We thought it might be good for you if you hear from me (Josh) about the time I spent as a prodigal. Hopefully, it will give you some insight into what your prodigal spouse might be dealing with. We are thinking that this might become a recurring post that I share every week or so.
You should know that in the Bible story about the prodigal that the prodigal made his choices based on his own perceptions, not on truth. He demanded his inheritance from his father and set out on his journey. And, like the Biblical prodigal, I did the same. Here are some of my thoughts that led me to my journey from home. Remember this is what I USED to be like...
I had the life that was to be envied. I was a fairly good-looking and smart black man. OK, the old me thought I was SMOKING HOT!! I had a gorgeous wife and beautiful kids. I was a pastor and worship leader at my church. I had a rapidly growing business. I had 2 new vehicles and the ability to afford almost anything I wanted. Everyone wanted a piece of me..."Josh, can you help me ____?" If you needed it done, you called me. Needless to say, I was VERY prideful.
This is where the beginning of the end for me. Me and my pride. The view from the pig pen is a view filled with pride. Think about it...in the story of the prodigal son, he had to actually consider eating from the pig's slop before he thought about going home.
My pride began to tell me to take more risks. It told me to it was not only OK to look at other women but to begin to actively pursue them. It told me that I was too smart to get caught. It told me that I could keep my family life and my hidden life completely separate. In short, my pride lied to me. This is not an excuse to pass the buck; it is just the truth.
Eventually my two lives collided violently and I moved out. Where was my pride then? Well, it kept lying to me. It told me that I was happier this way. It told me that I could make being a divorced father work. It told me that getting drunk and partying was the life to lead. It told me that the loneliness I felt would eventually go away...it didn't.
I found myself alone more nights than I wanted. I was constantly looking for more stuff to do or more places to be in order to numb the loneliness. But, even that wouldn't numb the pain. I was too prideful to admit it though. If I admitted that my life was no good the way I was living it would mean that I was wrong. Pride does not let you be wrong. So, pride pushed me to go further and further from what I knew was right.
One of the biggest moments in my journey home, and most humbling, was when I had to call Serena and ask to come home. It was my first realization that pride was not my friend. My pride was keeping me from the life that God desired for me to live. My pride was standing between me and my destiny. This was the beginning of the end of prideful Josh; humble Josh was still in the process of being made.
Pride is a false foundation that degrades everything that is built upon it. Before anything can happen in the way of restoration and reconciliation, the pride has to go. So, your prayer for your prodigal spouse needs to be one that will beseech God to break through their pride. The answer that comes back may be ugly and hard to bear but will bring about the God-desired response- a heart completely humbled and fully surrendered to the King. You may not like how He brings about that heart change; do not allow your own reactions and attitudes to get in the way of what God is doing in your spouse. Trust that He knows what He is doing.
Just a little glimpse into what a redeemed prodigal saw and now recognizes from the pig pen...