The best way to destroy your relationship is to think that your prodigal will never change. Thankfully, God always believes we can change, so He continues to work with us. We would be more patient with our prodigal if we purposely thought, “God is patient with me, and I will be patient with you.” We can always choose to pray for our prodigal instead of giving up on them.
Over the years of my marriage, my behavior at times was very bad. I had never been in a healthy relationship and had no idea of how to behave in one. I had a lot of baggage from my past and was still broken when I entered into my marriage. My experience was that no one really cared about me and I believed the only way to experience love was to demand it with a list of unrealistic expectations. So, instead of feeling loved by my husband, I constantly felt unsatisfied because my unhealthy expectations of him were not fulfilled.
My thoughts about what to expect from him were completely warped and destructive. I spent most of my days miserable with subconscious thoughts that went into my soul and held me hostage with things like, “He needs to make me feel good about myself and do more things for me to make me happy, or I just didn’t feel like he loved me!” All of my thoughts were focused on me and how I felt and why my husband wasn’t making me feel happy. I was expecting my husband to give me what I could only find in God – a feeling of confidence and worthiness.
Eventually, I fell into a pit of depression and blamed that on him as well. I convinced myself of more and more lies as the years went on. I began to believe that he was not the kind of husband that I wanted anymore. I simply was ignorant of the truth and the more lies that I believed, the further I wanted to push him away from me in search of my “soulmate”. I began dreaming of this perfect lover and how he would fulfill my every need just perfectly.
I began to live as there were no rules – only my rights! I was a human hurricane on a collision course with personal self destruction and familial devastation. Our home life became a disaster zone pretty quickly. Moral reasoning and personal responsibility went right out the window. I tore the heart of my home in two and left the broken pieces behind.
My husband however, never gave up hope that God could change me, no matter how lost I was. As he had finally surrendered and “let go” God used my husband’s faithfulness to open a door for God to work in my life, and while I was gone, I surrendered my life to God and my heart had changed. I came full circle and returned home to my husband a completely different woman. I knew home was where I belonged, so we could finally rebuild our lives together once and for all.
I asked my husband why he stuck with me throughout those years, and he said, “ I believed that God could change you!” His belief that God could change me was eventually a key factor for both of our healing together. No matter how difficult those years were, he never gave up hope. He always believed God was changing me and would continue to.
Nobody is ever beyond change. It may take some time, but it can happen! Even if you see no change yet in your prodigal, you can continue believing that God is working to change them. I changed and so can the prodigal you love. Nothing is impossible with God.