by Amy Meyer Allen
“Don't you know how much more valuable you are than money?” I heard God's voice in my head as I drove alone in my car. “No,” I whispered, and then started to cry.
Worthiness was hard for me to comprehend. I only felt “worthy” if I earned it by getting good grades in school, being attractive to gain attention from guys, doing everything perfectly, or making lots of money in my career. I found a false sense of self-worth in my own achievements.
It wasn't until my marriage fell apart, that God took me on a journey to discover my true worth. He did it by stripping away two of the most important things I derived my identity from my husband and my marriage. When I found out my husband would rather pay to have sex with other women than me, my whole world plummeted. Who was I if I wasn't Tim's wife? Why didn't he want me? Wasn't I attractive enough, or good enough for him?
During a six month separation from my husband, God began to change my perspective. It didn't happen all at once. Through studying His Word, I learned how much God loves me and wants me for Himself. As I spent more time alone with the Lord, I began to desire His attention more than other men's. He also worked on my desire to earn my worth. It took a long time to realize it's not how much money I make or what I do that makes me a worthy person. Instead I learned I am infinitely valuable to the Lord just because I am His precious child.
This new understanding of my worth helped change so many areas of my life. In the past my mantra had been “I can do all things.” Now I've added, “through Christ who gives me strength.” He has made all the difference.
God loves each one of us so much. I truly believe if anyone can start to comprehend God's agape love for them, the rest of their lives will be so much easier to deal with. Now, with my new source of worth, I try to take everything that happens in my life to the Lord. Whether it's good or bad, I first run it by Him instead of allowing it to define me.
For example, one day, about eleven years after my husband and I had reconciled, a lot of what God taught me just clicked. My husband blew up at me for not disciplining our children. In the past, when he got angry, I harbored and nursed my hurt for days, weeks, and sometimes years! This time, instead of licking my wounds and wallowing in self-pity, I chose immediately to talk to the Lord about it. I asked God to show me which part of my husband's reprimand was true, and which part was said only in anger.
The difference in how God helped me handle this situation was amazing! A few hours later I was able to calmly talk to my husband about how I listened to what he said. Yes, there were areas I needed to work on disciplining our kids. I promised I would seek the Lord and ask for His strength to help me change. But I also told him, in a loving way, how the way he blew up at me was wrong. I asked him to please strive to calmly discuss his concerns with me before he reaches the point of anger. I also told him that certain parts of what he said were untrue.
He apologized, I forgave him, and we moved on. Ultimately he had more respect for me when I stood up for myself in that way. I would never have handled this situation so lovingly and calmly without understanding my worth in God's eyes.
I often like to say, “It's not who I am, but Whose I am.” It helps me remember where my worthiness comes from.
Here is my prayer for you which Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT:
“I pray that from [The Father’s] glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
by Amy Meyer Allen
When I found out my husband had been going to prostitutes for over a year and half without me realizing it, I was both shocked and relieved. Shocked, because I could hardly believe I didn't know! Relieved, because I knew God had revealed it to me.
About three years prior to finding out about the prostitutes I had kicked my husband out of our house when I found out he had an affair. When he called me one day, broken and repentant, I slowly let him back into my life – letting him earn back and rebuild my trust in him. After finding out about the affair, my Mom mailed me a book called “An Affair of the Mind,” by Laurie Hall. In it, the author expressed her own struggle with her husband's pornography addiction and acting out with prostitutes. I remember reading about the prostitutes thinking, “At least my husband's not that bad.” Little did I know what was going on in his heart and soul.
In the book three main points have stuck with me over years.
1. I needed to be more concerned about my husband's soul than I was about saving our marriage. - Mark 8:34-38
2. I could not control my husband, but must relinquish any control I thought I had over him to God. - Romans 8:6 NLT
3. I shouldn't drive myself crazy trying to be a detective and figure out what my husband was doing. Instead I needed to trust that God would reveal anything He wanted me to see in His timing. - Job 12:22, Deuteronomy 29:29
I could see my husband's soul withering away right in front of my eyes. I didn't understand about spiritual battles then otherwise I would have put on the full armor of God. Instead I just had these freshly revealed principles to cling to. It was hard to think of our marriage dissolving, but I did recognize the wisdom that my husband's soul was more important than our “happily ever after.”
The issue of control was pretty new to me. For the first time in our marriage I was forced to realize that I had absolutely no control over my husband's actions. I could cry, scream, bargain, manipulate, but in the end my husband's choices were his alone. At one point I did symbolically give my husband to God while praying with his parents and my Mom. I asked God to take hold of his life because I knew I was helpless to change him. - James 5:16
Before I knew about these principles, I had found out about the affair by snooping through my husband's credit card bills. Granted, we didn't have the best arrangement in the first place – we each had separate bank accounts, credit cards, etc; not the greatest way to “become one” in marriage. But in the book I learned that God could be trusted to reveal anything I needed to know about my husband in His way and His timing. That freed me from excessive worry, trying to control the situation, or being accused by my husband of snooping in his stuff. So when God did reveal to me that my husband had been going to prostitutes, it was obvious: an escort service flyer was stuck in the memory of my printer and came out when I tried to print something else.
Ten years after God reconciled our marriage I still remind myself of these very important and Biblical principles. It keeps me from snooping or trying to control or even change my husband, and reminds me to pray for him instead.
Remember: …with God all things are possible! – Matthew 19:26
Father, I pray for the person reading this right now. Help them to stay calm, keep their focus on You, and realize that they are helpless to change their spouse. Only You can do the kind of heart surgery that is needed in this situation. In the meantime, give them the strength to trust You, relinquish control, and believe that You can do anything. We pray that You will bring these precious souls into a living, loving and saving relationship with You, through Your Son, Jesus. We pray for true repentance and that You will reveal what needs to be brought into the light in Your perfect timing. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
by Amy Meyer Allen
When your life is shattered by your husband's infidelity or sexual addiction, it feels as if all strength has been knocked out of you like a death blow. But there are things you can do to restore your own strength, which can help your husband as well. Here are some I discovered.
1. Run to the Lord first when anything goes wrong. Cry out to Him and let Him comfort you and strengthen you. Your husband may be struggling with temptation and overcoming addiction and won't have anything left over to give to you. You must find your strength in the Lord or you, too, will spiral downward. - 1 Chronicles 16:11
2. Find a Bible study where you can learn and apply God's Word to your life. One that helped me realize God allows trials in our lives for a reason was, “Keepingyourfocuswhenyourdreams are shattered.” It is the story of Joseph's life and how his brothers sold him into slavery, but God had a purpose through it all – the saving of many lives! - Genesis 50:20
3. Create a gratefulness journal. If we dwell on our sorrows, our lives will get swallowed up with grief. Try keeping a journal where you write 5 – 10 things you are thankful for that day. It can be as simple as, “I got out of bed!” A friend suggested this to me when I first found out about my husband's affair and it really helped me focus on the many blessings in my life. - Psalm 50:23 NLT
4. Eat properly. Nothing saps your energy faster than a horrible diet! It may be hard to make yourself eat if you feel a lump in your stomach all the time, or you may comfort yourself with all the wrong foods. Either way, you need to eat well to feel strong. Making a smoothie for myself every morning is one easy way to get my fruits and vegetables for the day. Try adding fresh spinach to a fruit smoothie – you can't even taste it and it's so good for you! - Joel 2:25-27
5. Exercise regularly. When you are grieving and hurting it's the last thing you want to do, I know. You'd rather stay in bed and cry all day. But if you can get outside, take a walk or even start an exercise class; you'll strengthen your body, mind and spirit. I started kickboxing – it helped get me in great shape plus I could punch and kick out all the rage I had inside! - Isaiah 40:31
6. They say that laughter is good medicine and it is! Even the Bible tells us so. Find something to make you laugh – a silly movie, your kids or other's kids, Christian comedians. At least for awhile, your mourning will turn to joy. - Proverbs 17:22, Nehemiah 8:10
7. Spend time with friends. It's so helpful to be with other women who love the Lord. Let them pray for you, encourage you, and build you back up. We all go through struggles in life and it's so helpful when we can share one another's burdens. - Galatians 6:2
8. Memorize Scripture. One way is to find 3 x 5 inch notecards that are spiral bound and write a different verse on each card. It's small enough to carry in your purse, or you can prop it up next to your bathroom sink or keep it on your office desk and look at it throughout the day. Over time, you'll memorize verses without much effort! - Psalm 119:11
9. Encourage someone else. Another wonderful way to get our minds off of our own problems is to help or encourage someone else. Write a nice note, smile at the checker at the grocery store, give a hug. When we lift someone else's spirits ours are lifted a little, too. - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
10. Ask God for strength. Don't be afraid to ask God for exactly what you need. He tells us in His Word that many times we don't have because we don't ask. He is pleased to give you what only He can provide. - 1 John 3:21-22
Remember: God is our refuge and strength. An ever-present help in trouble. ~ Psalm 46:1
Father, I pray that you will strengthen the person reading this. Help them to see past the hurt and pain and look to you for their comfort and hope. Only You can provide everything our hearts desire. You are the One who has a plan even when situations seem hopeless. You promise that you will work everything together for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Even this, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
I was born in 1970 in Omaha, Nebraska. Although I went to church all my life, I didn't make Jesus Lord of my life until I was 29 years old. My real relationship with Him began when my marriage fell apart.