“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1-3 NKJV).
The reason this Scripture was such a help to me was because of the struggles, sufferings and heartache I was enduring in my marriage. I came to realize with the help of the Holy Spirit that this all began in my childhood, living in a dysfunctional family. My dad had problems with alcohol and my mother suffered until he passed away. I remember having this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every time they fought, and having trouble concentrating on my school work. Growing up was not easy. They were so involved with their problems that they did not even notice how I felt.
As is often the case with girls from this background, I grew up looking for a better life. I came to know Christ in a small church, and started serving Him–singing in the choir, teaching Sunday school, etc. I prayed for a husband but did not decide to marry until I was 27 years old. My husband-to-be said he was Christian, and I just took his word for it. However, he came from a military family that did not know Christ.
Zeal for Christ can sometimes make you feel like you can conquer the world, but you find out quickly enough that you are hated for the sake of the Gospel. The family that seemed to accept me at first later openly demonstrated their disdain for me because I was a Christian. So, I jumped from the oven into the frying pan! This devastated me, and as the children started coming, I realized that I was all alone with a husband who lived in his own world (of drugs, alcohol etc.,). He did not want the Christian life. After I came to an emotional and physical health crisis, we divorced.
I started seeking guidance from the Lord as to what went wrong. We had a beautiful wedding, kept the Bible before us, and thought we were following Christ. It was not until years later that our son had a terrible accident and we were thrown into the Intensive Care Unit together. Our son was barely alive. At that time my ex-husband sought to restore the marriage and asked me if I could forgive him, Could we try again to make our marriage work?
I saw how my children were suffering and knew that I could try again to make this marriage succeed. I conceded and we were remarried. Our son survived the accident but still struggles with life. As the years passed, I kept trying to understand where we had gotten off track. Well, I thank the Lord for our church because it was there with the help of your ministry and the messages given by Pastor ______that things became clear. You see, the Lord made me see that we both had been following a wrong doctrine; we were involved in prosperity entitlement teaching… It was made clear that doctrines that teach a “name it and claim it, Little God” theology were not the true gospel of Jesus Christ. After much crying and pleading with the Lord, I saw the light. I asked the Lord to please renew my mind with His plan for my life.
l John 3:l has become so precious because it clearly made me see the manner of Love the Father has bestowed upon us. It is so great and wonderful that we are adopted and called sons and daughters of God. We are now a part of His family! And, it does not matter how dysfunctional your upbringing was, or how dysfunctional your marriage was, because He makes all things new (Rev. 21:5). I started to ask Him to please make me feel His love completely.
You see, up to this point, I kept searching for love from parents, husband, and kids. Yet, I did not feel complete. But, as I started to trust God’s love to fill me completely, I realized I only needed Him all along. It’s wonderful to have acceptance and appreciation from family members, but they are not meant to be permanent. They are temporary. The best marriage does not last forever. Your children grow up and leave to make their own lives, and the stations that you now hold will no longer be remembered. Only the life that you have with Jesus Christ is eternal and complete (Col. 2:10).
This is why the world does not know us– because it did not know Him. All the sufferings of the world just help us to see all the more that we do not belong to this world… This is not our real home. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that while I was suffering all these things, I was running to Him for help. And today I can thank the Lord most assuredly for His love.
This revelation has changed my life! My husband and I couldn’t be closer. All of our problems haven’t gone away, but because God’s love is eternal, we know that He Who has begun a good work in us does indeed complete it (Phil. 1:6).
This testimony was submitted to the editor and is used by permission.
Grace Notes on marriage include: https://gracenotebook.com/how-to-find-fulfillment-when-married-part-1/, https://gracenotebook.com/how-to-find-fulfillment-when-married-part-2/, https://gracenotebook.com/how-to-positively-influence-your-spouse/.