him as He deserves to be loved—for loving Him is the reason for our entire existence. And when you couple your future with the knowledge that any mistakes we make are intended to be used for our good, along with all the mistakes of our past (that we once felt we couldn’t let go of), we are finally free to enjoy living the Abundant Life that He died to give us!

In that moment, no longer plagued with the guilt and weight of being divorced, and why I had remarried, I was now free to simply love: love and be loved by my new Husband; love and be loved by my children; love and be loved by everyone else the Lord puts on my heart—and it is the same for you too!

No, I have not forgotten that I said this would be a continuation of the previous chapter, when I left you hanging with trying to understand what the Lord meant when He told me that “you can’t” in regard to restoring my marriage to my ex-husband. Many of you may have already been able to figure out why “I can’t” when you read the opening verse:

“So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man” (Romans 7:3).

Since my first husband and my second husband are both still alive, if I were to restore my marriage (which would mean me marrying my ex-husband a second time, since I am divorced), then I would be an adulteress—again!

Yes, again. For all those years, those very difficult and painful years of marriage, I was nothing more than an adulteress. My first marriage lasted only one month, my second marriage to my ex-husband was a long and laborious struggle for nearly 24 years—years of his unfaithfulness and my misery, as I tried desperately to be a different wife, a woman worthy to be loved by him.

Then, with the log in my own eye, I tried to take the speck out of all those OWs who had stolen our husbands. To my surprise, when the Lord revealed the state of my own existence, that I was living as an adulteress, all of it began to make sense. The years of feeling unloved by my husband, who left me twice for other women, was all about me, never about him. Maybe that is why I never felt anything but compassion for the woman that my husband recently married—I knew that if not for the grace of God, I too, would be looking for another man to marry me after being rejected, which ultimately would result in another failed marriage and me being an adulteress, again.

For all those years I’d lived as an adulteress and didn’t even know it. Yes, true, our society recognizes divorce as ending an unwanted marriage, and then accepts remarriage as legal; however, even in Erin’s books (I taught and ministered with), I was blind to the Bible verses like:

“So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man” (Romans 7:3).

“But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32).

Since my first husband divorced me, and then I married a second time, I therefore, commit adultery (since my first husband was living). Though I never saw it that way, we both reaped the consequences nevertheless.

“To keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, do not let her catch you with her eyelids. For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, and an adulteress hunts for the precious life. Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out” (Proverbs 6:24–33).

Financially, while married, we had always struggled. In addition, how true that “wounds and disgrace” did find my husband and that “reproach” was never blotted out. Back when I first found RMI, the Lord did open my eyes, just a bit, concerning this principle when I was seeking God to restore my marriage. While reading these verses I realized that it was me who had caused my husband (at the time) to commit adultery, since I had been married before when I married him. About halfway in my restoration journey, late one evening when he had come to visit our small children, I repented and told him, “I know that everyone is looking at you because you are living with this other woman and committing adultery, but I am the one who made you an adulterer, so they should look at me and blame me” and pointed to this verse, “But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32).

So strange that I never thought for one single moment, not then nor when we remarried after our divorce when He restored us, that to marry him again would mean that I, once again, would be living in adultery. I did have other people tell me that I would be, but that only made me feel condemned, and that they were judging me legalistically, knowing I was under His grace. So now do you understand why God never revealed this truth to my heart or opened my eyes to this principle? And quite possibly why you’re newly discovering errors you’ve made that He never prevented you from making?

It is because we are all on a journey. A journey of growing, learning and becoming wise. We are not born wise, with all knowledge or understanding, and therefore, I believe that not all of God’s principles are we able to absorb or are able to grasp because it’s not yet time to. It’s the same with our children: young children are unable to grasp their nakedness, just as if they were still living in the Garden of Eden. You can tell them that they shouldn’t walk around unclothed, and you do your best to cover them up, but it does no good until they are able to grasp and understand this truth.

During the time of my own ignorance to being an adulteress, God worked it all out for good, not just for me, but for so many others. Isn’t that amazing? In my ignorance God blessed me with a ministry and also 2 restoration babies born after my I was restored— even though I ignorantly had entered back into adultery.

Maybe you’re not convinced, and you believe that for me to remarry my ex-husband again would be okay, that the blood of Jesus covers my sin, because He’d done it before. Actually I agree that His blood does cover the sin, any sin. However, He no longer wants me to live with the consequences of being an adulteress. In addition, I believe for me to enter into remarriage, now that my eyes are open to the truth, would mean I would not be just transgressing—I would be entering into sin willfully. As Erin wrote in one of her books, this also applies to me:

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. How much more severe a punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God. Vengeance is mine, I will repay. The Lord will judge His people. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:26–31).

And, “This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong’” (Proverbs 30:20).

Finally, “A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39). This means, for me to remarry now would mean that both my first and second husband would have to be deceased. Unless of course, it was something He told me to do.

Would He, could He ask someone to do something that was wrong? Actually, I did ask, and that’s when He reminded me about Hosea, and for him as a priest to marry Gomer, a publically know adulteress, “Then the Lord said to me [Hosea], ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress’” (Hosea 3:1). Many speculate about whether or not Gomer married another man after leaving Hosea, but I believe the message is the same. Being a priest they were to keep pure, if not, their children (and generations following) would be polluted. Because Hosea had to have known this, being a priest, he knowingly went against what His Word said, listening to what He personally told him to do.

“What about Me?”

Dear, dear, precious one. What I have shared with you in this chapter is my own personal walk to finding freedom: freedom to love and be loved, no longer longing to be loved by someone who maybe never even loved me at all. If you feel hopeless and helpless after reading about my journey, maybe because you have been hoping for your second marriage to be restored, please don’t despair.

When the Lord speaks to you, when speaking to each of us personally, what He calls you to do will never be a burden or end badly. First, He says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29–30). And “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

God has called each of us to travel a different, unique, one-of-a-kind journey with His son, our beloved Husband. It was never intended to be traveled alone, because the purpose of taking it, with each valley and difficulty, was to experience His love, a love witnessed by others.

In addition, the journey He’s called me to take is not and will never be exactly like yours or anyone else’s. Let me give you an example. Very often when I speak to women who have been transformed by His love and bring up the subject about them “ministering,” very often the women panic and blurt out they can’t speak in front of a bunch of people! Yet ministering has many parts as it says and is explained in 1 Corinthians 12:12-16, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body... For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body.”

Though I never wanted to, and I never dreamed He’d call me to, He did open the doors for me to speak publically and also to travel. Though traveling may be your dream job, traveling (before He called me), was something that was terrifying to me. Yet now, I could never imagine never having met women who live in an entirely different culture, miles away, who I instantly fell in love with, and who intimately became my dearest, closest friends.

This, my dear bride, is why your journey and your future should never be compared to anyone else’s. He has designed a perfect future for you, for each one of us, designed as uniquely as He created our fingerprints.

If you are currently seeking restoration for a second marriage, do not let where I am in my journey or what He’s led me to do discourage you, and do not attempt to follow in my path. Don’t let the consequences I

lived through discourage you either. If I’d listened to others who told me back then I was wrong, I would never have a ministry nor would I have my two daughters!

Also, please remember, this is why we hurt others and ourselves when we look with wonder as we see women who “appear” a certain way. Like if we see a woman who appears to be loved and cherished by her husband and wonder why it wasn’t or isn’t this way for us. I did this very thing and often found out later that what appeared one way was not at all the reality. And this is also why it’s dangerous to follow doctrine when we were designed to develop a close enough relationship with Him, so He would lead us personally, because this is how God designed us to be, with our Husband as His bride traveling through life before meeting with Him face-to-face when we leave this earth.

If I’ve learned anything it’s that God cannot be put in a box, and when we try to through doctrine, He will break out of this limiting mold supernaturally, and show we are wrong. We witnessed this in Jesus’ life with His miracles, and even who He chose to heal—never once did He heal anyone the same way twice: sometimes He spoke, sometimes He spit. Sometimes miracles happened instantaneously, and one time it took Jesus two times for the blind man to see. Again, what He was showing us is that we can never put Him or His power in a box or be able to really figure Him out. Instead, He designed us to spend that effort and time pressing our hearts and lives toward His— where we will be free from worry, wondering and fretting—as His loving bride, trusting our Bridegroom for everything, walking hand-in-hand, or having Him carry us when it becomes difficult or we are weary.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6). This verse means that just by “acknowledging” He’s right there next to you, without any pleading or begging or lamenting, He will lead you along the straight path as you face your future.

Speaking of your future, many of you may still be hoping that someday you will have children, as you panic watching your biological clock ticking down, even faster as you approach 30 or 40 years old. Right now He is asking you, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). Will you answer Him, “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You”! (Jeremiah 32:17), or will you instead choose to shrivel up in despair or seek some sort of manmade solution? As a wiser woman, I know that “Strength and dignity are [your] clothing and [you now will] smile at the future” (Proverbs 31:25).

If your concern is not bearing children in the future, but you are instead in a situation similar to mine, can you honestly say that even though you know that He created the heavens and the earth with His great power and outstretched arm that your longings now for an earthy husband are impossible for Him to handle??

So what do you do now, in the meantime, when you are in the process of waiting?

Precious one, remember the chapter “Longing for Whom?” back in my first book Finding Your Abundant Life when it gave proof that to run after the Lord would mean that happiness would run after you? It is truer now than ever, dear bride. What is also true is that once you chase after the Lord, and He lets you catch Him—His love will change it all, everything. For there is none like Him, no, not in all this big world.

My darling, once again, your Beloved is on bended knee, He is offering His love and all that is good, as He asks for your hand to become His beloved bride. It is my desire, my ultimate passion and life’s mission that you will answer Him with these words, sweetly tell Him . . .

My Beloved is mine, and I am His . . .When I found Him whom my soul loves; I held on to Him and would not let him go . . . For I am lovesick.

—Song of  Solomon 3:2–4; 5:8

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