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  • Christina
    THE PRODIGAL S GUILT AND SHAME - David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, I have sinned greatly in what
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 5, 2006

      "David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting
      men, and he said to the Lord, "I have sinned greatly in what I
      have done. Now, O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your
      servant. I have done a very foolish thing." II Samuel 24:10

      Standers have trouble unerstanding what
      has happened when a prodigal spouse makes false starts toward coming
      home. The absent mate comes home, and then just as quickly leaves
      again, often becoming more distant than before. Some standers endure
      this cycle more than once before their mate stays home.

      Two obstacles to coming home, as prodigals see things. Those
      roadblocks are guilt and shame.

      In the scripture passage above, David was "conscience-stricken" over
      his sin. "Bathsheba," you are thinking, "David should feel guilty!"
      Not exactly, because David's adultery with Bathsheba, and
      subsequently having her husband placed in battle so as to be killed,
      happened years after the above incident. David was a very old man,
      and nearing the end of his life. What had caused David to feel so
      guilty that the Bible tells us he was sleepless? He had counted his
      troops wrong.

      "Playing with the numbers was a sin?" Yes, and it still is today.
      (That's a verse that some religious leaders need to read, but that's
      another topic entirely.) I pray that today you can see David, a lad
      who slew Goliath and was later chosen by God to be the leader of his
      people. He committed adultery, caused a murder, and much more.
      David came back to God in repentance. Now near the end of his life,
      David is crying our to God, simply because he had played with the

      Even though your prodigal spouse has never killed a giant, nor led a
      nation, the one you love may be at the Bathsheba stage of a David
      lifestyle today. Their sin is very open, and they seem to have no
      shame. I pray that by helping you to see where your
      prodigal really is right now, that you can continue to stand and
      pray for their repentance, regardless of the timetable. Remember,
      God is always right on time.

      Can you envision your returned prodigal, late in life, so sensitive
      to the things of God that they toss and turn at night over what some
      people would pass off as a "white lie?" Please allow me to explain.

      Let's compare where your spouse is right now to the pendulum on an
      old grandfather clock. The farther the pendelum is pulled to one
      side, the farther to the other side it will go, but only when
      released. Your assignment is to pray for the release of your mate
      from the clutches of sin.

      Restoration is a process that starts with coming home. That is the
      beginning, and not the end. Yes, there are ups and downs as the
      prodigal grieves the absence of the other person, and as you re-
      adjust to each other as husband and wife. There may be child issues,
      financial concerns, and a hundred other things that always result in
      a trip to the pig pens of life. Above all else, know that the Enemy
      will use every opportunity in attempts to destroy a restoring

      Talking with other men and women who
      are years into restored marriages, the concensus seems to be "I'll
      never go there again." Could that be where David found himself in
      this passage? He recalls the trouble that earlier sin had caused
      him, and it frightens him.

      Are you prepared to deal with your prodigal's guilt and shame when
      they come home? If not, you are not ready for restoration. When
      your prodigal utters, "I feel so ashamed," are you going to reply,
      "You should," or are you prepared to offer the comfort in Jesus they
      will be needing?

      Guilt and shame are powerful tools of Satan. They attempt to
      convince us prodigals that the journey home is impossible. No one
      can walk out of a family, regardless of the circumstances, and not
      feel guilty. Prodigals may have their shame masked for a season,
      but there will be a day in the restoration process when they must come
      face to face with what we have done.

      We need to look at the shame of the stander as well. There is one
      phrase I pray that you never, never utter. Do not end a sentence
      with "..after what you've put this family through," or any words
      even remotely close to that thought. If you are still harboring
      shame over what your mate has done, you are not ready for
      restoration. Release any shame to the Lord today.

      Your prodigal may be viewing their guilt and shame as two huge walls
      blocking them from your home. I pray that you will be
      able to demolish those walls and pave the pathway home with your
      prayers. We want your prodigal to become like a David, so sensitive
      to you, and to God, that nothing damaging will be allowed into
      those two relationships.

      Is that even possible? Not only is it possible, it is also
      probable. Today you may be facing what seems like huge obstacles.
      Your spouse and the other person might be co-workers. There may be
      ongoing contact between them. Nothng good will ever be accomplished
      by your spying, but all things are possible through your praying.

      If you continue to stand strong, even after the prodigal returns,
      and take your counsel from God, not from people, there will come a
      day when your spouse realizes their full love, devotion, and
      attention, belong at home, to be shared with a spouse and with God,
      not shared between a spouse and a counterfeit.

      It is possible to get over that other person. The key is having
      absolutely no contact with the other person, for any reason, for six
      months. During that time, God will help you deal
      with the guilt and shame. The affection you feel now will diminish
      with time. On the other hand, each contact is like tossing gasoline
      into a fire. It is worth the pain to have your spouse and family
      back again.

      "You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you. May
      those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the
      Lord Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because
      of me, O God of Israel." Psalm 69:5-6
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