DjembeQueen's Blogger Blog

The Life & Times of DjembeQueen as I start another Blogging expedition This blog is more of the web as I come across websites & online articles which I like & want others to know about with some comments of my own

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

FW: God's wings

I just got this from a dear friend  & it was a good one so I'm forwarding it on to you
Jehovah Jireh - Our Provider
Subject: God's wings

God's Wings
     An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.
     Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze arrived and the heat had singed her small body, the mother had remained steadfast.
     She had been willing to die so those under the cover of her wings would live.
     Jesus saw the coming of His death as he prayed in the Garden the night before His trial, but like the bird in the story above; He choose death, that we might live. As Scripture clearly states, even nature teaches us that not only is there a God, but that God is good. Like the ranger in this story, we are somewhat sickened by the eerie sights of the violence, sex and drugs in our society today, but like the bird we must not flee...
     For our children will not be safe until we return God to our homes and our classrooms. We must find the courage to standup to the ever-changing mores of society, and cling to the truth and promise of the one who was willing to die for us. I challenge you to restore dignity, honor, values, and love to your homes and families. This challenge can only be met by our return to the proven value system of our fore-fathers, and become the mothers and fathers of our children, rather than trying to be their "best friend."
Remember, friends are for the school yard, parents are for the home...
*"...He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)*
*Being loved this much should make a difference in your life.
Remember the One who loves you, and then be different because of it.*
*Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.*
*To realize the value of a friend...lose one*

Monday, June 25, 2007

FW: Charlyne Cares - June 26

Wanted to pass this on because there seems to be so many who are in this spiritual battle & wanting to simply give up rather than turning to God in prayers & doing the battle that needs to be done & making those changes that God requires of them

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 3:12 PM
Subject: Charlyne Cares - June 26

Each Tuesday Bob shares his thoughts almost 20 years, (19 years, 11
months, 11 days to be exact), after remarriage to Charlyne following
their divorce. Today he writes about the restoration process that
each healed marriage experiences.
- - - - -


From my personal experience, and from ministry experience, I suspect
that most prodigals who have returned home, and have stayed home to
see their marriage restored, have done so after a few false starts.
The pull toward home by the Holy Spirit is so strong, but then the
Enemy tugs us back in the opposite direction.

For the sake of illustration, at times, it is much like two boys
playing tug of war on the playground. Just when one appears to be
winning, the second gives a tremendous tug on the rope that once
again brings things back like they were, but please do not think
that your God is in a battle of power with Satan. It is your spouse
on one end of the rope, and the Enemy on the other. Your marriage is
in the center for the winner to claim.

We were divorced. I had been offered a job out of town. I had quit
my job locally, and given notice that I was breaking the lease on my
efficiency apartment. Suddenly the out of town offer was in
question.  I was to be told in a few days if the offer was still
open. I faced being unemployed, with no place to live. My first
thought when I hung up that doubtful phone call was, "If this all
falls through, I will move home."

Why did I consider going home? Because my wife had told me that the
door at home was always open for me, regardless of the
circumstances, and at any time. I called her and explained my
dilemma, but even before calling, I was confident of what her reply
would be, because she had told me, not only in words, but in her
actions. Does your prodigal know they are welcomed back at home? If
so, does your walk match your talk?

One of the most discouraging areas of day-to-day ministry work is
dealing with people who are dabbling with standing. It is extremely
frustrating to have a stander report:

"Yes, I am standing for my marriage, but I also go to divorce
recovery because it helps my self-esteem. The reason I am so active
in the Singles Ministry at church is to be around other people. I do
go out, but it is really not dating. He/she is also standing and
understands. I have failed morally, but only a couple of times, and
besides, God understands my needs. He doesn't want me to be
miserable. I am so busy that I had to unsubscribe from 'Charlyne
Cares' messages. They were filling my mailbox. I try to remember to
pray on the way to work, unless there is something good on the
radio. I stopped praying for my prodigal, though, and am just
letting God work.

"My wedding bands? I don't wear them because God might send someone
into my life and they would think I am married and not approach me.
I think I know where my rings are, though, for when my spouse comes
home. There will be time to find them, because I have made a list,
based on what everyone has told me my spouse must do before I can
allow them in the house again.

"You asked about the last scripture verse that God gave me. He
doesn't talk to me. I am standing, but, if my 'ex' has a baby or
marries that other person I am released, because of some scripture
that I can't remember. Besides everyone in the Internet chat room
told me to find someone else, but God is going to restore my
marriage soon, because I gave Him a deadline."

Thankfully, this did not all come from the same individual, or I
might have had stroke number seven, and Charlyne could have had
something. This is a composite of what we are hearing every day,
from men and women claiming to be "standers."

If I have offended you, as a stander, by one of those comments, I
make no apology. Our prodigal men and women are going to Hell,
living in sin and running from Christ, while some make a game of
standing with God and praying for their mate's salvation.

The Lord sends prodigals home to standing spouses who are sold out
to Him, and who are ready to welcome a hurting wounded prodigal
home, in any condition, and under any circumstances.

The false start toward home will come for your spouse. When it does,
you must always be prepared to intensify your praying, your
spiritual warfare, your time with the Lord, and your stand with Him.

In my false start, the Enemy pulled his end of the rope, and the job
came through. The other person was off to help me move. Did Charlyne
give up over all this? You know the rest of the story.

I can assure you that after that incident, when I knew I was
welcomed at home, I began to have false starts in rapid-fire
succession, until the day I obeyed what the Holy Spirit had been
telling me to do for two years.

Your spouse can be manipulated back home, but that is not God's
plan. If you do, this is not a false start; it is a stall, and you
know what happens to airplanes that stall--they crash. The Lord
wants to change you first, and then your mate, rebuilding your
marriage on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.

If your prodigal is making false starts toward home, and then
backing out or disappearing, stand strong and rejoice because God is
at work in the life of your resistant mate.

  "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right
  there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I
  see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war
  against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of
  sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will
  rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus
  Christ our Lord!..." Romans 7:21-25

Thankful to be home,
Bob Steinkamp,
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.®
Post Office Box 10548
Pompano Beach, FL 33061 USA (Bookstore)

P.S. Charlyne has done daily five minute radio programs for three and
a half years.  Tuesday's program, "When Blessings Are Lost" is one of
my favorites out of 800 "God Heals Hurting Marriages" programs-

To subscribe,   send a blank message to

Thursday, June 21, 2007

FW: News from Riverfront

Hi Folks;
this went into my drafts & I forgot to finish typing & sending it off into cyberspace
 here's some stuff that's happening in Hartford down by the RiverFront
the website link gives a listing of the events for the rest of the summer at that location
so keep that in mind if you're thinking about something to do that's free 
The personal events described below actually happened on Thursday almost 2 weeks ago
on June 7th - crazy thing is that the following Sunday on June 10th Mary added to the craziness
ok why would Mary tell byron NOT to have Firestone fix the starter?
why would Mary not tell byron Sunday afternoon that I called from Firestone saying
"the car was back in the shop & why did he tell them not to fix the starter?"
Last night was absolutely horrible Byron's acting the serious fool
although I'm not sure how much was him
or how much was Mary being a witch not picking up the phone because she doesn't want Jim & byron to help
Mary knew I was having car trouble because I had called earlier & told her 
she knew that I was stuck & that for Lovette to call she should've picked up
although Lovette's call was a hang up since Lovette didn't leave a message 
Mary didn't pick up when the call went through the tow truck driver's cell phone either
so although I'm mad at Lovette for not leaving a detailed message
back earlier in the night when I had called her since my prepaid units were almost up
it's still Mary's fault for not picking up the phone when I called from the tow truck drivers cell
or at least calling the driver's cell back after she listened to that message
 thankfully the tow truck driver was a sweetheart
& let me ride with him until he got a police pickup in Hartford & was able to drop me off
so I rode with him for at least 2 hours
I didn't get home til about midnight
 he had a police tow that wasn't too far from my side of town & was on the way to the garage
so he was able to drop me off on his way to drop off the car
Friday afternoon my daughter brought me to Firestone to drop off the keys
& then we went over to see Byron at Jim's house
only when we got there Byron wasn't there he had a rental & was hanging out
Byron claims that he had stopped by here but at 1:30p we were at Jim's house
I explained what had happened to me the night before &
Jim clearly showed on his face that Mary never told him of the call
nor did he realize just how dangerous of a place I was in nor that the car had gotten towed
Fast forward to Sunday when Byron picked me up to pick up the wagon
the fact the starter wasn't fixed wasn't told to me & the guy spoke to Byron about some belt
the fact that they had put lube on it but it would be needing to get replaced ASAP
Byron filled up the wagon with gas & he & I went our separate ways
me to the mall & him back to Jim's house
G-son played at the playground in the mall & just b4 noon we left
the car started to get us to the dollar dreams store & then to go to the dollar tree store but
when we came out from the dollar tree store it wouldn't start
so I took the last 50 cents & called daughter to tell her we're stuck
thankfully she had the day off & was on her way there anyway
she gave me a ride over to Firestone where I fussed that the car wouldn't start &
that's when the guy explained that he had been told not to fix it just do the other repairs
unfortunately he didn't have a tow truck
so I called & left a detailed message about the car & asked why did Byron say not to fix the starter?
so daughter brought me back to the car & I called Geico for the tow
oh boy folks Geico has alot to be desired in how it handles it's towing for the ERS
again it took 4 hours even though I was told a truck would be there in 1 hour or less
daughter left her cell with me after the hour since it was so hot waiting
I sent her & g-son to her new place since the tow company said "o we got a police tow so we'll be there in 20 mins"
I had called them back plus called Geico to ask what's going on that it's taking so long?!
since the 2nd call to the tow company over an hour later had resulted in the same response
well needless to say it wasn't until almost 5p that the truck got to me
it was a tow company that is based on the opposite side of the river which made no sense to me
why would Geico call a company across the river to get me when there were several companies in the town on that side of the river?
when the guy got me over to Firestone they were closing up
I called daughter to let her know pick me up when the tow guy got there
but it took her longer than she expected to get to me
so I had to wait while they closed up shop around me but thankfully Firestone had air conditioning
they didn't seem to mind too much that I was waiting
but even the Firestone guy was shocked that since I was there shortly after 1230p that it had taken so long to get the car towed in
he actually thought that I had changed my mind about bringing the car in
Monday was nerve racking for me
but in the long run it also ended up being an upsetting one for Jim as well as Byron
Mary wouldn't answer the phone for Firestone or me all day
she hadn't bothered to tell Byron about events either
so when the landlord's drunken son called me fussing about the rent check I gave Tommy the number to Jim's house
Mary picked up the phone for Tommy because she didn't know the name Alice Howe
got a surprise hearing from Tommy with his drunken tirade about the rent being late again
about an hour later I spoke to Jim who was pissed off by this time
Byron was upstairs sleeping after his PT evaluation
so Byron wasn't aware that the car was back in the shop like Jim was at this point
Jim was mad because I guess Tommy either ended up talking to him or Mary was so upset with what Tommy was saying she complained
at any rate Jim was expecting Byron to pay rent there & hasn't yet
Plus to hear from Tommy's own mouth that Byron's late alot here pissed him off
I explained what was going on with the car at Firestone & that I'm only calling to find out what Byron's doing
Jim started to repeat one of Mary's famous lines "Byron's spreading himself too thin"
so I pointed out that Byron made $47k last yr & doesn't have anything to show for it so where's he spending the money?
Jim started to go into insurance & taxes etc & Byron's not working OT like he's done in the past
so I pointed out that when we had 3 more mouths to feed & car payments that we didn't have this kind of trouble money wise
I did apologize to Jim for calling & basically telling him our business the past couple of days
but as he knows I try to keep them out of it & only call looking for Byron when Byron's not at work
Jim said that he understands & acknowledged that I'm just trying to get answers
Jim admits that he's upset since Byron hadn't paid rent to him nor the landlord here
& that if Byron was going to be late with the rent he should've told them here
I also pointed out to Jim that the last paycheck Byron didn't pay any rent here
he obviously didn't pay Jim rent either so exactly what did Byron do with the paycheck?
this was to counter the lie which Mary likes to claim that I'm the one who's driving Byron to the poor house
I'm the one who's got to deal with the bill collectors when they call
while Byron gets to run around over there & have fun with no accountability
well I suspect that although Jim was angry in tone
Jim's actually more angry with Mary who enables Byron's bad behavior
& mostly angry with Byron for not tending to his responsibilities
Jim said that he wasn't sure if Byron would call when he got up but that Jim would pass on to him the messages
Byron picked me up Tuesday morning before he went to work
Byron didn't tell me that he was going to turn in the rental car only putting stuff into it from the rental from the Pontiac
I thought he was coming over after work since he did that
but byron didn't show up Tuesday night & it was Wednesday afternoon when he told me he turned in the rental
not one dime in cash did he give me for groceries thankfully I'm on a fast so I don't need much right now
o when will Byron learn to just take my advice?
he wastes so much money not listening to what I propose for a budget & bill payment plans
he screws himself even - I had arranged for a month of rental from avis had he just gone with me Thursday morning
o well you know how the old saying goes
you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink
Byron's being one hardheaded horse right about now
I'm exhausted both emotionally as well as physically from this ordeal
payday is coming & I'm guessing by Byron's avoidance of contact
that this is going to be a mess also but not as much of one as the past 2 paychecks
Well let me get this sent off into cyberspace before it sits for another week
but at least friends, family & the world are now updated on the soap opera of my life
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2007 9:12 AM
Subject: News from Riverfront


Riverfront Launches A New & Improved Website!

Riverfront Recapture launched a new website this week in an effort to give you clearer, more concise information about Riverfront's free events and activities.

The new site was designed with potential Riverfront visitors in mind, allowing you to search for things to do by reading about upcoming events on the homepage, and by searching the season of activity by month, or by type of activity that interests them.

Detailed information about Riverfront activities and all four Riverfront parks is accessible from the new homepage.

> Check Out the New Site

MARY WILSON of the Supremes performs FREE this Saturday!

This Saturday's Season Kick-off concert will feature a FREE performance by MARY WILSON of the Supremes in Downtown Hartford, and a preview of the 2007 Riverfront Season. Come early to see samples of Riverfront’s different events and festivals, as well as various information about the programs we have to offer.

> More

Bring the Kids to Riverside Park this Saturday!

Our Sporting Chance for Youth Day is an opportunity for area youth to experience the sporting activities available to them all summer. Prizes and awards in a variety of areas. Performance by the Harlem Rockets. The best part? It's FREE! Sponsored by Aetna, Inc. and Comcast



Monday, June 18, 2007

From Rejoice Ministries - Resignation Letters

Rejoice Ministries, Inc.
Bob and Charlyne Steinkamp
P.O. Box 11242
Pompano Beach, Florida 33061
(954) 941-6508



"But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." James 1:6-7

At some time or another, all of us have had to write a resignation letter. People resign from jobs. People resign from church committees. Even presidents and pastors find themselves writing resignation letters. Some resignation letters are many pages long, and others are only two words in length; "I quit." Regardless of the length, or the wording, someone is saying they no longer desire to do the job they were hired to do. Some people even resign from doing what God has called them to do.

Why do people resign? In most cases, it is because something has changed in their assignment. The job has become a disappointment. They feel cheated out of money, job satisfaction, recognition, advancement, or some other area. Other people resign to take new positions. It is amazing how an individual can resign to accept a new job with double the pay and half the hours, but before long, many of that group are wishing for their old job back.

A few people resign to do the will of God. Charlyne resigned after 25 years with the same doctors to enter into full-time ministry. Executives and janitors have both written resignation letters, after much prayer and soul searching, in order to be able to carry out the work of God. For my wife, and for all of this group, a resignation letter is something positive. It is allowing that individual to better carry out the revealed will of God for their life.

Have you ever resigned from a job? Think about your resignation letter? Was it thanking the organization for their part in your employment? Did it take a final slam at those around you?

My wife and I desire for each stander God entrusts to work with us to always be growing upward, to be more like Christ. I sense in my spirit that some standers need to be making apologies for the way they have left their jobs.

God has called you to do a job for Him. It is known as standing for the salvation of a prodigal mate. The hours are long and you may have little contact with others. The compensation may be small, but the true rewards are eternal. This work of standing can affect generations to come. It can mean success or failure in life for your children. The continuing education benefits are endless, as God reveals more of Himself to you.

Opportunity for promotion are promised, as you grow as a Christian to become more like Jesus Christ. God promises that He will provide everything you need for this job of standing, if you will only follow His Manual, the Bible. It is critical to this job of standing that you maintain daily contact with God through prayer.You will be a representative of the largest, most powerful group of people to have ever lived, namely the church, so much will be expected of you in matters of behavior, dress, and attitude.

Why would anyone ever write a letter of resignation for the God-called work of standing for a prodigal spouse? We do not know, but we receive them weekly. Someone feels that God has not done what He promised, so they fire off an email to a marriage ministry, declaring how they are giving up on standing for marriage restoration.

We have never understood why these resignations come to us. After all, we are only the assistants, carrying out the tasks that God has directed us to do. They do not resign from us; they resign from God. I wonder if they have told God what they tell us in their resignation letter. Most of them use many of the same phrases:

  • "This is too hard!" - What is too hard? Living the Christian life and obeying the Bible, praying for a prodigal spouse to repent (turn) and to come to a personal relationship with Jesus?

  • "I am hurting too much." - How will giving up on God make you feel one degree better?

  • "Everyone says I should..." - Why are you listening to everyone? You should be listening to God. What is He saying to you?

  • "How do I know that...?" - Has God made you any promises?

  • "I deserve to be happy." - You certainly do! That is exactly why God is at work, moving mountains that you cannot see so that your marriage can be restored.

  • "I deserve someone better." - Yes you do. That is why God is changing your spouse (and you) day by day, in every way.

  • "I...; I...; I..." - The number one trademark of every stander's resignation letter we receive is the excessive use of the personal pronoun, "I". What about Him? Is your happiness more important than your family's holiness? Which will matter two generations from now?

  • "I have to move on." - Will you be moving on toward God, or away from Him? Come on, let's be honest. It is highly unlikely that your resigning from standing will cause you to be more like Jesus one year from now.

  • "I met someone." - Have you met my Jesus, who heals marriages and changes hearts? Have you encountered what His Word says about marriage and divorce, ("What His Word says" is not what someone is telling you the Word says, but what you have discovered in your time alone with God.)

    "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

    Charlyne and I have been involved in ministry to abandoned spouses for over 15 years. Based on our observations, may we give you a composite of the people who send us resignation letters? In two or three years, when they anticipated being so happy, they are miserable. Many even take up their stand once again, but with baggage from their detour. Some have entered into another relationship, even when knowing the truth about remarriage.

    Right now, eight people come to my mind. They were each once prodigals, but are now standers? What happened? The mate standing for them resigned, and after the prodigal “Came to their senses,” there was no one to come home to. Your circumstances right now are nothing compared to the years of the Enemy's destruction that always seem to follow a stander's resignation letter.

    When you resign from standing, you are openly announcing to Satan that you feel God has no power. What will follow will be attack after attack upon you, your spouse, and your family. If you stop praying for your prodigal mate, who will? How will they ever come to Christ? There is far more at stake here than your present happiness.

    My first resignation letter was written when I was eighteen years old. I was quitting my job with a large chain of funeral homes. Like many standers, I envisioned something better, so I was giving up.

    On the day the owner of the funeral homes read my resignation letter, he took me to the ambulance dorm and sat down on the bed across from me. Looking me straight in the eye, he said, “Bob, I want to talk to you like a son.” He did not attempt to persuade me to stay, but laid out some facts that I was overlooking. In half an hour, my resignation letter was torn up.

    That event was 41 years ago this summer, and I will never forget that man's words. To think that someone that important had a personal interest in my long-term best and my success touched me.

    Is that where you are today? Have you started your resignation letter from standing a few times? If so, I pray that you will allow God to look at you and to say, "I want to talk to you like my child." It is my sincere prayer that you will realize that God is on your side, and that you will tear up that letter.

    Now, let's get back to the work of standing! Charlyne and I are here and ready to carry our share of the load if you will be faithful to the work God has called you to do.

    "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

    Hang in there,

    Bob Steinkamp

  • Sunday, June 03, 2007

    Defend the Bible

    Wow this is actually crazy
    & who would think that here in America that such laws could be proposed -
    the Land of Free Speech that was founded by people looking for religious freedom & now our right to listen to a preacher speak will be taken away & no one in the regular public seems to be aware of that or speaking out against it?

    Scarey to think that such great preachers of old would be arrested for the speeches & sermons that they preached - the likes of Jonathan Edwards who in the 1700's sermon in Enfeild CT called Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God wich is credited with the Great Awakening Revival of his time would end up in jail if he were so bold to preach such a sermon now with the laws which are being proposed

    There are far to few preachers today that do in fact preach the full message of the bible which tells us to Repent & Turn Away from Sin & Turn to God's Way because it's not a very popular message but with these laws the few that do will be tossed in jail when they do get up there on their pulpits & speak the truth of God's Word & read from the bible just what God has said about the Sins that are taking place in this land

    Folks this is the End of Times just as the bible predicted coming true right before our very eyes but people here in America are so blinded by having fun & not offending that they're not even getting angry about the fact that these 3 laws have been put forward to congress - scarey thought is just how long will it be before they come forward with the mark & again those who are not paying attention will be saying nothing until just like back in the days just before WW11 no one said anything while the other countries were being invaded until it was too late? there's coming a time & it is very soon when being a Christian will in fact be illegal & deadly for those who hold to the faith

    Friday, June 01, 2007

    to separate or not to separate

    I Got this in my email the other day & wanted to share this since I thought it was very important to those who are wondering what to do about their marriages & with holidays comes alot of stresses & disappointments

    Memorial Day just passed in between Mother's Day & Father's Day & July 4th is right around the corner & if our spouses aren't yet home or they may be acting evilly towards us or showing any sort of interest in us or the family it's very easy to become discouraged & consider separation so here's some helpful guidelines to consider  

    This was sent to me from the Focus on the Family website which Dr James Dobson is a head of - Definitely read his book Love Must be Tough on how to deal with a Husband who's not doing as he should - the principles will also help for the adult child who's giving you a bit of a problem -

    Pass this on to those who you know are dealing with marital problems & might be considering separation

    Love Your Sister in Christ



    To Separate or Not to Separate

    Most pastors and marriage counselors recommend that a couple stay together to work out major conflicts. Their rationale is that issues are best dealt with face-to-face instead of at a distance, with two people working together to come to a mutual understanding. This is true in most safe relationships.

    However in an abusive situation, it is sometimes healthy and wise to separate, with the separation having a structure and a goal for the restoration of the relationship, if at all possible.

    If you are in a 15-round prize fight, there's nothing wrong with going into the corner where supportive people throw ice on your face, give you nourishment, heal you, stitch up your wounds, and provide advice so you can stay on your feet and be safe in the next round.

    Separations are worthless when people use them just to escape from the pain for a while instead of working on the problems. Then when they go back home, nothing has changed and another separation is inevitable.

    Some people bail out without making any effort to work through painful issues. They say things like, "I never want to talk to that slime-ball again!" or "He's ruined my life, so I'm going to give him a taste of his own medicine."

    A good separation has to have a structure with particular goals and tasks for each side, some rules by which they both abide, and a time table to evaluate their progress. If there is a lot of conflict, the parties may need to agree to meet only with a referee (a counselor or an objective third party) for a few months.

    Often when a wife separates from an abusive or alcoholic husband, he insists upon her immediate return. He may promise to change and beg for forgiveness. His desire to restore the relationship should be validated, but it is just the start to rebuilding a broken, damaged relationship.

    In a "Monday Night Solutions" talk, Dr. Henry Cloud gave the following illustration: "The greater the chaos, the greater the structure that is needed. If you get hit by a car, you don't need a bandaid from Rite-Aid. You need a very structured environment that is germ-free (nobody there to hurt you, no new toxins) where experts will help you heal."

    If you are trying to decide whether to separate from a troubled marriage, here are some guidelines:

    • Are you and your children physically safe if you remain in your home? If not, find a safe place immediately and surround yourself with people you can trust as you begin to heal and work on hard issues from a safe distance.
    • Does your husband seem willing to seek help through a pastor or counselor? If so, and if it is safe, stay put, be willing to admit your part of the problem, and commit to working on specific issues until they are resolved.
    • Are you relying only on your feelings? Anger and discontent can cloud your judgment and entice you with the message that you deserve to be happy, and happiness can only be found if you leave. If you are physically safe, it will be worth the effort it takes to stay and work closely together.
    • Are you emotionally stable? If you are having anxiety attacks or suffering physical ailments from repeated verbal or emotional abuse, it may be wise to retreat to a safe place where you can heal and become stronger emotionally and spiritually before you return.

    Goals for Separation (example):

    • Safety from physical or repeated emotional abuse
    • Time to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually (12-24 months recommended if dealing with physical abuse or addictions).
    • Discover the real issues in the breakdown of the relationship, seek help to resolve them and make lasting changes in behavior and attitude.
    • Reconciliation, if possible within 2 years, longer may be needed depending upon the marital issues & willingness of both parties to work openly & honestly on resolving those issues

    Structure of Separation (example):

    • Decide where each party will live and how communication will take place. If you are afraid of further physical abuse, either file for a protective order or agree that you will not meet except in a public place or with a third party present.
    • If children are involved, agree on a visitation schedule. If violence is an issue, plan to meet in a public place to drop off or pick up the children.
    • Decide whether or not you will be counseled jointly or separately. In most domestic violence cases, it is recommended that counseling begin separately.
    • Agree on financial issues such as who will pay the bills, child support, etc. while you are separated. If you are unable to agree on anything, meet with a third party (pastor, counselor, attorney).
    • Determine at what time intervals you will evaluate whether reconciliation should take place.

    Rules (example):

    • Verbal, emotional or physical abuse will not be tolerated by either party.
    • Each party will take responsibility for their part of the problem, and will work diligently until real change has occurred.

    Tasks (example):

    • Abuser must attend domestic violence or other needed counseling (or alcoholic must attend AA meetings) for a specific time.
    • Victim must attend a support group or receive counseling for a specific time.
    • The goals, rules, and structure will be different for each relationship and should contain flexibility and grace.