Debby called her mother to inform her of her father’s decision but she stood with her for the first time with a promise to defend her. Debby thanked her and pleaded with her to persuade her father. Her father’s call spoilt her day at work and ruined her mood until the evening. She was about to prepare her dinner when she received a text message from Dennis which completely ruined her mood. She quickly picked her phone to call him. When he finally picked it, Debby was anxious to hear what he would say.
Dennis told her that he has been sacked without any notice. He couldn’t explain what went wrong. Debby was dumbfounded and wondered how things were falling out of place. She couldn’t tell him about her father’s decision but when he asked about her parents, she opened up. Dennis encouraged her to join him in praying to God for His intervention and assured her of victory. She was comforted by His words and they prayed together.
Pastor Matthew went to pick Peter from the hotel and took him to the church. When they settled down in his office, he asked why he wanted to speak privately with him.
“Pastor, thank you for your support and prayers. I don’t know how to face my wife after abandoning her for seven years. Though, she has forgiven me, I’m yet to forgive myself. I couldn’t sleep through the night as I lay on the bed. Pastor, I didn’t believe my wife could forgive me despite hurting her. It’s like this isn’t the same Lisa I married. She hardly forget my offences then and I would beg and beg her before she could let go. Sir, I’m not worthy to receive her forgiveness. I’m still struggling with it. What can I do?”
Pastor Matthew smiled and leaned forward, “When Jesus Christ forgave the thief on the cross, he forgave him completely and he received the forgiveness and entered into His kingdom with him. If he had rejected it like the other thief, he would have perished eternally. Your wife met the Lord Jesus Christ and gave herself to him. She received his forgiveness and has now extended it to you. Sir, she has truly forgiven you and please accept it.”
Peter sighed deeply and asked again,
“I don’t know how I would face my children. I’m a great failure. I couldn’t take care of my only daughter properly but left her to herself under my roof. Will Charlie be able to recognise and accept me? Will I be welcomed in the family? Pastor, I need answers. I’m confused.”
“Let me tell you what Charlie told her mother yesterday. He said he would introduce his super dad to his friends very soon. Isn’t that encouraging?” Pastor Matthew told him.
With tears in his eyes, he replied, “Charlie said so? You mean my own son is expecting me?”
“Yes! Also, your wife and beautiful daughter!”
Peter bowed his head with his hands raised up and thanked God for His faithfulness.
“Pastor, I don’t deserve it. I’m not worthy to be welcomed into their midst but God has shown me His mercy. Thank you Jesus!”
“The prodigal son came back into the loving hands of his father and there was a great celebration. You have come back and the Lord has prepared them to receive you. The same way God is waiting for the sinners to come back home. There’s always forgiveness and restoration with God if any sinner or backslider comes back to God. He is ever faithful and merciful.” Pastor Matthew admonished.
“I had thought there was no way she would receive me but God ordered my steps. I’m so fortunate.” Peter said.
“Truly, God ordered your steps. There are still some husbands and wives that have gone astray in sin and to the strange land of infidelity thinking whether to come back to their spouses and families or to remain in their bondages. If only they would rise up, put shame aside and run back to their legitimate spouses and families…”
Peter cut in, “Pastor, there’s no peace or enjoyment outside there. The past seven years were the most painful and wasted years of my life. Look at me, Pastor. I was beaten by the so-called partners in evils. Josephine almost killed me. The police almost arrested us at the border then. Many strange dreams and experiences. I have realised that the normal conflicts among true couples are better than staying with a strange woman or man.”
“Exactly! Some people think it is fun and pleasurable to look outside their matrimonial homes or engage in illegal business. The Bible says ‘Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.’ The Bible is complete.”
“Which verse is that?” Peter asked.
“Isaiah 3 verse 11”
“Pastor, it was from one trouble to another. It got to a period I contemplated suicide because of debts. I had thought Josephine would naturally support me but she was a thorn in my flesh. Josephine and Lisa are miles apart.”
“Hmnn, that’s what happened to someone I know. He always complained about his wife over petty things and I told him to straighten things up with maturity, wisdom, love and prayers but he would mention some of his colleagues who could do better than her. I warned him against comparing his wife with any other woman. This continued for almost a year and he decided to follow his heart. He started living with one of his colleagues for a year. He refused to listen to our pleas and his wife continued with her life. Within one year, he became a branch manager of his company in another city. He told me his wife was behind his stagnancy but attributed his new promotion to his girlfriend. Within two months, he assumed the new position, he was paralysed by a stroke. All attempts to cure him proved abortive and the girlfriend left him. She didn’t go empty-handed but took his savings and the house he built in her town. It was so terrible for him that some of his friends refused to help him. His “complicated wife” rose up to help him when she heard of his predicament. She was the only person who singlehandedly paid for his treatment and God healed him after intercessory prayers. He realised his mistakes and returned to God. It’s not always greener on the other side. Lack of contentment has pushed many away from their spouses and families. If we take time to water our garden of marriage with love, empathy, sacrifice, contentment, understanding, faith, tolerance, respect for each other and truth of God’s word, we will enjoy our marriages by God’s grace.”
Peter was engrossed in his admonition when the door was opened and …
To be continued in Episode 46.