While looking for a very old email, I stumbled upon this “Love Letter” I wrote to some friends I was counseling about five years ago. I read it and found it to be applicable in many lives today. I decided to share it with you in hopes it will help heal someone’s marriage. The couple I wrote this letter to is thriving now, after much prayer, sacrifice, work and self examination. The names have been changed to protect their privacy. We will just refer to them as John and Jane Doe.
Dear John & Jane, I hope and pray that you will each print and read this with an open heart and an open mind. I have spoken to each of you countless times, but I have never taken occasion to write you a letter. I have found over the years that harsh or unpleasant words are better conveyed through written words. It is not my intent to hurt you, but rather help heal your marriage and you relationship to Christ. You see, in the current state, your access to Him is severely hindered by your words, deeds, and thoughts.
I want to preface the remainder of my letter with this; I am a sinner, the worst of the worst, evil to the very core of my being and totally and completely dependent on the Grace of God found in Christ. I am not better than you, higher in value, or in any way trying to convey a more superior position than you. I am merely one who has had a poisoned and diseased marriage healed by a loving and caring God who hears the cry of those whose heart is toward Him. I had to be faced with the very real possibility of losing everything before I realized I had nothing. Jesus said; “he who seeks to find his life (on his own) will loose it, but he whose looses his life (for His sake) will find it. As I sat in that pew all alone, broken and in pain, I thought of my father who committed suicide. In his letter, he opened up before he pulled that trigger, and shared what ultimately meant most to him, His family.
“All I have is you Val, no one loves me, no one wants me”
Tell my kids that I Loved them and I am sorry.”
I read that letter eight years later. It was one of the most difficult chapters in my life and it still pains me till this day. I have to wipe the tears away whenever I think of it. I sat in the pew and realized I was in my fathers shoes even though I promised myself that I would not be like him. I would tell my sisters and anyone who mattered that I would not be a womanizer, a criminal, a lazy, uncaring poor excuse of a man.
The Bible says;
“[When] pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly [is] wisdom.” — Proverbs 11:2
“Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” — Proverbs 16:18
“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” — Proverbs 29:23
Pride was my undoing. I thought I knew it all, but in reality, I was a fool. I took for granted all that God had given me through blessing and refused to seek after Him. I never asked for guidance or direction. I never thought I needed anything.
I miss my father, I wanted to have a relationship with him, but I wanted it on my terms, on my time frame, and my first thought toward him wasn't concern, but I wanted to show off all that I had accomplished, on my own, without him. I was full of pride, not Love and compassion. My heart was all wrong, and God took away any possibility of having him in my life, or in the life of my family. I took too long and he took away my earthly father. We both made so many mistakes as a father and as a son. I was selfish, he was selfish. I made the rules, and he made his own set of rules. I lived according to my watch, and he according to his watch. When he finally came to the end of himself, he ended his life. When I came to the end of my self, my life finally began. Remember the words of Christ. I found my life, it was in Him. I had a son, whom I had for the most part, alienated. Now I have my son, who has The Son, my three daughters, and a daughter-in-law to be, and over them, I have my wife.
Together my wife and I are the patriarchs of a new generation;
“This [is] the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face” — Psalm 24:6
“And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation [that] set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.” — Psalm 78:8
“His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” — Psalm 112:2
We are committed to break the cycle of broken homes, and committed to raising our children in the "fear and admonition of the Lord". We seek to work everything out and divorce is never an option. When I find myself in a trial with my wife, I examine my heart, and my path. Why am I going through this? Am I the cause? Is my sin at the root of this? What do I need to do to get right with my wife, and my god.
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” — I Peter 3:7
John, Jane, your prayers are hindered.
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear.” — Isaiah 59;1
You are surrounded by people, yet you are without the one who has the ability and desire to give you everything you heart desires. He can and will heal your marriage, but you have to seek His will in your life. You must lay down your life, sacrifice like Christ, die to self, and live for others. Until now, you each have lived in such a manner that expresses value in material, vain things. Each of you puts the measure of a mna on the abundance of his possessions. Neither of you put God first, spouse second, children third, and family or job after. Your house is upside down. You know, if you are open and honest with yourself, that you can't go on living this way. It is too hard, requires too much effort and the return is fleeting. That is where I was in February 2002. I was broke, broken, lonely, hurting, filled with guilt, a failure as a man, husband, father , brother, and son. I made a father believe his youngest and closest son didn't love him. He was right, I didn't know how to love him, or anybody for that matter. I was living to fulfill my own desires. I married to fulfill my desires, not hers. I had my first son, reluctantly.
I thank the Lord, that my son didn't give up on me, and I on him. We have the relationship I could only dream of with my father. I thank the Lord, that my wife trusted Him to do a good work in me, and has had patience to see it come true, day-by-day. even moment-by-moment.
I thank the Lord, that he heard my cry from that empty church. When, in a moment that he seemed so far away, He showed Himself to me, and touched my heart, healed my land, and breathed life into me that I never knew I could have. He gave me a peace that nobody can take from me. He gave me rest for my weary bones. He whispered in my ear,
there never was a moment that I wasn't with you there never was a step that I didn't allow there never was a word that I didn't hear there never was a possibility, that I couldn't save you and finally there never was a moment that I didn't Love you, I loved you so much, That I laid my life down for you, I suffered more than any man ever had to endure, I rose from the grave to give you life and that more abundantly. I am always near, never far, and you are never without hope IN ME.
“Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30
John, Jane, surrender your hearts like you never have before. To God, and to each other. Start a revival in your heart and let it flow out to others. Examine yourself, not each other. Point out that which is good in each other and build on that. Learn to overlook the small things, and grab hold of the things that have true value. God, spouse, children, and God's children. Flee evil, and do good. Seek after right living, and right Loving. We Love you, and pray for you, but you need to do the right thing. If you don't know what that is, ask God through His Word, and His people. Get out of the world, and into His arms. He is ever able to help you.
In Christ Your Brother and friend, Ricky
Men’s Leader; Calvary Chapel San Bernardino
Broadcast Engineer & Webmaster
Primary Blog and Devotion Author Cure for the Common Man
Married 20 years, father of 4